Wednesday, June 4, 2014
rider places well at Rockstar Nationals
Cassandra Ward, Instigator Communications/
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.
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
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
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
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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