Good day, and welcome to another edition of the Yamaha Motor Canada Monday Gate Drop. As we all saw on Saturday the Star Racing Yamaha Team announced that they had signed Eli Tomac for 2022 and beyond. This was one of the worst kept secrets in our industry as some media in the USA reported back in the summer that Tomac was joining the Blu Cru. Tomac will team up with Dylan Ferrandis aboard the championship-winning YZ450 beginning at Anaheim SX in January.
So with Tomac going to Yamaha next year that left a spot open at the Monster Energy Kawasaki Team for the 2022 season. Having said that, it was also announced this weekend that Jason Anderson will move over to the Green team for what I heard in just a one-year deal (with an option). Anderson has been with Husqvarna for a long time so it was a little surprising that he would leave. However, I’m assuming Anderson took some good money over a multi-year deal I’m sure that he’s planning on being a wanted man after the 2022 season. If we go back to the Monster Energy Supercross Series earlier this year there were nights when Anderson was the fastest rider on the track, but for whatever reason, he was unable to get good starts when he needed to. And when he did he would end up making a costly error. So now Anderson goes to Kawasaki and from a steel frame to an aluminum frame as well as from the lightest 450 on the track to one of the heaviest. This looks to be a good move for Anderson as it sounds like he just needed a change. I believe he can still win races in 2022 and should be a threat each weekend. By the look of the Team Fried Kawasaki intro video, Anderson looks extremely comfortable on the new KX450F. I love the period of time from now until the opening round of Supercross in January with all of the testing and training videos that come out as the riders get ready for the opening round.
Now that we’ve had some time to reflect on Team Canada and their 14th overall at last weekend’s MXoN event in Italy, it sounds as though it was a combination of things that kept them out of the Top 10. However, the one clear thing is that all three of our riders gave it everything they had as they battled against some of the world’s best riders. Everyone is back home now but one of them may be heading back to Europe very soon. Dylan Wright impressed everyone enough with his raw speed that he’s been invited back to race the final few rounds of the 2021 MXGP Series. Dylan has been talking to a few teams regarding the possibility of riding for them but apparently, the deal that makes the most sense is to race his GDR Honda under the HRC Team tent. This will allow him to remain in Fox Racing gear and keep all of GDR Team sponsors as he competes on the world stage. In talking to Dylan numerous times over the past few seasons he’s made it clear to me that racing in the MXGP Series is most certainly has been one of his dreams. With this announcement, it sounds as though our two-time 450 Triple Crown Series Champion is going to get his chance in the coming weeks. My opinion is that you give Dylan a couple of races to get acclimatized to his new surroundings he will be able to log some solids results in the final few motos of the series. After all, Dylan proved that his speed and fitness are on par with the MXGP regulars last weekend in Italy, now he just needs to find a way to consistently make good decisions while battling at that speed for 35 minutes! Over the past few years, Dylan has shown us that he’s more than capable of finding speed and adapting well to new situations. So I have no doubts that he will be able to do the same in the coming weeks. Especially if he’s able to extract some knowledge (and perhaps even a few parts) from the HRC crew in Europe. With this deal Dylan Wright, as well as Jess Pettis getting ready to head south to prepare for the opening rounds of the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross Series, it appears our top two 450 riders from this summer are going to be even faster in 2022.
So we’ll keep a close eye on the Dylan Wright going to Europe story as it’s unfolding as we speak. I hope everyone had a great opening weekend in October. Before I talk about my weekend I have one big question. Where the hell did September go? OMG, it went by fast. Now the leaves are changing and Thanksgiving is this coming weekend. Sadly we’re almost to the point of the season when we start to admit that there really aren’t too many nice riding days left in Canada.
Well, a good example of this was yesterday at the AMO Racing event at Gopher Dunes. After some overnight rain left the track in perfect condition for practice and the opening five motos of the day, the skies then opened up and in just a short amount of time, the sandy track had turned into a sloppy mess. I’ve been going to Gopher Dunes since 1988 and other than some early spring races when not all of the frost is out of the ground, I don’t think I’ve seen the track that sloppy on a race day. With the heavy rain falling the conditions deteriorated very quickly and honestly my hat goes off to all of the riders, especially the kids who soldiered through the mud, ruts, and water. Anyway, as the race schedule approached its halfway point and conditions worsened, the decision was made to cancel the second half of the day. I was a little surprised and disappointed as my son was ready to go with 21 tear-offs on his Fox Racing goggles as well as an excited look on his face that he was going to get to go and race a ‘sand’ mudder. However, I understand that it was a good decision and it probably saved the riders a lot of money in wear and tear and parts. Not to mention the increased chance of crashing and suffering an injury. In the end, everyone went home safe and sound and hopefully without having to spend today on the phone ordering parts. Now there is just one round of the AMO Racing True North OPC Series remaining and that race will take place in two weeks at Walton Raceway. Let’s all cross our fingers that Mother Nature will co-operate and help make this one awesome final race of 2021. Don’t forget this race is on a Saturday with the year-end banquet later on in the evening. It’s been another incredible season of Amateur racing in Ontario in 2021, let’s all meet up at Walton Raceway in twelve days to celebrate all we’ve (AMO, the tracks, all the families, and of course all of the riders) accomplished during this challenging year. I might even have more than one beer at the banquet so that should be interesting!
Well, that is it for me this week. I hope everyone has a great week and of course a Happy Thanksgiving! We all have so much to give thanks for when it comes to the sport of motocross right now in Canada. When you look at the restrictions and limitations currently in other sports, we have it really good right now when we’re at the track. So thanks for reading this week and stay safe and healthy everyone!