With a third-place finish, Matt Goerke put Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha on the podium at the Rockstar Energy AX Tour double- header in Calgary, AB this past weekend. Goerke cleared the task aboard his Yamaha YZ450F on the second night of handlebar-banging action in the 450 Pro class at the Agrium Event Center.
Goerke’s teammate Dillan Epstein, still cutting his teeth on arenacross competition, finished in sixth place on the final night. On Friday night, however, Epstein just missed stepping onto the podium, taking fourth at the checkered flag.
For his part, Goerke capped the top-five on Friday with a fifth-place finish. Although a win has eluded both Epstein and Goerke in the first half of the arenacross title hunt, they are sitting in a favourable fourth and fifth place respectively on the points scoreboard.
In Friday night’s heat races, Goerke and Epstein both got off to good starts, which they parlayed into a second-place finish in their respective races. This saw them advance directly to the mains as well as a berth in the Clash, with Goerke finishing fourth and Epstein sixth.
When the gate dropped for the 450 main event Goerke and Epstein started inside the top-five and basically rode their own race to the finish line. Although Goerke occupied fourth for most of the race, he found his teammate sticking a pass on him in the closing laps.
Looking for redemption, Goerke nailed a win in his heat race on Saturday night. In the Clash, he arrived at the finish line in fourth place. Epstein finished fourth in his heat race, thus failing to qualify for a start in the Clash.
An inspired Goerke claimed the 450 main event holeshot but would have to give due to Cole Thompson, winner of Friday night’s main, and Colton Facciotti. Goerke held fast after that, taking third place at the finish line. It was his best result of the season to date.
Epstein, meanwhile, got off to good start, running with the frontrunners until he stalled his bike a few laps into the race. This put him towards the back of the pack, leaving him with the task of having to start picking off other riders on the tight confines of the track. He eventually ended up with a sixth-place finish.
“We’re satisfied with the progress we’ve made this weekend and look forward to having more of a say in the eastern rounds of the tour. We’re looking at the big picture here. We know we have got to come out of it with some points and not put ourselves into too big of a hole,” team manager Steve Simms said.
Team technician Josh Cox added: “Compared to Round 1 we can say we had a pretty solid weekend. Matt is definitely getting his groove back, putting his off-season injury behind him. That’s good to see. We also made quite a few
changes to the bikes both night. They’re close to be where they need to be. We’ve got the speed to be competitive and we’re pumped for Sarnia and Barrie.”
The Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Series continues with Round 4 of the AX Tour at the Progressive Auto Center arena in Sarnia, Ontario on Saturday, April 7th.
Results: Calgary – Round 2 450 Pro Main
1. Cole Thompson (KTM)
2. Tyler Medaglia (Kaw)
3. Colton Facciotti (Hon)
4. Dillan Epstein (Yam)
5. Matt Goerke (Yam)
6. Mike Brown (Husq)
7. Brad Nauditt (Husq)
8. Josh Hill (Hon)
9. Ryan Lockhart (Kaw)
10. Keylan Meston (Husq)
Results: Calgary – Round 3 450 Pro Main
1. Cole Thompson (KTM)
2. Colton Facciotti (Hon)
3. Matt Goerke (Yam)
4. Tyler Medaglia (Kaw)
5. Mike Brown (Husq)
6. Dillan Epstein (Yam)
7. Keylan Meston (Husq)
8. Brad Nauditt (Husq)
9. Brock Leitner (Kaw)
10. Ryan Lockhart (Kaw)
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