Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The Monday Gate Drop Presented By Yamaha Motor Canada

by Chandler
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Thankfully as I write this we’re only two more sleeps from changing the calendar to February and that means our first signs of spring cannot be far off. February is a short month and then in March, it will hopefully be time to fire up the bikes and hit the track. Usually I want time to slow down, but during this time of the year I wish the passage of time would just be wide open. Anyway, I hope everyone had a great weekend and I hope you’re prepared to tackle a new month!

The whoops were challenging at A2!

So what does everyone think of the Triple Crown format in the Monster Energy Supercross Series? My feeling is that whether you like it or not it’s hard to argue about the entertainment value that it brings to us fans. Since Supercross began this format a few years ago, the three shorter main events have always delivered excitement that at times has been borderline chaos. This past Saturday in Anaheim was no different as we saw pretty much everything throughout the night. We saw some incredible battles as the top riders were trying to move forward quickly after a bad start. Also, it appeared that certain riders were willing to put up more of a fight knowing that they didn’t have a 20 minute main event in front of them. We also saw some crashes, both big and small throughout the day and night at Angel Stadium. Most notably was Cameron McAdoo during qualifying, RJ Hampshire in the second 250 main event, and Eli Tomac in the final 450 main event. All three riders had massive crashes and were lucky to get back up and continue. McAdoo’s and Hampshire’s crashes were both caused by one of their hands blowing off the bars in a critical spot on the track. McAdoo’s had his left hand come off the bars while he was entering the challenging whoop section, while Hampshire had his right hand blow off in the rough sand section. I know we’ve seen this before, but I cannot think of a time when it happened to two of the top riders at the same race. It’s actually pretty scary because when you see the replays of their crashes, there is nothing abnormal happening prior to their hands coming off of their grips. Thankfully, both riders continued, but obviously they were extremely sore.

Eli Tomac definitely wasn’t smiling after the final main event in Anaheim.

As for Tomac, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen him get that impatient and make a big mistake. In the laps before his crash he was all over Cooper Webb and I feel like if he could’ve gotten by Webb, he would’ve pulled away. Tomac’s corner and whoop speed were a little faster than Webb and he had the rhythm sections figured out better. However, like Barcia Cooper Webb is a master at keeping riders behind him as he does a great job at reading where those riders are at and where they might be faster. In Supercross, it’s a little easier to fight off riders as there may only be a couple of decent passing spots on the track. Tomac was sitting in a good spot to finish on the podium even if he didn’t pass Webb, so other than just getting caught up in the moment it’s a little surprising to see Tomac push that hard. But racers are racers and I’m sure part of Tomac getting impatient stemmed from simply being annoyed that he couldn’t get past Webb. In the end, Tomac paid a heavy price and like everyone I’m glad he’s okay and good to go for Houston.

Thankfully Cameron McAdoo is okay and now he has a few weeks to recover before the 250SX West Series resumes in Oakland.

So as I mentioned above with the Triple Crown format providing so much excitement for the fans but so much extra risk for the riders, is there something else that Supercross could bring to the show that would make everyone happy? It’s a difficult question to answer as it’s a balancing act between trying something new without completely changing how the sport has operated for years. In my humble opinion the only thing that I’ve witnessed at other big indoor events that has fans on the edge of their seats is a Superpole. This is where you take the top two or three riders from each 450SX heat race and have them come back out halfway through the evening and one by one they hit the track and try to do their fastest lap. They do this feature right after an intermission so the track is groomed and you let the top riders loose to see who can do the best lap time. It’s definitely gimmicky and also risky, but for whatever reason when I’ve been at events where it’s done, it’s always exciting! I also think that if done properly with the right amount of hype and information provided to the viewers at home that it would be exciting to watch on television. I’m sure this has been suggested as something that might spice up the night show, so perhaps in the future we’ll see a Superpole or something like it. As I said, I like the Triple Crown format to watch as a fan, it just seems so hard on the riders each time they do it. After all of the ups and downs of Saturday in Anaheim it was good to see some new winners as Chase Sexton and Levi Kitchen took their first victories of 2023. Now the Monster Energy SX Series moves to Houston and the opening round of the 250SX East Series.

Cole Thompson had a rough night in Anaheim and sits 13th in points after three races.

Our Canadian riders had a tough night in Anaheim as both Parker Eales and Julien Benek failed to qualify for the night show. This is another negative to the Triple Crown format as they don’t take as many riders to the night show as they normally do. This keeps a good number of fast privateers from getting in front of the cameras and showcasing their sponsors. Anyway, Parker and Julien came up just short of making the night show so Cole Thompson was the only Canadian rider in the 250SX West main event. Although Cole rode well all evening he wasn’t able to get the good starts that he’s been getting so far in 2023. With the shorter main events, coming from behind was more difficult that it normally is so Cole struggled to get inside the top ten. In the third and final main event on Saturday Cole looked to be moving up and with a few laps to go he was around 11th. But then he had a big crash on the final lap and dropped further back. Cole doesn’t crash very often, especially like that so it was good to see him remount and finish. I’m scheduled to catch up with him later today so look for that interview tomorrow afternoon.

marco cannella
Is it possible that we won’t see Marco Cannella racing in 2023? As of right now it’s looking that way. Photo by James Lissimore

In other Canadian moto news we sure have had an exciting silly season this year, especially in the past few weeks. After Jacob Piccolo and Ryder McNabb basically switched places before the new year there was a short lull in signings until last weekend when Dylan Rempel announced that he had signed with the Partzilla PRMX Team for 2023. When that happened the Walton Kawasaki Team needed a 250 rider so according to my sources they offered Marco Cannella a contract to race in the 250 class for this season. Marco had also been talking to the TLD/GASGAS/SSR team so he did have a few irons in the fire so to speak. The contract offer from Kawasaki had a deadline attached to it so Marco had ample time to weigh his options and decide what he wanted to do. Unfortunately, he decided to not take the Kawasaki or to continue his talks with the TLD/GASGAS/Team. So as of now Marco Cannella will not be racing in 2023. I was so surprised at this news that I called him directly on Tuesday morning and he was straight up and honest with me. He basically told me that he had a good offer from the Walton Kawasaki Team but that to be fair to everyone involved, including himself, he just decided to turn it down. He said that right now he couldn’t commit and he didn’t want to waste anyone’s time. I mean, you have to respect Marco for standing firm to how he feels about going racing and putting himself out there. It’s his risk and if he feels like right now it’s just not worth it, then you can’t really blame him. Marco is a good guy and a talented rider and I’m almost positive that we haven’t seen the last of him at the race track.

The TLD/GASGAS/SSR pit is one of the cleanest in the paddock. But who is going to under the tent in 2023? Photo by James Lissimore

So with that said the Walton Kawasaki Team is still looking for a 250 rider for 2023 and as of right now there isn’t a lot of options. Tyler Gibbs is still available, TJ Scott hasn’t signed with anyone, although I hear he might have something cooking. Jeremy McKie is currently riding a KX450F down in Florida so I don’t think he wants to race in the 250 class this year. Tanner Ward had the option to move back down to the 250 class but my sources also told me that he’s all signed and ready to go once again as the Walton Kawasaki Team’s top 450 rider. We should know more this week as the Walton Kawasaki Team finalizes their 2023 race team and also which gear brand they will be wearing. Also, I mentioned the TLD/GASGAS/SSR Team as I spoke to Steve Simms on the weekend and he said that he will be ready to announce something very soon, maybe even this week. As I mentioned earlier, we haven’t seen this type of exciting silly season in Canada for some time!

Well, that is it for me this week. I hope the first few days of February go well and let’s hope that that the little rodent doesn’t see its shadow on Groundhog Day. Please have a great week and thank you for reading. If you have any questions or comments please email me at

This post was originally published on this site

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