As the racing resumed following a one-week break for the 2017 CMRC sanctioned Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan, a huge crowd was treated to some spectacular action as they watched their favourite riders in Round 5 at Gopher Dunes Raceway in Courtland, Ontario this past weekend. Under perfect weather conditions, the brutally rough Gopher Dunes race track lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest circuits in North America, as the series reached the halfway point while moving to Eastern Canada.
Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki’s Mike Alessi came into the 2017 series recovering from an injury he had suffered during last winter’s supercross season, which he admitted set him back in both his training and his bike preparation. After being the fastest qualifier in the morning, Alessi got the holeshot in the first moto, posted the fastest lap of the race, and led until Lap 3 when he tucked the front end and went down. He got back up in fourth and charged back to second place before making a small mistake with two laps remaining and finishing the first moto in third. Mike grabbed the lead on the first lap of Moto 2 and led wire to wire, again posting the fastest lap of the race, and extended his lead to as much as 10 seconds during the moto to take the win and the overall victory for the day. The overall was his first since 2014. He broke Matt Goerke’s win streak at Gopher Dunes, and moved himself into fourth place in the series standings. On the podium Mike said, “I am fit, strong, hungry, and focused, and I was not going to be denied in that second moto.”
After qualifying second, and then going down in the first turn of the opening moto, Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke proved why he has been called the fastest rider to ever negotiate this track when he put on a charge that would see him in second place at the end of the moto, only 6 seconds behind the winner. Goerke called his second moto start horrible and was thirteenth after the opening lap. He would finish the moto in third, earning him second overall on the day, which put an end to his win streak at Gopher Dunes. Matt admitted that his first moto charge took a lot out of him and that this year’s track was the roughest he had ever seen, making it hard to find a good setup for the bike. After coming into this weekend sharing the red plate with Christophe Pourcel, Matt will have it all to himself going into Round 6.
Royal Distributing Motovan Piller’s Race Team’s Tyler Medaglia continued to look impressive in Round 5 after qualifying fourth in the morning and then finishing fifth in the first moto. Medaglia said he struggled in that opening moto with his rear shock setup, but after making some adjustments before the start of Moto 2 felt much more comfortable and it showed. Tyler’s second place finish in Moto 2 earned him third overall for the day, and moved him into fifth place in the series standings. On a brutally rough and gnarly track where a rider’s fitness is put to the test, Tyler proved that he is one of the fittest out there, and as the series moves eastward, expect him to climb to the top of the podium.
Racing at his home track, Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing’s Colton Facciotti qualified third and got a great start in the first moto. After pressuring race leader Mike Alessi on the opening laps, Facciotti took over the lead on Lap 3 and was untouchable after that on route to his first moto win of the season. Facciotti came out charging in Moto 2 and grabbed the Holeshot, but admitted afterwards to spending all his energy in the first moto after being sick for the last couple of weeks; he ended up finishing eighth. Colton’s 1-8 moto scores earned him fourth overall for the day, which moved him into third place in the series standings.
Rockstar Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel rounded out the top 5 after qualifying in seventh and finishing 6-4 for fifth overall. Pourcel came into Round 5 tied for the series lead but will leave in second, 9 points behind Goerke. Christophe looked very smooth in the deep Gopher Dunes sand but was hampered by poor starts and was not able to mount any sort of charge all day.
Rounding out the top 10 were Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Tim Tremblay in sixth, Redemption Racing’s Cade Clason in seventh, TXS Productions Suzuki’s Jesse Wentland in eighth, Yamaha Canada Cycle Works’ Keylan Meston in ninth, and Royal Distributing Motovan Piller’s Team’s Nathan Bles in tenth.
MX101 FXR Yamaha Team’s Shawn Maffenbeier qualified first, grabbed the holeshot in Moto 1, had the fastest lap of the race, and led from wire to wire to earn his first moto win at Gopher Dunes. In Moto 2, Maffenbeier came within inches of taking his second holeshot of the day and was leading on the opening laps, again posting the fastest lap of the moto, before being passed by Jacob Hayes on Lap 3. Shawn then found himself back in the lead on Lap 5, but only briefly as he was passed by Cole Thompson on the next lap, and would run the rest of the moto second. His 1-2 moto finishes gave him the overall for the day, his third win of the year, and moved him into a tie for second in the series standings. On the podium at day’s end, Shawn said, “I kept my bike the same in Moto 2 and probably should have made changes.”
After finishing third in the opening moto, KTM Canada Thor Racing’s Cole Thompson said he was “bummed out” and knew he had the wrong bike setup early in the race. Thompson had qualified third earlier in the day, but after making some bike changes in between motos was able to make up for a bad start in Moto 2. Just before the halfway point, Thompson moved himself into the lead. Cole went 3-1 on the day for second overall and has a comfortable 40-point lead in the series going into the next round.
Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing’s Dylan Wright started the day strong after qualifying second, his season best, at his home track. He followed that up with a second-place finish in the first moto, another season best, after passing Cole Thompson late in the race. After working his way into second place early in Moto 2, Wright went down hard but was able to recover, riding the rest of the race without the visor on his helmet to finish fourth. Dylan’s 2-4 moto finishes put him third overall for the day, his second consecutive podium finish, and moved him into the top 5 in the series standings. Interviewed after the race on the podium, Dylan spoke about his crash. “It was a tough one. I hit the ground pretty good and was lucky to get back up.”
Like a lot of his competitors, Redemption Racing KTM’s Josh Osby admitted to struggling all day in the rough Gopher Dunes sand. Osby qualified in fifth and was running in second place early in the first moto before being passed by Wright and Thompson and finishing fourth. Josh spent most of the second moto in third place and was fourth overall on the day with 4-3 moto scores. Osby maintained his second-place position in the series standings but is now tied with Maffenbeier.
Nut Up Industries Kawasaki’s Ryan Surratt rounded out the top 5 after posting 5-6 moto scores and not getting the great starts we have become used to seeing. For the first time this season, Ryan failed to grab a holeshot and was one of many riders to struggle in the deep sand at Gopher Dunes.
Round 6 of the CMRC sanctioned Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan will take place next Sunday, July 16th at Motocross Bon-Conseil in Notre-Dame-du-Bon Conseil, Quebec. If you haven’t already purchased your tickets you can buy them online easily at www.mxnationals.ca/tickets. 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.
MX1 Round 5 – Gopher Dunes, Courtland, Ontario
1. Mike Alessi (Kaw) 3-1
2. Matt Goerke (Yam) 2-3
3. Tyler Medaglia (Hon) 5-2
4. Colton Facciotti (Hon) 1-8
5. Christophe Pourcel (Hus) 6-4
6. Tim Tremblay (Yam) 9-5
7. Cade Clason (KTM) 7-7
8. Jesse Wentland (Suz) 10-9
9. Keylan Meston (Yam) 12-10
10. Nathan Bles (Hon) 11-12
MX2 Round 5 – Gopher Dunes, Courtland, Ontario
1. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam) 1-2
2. Cole Thompson (KTM) 3-1
3. Dylan Wright (Hon) 2-4
4. Josh Osby (KTM) 4-3
5. Ryan Surratt (Kaw) 5-6
6. Casey Keast (Yam) 7- 7
7. Davey Fraser (Hus) 11-9
8. Jeremy Pronovost (Yam) 10-11
9. Drew Roberts (KTM) 13-13
10. Christopher Fortier (Yam) 14-14
MX1 Point Standings 2017 after 5 Rounds
1. Matt Goerke (Yam) 264
2. Christophe Pourcel (Hus) 255
3. Colton Facciotti (Hon) 233
4. Mike Alessi (Kaw) 229
5. Tyler Medaglia (Hon) 228
6. Dillan Epstein (Kaw) 214
7. Cade Clason (KTM) 175
8. Kyle Chisholm (Hon) 171
9. Tim Tremblay (Yam) 159
10. Keylan Meston (Yam) 139
MX2 Point Standings 2017 after 5 Rounds
1. Cole Thompson (KTM) 279
2. Josh Osby (KTM) 239
2. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam) 239
4. Ryan Surratt (Kaw) 210
5. Dylan Wright (Hon) 193
6. Casey Keast (Yam) 160
7. Jacob Hayes (Kaw) 155
8. Jess Pettis (Yam) 148
9. Davey Fraser (Hus) 147
9. Christopher Fortier (Yam) 147
Photos and Report: CMRCRacing.com