Good day and welcome to another edition of the Yamaha Motor Canada Monday Gate Drop. We continue to live very challenging times as we welcome in the month of May. However, as Provincial Governments begin to open up our economies there is starting to be some light at the end of the tunnel. With golf courses and other outdoor recreation areas set to open this week in certain parts of the country, motocross tracks cannot be far behind. Why tracks cannot open for practice right now is beyond me. Over the weekend more tracks opened in neighbouring States with social distancing measures in place. Hopefully this will be the next step in Canada as our tracks are most certainly starving for business.
So with things starting to (slowly) open, Jetwerx released their updated Rockstar Energy Triple Crown schedule late last week. With so much uncertainty in our lives right now, including when and where we were going be racing this summer, a new updated schedule was definitely needed. With no events allowed in the Calgary area until at least July and no real official timeline as to when travel restrictions will be lifted, launching the MXTour in June just wasn’t going to work. So Jetwerx was forced to go to Plan B and that was to push the opening round to early July at Gopher Dunes. From there, the five round series will travel to Sand Del Lee, Moncton and Walton before wrapping up in Deschambault on Labour Day weekend. Each round will consist of three motos in each class with one on Saturday and two Sunday. This will give both the 250MX and 450MX classes 15 points paying motos throughout the shortened series. Hopefully, Saturday will also see the WMX races, the FXR Pre-Mix races, and with any luck, selected amateur classes. It will most certainly be a busy weekend for everyone, and perhaps it won’t be perfect for all involved, but with what is going on in the world, this is the best that could be done.
Obviously, riders and fans who live west of Ontario are getting the short end of the stick this summer with no nationals in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba. But I think giving the Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent shutdown, Jetwerx had their hands tied as far options for the series. From what I’m hearing there has been some pretty significant budgetary cutbacks with some of the OEMs that support the series and obviously the teams. With everything that has happened during what is usually the busiest few months of their season, one of the last items on their minds is spending money to go racing. Thankfully though, companies like our OEMs still choose to support our sport, but adjustments have to made. That is just the reality of the situation. So if the MXTour series cannot travel west for any rounds for the first time in 24 years, then sadly that is the way it has to be, but maybe next year Jetwerx can make up for it by having even more rounds in the west. I’ve also been told that there is a Plan C and D in the works if and when the series isn’t able to begin in July. On the amateur side of things, the WCAN and ECAN will not happen this summer. The ECAN may have a few amateur events that go along with the pro weekend in September, but not the usual three days of amateur ECAN racing. As of right now, the Walton TransCan is still a go and will take place the same week as it always does in August. Obviously, nothing is set in stone as far as race schedules go, so let’s hope all of this racing falls into place and we can experience some sort of a normal motocross summer.
Down in the USA it sounds as though things are progressing nicely. The Monster Energy Supercross is looking to resume on May 31st with the final seven rounds being held in Glendale, AZ. Hopefully the border restrictions have been lifted by then as I’d love to go to Glendale and take in a couple of rounds. Also last week, MX Sports announced that they’re pushing back the opening round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships to July 4th at Red Bud to accommodate the final SX rounds going into June. This means that the National rounds that were supposed to be in June (Florida, Mt. Morris and Southwick) will now be moved to the fall. Like everything these days, the resumption of racing is an ever-changing situation and we probably won’t know anything for sure until the gate drops. MX Sports is also moving to their Plan C with regards to the Loretta Lynn’s Qualifiers. With racing now cancelled through May, Plan C consists of Super Regional events in all regions beginning in early June. Again, this is not by any means a perfect scenario as now the riders trying to qualify for Loretta’s will have zero room for error, but at this point it’s the best that can be done.
I don’t know how everyone is feeling at home but to me it feels like a lot of things are going to change in the coming weeks. I’d like to think that if we can go to the grocery store (as we have been for the past six weeks) then it’s time to be able to head to our local golf course or motocross track and still remain safe. Judging by Social Media, more and more people are getting outside now and either riding or at the very least exercising. Our pro riders are still busy training and preparing for whenever their season is going to begin. One of those riders is KTM rider Jess Pettis who is now back riding after having his knee rebuilt late last year. Today is also his birthday so Happy Birthday Jess! We will be talking to Jess later this week so look for that interview. I also reached out to JSR to get his Top Ten racing moments so I’ll have that for you tomorrow. How he narrowed it down to ten I’ll never know, he probably could’ve given us 50 if he wanted to. Anyway, enjoy the first week of May and Happy Mother’s Day this coming weekend to all of the awesome moto moms out there. I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day! Have a great week everyone and stay healthy.