Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha got off to a promising start with Matt Goerke and Bobby Kiniry this past Sunday at Round 1 of the MX1 Nationals in Kamloops, BC.
Goerke, making his debut with the team, rose to the occasion by nailing down an impressive second overall on the strength of 2-3 motos.
Kiniry, although not a podium contender at Whispering Pines Raceway, held up his end of the bargain with a respectable top-10 finish. The long-time team member recorded seventh overall thanks to 5-8 moto results.
For Shawn Maffenbeier, the team’s MX2 rider, the season opener proved less auspicious despite his efforts. The Saskatchewan native ended up with 12th overall on the strength of 7-17 motos.
The start of the first MX1 moto saw both Kiniry and Goerke dive into turn one in the top-five, running third and fourth respectively. Goerke, looking smooth and super-fast on his YZ450, wasted no time sticking a pass on his teammate as well as second place holder Cole Thompson.
By the end of lap two Goerke had taken over the lead from Tyler Medaglia, only to lose it back to him a lap later, after washing out his front end, which also allowed Brett Metcalfe and defending champion Colton Facciotti to get by.
At the halfway point of the moto, however, Goerke charged past Facciotti and within a minute or so he disposed of Medaglia to settle into second place behind Metcalfe, where he would remain till the finish line.
Fast starter Kiniry claimed the second moto holeshot, but he was able to hold the lead position only briefly, being passed by Metcalfe, Facciotti, and Goerke in short order. While Goerke’s race again unfolded with the frontrunners, Kiniry kept losing position, eventually finishing in eighth.
“I made some poor decisions on chassis set-up and kind of paid the price for it as the day went on. At this point I just want to move forward, learn from my mistakes, pick up the pieces and go for the podium at the next round,” Kiniry said.
Goerke, who started the moto in fourth place, moved into third on lap two. At the halfway point he inherited second place from Facciotti, who slid out on a berm. Medaglia, who was running in fourth, also got by Facciotti. The frontrunners’ pace was relentless, quickly leaving the chase group behind.
A few laps later it was Goerke’s turn to tip over in a corner, and this to the advantage of Medaglia, who took over second place. Goerke rejoined the fray almost instantaneously in third place, pinning the throttle while Facciotti hounded him for a number of laps. Facciotti was unable to challenge Goerke for a pass, with the Florida native successfully defending third place to the checkered flag.
“My Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha was just ripping out there today. There was a lot of pressure all around and I made a couple of errors but managed to get on the podium both times, charging hard to stay in the mix with Metty, Tyler, and Colt,” Goerke said.
In MX2 action Shawn Maffenbeier, who is recovering from a pre-season shoulder injury, got off to a top-10 start in the first moto. He had difficulty finding his groove, however, and was unable to break into the top-five aboard his potent YZ450. Maffenbeier ended up spending most of the race riding in seventh; a position he would hold till the finish line.
Despite a top-three start in the second moto, Maffenbeier, found himself in seventh place at the halfway mark, continuing to drop off the pace to finish 17th by the time the checkered flag signalled the end of the race.
“This isn’t quite how I envisioned the start of the season. It was a bit of a wakeup call and I know I definitely have my work cut out for me, if I’m going to play a major part in the championship,” Maffenbeier said.
MX1 Overall Results – Round 1
1. Brett Metcalfe (1-1)
2. Matt Goerke (2-3)
3. Tyler Medaglia (4-2)
4. Colton Facciotti (3-4)
5. Cole Thompson (7-5)
7. Bobby Kiniry (5-8)
MX2 Overall Results – Round 1
1. Jimmy Decotis (1-1)
2. Jeremy Medaglia (2-2)
3. Kaven Benoit (3-3)
4. Cole Martinez (4-4)
5. Blake Savage (5-5)
12. Shawn Maffenbeier (7-17)
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