Round 5 of the Monster Energy Motocross Nationals at Gopher Dunes Raceway in Courtland, Ontario on Sunday, saw the MX1 and MX2 contenders not only face the toughest track in Canada, but a blazing sun that pushed the thermometer into the mid-30s.
Round 5 also proved to be full of surprises when it came to populating the winner’s circle. For Matt Goerke and Tyler Politelli, the unforgiving deep Gopher Dunes sand and scorching heat seemed of little relevance to their performance.
The Americans, racing their first season in Canada, poured on the gas to record impressive clean sweeps in the MX1 and MX2 title hunt respectively, at once ending the four rounds winning streak of Colton Facciotti and Tyler Medaglia.
The first MX1 heat holeshot went to Iain Hayden, who then disappeared from the top-10. In Hayden’s rear wheel were Facciotti, Matt Goerke, Robby Marshall and the South African Liam O’Farrell.
Facciotti wasted no time to stick a pass on Hayden on the first lap, taking Goerke along with him. A super motivated Goerke capitalized on the momentum to whip past Facciotti and take over the lead.
Although Facciotti mounted a few challenges early in the race and again towards the end, Goerke answered every time. When all was said and done, he crossed the finish line with about seven seconds to spare on Facciotti.
While first and second place were pretty well established by the fourth lap, the race for the remaining top-five positions was as hot and nasty as the weather.
Although Marshall and O’Farrell would occupy third and fourth respectively for most of the heat, they were displaced by Kyle Keast, who had earlier run in fourth only to crash and remount around eighth place.
Riding on his home track, Keast did not disappoint his legion of local fans finishing the heat in a noteworthy third place.
Bobby Kiniry, the victim of a bad start, had made his way into the top-10 by the halfway point. He remained in a passing mode and battled his way towards the top-five, clashing with the likes of Keast and Dusty Klatt.
Kiniry’s doggedness paid off when he managed to install himself in fourth place with just a few laps to go. Defending champ Klatt, despite every effort to finish on the podium, sealed the top-five with fifth.
Michael Willard snared the second MX1 heat holeshot with Teddy Maier, Kiniry, Marshall, Goerke, Klatt and Facciotti in tow.
Within 10 minutes the top-five went through a major shake-up that saw Goerke in possession of the lead chased by Keast, Facciotti, Maier, and Marshall.
Those positions would remain intact until just past the halfway mark, when Marshall stuck a pass on Maier for fourth resulting in a chain reaction of passes.
In the closing laps, a hard charging Facciotti stuck a pass on Keast for second place while Kiniry shot by Marshall and Maier to claim fourth.
Facciotti sealed the overall podium with second overall on the strength of 2-2 heats while Keast booked third overall, thanks to his 3-3 results.
Maier, who went down in turn one of the first heat, finishing in 14th place, greeted the checkered flag in sixth place this time to pick up ninth overall on the day and some valuable championship points.
Klatt, having his worst day of the season to date, disappeared early on from the front running group after a bobble and finished in 10th place. With fifth in the first heat, the defending champion still took home sixth overall on the day.
Taylor Miller took control of the first heat of the first eastern round of the Women’s Nationals to finish well ahead of Jocelyn Facciotti, Colton’s wife, in second, and Brianna DeGray in third.
In the second heat, Miller posted a repeat performance of heat one to make it a clean sweep day.
As in the first heat the race for second went down between Facciotti and DeGray, with Degray coming out on top.
Thanks to her 3-2 heat results, Degray recorded second overall on the day while Facciotti took home third on the strength of her 2-3 heats.