Round 5 of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals kicked off the eastern leg of the series on Sunday in Courtland, ON at Gopher Dunes, considered the toughest and gnarliest track in Canada. While the MX1 and MX2 contenders were spared the usual hot and muggy Southern Ontario summer weather, which reached a high of only 25°C (77°F), Gopher Dunes more than lived up to its reputation. In fact, it proved to be more unforgiving than any previous nationals held on it, with riders succumbing to the deep sand all afternoon.
But for Team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke and Tim Tremblay, the sand monster proved to be little more than a nuisance, albeit an energy taxing one. Goerke hammered down second overall on the strength of 2-3 motos and Tremblay snared sixth overall, thanks to 9-5 motos. For the French Canadian, currently holding down ninth in the MX1 points chase, his overall result at Gopher Dunes turned out to be the best yet so far this season.
The start of the first moto proved to be anything but auspicious for two-time MX1 champ Goerke, however, when he tangled with another rider, resulting in both going down for a costly soil sample. By the time Goerke got back into action, he was in second last place. Utilizing the fiery power of his Yamaha YZ450F to its full potential, the Florida native had blitzed his way into fifth place, however, by the halfway point of the moto. When the checkered flag was waved he had knifed his way into second place, some six seconds behind winner Colton Facciotti and 15 seconds ahead of third place Mike Alessi.
Tim Tremblay’s first moto start saw him inside the top ten, where he would remain for all except three laps, when he dropped back to 11th. By lap 13 of the 17-lap race he had clawed his way back into the top ten club, crossing the finish line in ninth place.
The start of the second moto was much better for Goerke, but not quite good enough to guarantee him a first place finish. Having exhausted much of his energy in the dramatic come-from-behind first moto, Goerke had to dig deep to at least finish top three. Although it only took him four laps to charge his way into fifth place, he spent the rest of the moto making his way into third.
Ahead of Goerke, with a 20-second cushion he was unable to deflate, was Tyler Medaglia who himself was looking at a 7.5-second gap on leader Mike Alessi. At this stage the outcome of the race had been determined and Goerke had to take satisfaction with third place at the finish line.
Although Goerke had hoped to maintain his status of never having lost an overall at Gopher, his performance at Round 5 was nothing short of phenomenal. And, thanks to 6-4 moto results by his archrival Christophe Pourcel, with whom he was tied for first in the points, Goerke left Courtland on top of the scoreboard, now holding a nine points deficit on the Frenchman.
Tremblay, meanwhile, dialed in another top ten start that saw him briefly ride in 11th place – on lap two – to then systematically claw his way forward. Picking off rider after rider until he anchored himself in fifth place on lap 11, Tremblay stayed there and recorded his best moto finish of the season, ultimately securing sixth overall and a wallop of points that puts him on solid footing to end the season with a single digit plate.
The Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals continue this Sunday, July 15th at Motocross Ulverton in Ulverton, Quebec.
MX1 Overall Results: Round 5
|1||Mike Alessi (Kaw)||3-1|
|2||Matt Goerke (Yam)||2-3|
|3||Tyler Medaglia (Hon)||5-2|
|4||Colton Facciotti (Hon)||1-8|
|5||Christophe Pourcel (Husq)||6-4|
|6||Tim Tremblay (Yam)||9-5 |
|7||Cade Clason (KTM)||7-7|
|8||Jesse Wentland (Suz)||10-9 |
|9||Keylan Meston (Yam)||12-10|
|10||Nathan Bles (Hon)||11-12|
MX1 points after 5 of 10 Rounds
|1||Matt Goerke (USA)||264|
|2||Christophe Pourcel (FR)||255|
|3||Colton Facciotti (CAN)||233|
|4||Mike Alessi (USA)||229|
|5||Tyler Medaglia (CAN)||228|
|6||Dillan Epstein (USA)||214|
|7||Cade Clason (USA)||175|
|8||Kyle Chisholm (USA)||171|
|9||Tim Tremblay (CAN)||159|
|10||Keylan Meston (CAN)||139|