With five podium finishes and the overall in MX1 and MX2, it was a stellar weekend for Team Rockstar Energy Drink OTSFF Yamaha at Round 9 of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals in Ulverton, QC this past Sunday.
Thanks to 3-1 motos, the team’s Shawn Maffenbeier recorded his first overall MX2 win of the season while Kyle Chisholm claimed the MX1 overall with 3-2 motos. Although a crash kept Bobby Kiniry off the podium in the first MX1 moto, which saw him finish eighth, he regrouped in the second moto with a third place finish, carding a noteworthy fifth overall on the day.
The start of the first MX1 moto put fast starter Kiniry into turn one neck and neck alongside Colton Facciotti at the head of the pack, with Facciotti grabbing the holeshot. In a bid to stick a pass on Facciotti, Kiniry washed out the front end of his YZ450F in a heavily watered turn moments later. A 15th place remount was the result on the ultra fast Ulverton track, with an eighth place finish at the checkered flag.
Meanwhile, Chisholm, who started just inside the top-10, systematically battled his way into the top-five by the halfway mark of the moto, where he then fought tooth-and-nail for third place with Nathan Bles and Teddy Maier. In the closing laps Chisholm first picked off Maier, then Bless and the final podium slot was his.
As in the first moto Kiniry again found himself up front with series points leader Facciotti at the start of moto two. And again it was Facciotti who squeezed first through the turn. This time Kiniry stayed in the top-five mix, banging handlebars with Facciotti, Tyler Medaglia, and Josh Hill.
Chisholm, who started around seventh place, quickly worked his way into the top-five, battling with the likes of Tim Tremblay, Mike Alessi, and eventually his teammate Kiniry. Tyler Medaglia, also in the top-five mix off the start, managed to stick a pass of Kiniry for second place on lap four, and on lap nine he inherited the lead from Facciotti, who stalled his bike, remounting in fifth, where he would finish the moto.
An unrelenting Chisholm stayed on the gas to displace Kiniry from second place on lap 11 and at that point the top-five were decided, with Medaglia, Chisholm, Kiniry, Alessi and Facciotti whipping across the finish line in that order.
For his efforts, Chisholm not only carded the overall win at Ulverton, he moved up in the points chase from sixth into fifth. Only 14 points down from fourth place Josh Hill, Chisholm is in a position to take over that position at the final round this Sunday in Walton.
“It’s been a long time coming, but better late than never. I felt super good on my YZ today. The bike performed like a rocket and I’m sure that if we hadn’t run out of time I could have challenged Tyler for the win. But I’m very excited with the overall win and to take over fifth place in the points,” Chisholm said.
Kiniry, who has had his share of setbacks this season, solidified his hold on seventh in the points, a position that he will end the season with, regardless of how he finishes at the final round.
In MX2 action, Maffenbeier, who had recorded the fastest qualifying time aboard his YZ250F, nailed a top-three start in the first moto. A slip and slide a few turns into the race, however, saw him rejoin the fray in sixth place. Another get-off on lap three put Maffenbeier into 10th place; by the halfway point of the moto he was back in the top-five.
Despite a big gap between himself and third-running Vince Friese, Maffenbeier wasn’t ready to call it a moto. He poured on the gas and in the closing laps managed to snag the final podium position, finishing behind Jesse Wentland and winner of the moto, Kaven Benoit.
The start of second moto had Maffenbeier up front in a drag race to turn one with Friese, which the American managed to nail. The two rivals would swap first place a number of times on the first lap, with Friese taking control of the following three laps.
On lap five Friese, Maffenbeier, and Benoit were in a fierce battle for position, which would turn into Maffenbeier’s favour when series points leader Benoit and Friese connected and went down. Maffenbeier never looked back and took the win some 15 seconds ahead of Friese to claim a well earned overall. While Friese salvaged second place Benoit had to take satisfaction with fifth at the checkered.
“I think that with this win in MX2 and Kyle’s in MX1 the team was vindicated today. We’ve had our share of challenges this season, but it only motivated us to keep regrouping and it paid off,” Maffenbeier said.
Maffenbeier’s tour de force performance not only saw him snare the overall in Ulverton, he narrowed Friese’s points advantage for second place in the title hunt to a mere two, guaranteeing a battle for runner-up at the final round that should go down to the final moto.
Round 10 of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals takes place this Sunday, August 17th at Walton Raceway in Walton, ON.
Points Standings after 9 of 10 Rounds
1. Colton Facciotti (Honda) 381
2. Mike Alessi (Suz) 337
3. Tyler Medaglia (KTM) 303
4. Josh Hill (Kaw) 295
5. Kyle Chisholm (Yam) 281
6. Teddy Maier (Kaw) 277
7. Bobby Kiniry (Yam) 234
8. Dylan Kaelin (Yam) 182
9. Morgan Burger (Yam) 151
10. Nathan Bles (KTM) 117
1. Kaven Benoit (KTM) 355
2. Vince Friese (Hon) 313
3. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam) 311
4. Jesse Wentland (Yam) 289
5. Topher Ingalls (KTM) 219
6. Seth Rarick (KTM) 195
7. Austin Politelli (Kaw) 164
8. Jeremy Medaglia (Kaw) 153
9. Sylvain Le Gad (Yam) 152
10. Dylan Wright (Yam 145