Rockstar Energy Troy Lee Designs OTSFF Suzuki’s Iain Hayden rose to the occasion at Round 9 of the CMRC Motocross Nationals in Walton, ON this past weekend, recording his best ever career finish in the premiere MX1 class.
The multi-time Canadian National Snowcross champ nailed down a noteworthy fifth place overall, moving up another notch in the points chase to end the season in 17th place.
His teammate for the day, Kornel Nemeth, who came from Europe for this one-off race, finished seventh.
The final round of the nationals proved to be somewhat anticlimactic as severe weather plagued Huron County, producing a mix of high winds, heavy rains, and even hail that turned Walton Raceway into a wicked mudbog.
Fortunately the tornado that accompanied the storm front, causing death and destruction in nearby Goderich, spared the small rural town of Walton.
The nasty weather did, however, prompt CMRC officials to shorten the second MX2 moto to 15 minutes plus two laps, and the cancellation of the second MX1 moto.
“We’ve seen some pretty bad weather at the nationals over the years but this one took the cake. For us, though, it was a good day, placing two riders in the top ten. It was strictly a race of survival and Iain and Kornel were among the survivors,” team owner Andre Laurin said.
In the one and only MX1 moto, Hayden got one of his best starts of the season. He dove into turn one in the top five and stayed there for the entire mud-flying moto.
Running as high as third, he stayed in the mix till the bitter end, battling the likes of reigning MX3 World Champion Julien Bill and 2010 Canadian MX1 Champion Dusty Klatt, for position. Only Bill and Klatt managed to get by Hayden, who settled for fifth at the finish line despite riding without goggles.
“I’m very excited with my finish today. In hasn’t been since my MX2 days that I placed top five so this will be a national to remember. The weather and tra ck conditions were absolutely lousy, though. I just focused on staying on two wheels and getting as many points as I could,” Hayden said.
“My bike took to the mud like a duck to water so that was a real plus. Unfortunately I had to toss my goggles after running out of tear-offs towards the end of the moto. My eyes really started burning from the mud and rain, which made it difficult to see and not lose position.”
Nemeth, who finished the 2010 CMRC Nationals season as runner-up, kicked off the day well by putting his potent RMZ 450 into the top qualifying position.
When the gate dropped for the moto, he powered his way into turn one behind Hayden. Despite a pit stop to grab a new pair of gloves and goggles, past the halfway point of the moto, Nemeth still managed to record seventh place by the time the checkered was waved. Unfortunately there was no second moto for another kick at the can.
“I was glad to be back in Canada for this race and I want to thank Andre for giving me the opportunity to ride for his team. It’s too bad the weather didn’t cooperate today but the track conditions were the same for everyone. I wanted to finish on the podium like I did in ’09 and last year, but having to stop for fresh gloves and goggles didn’t help,” Nemeth said.The multi-time Hungarian National Motocross Champion and former top European freestyler did not do the nationals this year, due to racing commitments in his native Hungary and adopted home Germany. He filled in for an injured Bobby Kiniry, who won the Walton TransCan Grand National last year.
Kiniry, who finished third in the points chase for Team Rockstar Energy Troy Lee Designs OTSFF Suzuki in 2010, still hung onto a top ten ranking even though he missed the final two rounds. The New York native grabbed the No.7 plate on the strength of 196 points.
MX1 Points after 9 of 9 rounds
FG_AUTHORS: Canadian Motosport Racing Corporation - News / Press Releases