While the riders in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship here in the U.S. get most of the attention, a weekend off in the American schedule allowed our (staff Canadian) Steve Matthes to head up north and check out the Rockstar Energy Canadian National in Regina. Unfortunately, heavy rain meant it wasn’t exactly a glorious day on the track for anyone, and the second moto was cancelled because the conditions were so bad, but the riders who scored some points where happy to have gotten them. Let’s give some love to some of the hard working riders doing battle up North.
Bobby Kiniry, Rockstar Energy Yamaha, First in MX1
Grab the holeshot, fall down, lose a bunch of time, get angry, pass everybody back, win by a pretty big margin. Got to be feeling good. It was muddy and shitty but you were by far the best guy today.
I’ve had a pretty rough season going just with some stupid mechanicals and crashing on my own when I am up front. I came into this week, and seeing it was going to rain I said, “All right, it’s a good week to make up some points, get myself back in the hunt.” I know I’m a good mud rider. I’m from New York. It takes a lot of physical strength and I did a lot of just plain strength training in the off-season so I think that helped me out a lot today. I’d like to tell you it was fun but it kind of wasn’t. It was a struggle. I think I blew up my motor, pretty much melted the thing. I really believe they made the right call with canceling this. I could hear the argument, well, they wouldn’t cancel it in the U.S., but they can’t even get ambulances in this place. We would have rode that moto without an ambulance. And then we don’t have but one dozer here. In the US we have 10 dozers. It’s a little different in that sense. I think they made the right call, as well as apparently everyone else. We all went down [to the officials] and kind of said, look guys, this is not right. Everyone is blowing up motors, melting motors. We already went through $10,000 of a motor in every bike today. There’s $30,000 down the drain. I think they made the right call but all-around it was great. We had a lot of spectators, everyone stuck though the mud and the rain. Looking back, it was fun now that we’re done for the day. I’m glad everyone came out. We can pick up and move on from here. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. Got a little momentum now in the right direction. I feel like I just couldn’t get the ball rolling this year. Missing this winter I think might have hurt me right off the bat but I’m getting in the flow during the week and times are getting better in the mornings and everything. I think it’s coming my way now. We’ll see what happens when we get back East.
Colton Facciotti, GDR Honda, Third in MX1
I think you got a little lucky getting to the finish at the end. Your bike overheated. Close.
I wouldn’t call that luck; that’s a Honda, man!
Well, you blew a head gasket I think. It was bad.
Well I think the radiator actually broke or something. It was just kind of spraying out.
Was it getting in your face and goggles and stuff?
Yeah, apparently radiator fluid’s really hot. I just took it super easy on the last two laps and she made it through, so I was pretty happy.
Mentality out there, you’re sitting on the line and it’s starting to rain and pour. Obviously you’re the points leader, so you’re just like, hey, I just got to make it through?
Yeah, that’s basically what was going through my head, just kind of keep it on two wheels. The first couple laps I was kind of almost riding a little bit too fast and then almost decided to turn it down a little bit and I just started riding bad. Wheels would pack up with mud. Just made a little mistake, fell in a corner. By that time I had mud all over my gloves and all that kind of stuff. Just wanted to finish the race and was lucky to finish up on the podium.
Kyle Chisholm, Rockstar Energy Yamaha, Fifth in MX1
Your bike didn’t start on the line. You tucked in behind fourth after one lap, then you unlapped yourself or something and you ended up with fifth. It was a great ride.
The ride was good but the finish was not what we need for points. Obviously disappointed we only got to do one moto today so another opportunity kind of lost to make up points. But my bike, it’s happened to me every weekend. I don’t know what it is. We’re trying to figure it out. My bike just will not start. I held two minutes up and in the U.S. they don’t even do two minutes because it’s live TV. So they waited for two minutes. I tried kicking my bike, wouldn’t start, [tried to] push start it and it wouldn’t start. The race took off and I just kicked and kicked and kicked. The lap times were over 3 minutes because it was muddy. So I kicked my bike for a good six minutes and it finally started. I think [Mike] Alessi was going by. When I got into the first turn they’d already completed a lap. They were on their second lap. I got in behind Alessi, which I think he was third or fourth. I knew it was muddy, it was going to be tough. The motos were actually cut to only 20 plus 1 so it was shorter. I knew I just had to get as much time as I could. I got by some of those guys and just rode and I ended up fifth. All things considered I rode good. It was good but obviously not what we need for the points.
Jeremy Medaglia, Leading Edge Kawasaki, First in MX2
Good moto for you. One moto only here today, but a great ride.
Yeah, it was really good. I got a good start and was able to put the hammer down and get into the lead after Maffenbeier tucked the front and just kind of put my head down. I really came into this weekend trying to get one win before I go to the East Coast. I just kind of wanted to get some positive vibes going. I was happy to come out of here with the win. It would have been cool if my brother had it. It was close at the end with Kiniry, but that’s the way she goes.
Before Maffenbeier went down though you were putting some heat on him. He wasn’t holding you up, but you were like, “Hey, let’s get going.”
First couple laps I was there and then he started doing a couple jumps that the landings were so rutted, it was mind-blowing. So I’m like, all right man, you go for it and I’ll see you in a couple laps. Sure enough once I kind of got my groove I caught back up to him. It’s one of those things; he just took one of the wrong lines and I was able to get by him.
Shawn Maffenbeier, Rockstar Energy Yamaha, Second in MX2
Only one moto today and dammit you could have won.
I know, I’m bummed, man. I got off to a great start, got the holeshot and even led there for a bit. Just made a mistake out back. Luckily I kept it running and was able to salvage that second. But I am kind of bummed that I didn’t get that win but hopefully the East Coast will bring some better luck.
How bad was it out there?
It actually wasn’t that bad for the 250s. The 450s obviously got that rain before their moto so I think it really affected those guys. In ours it was actually shaping up all right. There were a couple sections that they could have cut out but in the end they decided to cancel the second moto so that’s racing, I guess. It is what it is.
Your season so far though the opening rounds, a couple of bad finishes but then some good too. What do you think of your start to the series?
For sure, I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve been inside that top 10 every moto and that’s kind of been the goal this year. I’ve dealt with some crashes and just some issues with bike setup, just some stuff that I needed to address personally. We fixed it during the week. Coming into here we were really excited to try it. I was a bit bummed with the rain but I think it turned out to be better than we expected.