Photos and Captions by James Lissimore
After finally getting back out west to start the 2022 season, we were back in a familiar home for Round 4, as the series made its way to one of the most iconic stops on the Canadian circuit – Walton Raceway. Though Walton traditionally hosts the final round of the series, during last year’s shortened COVID season, a second round was added and it was back for 2022.
The Lee family wanted to make Walton 1 a unique event, to help it stand apart from it’s series finale sibling, so they turned it into a big Canada Day weekend motorcycle event, with Off-Road racing on Friday, Dirt Track racing Friday night, Amateur racing and FMX demos on Saturday, and finally the National event on Sunday, with a three-moto format instead of the usual two. Here’s a look at what went down at Sunday’s race.
Walton Raceway. One of the longest serving and iconic stops on the Canadian Circuit.
It was Canada Day on Friday so that meant fireworks.
We’ve now got two stops at the Walton track on the Canadian schedule.
Brett Lee is the man behind Walton Raceway, and was a long time cog in the entire Canadian MX series.
The three moto format meant lots of starts. Mitchell Harrison(229) leads the way in the third 250 moto.
Jacob Piccolo ran up front in all three motos, but lost the lead on the last lap of moto one, and then had disaster strike in moto two when he lost his rear brake and could only get 13th. He bounced back to grab another second in the final 250 moto but has now dropped to ten points down in the 250 title chase.
Manluk Rock River Yamaha’s Quinn Amyotte has been one of the biggest surprises in the 250 class so far in 2022 and broke through to hold off Mitchell Harrison in the first 250 moto to grab his first moto podium finish with a third.
Tough way to lose the lead, as Piccolo gets passed by series newcomer, Josiah Natzke, on the last lap of moto one.
MX101 Yamaha’s Marco Cannella was the quickest qualifier but his day didn’t go to plan. He crashed on the start of moto one, having to come back to 7th. A decent 3rd in moto two looked better, but then a big crash on the final lap of the third moto left him with 9th overall on the day.
Another Mexican rider joined the series at Walton. Tre Fierro scored a top 10 in moto two, and 13th overall.
Ryder McNabb still looked to be a tick off of the speed we saw at round one, but a second in moto two and a hard fought, 3 way battle for the lead in the final moto, left him with third overall.
GasGas TLD’s Tyler Gibbs had his best result yet, as he finished just off of the podium in 4th overall.
The third 250 moto was one of the best races of the season. Mitchell Harrison, Ryder McNabb and Jacob Piccolo all stayed within a bike length or two the entire moto, with Harrison holding on to take the moto win, and the red plate going into Gopher Dunes next week.
New Zealand’s Josaiah Natzke made his Canadian debut, with the PRMX team and pulled off the win, with 1-1-4 moto finishes. He should make things interesting as he mixes it up with the title contenders for the rest of the series.
250 Podium – Josaiah Natzke 1st, Mitchell Harrison 2nd, Ryder McNabb 3rd.
If he continues to ride like he did at Walton, this should be a common sight for Natzke.
Tanner Ward gets the jump in the 450 moto.
Michigan’s Chris Blackmer had a consistent day, with 6-6-6 moto finishes. That, or he’s the devil.
Cole Thompson, who left the Red Bull KTM team at the end of last year, made his season debut on a privateer Yamaha. He grabbed a podium spot, with 3rd’s in all three motos. Next weekend, he’s going to ride a 125 in the 250 class at Gopher Dunes.
At this point, it would be more surprising if Dylan Wright were to lose a moto. Three more motos, three more moto wins for the defending champion. This season is shaping up to be one for the history books.
Pennsylvania’s Logan Leitzel was another rider who made their season debut at Walton. The Kawasaki rider grabbed 7th overall.
South African turned Canadian, Liam O’Farrell, is always good for a top 10 when he lines up. He would finish 8th overall.
Rough day for Mexico’s Felix Lopez, who started out strong with a 7th, but a 12th and a 34th would drop him to 17th overall.
Shawn Maffenbeier couldn’t quite find his podium speed, going 5-4-5 for 5th.
Tyler Medaglia keeps trying to keep Wright behind him but he can’t quite make it happen. Still, he’s definitely the best of the “non-Dylan Wright” class. 2nd overall again for the GasGas rider.
Kawasaki’s Tanner Ward actually got the closest anyone has to Wright in a moto so far this season with a solid 2nd in moto two. He would end the day 4-2-4 for 4th.
It’s all high-fives for Dylan Wright. 10 motos, 10 wins so far in 2022.
450 podium – 1st Dylan Wright, 2nd Tyler Medaglia, 3rd Cole Thompson.