London, Ontario (June 5, 2007) – The second round of our factory rider program was another huge success with rising star, Kyle Stephens, under our tent for the weekend. As Jeremy Medaglia did the weekend before in Ste-Julie, Stephens took full advantage of Saturday’s amateur program and entered as many motos as he could. Stephens raced three classes and six motos on the energy robbing Gopher Dunes track the day before his first pro national attempt.
Sunday’s timed qualifying was stressful for the Stephens family and our pit crew. At only 14 years old, if Stephens qualified, he would reportedly become the youngest rider ever to qualify for a Canadian pro national. It was a roller coaster ride for his father, Randy, in particular, but in the end Stephens ended up 21st fastest, easily earning his spot on the gate.
In the first MX2 moto, Stephens rounded the first corner at the tail end of the pack and had his work cut out for him. His yellow intermediate plates would be a target for pro riders so he had to careful with his passes and make sure they stuck. Nearing the halfway point, Stephens had moved into 22nd position and was very close to his goal of top 20 and a points paying position. Soon after, a crash sent him back to 30th but he got up and charged back to 26th when he cased the finish line double and was forced to pull off and take a heartbreaking DNF. The race was an eye opener for Stephens and he admitted that the level of competition and the track conditions were much more difficult than he had expected.
In a true display of strength and determination , Stephens put the moto behind him and quickly focused on the second moto where he looked forward to valuable national-level experience. When the pack rounded the first turn for the second moto, Stephens was dead last but began passing riders right away and seemed to be regaining his confidence. He worked into a top 25 position when his rear shock overheated and he had a few very close calls on the massive Gopher Dunes braking bumps. He slowed and lost a few positions but then regrouped once again, changed his lines, and started moving forward. In the end, Stephens achieved his goal of a top 20 finish and even passed a rider in the final corner to earn 18th and three national points in the first pro national of his career—a huge feat.
A huge thanks to the Stephens family, Chinny and Edge Performance for letting us share in a big day for Kyle. We know that Kyle is going to go far. His determination and resolve in the second moto proved that he has what it takes. We can't wait to see him gain even more experience at the Sand Del Lee national in August and we are proud to have him as part of the RXC Factory family. A huge thanks to our sponsors: Ignition Racing, Maxima Oils, Dunlop tires, Universal/TCI, Pro Wheel, Ride Industries, Ogio, Lime 9 MX and Destroyer Films. Watch for the RXC Factory Rider for a Day rig at Shadow Valley in Manitoba next weekend. Come by and meet our Morden riders, Ryan Millar and Josh Penner and pick up your limited edition stickers.
For more information on Kyle and his sponsors, click the link below:
Sponsorship requests should be directed to Brett Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look for a feature video on Kyle Stephens this week at www.destroyerfilms.com
Update on our other Factory Riders:
Our Ste-Julie factory rider, Jeremy Medaglia, put in the ride of his young career with a 4-6 for fourth overall at Gopher Dunes! He was already on the radar after his performance at Ste-Julie but now he’s a contender. Of course, we are taking full credit! Congratulations to Jeremy and the MX101 Yamaha team.
About the Ignition Racing Racer X Canada Factory Rider for a Day Program:
For the first time in our history, Racer X Canada is hitting the road with a racer support vehicle for the CMRC’s Monster Energy Motocross Nationals. We have selected a rider from each region to pit with our 27-foot Fun Mover and enjoy the benefits of being a factory rider for a day! This unique program will give a few up-and-coming Canadian racers an unparalleled opportunity for exposure as each rider will be showcased in our magazine and online (print and video), and they will pit with our rig in the pro pits. Riders have been selected based on their talent, marketability and potential to make a splash this year and into the future. Stop by our rig at each national and say hello to the RXC crew and our factory rider for a day!