Yamaha Motor Canada Presents The Monday Gate Drop

Good day, and welcome to another edition of the Yamaha Motor Canada Monday Gate Drop. This past weekend Thunder Valley Raceway hosted Round 2 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships and it couldn’t have gone any better for the Star Racing Yamaha rider Justin Cooper. After securing a second-place finish in the opening moto, Cooper repeated that success with a strong second place in Moto 2 and the overall win in the 250 class. 

As I mentioned above, Round 2 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships took place at Thunder Valley Raceway in Colorado. As everyone probably knows this track sits on the side of a hill some 5500 feet above sea level, so it’s by far one of the most challenging races of the series. It was also very hot on Saturday so this only added to the difficulty of Round 2. Other than having a cool track layout I don’t think the riders enjoy this round as it’s one thing to deal with long motos and hot temperatures, but it’s a whole different animal when you have to race at 5500 feet elevation. After two very challenging rounds to begin the 2021 Outdoor Series, the riders will be happy to now have a weekend off before heading east to resume the racing at Mt. Morris. 

Justin Cooper had a great day at Thunder Valley going 2-2 for the overall win in the 250 class. Photo by Matt Wellumson

In the 250 class, Justin Cooper rode smooth and smart to take the overall win over Jett Lawrence and Hunter Lawrence. Although Cooper is yet to a moto in 2021, so far he’s proven to be one the most consistent rider in the 250 class. I would expect more of this cerebral type of riding from Cooper as the series goes on as right now he’s my pick to win this championship. Of course, he’ll have to try and figure out Jett Lawrence as after four motos he appears to be the rider with the most raw speed. The battle between these two should be exciting this summer as it’s clear they do not like each other. Unfortunately, Cooper’s teammate Jeremy Martin went down in Moto 2 on Saturday and injured his already sore wrist. J-Mart DNF’d the moto and lost a lot of points to Lawrence and Cooper. However, even with his disastrous second moto J-Mart still sits third in points so it will be interesting to see if he can heal up enough to get back into the series at Round 3. 

Ken Roczen is on roll and now holds the points lead in the 450 class. Photo by Matt Wellumson

In the 450 class, Ken Roczen once again surprised everyone by not only winning the opening moto on Saturday but by dominating Moto 2 as well. Roczen is on a roll now and he looks confident and comfortable on his factory Honda. I can’t wait to see what happens as this series now moves into the heat and humidity of the east. With Roczen moving back into his Florida home for the rest of the summer, this should give him even more of an advantage over his closet rival to date in the 450 class, California-based Dylan Ferrandis. With his double moto win, Roczen now leads the 450 class by just one point over Ferrandis, a rider who has surprised many with his early series results in the 450 class. Here are the updated Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Points Standings after two rounds:

450 Standings

1. Ken Roczen 90

2. Dylan Ferrandis 89

3. Aaron Plessinger 74

4. Justin Barcia 69

5. Chase Sexton 67

6. Adam Cianciarulo 58

7. Cooper Webb 52

8. Christian Craig 51

9. Marvin Musquin 51

10. Eli Tomac 46 

250 Standings

1. Jett Lawrence 90

2. Justin Cooper 80

3. Jeremy Martin 72

4. Hunter Lawrence 67

5. Garrett Marchbanks 56

6. RJ Hampshire 54

7. Jo Shimoda 50

8. Colt Nichols 49

9. Austin Forkner 48

10. Michael Mosiman 46 

Moving onto Canada and the glorious fact that we’re now just four weeks away from the opening round of the 2021 Triple Crown Series. Walton Raceway will be hosting Round 1 for the first time and if all goes as planned it could be one of the biggest weekends in Canadian motocross. The weekend will kick off on Thursday with a riding school hosted by yours truly as well as a few guest instructors, and some of the pro riders who will be racing the following day. Then on Friday, that gate will drop on the opening round of the Triple Crown Series with four exciting motos. On Saturday, Round 1 of the Parts Canada Amateur Open Series kicks off on the same track that the pro riders raced on the previous day. Sunday will see Round 2 of the Triple Crown Series take place with a three moto format in each class, this will no doubt be an exciting conclusion to the weekend. Throw in some dirt track racing, camping (you don’t even have to race. Just show up and camp all weekend), and just about anything else you can think of, and there you have one incredible Canada Day long weekend at Walton Raceway. Here is the official PR from the crew at Walton Raceway:

It isn’t a party unless everyone is invited!

The two-wheel community is prepared to blow the roof off for the 2021 Walton ONE Canada Day MXTour National in Walton, Ontario. A three-day motorcycle vacation (#motocation) in the heart of Huron County, Walton, Ontario — affectionately known as Motocross Town.

This first-of-its-kind event will incorporate 4 different brands of racing, Pro National Motocross, Amateur Motocross, Dirt Track Racing and UTV Racing all in one weekend July 2-3-4 2021. Creating a common scene for the entire industry and attracting some of the Canadian Off-Road industry’s biggest stars. Broadcasted live on Fox Sport2 and FloSport Network it will be a weekend of celebration and great racing.

Walton may be a drive from Toronto, but as thousands have learned over the years it is close to many great getaways for the perfect #motivaction. 

You may want to head for the beaches of Goderich or Bayfield just 45 minutes away. Great restaurants, shopping and beaches are the hallmarks of those welcoming communities. If you are in Bayfield check out Windmill Lake Waterpark. Home to one of Canada’s largest land wake parks! Say hi to Jen, she is a huge action sport junkie.

Looking for something closer to Walton check out the great golf at Seaforth Golf Course, 15 minutes from Walton raceway. The course is home to the Country Classic, a PGA Canada endorsed tournament. It is an immaculate course, just a short drive (and a putt) and boosts a wonderful patio. 

OR check out Cowbell Brewery located just 10 minutes from Walton Raceway. The 40,000 square foot brewery is one the largest in Canada. Great patio, indoor dining and place to explore. While you are in Blyth fill up at the UltraMart Both businesses love the motocross community and we consider them friends!

Exploring can not be easier with the G2G Trail on our doorstep. Stretching from Guelph Ontario to Goderich Ontario it is perfect for biking, hiking and some country air. The Trail is located 100 METERS from Walton Raceway’s front gate. It has become a point of pride for Huron County and if you find Chris Lee — he will happily take anyone for a bike ride down to Blyth. If you are looking to explore by motor, Walton’s Huron County Gravel Runner is our Walton Raceway “insider” map of our favourite spots. Perfect for Adventure bike riding in Huron County. Take back roads to hidden spots, soak in great country scenery on the road less travelled. Huron County is one of the great undiscovered gems of adventure bike touring.

 Walton One EVENT Schedule

June 30.2021

5:00pm Early Camping Entry – Free with weekend purchase.

Thursday July 1. 2021

– Move in and Camping Open.

– Cross Country Showdown

– 7:00pm Series Introductions Grand Opening — Live Entertainment.

Friday July 2. 2021

– Season Opener Round 1 MXTOUR PRO NATIONAL

– 7:00pm – 9:00pm UTV Race

Saturday July 3. 2021

– Saturday Parts Canada Cup Amateur Day. 

– 6:00pm -9:00pm Dirt Track Race 

– Canada Day Fireworks

Sunday July 4. 2021

– Round 2 MXTOUR PRO NATIONAL

– Qualifiers based on OA results from Friday National.

– 3 moto format 

– 15 +1 motos 

Weekend Pricing

Camping

Weekend Camping $40.00 per vehicle 

Admission 

Adult $60.00 (Gate Opens 10:00am Thursday)

Youth $40.00 (Gate Opens 10:00am Thursday)

Entries 

UTV TBA

Flattrack – Handled by Flattrack Canada

AMO – Handled By AMO

OffRoad.ca – Handled by ORC

Pro – Handled by Jetwerx.

Like many tracks right across Canada, Gopher Dunes has made some major property upgrades while under lockdown.

However, before we the opening round of the Triple Crown Series, there is first some Regional racing to do. This Sunday the gate will finally drop on the 2021 AMO Ontario Provincial Series at Gopher Dunes. Like last year, Regional racing has been delayed right across the country and it’s great to see that it’s finally getting underway. Ironically, in Ontario at least we’re starting racing on the same weekend as we did in 2020. Hopefully, the turnout is as good this weekend as it was in 2020 as most Ontario events saw a massive increase in their entries last year. I would expect Gopher Dunes to be extremely busy this weekend as every rider is no doubt exciting to go racing. If you need any information about this weekend at Gopher Dunes you can either visit www.amoracing.com or www.gopherdunes.com.

In the next few weeks Gopher Dunes will be opening their new Vet track to the public.

Finally, speaking of Gopher Dunes. I made my way there last Wednesday for the first time since the most recent lockdown and I couldn’t believe how much the property has changed. The Gopher Dunes crew has most certainly put in a lot of work over the past two months and now when you drive through the paddock area you’ll see a redesigned mini track, a new kids track, a soon to be open Vet track, new fencing, and also a few big changes to the main track. Overall, the property looks fabulous, and my hats off to the entire Gopher Dunes crew for all of their hard work. It’s actually great to see all of our tracks making big improvements to their facilities over the past two months while they’ve been forced to remain closed. Every track has most certainly made the most out of these challenging times.

Well, that is it for me this week. I hope everyone has a great week and if you’re heading to Gopher Dunes this weekend I cannot wait to see you. The first race of the year in Ontario and Gopher Dunes just seem to go together like peas and carrots, whether it’s in April or mid-June. Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments please email me at chris@mxpmag.com.