Photos and Captions by James Lissimore
We were back this weekend for another double header round of the Jetwerx MX Tour Canadian MX Nationals. With the race taking place at one of the world’s toughest sand tracks – Gopher Dunes, the decision was made to have Saturday’s race only a single moto “main event.” The idea of having the racers race back to back days of a full schedule was too much but with the Covid schedule of 2021, they still needed to fit two rounds in.
Saturday featured nice cool temperatures and perfect conditions but Sunday featured rain all day. Combined with the decision to only groom the jump faces after Saturday’s action and Sunday was a war of attrition. Here’s a look at what happened…
So smooth right now. It won’t stay this way for long.
Bring on the scoops.
It doesn’t take long till you’re staring at this as you approach the jump face.
After Saturday’s perfect conditions, Sunday kicked off like this. It didn’t let up all day.
Tanner Ward(84) and Jacob Piccolo(30) battle for position.
Darian Sanayei was in the podium battles all weekend. He finished 4th on Saturday’s race and 4-2 for 3rd overall on Sunday.
15 year old Canadian MX phenom, Ryder McNabb, was untouchable on Saturday as he took his second moto win of the series and since it was a single moto race, his first ever overall win. He briefly held the 250 points lead as well, racing on Sunday with the red plate, where he went 2-6 for 5th overall.
Coming out of the opening weekend with the red plate, Tanner Ward was consistent, with three straight 3rd place finishes. He ended up with the unfortunate 3-3 for 4th overall on Sunday but moved back into a tie for the 250 points lead after briefly surrendering his red plate to his teammate, McNabb, on Saturday.
The future of Canadian moto, McNabb(18) and Piccolo(30) battle in Sunday’s opening moto.
After a rough start to his season and a DNF on Saturday, Marco Cannella broke through to take his first ever pro moto win with the victory in Sunday’s moto 1. He would finish the day tied for the overall and second overall.
30 minutes of getting sand blasted with wet sand is tough on the eyes.
Like McNabb, he’s long been touted as the next big thing in Canadian moto, but Jacob Piccolo looks to be starting to live up to the hype this season. After taking his first moto win last weekend, he rocketed out to a 50 second lead in the rough, final 250 moto to take his first National victory and moved into a tie with Ward for the series lead.
Piccolo shares his win with his team manager, multi-time Canadian Champ, Al Dyck.
The KTM duo of Jess Pettis(15) and Cole Thompson(16) have been 1-2 on almost every start this season, so far.
Pettis started Saturday with the red plate but his third place finish allowed Dylan Wright to narrowly reclaim it for Sunday’s race.
It was a frustrating weekend for Cole Thompson, who couldn’t match the pace of the podium riders. He finished 4th on Saturday and 5th on Sunday.
Wright followed Marshal Weltin around for half the moto on Saturday and ate a lot of sand but couldn’t make a pass.
Weltin took the win and his first 450 victory.
Sunday’s opening moto didn’t start off well for Wright as he found himself on the ground off the start.
Wright put on a clinic in moto one, remounting and blitzing through the pack, all the way to second by the checkered flag. Here he looks over at Shawn Maffenbeier as he makes the pass for 3rd as the 2 lap board comes out.
Any questions as to how Jess Pettis would fare on a 450 have been thoroughly erased at this point as he took another moto victory on Sunday and sits only 1 point behind Wright as the series moves on to Sand Del Lee next weekend.
Despite a crash while leading, Wright came back to take a convincing win in moto two and the overall win.
Weltin proved fast in the sand as he was in the mix all weekend. After taking the win on Saturday, he went down on the last lap of moto one when Wright made an aggressive pass for second, dropping him to 4th. He finished 3rd in moto two to round out the podium, in 3rd place.
Pretty sure this kid is legal age…
The Hot Dog vendor cheers on his rider, Keylan Meston, in moto two.
Tim Tremblay looks for his fuel cap in moto two. Somehow he would remount and still have enough fuel to finish.
Liam O’Farrell is always a lock to Top 10 at Gopher Dunes. The South African rode to a pair of 8th overall finishes for the weekend.
Shawn Maffenbeier was admittedly off the pace at the opening weekend but looked much better at Gopher Dunes. He grabbed his first moto podium of the season with a third in Sunday’s opening moto, and 4th overall.
Tyler Medaglia experiences the joys of riding goggle-less in the raining sand. The Gas Gas rider finished 6th both days.
After riding the roughest track of his career, Jess Pettis grabs the essentials.