The Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals left British Columbia behind to stage Round 3 of the points chase in Calgary, Alberta this past Sunday. A rather frigid day, with the thermometer reaching only 12° C, and some drizzle in the afternoon, proved to suit the contenders as they waged epic battles in both the MX1 and MX2 division.
Although Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s riders were unable to claim top-three overalls on the very fast supercross style Wild Rose MX Park track, they nonetheless rose to the occasion, especially Matt Goerke who took over the points lead in the premiere MX1 class. Despite being hindered by a damaged lens in his goggles, Goerke was on top of his game in moto one, nailing down second place behind guest rider Vince Friese.
The first MX1 moto holeshot was claimed by defending champion Colton Facciotti with Goerke rounding turn one in fifth place. The Florida native stayed in that position for a number of laps before taking over fourth. He remained there until just past the halfway mark to claim third. At that point Goerke began a cat and mouse game with second place Cole Thompson, who trailed Friese by some four seconds.
Goerke, whose lens had been damaged by a rock, took a lot of roost in the exposed eye but soldiered on, finally sticking a pass on Thompson in the closing laps. Although Thompson repassed him, with just over one lap to go Goerke attacked again, this time making the pass stick till the finish line.
Goerke’s Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha teammate Bobby Kiniry, meanwhile, got off to a start just inside the top-15. The New Yorker poured on the gas to eventually slip into the top-10, taking the checkered flag in eighth place.
The second moto start saw Friese just edging Kiniry out for the holeshot with Goerke running in seventh place. He remained there for two laps before moving into sixth but was unable to find his way into the top-five and would remain in that position until the finish line.
“The first moto took a lot out of me and my eye was bothering me the rest of the afternoon from all the dust and grit. I rode somewhat conservatively in the second moto, still gunning for a top-five finish that would have given me podium overall. But it just didn’t happen and I had to settle for sixth. Taking over the points lead made up for it all and I’m looking forward to regrouping this coming Sunday,” Goerke said.
Despite his excellent second moto start Kiniry stayed with the frontrunners for only a few laps. A bobble relegated him to 14th, from where he would move up two positions to eventually cross the finish line in 12th place. Kiniry’s 8-12 moto results still sufficed for him to seal the top-10 overall with 10th.
“It was a tough go today on a tough track. I think I was a bit too eager to redeem myself in the second moto and I paid for it. The start couldn’t have been sweeter, I only missed the holeshot by a few inches, but it kind of went downhill from there,” Kiniry said.
In MX2 action, Jimmy Decotis nailed the first holeshot with Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Shawn Maffenbeier sweeping into turn one in fourth place. On the second lap Maffenbeier, still recovering from a pre-season shoulder injury, was chasing frontrunner Decotis.
In a bid to stick a pass on Decotis, Maffenbeier washed out his front end and rejoined the fray in seventh place. The Saskatchewan native pinned the throttle to get back into the top-five, accomplishing that feat in the second half of the moto. With a lot of real estate claimed by first thru fourth, however, Maffenbeier had to settle for fifth place at the finish line.
A lightning fast second moto start put Maffenbeier into turn one alongside Decotis, who managed to just edge him out for the holeshot. A few laps later Maffenbeier was the victim of a high speed crash on the back straightaway, with the result of any chance of a podium finish being out of reach.
Before he could get back into action Maffenbier had to straighten out his front end, losing valuable time. He still managed to claw his way from a distant 32nd place into the top-10, greeting the checkered flag in ninth place. A still noteworthy sixth overall on the day was his reward.
“It was a bit of a bummer not being able to capitalize on two good starts. Although I didn’t really get the results I should have, I actually felt like I rode well and that I’m progressing. I felt good on my YZ250 all day. I made a couple of mistakes that weren’t very forgiving, especially in the second moto. It was a hard crash,” Maffenbeier said.
MX1 Overall Results
1. Vince Friese 1-4
2. Cole Thompson 3-3
3. Colton Facciotti 5-2
4. Matt Goerke 2-6
5. Cade Clason 6-5
10. Bobby Kiniry 8-12
MX2 Overall Results
1. Kaven Benoit 2-1
2. Jimmy Decotis 1-2
3. Jeremy Medaglia 4-3
4. Dylan Wright 3-6
5. Morgan Burger 7-5
6. Shawn Maffenbeier 5-9