By Jason Weigandt and Chase Stallo
Toronto used to host the most difficult track of the season, as the dirt was delivered to the stadium frozen, and literally started to melt during the weekend of racing. That’s some soft dirt! Over the years the folks at Feld Motorsports have improved the storage and management of the dirt, from storing it in a drier place to getting it in the building earlier. Then they started sifting out the rocks (riders used to run handguards in Toronto) until the dirt emerged free of the big stuff this weekend. You could argue that this was the best dirt of the season, in that it provided traction, broke down just enough to keep the riders guessing, but was still rideable by the end of the night.
Toronto is still a tough race as far as logistics and travel, however, as teams have to do a lot of legwork to do business across the border, and get their trucks, bikes and equipment through customs. The downtown setting of the stadium also leads to cramped pits, with some teams pitting out of their semis in the small parking lot, and others setting up inside the building. We can tell you we like it, though—keeping all the riders and teams in one small spot makes them sitting ducks for press interviews.
After much speculation over the weekend, Ryan Villopoto addressed the health issues that forced him to the hospital on Saturday and caused him to miss practice. “I woke up sat morning with gnarly stomach pain so bad that I couldn’t even stand up. Was able to push myself into a cab to get to the stadium to see if the docs at asterisk could help me out but one look at me and they sent me in the ambulance to the hospital. After hours of enduring the pain and laying in a hospital bed trying to get some answers, the docs found nothing!!,” Villopoto said on RV2.com. You can read the full release here.
Now onto some injury news: Soaring Eagle RCH Suzuki’s Broc Tickle underwent successful surgery this weekend after injuring his T7 vertebrae in practice in Toronto, according the team. “Broc’s surgery was successful and we are wishing him a speedy and 100 percent recovery. We can’t wait to see him healthy and back racing,” said team co-owner Carey Hart. There is currently no timetable on his return.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo sustained a shoulder injury following a crash in the whoops in Toronto. After having the shoulder popped back into place in the first timed practice, Cianciarulo qualified for the night show in the second practice and advanced to the main in his heat. Unfortunately, the shoulder would pop back out, forcing AC to retire from the main event. “It’s unfortunate,” said Cianciarulo in a team PR. “I’ve injured this shoulder in the past so I know what I need to do to strengthen it and we will do everything we can and will be ready for St. Louis.”
Cianciarulo’s teammate Blake Baggett crashed while battling for third in the 250 main event, and Jeremy Martin had nowhere to go and landed on Baggett’s throttle, breaking it and ending Baggett’s race. This leaves Baggett nearly a full race behind in 250SX East points.
On to the lap charts!
|Lap Rank||Finish||Best Lap||In Lap||Avg Lap Time||Rider|
|Lap Rank||Finish||Best Lap||In Lap||Avg Lap Time||Rider|
James Stewart's come-from-behind effort was one we won't soon forget. He was making up serious chunks of time on the leaders thanks to a few big jump combos. On lap ten, he was in fourth, five laps later he was in the lead. Check out his lap times in comparison to race leader Justin Barcia during that stretch
|Lap||James Stewart||Justin Barcia|
Privateer Mitchell Oldenburg, who has two top tens in six races, suffered a broken collarbone in Toronto. Oldenburg told us via text this morning that he will miss St. Louis and hopes to be back for New Jersey and Las Vegas.
Swedish privateer Fredrick Noren broke his radius and ulna bones in Toronto. We contacted Noren via text this morning and he stated he plans on being ready for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. “They put a cast on yesterday so I will be off the bike for a few weeks. But I will for sure try to be ready for Glen Helen,” said Noren.
Rockstar Energy Racing KTM’s Cole Thompson had a season-high fifth in home race. “Felt much better this weekend, it was awesome having the hometown support on my side,” said Thompson in a team PR. “I know the next step is getting on the box and I'm really wanting to make the push to finish out the series strong.”
Andrew Short’s season-long streak of top ten finishes in 450SX is over. The BTOSports.com KTM rider said he overdid it on training during the week and never felt right, he finished 11th. This after a season-best fourth last week! Villopoto and Justin Brayton are now the lone riders with top tens in every race.
Privateer Watch: Daniel Meynet made his first-ever 450SX main event in Toronto with an impressive win in the 450SX LCQ. He finished 21st. Preston Mull made his first main of the season and finished 20th. The 7-duece-duece, Adam Enticknap, made his first main of the season and finished 18th. His buddy Nick Schmidt qualified for his fifth-straight main event and finished 16th. Ronnie Stewart, who had not made any main events all year earlier, has not missed one since making it in for the first time four races ago. He finished 17th. Crossland Racing/Motosport.com’s Jimmy Albertson had a season-high 13th place finish, and Nick Wey had a season’s best 12th. Cody Gilmore made his second main in a row and finished a season-best 15th.
Okay, those notes above were the good for the privateers. The bad? Chris Blose blew and engine in practice and was unable to race.
JGR Toyota Yamaha’s Josh Grant missed the race with an illness, possibly food poisoning. Rockstar Energy Racing’s Ivan Tedesco was back in action after a smashed finger (from a Daytona crash) kept him out of Detroit, but he crashed out of the 450 main.
Time for this week’s highlight from the Soaring Eagle Casino RCH Suzuki post-race PR: “Like the legendary Jason and his crew of Argonauts from Greek mythology, Team RCH Racing Soaring Eagle set sail for parts unknown… well, at least venturing outside the continental United States as the AMA Supercross went to Toronto, Canada this week.”
The Great White North provided a plethora of season-highs for the 250SX East Region. JAB Motorsports’ Matt Lemoine (3rd), Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin (4th), CycleTrader.com Rock River Yamaha’s Alex Martin (7th), Factory Metal Works/Club MX’s AJ Catanzaro (9th), and privateers Jackson Richardson (11th), Landen Powell (13th) and Brad Nauditt (16th) all recorded their best finishes of the season Saturday.
Hard Chargers: GEICO Honda’s Matt Bisceglia and Riverside Harley Davidson’s Jimmy Decotis both overcame early crashes to salvage their nights in Toronto. Decotis charged back from 21st (after lap 1) to finish tenth, while Bisceglia finished 12th after starting 22nd. "I was going in the whoops on the right side to pass Decotis on the first lap into third, and I just caught a couple of edges,” said Bisceglia in a team PR. “It spit me over pretty hard. I'm upset because that could've been a podium for me." Bisceglia, a rookie, has been down during the first laps of the races a lot this season. When he’s up he rides well!
Grunnaid Energy Drink/AG Motorsports/Peters Auto Mall’s Kyle Peters wasn’t as fortunate. Peters was running inside the top ten early before he suffered a big crash in the section right before the split rhythm lane. Peters tried to continue the race, but had to withdrawal a few laps later.
Privateers Gannon Audette and Levi Kilbarger made the main event for the first time since Atlanta (Audette) and Arlington (Kilbarger), respectively. Audette finished the night 18th, while Kilbarger finished 14th.
Australian privateer Taylor Potter made his first 250SX main event of 2014 in Toronto. Potter recently competed in the Australian Supercross series in 2013, finishing fourth at the final round. Know more about Potter in this story from Fullnoise.com.au.
Another Australian, Jackson Richardson, finished a season high 11th in Toronto. We featured Richardson and his unexpected journey to the professional ranks last year in the October 2013 Racer X Illustrated feature “Roads Taken.” The Australian, currently in his second full year of Monster Energy Supercross (he raced one round in 2012), trains down at MTF but will return home during the three week break to work on visa issues before coming back for the final two 250SX East Region rounds.
Richardson had a crazy moment in practice on Saturday, when Martin Davalos went flying over a berm and into his lane, causing a head on crash. Luckily, no one was hurt. “Oh, yeah, that was bit unexpected,” Richardson told us with a laugh earlier today. “I think we were about halfway through free [practice] and I had just started doing a slow lap and I was rolling around and I had come around the corner before that big triple and out of the corner of my eye at the last second I saw him flying across and he just hit me. It all happened pretty quick.”