Good day, and welcome to another edition of the Yamaha Motor Canada Monday Gate Drop. With a line-up of newly redesigned two-strokes for 2022, the Blu Cru riders will no doubt be on the top step of the podium next year right across Canada. With multiple changes to the YZ125, YZ250, as well as the addition of the all-new YZ85LW, Yamaha has all its bases covered for 2022.
Well, what a weekend it was for Canadian riders on the world stage as Dylan Wright had another solid weekend in Italy, and our crew of crazy Canucks also found success at Glen Helen Raceway at the annual Dubya World Vet Championships. So much Canadian pride felt on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and with November 11th being Remembrance Day, it couldn’t have come at a better time. So before I get into the details from this past weekend, let’s all please take a moment on Thursday morning and pay tribute to all of our fine men and women in the military. Especially those who have paid the ultimate price while fighting for our freedoms around the world.
This past weekend Dylan Wright was back in familiar territory as the 2021 MXGP Championships was racing at the track in Mantova, Italy, the site of the MXoN event back in September. From watching the racing on this track to me it looks like a challenging track to actually race on. As we all know, some tracks are set up pretty good for racing with their layout and flow, but this one doesn’t look like one of those tracks. From its starting line that only caters to riders on the inside, to certain corners where the multiple lines on the entrance converge to the same line of the exit, the Mantova track appears hard to pass on so success largely depends on the start you get. As I mentioned, getting a good start in your motos depends largely on your gate pick so in reality how a rider qualifies could really factor into their overall finish on the day. For Dylan, he didn’t have the best qualifying session yesterday morning so his gate pick wasn’t great and that made for some tense moments in turns one and two. In Moto 2 he actually went down in turn two and was forced to charge from way back. In the end, his 13-14 moto score perhaps didn’t look as glamorous as top ten finishes from the previous round, but boy did he put in the work yesterday. During both motos his lap times were great and were on par with riders inside the top six, he charged hard from the start to the finish, and once again he did himself, his sponsors, and of course his country proud. With one more round to go in the series on Wednesday Dylan will be looking to finish off his European adventure in style.
While processing Dylan’s finishes last night I was thinking that if we look beyond his moto scores from the past two weeks and look at it from a long-term perspective, I think (like everyone I’m sure) this experience has been invaluable for Dylan and his future, regardless of where he races in 2022 and beyond. If Dylan didn’t get this opportunity (and let’s face it he wouldn’t have if he didn’t turn some heads at the MXoN and if Derek Schuster didn’t help to make it happen also) Dylan would’ve returned home after the MXoN, took a few months off and then most likely would’ve begun his training for the 2022 season. But instead, Dylan came home from the MXoN with a fire lit under him and kept training hard in the hopes that he’d be returning to Italy for these final rounds of MXGP’s. I’ve always maintained in both my own personal riding as well as in my education to other riders that is so important to try and make some gains in the fall, before shutting things down for your off-season. I know everyone is always tired and burnt out from a long season of racing, but a few weeks of hard training or a few big races before we put our bikes away are important for us both physically and mentally. It’s called assimilation and it’s basically our brains taking in information, processing it over a period of time until it becomes a part of our everyday thought process. In translation, if you’re to do some good riding or training before taking some time off, your body and mind will take that information, process it and you will be that much better when you start riding the following year. When you apply this to Dylan Wright, just think how much better of a rider and racer he’s going to be in 2022 once all of this MXGP racing has sunk in. During each of his motos in the past two weeks, he’s been in an all-out knock-down no holds bar battle for 35 minutes. If he makes one mistake he either loses a position or loses time to the rider in front of him, to race like that in that environment forces you to be the best you can be. With Dylan already being a two-time Triple Crown Series 450 Champion, he was very good before. However, after these five MXGP’s he’s reached another level in his riding, training, and racecraft. He’s most certainly made the most of this opportunity and let’s hope he has one more safe and successful round on Wednesday.
Over on the west coast of America, our Canadian boys had a great weekend at Glen Helen Raceway at the Dubya World Vet Championships. Individually, all of our riders were solid including a couple of podium finishes by Ryan Lockhart, but in the overall Cup of Nations Team Canada as a group finished in second overall. It was an impressive weekend for sure by Team Canada and Daryl Murphy sent us these cool photos. This looks like such a cool event and each year it appears to be very well attended. I’ve never considered going as the timing of the race just never panned out for me. I know if I was to go I’d want to be in the absolute best shape possible and the motos are long and intense and the GH track gets rough. Who knows, I’ll be 50 in a couple of years so maybe I’ll try this race in 2023?
In other news, one of Walton Raceway’s cherished medics Jamie Mitchell and his wife Julenna announced that they’re expecting a baby next summer. This is great news so congratulations to both of them. Also, as I’m sure you’ve heard that finally, the Canada/USA border opens back up today for fully vaccinated people. So if you’ve been waiting to drive south to ride or vacation you can now do so. I also read that for kids 18 years old and younger as long as you’re travelling with a fully vaccinated adult you don’t have to be vaccinated. That is great news as I’m sure there are a lot of kids who are not vaccinated. The only downside is that your non-vaccinated child will have to quarantine for two weeks once they return to Canada, even with a negative Covid-19 test. Well, I hope everyone has a great week, and thank you for reading. To honour Remembrance Day I will leave you today with the famous On Flanders Fields poem by John McCrae:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.