The big change this weekend for Round 1 of the Rockstar Triple Crown Motocross Pro Nationals at Gopher Dunes, July 25-26, will be the exclusion of general admission spectators.
“That’s going to be the big change, no spectators,” said Derek Schuster of Gopher Dunes.
Gopher Dunes traditionally kicks off the second half of the Rockstar motocross series – last year it was the fourth race. This year the Courtland track will host the opening round of a shorter season.
“This year the series is only going to take place in eastern Canada,” said Schuster.
The condensed five-venue series continues in Ontario with three August races – August 1-2 in Chatsworth; August 15-16 in Walton; August 29-30 in Ottawa; and concludes Sept. 5-6 in Deschambault, Quebec.
“The first race was originally going to be the last week of April. Now we’re starting the last week of July, so that’s obviously a pretty big change.”
The local Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing team, managed by Schuster, will be represented by Dylan Wright, winner of last year’s 250 division who moves up to the 450 class this summer; and two new team members, Tanner Ward of Woodstock and Ryder McNabb from Minnedosa, Man. in the 250 division.
Honda Canada GDR Fox’s 450 national motocross champion Colton Facciotti has retired.
The 2019 season was the first the team had won both 250 and 450 crowns in the same year.
“We were super happy about it,” said Schuster. “It was really cool for us.”
The motocross track at Gopher Dunes, which was closed for about two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reopened for racing in June. During that time a few updates and changes were made.
“One little change, which is probably about a 20-second portion, is different… most of it is the same as last year.”
Round 1 of the series will be televised on Fox Sports and Rev TV Canada (formerly MavTV).
“Fulfilling the TV contract was key to trying to get some more racing in this year,” said Schuster.
Pros will race three times each weekend to make up for cancelled races in Calgary (Wildrose MX Park), Kamloops (Whispering Pines MX), Drumheller (Dorva MX Park) and Regina (Moto Valley MX Park).
“The goal was to still have the series as long as they could get it.”
It may be a short season, and it may be delayed, but Schuster said teams are excited to be back and racing.
“This is what we do, so it was important for us to get back in some way, shape or form – and do it safely as well. There are a lot of precautions being taken and a lot of new guidelines and stipulations that all the teams and racers have to follow. But if that’s what we’ve got to do to be able to race, that’s a small price to pay, it’s not a big deal.”
The annual Fall Mudfest at Gopher Dunes is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 13. Details will be released later in the summer.
“As of right now, the plan is to do our Fall Mudfest in September. But we don’t know what that will look like as far as guidelines and stipulations, so we will update when we know for sure what they are.”