Photos and Captions by James Lissimore
After two summers of essentially only racing in Ontario, due to the pandemic, 2022 marks a return to racing across all of Canada, and we kicked off the new season of the Jetwerx Triple Crown Canadian MX Tour in the mountains of British Columbia, at the Whispering Pines MX track, near Kamloops. Not only were we back racing on the West Coast, it also marked the first time we were back in Kamloops, at the popular Whispering Pines track, since Jetwerx took over the running of the National series in 2018.
Here’s a look at what went down at the season opener…
After a 5 year hiatus, the Canadian series returned to the Whispering Pines track, in British Columbia.
As a British Columbia native, it was nice to be back among the mountains and pine trees, after two seasons of exclusively racing out East.
Kamloops is located in an arid climate, but that didn’t stop the rain from coming down on Friday and again drizzling on Sunday morning.
With all the rain at a usually dry track, we were treated to a lot of ruts that we usually don’t see in Kamloops.
6-time Canadian MX Champ, Colton Facciotti, is at the races, as the suspension tech for SSS suspension.
Not a lot of seat time for Jess Pettis coming into the opening round, as he had surgery for a broken wrist and only starting riding again two weeks before the race.
The Champs bike, ready to go to battle.
Evgeny Bobryshev was slated to ride for the TLD GasGas SSR team, but obviously with everything currently happening in Ukraine, that turned into a political minefield and Jetwerx made the decision to not let him ride. The team is hoping that may change in the future.
A Kyle Beaton/Donk superteam reunion.
The Newf may not be directly guiding Ryder McNabb to greatness this summer, but he’s still doing his part to help out on the track.
Full gates and mountains. It’s great to see Canadian moto back to full strength.
Defending 250 champion, Jacob Piccolo, nails the start to kick off the new season.
The Kawasaki Thor team doesn’t have a pro rider in the 250 class this season but they do have Dylan Rempel racing it as an Intermediate( yes, it’s Canada, you can do that). The Ontario native went 7-7 for 8th overall.
Sebastien Racine made his move from the Orange Brigade program to full-fledged member of the KTM Canada Red Bull Thor team this season and started things off well, nabbing a third place finish in moto one and joining his teammate, Piccolo, on the podium. A tip over in moto two left him with 9th in the moto and 6th overall.
Considered one of the contenders coming into the season, Marco Cannella had a bit of an off day at Kamloops. 4-6 for 5th overall.
Local BC native, Tyler Gibbs, was strong in his debut for the TLD GasGas SSR team, running in podium position in both motos before finishing the day in 4th overall, with 5-4 finishes.
A controversial hire for the GasGas CMS Callus team, Mitchell Harrison rounded out the 250 podium with 6-2 finishes, for 3rd overall. There’s a rule in Canadian MX that you can’t race the 250 class if you’ve finished in the Top 10 in the AMA National series before. Also, it’s Canada, so the rule book is more of a guideline than actual rules.
The defending 250 Champ, Jaccob Piccolo, made it look easy in the first moto, grabbing the hole shot and riding to the opening moto win. The second moto didn’t go as well as he fell in the second corner and had to remount in last and work his way to third, for second overall. Still, a pretty good day for the champ.
Ryder McNabb’s day summed up a lot of how this year’s 250 title could go. In the first moto, he got a bad start and had to come through the pack, eventually working his way to second. In the second moto, he grabbed a good start and rode away to a commanding moto win, and the overall. With both of the top two contenders having one good start and one bad, we’ve yet to see them go toe to toe but it should be good when it happens.
250 Podium: Ryder McNabb 1st, Jacob Piccolo 2nd, Mitchell Harrison 3rd.
With Sam Gaynor injured and Bobryshev stuck in political limbo, GasGas tapped Michigan native, Chris Blackmer, to fill in and he grabbed the hole shot in 450 moto two. He finished just off the podium with 5-4 finishes, for 4th overall.
Davey Fraser’s moto was over by the first turn in moto one. He came back to get 9th in moto two.
Tyler Medaglia(5), Dylan Wright(1) and Jess Pettis(15) occupy some crowded airspace early in moto one.
BC local, Daniel Elmore, had an impressive 450 debut, cracking the Top 5 with 9-5 finishes for 5th overall.
Tanner Ward made the switch to the 450 class with the Kawasaki Thor team for 2022 but an engine failure in moto two wasn’t what he was hoping for in his first race on the big bike.
There were some question marks as to the health of 2-time defending champion, Dylan Wright, coming into the season, but the GDR Honda rider put them to rest by riding away to both moto wins.
When Justin Rodbell backed out of racing for the PRMX team in Canada this summer, they brought up Mexican rider, Felix Lopez instead. He finished 7th in moto one, before a crash knocked him back to 20th in moto two.
Jess Pettis’ lack of riding time showed, but he still managed to be consistent, finishing on the podium with 4-3 moto scores for third overall.
It was an up and down day for Shawn Maffenbeier. The MX101 Yamaha rider lives in Kamloops now and was excited to race his home track, having an intense battle with Tyler Medaglia for second in moto one, eventually finishing third. Then, on the second lap of moto two, he went down and dislocated his shoulder. He’s hoping to be back for round two but hardly the way you want to start your season.
Tyler Medaglia put in an impressive showing at Kamloops, leading both motos and making Wright work hard to get by him. The 2-time 250 champ finished the day with a pair of seconds, for 2nd overall. Also, look how deep that rut is? Not something you normally see in Kamloops.
Clean sweep for Dylan Wright and his title defence is off to a great start.
Digger’s team keeps rolling along.
450 Podium: Dylan Wright 1st, Tyler Medaglia 2nd, Jess Pettis 3rd.
The Hot Dog Vendor was all smiles. Clearly taken before Maff’s crash.
Like Honda in the US at Pala, the GDR Honda team swept both classes to take the first wins of 2022.