Matechuk Turns Heads at National Debut
This weekend saw the 2016 Rockstar National MX Series set up in Nanaimo, BC. The beautiful island track welcomed the nation's best riders for Round 2 of the Pro MX Series. Morning practice started in cool, dry weather and the Cycle Works Foothills Yamaha 450 piloted by Cody Matechuk was preparing for it's National debut. Matechuk hit the track for qualifiers which is run in three separate events, Q1, Q2 and Last Chance. When the dust settled, Matechuk's LRX Performance motor had earned an 11th place qualifying time and a decent gate pick for the afternoon's first Moto.
As MX1 was called to staging, Matechuk & his crew headed by mechanic Paul Lavoie, proceeded to the gates for their site lap. A one-lap sneak peek brought the field back to the start gates and into position for the first Moto of MX1. When the gate slammed flat into the concrete, Matechuk launched his Cycle Works Yamaha from it's cemented perch so his RMR Suspension could really go to work. Amongst a pile of screaming machinery, the #73 of Matechuk ripped through Turn 1 in 9th position. Over the next 10 laps the field began to spread and many riders began to drop their pace. By lap 11 Matechuk was putting out some of his fastest times of the heat and worked himself up to 8th. One lap later, the LRX Performance bike hurled Matechuk into 7th position. Over the next 5 laps, Matechuk closed in substantially on 6th place, but all while battling traffic to get within striking distance. On the final lap, near disaster hit as Matechuk was thrown sideways on his bike jamming & twisting his foot. He managed to keep his LRX Yamaha up on two wheels, but he knew something was wrong. The young Privateer came across the finish line in a well-earned 7th position.
Shortly after the race ended, KTM's Davi Millsaps was protested by Mike Allesi for jumping on a Red Cross flag along with fellow competitor Yamaha’s Matt Goerke. The two top five finsihers were docked 10 positions moving Matechuk and his Cycle Works Foothills Yamaha into 5TH.
Matechuk worked desperately in between Motos to try and remedy the soft tissue damage he sustained from the first race. He iced and bandaged up his ankle but knew he had little margin for error now. With trepidation, Matechuk pulled into his place on the start gate and rocketed into turn 1. Mid way through the opening lap, Matechuk caught that same injured foot on a berm rendering it virtually useless. With no rear braking option, Matechuk pushed hard through the next three laps before embracing the realization that there was no way to continue safely at race pace. Consumed by disappointment, Matechuk had to retire from the race leaving him with a 30th place finish in Moto 2. Combined with Moto 1's 5th pace finish, the Privateer from Cochrane, Alberta earned himself 16th overall and a whirlwind of media attention.
Matechuk will be under Medical care for the next 5 days in hopes that he may recover enough to be a force at the Calgary National scheduled for June 19th. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates,