It is under a bright sun and some heavy winds that the Wild Rose Motocross Park and its cityscape were awaiting a much anticipated season start. All three KTM Red Bull Thor riders gave good performances getting on the podium in the 450 moto 1 and grabbing a Holeshot in the 250 class.
Cole Thompson was looking forward to the first round of the great outdoors, especially after dominating the 450 class in the AX Tour portion of the Jetwerx Triple Crown Series and getting closer to the 100,000$ grand prize. Thompson put down some fast laps during qualification ensuring him a good starting position for the first 450 moto of the 2018 season. When the gate finally dropped, Cole found himself in a big pill up before even reaching the first corner. He didn’t let this crash stopped him and quickly went back on his KTM to start chasing the pack. Thompson passed numerous riders until he reached back to the top 5. Cole gave all he had in the last few laps and crossed the finish line in 3rd place. Unfortunately, moto 2 didn’t get any easier for the #16. After going down three corners into the race, Cole found himself on the ground again trying to make the pass for 6th place. He was able to get back to 7th and left Calgary just one position short of the podium in 4th.
Cole Thompson – KTM 450 SX-F – KTM Red Bull Thor Racing Team
“I didn’t get to finish where I wanted, but I am glad I was able to charge back and salvage as many points as possible. I know what I need to work on and I will make sure it’s put to good use next weekend.”
Kaven Benoit was also impatiently waiting for the return of the MX Tour series. After missing a big part of last year’s outdoor season due to injuries, Kaven worked hard all winter, stepping up his off-season training to make sure he would come back on top. The 1st 450 Moto went really well for the #26 as he started in the top 5 and slowly worked his way to a 2nd place. Benoit comfortably cruises to the 1st checkered flag of the season giving him a well-deserved podium finish. Moto 2 wasn’t as ideal for Kaven. After going down right from the start, Benoit struggled to find his rhythm and had a tough time working his way forward. He finally crossed the finish line in 14th giving him a 7th place overall for round 1.
Kaven Benoit – KTM 450 SX-F – KTM Red Bull Thor Racing Team
“This weekend was filled with highs and lows. I am happy to get out of it healthy, and I will regroup this week to come back stronger in Popkum.”
Calgary was also Tanner Ward’s first Canadian National Motocross race as a pro. The young Ontarian rider was all smile for his first day as a factory rider under the KTM Red Bull Thor tent. Ward showed up on the starting line confident after qualifying top 5 in the morning. Tanner pulled an impressive holeshot in Moto 1 but then pushed too hard and felt in the next corner. The #27 KTM rider worked his way up to 13th in the first lap and fought to finish the race in 8th. Moto 2 was unfortunately really similar as Tanner tangled with a fellow rider in the first corner and went down. Ward started his race at the complete end of the pack making passes to get the checkered flag in 9th position. Tanner left Calgary with an 8th place overall and a lot of good racing experience.
Tanner Ward – KTM 250 SX-F – KTM Red Bull Thor Racing Team
“My day started really well, and I was feeling super comfortable on the bike. I wish I could have displayed my full potential, but I’m happy to say that I never gave up today. It is a long season, and I’m ready to redeem myself next weekend.”
KTM Canada, Inc. would like to thank all of their sponsors for their continual support.
1. Jess Pettis 1-1
2. Shawn Maffenbeier 2-2
3. Joey Crown – KTM – 4-3
4. Josh Osby – KTM – 3-4
5. Jared Petruska 6-6
8. Tanner Ward – KTM – 8-9
1. Colton Facciotti 1-1
2. Matt Goerke 6-3
3. Tyler Medaglia 5-4
4. Cole Thompson – KTM – 3-7
5. Keylan Meston 4-6
7. Kaven Benoit – KTM – 2-14
450 Triple Crown Results
1. Cole Thompson – KTM – 239 points
2. Colton Facciotti – 221 points
3. Matt Goerke – 194 points