Team Rockstar Energy Drink OTSFF Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry and Shawn Maffenbeier both nailed down fifth overall in their respective classes this past Sunday at Round 2 of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals at Whispering Pines Raceway in Kamloops, BC.
With 5-4 motos in the MX1 points chase, Kiniry, who suffered a broken nose at Round 1, cemented the top five. After two rounds the Holland Patent, NY native also holds down fifth place on the championship scoreboard, two points shy of fourth.
Despite registering lap times that were equal to the leaders, Swift Current, SK’s Maffenbeier couldn’t quite find his groove in Kamloops. He still managed to secure a noteworthy fifth overall on the strength of 5-7 motos, which were good enough to keep his hold on second place in the points standings.
Meanwhile, Kiniry’s MX1 teammate Kyle Chisholm stayed in the top ten mix with 8-5 moto results, which delivered him seventh overall on the day. The Valrico, FL native currently finds himself seventh in the points chase, just eight points down from third place.
With a lightning fast start, Kiniry piloted his YZ450F at the head of the pack into turn one, registering his second holeshot of the season. In his rear wheel were last week’s moto winners Mike Alessi and Colton Facciotti, followed by Josh Hill and the rest of the throng.
A few seconds of aggressive handlebar banging with the other top starters saw Kiniry lose position to fellow Americans Alessi and Hill. Kiniry spent the next six laps holding off multi-time champ Facciotti. Finding himself a bit off the pace in the second half of the moto, Kiniry dropped back to sixth at one point, the position where he would eventually greet the checkered flag. Thanks to a rule infraction by moto winner Alessi, which cost him five positions, Kiniry was officially credited with fifth place.
Behind the frontrunners Kyle Chisholm, who started the moto around tenth place, battled his way into an eighth place finish on the difficult to pass on Whispering Pines track
The start of the second MX1 moto saw Kiniry again bang handlebars with Alessi, who got the holeshot, Facciotti and Hill. After one lap, Kiniry was riding in third place, a position he held until the closing laps of the moto, which brought him into attack mode for taking over second place from Alessi.
An error, landing off a jump, however, pitched Kiniry off his bike. Fortunately he had enough of a gap on the chase group it only cost him one position – to Josh Hill – as he remounted quickly to get back into the fray. Kiniry, roughed up from his crash, bit the bullet and was still able to claim a fourth at the checkered and a respectable fifth overall.
“The Rockstar Yamaha got me off to two great starts and kept me in the thick of things today. All in all I’m happy with my performance, although the results aren’t quite what I had anticipated of myself, seeing I had good rides going in both motos,” Kiniry said.
Chisholm, who had rounded turn one in seventh, rode consistently and fast enough to claim fifth by the time the checkered flag signalled the end of the race. In the closing laps, Chisholm had started to connect with Hill and Kiniry, finishing about a bike length behind his teammate.
“My results were almost identical to last weekend, which was okay, because I’m in the points. I know I need to pick up the pace a bit to break into a top five finish. But I feel I’m on the right track and I’m already looking forward to this coming weekend,” Chisholm said.
In MX2 action, Maffenbeier took his potent YZ250F to two top five starts. In the first moto, he rounded turn one in fourth place but a get-off cost him three positions. When all was said and done Maffenbeier had contained the damage by working his way into a fifth place finish.
Another great start in the second moto ended up for naught, when Maffenbeier took another soil sample, this time regrouping in tenth place. With everyone in the top ten slugging it out for positions as if there were no tomorrow, Maffenbeier, now riding just for the points, took some time to claw his way into a seventh place finish.
“Today didn’t really go as planned, as we didn’t quite get everything dialled in the way we wanted to. But we learned from it and now know exactly what to do for next weekend. I also made some silly mistakes early in the motos, trying to make passes using unfamiliar lines. And I paid for it by going down,” Maffenbeier said.