Round 2 of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals stayed in beautiful British Columbia this past weekend, with the action unfolding at Wastelands Moto Park in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. With mostly overcast skies and a high of 19°C, weather conditions were much more rider-friendly in Nanaimo compared to one week earlier in Kamloops, where the thermometer hit 34°C under a blazing sun.
For Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha it looked like it was going to be another banner weekend, with both its MX1 riders finishing top-five. But a rules infraction by Goerke turned the overall results upside down.
Goerke, who had battled hard to finish third in the first moto, was later penalized along with moto winner Davi Millsaps for jumping while the race was under a Red Cross caution flag. The penalty translated into Goerke and Millsaps being docked 10 positions, putting Goerke into 13th place and Millsaps into 11th.
“It was a bummer deal all the way around. Brett rolled the jump as required by the flag. Matt inadvertently jumped it in the heat of battle chasing Davi. It was one of those weekends when racing got in the way of having a good day for Matt. But for Brett the penalty worked to his advantage. Let’s just say it was a character building weekend and hopefully we’ll take something away from it that’s positive and get back into things in Calgary,” team manager Stu Robinson noted.
Goerke rebounded in the second moto, despite still dealing with a blistered hand, to snare fourth at the finish line behind his teammate Metcalfe, which gave the defending champion sixth overall on the day.
Metcalfe, meanwhile, who had finished the first moto in fifth place, moved up two positions due to the penalties incurred by Goerke and Millsaps. With his third place finish in moto two, Metcalfe snared third overall on the day, claiming his first podium of the season.
Although Metcalfe nailed the first moto holeshot aboard his blitzing YZ450F, he only briefly held the lead before being passed by Davi Millsaps. Goerke got off to a third place start, which he kept for seven laps, sticking to within a few seconds of his teammate.
On lap 7, Metcalfe made an error that saw him wipe out on the hard-pack Wastelands track. He was able to remount quickly enough to get back into the fray in fifth place, where he remained for the rest of the moto.
Metcalfe’s get-off meant that Goerke inherited second place, which he maintained until the closing laps, charging hard to connect with Millsaps. Unfortunately, on the final lap, Goerke was cut off by a lapped rider. The lapper then crashed in front of Goerke, who was unable to avoid hitting the downed bike, losing second place to Mike Alessi.
With third place now a best case scenario, Goerke remounted within seconds, knowing that Colton Facciotti was within striking distance. With only a fraction of a second to spare over Facciotti, Goerke poured on the gas and kept the multi-time champion behind him all the way to the checkered flag. At the end of the day, however, Goerke’s efforts had proved in vain, when it was announced by CMRC officials that he would be docked 10 positions.
The second moto holeshot again proved to be in control of Metcalfe with Goerke, Facciotti, and Millsaps following him into turn one – in that order. Facciotti grabbed the lead from Metcalfe before the end of lap 1, only to lose it to Millsaps on lap 2.
Metcalfe, who was relegated to third after being passed by Millsaps, stayed there the rest of the moto while Goerke found himself holding down fourth from the end of lap 1 till the checkered flag. Although Goerke tried reeling in Metcalfe, he was never able to gain enough ground on his teammate to set up a pass.
“Although points are points and it doesn’t really matter how you get them as long as you’re racing clean, no rider rejoices in getting them because the competition DNF’d or lost position because of a penalty. You want to beat them for those points,” Metcalfe said. “One thing is for sure, I felt a lot more comfortable out there today than last weekend. My bike was awesome and fast. The two holeshots I got bears that out. Matt’s misfortune thickens the plot without a doubt, and with eight rounds left everything is still up for grabs.”
As the second moto wound down Goerke’s main focus ended up holding on to fourth, keeping a determined Mike Alessi behind him, which he managed to do without too much difficulty. When the checkered flag was waved, Goerke counted a comfortable five seconds ahead of fifth place finishing Alessi.
“It was a bit of a frustrating day for me with the flag incident. I should have noticed it, but when you’ve got your head down and you’re focused on your racing you sometimes tend to miss these things. It was the right call by the officials and it’s something I had to live with. If nothing else, I’m even more inspired to get back on the podium at the next round,” Goerke said.
The Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals continue on Sunday, June 19th at Wild Rose MX Park in Calgary, Alberta.
MX1 Overall Results: Round 2 – Nanaimo, BC
1. Colton Facciotti (Honda) 2-2
2.Mike Alessi (Kawasaki) 1-5
3. Brett Metcalfe (Yamaha) 3-3
4. Davi Millsaps (KTM) 11-1
5. Cade Clason (KTM) 4-8
6. Matt Goerke (Yamaha) 13-4
7. Keylon Meston (Yamaha) 9-9
8. Austin Kouba (Kawasaki) 7-12
9. Morgan Burger (Yamaha) 6-14
10. Kyle Swanson (Yamaha) 8-13
Points Standing After 2 of 10 Rounds
1. Colton Facciotti 106 pts
2.Davi Millsaps 102
3.Mike Alessi 94
4. Brett Metcalfe 92
5. Matt Goerke 91
6. Cade Clason 76
7. Tyler Medaglia 64
8. Keylon Meston 64
9. Kaven Benoit 62
10. Austin Kouba 61
The Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals continue on Sunday, June 19, 2016 at Wild Rose MX Park in Calgary, Alberta.