Good day and welcome to another edition of the Yamaha Motor Canada Monday Gate Drop. This week we welcome in the first day of Spring and of course soon it will be riding season for everyone. With all of the issues that Canada and the world are facing at the moment, I know riding might be the last thing on everyone’s mind. However, unless you’re sick or under quarantine, getting outside in the sun and fresh air is the best thing for us right now. We’ll get through this, we just have to be smart and work together.
Well, that sure escalated quickly!!! To think that last weekend my family and I were in Kingston, ON for a hockey tournament, and now pretty much everything in our lives is cancelled. Everyone changed on Wednesday when the NBA decided to postpone their season when one of their players tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. This action started a chain reaction of unprecedented proportion as soon after the rest of the World’s sport leagues cancelled all of their events. This meant that the Monster Energy Supercross Series had no choice but to cancel all of their races up until the end of April. I also heard that this past week the organizers of the opening round of the USA Outdoor Pro Nationals in Hangtown went to their local municipality to obtain their event permit and they were told that all event permits in California were on hold. So what does this mean for the end of the Supercross Series and the beginning of the AMA Outdoor Series? Well, unless this virus gets dramatically worse in the coming weeks and months, it sounds as though the SX series will conclude in May with some double header races in Vegas and Salt Lake City to decide the championships. Double header events used to be the norm in the 1980s and early 1990s so doing them again is no big deal. Come to think about it, I have no idea why they stopped. I raced the 1993 Pontiac SX and it was a double header event with the races on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. It was no problem, and to be honest, as a rider I felt better on the second day. So barring this situation worsening, this is the current plan for SX. As for the beginning of the outdoor series in the USA, if they cannot run the opening two California rounds in May then they may be run at the end of the series. Right now, these are just rumours so we’ll see what happens.
As for the 2020 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Series, it was announced late last week that as of right now the opening two rounds of the AXTour in Sarnia and Barrie will still go ahead as planned. However, I did see on the news this morning that the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA released a statement recommending no large gatherings of more than 50 people for at least 8 weeks. If they haven’t already then Canada will soon follow and this will most certainly mean no AXTour races until mid-May. If things get worse before they get better then I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire AXTour is scrapped and the Triple Crown Series doesn’t begin until the end of May with the opening round of the MXTour in Calgary. Again, this is just speculation as Covid-19 Virus appears to be changing our lives by the hour.
These are definitely scary times as we really haven’t seen uncertainty like this since 9/11. We as humans can handle fear and not knowing what’s around the next corner to a certain extent. In fact, history has proven on numerous occasions that adversity like this brings out the best in some of us. However, in today’s age of Social Media and most main stream media outlets, especially bad news travels fast. I mistakenly turned on CNN last night to see what they were saying and within two minutes I had to change the channel. I understand that this situation is of the utmost seriousness right now and that we should all be vigilant in our approach to cleanliness and avoid being around large crowds, but at my local supermarket the other day the Police had to be called after an in-store fight over toilet paper. Again, I know as humans we hate the feeling of losing control and our own hygiene is something that even in the worst of times we feel we can control, but come on people! The world is not coming to an end, we will make it through this and we’ll be better off as a human race for it. Be careful, be smart, stay home if you can, but don’t stop living.
With all of this going on, we decided to head to Gopher Dunes yesterday for some Spring riding. The temperatures were a little cool but honestly the track was in great shape. It was also fairly busy, which was good to see. I love seeing people out riding and having fun. With my son off school for three weeks I’m sure we’ll be heading to Gopher Dunes a few times to get some much needed motocross therapy. I hope everyone is able to get out riding in the next few weeks.
In other Canadian motocross news, it sounds as though Shawn Maffenbeier is doing better now. There were reports last week that Shawn headed home from ClubMX in SC to rest after suffering a concussion. I’m hearing now that in fact Shawn did head home to recover from a crash but that he’s now on his way back to ClubMX to continue his training. Jess Pettis, who has now been off of the bike for six long months, is down in Florida with his KTM teammate Cole Thompson. Jess is scheduled to begin riding this week so we’ll keep an eye on his Social Media for that. I’m quite sure Jess will post something immediately as his excitement will be off of the charts. Finally, I’m hearing that if the AXTour races take place next month then Tim Tremblay will be riding under the Red Bull Thor KTM Racing tent with Jess Pettis not lining up until the MXTour begins in Calgary.
As you can see, a lot is happening in the world, both on and off the track. Life is never boring, that’s for sure. I hope everyone has a good week and most of all a safe week. Let’s all work together to be good human beings and in time we’ll get through this.