Round 3 of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals were run under cloudy skies in tepid mid-teens temperatures at Wild Rose MX Park in Calgary this past Sunday.
For Team Rockstar Energy Drink OTSFF Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry, Kyle Chisholm, and Shawn Maffenbeier Round 3 will be remembered as one of extra challenges all around, especially for Kiniry who had more than his share of them.
As a matter of fact for MX1 No.2 ranked Kiniry the Calgary National is one he will want to forget. Things went sour for him early in the day, when he suffered a first moto DNF due to an electrical gremlin. Despite every effort to get around the issue, Kiniry had to retire from action about halfway into the moto.
In the second moto, Kiniry was betrayed by a first turn damaged rear brake, which left him riding below par for the entire moto. Despite this handicap, the New Yorker soldiered on to turn a tenth place start into a sixth place finish. When all was said and done, though, he dropped two notches in the current points standings from fifth to seventh place.
“Today was one of those days that whatever could go wrong did. It’s frustrating to say the least, but it is what it is and you move forward, meaning I’m hoping Lady Luck will smile on me next weekend and keep the frowns for herself,” Kiniry said.
Chisholm, meanwhile, moved up one position in the points from seventh into sixth. Mid-pack starts in both MX1 motos saw him with his work cut out. The St. Petersburg, Florida native regrouped in the first moto to claim sixth at the finish line; in the second moto he battled his way into seventh place, taking home sixth overall on the day.
“I need to get better starts so I don’t spend my energy catching up. I had second fastest qualifying time today, so I know I have the speed and my YZ450F is doing a fantastic job. It’s just a matter of getting everything dialled in,” Chisholm said.
In the MX2 title hunt, Swift Current, Saskatchewan’s Maffenbeier nailed a top ten start in moto one. After one lap he was in sixth place. He hunkered down there until a few errors later he found himself in eighth place. With the moto winding down, he would have to take satisfaction with that position at the finish line.
The second moto start saw Maffenbeier reach turn one towards the back of the pack. Pouring on the gas, he piloted his potent YZ250F into the top ten by the halfway mark of the moto, eventually taking seventh place at the finish line.
On the strength of 8-7 motos Maffenbeier still salvaged sixth overall. Unfortunately he dropped back from second in the points chase to third. With seven rounds left on the schedule, however, he is still in good shape for a top three finish and a shot at the title.
“Things didn’t quite go according to my expectations today. My bike ran well but I got a little anxious at times in the first moto to make passes, which resulted in a few errors instead. My second moto start left a lot to be desired and it was basically a catch-up race,” Maffenbeier said.
This weekend the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals are held in Regina, SK. It will be the second of three Saturday run events. For Maffenbeier this will be his home race and he will be gunning for podium finishes in both motos in front of family, friends, and local fans. Look for Kiniry and Chisholm to also make good at the final western round of the series.