Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke and Shawn Maffenbeier claimed podium finishes in MX1 and MX2 respectively at the final round of the western leg of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals, which were held in Regina, SK on Sunday.
With 3-1 moto results, Goerke not only snared second overall, he extended his points lead at the top of the current standings. Maffenbeier also did good business at Regina’s Moto Valley Raceway, moving from sixth to fourth on the scoreboard. The Swift Current, SK native recorded consistent 3-3 motos to take third overall on the day in front of a home-province crowd.
Goerke’s MX1 teammate Bobby Kiniry rode the wheels off his YZ450F to finish top-10, logging sixth overall on the strength of 6-7 motos. He currently holds down seventh in the points chase.
Although some rain and high winds were part of the equation at Moto Valley Raceway, fortunately the expected thunderstorms bypassed the area and the track was spared being turned into a mudbog. In fact, the steady, shifting winds and expert grooming left the track in a nearly perfect condition and saved the maintenance crews from having to bring out the water truck between motos.
The first MX1 moto holeshot went to pro rookie Jake Streichert, but within seconds Kiniry, who followed him closely into turn one, shot into the lead. The New York native’s up front moment lasted only one lap, however, when he was passed by defending champion Colton Facciotti.
A few laps later Cole Thompson, Brett Metcalfe and Goerke, who started around seventh, relegated Kiniry to fifth place. The frontrunners, who were buffeted by the strong winds and rain that had started falling during the first MX2 moto, laid down a fast pace while clustered relatively close together.
By lap six Goerke installed himself into third place, one second behind Metcalfe, who was just half a second behind Facciotti. Around the halfway point Metcalfe stuck a pass on Facciotti and for the rest of the moto the top three positions did not change. By this time Kiniry was running sixth and he would stay there until the finish line.
Under dry conditions fast starter Kiniry nailed the second moto holeshot. Goerke, Thompson, Medaglia, Metcalfe and Facciotti trailed the New Yorker in close order. Goerke, intent on claiming his second moto win of the season, flashed by his teammate a few turns later and he would take it all the way to the checkered flag.
But with a very quick moving Metcalfe taking up second place five laps into the moto, Goerke found himself in the unenviable position of having to pin the throttle the rest of the moto to keep the Australian from taking over the lead.
A lap-after-lap hair raising battle saw Metcalfe relentlessly hounding Goerke, closing in within a fraction of a second. Florida native Goerke, however, failed to succumb to the pressure put on him by the 2013 champ. When all was said and done, Goerke, winner of the 2012 MX1 Championship, prevailed and took a well-deserved win to claim his third 2nd overall of the season.
“You definitely needed a really good start today if you hoped to get up front. My first moto start was outside the top five so I had my work cut out for me just to get into third place. With the rain and roost, vision became a problem, after I ran out of tear-offs. At that point I concentrated on staying in third and not take any risks,” Goerke said. “The second moto start was good for me, but holding the lead was a huge task, especially with Metty being all over me for most of the moto. When I saw the two-lap board, I knew I had to put down two perfect laps and pick up the pace a bit. My YZ450 definitely was my best friend out there today.”
Meanwhile, Kiniry stayed in the top-10 mix, claiming seventh at the finish line. After he lost the lead to Goerke, Kiniry had to bow to the title contenders and make his main objective a race for points and not a podium finish.
“Battling with the top points guys meant riding on the edge so I decided to focus on staying on my bike, not make any errors, and grab as many points I could by finishing top ten,” Kiniry said. “That seemed like the smart alternative. I didn’t want to end up in a catch-up race. Traditionally I have always done better in the eastern rounds and I hope to pick up that thread again, starting at Gopher Dunes.”
In MX 2 action Shawn Maffenbeier held up his end of the bargain by producing top-five starts in both motos aboard his potent YZ250F, which would keep him in the mix for podium finishes both times out.
In the first moto, which called for a restart, after a first turn crash saw officials red flag the first start, Maffenbeier found himself around fifth place. He was neck and neck with Morgan Burger, chasing Kevin Benoit, Jimmy Decotis, Brad Nauditt and Jeremy Medaglia.
Some four laps into the moto Maffenbeier had taken possession of third place, cheered on by family and friends, and would hold that position till the finish line. He was never able to connect with second place Decotis, but managed to keep a hard charging, fourth place running Blake Savage from closing in.
The start of the second moto put Maffenbeier just inside the top-five. By the end of the lap two he had taken command of third behind second place Decotis and first place Medaglia.
The battle up front was intense for most of the moto, but the top-three stayed intact until the finish line, with Maffenbeier running his own race. Behind Maffenbeier Savage and Burger fought for position in a bid to challenge for Maffenbeier’s third place slot, but neither one was able to clear the task.
“It was nice to be really consistent this weekend and get the three-three finishes and third overall. Unfortunately I didn’t get as good a start on the restart in the first moto, but I made the best of it and worked my way into a podium finish,” Maffenbeier said. “All in all it was pretty cool riding well in front of my family. It seems like pretty well everybody was there to cheer me on and blast off air horns as I raced by them.”
The Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals resume in Courtland, ON for the eastern leg of the series, after a two-week break, on Sunday, July 12th.
MX1 Overall Results – Round 4
1. Brett Metcalfe (Kaw) 1-2
2. Matt Goerke (Yam) 3-1
3. Colton Facciotti (Honda) 2-3
4. Cole Thompson (KTM) 4-4
5. Tyler Medaglia (Husq) 7-5
6. Bobby Kiniry (Yam) 6-7
7. Cade Clason (KTM) 8-6
8. Dylan Schmoke (KTM) 9-10
9. Kyle Keast (Hon) 11-9
10. Mathew Davenport (Yam) 16-8
MX2 Overall Results – Round 4
1. Jimmy Decotis (Yam) 2-2
2. Jeremy Medaglia (Hon) 6-1
3. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam) 3-3
4. Kaven Benoit (KTM) 1-6
5. Morgan Burger (Yam) 5-4
6. Blake Savage (Yam) 4-5
7. Dustin Creson (Yam) 7-8
8. Brad Nauditt (Yam) 12-7
9. Jesse Pettis (Yam) 9-10
10. Dylan Wright (Yam) 10-11
MX1 points after 4 of 10 rounds
1. Matt Goerke 207 pts
2. Colton Facciotti 200
3. Brett Metcalfe 195
4. Cole Thompson 193
5. Tyler Medaglia 169
6. Cade Clason 155
7. Bobby Kiniry 149
8. Kyle Keast 132
9. Teddy Maier 130
10. Dylan Schmoke 115
MX2 points after 4 of 10 rounds
1. Kaven Benoit 217 pts
2. Jeremy Medaglia 204
3. Jimmy Decotis 194
4. Shawn Maffenbeier 162
5. Morgan Burger 156
6. Brad Nauditt 148
7. Blake Savage 144
8. Dylan Wright 137
9. Jesse Pettis 111
10. Seth Rarick 111