It was a banner weekend for Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke and Shawn Maffenbeierat Round 2 of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals, which were held in Nanaimo, BC on Sunday.
A hot, humid day, and a hardpack Wastelands racetrack provided the setting for Goerke to claim fiercely contested 4-2 moto results in MX1, netting the Florida native second overall. Saskatchewan’s Maffenbeier also had his hands full in the volatile MX2 class that saw him record 2-7 motos, which sufficed to place him third overall on the day.
Goerke’s MX1 teammate Bobby Kiniry, despite a second moto crash, once again held up his end of the bargain by delivering a well-earned seventh overall on the strength of 5-8 motos.
On the edge MX1 action saw Keylan Meston peg the first moto holeshot, but with defending champion Colt Facciotti and Kiniry taking the first turn alongside him, Meston was quickly relegated to third place. Facciotti took command of the freight train while Kiniry grabbed second place.
By the end of the first lap Cole Thompson and Tyler Medaglia claimed third and fourth respectively while Meston faded from the top-five. After a ninth place start, Goerke, meanwhile, wasted no time connecting with the frontrunners. Brett Metcalfe, who started in 10th, stuck with Goerke as the duo battled their way into the top-five.
By lap six Thompson had displaced Facciotti from the lead, and the Ontario native was on his way to claiming the moto win. Kiniry, who was betrayed by a rock hitting his front brake rotor, briefly ran in third, now without the use of the brake. At the halfway point of the moto, Goerke stuck a pass on his teammate, with Metcalfe following to take fourth. Kiniry, to his credit, held on to fifth until the checkered flag.
An unleashed Goerke next disposed of Facciotti, to then chase down Thompson. In his bid to take over the lead, Goerke unfortunately stalled his bike, allowing Facciotti and Metcalfe to get by. Goerke was able to restart quickly enough to rejoin the fray in fourth place, where he would end the moto.
The second moto holeshot proved to be a clash between Thompson and Kiniry, with Thompson just edging Kiniry out for the honour. Goerke was also in the top-five mix off the start, rounding turn one in third place just ahead of Facciotti.
But once again the hand of fate disfavoured Kiniry. Guarding his inside line, he washed out on the slick, freshly watered track and found himself dead last by the time he recovered. Shaken but undaunted, the New York native poured on the gas to slice and dice his way back into the top-10, salvaging an eighth place finish and seventh overall on the day.
“I had the speed for at least a top-three finish in the first moto, so it was a bit disappointing having to settle for fifth because of the front brake issue. Going from the front of the pack to the back of the pack wasn’t exactly what I had expected in the second moto,” Kiniry said. “It was a little deflating. But in a case like that I let the frustration work for me instead of against me to put on a charge and redeem myself with at least a top-10 finish. My bike certainly helped make my efforts a little easier.”
With Kiniry out of the front running pace setters, Goerke settled into second place, where he stayed within striking distance of Thompson for about half the moto. At that point he made his move to take over the lead. Once in control of the moto Goerke kept his head down, putting about five seconds worth of real estate between himself and Thompson to take his first win of the season.
“My YZ450 ran awesome and definitely fast enough for a clean sweep, which arguably would have been the case if I hadn’t stalled it in the first moto. The second moto I got a much better start, saving to have to play catch-up,” Goerke said. “I decided to take my time, keeping Cole in my crosshairs. Once I passed him I ran my own race and built up enough of a lead for a cushion till the finish line. Nanaimo was certainly a confidence booster.”
In MX2 action, Shawn Maffenbeier kept Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha in the limelight with a top-five start in the first moto. By the second lap he had piloted his YZ450 into second place behind defending champ Kaven Benoit. Despite continuing pressure from Cole Martinez, running in third for a number of laps, and then Jeremy Medaglia, Maffenbeier stayed focused. Before the halfway point of the moto he put enough of gap between himself and Medaglia to comfortably finish the moto in second place.
Fast started Maffenbeier nailed the second moto holeshot, only to lose the lead to Brad Nauditt, who would then lose it to Benoit. From that point on Benoit was on his way to a clean sweep. Some six laps into the moto the frontrunners were already encountering lappers. One of these lappers crashed and unfortunately took out a hapless Maffenbeier, who was running in fourth, trying to put a pass on third placeholder Nauditt.
Although Maffenbeier managed to remount quickly enough, losing only three positions, he was unable to find his groove again and get back into the top-five on the high speed Wastelands track. He had to settle for seventh place, but thanks to his second place in moto one still snared a respectable third overall on the day.
“After a bit of struggle last weekend in Kamloops it was nice to rebound today. I had an excellent run in the first moto and was feeling good as far as my capabilities to again finish top-three in the second, especially after getting the holeshot,” Maffenbeier said. “All in all it was a good weekend, other than hitting the lapper’s bike after he crashed, but that was one of those things I had no control over. It happened so fast that one second I’m going for third, the next I’m on the ground.”
MX1 Results MX2 Results:
1. Cole Thompson (1-2) 1. Kaven Benoit (1-1)
2. Matt Goerke (4-1) 2. Jeremy Medaglia (3-2)
3. Colton Facciotti (2-3) 3. Shawn Maffenbeier (2-7)
4. Brett Metcalfe (3-4) 4. Brad Nauditt (6-3)
5. Tyler Medaglia (6-5) 5. Morgan Burger (7-6)
7. Bobby Kiniry (5-8)