This past weekend, the CMRC Rockstar Energy Drink Canadian Motocross National series, stopped in the small French community of Deschambault, Quebec, nestled just off the shore of the beautiful St. Lawrence River. Despite the forecasted storm, the early morning skies looked promising for a great day of racing.
The rain managed to hold off until practice was complete, but, as the guys headed out for qualifying, mother nature showed no mercy.
The sands of Deschambault were all but welcoming of the rain, as the water continued to turn the track into a mud hole.
However, the muddy track conditions and pour visibility could not stop the likes of local rider and MX2 series points leader, Kaven Benoit. Benoit navigated the course with ease and confidence to walk away with a 1-1 finish, and a few more points ahead of Vince Friese.
The Motoconcepts team headed to Deschambault with their minds set on consistency and Mike Alessi’s consistent 2-2 was good enough to take the overall for the day.
However, as many may assume, consistency didn’t appear to be the only thing on the mind of team manager, Tony Alessi, this past weekend.
The Motoconcepts team invited Mike Alessi’s younger brother, Jeff Alessi, to join the team for Round Seven of the series. After topping the qualifying list in the non-seeded qualifier, Jeff Alessi stated that he, “will be competing in the remaining four rounds of the series”.
As the gate dropped on the first moto for the MX2 class, it was the French Canadian, Kaven Benoit who led the pack into turn one. After claiming the Royal Distributing holeshot award, Benoit continued to pull away out front.
Given the severe rain storm that continued to dampen the likes of the day, many riders experienced personal struggles and mechanical malfunctions.
Defending champion, Austin Pollitelli managed to stall his bike in the deepest corner of mud on the track and spent many laps trying to get his bike back up and running.
Championship contender, Vince Friese also went down early in the moto, but, was able to remount quickly to minimize the damage.
Three-time Canadian Women’s West Champion, Haily Larson, managed to qualify for the Pro National, but, she was unable to compete after a tough crash in moto one.
The number twenty-six of privateer rider, Liam O’Farrell, found himself in second position, fifteen seconds back on Royal Distributing/Fox rider, Kaven Benoit.
Quebec-native, Jeremy Pronovost managed to pull the number fifty-eight into the number three spot, for his career best finish and first ever podium finish.
Motoconcept’s, Vince Friese, managed to muster up a fourth place finish in moto one, followed by Jesse Pierce, out of Clarksburg, New Jersey, in fifth.
In moto two, it was Kaven Benoit who took the Royal Distributing Holeshot award, once again. But this time, he had Motoconcept’s Vince Friese hot on his heels, followed by, privateer rider, Liam O’Farrell.
After a disappointing sixth place finish in moto one, Rockstar Energy/OTSFF/Yamaha rider, Shawn Maffenbeier looked fired up to prove a point. Maffenbeier was able to get by O’Farrell, but, the South African-native quickly returned the favour, to put his KTM back into third position.
The number twenty-seven of Jesse Wentland, also appeared to be fired and on the move. Wentland was able to make his way by defending champ Austin Pollitelli, among others, to put his MX101 Yamaha into sixth position.
In attempt to chase down Benoit, the track conditions managed to get the best of Friese, once again. After remounting, Friese was able to get the number seven-nineteen back to seventh position, where he would finish the race.
The number four of Jeremy Medaglia was able to close in on the O’Farrell-Maffenbeier battle, to make it a three way battle for third position. With only one lap remaining, Medaglia had managed to get by Maffenbeier and close in on the back tire of Liam O’Farrell. Unfortunately, mechanical malfunctions forced Medaglia to DNF the second moto.
Kaven Benoit swept both motos to claim the overall for the day at Deschambault. Liam O’Farrell rode strong and consistently to earn second overall with his 2-2 finishes. And Shawn Maffenbeier was able to round out the podium with 6-3 finish on the day.
As the MX1 class headed to the gate for moto one, the rain began to slow, but, the damage had already been done to track.
After returning from the hot lap, it appeared that series points leader, Colton Facciotti, was already having mechanical issues. The team appeared unable to resolve the issue prior to the gate drop.
With an eleventh overall qualifying time, Jeff Alessi was able to select the gate next to series points leader, Colton Facciotti. Mike’s younger brother appeared to be the barrier between Facciotti and his brother, who selected a far inside gate.
Rockstar Energy/OTSFF/Yamaha rider, Bobby Kiniry was able to get out front early and quickly put some time between himself and the rest of the pack. Although Alessi wasn’t able to get out of the gate in the lead, his fifth place start was far better than Facciotti’s tenth place start.
Motoconcept’s Mike Alessi began picking riders off, one-by-one, just behind Leading Edge/Kawasaki rider, Josh Hill. Facciotti was also on the move, making his way into fourth position behind the number three of Tyler Medaglia in the closing laps of the moto.
Bobby Kiniry had managed to rack up a fairly large gap, before his bike seized with only three laps remaining. As Kiniry was forced to DNF, Hill and Alessi set to battle it out for the win.
Although the battle was tough, Josh Hill managed to hold off Alessi, to take the win in moto one. KTM rider, Tyler Medaglia also managed to hold off Facciotti for the remainder of the moto, to take third. Facciotti took fourth, just in front of Rockstar Energy/OTSFF/Yamaha rider, Kyle Chisholm.
In moto two, it was Colton Facciotti who led the pack into turn one, capturing the Royal Distributing Holeshot Award. Mike Alessi, Bobby Kiniry and Leading Edge/Kawasaki rider, Teddy Maier, Tyler Medaglia, Motoconcept’s, Jeff Alessi, privateer rider, Zeb Dennis and OTSFF”s Kyle Chisholm, chased the red-plated number forty-five into turn one.
As the afternoon sun dried out a few of the puddles on the track, Facciotti was able to put some time between himself and championship contender, Mike Alessi. As Tyler Medaglia went to work making his way into the number three spot from fifth, moto one winner, Josh Hill also pushed to dig himself out from nearly last place start.
The number seven-thirty-two of Kyle Chisholm, was able to make his way by Zeb Dennis and Motoconcept’s Jeff Alessi, to put his Yamaha up into fifth position.
After a close battle for ninth position in moto one, Jeff Alessi looked to hold off the number seven-thirteen of Zeb Dennis. Unfortunately for Dennis, a mechanical malfunction forced him from ninth to seventeenth, leaving the battle unresolved.
After the OTSFF team rebuilt the number two bike, OTSFF rider, Bobby Kiniry, couldn’t seem to catch a break all weekend, adding a second moto crash to his list. Kiniry was able to work his way back though the pack for a seventh place finish in moto two.
Florida-native, Kyle Chisholm held onto sixth in moto two, to put him sixth overall for the day. Teddy Maier, out of Fort Dodge, Idaho went 6-5 to take fifth overall for the weekend.
Tyler Medaglia’s 3-3 finishes were good enough to score him fourth overall. Josh Hill went 1-4 to secure the final podium position, while Facciotti’s 4-1 claimed second.
Motoconcept’s Mike Alessi finally returned to the top of the podium with his 2-2 finishes earning him the overall win.
Alessi managed to pick up one point on series points leader, Colton Facciotti, leaving him twenty-seven points behind Facciotti. With only three rounds remaining it will be exciting to see if Alessi and the Motoconcepts team can close the gap on Facciotti and the GDR/Honda Team.
This weekend the series will stop for Round Eight at Riverglade Raceway in Moncton, New Brunswick.