Observations: Walton, OntarioWednesday, August 19, 2009 | 3:38 PM
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So I immediately thought of Troy “Sam” Adams as one guy that would go up for a few reasons. One is that he wouldn’t want a lot of money to go. That immediately ruled out James Stewart. Second is that it’s a Honda team and he rides a Honda. Third is that he’s pretty fast and a nice guy to boot. So he was in.
My second call was to our own David “Rolo” Pingree as I figured one of his guys would want to go because they’re not racing all the USA Nationals and they ride Hondas. Did I mention that they would probably come cheap as well? In the conversation, Ping mentioned that he would like to go and I ran it by the Brad the team owner, and let him know that Ping was no threat for top five (I thought tenth to fifteenth was about where he would fit in) but Brad is a loyal Racer X reader and immediately got so excited at the Electronic One racing for him that he pooped his pants. At least I’m pretty sure he did.
So it was set, and with me also being the editor of directmotocross.com, a website devoted to Canadian moto, I figured I should go up and see what’s happening in the land of Ketchup chips. Then we thought that we could do a little story on the whole adventure and now everything was really cooking with oil as they say. I last worked for Ping at the World Vet Nationals and that wasn’t the dominating performance that we both thought it would be but THIS time, the Canadians would see the Matthes/Pingree team lay waste to the MX1 class… or at least have some laughs while trying to do that.
Did I say rocks? This place could’ve doubled for the quarry that Fred Flintstone works in. Walton reminded me of Unadilla in more ways than one. The rocks come up when it dries out and hand guards and nose protectors were the name of the game. Everyone wore some sort of under-protector, everyone that is except Troy “Sam” Adams. His chest looked like a rabid badger attacked him. Ping had an under-protector and it just looked like a baby badger without the rabies went after him.
After getting situated with our team on Saturday morning, Ping and Adams went out for their practice sessions and immediately Pingree was not happy. There were a few things wrong with the machine including the automatic clutch, the suspension, the front tire and the sun and moon weren’t aligned. He did one fast lap and was fifteenth quickest so all was not lost. Back at the pits, we were trying to explain the virtues of the auto-clutch to Ping when he looked at me and said “I’m old, I can’t get used to new things. Change it back.” It was a great point and kind of ended the discussion right there.
After some spring changes, a new front tire and a regular clutch, Ping was thirteenth fastest in the next practice. He was way faster as far as times go but so was everyone else. Anyways, we made him happy and Troy made some massive changes to his bike also as he turned the compression out two clicks.
The MX 1 class shot off the line and Dusty Klatt grabbed the lead with Label-It Racing’s Troy Adams in second. I was looking like a genius in my rider selection at this point as Troy was really riding well. Soon Facciotti was on him and they disappeared to the back part of the track only to reappear with Troy in fourth and in a pack of riders. He tipped it over in the back and unbeknownst to him, had cracked the little Y pipe that joins the radiator hoses. The CRF started smoking and losing coolant faster than Ping downs McFlurrys.
Anyway, up front Klatt and Facciotti dueled out front with Klatt getting the win by the narrowest of margins while third place, Bobby “Next of” Kiniry was in another time zone he was so far back. It was all Colton needed to clinch the title and he defended his number one plate with relative ease. Oh yeah, in the second moto, he smoked everyone as Klatt couldn’t get the same start as the first time around. Colton started the year strong, had a little lull in the middle and then walloped everyone at the end. He’s hopefully racing Steel City so that should be a good test for the slowest looking fast guy I know. He rides with such little effort, he’s a big kid and just muscles the bike around under him.
And to add to his winning total on the day, Facciotti proposed to his girlfriend on the podium after the second moto and Colton wrapped up yet another victory on the day when she accepted!
Adams would nurse his Honda around for sixth and in the process, blow his head gasket to pieces. That was it for T-Roy and his Canadian motocross experience was over. He was pretty impressive though for just jumping on some strange bike. Why didn’t we just change motors you ask? Well we couldn’t because Label-It racing’s spare motor budget wasn’t very big.
I’m leaving out some details that you’ll read about in a few months but I was impressed with Ol’Ping. He tried his hardest for as long as he could and ate a lot of rocks and dirt along the way. And of course he provided me with endless laughs along the way as you’ll find out next issue.
In the MX2 class moto one went out and it looked slippery like a greased pig out there as the track was just given a light dusting of enough water to flood Toronto. This made it tough for the riders out there but Blackfoot Yamaha’s Kyle “Podium” Beaton shot out to the lead and held it from beginning to end. Beaton was my pick to win the championship this year. Heck, he was almost everyone’s pick but his season went down the drain with injuries and crashes. Second moto he fell opening lap and could only work back to sixth for third overall on the day.
Teddy Maier’s second place in the first moto was enough to give him the MX2 title. Teddy came in as a bit of an underdog but he really showed his speed right from the first round. His one DNF cost him clinching the title earlier and he was, without a doubt, the fastest MX2 rider in Canada. Good for the friendly Iowan.
I got an email from a German race team owner looking for riders for this German supercross series in November and December and Teddy would be perfect for it. I asked Maier about it and he seemed interested and wanted to go. Look at me, just like a little Jerry Maguire!
I think with his last two performances, Fitz-Gerald has to be considered one of the favorites for the 2010 MX2 title along with Maier, Nye, J-Dags and for the 394th consecutive year, Beaton.
In another case of too little, too late Monster Energy Cernic Kawasaki’s Bobby Kiniry grabbed the final spot on the MX1 box after Facciotti and Klatt. I was going around before the series started telling everyone that Kiniry was going to surprise some people and then he came out and just really didn’t do much. He was good, but the fast starting, try-so-hard-I-crash-my-balls-off Kiniry wasn’t there.
At the end of the series, Kiniry figured things out and grabbed third in three out of his last five motos and moved ahead of injured teammate Paul Carpenter to finish third in the series. If he comes back with the team next year (the only thing more uncertain than the USA racing scene is what the Canadian riders are going to do) he’ll be better prepared and ready to go from the start.
When I last went to a Canadian National, I wrote about a kid Jeremy “Jer-bear” Medaglia who parted ways with the OTSFF Suzuki team and bought his own bike and joined the Murphy Motorsports team. Well the bike is basically stock and little Jeremy put in a good showing on his own when he finished on the podium in five out of the eight motos that he raced in. The others he blew up or crashed out in and then he got a fifth. Impressive for sure and I really wonder where he’s going to end up next year. If I had to bet, I think we see him on green for next year.
Budds Creek and Southwick in the next two weeks.
The Hungarian Warrior, Kornel Nemeth came back to race the final round and was again, very impressive. He had to pull in for new goggles in the first moto after a rock took his lens out as well and was wayyyy back. Second moto out, he was on fire in coming from the back to get second. He just never seems to get tired and charges the whole moto. He’s also a monster and I wouldn’t be surprised if he attacks little villages in his spare time.
Andy White, the KTM team manager, needs to sign this guy for next season. I can really see him getting in the way of the annual Blackfoot Yamaha march to the title. He needs to work on his starts but even without that, he’s fast with a capital F.
Funny moment in the staging area before the second moto, I was talking to Kornel when he asked Ping if he remembered Nemeth riding at the KTM SX test track in 2002. Ping seemed a little amused because he probably can’t even remember what team he was riding for then but when Nemeth told him he was the freestyle guy out there with his visor on backwards, it all seemed to come back to Ping. Not many people forget a 6’ 8” goon with a visor on backwards doing freestyle. It seems that Nemeth has come a long way from those days.
I guess this makes sense but in my experience, a DQ is something that is a major infraction and is not an appealable thing. It made more sense to me to dock a guy for outside assistance a number of spots then DQ him. But at least Randy took the time to explain it to me.
I heard from more than one rider and manager that they were upset at the CMRC for only paying back one moto a few weeks ago in Quebec. The track was pretty much impassable and the CMRC made the right call to cancel the second set of motos. The riders weren’t too happy that they only got paid for one moto and destroying their bikes for half the usual payback. Some of the OEM’s halved their contingency as well for that race.
Liam O’Farrell is a South African that had one of his best races of the season in Walton. The friendly O’Farrell raced his KTM to a fourth overall and had Ping in disbelief after practice when he was looking at the times and said “I can’t believe an Irish guy is faster than me” and then did a little Irish jig while sounding like the Lucky Charms leprechaun saying he had to get the holeshot. When informed that he was South African, Ping didn’t seem to care and kept up the accent and the dancing.
One thing that really infuriates me about the CMRC is the scoring sheets they give you as well as the points on the internet. The company they use for scoring only lists the points that the rider got, not the position. So you have to do the math when looking at the scores at the end of the day. As well, if you didn’t get in the top twenty, you are just scored with a zero. So if you’re not at the race, you have no idea if a guy got fortieth or twenty-first. It’s all the same on the sheets! C’mon CMRC, can we do something about this?
Well that’s it from the final round of the CMRC Nationals, where in the Label-It Racing pits we laughed, we cried and then we laughed some more at Ping. Thanks for reading and please, if you can help CMRC with their scoring sheets, email me at [email protected]. Or just email me anyways and we can talk.
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Check out THE HUNGARIANSin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
Some teams arrive at the Motocross of Nations with an eye on the Peter Chamberlain Trophy. For Team Hungary, just getting there was a victory in itself. Page 160.