Good day, and welcome to another edition of the Yamaha Motor Canada Monday Gate Drop. This week’s Monday Gate Drop is brought to you by the completely redesigned 2022 YZ125. The new YZ125 has had a makeover for 2022 and from its new engine, carburetor, V-Force reed block, and new air intake system, this bike is ready to win races.
Other than me is there anyone else out there who dislikes November? It’s such a grey month and for us motocross loving folk, it’s always signified the end of riding for the season and the beginning of the long winter. However, if you’re one of the lucky Canadians who are down in Florida at the Thor Mini O’s then I guess November isn’t so bad. We have a plethora of Canadian riders at this long-standing event (this year is the 50th Anniversary of the Mini O’s) so it’s great to see so many of our fast riders racing at Gatorback Cycle Park this week. As we witnessed here in Canada this past summer, Amateur motocross is thriving right across North America and this week the Mini O’s are enjoying record entries with up to 2000 racers. With SX at the start of the week and MX during the second half of the week, I like the format of the Mini O’s and I think it would be cool to try something similar (obviously on a much smaller scale) here in Ontario in the fall. If Gopher Dunes continues to host the final Triple Crown Series SX Tour rounds in September of 2022 it would be fun to have selected Amateur classes race SX on Friday and Saturday and then have an outdoor event on Sunday and then combine both for an overall weekend championship. Anyway, it’s just a thought on this cold Monday morning and if you want to follow the results at the Mini O’s the link is below. Good luck to all of our Canadian riders this week at Gatorback Cycle Park! THOR Winter Olympics / Mini O’s – Trackside Online Results (resultsmx.com)
Also going on later this week is the return of the Paris Supercross. After having to miss last year due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Paris is back this Saturday with a star-studded lineup of riders, including Chad Reed, Marvin Musquin, Antonio Caroli, and our own Dylan Wright. I would have to think that as of right now Musquin would be the favourite to win on Saturday evening in Paris as he is also one of the stars of the Monster Energy Supercross Series, but I’m sure he’ll have some stiff competition from the other riders, especially if the track is a tamed down version of a normal SX track. As we’ve seen in his latest series of family Vlog’s, Chad Reed has been training hard for Paris and so far he looks as good as he did when he was a full-time racer. With this little block of training that Reed has been doing for the past month I wouldn’t be surprised if it got his juices flowing again and we’ll see him racing in selected rounds of the 2022 SX Series. Maybe Anaheim 1, San Diego, as well as a few rounds after his 40th birthday in late March. In the past, Reed has expressed interest in racing a SX or two as a 40-year-old so I don’t why he wouldn’t go for it next year. Either way, it’s cool to see him riding SX again as he’s just so good at it!
I must admit that I was surprised when I heard that Dylan Wright would be racing the Paris SX as he’s proven over the past couple of years that indoor racing isn’t quite his jam. It’s not a speed thing as Dylan is lightning fast on a SX track and I think his high level of natural aggression serves him well. Unfortunately, in the heat of battle, his aggression has at times gotten the better of him and has led to some poor decision-making. When he raced the Geneva SX in 2019 Dylan was extremely fast and had the speed to win the 250 main events, but he struggled with the deep and technical whoop section and ended up having multiple crashes. I’m not even sure how he made it out of Geneva in one piece, but he did and in the process, he became a fan favourite with his hard-charging riding style. Well, now he’s back at a European SX only this time he’s two years older, has a much more refined riding style, and he’s racing in the 450 class. I think we’ll see a much calmer Dylan Wright this weekend as he’s not the same rider as he was two years ago. If the whoop section isn’t too technical and he can get himself off of the starting gate in a decent position, then I feel like Dylan should be Top 7 or even a Top 5 rider in the main event. Right now he’s fit, confident, and at this event, he really has zero pressure on him to do well. When a rider as talented as Dylan Wright has these three things going for him at a big race then look out! Regardless of how Dylan finishes this weekend in Paris, I’m proud of him for even going to this race. I mean, yes I’m sure he’s going to make a little bit of money, and he’ll at very least get an all-expenses-paid weekend in Paris with his better half Jade, but considering how much travelling and racing he’s done in the past two months I don’t think anyone would fault him if he stayed home and curled up in front of the fire at his house in Quebec. But when you have the ball rolling the way Dylan does right now I think you have to just keep going and keep making the most of the opportunities that come your way.
Well, that is it for me this week. I hope everyone has a great week and before I go I want to give a shout-out to MX101 Yamaha rider Austin Jones who travelled to Albany, NY this past weekend to race a round of the Kicker AX Series. Austin rode well and finish inside the Top 10 in the 250 Pro Class. Great work Austin and he had this to say about his weekend, “It was really good. I raced Syracuse last weekend and it was a pretty sketchy track, so this weekend in Albany was much better with a real track. I had a great heat race and got third behind Peters and Bitterman so I was pumped on that. However, I ended up going down in the first corner of the main and had to play catch up. I charged hard though and got back up to 10th I believe by the flag. All in all, it was a good weekend and I’m glad I went.” Have a great final week of November and thank you for reading.