Yamaha Motor Canada Presents The Monday Gate Drop

Good day and welcome to another edition of the Yamaha Motor Canada Monday Gate Drop. I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend. Obviously, our choices were limited as to what we could do this weekend, but hopefully your loved ones were close and your heart was full.

So where do I begin this week? Well, not much has changed in seven days, we’re still in lock down, our economy is bleeding with each passing day, and the uncertainty surrounding when things might return to something closer to normal keeps getting stronger. In Ontario at least, I believe our lock down (which was supposed to be two weeks) has been extended another four weeks, so not much will change until that day as far as more businesses being allowed to open again. I think it will go beyond that date, for sure, but I also think that mentally and physically, the beginning of May is when people will have had enough! Things have already been tough enough for families, business owners, and our working class, in fact I don’t think there is anyone out there who hasn’t been affected in some way by this Covid-19 situation. However, by the end of this month the economic challenges will start to become much larger than the health challenges and people will want and need to return to work. Call me crazy, stupid, or just really optimistic, but in three weeks things will begin to shift. Especially when other countries are beginning their transition back to work.

We cannot wait to watch our top riders battle in the 2020 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Series. Photo by James Lissimore

I had a lot of people ask me last week about whether or not I think the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MXTour would begin on June 7th in Calgary? With the City of Calgary announcing ten days ago that no permits would be issued for events scheduled prior to June 30th, how could Wild Rose MX Park, which is situated just a stone’s throw from downtown, host a professional motocross event? I reached out to Jetwerx about this and they told me that a final decision wouldn’t be made until May 1st. Now, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be internal discussions with the riders and teams between now and then, but at least for the public, everyone will have to wait a few more weeks. I have no issue with Jetwerx waiting until early May to make the call on this as once you make the decision it’s very difficult to change it. Also, there are a multitude of things that have to change between now and when the final decision has to be made. Airlines have to start flying again, the Canada/ USA border has to return to normal, our governments have to ease restrictions on allowing large gatherings, and then there are the companies within our industry that have to open again. Currently, teams and riders can’t even get parts, gear or anything to go racing. Some riders are even struggling to find tracks to practice on right now. As I said above, hopefully the restrictions will begin to relax in the coming weeks and by May we’ll be able to begin working towards what should be another exciting racing season. However, even if this is how things go, starting the MXTour on June 7th will be a massive challenge to everyone involved. One item that is clear is between the moment the gate drops for the opening round and let’s say the end of November, the Triple Crown Series must do everything possible to complete all 15 rounds. So, let’s cross our fingers and hope that our race season begins sooner than later for all of us!

It’s very sad that there is no spring racing in any parts of Canada right now.

As many of you know, at least those who reside in or close to Southern Ontario, going Spring riding at either Gopher Dunes or Moto Park has become a right on passage with riders and families. In fact, there aren’t too many riders out there who haven’t spent either a beautiful April day or a down right cold April day at these tracks. Over the years, Mother Nature has certainly spoiled a few of our April riding days in all parts of the country, but never before have we experienced what is currently going on. Yesterday was supposed to be the opening Ontario race at Gopher Dunes and it’s downright sad that it wasn’t able to happen. The first race of the year in any region is always extra special as not only are most riders experiencing their first competition in almost six or seven months, but you’re also seeing people that you haven’t seen in a long time. Kids are taller and look older, and everyone has their friendliest face on as their cup is full of excitement for the new season. Well, that day will have to wait a little longer, but oh how sweet it will be when it does arrive.

Let’s celebrate #turndowntuesday with Brett Metcalfe from Ulverton in 2016. Photo by James Lissimore

If you’re one of our fast amateur riders who is looking at trying to qualify for this summer’s Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Championship, last week MX Sports announced their planned intentions for the 2020 event. With their rescheduled qualifying races set to resume in early May, MX Sports has devised multiple plans moving forward. If racing begins using their current schedule then nothing really changes moving forward, but if they cannot go racing on time then Plan C and possibly Plan D kicks in. The absolute worst case is obviously no racing at all this summer, but I don’t think anyone can envision that. Whether you like the President or not, Mr. Trump is a businessman who knows that his economy, that was moving a long quite well before this Virus attacked us, must get rolling as soon as possible. This includes travel, businesses big and small, and I would think racing as well. Anyway, as of this morning MX Sports are still planning on kicking off their 2020 Loretta Lynn’s Qualifiers on the May 9/10 weekend. This is very optimistic I know, but there’s nothing wrong with a little hope. 

Right now the podium at Walton Raceway is empty. However, with any luck in four months we’ll see it full of happy riders at the 2020 Walton TransCan. Photo by James Lissimore

In regards to our National Amateur Championship, the Walton TransCan, I spoke with Brett Lee last week and other than the Walton track being open for practice, it’s business as usual when it comes to planning for the TransCan. With our country shut down right now, planning any event in great detail has its challenges, but with opening ceremonies still four months away, there is still a lot of time to get everything sorted out. If you have any questions or you would like to stay up to date with information on the 2020 TransCan, just visit www.waltontranscan.ca.

Well, that is it for me for this week. I hope everyone continues to remain safe and healthy. With any luck we’ll all be back riding at our favourite tracks soon enough, and hopefully, in the not so distant future, this Virus will be a part of our history. Finally, here is great video Dean Wilson released over the weekend about how he deals with anxiety. Please keep videos like this coming Deano, we love them. Thank-you for reading!