Yamaha Motor Canada Presents The Monday Gate Drop

Good day, and welcome to another edition of the Yamaha Motor Canada Monday Gate Drop. Last weekend in Salt Lake City the Star Racing Yamaha Team capped off their incredible 2021 Supercross season by winning both 250SX East and West Series. Colt Nichols and Justin Cooper rode great all series long and did all of the Blu Cru team proud by winning their first-ever championships.

In keeping with some more news out of the Yamaha camp. Late last week the MX101 Yamaha Team announced that they had signed Keylan Meston for the 2021 season. Meston is coming off his best season to date as he finished with a solid 4th overall in the 2020 Triple Crown 450 Series. This is a great deal for both sides as now the MX101 Team will have Shawn Maffenbeier and Meston in the 450 class. I’m excited for Meston as he was telling me at the final SXTour last fall at Gopher Dunes that these days he was taking racing year by year and that he could be done at any time. He went on to say that while his desire to ride and train and do all of the things needed to be a top athlete was as strong as it’s ever been, the risk versus reward part of racing in Canada was beginning to weigh on him. Our sport in Canada needs riders like Keylan Meston to continue to race as long as they can. These riders race simply for the love of the sport and they enjoy every moment of it. Congratulations to Kevin Tyler and Meston for getting this deal done and giving us some much-needed good news to talk about.

Keylan Meston has signed with the MX101 Yamaha Team for the 2021 season. Photo by James Lissimore

So Keylan Meston is all signed up for the 2021 Triple Crown Series and it couldn’t come at a better time as the updated race schedule was announced on Wednesday evening last week. This updated schedule sadly doesn’t have any Western rounds but I think given all of the Covid-19 restrictions that is no surprise to anyone. In fact, the way things are currently going with more lockdowns and stay-at-home orders I think it’s going to be a miracle if we’re even allowed to race by July. I don’t know anymore as this pandemic has become impossible to predict. Once again we in Canada are behind the eight ball as south of the border sporting events are running smoothly and are allowed to have a certain number of fans. Life is slowly returning to normal in the USA while we’re still trying to figure out if any of our summer sports will be permitted. I read a great column over the weekend and near the end of it, the author wrote a line that perfectly sums up where we’re at compared to the USA. He said, “In the USA, they’re searching for reasons to open up while we in Canada are searching for reasons to not open up.” Now, obviously, he’s talking about Governments and not the everyday person in Canada, but I still think his point is well made.

Anyway, back to the 2021 Triple Crown Schedule. As I said, if everything goes as planned the series will kick-off at Walton Raceway on the Canada Day weekend with Rounds 1 and 2 taking place on Friday and Sunday with a day of amateur racing sandwiched in between. What a great way to begin a series and also to make the opening weekend even more exciting, Round 2 at Walton will feature three 15 minute motos during the day rather than the traditional two 35 minute motos. Now, as a media guy and as someone who believes we need to work together to make racing as exciting as possible this summer, I love this idea! I mean, why not try a few things different to make the storytelling from each round that much more interesting. Does a shorter moto open up the door for an unexpected winner? You bet it does! Over the years we’ve witnessed a plethora of riders lead a moto for 10 or 15 minutes before fading into oblivion. The format at Walton Two will give these riders a chance at the ultimate glory of winning a national moto and joining a very exclusive club. On the other side of it, if you’re an established rider then you will most likely hate this format as you thrive on long motos. Or if you’re a mechanic to any rider then you also will most likely despise this format as it only adds more work to your already busy day. However, as I said, it’s another unique season so why not try some new things.

Gopher Dunes will once again be hosting two outdoor rounds as well as two SX rounds this summer. Photo by James Lissimore

Once the opening two rounds at Walton Raceway are completed, the series moves to the roughest and toughest track in Canada and Gopher Dunes Raceway for Rounds 3 and 4. These exhausting two days of racing will take place on Saturday and Sunday with two separate rounds. However, to ease the burden on the riders and teams Saturday will more of a Supercross format with heat races and then one long main event type final moto. This is also kind of cool and it should provide some exciting racing. Then the following day will see a return to normal with two full-length motos in each class. From there, the riders move east to Sand Del Lee for Round 5 and then hopefully two rounds in Quebec. One will be at Deschambault and the other at a venue to be determined soon. After Round 7 in Quebec, the riders and teams will have a weekend off before concluding the outdoor series back at Walton Raceway. Once the outdoor series is over then the riders will have two weeks to prepare for the Supercross portion with races in Sarnia and Gopher Dunes. Ten rounds of exciting racing in total and if all goes as planned, everything will conclude on Labour Day weekend in September.

I hope it was a great Mother’s Day for all of the moto moms out there. Photo by James Lissimore

With all of that said, I hope all of our Moto Mom’s out there had a great Mother’s Day yesterday. I watching a rerun last night of the Toronto Blue Jay’s game from Houston. And other than being jealous that there was a bunch of happy Texan’s sitting in the stands with no masks and big smiles on their faces, they profiled one Blue Jay player who is the son of a former Major League player and he was crediting his mom for being the driving force behind the man he is today. With his dad away a lot playing baseball it was his mom that was at home raising him and his two siblings and keeping them all grounded. I thought it was a touching story and obviously a perfect one to honour all of the moms out there. They say it takes an army to raise a child, but in most cases, the General of that army is the mom as she’s the one making sure the battle plan is the best it can be. Once again, Happy Mother’s Day to every single mom out there. We love you!

Mike Treadwell is doing better and he thanks everyone for their well wishes. Photo by James Lissimore

Finally, as I mentioned last week our good friend Mike “Ironman” Treadwell had a big crash and suffered some very serious injuries. It’s most certainly going to be a long recovery for Mike but by the sounds of it he’s doing better and the outpouring of support has helped keep a smile on his face. If you have some time this week, email me (chris@mxpmag.com) your best Mike Treadwell story, and I’ll write up a story and share them all. Here is an excerpt from a message Mike’s wife put on Facebook yesterday”

“Mike’s injuries are, starting with the one that was fixed and saved his life was his Ileocolic artery tear, he received 9 bags of blood to save his life so thank you all who donate. Then he went back into surgery to work on his large colon. Some were removed, he was left open after surgery and left under for 24 hours until they could go back in after it settled down a little to see how things looked. They didn’t need to remove any more so they were able to close his stomach. I think during that surgery they put on his cage for his pelvis that is temporary. He has a G-tube going to his stomach to take care of fluid there. His digestive system needs to function properly to move forward. His next step is surgery to permanently repair his open book pelvic fracture.”

As you can tell Mike still has a long road ahead of him. However, there is no one tougher in this sport than him so you just know Mike has it covered. Anyway, that is it for me this week. I hope everyone has a great week and if you’re able to get out and ride, please ride safe! Thank you for reading.