Yamaha Motor Canada Presents The Monday Gate Drop

Good day, and welcome to another edition of the Yamaha Motor Canada Monday Gate Drop. For 2022, Yamaha has introduced a new YZ125 for everyone to enjoy. This new bike features numerous changes including a new high-precision Hitachi Astemo® Keihin PWK38S carburetor features a power jet, throttle position sensor, and 3D-map-controlled CDI unit for precise ignition timing. Also, the 2022 YZ125 features V-Force Reeds as well as a new cylinder, head, connecting rod, and port timing. Throw in a few chassis changes as well as more powerful brakes and you have YZ125 that is ready to battle for podium finishes in 2022.

Dylan Wright is back home in Quebec now and no doubt reflecting on his incredible trip to Italy. Photo by Niklas Hampinen

That large collective sigh you heard this weekend is our Canadian moto community exhaling after Dylan Wright’s thrilling five MXGP races in Italy. On Wednesday, Dylan finished off his MXGP adventure with a stunning come from behind 11th in the final moto of the 2021 season. I know everyone, including myself has spoken at length about Dylan and his race results in Italy so we don’t need to go back and dissect those any further. But I feel like his final moto was his best as he charged from behind to finish 11th and along the way he passed several top riders. In the final laps, Dylan found himself on the rear fender of Antonio Cairoli who was racing the final MXGP of his career. It must have been cool for Dylan to watch AC222 race the final laps of his incredible career. After a challenging final day of racing, I can only imagine the mixed emotions that AC222 was feeling. I thought it would’ve been cool if Dylan had passed his and sort of signified a changing of the guard in MXGP as I, like so many people now feel like Dylan’s future is on the world stage. However, I can understand Dylan perhaps choosing to play it a little safe and take the solid 11th place.

Other than the championship battle at the front of the pack between Herlings and Febvre was there a rider in the MXGP class who was more impressive in the final few races than Dylan Wright? Maybe Swiss rider Jeremy Seewer was also one to watch as he was a threat to win each time the gate dropped. However, when you factor in everything Dylan was the man, and here is what he said moments after his final moto on Wednesday “Today had its ups and its downs. I felt the best on the bike of all 5 rounds today, my speed was also the best it’s been. I just had a small tip over in the first moto while going for a pass, and then in the second moto, I had to come from behind to pass my way to 11th. All and all I’m really happy with my riding, but now I know what I need to work on. This trip has been huge for me moving forward.” Dylan is now back home in Quebec where he will take a few days off before starting to prepare for the upcoming Paris SX on November 27th. While in Paris, Dylan will be competing once again against Cairoli, as well as the legend himself Chad Reed. It should be another fun adventure and I think Dylan can do quite well if his starts are on point. The Paris track is promising to be a fairly tamed down SX track so Dylan might feel right at home. Either way, what a month it’s been for him as an opportunity came knocking and he most certainly answered the door. With the Kicker AX Series heading to Albany, NY this coming weekend I hope that we’ll see a few Canadian riders on the gate in search of their own success.

Jess Pettis is recovering from a bad cold but will be back at Baker’s Factory this week preparing for the opening round of the Monster Energy SX Series. Photo by Matt Wellumson

Other than that there isn’t too much going on right now in Canadian MX. Jess Pettis is down at Baker’s Factory in Florida training for the Monster Energy Supercross Series and although he was down and out last week with a bad cold, things are progressing nicely for Pettis. I think we’re going to see great things from Pettis in SX next year as his confidence has to be at an all-time high. If he can remain healthy then I can’t see why he won’t be a consistent Top 7 rider in the 250 class, and if he can get good starts then a few Top 5 finishes are most certainly within his grasp. Whatever happens, it’s going to be exciting having Pettis on the starting line. We also might have another Canadian racing at least a few rounds of SX in the 450 class as I heard a rumour that Cole Thompson will be lining up. Whether it’s on a KTM or another brand ( perhaps Yamaha) it will be great to see Cole out there. Over the years he’s proven to be a gifted SX rider so I think he could be a consistent main event guy in the 450 class and even a Top 15 rider if things went well. Imagine having Pettis and ST-Cyr to cheer for in the 250SX class, Thompson racing in the 450SX class, and perhaps even Marco Cannella as well as a few other young Canadian pro riders racing SX! It would definitely make the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross SX even more exciting to watch.

Dylan Rempel and a few other Canadian riders are headed to the Mini O’s at the famous Gatorback Raceway. Photo by James Lissimore

This is also the time of year when some of our young Canadian riders head to Florida to prepare for the Thor Mini Olympics at the famous Gatorback Cycle Park. This USA Thanksgiving Weekend classic race is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year so it would most certainly be an exciting time to travel there. Also, with the Canada/USA border now officially opened back up I’m sure we’ll see a plethora of Canadian talent racing this year. Riders like Dylan Rempel, Even Stewart, Nathan Snelgrove, and Payton Morningstar are all down in Florida training already and Sebastien Racine will be joining them soon. With the weather beginning to worsen right across Canada I’m sure everyone would love to be travelling to warmer climates right about now.

Anyway, that is it for me this week. I hope everyone has a great week and here’s hoping this column finds you healthy and happy. Thank you for reading this week’s Monday Gate Drop and thank you to Yamaha Motor Canada for their continued support.