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Round 5 – Gopher Dunes Courtland Ontario Race Preview

Round 5 – Gopher Dunes Courtland Ontario Race Preview

Jul 6, 2017

After a two-week break in the action, the CMRC sanctioned Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan will resume this weekend, where Round 5 will take place at the Gopher Dunes Raceway in Courtland, Ontario. The time off is a good opportunity for riders and their teams to regroup as the series moves to Eastern Canada for the final six races before crowning new National Champions.

The riders will have to battle more than their opponents this weekend, as the sand track at Gopher Dunes is very different from what they have seen in the west. Gopher Dunes has been called the roughest track in the world because it provides no smooth lines, and there is nowhere to rest in the gnarly, knee deep sand. The punishing roost off the back wheels of these motorcycles makes the start very important, and if you are not running up front after the first turn, goggle management becomes a key issue for the riders.

MX1

Rockstar Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel will have a red plate back on his motorcycle this weekend after taking the overall win at the last round. Pourcel lost the red plate at Round 3 when he had a first turn crash in the second moto, then was handed a gift at Round 4 when Matt Goerke’s chain derailed on the last lap of the day. Christophe has won 3 of 4 rounds in 2017 and shares the points lead with Goerke coming into Gopher Dunes.

Rockstar Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel and Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke are tied for the series lead.

After finishing fifth at the series opener, Florida native Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke finished on each step of the podium in the following three rounds. Goerke is coming into Gopher Dunes tied for the series lead and full of confidence on a racetrack where he has won multiple times and has proven to be unbeatable. Matt is very comfortable in the deep sand and has been called the fastest rider to ever navigate this track.

Nut Up Industries Kawasaki’s Dillan Epstein sits third in the series standings, 22 points behind the leaders, and has two moto wins in the first four rounds. Epstein has finished second overall twice, and after going down early in the second moto at Round 4 put in an epic ride that saw him post the fastest lap of the race while coming from the back of the pack to finish third. Dillan was full of emotion on the podium after that moto and will certainly be carrying a lot of momentum into Round 5 this weekend.

Sitting fourth in the series standings, Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing’s Colton Facciotti will have the fans on his side this weekend as he calls Gopher Dunes his home track. After winning here in 2014, Facciotti has finished fourth here in each of the last two seasons, and comes into this weekend’s race with a lot of confidence after finishing on the podium twice already this season. Colton is coming out of the first four rounds in a good position, only 27 points back of the lead, as he goes for his fifth National Championship.

Nut Up Industries Kawasaki’s Dillan Epstein sits third in the series standings, 22 points behind the leaders.

Royal Distributing Motovan Piller’s Race Team’s Tyler Medaglia rounds out the top 5 in the series standings and must be happy with his position as the series moves east. Medaglia is 43 points ahead of where he was in 2016 at this point, when he was unable to crack the top 5 during the first four rounds. Tyler was third at the opening round and has two fourth place finishes since, and has had a lot of success at Gopher Dunes, finishing on the podium in 2013 and 2015, and fourth in 2014.

KTM Canada Thor Racing’s Kaven Benoit will make his return this weekend after aggravating an ankle injury he sustained last winter at a supercross race in Europe during the opening round this season.

Rounding out the top 10 in the series standings are Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki’s Mike Alessi in sixth, Royal Distributing Motovan Piller’s Team’s Kyle Chisholm in seventh, Redemption Racing’s Cade Clason in eighth, Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Tim Tremblay’s in ninth, and Yamaha Canada Cycle Works’ Keylan Meston in tenth.

Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing’s Colton Facciotti calls Gopher Dunes his home track.

 

MX2

KTM Canada Thor Racing’s Cole Thompson comes into Round 5 with a 33-point lead in the series standings and a lot of momentum after winning both motos in Round 4, and taking his second win of the season. Thompson’s lead was 50 points coming into Gopher Dunes in 2016 when he came back from a first turn crash to sweep both motos and extend his points lead. Cole will be looking to extend his podium streak, which is now at 14, and continue to try to break his record of seven wins in a season as he lines up this weekend for Round 5.

MX101 FXR Yamaha Team’s Shawn Maffenbeier is sitting third in the series standings.

Currently second in the series standings, Redemption Racing KTM’s Josh Osby is coming off his best performance of the season when he finished second at Round 4. Osby has not had an overall finish outside the top 5 this year, and has stood on the podium at three of the first four rounds. During his podium interviews, Josh has said more than once that he is looking forward to the series heading east and racing on soil that he grew up on, so he’ll finally get his chance this weekend.

MX101 FXR Yamaha Team’s Shawn Maffenbeier is sitting third in the series standings only 11 points behind Osby, but must be feeling that he deserves better. During the first four rounds, Maffenbeier has matched Thompson in moto wins with four, overall wins with two, and was the better rider in the first three races. A mechanical breakdown and small mistakes have been costly to Shawn, so he must continue to go for the wins in the east if he wants to become the champion in 2017.

Nut Up Industries Kawasaki’s Ryan Surratt has been the best starter in the class this season and has taken the holeshot in 5 of 8 starts this season. Surratt is fourth in the series standings and admits to being a little underprepared coming into the season after recovering from a previous injury. Watch for Ryan to grab his first podium soon as he continues to get good starts and stronger each weekend.

Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing’s Dylan Wright chasing Redemption Racing KTM’s Josh Osby at Round 4.

Rounding out the top 5 in the standings is MX101 FXR Yamaha Team’s Jess Pettis who got off to a terrific start in the series when he earned his career best finish at his home track at Round 2. Pettis crashed hard in Round 3 and was not able to finish the second moto, and then after finishing fourth in the first moto at Round 4, failed to line up for Moto 2 after being diagnosed with a broken collarbone. Jess will not be racing this weekend but is hoping to be back soon.

Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki Team’s Jacob Hayes crashed hard while leading the first moto at Round 4, which ended his day, but should be good to go this weekend. Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing’s Dylan Wright is coming off his best finish of 2017, where he finally made an appearance on the podium in what otherwise has been a tough season with his new team. Wright will be racing on his team’s home track this weekend where he has also done well, including finishing second there last year.

Nut Up Industries Kawasaki’s Ryan Surratt has been the best starter in the MX2 class this season.

The first four rounds of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan have taken place under good weather conditions, and the forecast for Gopher Dunes this Sunday looks like the trend will continue. If you haven’t already purchased your tickets you can buy them online easily at www.mxnationals.ca/tickets. If you are in another part of the country and are unable to attend the race, you can see all the action live by downloading the free Conx2share app or logging on to www.conx2share.com and live stream every moto on either your mobile phone or computer.

MX1 Point Standings 2017 after 4 Rounds

1. Christophe Pourcel (Hus) 212
1. Matt Goerke (Yam) 212
3. Dillan Epstein (Kaw) 190
4. Colton Facciotti (Hon) 185
5. Tyler Medaglia (Hon) 180
6. Mike Alessi (Kaw) 174
7. Kyle Chisholm (Hon) 153
8. Cade Clason (KTM) 137
9. Tim Tremblay (Yam) 121
10. Keylan Meston (Yam) 109

MX2 Point Standings 2017 after 4 Rounds

1. Cole Thompson (KTM) 224
2. Josh Osby (KTM) 191
3. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam) 182
4. Ryan Surratt (Kaw) 169
5. Jess Pettis (Yam) 148
6. Dylan Wright (Hon) 143
7. Jacob Hayes (Kaw) 134
8. Hayden Halstead (Yam) 125
9. Christopher Fortier (Yam) 123
10. Casey Keast (Yam) 122

Links and social media:

Web: www.mxnationals.ca
Event info: www.mxnationals.ca/event-info/
Tickets: www.mxnationals.ca/tickets/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CMRCMX
Twitter: @CMRCRacing
Instagram: @cmrcmx
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/cmrcracing
Live Streaming: www.conx2share.com Twitter – @Conx2share

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