The opening round of the Monster Energy Canadian Motocross Nationals kicked off with a bang (and a poutine) in Ste-Julie, Quebec on May 24-25. With Monster Energy Cernic's Kawasaki's Dusty Klatt returning to Canada after a lackluster stint in AMA Supercross, many were anxious to see if he had the confidence to win. Even though five-time Canadian champ, Jean-Sébastien Roy has retired, a host of Canadian and Americans wouldn't make life easy for Klatt.
The hype didn't end in the premiere MX1 class. Now that the MX2 class is a true national series, spanning nine rounds from coast to coast, it means we'll see racers from all over North America and the world fighting hard for national supremacy. Canadians Kyle Beaton, Jeremy Medaglia, and Ryan Lockhart were eager to win their first title, but with Americans Teddy Maier, Nick Evennou, Eric Nye, and Aron Harvey, signed up, it wouldn't be easy.
The weekend started off as a Cinderella story for Beaton, as he set the fastest lap times and led the opening MX2 moto after pulling the holeshot ahead of Medaglia and Evennou. Unfortunately, "Beets" stalled his Clearbrook Yamaha three laps into the race, handing the lead over to Leading Edge Kawasaki's Evennou. The Maryland native eventually succumbed to the pressure of KTM's Eric Nye who took off for the win. After a long battle with Medaglia, Evennou's teammate Maier finished third.
Evennou, confident from his first moto ride and looking to take the overall, got out front early with Beaton hot on his heels. Similar to the first moto, Evennou, Beaton, Maier, and Medaglia all raced within bikes lengths of each during the 30-minute moto. Maier finally worked his way into first, built a comfortable lead, and held on for the win and overall. Beaton and Medaglia came together hard at the midway point, leaving both riders on the ground. It allowed for Blackfoot Yamaha's Aron Harvey to catch up and finish third. Anything can happen in racing, as was the case for Nye, who finished 12th in the second moto after a bad start and crash.
Blackfoot's Colton Facciotti wore his heart on his sleeve all weekend. A practice crash left Facciotti with a first-degree separated shoulder, but he toughed it out to sweep the MX1 class. The first moto saw Suzuki/OTSFF/Rockstar's Tyler Medaglia jump out to an early lead over Klatt, with Facciotti running in fourth. With three laps to go, Medaglia was exhausted and Klatt and Facciotti moved past him. Many believed the 2006 MX1 champ, Klatt, would hold on for the win but, Facciotti, obviously stronger than ever from his time training with JSR in Georgia, made an aggressive move on the second last lap to take the checkers. KTM's Jeff Northrop also proved that he's been working hard by passing Jimmy Nelson late in the race for fourth.
In the second moto, Cernic's rider Jeff Gibson grabbed the holeshot but was unable to hold off the hard charging Facciotti who rode off for the win. Medaglia eventually made his way past Gibson, too, and finished second. Northrop and Nelson battled hard for the final podium spot, but it was "Norcal" who came out on top and his 4-3 earned him third overall.