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 was another successful one for the Blu Cru as Star Racing Yamaha rider Dylan Ferrandis took the overall win in the 450 class. It was a great ride by Ferrandis and in the process, the French rider also took back the points lead from Ken Roczen. Now the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series takes a weekend off before resuming at perhaps the most famous track on the planet, RED BUD!

To start with let me wish all of our awesome dads out there a Happy Belated Father’s Day! I know I wouldn’t be the man I am today with the love and guidance from my dad and I’m assuming most of you are in the same boat. My dad has taught me many things throughout my 48 years on this planet and I consider him to be my hero. Thankfully, even though my dad is 78 years old he’s still healthy and able to continue to share his knowledge with me as well as his five grandkids. As I said, I hope that all of the motodads out there had a great day yesterday!

Sand Del Lee was in fine form this past weekend for Round 2 of the 2021 AMO OPC Series.

In Ontario moto news. Round 2 of the AMO OPC Series took over the Sand Del Lee race track near our Nation’s Capital this past weekend and by all accounts, it was a massive success. With over 700 entries yesterday it was one of the largest events that SDL has ever hosted. My family and I did not travel to SDL as we opted to go to Walton Raceway yesterday for some practice. However, from the people I spoke with this morning, including Kevin Tyler, the racing at SDL was great and everyone had a good time. It was also great to see another fast group of pro riders competing on Sunday. Like last weekend at Gopher Dunes, Thor/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Marshal Weltin was the rider to beat as he dominated all three motos. Weltin looks comfortable on his KX450 and when the Triple Crown Series begins in 11 days, he should be able to battle for moto wins and challenge for the 450 title. These are exciting times as racing is finally here and as of this weekend, the summer of 2021 has also officially begun.

Moto Park is ready to go for this weekend’s MP Cup Event.

Keeping with racing in Ontario. This coming weekend we welcome the return of the famous Moto Park Cup Series as the opening round is Saturday. The crew at Moto Park has done a great job with the track and facility and after a one-year hiatus due to Covid-19, the MP Cup is back. With camping, racing, and of course all of pit bench racing you could ask for, the MP Cup events have had it all in the past and it’s great to see them back for 2021. If you need any info on what is happening this weekend at Moto Park please visit www.motoparkracing.com. My son and I travelled to MP last week to ride and to try out the new track changes. I like the new track as it’s slower and more technical. I always felt the prior track was a little fast and it’s nice to have the speed of this new track be a little more manageable for all levels of riders. So as long as the weather cooperates this weekend the MP track should be in great condition. 

As I mentioned at the beginning of this column, instead of going to SDL this past weekend, my son and I drove over to Walton Raceway yesterday to get some practice in. Even though the sun was out and the temperature was a balmy 28c, the Walton Raceway crew had the track in perfect condition. I was talking to Walton track owner Brett Lee about the upcoming Canada Day long weekend and it certainly sounds like an exciting four days of racing. On Thursday, July 1 the weekend will kick off with an Off-Road Ontario sanctioned X-Country event. This race will use some of the wooded trails surrounding the Walton Raceway property as well as most of the main track. For any motocross riders out there who want to try something different, this would be a great race to do. Then on Friday, the gate will drop on the opening round of the 2021 Triple Crown Series. This is going to be an awesome day of racing featuring the best pro riders in the country as well as a few top American riders. Saturday is the opening round of the Parts Canada Amateur Open Series, Saturday night is a Flat Track Canada race and then Sunday is Round 2 of the Triple Crown Series. As you can see it’s going to be an incredible weekend at Walton Raceway with a few different types of racing to watch. Officially, there are no spectators allowed, however, if you want to come and check out everything all you have to do is pay the weekend camping fee and stay on the Walton property. You don’t even have to race!

Tyler Medaglia had another great race on Saturday at Round 3 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships.

Moving to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships this past weekend at Hi-Point Raceway in Mt. Morris Pa. Our own Tyler Medaglia was once again racing the 450 class but unlike the opening round in California, this time he had his full race bike. Hi-Point is one of the most challenging tracks in the USA as it features steep elevation changes and long deep ruts. Finding rhythm and flow is extremely difficult, as is coming from behind. Tyler ended up going 21-18 in the two 450 motos for a solid 20th overall. This is a great finish for Tyler and one that he should be proud of. I’m not sure yet if he’s planning on going to Red Bud for the next round, however, he did tell us that he’s planning on going to Southwick for Round 5 of this series on July 10th. The overall winners from Hi-Point were Dylan Ferrandis in the 450 class and Jalek Swoll in the 250 class who rode strong to take his first-ever pro-national win. Heading into Round 4 Ferrandis and Jett Lawrence will carry the red plates!

Congrats to Jalek Swoll on winning his first-ever pro-national this past weekend.

Finally, I’m not sure if you heard of the tragic events that unfolded last week at an Airshow in Washington State. While attempting a practice jump of over 300 feet, something went wrong and Alex Harvill came up well short of his landing ramp and crashed hard. Unfortunately, after being airlifted to a nearby hospital Alex passed away due to the injuries he suffered in his crash. It was an awful scene that unfolded in front of his friends, fans, and his family and one that will never be forgotten. Alex had a strong Canadian connection as he raced a few Pro AX events as well as a few outdoor nationals back in 2016. He was a great rider and he was very well-liked in our industry. Obviously, the margin of error is almost non-existent in jumping a motorcycle that distance but we can all take solace in the fact that Alex passed away while doing something he loved to do. Alex leaves behind a wife and two young children as well as thousands of fans who loved watching him ride a dirt bike. Our own Brent Worrall was close to Alex and was actually planning on writing a story in the next issue of MXP Magazine on Alex completing this jump and hopefully setting a new World’s record. Although things have changed and Brent is dealing with a very heavy heart right now, he’s still going to write a tribute to Alex and the incredible life he lived.

RIP Alex Harvill! You will be missed.

Well, I don’t mean to end this on a sad note but that is it for me this week. With less than two weeks before the gate drops on the 2021 Triple Crown Series, it’s now crunch time for the teams and the riders. I hope everyone has a great first week of summer and a safe week of riding. Thank you for reading and if you have any questions or comments please email me at chris@mxpmag.com