British Columbia race fans are very fortunate when it comes to motocross. There are nine rounds in the Monster Energy Motocross Nationals, and two of them are in B.C.
The Wastelands track in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island will host the opening round of the Monster Energy Motocross Nationals on June 3, 2012. And then the pro racing circus will pack up their tents and head to Whispering Pines Raceway in Kamloops for the second race of the series on June 9, 2012. That same day, Whispering Pines Raceway will also host the opening round of the Canadian Motosport Racing Corporation (CMRC) Women's Motocross Nationals.
There’s nothing like the nationals
The Canadian Pro Motocross Nationals have become an elite series, and it is good enough to draw many top riders from the U.S., which is the super power of the motocross world. In fact, Tyler Villopoto, younger brother of Ryan Villopoto—who is widely regarded as the fastest motocrosser on the planet—will race the Canadian series this year.
There's nothing quite like a motocross pro national. Representatives from the CMRC show up early in the week of the event and start setting up tents and getting the track prepared. Jumps that are designed for amateurs are redesigned to give the pros the launch they need to clear huge obstacles, and the ground is tilled and banked up so that riders can maintain terminal velocity through the corners.
The track is abuzz with activity throughout the week, and on Friday, all of the big rigs start arriving with the best riders in Canada and some of the best from south of the border. The huge 18-wheelers open up, tents are set up and the factory bikes are wheeled out and lined up on stands alongside the trailers. Factory mechanics go to work preparing the bikes, while the riders sign autographs on posters and hand them out to fans. The beautiful Monster Energy girls are on hand to cater to the thirst of fans, and to provide photo ops as well.
Qualifying for the pros begins just after 9 a.m. on race day. The pros are divided into two classes: MX1 is 450cc, four-stroke machines and MX2 is 250cc four-stroke machines. It's legal to race a two-stroke machine, but four-strokes have become so dominant you won’t see many two-strokes at the pro level. About 125 riders will show up to qualify for the pros, and 80 will make it—with 40 for each class.
Lots of local talent
B.C. is well represented at the pro level. The current number 1 rider in the country is Colton Facciotti from Aldergrove. The number 2 rider, who is Dusty Klatt, hails from Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Kyle Beaton and Spencer Knowles are B.C. products in the MX2 class and they consistently run in the top five. Beaton has been plagued with injuries for the past few years, but he will be at the front of the pack this year. You will have lots of local talent to cheer for at the nationals, and then you can watch it all again and catch the rounds that you missed on TV when the series is over.
To read race reports and view close to 100 photos after each event, go to my blog.« Back to Moto Mayhem »