The final round of the Monster Energy Motocross Nationals in Walton, Ontario on Sunday proved to be a mixed bag of high winds, heavy rains, hail and sunshine.
It also marked the official crowning of Colton Facciotti Colton as MX1 Champion and his teammate Tyler Medaglia as MX2 Champion.
Fortunately, the tornado that ripped apart the downtown section of nearby Goderich spared the small town of Walton, but it did contribute severe weather that saw the second MX2 heat shortened to 15 minutes plus two laps, a back section of the track closed off, and the cancellation of the second MX1 heat.
While the sun did peek from behind the dark ominous clouds, it did so only between heats.
About one third of the way through the first MX2 heat it started to sprinkle followed by a floodgate of water that turned Walton Raceway into a total mudbog by the end of the second MX2 heat.
With Mother Nature’s rude intervention, the much-anticipated closing round of the nationals proved to be anticlimactic.
As riders battled each other they also had to contend with the elements, sticky, slimy mud, deep ruts, and pools of water.
For Facciotti and Medaglia, however, it was business as usual.
In the first MX2 heat, defending champ Medaglia grabbed the holeshot and led wire to wire.
He was never threatened for position as the rest of the top-10 contenders fought for position and survival on a slowly deteriorating track.
American guest rider Darryn Durham played spoiler in the first heat by hammering down second place ahead of fellow American Austin Politelli, Jeremy Medaglia and Kaven Benoit, who sealed the top-5.
For Tyler Medaglia, it was mission completed: he had the 2011 championship wrapped up and joined the illustrious club of claiming more than one national title.
In the shortened second heat, Durham snared the holeshot and led for a few laps until Medaglia stuck a muddy pass on him.
From that point on, Medaglia stayed in control of the heat finishing well ahead of Politelli, Richard Grey, Zack Duff, and Dylan Kaelin.
Among the many DNF victims were Jeremy Medaglia, Benoit, Durham, and Topher Ingalls.
One of the season-long frontrunners in the series, Dylan Schmoke, found himself finishing 26th in the first heat and 7th in the second.
Politelli grabbed second overall on the strength of 3-2 heats, with Grey sealing the podium on the strength of 9-3 heats.
In MX1 action, Facciotti snared the holeshot and led for a few laps until Robby Marshall passed him.
Facciotti reclaimed the lead a short time later and led for the rest of the heat. In his usual smooth cruise control style, Facciotti finished about half a lap ahead of second place.
Behind Facciotti there were supreme battles for a top-five finish, which ultimately saw Swiss guest rider and reigning MX3 World Champion Julien Bill claim second, Marshall third, Dusty Klatt fourth, and Iain Hayden fifth.
Bill, who got a top-10 start, stuck a pass on Marshall for second place with less than half a lap to go.
Meanwhile, 2010 MX1 champ Klatt, who was taken down by another rider in a first turn crash, took most of the heat to deftly work his way from dead last to fourth.
Top-five contenders in the series, Teddy Maier and Matt Goerke, finished 17th and 9th respectively.
Hungarian guest rider, Kornel Nemeth, turned a start just outside the top-10 into a 7th place at the finish line.