If you’re not crossing the border for Toronto SX… well that’s just silly eh!
If you’re not crossing the border for Toronto SX… well that’s just silly eh!
Photo’s by: James Lissimore
How amazing is this 450 season? We all knew it had amazing potential but seldom does that pre-season potential pan out into a check that gets cashed. Shortly before A1 Jake Weimer hamburgered his arm, then it was Byrner dislocating his wrist in Bercy, the pre-season injuries appeared to be sabotaging our dream season as fans. Luckily for us, that was pretty much the end of the injuries and ever since A1 we have been treated to that dream season we hoped for and cautiously expected.
I was going to skip Toronto because once again I forgot to get my enhanced license for driving into Canada from Michigan. I didn’t feel like driving to the border and running the risk again of not crossing into or out of Canada. By wednesday I came to my senses and just knew Toronto was going to be another weekend of game changing action and decided I must go.
I love how every time I plan to cross the border with a standard drivers license and my birth certificate I have at least 5 people tell me they “guarantee” I will be denied. Well, Im 6-0 with that paperwork and only one time was I detained for about 35 minutes(but still allowed in).
The track was certainly not using all the floor space but I talked with Dave Prater about it and he mentioned they were discussing utilizing more floor space in the future with the current obstacle being the lease cost of the dirt storage location. They need to find a cost effective larger area to store more dirt. Imagine a Rogers Centre with a track utilizing all their floor space, those would be some plus 1 minute lap times we all hope for.
I’ll give them credit on the dirt, though it was rocky, it wasn’t spongy like years past and the track held up with minimal rutting compared to typical Toronto. All in all, I thought this was the best Toronto track I’ve seen in terms of dirt quality and the track holding together.
Very glad to see Dean-O Bambino re-centering his focus and looking like the Dean of old. Not sure where he went for those few weeks following his win but he’s turned it around and he still has a realistic shot at the title if Barcia runs into any of that luck that Baggett has found the last three weeks. Strange, both Wilson and Baggett found themselves in three race ruts following their first wins. Let’s see how Dean handles Dallas following his second win.
Dean-O has found his way again.
I thought Barcia looked good in his heat race, even in the whoops where he was later gobbled up by Dean. In the main you could see the whoops were really wearing on his wrist though even if he was better in the whoops I think Dean would have got him anyway; he was just on it.
Blake Wharton’s yellow gear looked awesome, even better than Barcia’s because Blake’s back was yellow too, where Barcia’s was black. He looked great in his heat and solid in the main. He definitely got his retaliation on Sipes from Houston when Sipes cleaned him out. Blake is a super awesome kid riding really well but he’s dealing with a shoulder injury now and that has him considering missing some races to get surgery and prepared for the outdoors. I don’t get all the talk about him underachieving, he’s solid and a great personality for the sport.
PJ Larson rode a solid though quiet race to finish 4th. PJ has great style and is very fast but like Gannon Audette, Malcolm Stewart and Matt Lemoine finds himself on the ground too often. Curb those crashes guys.
Ryan Sipes, in my opinion, had Toronto on lock and would have decimated the field if Wharton hadn’t targeted and annihilated him on lap two of the main. Ryan started a half lap behind 19th place and worked his way to fifth!?? I don’t know where Sipes has found that next level speed this season but it’s encouraging for all racers to see him consistently be atop the qualifying board each week. If he can find it, there’s no reason any other racer can’t put in the work and find it as well. Following the main Sipes made a B-line for the podium, where he was going to no doubt congratulate Wharton on his finish, but a Geico team member reasoned with him and Sipes agreed it would be better to just shrug it off. Good guy that Sipes.
From last and a half to 5th.
Blake Baggett had himself a holeshot, unfortunately he didn’t shut off in time and turned it into the antithesis of a holeshot.
Matt Lemoine looked great all day, well until his two falls in the main. He was working his way through the field and just when he got into 5th at about lap 7 he went down at the exit of the whoops. This was right in front of the pack of about 5 riders he had just worked through. Matt has to find a way to stay off the ground, he’s got the speed, unfortunately he’s got the “crashies” this season too.
Look for an interview with Matt later this week on Pulp, Im going to try to get him a karma-shift heading into his home race.
Mookie clipped the triple marker on lap three of the main which resulted in a DIRTY triple case. He was wrecked, hope to see him in Dallas but I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t line up.
Finally! No, not finally Dungey got his win. Finally Matthes is done carrying around that broken disc-man stuck on repeat about how Dungey hasn’t got it done against the top 4 in a main event. One thing is certain, Tits Legendary is going to be an rare form on the PulpMX Show this evening. Will he be cocky? Happy? Smoking a cigarette in the corner with sunglasses on? We’ll see…
Watching Dungey in Toronto it was more clear than ever, he absolutely does not feel pressure. He just pounds lap after lap, concentrating on himself and the track. In his heat he looked like he didn’t even realize Trey was around him until he was getting squeezed off on the face of the finish line jump. In the main when Reed would pull close, Dungey wouldn’t alter his lines or flinch one iota. The only time you see The Dungenator show any sign of other riders being on the track, its when he comes upon lapper’s and then he may switch a line up if need be. Dungey is a case-study in “racing forward” Very much the Jekyll to Mike Alessi’s Hyde. To be honest, I was pulling for Dungey to get that win, admittedly mostly because I couldn’t handle another spouting of the MDD(“Matthes Dungey Disclaimer”) but also because if Dungey didn’t get at least one win this season I would continue to read the bullshit about Dungey’s 2010 title being hollow. There will always be the idiots who believe in the asterisk but the bottom-line is, that’s racing. Hell yes I’m redundant on that point but until the majority of moto fans embrace that over the asterisk copout, it needs to be repeated.
Izoird pissed off JT, holeshot the main and finished 13th.
Chad Reed does it again. That’s right, how could you be so foolish as to doubt the 22? Those of you who were counting Chad out before the season, or six races in before he had a win; you’ll probably never learn. He gets counted out every year by his detractors, accomplishments discounted, titles under-minded, yet every year(save the anomaly of 2010’s injuries and sickness) Reed finds himself in the title chase and now, once again, with another points lead.
Mr. Consistency, the only rider in the top 4 in points who doesn’t have a DNF. I thought Reedy was going to get Dungey, he drew him in close on 3 occasions and I figured it was only a matter of time but the Dunge ignored his presence and Reed made a few mistakes. Once they got into lapper’s Dungey appeared clear them faster than Reed which was probably more evidence of Reed’s mistakes than the lapper’s since usually lapper’s are more of an issue for the first leader coming through.
The question we hear a lot is how much is Honda helping Reed? Watching Chad’s bike, I think the question should be how much is Reed helping Honda? Reed’s bike looks like it handles better than any other out there right now, certainly better than the Factory Honda’s. It probably has a lot to do with Chad’s experience, having a solid feeling of what he wants the bike to do and knowing how to put it into words. That’s the most controlled, comfortable handling bike I’ve ever seen.
Trey hung right with the 1 and 22 for most of the main but fell slightly off for the last 8 laps, perhaps fatigue or maybe he just realized the bike wasn’t where it needed to be and he knew James was far enough back to where he was going to protect 3rd place points. Solid ride for Trey and it’s nice to see him follow up a win with a podium.
James goes down in turn one and yet again starts another main with the weight of the world on his shoulders. James obviously realizes he needs to make up points in bunches on RV, Chad and Dungey and when he saw RV ahead of him in the whoops, he initiated phase one of “operation rebound”. RV has said he thought Chad’s move on James in Atlanta was dirty, well, how do you think RV feels about James doing the exact same thing to him? If you don’t think James initiated that block pass with the intention to put RV on the ground your’e a flaming idiot. Watch James as he enters the last 1/3 of the whoops, he moves from the middle line to the outside with his sights clearly fixated on RV as his moving corner apex who he leans into with elbows up. It was a gamble that put them both on the ground but James ultimately won out because RV’s throttle got shoved up the bar and was sticking so he had to stop in the mechanics area for a quick fix.
James was no doubt still feeling it from his crash in Jacksonville. He may have been in fourth but he was about a half a lap behind Trey and not making ground at that point in the race.
RV didn’t look like the little ball of hate I expected in Toronto, perhaps he’s still feeling the effects of his heat race in Jacksonville? Call me crazy but maybe James could sense RV wasn’t going to put up a fight should he try a contact-free pass and that lead him to the decision that putting RV down may result in even more points. That’s all conjecture but two things are certain, James needs max points and RV wasn’t his typical aggressive self.
RV’s had a couple rough weekends.
K-Dubs second, successful, transfer was right in front of me and just incredibly ballsy and cool.
Watching Fabian Izoird try to give JT$ a high five about 4 times after the LCQ with JT completely ignoring his presence, even side by side, was very comical. JT was pissed no doubt. JT has race face before the races, you don’t talk to him. Following an LCQ battle like that, with the main starting, you REALLY don’t talk to him.
Nick Wey continues to make his claims of new suspension settings look totally legit. Im calling it now, Nick Wey, Canadian SX Champ Repeat.
Fabian Izoird’s first pump over the finish line, first lap of the main was interesting.
Man am I glad I recognized the writing on the wall and decided to go to Toronto. The results from Toronto made the points race more interesting than they have been in years. Sure the results could have been crazier but I really don’t see them being any more compelling than they sit now.
Some will point to 2006 when RC, JS and CR headed to Vegas, all having a shot at the title. That points spread was far more compelling than the season of racing it represented. I’ll go ahead and say it, Best. Season. Ever.