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The Monday Gate Drop Presented By Yamaha Motor Canada

Hello, and welcome to what I’m sure is a challenging Monday for everyone who was at Walton Raceway all week. Yes, the 2023 Walton TransCan was an incredible event filled with many exciting moments, but simultaneously, it was exhausting! I mentioned a few times yesterday while talking to families who live throughout our Western Provinces that I couldn’t even imagine waking up this morning and have to drive a day, two days, or even longer to get back home. My drive late last night was only an hour and ten minutes, but I barely remember it and, when I got home, I could not wait to get into bed. Not to mention, today I feel like a physical and mental write-off. So to everyone who has a long post-TransCan journey home, be safe and good luck!

The conditions all week at the 2023 Walton TransCan were excellent! Photo by James Lissimore

When talking about the 2023 Walton TransCan and what an incredible event it was, you have to factor in many different things that made it so great. First, except Saturday morning when it rained for about an hour, the weather was great all week. Even yesterday, the weather was perfect for racing as the Triple Crown Series wrapped up. I’m sure a lot of the locals were worried, as it’s been such a wet summer here in Ontario. Thankfully, Mother Nature was kind to us, and we all enjoyed one of the best weather weeks of the summer. Second, the track was excellent all week as Barry Hetherington and his Walton Raceway track crew did a phenomenal job. Remember, this year they were running the Walton track backwards, so if the conditions weren’t ideal, I’m quite sure people would not have been happy. However, this year they applied the right amount of water each day, and they had the surface tilled up perfectly throughout the day. The track did develop its usual deep ‘Walton Ruts’ in certain sections, but it didn’t become so rutty that it affected the racing. Again, even on Sunday, the track wasn’t ripped too deep, and the racing was excellent all day. Most of the pro riders I spoke to last night, loved the track and the way that it was prepared.

My family had a great week at Walton Raceway and I hope yours did as well. Photo by Marie Ferguson

So, we had great weather all week, the track was in great shape each day, and of all of the people I spoke to about the change of direction, only one told me they didn’t like it. I personally loved the direction change, and I hope they keep it going this way for years to come. As I mentioned last week, this new direction gives the Walton track more flow, as some of the important corners are now left-handers. Whatever the reasons, the track worked very well this past week; even the new start was fun, and most importantly, safe. I actually think it worked better than the previous start as I saw holeshots from more gates than ever before, and less first-turn incidents. All of this added up to an excellent week at Walton Raceway, as families from across the country came together to celebrate the absolute best in amateur and professional motocross in Canada. Thank you to everyone who made this year’s Walton TransCan possible, and congratulations to not only all of the champions, but also to all of the riders who lined up, and to all of the families who made the sacrifices to get there. As I mentioned in one of my Vet 50 podium speeches, just getting to the Walton TransCan starting line, is a victory in itself.

Eve Brodeur once again won the Ladies Class at the Walton TransCan. Photo by James Lissimore

I don’t know about you, but like summer in general, the Walton TransCan seems to go by very fast. One minute, you’re driving into the front gate and getting your wristband for the week, and then the next minute, you’re driving out of that same gate, wondering where the last seven days have gone. That is how I felt last night as I left the track for the final time this week, and that is how it’s been since I started coming to the Walton TransCan many years ago. Then, as I drove down the Walton road and turned right onto the highway towards Brussels, it hit me like a wave, and I start thinking about all the memories we’ve just made in a relatively short time. It’s really like nothing else we do in our lives, and this is part of what makes an event like the Walton TransCan special. Just think about this event for a minute and what it has been through. In the past 31 years, the Walton TransCan has battled the weather, the financial hardships that any large event has to, and a Global Pandemic that threatened our health and how we live our lives. However, the Walton TransCan is still here, and if this year was any indication, it’s stronger and better than ever. So, once again, thank you to everyone who made the 2023 Walton TransCan possible. Thank you to the track crew, thank you to the staff who takes care of the daily details that help make our stay more enjoyable, thank you to the nice lady who stages the riders for each moto and always has a smile on her face, thank-you to all of the officials, thank-you to the Lee Family for allowing us to be guests on their incredible property for a week every year, and finally, thank you to everyone who loads up their bikes each year and travels to Walton Raceway to compete in the best sport on the planet. Because, without the riders and their families, there would be no sport. It was certainly a great week, and now we all get to look forward to next year, which at the moment, seems like a long way away.

Congratulations to Shawn Maffenbeier who raced his final professional race on Sunday. Photo by James Lissimore

That is it for me today as I’m too exhausted to write anymore. Please stay tuned for tomorrow, when I will go into more detail on the Walton TransCan and Triple Crown Series results. Also, I go into one of the special moments from Sunday when Shawn Maffenbeier competed in his final professional race. Thank you for reading, travel safely, and I hope everyone enjoyed this week at Walton Raceway! For all TransCan results, here is the link: Results – AMO Racing


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