(Vaughan, ON – June 16th, 2019)
Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha Salvages Valuable Points in the Manitoba Mudder
Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha pushed through a very wet, cold, and muddy day in Minnedosa, Manitoba during round three of the Canadian Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Series. Heavy rain on the McNabb Valley MX track made for some difficult racing but the Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha team was still able to salvage some valuable points heading into the break before round 4 at Gopher Dunes.
As the team headed to the gate for the first qualifier the rain had started to come down which made for some messy conditions. Rockstar Energy OTSFF rider Phil Nicoletti qualified in 2nd, while Shawn Maffenbeier sat in the 8th spot. Rockstar Energy OTSFF support rider Sam Gaynor qualified just outside of the top 10 in 11th place.
Heading into qualifier 2 both Phil and Sam stayed back because of the very sloppy conditions at McNabb Valley in hopes to save their energy and Yamaha Canada YZ450F’s from taking a beating through the very rough track. However, Shawn went for 2nd qualifier as the only rider in 450A to go out and put in a few laps to get a better feel for the track before the start of Moto 1.
As the boys lined up for Moto 1 the word was given that the Motos would be shortened 5 minutes based on the officials decision, stating that it was too muddy to ride the entire Moto. With the team getting a bad start out of the gate, Moto 1 saw Shawn Maffenbeier in 8th place as he past the start line. Behind Shawn was Phil Nicoletti in 18th position while Sam Gaynor rode hard right behind Phil in 20th. By the halfway mark of Moto 1 Phil had pushed his Yamaha Canada YZ450F through the very deep mud, after many passes, Phil was able to hold on to 5th place while continuing to charge towards the front of the pack.
During the final few laps Phil was able to move quickly into 3rd place. After a small mistake coming into a corner Phil was forced back into 7th. He put his head down and used his Pirelli tires to their full potential but since the Moto’s had been shortened, he was only able to gain one position and finished the 1st Moto in 6th place.
Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha rider Shawn Maffenbeier ran a very steady race which landed him in 4th position late in the Moto. Shawn displayed great speed until a crash in the rutted McNabb Valley track pushed his position back to 8th by the checkered flag.
Rockstar Energy OTSFF Support rider Sam Gaynor had a great ride during his 3rd 450 pro national. With a great start Sam was able to battle with some riders near the front of the pack. Moto 1 saw Sam steadily move his way into 12th place. While running in 12th Sam was able to battle forward looking to make some passes until, unfortunately, he had a rock get jammed in his front brake costing valuable time as he limped his bike towards the mechanics area for assistance. Determined to still grasp some valuable points Sam fought hard, without a front brake, to battle his way to a 20th place finish.
In an unfortunate turn of events second Moto’s were cancelled due to the torrential track conditions. Round 3 of the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown series in Minnedosa, Manitoba would end early and positions/ points earned in Moto 1 would consequently be the overall results for Round 3.
“ We have been fortunate to have excellent results during the first 2 rounds. With the track being a
rough dry-type mud we knew the day was going to be tough for everyone. We came out of with valuable
points and i’m glad everyone is healthy. We are looking forward to Gopher Dunes where we will get back
to our winning ways in the 450 pro class.” - Steve Simms (Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha Team Manager)
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