FeaturesMonday Gate Drop

The Monday Gate Drop Presented By Yamaha Motor Canada

Greetings! I hope everyone of our cherished Moto Mom’s had a great Mother’s Day weekend. My weekend was split into two parts, as Saturday my family and I spent the day working around the house. Then, on Sunday we travelled over to Walton Raceway for an afternoon of practice. Right now, the Walton Raceway crew are running an abbreviated version of the big track that we all know and love. However, they still give it a full prep, and within a few laps it develops the same deep ruts that we’re used to seeing at the TransCan. Also, the WLTN Kawasaki Team were there doing some testing, so it was great to watch Quinn Amyotte and Tanner Ward spin some fast laps. All in all, it was a fun weekend, and I have to give some massive credit to my wife, who spent yet another Mother’s Day at a motocross track. On one hand, I know she loves life at the track, but on the other hand, I’m quite sure, given the choice she’d pick something else for us all to do on her special day.

Tom Vialle rode a smart main event in SLC to win the 250SX East Championship.

After four long months the 2024 Monster Energy Supercross Series finally reached its conclusion as the gate dropped on Round 17 Saturday evening in Salt Lake City. It was an exciting night of racing as all three championships went down to the final race. That doesn’t happen every year, so it was great to witness the battles, and the pressure filled main events in SLC. In the 250SX East Series, it was great to see Tom Vialle, racing in only his second season of SX, win his first title here in North America. Honestly, I never would have picked him to win this title with all of the home grown SX talent he was up against. However, he did it, and he may add an outdoor title to his resume before the season is over. Unfortunately, a few of Vialle’s top rivals in the series never even made it to the final round. Both, Cameron McAdoo and Austin Forkner won some main events, but ended up getting injured. Forkner, didn’t make it through three rounds, and McAdoo was injured just a few weeks ago. This opened the door for Vialle to rise to the top and earn this title.

RJ Hampshire did exactly what he needed to do in the SLC main event to win his first SX Title.

In the 250SX West Series, RJ Hampshire and Levi Kitchen entered the main event tied in points, so obviously, whomever did better in the main event won the championship. I thought it would be Kitchen who would get it done, as he’s been the fastest rider all year long. But, Hampshire got the better start in the main event, and Kitchen was never able to mount much of a charge. The championship went to Hampshire, his first-ever as a professional. I feel like this also salvaged what was an up and down season for the Rockstar Husqvarna Team. In the 450SX class, both Malcolm Stewart and Christian Craig came into 2024 with so much promise, only to underachieve at virtually every round of the series. I know Craig was injured and eventually had to retire from the series and have surgery on his elbow. But, I think everyone just expected more from this team. Now, they’re able to celebrate with Hampshire and his popular win!

This kid just keeps on winning! It will be interesting to see how much energy he has left for the MX Series.

The 450SX Championship was almost a foregone conclusion heading into the main event on Saturday night, as Jett Lawrence was leading an injured Cooper Webb by over twenty points. When the gate dropped on the main event, Chase Sexton and Justin Cooper rocketed to the front, and from there they never looked back. Webb did his best while riding with a torn UCL Ligament in his thumb (he’s getting surgery today), to finish up in third. However, Jett rode smart, stayed out of trouble, and took home yet another title here in North America. This kid is just unreal as he’s winning everything at the moment. Now, he heads into the MX Series as not only the defending champion, but also after going undefeated last summer. As I mentioned, Justin Cooper started and finished second on Saturday evening in what was an incredible ride by the rookie 450SX rider. Don’t sleep on this kid for the upcoming MX Series either. His strength right now is outdoor MX, so he should be very fast this summer. Also, with Webb and Tomac out for the foreseeable future, all the attention from the Star Racing Yamaha 450 effort will go to Justin Cooper, and that should only help him this summer. Finally, it was great to see Chase Sexton get back up to the speed that we’re used to seeing. Only Chase and his KTM Team will know what changes his bike went through during the SX Series to help make him comfortable, but whatever they did, he appears to be in a really great spot heading into the Pro Motocross Championships. And speaking of the upcoming outdoor series. It’s hard to believe that these riders only get a weekend off before heading to Fox Raceway for the opening round on May 25th!

Cole Thompson really picked it up in the final few rounds to secure 10th OA in the 250SX West Series.

Cole Thompson once again proved that he is by far Canada’s best SX rider as he rode great in the final two rounds of the 250SX West Series to finish up in 10th overall. Think about that for a second. Cole is approaching his 31st birthday and he just had his best season of Supercross. Also, he stated in an interview with our own Matt Wellumson last week, Cole isn’t planning on retiring anytime soon. This summer he plans on racing some 450 MX Nationals in the USA, and then coming back for at least one more season of Monster Energy Supercross. Growing up, I think it’s every young Canadian rider’s dream to make a living racing SX in the USA. Cole has been, and continues to live out that dream and I think he deserves a ton of credit.

I cannot wait to see how the Derek Schuster and his team are dressed on Wednesday.

Moving onto Canadian moto, and as we sit here today, the opening round of the 2024 Triple Crown Series is just under three weeks away. If you’re involved in the series in anyway, May is always a very busy month as everyone is making their final preparations for Round 1. The teams are busy building their races bikes, and doing some last minute testing. The riders are busy training, and counting the days until they’re able to line up behind the starting gate in Calgary. For us media people, we are wide open creating content, and trying to get all of our ducks in a row. As I mentioned above, yesterday we were riding at Walton Raceway, and we got to witness first-hand Steve Simms and his WLTN Kawasaki crew working away. The riders were breaking in their race bikes, while Steve and his mechanics were building more bikes, getting items like wheels ready to go, and organizing all of the parts that will go into the race truck. Later this week, the GDR Honda Team will be holding its annual Media/Team Intro Day at Gopher Dunes. This will give us an opportunity to talk to the riders and see how they’re feeling heading into the Triple Crown Series. Derek Schuster always hosts a great event and I look forward to it each year. I have spoken at length with Dylan Wright and Tiger Wood about how they’re feeling heading into Calgary, but it will also be great to chat with elder statesmen on the team, Tyler Medaglia. Tyler has been busy riding and training back home in Nova Scotia, so this week will give him a great opportunity to not only talk to the media but, also get some testing done on his race bike. Tyler will also stick around and compete in the XC race at Gopher Dunes this coming weekend. Please stay tuned this week as their will be a ton of content from the GDR Media Day, as well as interviews with Quinn Amyotte, and Josiah Natzke.

After her serious injury last summer, Tea Ferguson returned to racing this past weekend in Manitoba.

Finally, the Manitoba MX Series began this past weekend in Brandon, and warm temperatures greeted the riders. In the pro class, it was Josh Penner and Tyler Gibbs who led the pack. Katrine Ferguson won the Ladies Open class, and her sister, well, one of her sisters, Tea Ferguson, won the 250 Junior class. As you may remember, Tea was seriously injured last summer at the ECAN when she got off track and hit a metal fence post. Tea broke her pelvis, and then had to spend a week in a Quebec City Hospital while she recovered from surgery. Breaking a pelvis is never ideal, but for a female at Tea’s age, the results can be life altering. Her recovery was a long one, as even in November she was still experiencing some lingering effects from it. To see her back playing sports, including riding and racing again, and also back to living a normal life is a true example of what strength, courage, and determination can bring you. The human body and human spirit are capable of so many great things, including recovering from injuries. Congratulations to Tea, as well as all of the riders yesterday as the Manitoba MX racing season is now underway.

Congratulations to Dylan Rempel on finishing 6th in the SX Futures main event in SLC.

Well, that is it for me this week. I hope everyone has a great week of riding and living life! If you have any questions or comments, please email them to me at editor@mxpmag.com. Finally, I want to send a big thank you out to my USA photographer Matt Wellumson. Matt (@mxmatt) has been working for MXP for over a decade and in that time has done some incredible work. This past weekend, he once again killed it with Social Media photos and interviews. Matt is now looking forward to attending some rounds of the Pro Motocross Championships, and I feel extremely lucky to have him as part of the MXP Media Team. Have a great week and thank you for reading.

Chris Pomeroy

1989 Rookie-of-the-year and former nationally ranked pro racer who turned into a dirt oriented scribe

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