Rockstar Energy Drink OTSFF Yamaha’s Shawn Maffenbeier took the highest honours for the team at Round 7 of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals at Motocross Deschambault in Deschambault, QC this past Sunday.
The Saskatchewan native battled his way into third overall on the strength of 6-3 motos aboard the potent YZ250F in the MX2 title hunt, strengthening his hold on third in the points and closing the gap on second.
In MX1 Bobby Kiniry and Kyle Chisholm didn’t quite fare as well. Although Chisholm finished top ten, recording sixth overall, thanks to 5-6 results, Kiniry suffered a first moto DNF and finished seventh in moto two, claiming 14th overall … and this despite nailing both holeshots.
Early morning rains threatened to turn Motocross Deschambault into a quagmire, but fortunately the skies cleared up by noon and the track gradually dried up to allow top-notch racing in front of a sizeable crowd of spectators who decided to brave the elements.
At the start of the first MX2 moto, Maffenbeier got pushed wide and he found himself just outside the top ten going into the turn one. A bobble not long after saw him remount around 15th place.
From that point on it was a catch-up race for Maffenbeier; he kept his head down, poured on the gas and by lap five he was running ninth. By the midway mark of the moto he occupied sixth place. Maffenbeier played cat and mouse for that position for a few laps, losing it, then reclaiming it, to eventually take it to the finish line.
In moto two Maffenbeier got a top five start, rounding turn one in fourth place. For the next thirty minutes he fought tooth-and-nail for third place, which went back and forth until the closing laps. When it counted at the finish line, Maffenbeier had the final podium position in hand at the expense of Jeremy Medaglia, with whom he had traded third back and forth a number of times.
“I definitely had my work cut out in the first moto and would have liked to finish on the podium, but it was a tough go and out of reach. I knew I had to regroup for the second moto if I was going to get a podium finish and keep building on my points,” Maffenbeier said.
The first MX1 moto looked super promising for Bobby Kiniry who rocketed his YZ450F into the holeshot, to then lead the express train around the track for 10 of 14 laps. He accumulated an eight-second margin in the process over second running Josh Hill. Unfortunately, a win was not in the cards for Kiniry. On lap ten he experienced a technical issue and his race was over.
Meanwhile, Chisholm had also nailed a good start, finding himself in fifth after one lap. Although he would occupy fourth for a while, he eventually got passed by Colton Facciotti for that spot and had to take satisfaction with fifth place at the finish line.
Despite being confronted with the last gate pick, the start of the second moto again saw fast starter Kiniry nail the holeshot, just ahead of Facciotti, who squeezed by him to take the lead shortly after.
But Kiniry was already riding under a handicap by this time. During the parade lap he got some debris wedged into his front brake, which his mechanic was unable to remove before the start, and Kiniry was doomed to race without the benefit of the brake.
The never-say-die New Yorker bit the bullet, however, and battled with Facciotti and Mike Alessi for a few laps. Inevitably a get-off ensued, which relegated Kiniry to 14th place. Within a few laps he was back in the top ten, to eventually finish the moto in seventh place.
“The first moto was a bitter pill to swallow. You get the start you need, you got the speed, you’re in the lead from the get-go, build up a comfortable cushion and then it’s game over with just a handful of laps to go,” Kiniry said. “At that point you feel like taking the next bus out of town. But you know you’ve got a job to do and you just jump right back into the mix and hope for the best and tell yourself there’s always another day.”
Kyle Chisholm, for his part, booked a second moto start around tenth place, which he turned into fifth by lap four. He would run there for most of the moto, settling for sixth at the checkered flag.
The 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals continue on Sunday, August 3 at Riverglade MX Park in Moncton, NB
Points Standings after 7 of 10 Rounds
1. Colton Facciotti (Honda) 296
2. Mike Alessi (Suz) 269
3. Tyler Medaglia (KTM) 235
4. Josh Hill (Kaw) 225
5. Teddy Maier (Kaw) 214
6. Kyle Chisholm (Yam) 205
7. Bobby Kiniry (Yam) 165
8. Dylan Kaelin (Yam) 140
9. Morgan Burger (Yam) 107
10. David Gassin (Yam) 94
1. Kaven Benoit (KTM) 271
2. Vince Friese (Hon) 238
3. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam) 226
4. Jesse Wentland (Yam) 209
5. Topher Ingalls (KTM) 185
6. Austin Politelli (Kaw) 164
7. Jeremy Medaglia (Kaw) 153
8. Seth Rarick (KTM) 143
9. Dylan Schmoke (KTM) 115
10. Sylvain Le Gad (Yam) 102