Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sports News

Mathe Test  

Chilliwack rider places well at Rockstar Nationals

Cassandra Ward, Instigator Communications/ Photos submitted


California’s Mike Alessi (L),  Quebec's Kaven Benoit and Aldergrove BC’s Colton Facciotti hold up their trophies at the ROckstar Nationals in Naniamo.


anny Mathe took the bull by the horns the first round in at The Rockstar Energy Motocross National Series in Nanaimo BC on May 31.


After a somewhat slow start,  with 34th finish in the first race, Mathe sped up to come in 12th in the second race, earning him a top 20 spot and 15th overall in the MX2 division.


Under mostly sunny skies and temperatures that hovered around 22ºC, Round 1 of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals offered top-notch battles for supremacy in both the MX1 and MX2 classes.

California’s Mike Alessi, making his debut in Canada, lived up to the pre-season buzz around him, deftly snaring the MX1 overall on the strength of 3-1 motos aboard his MCR Suzuki.

Kaven Benoit, on the Royal Distributing Fox KTM, made a strong impression in Nanaimo by recording the MX2 overall with a clean sweep. After a shortened, injury-plagued season last year, the Quebecer has a lot to prove this year, and he started off in the right groove at The Wastelands in Nanaimo.

Aldergrove, BC’s Colton Facciotti, also on the comeback trail after missing all but the first round last year due to injuries, sent a strong message to the MX1 contenders that he 1 intends to be a force to be reckoned with this season. The GDR Honda ace rode like in the days of old and nailed down second overall on the strength of 1-3 motos.

Sealing the MX1 podium, thanks to 4-2 moto results, was Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki’s Josh Hill. The American, who is also making his debut in Canada, replaced last year’s champion Brett Metcalf on Team Kawasaki and will have his work cut our for him to keep the No.1 plate in the Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki camp.

Rockstar Energy Drink OTSFF Yamaha’s Shawn Maffenbeier, another injury victim last year, rose to the occasion to record second overall in the MX2 points chase, thanks to 3-2 moto finishes.


Defending champion Austin Politelli, meanwhile, piloted his Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki to 4-3 motos to seal the MX2 podium with third overall. Politelli, coming off post 2013 season injuries, has spent little time on his bike so far this year and decided to ride on the conservative side for the series opener.

In MX 1 action, Alessi pegged the first moto holeshot with Facciotti on his back fender. A few turns later saw Facciotti make a daring inside move on Alessi to take over the lead. Alessi went down in the skirmish, to remount around 10th place. From there he methodically clawed his way to third place, where he would finish.

Once in the lead, Facciotti took off to put quite a bit of real estate between himself and second place Teddy Maier. The Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki rider was in with the 2 frontrunners off the start and basically rode his own race to claim second at the finish line.

Maier’s Kawasaki teammate Josh Hill, meanwhile, rode to a strong fourth place ahead of Royal Distributing Fox KTM’s Tyler Medaglia. Medaglia also got a good start to run most of the moto in sixth place. A few laps past the halfway mark he installed himself in fifth place, where he finished.

The second moto start saw Rockstar Energy Drink OTSFF Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry grab the holeshot, but an error put the lead into Alessi’s hands with Facciotti on his tail. Another daring move by Facciotti to stick a pass on Alessi misfired and it was Facciotti’s turn to take a soil sample. Alessi was now firmly in control of the moto and he proceeded to distance himself from the chase group, never looking back to book his first moto win in Canada.

Although Facciotti got back into the fray around fifth place, he would get no further than third by the end of the moto, finishing behind second place Josh Hill, who rode in that position for most of the moto, after the early position changes up front.

Teddy Maier suffered through a mediocre second moto start that saw him finish sixth when all was said and done and fourth overall on the day.

Kiniry, meanwhile, managed to stay in the top five running, greeting the checkered in fourth place, which coupled with his seventh place in moto one saw him garner a still respectable fifth overall.
Kiniry’s Yamaha teammate, Kyle Chisholm, returning to the Canadian Nationals after an eight-year absence, delivered 6-5 motos which was good enough to give the Florida native sixth overall on the day.

Tyler Medaglia, who also found himself a bit off the pace at Round 1, finished moto two in seventh place, which produced seventh overall on the day for the Nova Scotia resident.

The first MX2 moto holeshot went to Kaven Benoit with Maffenbeier in his rear wheel. Maffenbeier put on a quick charge to overtake Benoit early in the proceedings. Benoit, who had no intention of settling for second place, stuck a pass on Maffenbeier a few laps later and once in control built up a three to four second lead that he would maintain till the finish line.

MX101 Yamaha’s Jesse Wentland, who dove into turn one in third place, stayed there for most of the moto, trailing Maffenbeier by a few seconds. Just before the finish line Maffenbeier stalled his bike coming out of the last turn, allowing Wentland to stick a pass on the Saskatchewan native for second place.

Politelli and MCR Honda’s Vince Friese, another American making his debut in Canada, cemented the top five with Politelli taking fourth and Friese fifth.

The second MX2 moto saw RTR Honda’s Topher Ingalls grab the holeshot with Jeremy Medaglia, Yamaha mounted Brock Hoyer, Kaven Benoit and Austin Politelli rounding the first turn in the top five.

A number of laps into the moto Benoit shot past Politelli and then took over the lead from Ingalls, after Ingalls went down to remount and finish in fourth place. Coupled with his ninth place finish in the first moto, Ingalls cemented the top five with fifth overall.

Once in control of the moto Benoit never looked back, storming to his second moto win of the day. Politelli stayed in the mix with a third place finish at the checkered, ensuring him third overall.

Wentland found himself around seventh place off the start. He would move up into fifth by the time the checkered was waved. Thanks to his second place finish in the first moto, the Minnesota native grabbed fourth overall.
By lap five, Maffenbeier, who had started just inside the top ten, had worked his way into fourth place. He continued to pour on the gas to install himself in second place around the halfway point, where he would remain till the checkered flag.

Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki’s Jeremy Medaglia, who returned to the MX2 class after hammering down a No.4 ranking in MX1 last year, did not have the opening round he was gunning for. In the first moto, he was taken out by Friese while they were racing for position with the frontrunners. Medaglia went over a berm and rammed a fence, effectively taking him out of contention. A hapless Medaglia ended up having to settle for a tepid 12th place in the moto.

In the second moto, Medaglia got a top five start but after a bobble he remounted in 11th place. By lap six the Kemptville, ON native had knifed his way to fifth place, eventually finishing the moto in sixth and taking home seventh overall on the day on the basis of his 12-6 motos.

Vince Friese, who was looking good for another top five finish, unfortunately found himself on the sidelines after a motor issue early on in the moto. On the strength of 5-DNF he claimed 16th overall on the day.

MX101 Yamaha’s Dylan Wright, riding his first pro race, impressed with consistent 8-7 motos, which netted him sixth overall.

The Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals continue on Sunday, June 8 for Round 2 at Whispering Pines Raceway in Kamloops, British Columbia.

Overall Results – Round 1 MX1

1. Mike Alessi (Suz) 3-1
2. Colton Facciotti (Honda) 1-3
3. Josh Hill (Kaw) 4-2
4. Teddy Maier (Kaw) 2-6
5. Bobby Kiniry (Yam) 7-4
6. Kyle Chisholm (Yam) 6-5
7. Tyler Medaglia (KTM) 5-7
8. Dylan Kaelin (Yam) 8-9
9. Morgan Burger (Yam) 12-8
10. Austin Kouba (Kaw) 10-11
1. Kaven Benoit (KTM) 1-1
2. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam) 3-2
3. Austin Politelli (Kaw) 4-3
4. Jesse Wentland (KTM) 2-5
5. Topher Ingalls (Hon) 9-4
6. Dylan Wright (Yam) 8-7
7. Jeremy Medaglia (Kaw) 12-6
8. Sylvain Le Gad (Kaw) 10-8
9. Jared Petruska (Kaw) 11-9
10 Dylan Schmoke (KTM) 14-11

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