Now that the 2020 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MXTour Series is over, let’s take a look at the Top 5 in the 250MX and 450MX classes. It was definitely an exciting series in both classes as Jess Pettis and Dylan Wright each dominated their respective classes. From the sand and heat of Gopher Dunes to the sandy loam at Sand Del Lee, the racing was entertaining throughout the five rounds series. Everyone involved worked very hard to ensure this unique 2020 series went off as seamless as possible, Congratulations to all of the riders who lined up, and now let’s take a look at the Top 5.
1. Jess Pettis- 341 Points (250MX Champion)
Right from the first gate drop at Gopher Dunes Jess Pettis was the rider to beat in the 250MX Class. He came into the series fit, happy with his bike, and determined to come back from his knee injury and win his second 250MX title. During this series, Pettis only lost three motos and one overall which is a pretty impressive feat when you think about it. Next year, he will move up to the 450 class so this was a great way to say good-bye to the small bike class. Everyone loves a good comeback story and this one had all the makings of a Netflix documentary. A year ago Pettis was down and out with a torn ACL in his knee and now he’s our 250MX Champion. Pettis is a perfect example of what happens when talent and hard work come together. We can’t wait to see what he can do next year on a 450.
2. Marshal Weltin- 274 Points
Even though he was able to win two motos this summer, when Marshal Weltin looks back on the 2020 250MX Series he might be a little frustrated. There were times when he was faster and more aggressive than Pettis, but when he was he sometimes made some costly errors. Also, starts held Weltin back as he couldn’t seem to gate off of the gate as quickly as Pettis in a lot of the motos. Because of this, Weltin was always charging from behind and using up valuable energy. But, second overall is still very good and Weltin was very entertaining to watch throughout this series. I like to say that Weltin will be the favourite to win this title next year, however, there is talk that he’s moving up to the 450 class in 2021.
3. Marco Cannella- 266 Points
During the 2020 250 MXTour Series Marco Cannella was like a snowball rolling down a hill. With each race, he built momentum and just kept getting better and better. Other than a 5th in one moto at Round 3, Cannella was mostly a podium guy in the 250MX class and if it wasn’t for the speed of Jess Pettis, Cannella surely would’ve won multiple motos. It was great to see Cannella find some success this summer as during the off-season he worked extremely hard. Heading into 2021, Cannella will be a title favourite in the 250MX class and a few teams have taken notice of this. During the next few months, Cannella should be one of the hot commodities for 2021.
4. Tanner Ward- 263 Points
When you look at Tanner Ward’s results for the 2020 250 MXTour Series, it was impressive how consistent he was throughout the five rounds. Ward’s highlight was obviously his big win at Round 3 at Walton Raceway and I think that brought a tear to the eye of almost everyone in the paddock. Tanner is not only a talented rider on the track, but he’s also a quality human being away from the track. Even though he came up short of a podium finish in the 250MX class this summer, I truly believe that this was a great building year for him. Not only did he get an overall win, but he found a way to stay consistent and keep his bike on two-wheels, something he’s struggled with in the past. Heading into 2021, Ward has to also be considered a title favourite in the 250MX class.
5. Ryan Surratt: 197 Points
If you take away Surratt’s 25th in the opening mud moto of Round 3, then overall he had a pretty consistent series. At times, he showed some really good speed and was even near the front in a couple of motos. However, that one round hurt his chances of breaking into the Top 4. Hopefully, Surratt is back next year as he really seems to enjoy racing in Canada. The highlight for him had to be finishing on the podium in the second moto at Round 5 last weekend. He rode the Sand Del Lee track very well and because of that, he was rewarded with a third-place finish.
1. Dylan Wright- 335 Points ( 450MX Champion)
Well, what can you say about Dylan Wright’s season that hasn’t already been said? From the opening gate drop at Gopher Dunes, he completely dominated the series. If it wasn’t for the occasional challenge from Phil Nicoletti then this series would’ve been a complete runaway for Wright. I remember talking to Colton Facciotti last fall after the GDR Team had been testing with Wright on the 450, and Colton said then that Wright was going to win the 450MX title in 2020. Facciotti’s prediction was spot on as in almost every moto Wright was the fastest rider. Even when he was a little off at Round’s 3 and 4, he still won motos and gained points on his fellow 450 riders. It was just an amazing season for Dylan Wright and the cool thing is that it’s not over yet. It will be interesting to see how he handles the 450 in the upcoming SXTour rounds as racing that bike indoors will be all-new to him. It’s hard to believe that Wright’s best days are still ahead of him as he’s still young. But this kid works so hard and is so focused that he’ll be hard to beat for years to come.
2. Matt Goerke- 269 Points
If you looked up the word professional in the dictionary then you’d probably see a photo of Matt Goerke. For almost a decade Goerke has been coming to Canada each summer to race our series. During that time he’s won multiple 450 titles and has also come close to many more. This season was a comeback year for Goerke as he suffered a very serious back injury at a German SX in November. At times this summer Goerke looked to be a little off, however, he still persevered and remain consistent throughout the five rounds. Before the final round last weekend he announced that this would be his final season of professional racing. Matt Goerke has had a great career and we’ve been very lucky in Canada to have been such a large part of it. All the best to Matt and congratulations on his well earned second overall in the 450MX Class.
3. Shawn Maffenbeier- 260 Points
Coming into this season it felt like Shawn Maffenbeier was at a crossroads with his racing career. Meaning, that if he had one more disappointing year then he might have been looking for something else to do. Thankfully, Shawn had one of his best racing seasons ever and with each race this summer, he got better and better. You could just see the confidence-building with each moto and by the final round last weekend, it wouldn’t have surprised anyone if he pulled out a moto win. This was a great season for Shawn and hopefully, 2021 will be even better.
4. Tyler Medaglia- 255 Points
When you look at Tyler’s results from this past summer, they’re exactly what you’d expect from one of Canada’s most accomplished riders. Throughout the five-round series Tyler was very consistent and at times showed the speed to win motos. Unfortunately, things didn’t fall into place and Tyler was unable to get that big moto win. However, he still rode great and I cannot imagine the 450MX class without him on the gate. Tyler is a true racer and whether he’s racing motocross, off-road, or bicycles, he loves to compete and will until he’s too old to do so. Tyler probably isn’t happy with his 4th overall in this series, but he was only 14 points out of second which is pretty remarkable.
5. Phil Nicoletti- 236 Points
Phil Nicoletti’s final round at SDL was a perfect example of just how quickly things can change in this sport. In one moment you’re leading the opening moto and things are looking good, and the next you’re needing medical attention after tangling in mid-air with the series points leader. Yes, things can go wrong pretty quickly in motocross, and sadly for Nicoletti, they went wrong in a big way. However, up until that moment, Nicoletti was riding great and was finally able to consistently match the speed of Dylan Wright. Thankfully, Phil’s injuries will heal and he’ll be back here in 2021 looking to once again win his first-ever outdoor championship. Phil has adapted very well to how we do things in Canada and he now appears to be very comfortable on our soil. Now that he’s seen Wright’s speed and he knows what he’s up against, look for Phil to come into next year even more prepared. Heal up Phil and we’ll see you in 2021.