Season opener at Gopher Dunes a success
This first round of the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown series had been long awaited due to Covid-19. To finally have the rigs move in and see the series and event come together was an awesome moment for Canadian motocross. Everyone knows that Gopher Dunes is one of the roughest tracks on the schedule and usually experiences some of the hottest temperatures and humidity of the year. This year Gopher Dunes had no plans to change that trend. Temperatures on Saturday and Sunday were well over 30°c plus Humidity making the conditions some of the toughest at a season opener.
The practice on Saturday morning was charged with anticipation due to the delays and uncertainty of the Motocross race season. It was a relief to finally get the wheels on the track. Practice and qualifying went as it should. The riders were feeling comfortable and minimum bike adjustments had been made between practice and qualifying.
When the checkers flew on the qualifier, it was Phil Nicoletti in P2, Shawn Maffenbeier P4 and Sam Gaynor in P8.
The start of Moto 1 saw Nicoletti and Gaynor both inside the top 6. Maffenbeier was left picking up his bike when the pack cleared the first corner. He would remount and put on a hard charge for 35 minutes to cross the finish line in 6th just behind his teammate Gaynor. Running in 2nd position, Nicoletti would slide out in a corner about 4 laps in which dropped him to 5th. He would quickly remount and charge his was back up to 3rd with an exciting last lap and last corner pass on Goerke. Gaynor would ride a solid race crossing the finish line in 5th for a career best moto finish.
After a quick optional warm up practice the day was set to be hotter and rougher than day one.
Moto 2 would see all 3 racers round the big sweeping turn 1 in top 6 of the pack. Nicoletti would take the holeshot. A hard charging Wright would get past Nicoletti after the first lap. Nicoletti would cross the line in 2nd without any challengers from behind.
Maffenbeier and Gaynor would click laps away and close in on the guys in front of them but would run out of time at the checkers and finish 5th and 6th respectively. Not much battling for positions was seen in this second Moto.
Heading into the final Moto 3 with the temperatures well over 30°c and the track quite possibly rougher than any Gopher national in history, the stage was set for a tough race. When the last gate dropped Gaynor grabbed the holeshot, Nicoletti was in 3rd and was in 5th. Wright would make the pass on Gaynor within the second lap and teammate Nicoletti would get by and work on setting pace with Wright. Nicoletti would finish a solid 2nd place. Maffenbeier would later get by Gaynor and finish 4th. Gaynor would finish out moto 3 in 6th position. Gaynor would gain valuable race craft and experience running with the lead pack.
Team Manager Steve Simms
It was a great day for the team. Everyone worked amazing together and that made for a fun and successful weekend. We are all looking forward to the next round at Walton Aug 8/9th.
Gopher Dunes this past weekend was insane hot and gnarly! I achieved my goals for the weekend and I can’t wait to keep building off of my 6th place overall at gophers for the rest of the season! Thank you to my whole team for their continued support every race.
Phil Nicoletti: 3-2-2 for 2nd overall.
Shawn Maffenbeier: 6-5-4 for 5th overall.
Sam Gaynor: 5-6-6 for 6th overall.
1st – #9 DYLAN WRIGHT – 75
2nd – #54 PHIL NICOLETTI – 64 (-11)
3rd – #2 MATT GOERKE – 58 (-17)
4th – #5 TYLER MEDAGLIA – 56 (-19)
5th – #3 SHAWN MAFFENBEIER – 49 (-26)
6th – #28 SAM GAYNOR – 46 (-29)
7th – #64 LIAM O’FARRELL – 41 (-34)
8th – #26 JOSH CARTWRIGHT – 36 (-39)
9th – #10 KEYLAN MESTON – 35 (-40)
9th – #50 BOBBY PIAZZA – 35 (-40)
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