Chambly, QC – Just like that, the 15 round Triple Crown Series has come to an end. Racing 15 rounds over seven months is not an easy task. Riders competing in the series must bring forth an incredible amount of endurance and consistency. Small mistakes and injuries can cost riders valuable points. Although the KTM Red Bull Thor Factory Race Team had some ups and downs throughout the season, KTM Canada is proud of the performances from all three riders.
450 rider Cole Thompson started the season strong by clinching the Triple Crown AX Championship, the series consisted of four rounds finishing in Barrie, ON. Thompson fans were hoping he would carry this momentum into the outdoor series and collect enough points to defend his Triple Crown Championship. Unfortunately, the 450 pilot battled with a few injuries and setbacks throughout the outdoor season which resulted in a fourth place finish in the series. Things improved again for Thompson when the racing went back indoors for the SX series, the final part of the Triple Crown Championship. Thompson was running second in the series but unfortunately got caught in some lapper traffic and fell a few points short of winning the championship. Thompson fought hard to defend his 2018 Triple Crown Championship. He remained positive and demonstrated heart and determination continuously. KTM Canada is happy to have this talented racer representing the team and is excited to see him continue his fight to the top of the podium in 2020.
In the 250 class, the KTM Red Bull Thor Factory Team has two exceptional riders, Tanner Ward and Jess Pettis. Both riders decided to opt out of the Triple Crown AX series to focus their energy on MX and SX. Pettis came into the MX series with an injury he sustained during the off season. It was not how he would have liked to start his season, but he fought hard and gave his all as he attempted to defend his 2018 MX and SX championships. Pettis landed himself on the podium at almost every round of the MX series, and even took a win at round seven in Deschambault, QC. The KTM pilot finished the MX series in second place. Pettis was excited to finish the season indoors as it is his favourite type of racing. He is known for his exceptional performances in AMA Supercross. Unfortunately, after having the fastest qualifying time in Montreal, the first round of the Triple Crown SX Series, Pettis slid out in the first turn of the main event and tore his ACL. Pettis is an extremely talented rider and KTM Canada is thrilled to have him on board. The team looks forward to seeing more of Jess on top of the podium in 2020 after he recovers from his knee surgery.
250 racer Tanner Ward had a very consistent season. The young rider finished inside the top 10 at every round he attended. His best finish of the season was a second place at round 3 in Sarnia. It is very difficult to remain as consistent as Tanner has at the 15 rounds over 7 months of racing. He stayed smart, rode hard and demonstrated incredible determination throughout the season. On behalf of everyone at KTM Canada, we would like to congratulate Tanner on his successful season.
Jean-Sebastien Roy – KTM Red Bull Thor Factory Team Manager: “With Hamilton being the last race of the season, you always hope to end things off on a positive note and close the curtain with a win. Cole was on fire again and was the fastest on the track during qualifying but some bad luck with a lapper in the main cost him the win. Unfortunately, these things happen, they are frustrating but real. Overall we are satisfied with how the season went with Jess Pettis finishing second in the MX Championship and with many podium finishes from Cole. Of course, Jess’s knee injury in Montreal wasn’t what we needed but this is how our sport is sometimes… challenging! The whole team will take some time off over the next two months to regroup and prepare for 2020.”
Cole Thompson – KTM Red Bull Thor Factory 450 Rider: “The last round of the SX series didn’t go as planned. I was leading the race and got taken down by a lapper. I did everything I could to try and get back out front. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough with the lap times being only 30 seconds. We still managed to finish on the podium. I’m going to take this and use it as motivation for 2020. Overall, 2019 was filled with ups and downs for me. I won the AX championship again and came out swinging for the first round of outdoors. After Calgary, I, unfortunately, fell into some bad luck and injuries. I didn’t let it hold me back and I never gave up or quit fighting and finished out 2019 with multiple podiums. I’m looking forward to a successful 2020. Thank you to my team for sticking behind me.”
Tanner Ward – KTM Red Bull Thor Factory 250 Rider: “It was not quite the way I wanted to finish off the year, placing 6th place overall in Hamilton. I was battling for a podium spot for most of the race but unfortunately got together with another rider and went down. I am thankful to the entire KTM Red Bull Thor Racing Team for everything they’ve done for me!”
Jess Pettis – KTM Red Bull Thor Factory 250 Rider: “My 2019 season had some ups and downs. It was a difficult start coming into the series with an arm injury, but I was able to push through the injury and make steady improvements all season. I was consistently on the podium each weekend and ended the outdoor championship in second place, just short of the title. Unfortunately, I had a small tip over at Montreal Supercross, where I tore my ACL which ended my 2019 season. This injury will motivate me, and make me hungrier than ever for 2020. I am beyond excited to be back with KTM Canada and excited to have a great year.”
450 Class Triple Crown Results
Phil Nicoletti, Yamaha – 558 Points
Cole Thompson, KTM – 529 Points
Cade Clason, Kawasaki – 426 Points
Matt Goerke, Kawasaki – 410 Points
Colton Facciotti, Honda – 396 Points
450 Class SX Series Results
Phil Nicoletti, Yamaha – 77 Points
Matt Goerke, Kawasaki – 73 Points
Cole Thompson, KTM – 73 Points
Cade Clason, Kawasaki – 69 Points
Josh Cartwright, Kawasaki – 59 Points
250 Class Triple Crown Results
Dylan Wright, Honda – 603 Points
Tyler Medaglia, Kawasaki – 490 Points
Luke Renzland, Yamaha – 466 Points
Tanner Ward, KTM – 420 Points
Marco Cannella, Yamaha – 414 Points
250 Class SX Series Results
Luke Renzland, Yamaha – 79 Points
Dylan Wright, Honda – 77 Points
Logan Karnow, Kawasaki – 67 Points
Mathias Jorgenson, Kawasaki – 61 Points
Tanner Ward, KTM – 60 Points
The 2019 race season would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. We would like to thank the following sponsors for their continued support: Red Bull Canada, THOR, Parts Canada, WP, Motorex, FMF, Dunlop, Alpinestars, DID DirtStar, Renthal, Acerbis, Twin Air, Works Connection, CL Brakes, ETS Race Fuel, Hinson Racing, Kite Hubs, Matrix Racing Products, M7 Designs, Mechanix Wear, Moto-Master, Oakley, Selle Dalla Valle, TM Designworks, Karcher, Xtrig, and Raptor Titanium Pegs and Heavy Metal Equipment.
Photos provided by: James Lissimore