The 2019 Rockstar Triple Crown Arenacross tour wrapped up on May 4 at Barrie's Molson Centre with Cole Thompson and Dylan Wright grabbing the 450 and 250 titles respectively. Triple Crown action will resume on June 1, when the Motocross tour gets underway at Calgary's Wildrose MX Park. In the meantime, to help you get your two-wheeled fix, here are some shots that IM's ace photog John Meaney captured at the final arenacross round. Enjoy!
Tuesday, 07 May 2019 09:44 Published in Multimedia
Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Phil Nicoletti and Shawn Maffenbeier nailed down a second and fifth place respectively in the 450 Pro main this past Saturday night at the final round of the Rockstar Triple Crown AX Tour in Barrie, ON. Nicoletti – who took the win at Round 2 and missed only one podium finish in the four-round series – ended third overall in the AX Tour points chase while Maffenbeier claimed fourth overall.
In afternoon qualifying action at Barrie’s Molson Centre, Nicoletti booked the third fastest time, with Maffenbeier logging sixth.
Maffenbeier – who was scheduled to ride the first heat – got a bad jump out of the gate and had to dig deep once the racing action got underway. He made some swift passes to end up installing himself in second place and finishing there behind leader of the pack, Cole Thompson. It was critical for “Maff” to advance to the Clash, as he needed to make points up on Cade Clason. Clason, who was sitting fourth in the points, going into the final round, didn’t make it into the Clash. Nicoletti, who gated for Heat 2, also snared a second place finish and with it a berth in the Clash and main event.
When the gate dropped for the Clash both Nicoletti and Maffenbeier got good starts on their screaming YZ450Fs, with Nicoletti carrying enough momentum to snare the holeshot. Nicoletti stayed up front for the entire race and made up valuable points in the Triple Crown Series. The Clash win got him to within one point of Matt Goerke. Nicoletti trailed second-place Goerke by six points, coming into Barrie and he was on the gas to reduce the deficit. Maffenbeier rode solid in third but got passed by Tyler Medaglia in the final moments of the showdown, finishing fourth. But the two points “Maff” collected were enough to tie him with Clason as the contenders gated for the final main event of the AX Tour.
A mid-pack start for Nicoletti and Maffenbeier in the main quickly got turned around as Nicoletti made some lightning passes that saw him install himself into second place, where he would hunker down and remain till the checkered flag, finishing just behind first place Goerke.
“Although I would have preferred to be in the series points lead as we head into the MX Tour, I’m happy to be holding down third. It’s a good launching platform to get down to the serious business of motocross and I’m here to take care of business, riding my first full season in Canada,” Nicoletti said.
Maffenbeier, meanwhile, rode like a man possessed in the main as he battled hard with Clason for fifth place and enough points to displace his rival from fourth in the AX Tour’s standings. When all was said and done, Maffenbeier greeted the finish line in fifth place just a split second ahead of sixth place Clason. By sealing the top-five Maffenbeier grabbed enough points to take over fourth from Clason in the overall AX standings.
“I’m happy with the progression of my riding so far. After riding the 250 class it was a period of adjustment for me to take on the 450 again. But I’m feeling more and more like myself on the 450 now and really excited and looking forward to getting outdoors and starting the MX Tour,” Maffenbeier said.
“Overall the AX Tour was a good learning experience for our new team. We all learned a lot about each other and we got better, doing our tasks each week. We are all really looking forward to the MX Tour. Phil and Shawn are sitting in excellent positions to be competitive on the outdoor tracks,” team manager Steve Simms said.
Round 4 – 450 Arenacross Results
1. Matt Goerke (Kaw)
2. Phil Nicoletti (Yam)
3. Dakota Alix (KTM)
4. Cole Thompson (KTM)
5. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam)
Points After 4 of 4 Rounds
1. Cole Thompson 126 pts
2. Matt Goerke 119
3. Phil Nicoletti 115
4. Shawn Maffenbeier 87
5. Cade Clason 86
The Rockstar Triple Crown Series continues with Round 1 of the MX Tour on Saturday, June 1st at Wild Rose MX Park in Calgary, AB.
Monday, 06 May 2019 09:49 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Phil Nicoletti tightened the screws on the competition to grab the win in the 450 Pro main this past Saturday night at Round 2 of the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown AX Tour in Calgary, AB. His teammate Shawn Maffenbeier managed to bring home a top-five finish, claiming a noteworthy fourth at the finish line. Although Nicoletti and Maffenbeier seemed a bit tentative in the qualifiers – recording fourth and sixth respectively – they unleashed the power of their YZ450Fs when it came down to do some serious racing for points.
Nicoletti and Maffenbeier found themselves gating in the same heat race at Calgary’s Agrium Event Center. The teammates unfortunately came together in the second corner right after the start when Maffenbeier bumped Nicoletti’s back wheel, with Maffenbeier going down for a soil sample. Nicoletti managed to stay afloat and would greet the checkered flag in second place and with it a berth in the Clash for Cash. Maffenbeier, who ended up third, did not advance to the Clash.
In the Clash, Nicolleti had to settle for an outside gate pick. Anxious for a frontrunner start, he found himself spinning out of the gate instead. This left him trailing slightly behind the pack, going into the first corner. The New Yorker then proceeded to ride a few laps in sixth place before moving into fourth, where he finished.
Not about to make the same error twice, an on-fire Nicoletti blew out of the gate in the main to take the holeshot in front of the usual suspects, which included Cole Thompson and Matt Goerke. Not wasting any time, he poured on the gas, putting a bit of real estate between himself and the chase group. Thompson managed to close the gap a few times but Nicoletti wouldn’t have any of it. He pushed ahead and never let Canada’s undisputed indoor specialist, Thompson, install himself in a position to attempt a pass. Nicoletti stayed the course and when all was said and done, he garnered his first win on Canadian soil. Nicoletti’s victory was extra sweet, as it took him from fourth place in the points to third.
Maffenbeier, who started just outside the top five, made a pass about seven laps into the race for fourth. At one point Goerke, running in third place behind Thompson, made an error and went down. This gave Maffenbeier an opportunity to close the gap, almost getting past the multi-time motocross champ, but Goerke was up and running in no time and “Maff” had to settle for fourth at the finish line. Although it wasn’t the finish he was looking for, the Swift Current, SK native can look back on Calgary as a great improvement from his ninth place finish in Abbotsford the previous weekend. It also means he moved ahead in the points from ninth to sixth.
“The night started off decently enough, although I struggled with my starts early on. I executed the main event start well, though, and was able to keep the lead on my Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha YZ450F without working up too much of a sweat. The bike was simply awesome and dialed in to make me really comfortable, not to mention very competitive. I’m happy to get my first Canadian win and looking forward to more,” Nicoletti said.
“We came into the weekend hoping to better our results from Abbotsford. That was goal number one and we achieved that. The day didn’t start the best but we made some changes and when the gate dropped for the main, Phil just grabbed the holeshot and then ran his own race, coming out with the win,” Nicoletti’s mechanic Risi George noted.
Round 2 – 450 Arenacross Results
1. Phil Nicoletti (Yam)
2. Cole Thompson (KTM)
3. Matt Goerke (Kaw)
4. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam)
5. Collin Jurin (Kaw)
6. Cade Clason (Husq)
7. Nick Schmidt (Hon)
8. Blake Osatchuck (Husq)
Points After 2 of 4 Rounds
1. Cole Thompson 65 pts
2. Matt Goerke 61
3. Phil Nicoletti 58
4. Collin Jurin 49
5. Cade Clason 41
6. Shawn Maffenbeier 40
7. Nick Schmidt 38
8. Blake Osatchuck 34
9. Ryder Floyd 20
10. Brock Leitner 18
The Rockstar Triple Crown AX Tour continues for Round 3, after a one-weekend break in the schedule on April 27, at the Progressive Auto Center in Sarnia, ON.
Monday, 15 April 2019 11:02 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The Monster Energy Alpinestars Piller's Kawasaki Race Team officially kicked off the 2019 season this past weekend in Abbotsford, BC, at the first round of the Arenacross Tour. The Abbotsford Centre was the host of a very challenging course. The freshly built indoor track was made of soft dirt and quickly became highly demanding for all the riders. None the less, both Kawasaki riders overcame the tough conditions and put on an amazing ride to finish the night on the podium.
In the 450 class, Matt Goerke started his day by setting the fastest time in both practice and qualifiers. His performance gave him a good confidence boost heading into the night show. Matt started his heat race near the front, to quickly get into the lead and never look back. He eventually crossed the finish line with an impressive lead over 2nd place, giving him first gate pick for the main event. Before the main, Matt lined up for the Clash for Cash race, in which he didn’t get the best start, leaving him mid pack. After a couple passes, he finished the Cash class in 2nd place, gaining some more points towards the championship, and got ready for the final race of the night. When the gate dropped for the 450 main event, Matt found himself in the leading pack. Unfortunately, a small crash with another rider set him back down to 7th place. It wasn’t over for Goerke, who despite not having a front brake anymore, got back on his bike and made his way through the riders to get right back into 2nd place within 5 laps. During the second half of the race, Matt tried to apply pressure for the lead multiple times, but ended up making some mistakes due to his lack of brake issue and the extreme track conditions, getting the checkered flag in 2nd place.
It is not a secret that the 250 riders had a harder time with the track’s utmost mushy state, but Tyler Medaglia did not let the course condition affect his highly anticipated return to the 250 class. After setting the fastest time in practice and 2nd fastest lap times in qualifiers, Tyler knew his place was in the front. He lined up for his heat race, got a top 3 start and started fighting for the lead right away. It was a tight three-way battle for the top position and Medaglia tried everything he could to make the move from 2nd to 1st, when he made a mistake setting him back to 3rd place. Tyler began his 250 main event from the back of the pack after a bad start. He quickly made some passes to find himself in 2nd place. As the race went on, Tyler got closer to the lead, but ran out of time and had to settle for a well-deserved 2nd place finish.
The Monster Energy Alpinestars Piller's Kawasaki Race Team will now be traveling past the Rocky Mountains to Calgary, Alberta for round 2 of the Arenacross Tour this coming Saturday, April 13th.
Tuesday, 09 April 2019 10:35 Published in Rider and Team Releases