Goerke back on podium at round 8 in Moncton
Riverglade MX Park in Moncton, New Brunswick hosted Round 8 of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals. A hardpack, rocky track—spiced with rich red Maritime soil—and breezy weather that saw the thermometer reach 27°C, set the stage for the National MX1 and MX2 title hunt. Once again a large spectator turnout was on hand to take in the action at Riverglade, which has hosted 25 Canadian Nationals in nearly four decades of motocross.
Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke and Brett Metcalfe recorded a day of mixed results that, nonetheless, keeps them in the hunt for the 2016 MX1 Championship. With 7-2 results, Goerke sealed the podium in third overall while Metcalfe left Moncton with sixth overall on the strength of 4-6 motos. In the process, Goerke reclaimed second in the points chase from Metcalfe, who now trails his teammate by just one point.
The first MX1 moto at Riverglade proved to be a daunting challenge for both Goerke and Metcalfe. Defending champ Goerke experienced some issues getting off the line, to then crash in turn one and rejoining the fray well back in the pack. Charging into turn one just inside the top 10, Metcalfe’s start proved to be quite a bit better, but not exactly where he needed to be to mix it up with the frontrunners.
Although Goerke had shot his way into 16th place before the end of the second lap, it would take him the rest of the moto to make his way into the top 10. At the midway point he had sliced his way into eighth place. But with the high speeds produced by all the contenders in the hunt for a single digit plate number for next season, Goerke could manage only one more pass before the end of the moto, having to settle for seventh at the checkered flag.
Metcalfe, who was in a better position to set his sights on a podium position, also had to pour on the gas to make any headway whatsoever. It took him till the midway point of the moto to install himself into fourth place, after a long battle with two-time MX2 Champion Tyler Medaglia. By that time the top three had accumulated enough real estate up front to secure a slot on the box. Although he gained considerable ground on third-place-running Mike Alessi, there wasn’t enough time for Metcalfe to mount a challenge for position and he greeted the checkered flag in a still noteworthy fourth.
The start of the second moto saw Goerke and Metcalfe put their YZ450Fs into turn one in fifth and sixth place respectively. For the next six laps, the teammates fought tooth-and-nail for position while gunning for fourth place, which was the domain of Tyler Medaglia since the start of the moto. On lap seven Goerke and Metcalfe managed to streak past Medaglia, but only Goerke was able to make the pass stick. An error by Metcalfe saw him lose some ground on Medaglia and the Australian would end up having to take satisfaction with a sixth place finish.
Meanwhile, Goerke stayed on the gas to dispose of Mike Alessi and snag third place on lap 10. He kept pinning the throttle to chase down second-place-running Kaven Benoit. In the closing laps, Goerke and Benoit played a game of cat and mouse, which saw them bang handlebars for the runner-up position. In a breathtaking move, Goerke put a definitive pass on Benoit on the final lap, to take it home to the checkered flag and finish second.
“Moncton didn’t quite go the way we had hoped, with both Matt and Brett having some issues. But we still scored valuable points and we podiumed with Matt, so we’re happy with that” team manager Stu Robinson said. “We have a fairly decent cushion on fourth in the points, Alessi, so we’re looking pretty solid to finish top three in the championship. The title seems a bit out of reach at this stage, but as they say: ‘It ain’t over till it’s over’. We’re in this right to the last moto.”
The Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals continue on Sunday, August 7, 2016 at Motocross Deschambault in Deschambault, Quebec
MX1 Overall Results: Round 8 – Moncton, NB
1. Davi Millsaps (KTM) 1-1
2. Kaven Benoit (KTM) 2-3
3. Matt Goerke (Yamaha) 7-2
4. Mike Alessi (Kawasaki) 3-5
5. Tyler Medaglia (Husqvarna) 5-4
6. Brett Metcalfe (Yamaha) 4-6
7. Cade Clason (KTM) 6-8
8. Keylan Meston (Yamaha) 8-7
9. Morgan Burger (Yamaha) 9-10
10.Shawn Robinson (KTM) 10-11
MX1 Points Standing After 8 of 10 Rounds
1. Davi Millsaps 439 pts
2. Matt Goerke 388 (-51)
3. Brett Metcalfe 387 (-52)
4. Mike Alessi 364
5. Kaven Benoit 319
6. Tyler Medaglia 303
7. Cade Clason 300
8. Colton Facciotti 297
9. Keylan Meston 251
10. Morgan Burger 246