Leamington every year seems to bring out the Ontario East vs. West shootout between many of the Intermediate and Expert racers. There seems to a strong and growing number of participants from the the south west region due to the Erie Rambles Motorcycle Club’s involvement. With a stacked house for riders and a very large and enthusiastic crowd, we knew we were in for a great night of racing.
When we say a stacked house American riders like AMA Amateur Grand National Champion Dallas Daniels and Kaley Johnson joined the full field of intermediates meanwhile Parker Norris and Chad Cose were heavy hitters to the expert class.
Cose filled in for the Don Taylor aboard the Sehl racing equipment. Our oonly assumption was to take away points from the winners if Don could heal from his injuries sustained from Lima.
The Expert Open was quite the spectacle, when the green light came on and the riot of bikes flashed into corner one with Steve Beattie and Parker Norris going one and two, Chad Cose headed high and drove around both Beattie and Norris to take the lead exiting corner two. Beattie tried to stay hot on Cose while they gap away from the field. Honda Canada rider Brodie Buchan made a move on lap two on the inside of Norris to nab third position. With Norris holding steady in fourth the battle for fifth is between four riders, Tyler Seguin, Dave Pouliot, Doug Lawerence and Nick Wenzler. On laps five and six Beattie and Cose set their own blistering pace that gaps out Buchan by half a straight away, its on this same lap Buchan heading down the back straight suffers a blown motor and has to pull off to the inside of the track. Charging hard is Parts Canada rider Doug Lawerence who overtakes Pouliot for fourth position high in corner two with a ballsy move just avoiding the bales. It would not be enough time for Lawerence to salvage any more points as Cose comes across the line and Beattie exiting corner four with Tyler Seguin finishing off the podium which was a tighter gap then the start.
Moving onto the Expert DTX main event, Brodie Buchan on board a new 2016 KBR Factory Honda 450, Cose on the SEHL Racing Yamaha 450 and Mike Labelle aboard the Waters Auto Body KTM 450. With no time to waste the race kicks off with the mad dash into corner one. It looked like the early lead would go to Cose and Norris dive down the inside of the track while Buchan stays high to cut across and down the inside of corner two to pass the pack down the back straight. Nick Wenzler sitting comfortably in fourth as Pouliot, Cose and Labelle follow behind him after two laps. When lap four rolls around Buchan is almost a straight away in length ahead of Norris in second spot, third place Wenzler almost low sides his bike in corner three allowing Labelle to catch up and leave Pouliot and Cose to fight over fifth. Heading into corners one and two on lap eight, Labelle puts a move on Norris and slips by on the inside to claim the second position until the end of the race, by this time Buchan had left everyone else at the station and was halfway around the track in the lead. Results were Brodie Buchan (Honda CRF450), Mike Labelle (KTM 450) and Parker Norris (Yamaha YZF450) to round out our top three in Expert DTX.
Open Intermediates hit the track, with a full field of riders ready to go the term thunder fest really comes into play as the bikes rev up up waiting for the green. The Brown brothers Tyler and Dustin are joined on the front row with local riders Trent Pickle and Cody Marentette, KBR Honda rider Jodi Christie and the American young gun Dallas Daniels fill the remaining two spots. Christie would lead the first lap after pulling a perfect hole shot, but this was short lived when Christie came too hot into corner one on the second lap he low sides the bike and another rider makes contact with him, causing a red flag.
Upon the restart Dustin Brown pulled the hole shot and lead the local lads Marentette and Pickle around the first lap, hot on their tail was Quebec rider William Bellerose and Dallas Daniels. Jodi Christie put down some fast laps as he caught up and passed Pickle on lap eight. The checker flag flew having Dustin Brown, Cody Marentette and Dallas Daniels as our top three.
The story of the Intermediate DTX race could be broken down into two parts. First off, the fact that Dallas Daniels, Marentette and Tyler Brown broke away from the pack in only two laps and stayed close until Tyler’s slow fade. Then the constant battle between Daniels and Marentette that lasted the reminder of the race! Both riders put on a show for the fans with Dallas’ Yamaha running a higher line over Cody’s inside groove. The race would come down to a half a bike length finish, which was the closest we had all night. It was great riding by these two individuals with Daniels grabbing the win over Marentette with a third for Tyler Brown.