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Pleasant Valley MX2 moto 2 may have been the craziest moto of the season. It was pure madness, we were expecting a good fight for the lead as usual but it turned out to be a good fight for title survival. Everyone at the track was on the edge of their seats. With the announcement of Thompson pulling out due to his thumb injury the Red Plate was changing hands one way or another in the form of Osby or Maff.
In moto 1 we saw Maff roll through a couple guys and pull away as Osby struggled with a bad start and a couple crashes. In Moto 2 Osby came out in the lead closely followed by the usual suspects of Pettis, Wright, Hayes, and Maff, it was kind of the start we were all looking to see minus the presence of Thompson. With the track fairly dry and smooth there was a lot of outside inside / inside outside corners with the guys swinging back and forth dodging roost and looking for an advantage. Maff suddenly disappeared from the front and we just thought ok he’s had a tip over which hasn’t been that uncommon but usually he gets back up in enough time to come back and fight for the moto win. He was kicking his bike for over 2 laps while Osby now moves into to the points lead as he continues to lead the race. Wright is then starting to make a push to the lead and we watch the drag race up the finish straight, they then come together in the air and Osby is down knocking fences and speakers and people over in the process. The bike pops up but Josh doesn’t and now Pettis has the lead and Hayes is in second. Wright starts to close on Hayes and we are back to a 3 way battle for the win. Because Pettis is a good kid and it’s his first race back from a broken collar bone you can feel the energy behind this everyone wants him to hold on and they are in the thick of lappers. I remember saying to my dad “this has to be the last lap” for the last 3 laps and it was a full on drag race to the line pretty exciting stuff so props to those riders for the show.
From my vantage point I could not see exactly what happened in the Wright/Osby incident and honestly, it looked like Josh just slid out on the landing hitting the fence but after watching the video it was clearly not the case. It takes a certain skill to have longevity in this sport, being able to slow things down and think your way around the track is not easy. It’s hard to say stop and sacrifice a dumb move and maybe an overall position to fight another day especially when you are young and all you want to do is win. In the riders meeting, we had on Saturday to discuss the track it was said that the first jump after the start goes toward the left and that whoever gets the holeshot will drift right and cut across to the left. This was clearly explained by Mitch to me, Colt, Alessi, Osby, Tremblay and a couple others including the refs to maybe mention in the regular Sunday am riders meeting. There were 3 easy options to change the start but no one felt it was needed. Sure enough, Bless and Alessi are in the lead drift to the right and follow the race line left and jump right into Colt who was up the inside and hit it straight. So now who is to blame? The guys following the line and hitting the jump from the right to the left or Colt for jumping it straight as you normally should maybe not wanting to jump over on someone on the left himself. It was explained that this could happen, it actually did and both people involved had the situation explained to them. Could Alessi and Bless jumped to the right and stayed right? Could Colt have jumped to the left a bit in anticipation? Should the start have been changed? No one can be blamed directly for this since it’s all circumstantial. Luckily no one was hurt and the race went on.
It wasn’t as unavoidable as the Wright/Osby incident as Dylan should have waited for a safer place to make a move which comes down to race craft because that could have ended just as badly for him as it did for Osby. You don’t want it to come down to a big injury to learn your lesson on putting yourself in a position to jeopardize even being able to line up. I bet Thompson is kicking himself a little in the ass for running it in on Hayes costing him a second championship. That happened ten feet in front of my eyes, sure 9 times out of ten a fall like that wouldn’t jack up your thumb but with huge points lead he could have just ridden out the season.
Things can happen and there are times that it’s just bad luck but sometimes you make your own luck. I’ve made several bone head moves and cost myself money and potential championships but in the moment it just happens so you have to quickly learn from those mistakes to grow as a rider that will have a long and healthy career. Some will learn and succeed and some won’t but it’s some journey along the way. That’s all I have for this week so until next time, get out there and play some chess.