TEXT & PHOTOS | CMRC
The Wild Rose MX Park in Calgary, Alberta played host to Round 3 of the CMRC sanctioned 2017 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan this past weekend. The Calgary stop on the calendar always draws big crowds as the Wild Rose track is one of the best in the country, and its urban setting with the Calgary skyline in the background is unique. The track provides great spectator viewing with its big jumps, severe elevation changes, and loamy soil.
Once again, race fans were treated to some epic racing as our early season battles are proving that after three rounds the game has been elevated in both the MX1 and the MX2 classes this season. We have seen multiple winners in the MX1 class and the top 3 have each won a pair of motos, but never at the same round, and the top 4 are separated by only 16 points in the series standings.
In MX2, Shawn Maffenbeier and his MX101 FXR Yamaha Team did their homework after watching KTM Canada Thor Racing's Cole Thompson win the 2016 title in a dominating fashion. Although Maffenbeier may not have the red plate heading to his hometown racetrack this weekend, Shawn has clearly been the fastest in the class and is piling up the race wins, and in the process building a lot of momentum as the series moves east to Regina, Saskatchewan.
2017 Calgary MX | MX1
Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha's Matt Goerke started his day in Calgary by qualifying fourth, and after getting a good start in Moto 1 ran second for most of the race. He was unable to pass the leader, Dillan Epstein, after a small tip over early in the moto and having to play catch up. Goerke finished Moto 1 a second back of the leader, and also got a good start in the second moto where he would work his way into second and then inherit the lead on lap 11 when the leader Epstein went down. From there, Matt held off a hard charging Colton Facciotti to take the win, and his 2-1 moto scores gave him the overall on the day and the series lead going into Round 4. Matt was all smiles on the podium and said, "I'm so pumped to win in Calgary after struggling here the last two years."
After taking the lead in the second corner, Nut Up Industries Kawasaki's Dillan Epstein led every lap of the first moto for the wire to wire win, and along the way posted the fastest lap of the moto. Epstein held off the hard charging Matt Goerke and responded each time Goerke got close. Dillan got the holeshot in Moto 2 and again led until lap 11, when he went down and got up in fourth where he would finish the moto. Happy with his day after qualifying second, leading 26 of the combined 32 laps of both motos and finishing second overall, Dillan said on the podium, "I felt strong all day and I want to keep the confidence going."
Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing's Colton Facciotti was the third fastest qualifier and after being scored in fifth on the opening lap finished fourth in Moto 1, only 2 seconds back of Christophe Pourcel in third. In the second moto, Facciotti found himself near the front early then went down but lost only one position. From there, Colton charged hard, got into second place and challenged Goerke for the lead, posting the fastest lap of Moto 2. At the checkered flag, Colton was just over a second behind the winner and his 4-2 moto scores earned him third overall on the day. On the podium, the four-time Champion said, "I felt awesome out there today. Every moto I had to fight for it."
After grabbing the holeshot in the first moto, Royal Distributing Motovan Piller's Race Team's Tyler Medaglia admitted to feeling tight in Moto 1 on route to his sixth-place finish. Medaglia got another great start in Moto 2 and came around the first lap in second, a position he held for eight laps while battling with eventual race winner Matt Goerke. Tyler came home in third place in the second moto, and his 6-3 finishes put him fourth overall for the day.
After coming into Round 3 with the red plate and being the fastest qualifier in the morning session, race fans were thinking this might be the point in the series where Rockstar Husqvarna's Christophe Pourcel of France would begin to separate himself from the rest of the field in his hunt for the title. Pourcel admitted his start wasn't good in Moto 1 and was third at the checkered flag. In the second moto, Christophe chose not to go out for the sighting lap believing that not getting his tire clogged with dirt would help him get the good start he was denied in the first moto. The good start never came and he found himself on the ground in the first corner, and by moto's end only finished in eighth. His 3-8 finishes put him in fifth place at day's end, which forced him to hand over the red plate to Matt Goerke going into Round 4.
Rounding out the top ten were Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki's Mike Alessi in sixth after earning a pair of fifth place finishes, Royal Distributing Motovan Piller's Team's Kyle Chisholm in seventh after going 7-6, Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha's Tim Tremblay in eighth after finishing 8-7, Redemption Racing's Cade Clason in ninth with 9-10 moto finishes, and Team PRMX Kawasaki's Scott Champion in tenth after going 11-9 on the day.
MX1 Overall Results
1. Matt Goerke (Yam) 2-1
2. Dillan Epstein (Kaw) 1-4
3. Colton Facciotti (Hon) 4-2
4. Tyler Medaglia (Hon) 6-3
5. Christophe Pourcel (Hus) 3-8
6. Mike Alessi (Kaw) 5-5
7. Kyle Chisholm (Hon) 7-6
8. Tim Tremblay (Yam) 8-7
9. Cade Clason (KTM) 9-10
10. Scott Champion (Kaw) 11-9
MX1 Championship Standings
1. Matt Goerke (Yam) 162
2. Christophe Pourcel (Hus) 155
3. Dillan Epstein (Kaw) 150
4. Colton Facciotti (Hon) 146
5. Tyler Medaglia (Hon) 134
6. Mike Alessi (Kaw) 122
7. Kyle Chisholm (Hon) 114
8. Cade Clason (KTM) 98
9. Scott Champion (Kaw) 88
10. Tim Tremblay (Yam) 87
2017 Calgary MX | MX2
MX101 FXR Yamaha Team's Shawn Maffenbeier was the fastest qualifier in the MX2 class at Round 3, and followed that up with perfect 1-1 moto finishes. He continues to build momentum in 2017. In the first moto, Maffenbeier went down on Lap 3, but was still able to charge back to take over the lead on Lap 8 and hang on to it by just over a second from a charging Cole Thompson at the checkered flag. Maffenbeier admitted to getting sketchy a few times and trying crazy lines in Moto 1, and said that after that DNF in the second moto last weekend, he was willing to take the risk. In Moto 2, Shawn made a "silly mistake" on the opening lap putting him back to fourth before charging back and passing his biggest rival, Thompson, for the lead with two laps remaining and hanging on for the win. Maff posted the fastest lap time of the moto, on his last lap, and has been the best MX2 pilot, so far, this season. After sweeping both motos, a smiling Shawn said on the podium, "I truly believe that I have one of the best bikes out here."
Although KTM Canada Thor Racing's Cole Thompson will leave Calgary with the red plate still on his motorcycle, the defending MX2 Champion must be wondering where he will find that extra speed for Round 4. Thompson qualified third, posted the quickest lap in the first moto, and was only a second behind Maffenbeier when the checkered flag came out. He said after Moto 1, "Shawn blew my doors off!" In the second moto, Cole again was passed by Maffenbeier and had to settle for second on the day with 2-2 moto finishes. After the race, Cole said, "I felt better this weekend, and as we head east I will get more comfortable."
Redemption Racing KTM's Josh Osby earned himself another podium finish this weekend after posting 3-5 moto scores. Osby qualified fourth and said that he didn't get the best jump off the gate in the first moto, and ended up eating a lot of roost and using a lot off tear-offs on route to his third-place finish. After finishing fifth in the second moto, Josh said he struggled and couldn't find a good flow on a track that had a lot of choppy bumps. On the podium he commented, "I can't wait to get east and ride in the sand." He maintains third-place position in the series standings.
Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki Team's Jacob Hayes finished sixth in the first moto and said afterwards that he has been having difficulty in the opening motos so far this season. Hayes feels he has been too tight and not getting into a good flow. Hayes qualified second, and after getting the holeshot in Moto 2 led the race for four laps before finishing third. Jacob's 6-3 finishes earned him fourth overall for the day, and on the podium after the second Moto he said, "I feel like I am getting better each weekend."
The holeshot streak continued for Nut Up Industries Kawasaki Team's Ryan Surratt in the first moto this weekend, as he has managed to grab a holeshot in each of the rounds this season. Surratt led for seven laps and eventually finished fifth in the first moto. Ryan got a good start in the second moto and ran a strong race to finish in fourth. His 5-4 finishes earned him fifth place at Round 3.
After being the fastest qualifier in the first two rounds, MX101 FXR Yamaha Team's Jess Pettis qualified sixth in Round 3, and after going down on Lap 3 of the opening moto, charged back to finish fourth. Jess had a big crash on the opening lap of the second moto and was taken to the hospital for examination.
Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing's Dylan Wright qualified fifth, his best to date this season, and was running as high as third in the first moto before eventually finishing in seventh. Wright's early season problems continued in the second moto where he finished 16th, putting him 12th overall on the day. Dylan is still looking for that breakout ride this season, and his 12th overall is his worst finish of 2017.
MX2 Overall Results
1. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam) 1-1
2. Cole Thompson (KTM) 2-2
3. Josh Osby (KTM) 3-5
4. Jacob Hayes (Kaw) 6-3
5. Ryan Surratt (Kaw) 5-4
6. Tallon Lafountaine (KTM) 8-6
7. Jared Petruska (Yam) 11-7
8. Kein Denzler (Yam) 9-10
9. Hayden Halstead (Yam) 13-8
10. Christopher Fortier (Yam) 12-9
MX2 Championship Standings
1. Cole Thompson (KTM) 164
2. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam) 145
3. Josh Osby (KTM) 139
4. Jacob Hayes (Kaw) 134
5. Ryan Surratt (Kaw) 127
6. Jess Pettis (Yam) 125
7. Tallon Lafountaine (KTM) 106
8. Hayden Halstead (Yam) 96
9. Dylan Wright (Hon) 95
10. Casey Keast (Yam) 93
Round 4 of the 2017 CMRC sanctioned Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan will take place next Sunday, June 25th, at Moto Valley Raceway in Regina, Saskatchewan. If you haven't already purchased your tickets you can buy them online easily at the mxnationals.ca website. If you are in another part of the country and are unable to attend the race you can see all the action live by downloading the free Conx2share app or logging on to www.conx2share.com and live stream every moto on either your mobile phone or computer.