Aug 13, 2013
Another national championship season – one of the most action packed in years – is drawing to a close with the traditional final round at Walton Raceway in Walton, ON.
Walton, a sleepy farming village in the verdant countryside of Southwestern Ontario, has been on the CMRC Nationals schedule since 1992. Coupled with the four-day TransCan Grand National Championships, the Walton Pro National has become the biggest and most prestigious motocross event in the country.
It’s not for nothing that Walton, officially designated as a “hamlet”, has received the distinction of being given the moniker “Motocross Town”, which is proudly displayed on the signposts greeting residents and visitors alike. During TransCan week, Walton’s population of 100 or so residents, swells by anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000, which is an economical boon to the entire region.
While every event on the national schedule makes the Monster Energy Motocross Nationals the great series it is, Walton has more than earned its reputation as the crown jewel of Canadian motocross.
With Walton being the final showdown of the season, the series champions have in many cases already been determined. Not that that lowers the importance of winning the event. In fact, the new champ wants nothing more than to close the season with a Walton victory, because Walton is more than just another race.
Walton is to Canadian motocross what Wimbledon is to tennis; the Super Bowl to football; and Indianapolis to auto racing. Winning Walton is about bragging rights. It is a national every serious contender wants to add to his career highlights, because somehow without it the list is incomplete.
This year, Monster Energy/Parts Canada/Leading Edge Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalfe comes to Walton as the 2013 MX1 Champion. Thanks to an insurmountable points lead, the Australian wrapped up the title at Riverglade MX Park in Moncton, NB on August 4th.
With five overalls wins, three of them clean sweeps, Metcalfe, who made his debut in the nationals this year, not only made his mark in Canada as a super talent, he kept the MX1 Championship title in the Leading Edge camp for another year.
Although the No.1 plate has already been reserved for Metcalfe, some hot and heavy racing for a place in the top-10 club will be the order of the day. Team Rockstar Energy/OTSFF/Yamaha/Motovan.com’s Bobby Kiniry, who sits second in the points standings, should be good to repeat as runner-up in the series unless he is the victim of a DNF.
But don’t tell that to MX101 Yamaha’s Jeremy Medaglia and Red Bull/Fox/Royal Distributing/KTM’s Tyler Medaglia. Both will be on the throttle to displace Kiniry as the No.2 plate holder. The brothers are currently neck-in-neck, holding down third and fourth respectively in the points. J. Medaglia trails Kiniry by 33 points, T. Medaglia by 34. Both have a mathematical chance to pull it off, but will really need Lady Luck on their side to make it happen. One thing is certain, the Medaglia brothers will be racing not just Kiniry, but each other as they vie to finish top Canadian in the series.
Metcalfe’s Leading Edge teammate, Teddy Maier, who trails T. Medaglia by 14 points, can still dream of finishing third or fourth in the series, but one thing is a given, if he doesn’t cut the mustard he will seal the top-five. The Iowa native enjoys a solid 52 points margin over Redemption Racing KTM’s Gavin Gracyk.
For his part, Gracyk will need to stay sharp if he wants to grab the No.6 plate, as he has Sewer Rat Racing Yamaha’s Morgan Burger trailing him by a scant 13 points. Spectra Power Sports Yamaha’s Brock Hoyer, trailing Burger by just four points, should also be considered a candidate for the No.6 plate, not to mention at least blow by Burger to grab the No.7 plate.
Bringing up the rear of the top-10 look for Red Bull/Fox/Royal Distributing/KTM’s Cole Thompson to take on Cycle North Honda’s Ross Johnson for the No.9 plate. Johnson will have to move heaven and earth to keep Thompson, trailing by six points, to hold on to the remaining single digit plate.
In the MX2 title hunt, Monster Energy/Parts Canada/Leading Edge Kawasaki’s Austin Politelli looks to be well on his way to claiming the crown. Politelli is going into the final round with a 22 points lead over second in the standings, Devil Lake MX Kawasaki’s Joshua Clark. If Politelli prevails he will claim his first Canadian MX title, and also secure the MX2 No.1 plate for Leading Edge for another year.
Although anything is still possible, only a worst-case scenario will see anybody but Politelli leave Walton as the new MX2 Champion. One thing is certain, both Politelli and Clark, the only other contender with a viable mathematical chance to become champion, will be pulling out all the stops to make history at Walton.
Performance Honda’s Topher Ingalls and Cycle North Honda’s Brad Nauditt are in a battle to settle who will be the No.3 ranked MX2 rider, when all is said and done. Ingalls sits 11 points ahead of Nauditt in the standings, a margin that can be bridged in just one moto. Either way the No.4 ranking will go to Nauditt if he fails to bypass Ingalls, as he carries a 38 points lead over Blake Savage, currently holding down fifth in the standings.
The quest to cement the top-five will be between Troy Lee Designs Honda’s Savage and BlackfootDirect.com’s Yamaha’s Jared Allison; only three points separate the two. Kyle Swanson, sitting seventh in the standings, trails Savage by 16 points, which means Swanson has every reason to pour on the gas to see where he ends up.
In any case, Swanson has a good chance to claim the No.7 ranking, as all he has to do is keep Rockstar Energy/OTSFF/Yamaha/Motovan.com’s Richard Grey and Leading Edge’s Tyler Villopoto at bay. Grey, for his part, will have his hands full with Villopoto, who sits in ninth, three points down from Grey.
Red Bull/Fox/Royal Distributing/KTM’s Kaven Benoit, sidelined with injuries since Round 5, should find himself pushed out of 10th in the standings by Troy Lee Designs Honda’s Nathan Bless, who trails Benoit by just two points.
Points Standings After 8 of 9 Rounds
1. Brett Metcalfe (Kaw) 365 pts
2. Bobby Kiniry (Yam) 289
3. Jeremy Medaglia (Yam) 256
4. Tyler Medaglia (KTM) 255
5. Teddy Maier (Kaw) 241
6. Gavin Gracyk (KTM) 189
7. Morgan Burger (Yam) 176
8. Brock Hoyer (Kaw) 172
9. Ross Johnson (Hon) 129
10. Cole Thompson (KTM) 123
1. Austin Politelli (Kaw) 312pts
2. Joshua Clark (Kaw) 290
3. Topher Ingalls (Hon) 247
4. Brad Nauditt (Hon) 236
5. Blake Savage (Hon) 198
6. Jared Allison (Yam) 195
7. Kyle Swanson (Hon) 182
8. Richard Grey (Yam) 159
9. Tyler Villopoto (Kaw) 156
10. Kaven Benoit (KTM) 154
Past Champions at Walton
2001 Darcy Lange
2002 Blair Morgan
2003 Jean Sebastien Roy
2004 Jean Sebastien Roy
2005 Gavin Gracyk
2006 Dusty Klatt
2007 Paul Carpenter
2008 Colton Facciotti
2009 Colton Facciotti
2010 Bobby Kiniry
2011 Colton Facciotti
2012 Matt Goerke
2001 Simon Homans
2002 Gavin Gracyk
2003 Derrick Fisher
2004 Justin Keeney
2005 Michael Willard
2006 Michael Willard
2007 Tucker Hibbert
2008 Jeremy Medaglia
2009 Kerim Fitz-Gerald
2010 Shawn Rife
2011 Tyler Medaglia
2012 Teddy Maier