Team Honda Blackfoot Fox Racing¿s Dusty Klatt and Jean Sebastien Roy scored their third consecutive victory in MX2 and MX1 respectively at Round 3 of the CMRC Canadian Motocross Championships in Calgary on Sunday. In an event that almost faced cancellation due to record rainfall in the Stampede City, Roy grabbed the overall with his second clean sweep of the season ¿ Klatt did the trick with 3-2 motos.
Despite almost two weeks of unrelenting rainfall that had turned Wild Rose MX Park into a muddy quagmire, the event went ahead almost as scheduled. Although CMRC officials had to cancel practice and qualifiers on Saturday, they were able to give the go ahead for Sunday¿s MX1 and MX2 Championship races. Members of the Wild Rose MX club worked almost round the clock to pump water from the track, dig drainage ditches and deposit gravel where needed. CMRC track groomer Chick Schumilas also helped save the event with his awesome dozer work that saw him get just two hours sleep on Saturday night.
Two qualifiers plus an LCQ were run for both classes on Sunday morning on a track that could only be described as extremely muddy. But after having to contend with tons of mud at Round 1, and to some extent at Round 2, most riders were up to the challenge. By the start of the first MX1 moto, track conditions gradually improved, partly because of the sunshine and a lot of hard work by Schumilas.
Richmond Racing Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, who was brought in from the U.S. to ride an injured Brady Sheren¿s bike, dominated the first MX2 moto from the time the gate dropped till the checkered flag. He gapped most of the field while comfortably running his own race. Klatt, who spun off the line, getting a mid-pack start in the process, gradually charged his way through the pack to connect with Villopoto’s Kawi teammates Jeff Northrop and Teddy Maier. The Blackfoot ace followed Maier as he made a pass on Northrop, finishing 3rd at the flag.
In Moto 2, KTM Canada’s Jimmy Nelson grabbed the holeshot, only to lose the lead to Maier, who then led a good portion of the race. Maier would eventually be displaced from the front by Suzuki’s Jake Weimer. Klatt, meanwhile, experienced another poor start that saw him once again have to work his way to the front from mid-pack. This time he crossed the finish line in 2nd place, which was good enough to give him the overall for the day, and his third consecutive win of the season. Weimer and Northrop joined Klatt on the podium in 2nd and 3rd on the strength of 5-1 and 4-3 motos respectively. First moto front runners Villopoto and Maier totally missed the boat in the second moto due to bail-offs that saw them disappear into the back of the pack.
¿I didn¿t get the starts I wanted but all in all it was a good weekend for me,¿ said Klatt. ¿With Kyle Beaton crashing today I managed to get a fairly decent points lead. That¿s definitely going to help out next weekend at the final round.¿
Team Suzuki OTSFF Motorsports¿ Gavin Gracyk claimed the holeshot in the first MX1 moto, with Morgan Racing Yamaha¿s Craig Decker by his side. JSR, who started in 5th place, rode conservatively on what was basically a one-line track. It took the defending champion some 27 minutes to take command of the lead and take it to the checkers. Gracyk held off fellow American Decker to finish in 2nd place. JSR¿s Blackfoot teammate Damon Huffman charged from an 8th place start to finish 4th behind Decker, which would contribute to Huffman’s first podium overall for the season.
In moto two, Morgan Racing Yamaha’s Blair Morgan grabbed the holeshot but his lead was short-lived when he was passed by Gracyk two laps later. Gracyk, who had JSR follow him past Morgan, didn¿t last long at the head of the pack either. He simply was no match for the Quebecer, who was intent on making it a douuble-moto win on Blackfoot¿s home turf. Once in control, JSR was never challenged for the lead and he cruised to his third win of the season.
¿It was a little tougher out there today than the first two rounds because everyone is stepping up, speed wise. I got pretty good starts and that allowed me to take it easy a bit to work my way into the lead. The track was really nasty, really rough so I didn¿t want to push it too hard and risk crashing,¿ said Roy.
Gracyk managed to hold onto 2nd place, which combined with his 2nd slot in the first moto, saw him card 2nd overall for the day. Huffman, who again got a mid-pack start, clawed his way into 3rd. That, however, gave him 3rd overall on the podium, making it a banner day for Blackfoot with all three of their riders in the spotlight.