Toyota Yamaha Fox Racing
(Calgary, June 15, 2008)
Photos: James Lissimore


Last year the Manitoba round of the CMRC Monster Energy Motocross Nationals was a washout when torrential rains made the track virtually impossible to ride. Last weekend’s race, in Morden, Manitoba, looked to be heading toward a repeat of same situation. Nasty weather had been dumping bucketfuls rain onto the track in the days leading to the National. For Team Toyota/Yamaha Blackfoot Fox’s Colton Facciotti, recovering from the broken collarbone that caused him to miss round two, this added to the pressure of trying for a repeat back to back moto victories like he’d enjoyed at Ste Julie.

“I was nervous in practice,” said Facciotti. “I thought it was going to be 2007 all over again! My shoulder wasn’t feeling all that great, and it was muddy which was harder on it. For the race things dried up a bit and my shoulder started loosening up, so it was all good.” Quick times in qualifying helped Facciotti overcome the pre-race jitters. “I qualified fourth, which was ok because I’m not usually the fastest in practice but can pick it up and get into racing mode by the time moto-one comes around,” he explains. “The first moto was awesome. I got a pretty decent start, top-five anyway, then I picked off the guys right away and moved into the lead. I pretty much rode up front the whole race, lengthening the gap a little bit.” With a first moto win under his belt, Facciotti was looking forward to moto-two. “I was a little sore after the first moto, but I took it easy and they iced me up so I was good to go for the second moto. I felt good on the track after getting another good start. It took me a while to catch (Tyler) Medaglia, then I was on him for four or five laps. I was getting frustrated. It was really hard to pass. Finally I saw an opening and just gave it a full handful of throttle and passed him and gained a little bit of a lead. After that I had a clear track in front of me.”

Colton FacciottiAnother double victory and first overall; a repeat performance of round-one that left no doubt who is the fastest MX1 rider in Canada. Facciotti continues “There was only one fast line and lappers were all over the place. I thought I was gonna’ crash a couple of times because of lappers swapping around in the ruts. The track was narrow and if you got off of the one good line you lost a few seconds.” Looking forward to the next race, June 22 at Regina, Saskatchewan, he says “I feel good. I’m a little sore today but I have five days to recover and should be in better shape at the next round than I was this weekend. After missing the second round, I mean, I was kinda’ down. I really wanted to come out and prove that round-one wasn’t a fluke. I think I’ve proven that now!”

Jimmy NelsonJimmy Nelson had a good, solid weekend in Manitoba. “Third overall, so that’s a step up,” Nelson begins. “At Gopher Dunes I made some mistakes and fell down, but the other two races I can’t complain about. I like next week’s track at Regina a lot, and I want to keep improving every weekend. I’m not happy with third…” The rain before the race at Morden may have given some riders a deja-vu feeling of dread, but Nelson was completely the opposite. “I like the mud, so I wasn’t too worried about it,” he says. “I’m a little ways back in points, and mud can make anything happen, so going into Morden I was saying ‘let it rain!’ When it gets bad the guys leading the points need to be conservative, and that’s not the way I need to go.” In moto-one Nelson made a great charge through the pack, running in podium position for most of the moto before settling for fourth. “The first moto went ok,” explains Nelson. “I started about 10th and then worked my way up to third. Then with two laps to go I went off the track and Medaglia passed me. I lost a bunch of time there and just couldn’t get close enough to pass back.” In moto-two Nelson got off to a great start. “I got the holeshot and then was running fourth until Dusty (Klatt) fell and I took over third,” he says. “Blair (Morgan) was coming up behind me, he was behind me the whole moto, and then he got by me. I’d wanted to get on the podium for sure. The track was pretty tough because of the rain. There were really deep ruts everywhere, and in the first moto there was only really one good line. It was tough to pass, but I managed to get into third by four laps in so I made lots of passes quickly early on. I really liked the track, so I just felt good all weekend.” Fourth-overall is a great performance, but one Nelson is planning on improving at round four. “I’ll be training this week and try to come out and do a little better in Saskatchewan,” says Nelson. “We’ve been working on the suspension and stuff, I mean it’s a big change for me coming from a YZ250F to the 450, but the guys have been working super-hard on getting the bike just right for me. Things keep getting better and better as we go along.”

Blair MorganRight behind Nelson’s YZ450F was Blair Morgan, finishing the day with 6-3 moto scores and fifth overall. “This season is going pretty good!” says Morgan. “I’m really pumped about my second moto especially. The first moto wasn’t the greatest, but it was a pretty good day! I qualified fifth and I knew going into the first moto that I could make the top three. I was really excited about that, but I got a bad start. It was kinda’ hard to pass, very rutted and muddy. Ruts are good, but it was just a tough track to pass on.” Coming out swinging for moto-two, Morgan’s experience and smart riding was paying off. “I got a decent start, and by the time I rounded the first lap I was in the top 10. I was going pretty good, passing a lot of guys near the end of the race so I know I was stronger than them. Hmm…I was passing people the whole race actually! The bike is working really good, and I’m feeling awesome. I can’t wait for the next race…I’m definitely feeling good about this whole season!”

Aron HarveyIn MX2, Aron Harvey enjoyed the same success his Toyota/Yamaha Blackfoot Fox teammates were having on the bigger bikes. You wouldn’t expect a rider from the desert to be good at ruts and mud, but Harvey had no problems adapting to the conditions and qualified third. “I’m not big on qualifying,” says Harvey. “Lap times are lap times, but if you’re near the top you’re up there. I haven’t ridden in that much mud, but really I don’t mind it. Everyone has to deal with it, so I just take it as it comes. I think it made the track a lot better, since it rutted up nicely. When it rains at a track it relaxes me. I mean, I know it’s kinda’ weird to say but for some reason I like it. Bad conditions bring out the best riders, so rain was fine with me. No problem.” That confidence helped Harvey charge to a pair of third place finishes and second overall. “I was running second most of the first moto with (Jeremy Medaglia) right on me. I was holding my lines and it didn’t seem like he could get by me, but then we started getting into the lappers. I got tangled up with someone and fell but kept my bike running. It was muddy and I just hit his back wheel and slid sideways and fell over. At some parts of the track there were lots of places to pass, but the other half of the track you couldn’t pass at all. I was on that part of the course when I fell. I got back up and still finished third. I was a little bummed that I went down, but I still finished third, so that’s ok.” In moto-two Harvey was on the gas, doing whatever it took to make passes after getting a mediocre start. “In the second moto I didn’t get the best of starts, but I just held it on and made a couple of hairy moves and got up there,” he explains. “I’m feeling really comfortable on the bike now. The YZ250F is such a good bike and I like it a lot, so I’m feeling really good about the next race!”

“Overall the team is very excited coming out of Morden as everyone moved forward and Colton is back in the saddle again,” says Team Manager Dean Thompson. “To see Colton dominating the way he has with 30 minutes of riding in the last three weeks is just amazing! There is a lot of racing left in the series and Colton thrives on being challenged so being 29 points back will not only make him more determined it will also make the series that much more exciting for the fans.” While the riders have not always had the top qualifying positions Thompson is not concerned. “There a lot of what we call lap attackers out there that are able to lay down one hot lap but when it comes to keeping that pace for the whole moto it is another story.”

Morden turned out to be a stellar weekend for team Toyota/Yamaha Blackfoot Fox. With Facciotti running third in the MX1 title chase with 100 points, despite missing the second round, it’s obvious to all that he is the man to beat. Morgan holds down fourth with 94 points, and Nelson sits in sixth with 86 points. Harvey is now in a three way tie for second in the MX2 Championships with 93 points. That makes the MX2 title chase one to watch closely, because it puts Harvey in striking position as the CMRC Monster Energy Motocross National Series makes it way to Regina, Saskatchewan June 21/22.

A special thank you to our 2008 Team Sponsors:

Toyota Yamaha Fox Racing
Operated by Blackfoot Racing Inc.
Contact: Dean Thompson
(403) 214-2855

Blair Morgan
Colton Facciotti
Jimmy Nelson
Aron Harvey