Round 10 – RJ Motosport Park Barrie, Ontario Race Preview
RJ Motosport Park in Barrie, Ontario will host the last round of the 2017 CMRC sanctioned Rockstar Energy Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan this weekend. RJ Motosport Park is an hour north of Toronto, ten minutes from Barrie, and after not being on the National calendar for over a decade, returned last year and proved to be a great test for the riders, and provided spectacular viewing for the spectators. A huge crowd is expected on Sunday as this will be the last chance fans have to see all of their favourite riders in Canada this year. The track itself is a combination of sand and loam, which can become nasty rough for the riders as the day progresses.
Champions will be decided in the MX1 and MX2 classes this weekend as both series are going down to the wire in 2017. In the MX1 class, two-time National Champion Matt Goerke has a 15-point lead over former World Champion Christophe Pourcel, and in the MX2 class Shawn Maffenbeier holds an even slimmer 11-point advantage on Ryan Surratt.
Going into the final round leading the series as you attempt to win your third National Title is where Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke finds himself this weekend. Goerke has a 15-point lead on Christophe Pourcel and knows that consistency wins championships, and has only finished off the podium once this season at the opener where he was fifth. Matt has only one win in 2017 and that was at Round 3 in Calgary, but if he can repeat his performance from last year in Barrie, when he was a perfect 1-1, will walk away this weekend with an impressive third National Title.
Rockstar Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel knows what he has to do this weekend if he wants to win the title and that is score 16 more points than Goerke. Pourcel had the red plate on his motorcycle earlier in the season but since losing it at Gopher Dunes has not been able to get it back, and is running out of time. Christophe has four wins this season, the most in the class, and that pass he made on Goerke last weekend to steal second place on the last lap appears to have ruffled some feathers, which will certainly make the racing this weekend a little more interesting.
Sitting third, 49 points back in the series standings, Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing’s Colton Facciotti knows that mathematically he still has a chance to win a fifth title but that he does not control his own fate. A lot of bad things would have to happen to the two riders ahead of him for Facciotti to win the championship, even if he can sweep both motos this weekend like he did at Round 9. Colton already has two wins this season and will certainly be trying to add another one this weekend as he looks to finish the season off on a high note and cement his position as the top Canadian in the series.
Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki’s Mike Alessi sits fourth in the series standings and would love to make up the 19 points on Facciotti, and have the #3 on his motorcycle for next season. Alessi looks like he will finish one position better than he did last season, and has a 29-point lead on Tyler Medaglia for fourth. Mike finished fourth in Barrie last year, has one win in 2017, finished on the podium four times this year, and must be happy with the way he has ridden after coming into the season injured.
Another rider who should finish the season in a better position than last year is Royal Distributing Motovan Piller’s Race Team’s Tyler Medaglia who sits fifth in the series standings. Medaglia is coming off his worst finish of the year after suffering a mechanical issue in last weekend’s second moto, going 4-30 for fourteenth. Tyler finished 2-2 in Barrie last year and will be a threat again this weekend as he attempts to get on the podium for the third time this season.
Rounding out the top 10 in the series point standings are Royal Distributing Motovan Piller’s Race Team’s Kyle Chisholm in sixth, Nut Up Industries Kawasaki’s Dillan Epstein in seventh, Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Tim Tremblay in eighth, Redemption Racing’s Cade Clason in ninth, and Yamaha Canada Cycle Works Foot Hills’ Keylan Meston in tenth.
MX101 FXR Yamaha Team’s Shawn Maffenbeier is showing that he certainly has a flair for the dramatic as he attempts to win his first National Title. Maffenbeier had the red plate after the season opener, lost it at Round 2, got it back at Round 7, and had a 46-point lead in the series going into last weekend’s race in Deschambault. Shawn will come into the season’s final race with a slim 11-point lead after crashing in last weekend’s second moto and not scoring any points. Maff knows that all he has to do this weekend is beat Ryan Surratt and he will be champion, but must be feeling the pressure after the way things have gone so far this season.
After going a perfect 1-1 and finishing on the top of the podium last weekend for the first time this season, Nut Up Industries Kawasaki’s Ryan Surratt finds himself only 11 points back in the championship, with a legitimate shot at the title this weekend. Surratt has been the most consistent of all the top MX2 riders this year and prior to his career first win last weekend had only finished outside the top 5 once this year, which was a sixth at the season opener. Ryan has also been the best starter in the class and if he can get out front early this weekend, like he has done all season, will certainly put pressure on Maffenbeier and make these last two motos very exciting.
Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing’s Dylan Wright sits third in the series standings and is 42 points behind Maffenbeier, and 31 back of Surratt. Wright had a rough weekend in Round 9 and had to come from the back of the pack in both motos to finish ninth overall, and lost ground in his attempt to finish second in the series. Dylan was second overall last year in Barrie after finishing 2-2, and will be looking to rebound from last weekend to grab his fifth podium finish this season.
Another rider who had a rough weekend at Deschambault was Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki’s Jacob Hayes who fell late in Moto 1 and handed over a podium finish to Maffenbeier, then suffered a mechanical breakdown and did not finish the second moto. Hayes sits fourth in the series standings and has a 25-point cushion on a couple of riders behind him, and with a good performance this weekend will maintain his position.
MX101 FXR Yamaha Team’s Jess Pettis and Yamaha Canada Fox Racing’s Casey Keast are tied for seventh in the series standings, and with both Cole Thompson and Josh Osby out for the season should move up this weekend. Pettis finished third overall in Barrie last year and will certainly be trying to grab that top 5 position in the series this weekend. Keast has been solid all year and if he beats Pettis this weekend could finish fifth in the series.
The tenth and final round of the 2017 CMRC sanctioned Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan takes place this Sunday, August 13th at RJ Motosport Park in Barrie, Ontario. 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 to live stream every moto on either your mobile phone or computer.
MX1 Point Standings 2017 after 9 Rounds
1. Matt Goerke (Yam) 475
2. Christophe Pourcel (Hus) 460
3. Colton Facciotti (Hon) 426
4. Mike Alessi (Kaw) 407
5. Tyler Medaglia (Hon) 378
6. Kyle Chisholm (Hon) 342
7. Dillan Epstein (Kaw) 328
8. Tim Tremblay (Yam) 302
9. Cade Clason (KTM) 281
10. Keylan Meston (Yam) 244
MX2 Point Standings 2017 after 9 Rounds
1. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam) 413
2. Ryan Surratt (Kaw) 402
3. Dylan Wright (Hon) 371
4. Jacob Hayes (Kaw) 309
5. Josh Osby (KTM) 307
6. Cole Thompson (KTM) 298
7. Casey Keast (Yam) 284
7. Jess Pettis (Yam) 284
9. Davey Fraser (Hus) 281
10. Hayden Halstead (Yam) 276
Links and social media:
Event info: www.mxnationals.ca/event-info/
Live Streaming: www.conx2share.com Twitter – @Conx2share
Rockstar Energy Drink is designed for those who lead active lifestyles – from Athletes to Rockstars. Available in over 20 flavours at convenience and grocery outlets in over 30 countries, Rockstar supports the Rockstar lifestyle across the globe through Action Sports, Motor Sports, and Live Music. For more information visit: www.ca.rockstarenergy.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/RockstarCanada/
Twitter – @Rockstar69CAN
Instagram – @rockstarenergycanada