Photos and Captions by James Lissimore
Another week, another sand track, as the series moved on from the deep sands of Gopher Dunes, to the slightly less deep sand of Sand Del Lee, near Canada’s capital city of Ottawa. After an unseasonably cool race the week before, the heat was out in full force at Sand Del Lee and the riders were feeling it. There’s something about the Sand Del Lee track that always leads to great racing and this weekend was no exception, with plenty of battles in all the motos. Here’s a look at what went down.
Welcome to Sand Del Lee. Another sand track, but with a harder base than last week’s stop at Gopher Dunes. More like Southwick than Lommel.
With the hottest temps so far in this series, water was going to be critical.
The Hot Dog Vender, Kevin Tyler, is the owner of the Sand Del Lee track and the MX101 Yamaha team, so it was a busy weekend.
Like Southwick, tire choice isn’t totally straight forward at Sand Del Lee. The hard base in spots makes a scoop a little unpredictable in places, but for the most part, everyone runs one because the start is so important.
The 250 class blasts off.
After dominating his first two appearances in the Canadian Nationals, New Zealand’s Josiah Natzke looked to be ready to continue the streak when he grabbed the fastest time in qualifying. But then in the motos, he struggled, ultimately finishing 6-10 for 9th overall. His team manager said after the race that he was struggling with an illness so it will be interesting to see if he can bounce back next week in Moncton.
Jacob Piccolo looked to have a good opportunity to make up points at Sand Del Lee, as Red Plate holder, Mitchell Harrison, was buried in the pack and having to work his way forward but he couldn’t build on a second in moto one when he crashed while leading moto two and ultimately finished 14th. He’s now 20 points back with three rounds remaining.
Another quietly impressive day for Manluk Racing Yamaha’s Quinn Amyotte, who continues to knock on the door of a podium with a pair of 5th place finishes that gave him 4th overall.
A first turn crash left MX101 Yamaha’s Marco Cannella having to work his way through the pack in moto one, as he came back to 9th. A 6th in moto two gave him 8th overall.
It was a tough day at the office for points leader, Mitchell Harrison, as he was caught in the first turn crash in moto one, and came back to 3rd, and then fell again in moto two, forcing him to come from 17th to 2nd and salvaging valuable championship points with 2nd overall.
Heartbrake for Red Bull KTM rookie, Sebastien Racine, who was cruising to his first ever moto win in the second moto when he hit a downed lapper in the final corner and his bike got stuck. He would finally get going to get third, and third overall but no doubt he’ll know he has the speed to win now.
One corner from victory, and then the agony of defeat.
After dominating moto one, GDR Honda’s Ryder McNabb took advantage of Racine’s misfortune to make it a clean sweep on the day with the second moto win. He’s now only one point behind Harrison in the title chase.
250 Podium – 1st Ryder McNabb, 2nd Mitchell Harrison, 3rd Sebastien Racine.
Just like every race this year, Tyler Medaglia continues to crush the starts.
Good ride for Mexico’s Felix Lopez, who cracked the top five with 6-5 moto finishes.
Consistent riding for Tanner Ward, who grabbed a pair of fourths, for fourth overall.
Scary moment for TLD GasGas SSR’s Chris Blackmer, as the Michigan native collided with Dylan Wright in moto two and went down hard, getting knocked out. Luckily, he went to hospital for further evaluation and everything came back negative.
South Africa’s Liam O’Farrell continues his part-time tour of Top 10 finishes with 8-6 scores, for 6th overall.
Pennsylvania’s Logan Leitzel made another trip to Canada, finishing the day with 12-11 scores for 11th overall.
At his team’s hometown race, MX101 Yamaha’s Shawn Maffenbeier had one of his best 450 rides. Going down in the first turn of moto one, Maff regrouped to ride from last all the way to second by the end of the moto. In moto two, he led some laps before ultimately finishing third.
Despite living on the East Coast these days, Tyler Medaglia group up only minutes from the Sand Del Lee track so he’s turned a lot of laps over the years. A big crash in moto one left him regrouping to finish third and then he crashed again in moto two before finishing second, for his sixth straight second overall of the season.
Like Medaglia, Dylan Wright also grew up near the Sand Del Lee track, so ultimately there was no local advantage either way. In the first moto, Wright put in one his most dominant performances yet, winning by 52 seconds. The second moto was more of a challenge, as he got pinched off on the start and had to work his way up from 15th. He would finally get into the lead on lap 12 and cruise to another victory, to keep the perfect season alive.
It was a hot one.
Dylan Wright was a crowd favourite with his hometown fans.
450 Podium – 1st Dylan Wright, 2nd Tyler Medaglia, 3rd Shawn Maffenbeier.