Blog by Ryan Gauld, I’ve been racing motocross and involved in the industry for 30 years. The one stop hot spot for Canadian MX information. The site is dedicated to the racer, the family that supports that racer, and the dream that racer has to become the best he or she can be.
I swear every time we leave Gopher Dunes the series ahs more
questions than any other round. This year, well, let me just say the phone has
been ringing or dinging nonstop with questions about so much coming from the
gnarliest race of 2019 thus far and likely life. I guess this is why I am who I
am and this column is all about revealing and sharing my opinions. Like it or
not, this one will get people chatting.
I’m going to start with a very close friend of mine Jake
Tricco. The word on the street was the injury he suffered back in April is the
reason why he did not race this weekend. That was neither the case nor the
truth. I thought the team would be more open and upfront with a proper press
release but in true Canadian fashion they have decided to not do that and just
let the sponsors know internally the actual reality behind the situation. I
then received a call sharing that if the media wished to chat the real side
then it was up to them to do so. I personally have a huge tie to this entire
ordeal as I was the mediator for the GDR hiring Tricco deal. I sat in on the
contract talks. I have also been a part of Tricco’s training life for three
years leading to this Pro deal. Before I get into sharing my thoughts I will
share a situation I got myself in where I was made to be accountable and take
action on mistakes I made.
I had written a simple statement (I thought) back in 2016 where I share d nickname about my former boss at MXP Charles Stancer. The nickname became somewhat of anti-Semitic remark and I was made out to be this really bad guy because I had actually written these words. Not just said them. I lost my ride with Yamaha, I lost my job at the nationals, I lost a lot and I had to be accountable for it all. I worked my way back to where I am today and know I’m a better person for realizing the mistake I made. I’m hoping Tricco is doing the same but I have a feeling he just doesn’t care. Actually, I know he doesn’t or he would have raced this weekend because the GDR team was willing to let the fact he failed two drug tests go away and help the kid get back to his gift. Because of the test fails his deal was terminated.
It pains me to report on this but it is news and needs to be
shared for future kids looking to become a racer like Jake. Full of talent and
skill and handed a dream ride to only toss it away for reasons not really explained.
I get things are tough in his life with his parents divorcing and things I may
not even know about but to have zero accountability of his actions and almost
think just giving –up was the right thing to do is sad to me. I talked with him
at Motopark the Monday after the final MP Cup and he didn’t really seem to care
about the situation and I explained he needs to be a man about it all and talk
to the team and accept the consequences. Derek Schuster was still willing to
give the kid a shot if he met the new requirements they wanted to lay down after
failing these tests. Requirments were getting help and staying close with the
team while working right alongside, even living with Colton and Dylan following
their lead. They all saw the potential in Jake, but Jake didn’t I guess. So
much work the kid put in to get to this point to just give it all up is so mind-blowing
to me and all the team sponsors at GDR. The two racers names above are
currently leading the pinnacle of the sport all you young racers want to be
part of. Jake had the advantage of a lifetime being able to live in the
presence of these guys and for him not to meet the requirements the team wanted
is what really hurts most. Yes, he was going to have to sacrifice a lot, but he
was just not willing to do it.
This is not me trying to give him shit or call him out but
this is me showing that racers are not perfect and need to face the cost of
their actions. The Tricco family may read this and be pissed and me for sharing
the story but again, I feel our industry needs to know everything so we all
learn from it. Maybe they’ll look at this as an open realization that people
supported the kid and wanted him to succeed and are just sad he gave up so
easily with no real care about it. We all make mistakes but if you can own them
and realize the wrong you have done and show respect to your actions it will go
a long way in life. Good luck Jake and I know I’m not the only one who hopes to
see you back on the gate in a year or two when you realize the choice to made
now was one you may regret.
Being made an example of is never easy to swallow but it helped me learn a lot when I made mistakes. Hopefully it does for Jake as well.
Every parent reading this that have kids involved in this
sport please share the story of Jake Tricco. We want all racers to see and take
something from Jakes mistake. This is a great learning experience if they know
the truth. Unfortunately, Jake is the example and that’s the tough part, but
there is an underlining lesson for everyone here.
Now, I’m going all the way to the other side of what I just
wrote. I know nothing of anything to do with performance-enhancing supplements/drugs.
I know straight IV is not illegal in the majority of sports and that can be a
helpful thing for any racer. Our sport has really been under the watchful eye
for the last few years because of the Cade Clason, James Stewart, and Broc Tickle
stories from the US and of course the Moss brothers who got suspended in
Australia, but we have never, ever really heard other stories about other racers
in the GPs or Canada. There are obvious things out there racers could take but again
I don’t know anything about them and haven’t done my research on any of it so
this is not me saying this or that about racers in our country that may be
doing something questionable. Hell, we don’t have any rules in our book at all
regarding any sort of what you can or can’t use so I guess in reality there is
nothing illegal in Canada for motocross when it comes to performance-enhancing
Two moto wins that could go down in the history of Canadian moto as two of the most dominate at a track that crushes the spirit of most racers.
This is seriously just me with an observation from this weekend and not judging, claiming or even saying Mike Alessi has done anything questionable. After the west Tony Alessi shares with GDR team manager Mike needs to do exactly what Dylan and Coton are doing during the break. Tony saw what these boys are doing and knows they are winning because of it. Over the three week break. So after asking and doing my report on it all, is what the GDR boys do just that good? Because Mike did it all (with some nudges from the boss), and it paid off. Him not being within 20 seconds of any moto win out west (1st moto at PG was 47.817 which was the worst outside of the mud and brake issue he had in moto 2 at PG) to winning motos by 28.501 in the second moto at the toughest race of the year? It’s absolutely crazy to think about.
I am not, and I will say again, I am not saying Mike is doing anything at all and maybe he is just as badass as he was when he was here in 2014 and all the years he nearly won AMA titles. I’m just a curious monkey right now. Hell, maybe I’ll drink the kool-aid he has for the two-stroke race this weekend and kick the shit out of Nathan Bles (who I still think is an asshole a little on how the GuaranteedMX buy-out situation went with us. That’s another Flood rant). Mike is extremely good at Gopher Dunes. Remember 2017 when he won a moto, and overall, during a year he completely was irrelevant otherwise? This is just me creating some talking points, so is that not what the media is supposed to do?
Now to end this off, if the GDR team can strike a
notification with Tony Alessi, who saw something in the riders on the team are
doing is working, his son who is a vet racer at the highest level who has seen everything and anything that works or doesn’t
in this sport globally, Mike should
follow to a T on the break. Then, how can a 16-year-old kid not see it all and
completely go the opposite direction with his choices? That to me just blew my
own mind that I was able to even write it out.
I will forever stand by the words, “if you have actually raced
then you know certain things.” The folks that just stand on the sidelines and
chirp, or share opinions, or think they know are straight up know nothing squawkers
wishing they could be somebody but are really wannabe’s.
What I witnessed firsthand yesterday (because I actually
raced the track as well) was heroism at its’ highest from 80 racers. My word,
that track was more like riding in the aftermath of the war in Iraq where no guns
were used but rather all bombs. The holes and bumps I rode were on steroids basically.
I applaud each and every racer for finishing their moto 2 and if you didn’t I still
respect whatever effort you put in.
Here are the Coles notes from RD4
I heard all weekend from numerous people that Gopher Dunes could be an AMA race, an MXGP race and biggest of all host an MXON event. I agree to all of this 100% except I hate all these big jumps and hills blocking fans views. Other then this is truly the place that could host anything.
The blame game has been shared that the Gopher Watering system is what caused the issue with the Two Wheels TV app and TV show. I get that for sure, but what if it rained? Are we not prepared for that? Going into this race the Jetwerx crew is aware of the system used to maintain the track so blame game isn’t the way to go. If there was an issue because of that water then I’m guessing rain would have done the same thing. Be prepared for anything and everything is how we need to run nationals.
I swear the number of people on site Saturday was endless. Just look at this picture. The entire place is nearly at capacity for vehicles.
Because of the difficulty to actually just ride the track, racing was not super exciting for fans. Moto 1 in 250 brought the best racing but the other three motos were a bit of a yawner.
Last year a few people really didn’t like the parking system the Dunes crew used. This year, they did a much better job and kept there cool if anybody got a little miffed. I even saw them giving rodes to managers and others to their rigs. Well done GD Staff.
I really want to give a shoutout this week imparticular (all others well) to the flaggers that do that job for us. They rarely get anything but a decent pay and a sunburn. This weekend was a long one and they all did a great job.
Big thanks and shoutout to the MX101 race team but mostly Michell Halstead (and whoever helped her. Sorry I don’t know who did) for the amazing effort in the auction for Desiree Adams, the young lady who passed away far too soon a couple of weeks ago while riding. I’m not sure how much was raised but regardless of the effort from the MX family is outstanding in times like this.
How fricken sick was the pond/lake in the middle of the track this weekend? I wish I got a chance to lay in there all day and watch races. Great idea and now must become a staple for this event.
Did anybody else see the beach floaty on the TV show in the second 250 moto? LOL, it blew right across the track.
I was a fan of the change for the podium this year. Easily accessible and much more room for fans which it needed. They were an easy 15-20 deep while cheering on the podium heroes.
Royal Distributing Holeshots:
250 moto 1 – Jess Pettis
450 Moto 1 – Cole Thompson
250 Moto 2 – Dylan Wright
450 Moto 2 – Mike Alessi
Whatever Mike Alessi put in his morning beverage of choice I want it for the rest of my life. Yes, he has had moments of speed (mainly Calgary motos) but nothing would have even urged me in a direction of picking him to win a moto let alone go 1-1 in enormous dominating fashion. I guess the question is now, can he back it up and fight for this title?
Dylan Wright proved why he’s been the fastest rider at every race and now added how tough he is along with the great shape he’s in. He dominated both motos (even crashed mid-moto 1_ and then proposed to his lady on the podium. She said yes making a perfect day.
Phil Nicoletti is becoming the greatest US racer to run our series. Fans love him, his NFG attitude draws passion towards him, his effort is endless and now my mom and dad love him for this photo below. The next year and a half will be outstanding having him around.
How can you not love Jess Pettis? He could have mailed in this year after a crazy arm injury sustained just a month prior to RD1, but no, “homie don’t play that way.” He soldiers through and this weekend showed he’s ready to battle for wins again. Stay tuned Pettis fans, he’s coming.
Cole Thompson didn’t ride for nearly two weeks prior to GD because of a crash that hurt his back. He showed and rode to a 3-3 on the day. That is respect and elite hero status in my books. This day is the one he looks back on that kept him in this title fight.
Luke Renzland is a beauty through and through. He was on the gas moto 1 until a tip over stole his charge. He fought hard and kept himself in the hunt as we head to home team advantage.
Colton Facciotti had an off day and never looked himself out there. A small back injury hindered his usual badassery but he still is tied for the red plate heading to a track he usually dominates.
Everyone knows I’m a fan of Tyler Medaglia but I’m really starting to think this move down was not smart. He’s fast and fit but these kids have an edge he cannot overcome or find right now. This weekend will be his best shot to show me he’s a winner in this class. If he doesn’t win a moto and SDL here I’m afraid he won’t all year.
Shawn Maffenbeier was quiet assassin this weekend. If not for a really strange crash in moto 2 I think he would have had Facciotti for 4th. He’s been good this year but, but he does owe me $100 dollars and he better not Welch on me. I will forever right awful things about if he does, lol.
Marshall Weltin was off this weekend and for that he loses the Red Plate and is now down 14 points. He struggled with starts but still never gave up. If not for his heart and fight within him he would be 30-40 points back after his bad starts.
Tristan lane was sneaky good. He would have been 4th overall if not for a tip over late in moto 2. Not sure if we’ll see him again this year but if we do I will not bet against him. I will also make sure I don’t mix him up with another racer.
I was impressed with Marco Cannella this weekend. He’s so quiet on the track but this weekend he fought hard in moto 1 to grab 5th.
Working class hero Liam O’Farrell decided to race again this weekend. I think he may be the fest rider in Canada with a real job.
Bobby “Slice of” Piazza came to play and he played well scoring both motos inside the top 10. Hope he continues to come to the rest of the series. I will also make an effort to shake the guys and this weekend.
Jyrie Micthell was back and rode well. he shared in the AM he has never raced anything like GD so him scoring top 10 both motos is impressive.
Props to Quina Amyotte for racing with cracked ribs and still hitting top 10’s. This kid is going places.
Clason was a ghost but rode well. he shared he got tired on his Instagram in that second moto but I believe being tired was par for the course out there.
Stoked to see Jeremy Mckie, Keenan Peterson, and Blair Nauta racing and making their first ever Pro national motos.
Ryan Dowd is definitely a product of his dad. Tough, a fighter, never gives up and is all heart. He was last both motos and still clawed his way up to 12-10 scores. Very impressive and because he never gave up he went from 10th to 7th in the points because of other orders bad days. To all, you kids out there, follow Dowds lead and always fight for every point.
Alright, that’s all I have for this week. Yes, it’s a day
late but I was tired after Saturday’s workload and racing my rocket ship 1-2-5.
Lastly, I really want to say sorry for running Justin Roney’s life. I’m betting
today he’s all tears knowing I won his bike in our pink slip bet and I plan to
lite it on fire when I do get it in my hands. Hopefully his parents don’t have
to spend too much money on therapy in the coming months to keep him happy, LOL.
After a long three week break in the action, the racers on the 2019 Canadian MX Tour have returned to the starting gate today at Gopher Dunes in Courtland, ON. Round 4 of the eight-round National series.
Things look beautiful at Gopher, but of course, the track itself is more like a ‘beautiful mess’ with how rough it’s already getting here. Plus, as usual, it’s hot and humid and will challenge riders in all of the classes – 250 and 450 pro, Women’s MX Pro and the 125 PreMix class (which GuaranteedMX.com’s very own, Ryan Gauld, is competing in today. He finished up 6th in the first moto).
Below you will find race notes, results and photos through the day from the rough and tough Gopher Dunes National.
To watch Gopher live on Fox Sports or using the Two Wheels App, click here.
GDR Honda Fox Racing’s Dylan Wright is somewhat of a local to the Gopher Dunes track. It showed with top times in 250 pro qualifying and then winning the first moto, after trailing KTM’s Jess Pettis in the early laps. Wright would go to win moto 2 as well, which gives him 4 moto wins in 7 motos so far this season.
Wright’s Honda teammate, Mike Alessi, was fifth fastest in the 450 qualifying sessions. He would go to win the 450 overall with perfect 1-1 moto scores.
250 PRO MOTO 1
The Royal Distributing Holeshot goes to … Jess Pettis! Behind him Mashburn and Dylan Wright, with Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki’s Tyler Medaglia in dead last but quickly works his way up to about 20th within a few laps. Wright was putting heavy pressure on Pettis for the lead, but the defending champ was holding strong.
Eventually, Wright would work his way by Pettis and built up a 7-second gap as he clinched the win in moto one. That now gives Wright three moto wins so far on the season. Pettis would of course finish up in second, while Royal Distributing FXR Yamaha’s Luke Renzland rode to a lonely third, despite a fall tip over towards the end of the race.
250 pro moto 1 blasts out of the gate at Gopher Dunes today. KTM Red Bull Thor Racing’s Jess Pettis would nab the holeshot and early lead, but eventually succumb to a hard chargin Dylan Wright, who made the pass late in the race and went on to open up a small lead before taking the first moto win. Pettis holds onto second, with Yamaha’s Luke Renzland in third.
CTR Motorsport Yamaha’s Jayce Pennington was enjoying a solid ride in his very first Canadian National after taking some time off to heal up from injury. He was running inside the top 10 but ended up DNF’ing.
Hard Charger of the Moto goes to Tyler Medaglia! The #5 Kawasaki bulled his way from basically dead-last to finish in 8th.
250 PRO MOTO 1 RESULTS – UNOFFICIAL
250 PRO MOTO 2
If moto 1 was East vs West (Pettis vs Wright), then the second race was Young (Wright) vs Old (Medaglia). Both grew up at the MX101 Sand Del Lee facility, both put all of their hearts into it and both really wanted to win that second moto at Gopher today.
Medaglia kept Wright more than honest half of the race, then went for a pass and took the lead for a lap, but Wright quickly regrouped, passed his elder and took for his fourth moto of the year and first overall. Medaglia would be edged out on the overall podium by Yamaha’s Luke Renzland who’s 3-4 beat Medaglia’s 8-2.
Pettis is showing progress in his injury rehabilitation. He won this round last season, but considering he’s riding while recovering from a broken wrist, we’d say a 2-3 at Gopher Dunes is nothing to be disappointed about. This keeps the defending champ in the hunt.
Your 250 overall podium at Round 4 of the MX Tour at Gopher Dunes: Dylan Wright (middle), Jess Pettis (left) and Luke Renzland (right).
250 OVERALL RESULTS FROM GOPHER DUNES
Mike Alessi gives the ‘thumbs up’ following his first moto win at Gopher Dunes. He would again ride a near perfect race in moto 2, taking his first win of the 2019 season. Phil Nicoletti would 2-2, and Cole Thompson took third with 3-3 finishes.
Mike Alessi is back! Who said this guy wasn’t fit enough to win races because he just 1-1 at Gopher Dunes against a very strong field of Canadian and American contenders. This marks Alessi’s first win of 2019 and now moves him into 3rd place in points, only 17 back of leader, Colton Facciotti.
In some ways, things were a bit uninteresting in the 450 class at Gopher, as everyone funneled into the same results each moto. First to fourth all scored the same result each time out (Alessi 1-1, Nicoletti 2-2, Thompson 3-3, Facciotti 4-4).
Not a good weekend for Matt Goerke. His battle with lady luck continues to go downhill, as the Kawaska rider would DNF both motos while running top three/ four in each. In first moto, Goerke’s clutch cover seal leaked and he ran out of oil. In the second, he went down and he left the track with his bike smoking.
Words by Danny Brault and Ryan Gauld Photos by James Lissimore
Okay, the break is over. Athletes of the 2019 Rockstar Triple Crown MX Tour have had, what seems like three months (but it’s only been three weeks) off from action. But now it’s go-time, with the second half of the Tour happening this Saturday in Courtland, Ontario, and we will quickly see who used their time off most effectively, because they’re about to endure one of the toughest races in Canadian National Motocross history: Gopher Dunes.
The ‘Southwick’ of Canada it could be considered … or should Southwick be called the ‘Gopher Dunes of the USA?’
Things get downright disgusting at Gopher Dunes; it plays to strengths of a few men and women, but the truth is very few every year can hold on, hang tight and keep in the fight until the final lap of a moto at the Gopher Dunes National.
The sand never really packs up at Gopher. With some good rain, or depending on how much they water before hand, it may pack up a bit but, for the most part, things change frequently at the Dunes. Which often reflects in the results when you look from lap one to 15. The braking bumps are big, the exit bumps are big and the jumps are even bigger. It takes some courage to keep clearing obstacles come 25 minutes. Sure, brute strength is a benefit at Gopher, but so is being smooth and finding the right lines, momentum, to clear things smoothly and limit energy.
A view of the Dunes: The Gopher National takes place this Saturday, with motos beginning around noon.
Southwick has its own character, but Gopher is a different breed and most foreign visitors who have raced both circuits, agree that Gopher is not to be taken lightly. (This reminds me of when Kyle Partridge was hired to race Gopher for OTSFF Two Wheel Suzuki in 2007. He went, thought the track was/ would be a highway when he walked it the day before, he raced … but let’s not talk about the result, kinda thing).
Not only does the track surface itself get rougher than others on the Canadian circuit, but the heat and humidity always seem to be at record highs. Again, you deserve total respect if you win or finish well at Gopher. It’s a wild ride, especially at 30 plus 2.
Gopher kicks off a run in the series that features sandier, softer terrain conditions. Following the fourth round of the nationals at Gopher, the series then hits up Sand Del Lee on July 20th, ad then after Moncton, returns to the sand on August 3rd at Deschambault, QC. So in three out of the five final races of the MX Tour, riders and teams will be preparing themselves and machinery for conditions more opposite of what we had in Calgary, Prince George and muddy Minnedosa.
So as all us die hard Canadian motocross fans know, things change a little bit when we go East … or do we? Will we see actually race winners and championship leaders change when the soil changes? Here’s our take on three talented riders on the MX Tour, and where we see their season heading when the action resumes this Saturday at Gopher Dunes.
Do you think Tyler Medaglia still enjoys winning after a decade of racing the Canadian Nationals? We think so! He took a moto win and first overall in the 450 class at Gopher Dunes last summer.
TYLER MEDAGLIA Brault – About a year ago, Tyler Medaglia and his Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki 450 were sitting second in the 450 championship, after having just won the overall and second moto at Gopher Dunes. In 2019, Medaglia is still on a Kawasaki, same team, same goal but is in the 250 class, running third behind Dylan Wright and red plate holder, Marshal Weltin.
It’s crazy to think that TM dropped down to the 250 division, after having such a successful run last year on the big bike. But, of course, when you hear the reasoning behind the decision (new rules, Kawi needing a championship 250 guy, Tyler being Canadian and willing to make the move … why not?) it’s understandable. It’s hard to argue, seeing as Tyler is now 31-years-old and has made a credible go at maintaining a steady and successful racing career since 2006 when he signed on with OTSFF Suzuki. He’s always in shape, always up front and never gives up.
This is why it’s so surprising that he has yet to win a race in 2019. Not to take anything away from the ‘youngins,’ but Tyler should be on top of the box. He belongs there and expects to be there. After closing out the western swing, with a determined ride in Minnedosa to finish third, I think the two-time champ is zeroing in on his first 250 win, since last racing the class in 2011 with Blackfoot Yamaha.
During the three-weekend-break of the MX Tour, Medaglia kept his heart rate up, taking the win in an 18-km marathon race, attending the Pleasant Valley race (which is the track owned and operated by the Cooke family) and fine tuning his throttle control on ‘Two-Stroke Tuesdays’ with his kids. Very cute and fun to watch—click here to see TM rip it up on a KX250 two-stroker!
Medaglia is the man to beat at Gopher Dunes. Starts are always key, especially for the contenders on this year’s MX Tour, so as long as Tyler gets a top-10 start and rides like can, it’s going to be tough for the kids to keep pace with his fitness ….although, the 250 motos are 10 minutes shorter and there is less bike to hold onto.
Regardless, I think the break benefitted Tyler and gave him a chance to regroup and refocus on what he’s missing. He’s solid on sand tracks, but equally as skilled at deep rutted tracks like Walton, where he won the first moto and finished second overall in the 450 class last year. Look for the big, bold #5 to just more than ‘hang tough’ with the new kids on the block over this next month.
It is handy using the current pro numbering system, where many of the riders carry over their same number year after year. The #5 looks solid on a 450 or 250!
Gauldy – Man O man, I thought I was the biggest Tyler Medaglia fan, but enter the “Brault Show.” It’s like he owes Medags money or something…. Okay, all jokes aside, T- Dags is yet to win and it’s shocking to everyone, even his competition.
It comes down to one simple thing in my eyes: he’s not fast enough. These kids – Pettis, Wright, Weltin, Ward – are blazers, lazers, tazers on small bikes. Tyler is as fast as poopy coming out of tourist in Mexico, but I believe for the first time in his career he’s too sharp/ smart for the bike he’s on.
Does the 31-year-old Medaglia have the raw speed to beat down the youngins in the five-round Eastern swing of the Canadian Nationals?
He needs to treat this machine like it owes him a lot of money. He’s just not nasty enough at the beginning of the race and thus far it has bit him. He has had a bit of bad luck in Calgary and PG but, regardless, he just gets into that situation that initiates the bad luck. If Tyler is to battle for, or even win this title, it starts this weekend. He is the “man” of this class with strength, toughness, experience, but he’ll need to grow a pair and enter the millennial-psycho-zone for the first 15 minutes to win. Get over this chess game start crap and drop the damn hammer while pushing these kids aside. He’s a two-time champ for plum sakes. He can win, I just don’t know if he will.
TANNER WARD Brault – Results aside, this two-year pro, who signed on with Red Bull KTM Thor Racing last year as ‘rookie,’ has had a pretty exciting and worthy campaign on the MX Tour. At Round 1 in Calgary, he took off out front and passed his teammate and defending champ, Jess Pettis, for the early lead. He didn’t hold on to it, but did take third and was poised to finish on the podium and potentially win the overall in the second moto until a mistake spit him back to fifth.
Tanner Ward is a local to the Gopher Dunes track and loves the deep, rolling rough stuff. He showed it with a podium ride last year in his debut on the KTM Red Bull Thor Racing team.
In Prince George, Ward had an okay first moto, but in the second moto, while running in podium position, his chain blew off and he was left scrambling to put it back in place. He did get it done and came back to 12th, which keeps him in the points hunt. He capped off the four round western swing with a fourth in Minnedosa. So overall not too bad, but when you see him seventh in the points, it seems further back than he should be.
However, the young KTM rider is only 23 points behind the leader, Weltin. That’s a very tight gap, especially after one gruelling moto at Gopher Dunes could change everything. Ward is very strong at Gopher, where he ran top five as an intermediate and took third overall (6-3) there last summer. Like Medaglia, Ward has much experience at Gopher, Walton, Sand Del Lee, and Deschambault. In fact, while still an intermediate in 2017, Ward went 2-2 for second overall in Deschambault.
This hard working Canadian kid is consistent in showing that he was/ is deserving of the opportunity to be on KTM Canada’s ‘factory team.’ He’s led laps, finished second, finished third, charged through the pack many times … now he just needs to show that he can win of these things.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Ward steal a moto win at Gopher or Deschambault. Not to say he couldn’t elsewhere, but I think he’s eyeing up those two events and focused on topping the chart for the first time since turning pro. If he can do that, and find that consistency, there’s no reason that come Walton, Ward couldn’t be putting pressure on the series leader.
And for those of you planning to attend Walton, or enjoy riding road bikes and supporting a good cause, Ward has organized a ‘Ride with Me’ cycle ride on August 16th from 11am to 1pm at the Walton TransCan. The ride is in honour of Tanner’s older brother, Jeff, who struggled with mental illness and passed away a year ago. Tanner’s a big crusader for encouraging people to talk more and not be shy to open up about mental health struggles. Big talent is impressive, but having a big heart is even more honourable. Kudos on you, Tanner, for honouring his brother and helping raise awareness for mental health!
Ward (27) and Josh Osby (21) battle it out at Round 1 in Calgary, AB.
Gauldy – I tend to agree, for the first time ever, with everything Brault just said. I believe in Ward and his entire approach to racing.
The only thing I disagree with is a moto win. I think he’s just a shade off that silly speed at the 22-25 minute mark. All of the cards would need to lay out right for it to happen. Wright, Weltin, a refreshed Pettis …. and I got a hunch an explosion of speed and worth from Renzland is coming. This will have Ward in tough quarters when the gate drops. The kid will podium three more times before year-end but will not nab a moto win. I love being proven wrong, though.
MATT GEORKE Brault – ‘What’s eating Gilbert Goerke?’ Has a ring to it, eh—and it’s been the case of 2019 for Goerke. When the Rockstar Triple Crown was indoors, Goerke was fast on the AX Tour, winning the final race and finishing second to Cole Thompson. But this three-time 450 outdoor champion is not satisfied with seconds or thirds … so I can’t imagine how hard he’s been on himself with the up and down western campaign of this year.
Since Goerke has been racing in Canada, the two-time 450 champ is either on a Kawasaki or Yamaha. The last few years it was blue, now he’s back on the Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki Team. Regardless of the colour, he’s usually the guy to beat at Gopher.
Calgary was a struggle, he regrouped in Prince George running third … until his bike crapped out on the last lap, putting him back to 10th because he had lapped up so far. Moto two, he rode with a badly broken/ bent finger to finish seventh. I remember going to see him for a few words after the final moto in Calgary, but he wasn’t too long hanging around and was out of his gear and back to the hotel in no time. So after PG, he probably teleported back to his house and had a nap, hoping he would wake up to better times.
Which did happen, without the help of a teleporter. Goerke completely took charge of his bad luck and turned it around with a good start in the muddy third round in Minnedosa. He ended up leading most of the race and winning it comfortably over Facciotti. And with Thompson and Nicoletti having a so-so days, Goerke and his Kawasaki are fifth in points and only 31 back of Facciotti, who leads with eight points over Nicoletti.
Two guys will do something big on the east coast: Dakota Alix and his privateer KTM will hit the podium a time or two, but the most interesting man to watch will be that of the #2 Matt Georke. He comes to Canada to win and has all the tools needed. The big break between Minnedosa, which was June 15th, and Gopher Dunes that happens this Saturday July 13th, is definitely a joy for Goerke and his broken finger. If he takes a moto win and podium overall at Gopher, my bet is that he pushes into championship contention before the series hits Walton.
Plus, Goerke is due for some good luck. In fact, the poor fellow had his practice track broken into in Alford, Florida, and a whole bunch of his bike parts and enclosed trailer were ripped off. Click here for a photo of the trailer; ring him up if you know who took the goods. Also, while you’re on his Instagram page, check out his practice clips. This guy doesn’t really worry about some video-game like track to show off on; instead, he’s always riding tracks with lots of corners, it’s no wonder he can rip around an AX rut so tightly and aggressively.
You know that Goerke won’t this title run go down without a fight. Heck, the guy raced with a broken finger in Minnedosa, in the sloppy mud, and won!
Gauldy – LOL, I do like the first line of Brault’s words. ‘Gilbert Goerke’ LOL. I feel like the “Poor Goerke” line has been around forever and the guy is a three-time Canadian champion, and US National winner, and multi-time AX winner. It is odd that the majority of the time you mention or talk Goerke is some sort of bummer or bad news in a sense. I think it might just be the way Matt is. He always looks bummed, almost like he should be kicking stones down a dirt road every day with shoulders drop and pockets turned out. His resume doesn’t say that though, especially at Gopher Dunes.
I would argue anybody that Matt Goerke has been the most dominate rider since 2005 at the bottomless sand of Gopher Dunes. Some of his wins were over a minute ahead of second place. With the nice break Brault mentioned you have to think Matt is prime to kick the snot out of the dunes and leave the competition in the rearview. Plus, add in the snaky bastards that stole his shit to fire him up even more. This guy is coming in like a Tasmanian devil this weekend. I would not be surprised one bit if Goerke went 1-1 on Saturday.
Walton, Ontario (July 10,
2019) The 2019 Walton Trans Can Grand National
Championship, under the sanction of the Motorsport Racing Club (MRC), is now
only weeks away. The excitement and anticipation around one of Canada’s
longest-running traditions are beginning to grow for a week-long celebration of
Over the next few weeks, we will be making many
special announcements. One of the first will come on July 17th, 2019 when we
let competitors taking a look at the top 10 positions in each class. Some of
the most elite amateur racers from across Canada are registered and locked into
their top 10 spot for their best chance at an MRC Canadian National Amateur
The regional gate lottery has taken place that
allows riders to be seeded from each region. We are excited to announce
Atlantic Canada is the 2019 Walton TransCan Grand National Championship lottery
winner. The 2019 regional gate
selections will go as follows:
South Western Ontario
For riders whose province is not represented in
the lottery, their results will be drawn from regions they qualified in.
For riders who did not participate in the ANQs,
their entries will be ranked after all ANQ participant entries. ANQ results
give riders the best start gate position for the first moto and best assurance
of being on the line as one of 42 of the finest from across the country.
you are a racer looking to register for the 2019 Walton TransCan visit www.waltontranscan.ca and follow the Registration Steps. Each passing day may
cost you valuable gate spots.
For more information about The 2019 WaltonTransCan “27th Anniversary”
Canadian Motocross Grand National Championship (GNC) please log on to:
www.waltontranscan.ca. For all
media, marketing and partnership requests; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 519-870-7223 (RACE).
Walton TransCan “27th Anniversary” Canadian Amateur Motocross Grand
National Championship (GNC) at Walton Raceway
11, 2019 – Walton TransCan Early Move-In
12, 2019 – Walton TransCan Move-In
13 to 15, 2019 – Canadian Amateur Motocross Grand National Championship
16, 2019 – Championships Friday and Amateur Trophy Presentations
17, 2019 – Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Motocross Pro National
Facebook: www.facebook.com/WaltonRaceway or www.facebook.com/TransCan
Twitter: @WaltonRaceway or @TransCan
About The TransCan
1992, the TransCan was created as Walton Raceway would hold an annual event
drawing on all the best things in the sport, an annual coming together for
bragging rights, a celebration of Canadian Motocross. The TransCan was built
from a great natural track, strong community support, accessibility and support
from the Industry. The emphasis was to be real outdoor style
highly competitive with lots of extracurricular attractions and opportunity for
the best Canadian racers in all age classes to compete against each other for a
Canadian Amateur and Pro Motocross Championship.
About Walton Raceway
Raceway is located in Huron Country on Ontario West Coast. The address of the
facility is 42852 Walton Road in Walton, Ontario, Canada. Walton Raceway was
opened in 1971 and is one of the longest running and most prestigious Motocross
facilities within Canada.
After an Insane MUDDER in Manitoba, the Triple Crown series moves East to the Sand of Courtland Ontario, at a little place called Gopher Dunes MX. A place where boys become men, and after a RD3 Victory for the #2 machine of Matt Goerke look for him to catch fire as we move to the rougher tracks. The 250 class has saw the 4th rider carry the red plate, as Marshall Weltin grabbed hold of it coming from the West and will be the red plate holder at Gopher Dunes.
4385 Norfolk County Hwy 59, Courtland, ON N0J 1E0
PRO NATIONAL DAY
Race entries will be online ONLY and will be limited entry and limited classes.
It’s been a time since I have sat down and clicked the
buttons on my PC. In 2019 I took on a lot because I love working when the work
is there. I’m like a landscaper; I have t take advantage of my time to earn a
dollar in this industry. Well, last week my body and mind shut down. I was sick
all week and slept like a new baby mamma. Today, I have pulled out of it and
feeling refreshed. Like I have said so many times when I teach, “sometimes you
need to slow down to go fast.”
We are now just 5 days away from the roughest and toughest
Rockstar Triple Crown event of the year: GOPHER DUNES!!! In the history of our
nationals (from what I can remember) this three-weekend break is the biggest we
have ever had. Of course, everyone loves a break but at the same time, it gives
those moments of deep thought from mistakes or poor riding after the first
three races. On the flip side of this, the racers that were “bossing,” their
race craft had time to keep it going and knowing what they’re doing is working.
So, does this break benefit the guys on top or the guys that are not? I personally
think this long of a break is not good for anything. We already over think as
racers, teams now have more time to test and boggle the mind because testing is
only as good as it can be at the races, and lastly, I’m a damn fan and need my
moto fix. Regardless of anything, it’s the dunes this weekend and I for one am
ready as a worker and a super fan.
Did you know? In the 14 (28 possible overall winners) years
the Gopher Dunes National has run the winners of that round, in either the 250
or 450 class, 10 racers have won Gopher Dunes but not gone on to win the title
that year. These stats show that the higher percentage says if you win at
Gopher you win the title in your respective class. As we head into the, from
what it seems, a “champions making weekend” the red plates are worn by Colton Facciotti
in the 450 class and Marshall Weltin in the 250 class. There has been no doubt
Facciotti’s teammate Dylan Wright has been the fastest when the gate drops but
Weltin with his consistency and Wright with his penalty at Rd3 has the red
plate under the tent of a small budget team but a rider with equal heart. Will
my stats show the potential champions after this weekend? This Saturday we will
Tyler Medaglia was the last rider (2018 450) to win at the Dunes but not win the title in that class.
The very first rider at Gopher to win the race overall but not win the title was 2005 when Chad Charbonneau where he went 2-2 for the overall
Stepping back a little on our last round and the “incident”
that plagued the internet and likely some sleepless nights for some riders and their
families. The penalties have been handed won and it is now all in the past.
Coming into 4 straight weeks of racing for the series the “buckle down” plan
has to be on all the minds of the championship hopeful racers. In the 250
class, the top 8 racers are just separated by 31 points. That’s amazing for
sure but the issue with this is that all these guys will likely be top 8 in
every race from here on out. Only bike issues or “penalties” can change the outcome
in dramatic fashion. The 450 class I a little different where it seems this
will be a two horse race till the end between leader Facciotti and chaser Phil
Nicoletti. The battle between 3-7 is only separated by 6 points. It doesn’t look
like heat will play a huge issue this weekend but with the added FXR-Pre mix
class, plus the Women, and all the laps the 250 and 450 class do, there is no
doubt the track at Gopher Dunes will be the true test as to who wants these
These two are going to war fro the next 10 motos for the 450 title. Who’s your picjk?
For a lot of years, I have put my efforts into elsewhere rather than into me or my family. I have given up so much to be a racer in the past to a worker for the future. Last week, I was supposed to once again help with the MPA group at Motopark. These are the kids with bright futures and good work ethics trying to gain that edge and knowledge as they chase their dream of becoming pro one day. This week also marked the idea I coined for the camp for Tyke riders. Riders under the age of 8 riding CRF, TTR, PW, with or without training wheels. It was a basic introduction course to riding with a splash of racing added to it. Both my kids participated in this. One on training wheels and the other not. I totally thought the week was going to be a wash for both kids. One bike I could get to run and my oldest boy Jake was totally set against riding his PW with no trainers. I was frustrated beyond again as a dad. Then, everything turned. I got the bike running with help from my Buddy hammer. When I returned to the track Jake was riding his bike all lone with no help. Frustrations left and being proud entered. I decided right there I wanted to watch my kids and work with my kids rather than someone else. I left the MPA and taught the tykes all week. Little really only lasted a day because he would rather eat dirt then ride it right now. Jake on the other hand, well, I’m not one for gushy, soft, tear up shit but my kid made me so proud over the next four days that at the end of the school I welled up a bit because of how excited he was for riding his bike. For once I spent time with my kid over others and I felt like a real dad. I wasn’t the dad that just worked and hoped my kid was growing learning throughout the day. I took charge and lived real dad life.
A post shared by GuaranteedMX (@guaranteedmx) on Jul 4, 2019 at 11:18am PDT
This shit is not easy by any means. Trying to work, make
everyone happy, pay the bills, get through the day, all the while trying to educate,
entice, and excite your own kids. I did realize I’m over putting others first
over my own. If this pisses off some of the families I have helped or look to
me for help, then so be it. I’mm off to bycyle and eat ice cream!!
Unfortunately, Gauldy won’t be manning this week’s edition. He was away in Kamloops last week for the Western Canadian Amateur National, which ran from Thursday to Sunday. Once he got home, he packed up the Gauldy-Van and immediately headed north to Moto Park to teach some tricks of the trade. (Remember what he’s teaching you guys and girls what to do around the track, not around the campfire.)
When I let him know that I could help spin a few words for his regular column here on GuaranteedMX.com, he replied “Sweet. Looking forward to your opinion on the sport, since you’ve been gone for so long.”
Oh, no, the pressure is on. I better not disappoint. I know you readers are used to hearing some pretty blunt opinions and thoughts in these ‘Floods of Emotion’ by Ryan Gauld.
Okay, where do we start….
Royal Distributing FXR Yamaha Racing’s Hayden Halstead raced last weekend’s AMA Motocross National in Southwick, MA. He is signed up for the next event as well, which takes place this Saturday at Red Bud in Buchanan, MI.
How about Hayden Halstead lining up for Round 6 of the AMA Motocross Nationals last Saturday in Southwick, MA? The Royal Distributing FXR Yamaha rider made the 7-hour trek from his home in Southwestern Ontario to try his luck at his first ever AMA outdoor event. Good call by the 25-year-old, as he went on to qualify 28th overall and finished 28-19 for 21st overall in the 250cc class. Not too shabby, especially considering it was first time racing in the US against, arguably, the world’s best racers. Halstead had modest expectations, since he’s had limited time on the bike after breaking his leg in March and his results in Canada have been sub-par for where he normally finishes, but none of that showed in Southwick.
His team manager, Kevin Tyler, who has raced and qualified for Southwick back in the ’99 (he finished 35-32 for 35th overall), gave him some advice, including getting out there in the first practice and putting down fast laps right off the hop while the track is smooth and secure a solid qualifying time. Halstead did just that, taking the 8th fastest time in his qualifier and easily moving himself into the main events.
“Honestly, after qualifying, it felt like there was no more pressure,” says Halstead. “My main goal was to qualify, I did that, and then it was like I could breathe and enjoy it like a normal race.”
Halstead has proved himself to be a top-five competitor on the MX Tour, but this season, he’s coming in with little to no seat time from a broken leg and is racing himself back into shape. I’d say after finishing top 20 in an AMA Event, that he’s feeling more like his old self!
I didn’t expect Halstead to do as well as he did. I was thinking something like a 25-29, but I’m glad he proved me, and possibly others, wrong. He scored points honestly in the second moto, too, passing a handful of riders to eventually finish 19th (he was in 18th at one point). He’s already signed up and repacking his rig for the next AMA event at Red Bud this Saturday.
Not to take away from Halstead’s joy, but do you what disappoints me? That Halstead and Mitch Goheen were the only two Canadian who signed up for Southwick.
I love seeing our Canadian guys heading south and lining up with the world’s best. You never know how you will do until you try it, and now Halstead knows and he says will most likely be racing them every summer. How could you not? No offense to our Canadian series, but with so many AMA Nationals within a 10-hour drive of the Ontario/ Quebec border, I’m always confused why more don’t sign up. I understand it’s not cheap (I believe an AMA Pro license is about $500 CDN, plus $250 per race) but it could create a memory that will last a lifetime. Heck, Tyler Medaglia won 450 races in Canada last year, but he will tell you his biggest highlight came finishing top-10 at the Ironman National.
Becoming a professional racer isn’t easy, and only spans so many years, so why not invest in yourself, your passion, and jump into the deep end? Regardless if a Canadian qualified or not, a sincereness ‘kudos’ to anyone of them who at least goes for it.
Seeing Halstead finishing 19th in that second moto got me thinking … has the US series slowed down, or is the Canadian series speeding up? Halstead’s results after three rounds of the MX Tour, have not reflected his true potential. He’s coming back from a serious leg injury and has steadily improved each round (he’s gone 19-16-12). He is a sand/ rough track rider, but regardless, it’s impressive to see that a 10th to 20th place finisher in the Canadian series is scoring points at AMA events. And I don’t think that the AMA series is slowing down any; in fact, there were 85 riders trying to qualify at Southwick and probably 15 of them were riding out of a semi with ‘factory like’ support.
I got a chance to watch the opening round of the MX Tour at Calgary, and for moments, I was thinking we were watching an AMA race. We have five or six guys who could win or hit the podium, and a group behind them itching to make their mark. So riders shouldn’t think they need to win or top three a Canadian National before entering an AMA event—the time is now, make it happen before it’s too late. Plus, even if you don’t qualify, you will gain more fans, earn a great amount of exposure and get to remember the day you lined up with the best at one of the best tracks.
“My phone was lighting up last week when people found out that I was racing Southwick,” laughed Halstead. “It was crazy; peoples’ numbers who I didn’t recognize were sending me messages, people on Facebook and instagram were wishing me luck, it was pretty cool.”
And if you’re worried about folks being too serious and difficult at the US races, don’t stress. “It was, by far, the most fun and relaxed weekend I think I’ve had racing,” adds Halstead. “Everyone from the sign up people, to the starting line staff, to fellow riders in the pits, everyone was so friendly and accommodating. When guys around me didn’t qualify, but saw that I did, they congratulated me and said good luck.”
Now that he’s scored points, has Halstead changed his goals for Red Bud this Saturday? “Not really,” he says. “My leg is still pretty sore and I’m still healing up. I would be happy to have another result like Southwick, before the Canadian series kicks back up.”
Halstead runs #27 in Canada, but switches to #610 in US racing.
I can understand why someone like Dylan Wright or Jess Pettis may not use an off-weekend to take part in an AMA event; they’re in the championship hunt, focused on winning a title and it may be too risky … but even still.
Riders could get hurt practicing (which more often than not, they do), racing a local event, riding a BMX bike, driving down the 401 … I guess it’s easy for me to sit here on my couch and be critical, but I’m always confused why so many racers spend so much time down south training and riding, when they could cut back on that a bit, and focus on doing well at an AMA race. It would seem that the whole experience–increased intensity, speeds, longer, bigger, tougher tracks—would only add to their ability, skill and mental and physical strength on the bike.
Riders can train and ride all they want, but in the end, it’s racing that truly pushes a rider to another level. Riding ain’t racing, and when you look at all of the past champions and top contenders in Canadian motocross, they always made sure to dip their toes into the deep end at least once or more every year. It could be Supercross or Motocross, but at some point, they would test themselves, their machine and see where they truly stood in the pinnacle of dirt bike racing.
I hope I’m firing up some Canucks to the point that they sign up for an AMA race this year, or the next. And if you don’t want to race one, could I borrow your talent for a weekend?
Today, we take a look at the premiere 450 division, breaking down the same stats and seeing if we can make a call on which Brand is currently ‘leading’ the MX Tour after three of eight rounds.
To confirm, you will see in the chart below the various categories that each Brand is scored on. For example, Matt Georke won the one and only Minnedosa moto, so he earns Kawasaki a notch in every category: Overall Win, Moto Win, Overall Podium, and Moto Podium. Hopefully it’s not too confusing, we tried to make things clear and easy to compare how each brand is doing so far in the Canadian Nationals.
Points & Podiums
TOTAL POINTS (after 3 rounds)
Royal Distributing Holeshots
The 2019 MX Tour started off with KTM out front, followed by Honda and Yamaha. After two more races, things haven’t really changed and if we go by the stats above, Honda would take the lead, Yamaha is second and KTM rounds out the podium. Even though Yamaha has the most points, we give the nod to Honda considering their wins, podiums, holeshots, and they are second in the ‘points’ category. (Not surprisingly, that is how the actual Points per rider break down as well: Facciotti (1st), Nicoletti (2nd), Thompson (3rd).
After two frustrating rounds for Matt Georke and Kawasaki, the two rebounded in Minnedosa, when Georke claimed the only moto win, which now gives four different brands (Hon, Yam, KTM, Kawi) moto wins in the Series.
Colin Jurin is the second top finishing Kawasaki rider in the series right now. He’s only raced two rounds, finishing 18th and 11 overall, and sits 13th overall in the 450 class.
There has only been three riders competing on a Husqvarna 450 so far in the Canadian Nationals. Cade Clason has been scoring the most points, followed by BFD.com’s Nick Collins, who has gone 13-16-12 over the first three races and sits just outside the top 10 in 11th overall.
It’s a good thing for Suzuki that Ryan Dowd has chosen to race in Canada, or else the brand would have scored zero points so far. Dowd’s best finish came in the slop in Minnedosa, where he finished 7th.
Privateer Casey Keast is currently battling against a solid pack of pros at the WCAN. Prior to that event, Keast was earning respectable results on the MX Tour, despite limited time in the saddle. He’s 17th overall in the standings.
Dakota Alix dug down deep in the muddy, wet and cold conditions of Minnedosa to earn his first podium of the year and collect KTM more points in the Brand Rankings.
BC privateer, Kyle Springman, has earned a total of 21 points for himself, Honda and his sponsors so far in 2019.
Honda leads the way in the Holeshot Department, with Mike Alessi (800) taking two and his teammate Colton Facciotti grabbing another in Prince George.
Cole Thompson and KTM are the only other rider/ brand to claim a 450 holeshot over the first three rounds.
Congratulations to Canadian Hayden Halstead on making it into the ‘Big Show’ for today’s AMA Pro Motocross National at the historic Southwick track in Massachusetts!
The Southwestern Ontario rider has been a top-five contender on the Canadian MX Tour for the last few years, and now proves that he can hang with the world’s best motocross racers, qualifying 28th against a total of 84 racers in the 250cc class.
Riding his MX101 FXR Yamaha YZ250F, Halstead came into the weekend with modest hopes but, of course, very excited to get out on the track for his first AMA Event (he’s raced AMA off-road events previously, but this is his first outdoor motocross race).
Originally, back in the wintertime, Halstead completed his paperwork and had intended to compete at two AMA events this summer; the first being WW Ranch and then Southwick. Unfortunately, after breaking his leg in March, Halstead was forced to change his racing plans and decided to not race the Florida MX National. In fact, he had only been on his bike one week before the Canadian series began about month ago in Calgary.
“I almost wasn’t going to go out west, but I couldn’t let Kevin (Tyler) and the team down,” he says. “I think I was on the bike three times before Calgary, and after each moto, I could barely walk my leg was so sore. I’m happy to be healthy and feeling better each time out on the bike, though, and look forward to when the eastern rounds begin.”
He may be #610 at Southwick today, but Halstead is also #1 in Canadian racing fans’ hearts as we’re cheering him on for a big holeshot! Motos begin at 1pm.
Halstead has been racing himself into shape, keeping respectable results in the Canadian series (he’s finished 19-16-12) and sits 14th overall in the series points. Now that’s he qualified for Southwick, it looks like Halstead is in good shape and with the experience he gains this weekend, he should be a strong contender come Gopher Dunes on Saturday July 13th, followed then by his team’s hometown national at Sand Del Lee on July 20th. Did you know that Halstead not only races the pro nationals — but he also drives the MX101 truck and trailer to every single national! He’s an ‘Everyman Hero of Motocross,’ for sure.