Yamaha Motor Canada Presents The Monday Gate Drop

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Good day, and welcome to another edition of the Yamaha Motor Canada Monday Gate Drop. I hope everyone is enjoying their Easter weekend and if you were able to get out riding, I hope it all went well. We are now into April and thankfully this coming weekend we will see the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross Series return with three rounds at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Like Daytona, this unique “Speedway” type track design will most certainly give the riders something to think about. Not to mention how the riders will feel after three weeks off. Will Cooper Webb pick up where he left off a few weeks ago Arlington? Or has this break given Ken Roczen the momentum shift he needed to get back into the winner’s circle? Or will Eli Tomac come out firing on all cylinders and win himself back into this title chase? These are all legit questions as we get ready for Round 13 of SX.

I think that things are going to be interesting when the gate drops in Atlanta this weekend as this break has been just long enough to possibly change everything up. Webb had the momentum when the series left Arlington three weeks ago, but a lot can happen in 21 days. By the looks of things, almost every rider has used this break to relax and to begin their outdoor testing. Sometimes riding outdoors during the SX Series can help a rider as it allows them to reset both physically and mentally. This could most certainly help Roczen as the last time we saw him he had just given up a sure main event win to his arch-rival Webb. If Roczen had won Arlington 3 then he would’ve been only nine points back of Webb with five rounds to go. Instead, he’s 15 points back and in a must-win situation this weekend. But as I mention, this Atlanta track could turn things around as it’s completely different than what the riders are used to. Either way, I cannot wait to watch a SX race again as it feels like it’s been a long time….too long!

I can’t wait for SX to get back underway this weekend in Atlanta. Photo by Matt Wellumson

In Canadian news, this Easter weekend wasn’t much different on paper than it was a year ago. After loosening up the Covid-19 restrictions recently in Ontario during the past month, on Thursday of last week the Ontario government announced that due to the rising Covid cases they decided to send us back into another lockdown. Like everyone in Canada, we’ve been down this road before and while it always seems to work on a short-term basis, it’s never had the long-term effect that the Government tries to sell us on. This latest lockdown is a really tough pill to swallow as businesses such as restaurants, gyms, pubs, motocross practice tracks, and most other small businesses have been open for the past few weeks and were just getting their feet back under them. And then late last week they were told to close again for four weeks! Now, I’m not here to debate the seriousness of this virus, obviously, it’s been deadly for some of our most vulnerable people and even for several healthy people. However, regardless of what is going on in our world, I don’t believe that any Government should be able to tell their people that they cannot work or open their place of business. Especially for this amount of time and when almost every business has gone out of their way to make sure it’s as safe as possible to visit them. This lockdown is a really tough sell and many businesses in Ontario have chosen to ignore the order and remain open. In fact, a gym in the town I live in is one of those businesses and when the Police visited them on Saturday, all they were told was to not flaunt the fact that they were staying open. The Police were quite sympathetic and they even agreed that his latest lockdown was just plain cruel. Also, on Sunday evening the news did a story on how busy some of the Malls were in Toronto. The Eaton Centre as well as Yorkdale (two of Toronto’s most popular Malls) were full of shoppers. You can understand why people are fed up with everything. Anyway, let’s pray that this is all over soon and that we can get back to our normal life.

As long as our tracks practice all of the proper Covid-19 protocols, all of them should be allowed to open. Photo by James Lissimore

With Ontario announcing that they’re going into a four-week lockdown this also affected many of the tracks in Ontario that were all set to open for Easter weekend. Motopark is one track that had planned to open on April 1st but a freak snowstorm wreak those plans. Then with the lockdown scheduled to begin on April 2nd, they decided to postpone their 2021 opening day. Gopher Dunes decided to remain open this weekend and will do so until told otherwise. My family and I headed down there on Saturday for a day of riding and as usual, everyone did their best to social distance and respect each other’s space. We felt completely safe there and it was great to see the facility so busy. Anyway, here are a few photos I took on Saturday.

Finally, before I say goodbye for another week I want to say congratulations to Les Gervais who won our Parts Canada/Thor Jess Pettis Autograph Jersey contest last month. As you can see in the photos Les has received his very cool Pettis jersey and he will add it to his collection with pride. Congrats Les and for everyone else, look for some more cool contests coming up very soon.

Well, that is it for me this week. I hope everyone is having a terrific Easter weekend and I hope that you’re all staying safe and healthy. Take care, Happy Easter, and thank you for reading. If you have any questions or comments please email me at chris@mxpmag.com.