The penultimate round of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals was held this past Sunday at the spectacular Motocross Deschambault circuit in Deschambault, Quebec, a short distance from the province’s capital, Quebec City.
Similar to Quebec’s other national motocross track in Ulverton, Motocross Deschambault is comprised of soft, loamy, sand-based soil, which features a number of elevation changes and a steep drop-off. The combination of these ingredients seriously challenged the riders’ technical skills and physical condition, which resulted in plenty of thrills and spills.
Although rain threatened the event, except for a few drops, Deschambault dodged the bullet. And with temperatures that did not climb above 22°C, it was the coolest weather to date for the eastern leg of the MX1 and MX2 Championship. Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke and Brett Metcalfe again rode the wheels off their YZ450Fs, which meant an MX1 podium finish for Metcalfe in the first moto and one for Goerke in the second. With a fourth place in the first moto, Goerke finished the day in third overall, solidifying his hold on second place in the points.What was shaping up to be another stellar weekend for the teammates was marred when Metcalfe went down hard around the midway mark of moto two, which left him unable to complete the race. It was his first DNF of the season and put him in 13th overall on the day.
Metcalfe’s crash left him with a fractured jaw and severe bruising of the body. He is not expected to race the final round this Sunday. But with a gap of 36 points on Benoit in the points standings, there is still a chance Metcalfe will wrap up the season in third place. The first MX1 moto saw Metcalfe and Goerke grab a top-five start that had all the promise of putting them in the mix for podium finishes. A pile-up in a very tight turn two, however, which Metcalfe managed to escape relatively unscathed, put Goerke towards the back of the pack.
Other than lose precious seconds on frontrunners Davi Millsaps and Kaven Benoit, Metcalfe had a grip on third place, four laps into the race. He found himself too far behind Benoit and Millsaps, however, to mount a charge for position. Riding in a lonesome third, the Australian would maintain that position until the finish line.Goerke, meanwhile, who has faced more than his share of catch-up races this season, had rocketed into 18th place by the end of lap 2. He would spend the remainder of the moto picking off rider after rider, to install himself into a respectable fourth place in the closing laps of the race.
The start of the second moto again put Goerke and Metcalfe in the top-five. Metcalfe reached turn one in second place, with Goerke right behind him. Some daring passes by Davi Millsaps, winner of the first moto, saw Goerke and Metcalfe succumb to the Florida native on lap 2. A bobble by Metcalfe shortly thereafter, meant he was relegated to fifth place, handing over third to Goerke.
For the next six laps Goerke stalked Millsaps before finally sticking a pass on him. The battle between them raged for the remainder of the moto, with Millsaps dropping back in the closing stages while Goerke set his sights on first place, which was under the command of Benoit.
With time running out, however, Goerke had to settle for second place at the checkered flag while Benoit took the overall in front of a massive home-province crowd.
“Considering the first moto was a bit of a disaster, I’m still happy with the way I rode this weekend. I felt good out there, my Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha worked flawlessly and did what it had to do. The team did another great job behind the scenes so I could do my bit on the track. The track was tough, very unforgiving, and so were Kaven, Davi, and Brett. It’s a bummer Brett got hurt in the second moto and I wish him a speedy recovery,” Goerke said.
The Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals continue for the final round of the series on Sunday, August 14, 2016 at RJ Motosport Park in Barrie, Ontario.
MX1 Overall Results: Round 9 – Deschambault, QC
1. Kaven Benoit (KTM) 2-1
2. Davi Millsaps (KTM) 1-3
3. Matt Goerke (Yamaha) 4-2
4.Cade Clason (KTM) 5-4
5. Tim Tremblay (Yamaha) 7-5
6. Tyler Medaglia (Husqvarna) 6-6
7. Kyle Swanson (Yamaha) 8-7
8. Joey Peters (Yamaha) 9-8
9. Keylan Meston (Yamaha) 10-10
10. Morgan Burger (Yamaha) 15-9
13. Brett Metcalfe (Yamaha) 3-DNF
MX1 Points Standing After 9 of 10 Rounds
1. Davi Millsaps 494 pts
2. Matt Goerke 438 (-56)
3. Brett Metcalfe 412 (-82)
4. Kaven Benoit 376 5. Mike Alessi 364
6. Cade Clason 344
7. Tyler Medaglia 343
8. Colton Facciotti 297
9. Keylan Meston 283
10. Morgan Burger 274