Round two of the Rockstar Energy Canadian Motocross Nationals took place this week in Kamloops, British Columbia, about 3 and a half hours northeast of Vancouver. Nestled in the semi-arrid desert lands of the interior of BC, the track lacks any elevation changes but gets plenty rough.
Coming into the second round, the focus was on the MX1 leading pair of Mike Alessi and Colton Facciotti, who were tied for the points lead and both sporting the red plate. For Facciotti, he had suffered serious injuries in each of his last two trips to Kamloops so he had a monkey to get off his back while Alessi would be seeing the Whispering Pines facility for the first time. Facciotti would end up taking both moto wins but not without some serious controversy in moto one.
In MX2, KTM Canada's Kaven Benoit was coming off a clean sweep at the opening round in Nanaimo but he had no shortage of competition to contend with at Kamloops. He would end up leaving the race still sporting the red plate but didn't log a moto win as Motoconcepts' Vince Friese rode to a double moto win and his first overall victory in Canada.
Here's a mainly American rider look at what went down at Kamloops...
Kamloops lies in one of the driest parts of Canada so they were putting the water down heavy on Sunday morning in an effort to stay on top of the dust.
The Chiz surveys the Whispering Pines track.
With split moto scores last weekend, Kamloops saw both Mike Alessi and Colton Facciotti sporting the red, points leader plates.
Former Yamaha of Troy and Factory Yamaha engine man, Luc"Frenchie" Caouette (R) is a big part of the Championship winning Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki program. Jarrod Johnsgaard(L) also put in his time in the US as a member of the Butler Brothers team.
Come on, it's Canada
Words of motivation for the MX2 champ
Vince Friese was much better this weekend than at the opener. He grabbed both hole shots in MX2 and led every lap enroute to the overall win.
Kaven Benoit(behind Friese) was the only rider to challenge Friese but crashes in both motos left him well behind.
New York's Seth Rarick grabbed good starts in both motos but admittedly struggled on the Kamloops track and finished 11th overall.
Texas' Kyle Swanson finished 8th overall.
Austin Politelli's day didn't get off to the best start when a rock got jammed in his brake in moto one, forcing him into the pits to clear it. He did rebound in moto two, grabbing second place.
Minnesota's Jesse Wentland scored another moto podium finish when he grabbed third in moto one. A bad moto in moto two left him in 19th though.
Dylan Schmoke finished 9th overall in MX2.
Josh Clark's rough start to 2014 continued at Kamloops. The 2013 series runner-up ended the day with 22-11 finishes.
Topher Ingalls admittedly struggled on the two-stroke last weekend on the hard packed, Nanaimo track and looked to put it to better use at his team's hometown race. He finished 4th overall in MX2.
Jeremy Medaglia showed that an extra week of testing on his Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki was just what he needed as he grabbed the final spot on the MX2 podium with 2-5 moto finishes.
MX1 kicked off with Bobby Kiniry muscling his way to the holeshot.
Mike Alessi grabbed the early lead on lap one with Kiniry and Colton Facciotti in close pursuit. This is where things got weird.
Immediately after the last shot, Alessi blew the berm and went off the track. Instead of getting back on the track, he cut off a section of track and waited for Kiniry and Facciotti to come around, jumping back out in front of them as they approached. After taking the moto win, Alessi was docked 5 positions.
Kyle Chisholm had a solid second moto with a fifth. His 8-5 moto scores gave him 7th overall on the day.
Idaho's Morgan Burger finished 9th overall.
Josh Hill continued to show that he's rounding into outdoor form as he put in an impressive run in moto one to catch Mike Alessi for the lead before reportedly suffering from fuel boiling. In moto he finished 3rd to give him his second straight podium.
Another Idaho rider, Austin Kouba, finished 12th in MX1.
Colton Facciotti and Josh Hill share a laugh about the Alessi track cut after the moto.
Head referee, Paul Kingsley, points where Alessi cut the track while Tony breaks out the rulebook.
The Newf comeback tour 2014 rolled along in Kamloops as Ryan Lockhart grabbed 11th overall.
Alessi grabs the holeshot in moto two.
With Alessi leading the race, Facciotti slowly closed the gap.
Bobby Kiniry finished 5th overall
Right behind Kiniry was Teddy Maier with a sixth place finish.
After making the pass on Alessi, Facciotti stretched out his lead to take the moto two win by 25 seconds and sole position of the red plate as the series moves on to Calgary.