Blose rocks Canadian National AX Tour opener in Sarnia

Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Chris Blose got off to a solid start at Round 1 of the Canadian National AX Tour in Sarnia this past weekend, sweeping both the AX Pro and AX Lites mains.

The Phoenix, Arizona native, a last minute replacement for an injured Matt Goerke, proved to be on top of his game despite having little saddle time on the Yamaha YZ250F before the event, which was held at Hiawatha Horse Park.

“We got to Sarnia with a fresh YZ250F for Chris and worked on it before things got underway, getting the bike squared up and making some changes throughout the day to get him comfortable on it,” team manager Steve Simms said. “It turned out to be a good round, as we didn’t know what to expect, really, considering the circumstances of Chris making his debut with the team on such short notice. The crew worked very well together, which made things go smooth for all of us. The results speak for themselves.”

Blose, who collected second place in the U.S. Amsoil Arenacross Championship points chase earlier this year, beat multi-time Canadian National Motocross Champion Colton Facciotti to the finish line in both mains, with fellow American Steve Mages completing the podium in third place.

Blose served notice on the very fast outdoor arenacross track that he was back in Canada for his second season on the AX Tour circuit, with the championship title as his target, by convincingly nailing down the fastest qualifying time in both classes.

In his AX Pro heat, Blose was victimized by a first turn crash, getting run over by another rider in the process, and losing a number of positions. Undaunted, he got back into the fray to pour on the gas and make some quick passes to finish in second place.

In his AX Lites heat, Blose grabbed a third place start, which he parlayed into second place early on in the race to hold that position till the checkered flag.

A second place start behind Facciotti in the 10-Lap AX Pro main was exchanged in no time for the lead, when Blose blitzed past Facciotti in turn #3. Once he cleared the task he went on to comfortably win the contest by a sizeable gap on Facciotti and Mages.

The start of the 10-Lap AX Lites main saw Blose again dive into the first turn in second place. In a rerun of the AX Pro main, he stuck a pass on Facciotti before the end of the first lap, to then take the lead all the way to the finish line without being threatened by Facciotti or Mages for position.

In the Clash for Cash, which features the top six finishers from both classes, Blose got yet another second place start, where he ran for most of the 20 laps. In the final minutes of the race, Blose got held up by lappers, which saw him lose position to Mages and force him to settle for third at the checkered flag.

“I thought things would have been a bit more stressful for my first race with Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha, seeing I basically had to come from relaxing at home during our off-season, to putting on my race face in Canada, practically overnight,” Blose said. “But I considered it a great opportunity to get some racing in before our arenacross championship series in the States, and I was pleasantly surprised how well everything turned out. Steve and the crew did an awesome job with the bike and making me feel at home. It’s great, actually, to be back in Canada, although totally unexpected.” 

Blose, who finished third in last year’s Canadian National AX Tour in AX Pro, finds himself on top of the scoreboard in both classes after the first of five rounds. The tour continues Saturday, October 15th at the Molson Centre in Barrie, Ontario.

Rockstar Energy OTSFF MotoPark Yamaha support rider Marco Cannella, meanwhile, made an impressive debut in the AX Lites class at Hiawatha Horse Park to get his feet wet with the big boys.

Cannella qualified a noteworthy fifth and would go on to finish the main in seventh place. In the Clash for Cash, capping a memorable night of racing, the young up-and-comer repeated that seventh place result. 

Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their invaluable contribution to our 2016 Canadian National AX Tour program: Scott Donkersgoed, lead technician for Chris Blose – great job done by Scott keeping the bike finely tuned. Kerry King, truck driver/team logistics – thanks for keeping the crew looked after all weekend. Brad Ewen, marketing director – for keeping us looking good and for facilitating the last minute rider changes to ensure we were ready to race. Andre Laurin, team owner – for keeping the faith and his continuous support of the team. A big thank you to all our sponsors and to FMC Engines and DCR Cams for stepping up to the plate.

AX Pro (10 Laps)

1. Chris Blose (Yam)
2. Colton Facciotti (Hon)
3. Steven Mages (Kaw)
4. Karl Normand (KTM)
5. Westen Wrozyna (Kaw)
6. Kyle Swanson (Kaw)
7. Logan Karnow (Hon)
8. Austin Haught (Yam)
9. Bennet Amyotte (Yam)
10. Michael Smith (Kaw)

AX Lites (10 Laps)

1. Chris Blose (Yam)
2. Colton Facciotti (Hon)
3. Steven Mages (Kaw)
4. Westen Wrozyna (Kaw)
5. Austin Watling (Hon)
6. Logan Karnow (Hon)
7. Marco Cannella (Yam)
8. Kyle Swanson (Kaw)
9. Brock Leitner (Kaw)
10. Seth Green (Yam)

Clash for Cash (20 Laps)

1. Colton Facciotti (Hon)
2. Steven Mages (Kaw)
3. Chris Blose (Yam)
4. Karl Normand (KTM)
5. Logan Karnow (Hon)

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