Toyota Yamaha Fox Racing
(Calgary, May 25, 2008)
Photos: James Lissimore

Colton FacciottiColton Facciotti leads TEAM TOYOTA/YAMAHA BLACKFOOT FOX to season opener victory at Ste. Julie!

Colton Facciotti piloted his Team Toyota/Yamaha Blackfoot Fox Racing YZ450F to overall MX1 victory at the opening round of the CMRC Monster Energy Motocross Series May 24 at Ste.Julie, QC. Facciotti’s back to back moto victories weren’t the team’s only success story in Quebec. Jimmy Nelson thumped his way to fourth overall with five-four finishes, while Blair Morgan kept Yamaha motorcycles in the top-10 with eighth overall. Aron Harvey shook off a disappointing first moto to pound his way to third in moto two aboard the YZ250F in the MX2 class, granting him 12th overall.

The big story was Facciotti’s crash in qualifying, a fall which nearly ended his season. “Colton crashed so hard in qualifying,” explains Blackfoot’s Dean Thompson. “Really, really bad…to be honest we thought that he wouldn’t be able to ride and could have been a season ending injury. Upon examination he had a partial separation of the shoulder. Todd Schumlick and JSR brought him back to the truck and did everything they could do to keep the swelling down. He was in so much pain, but ultimately he asked himself “how bad do I want this championship?” and went to the line for moto-one. He says after three laps the adrenaline was pumping and he could barely feel it anymore. The rest is history. It was an inspiring ride for the whole team.”

“This was a pretty good start to the series, that’s for sure!” Facciotti enthusiastically stated. “I felt awesome in practice until my big crash. I was pretty sore, but I knew my fitness was good enough to overcome it. I got a top-five start in moto-one but my shoulder was really bugging me, so I wasn’t doing some of the jumps. Then my shoulder started loosening up and feeling better and I started getting on pace and catching guys and ended up winning it” Facciotti kept that first moto momentum going to help him overcome pain in moto-two, a moto that luckily for him was a cruise compared to moto-one. “In the second moto I got a better start, and after a couple laps I just kind of ran away with it. It was a nice relaxing moto compared to the first one! I wasn’t too happy after my crash, but I just went out and rode my own races and it worked out.”

Jimmy NelsonA couple spots back, Jimmy Nelson and his Yamaha YZ450F ended the day in Quebec with fourth overall. “Yeah, fourth overall, I did alright,” says Nelson. “The track was good, rutted and pretty rough. In moto-one I started in eighth or ninth and came up to fifth, but I pretty much rode by myself that whole time. In moto-two I started in third and hung in there until three laps to go when Northrop got by me. On the next lap I stalled my bike. I lost a bunch of time getting it restarted, but still managed to stay in fourth.”

Thompson adds “Nelson rode really, really well this weekend. We are shooting for Jimmy for a top five in the series, and he’s definitely in condition for a top three. He’s got the fitness to continue putting in strong motos.” Stoked about his upcoming season, Nelson exclaims “The bike is working awesome. These guys work super-hard, and after riding for them for two years I’ve learned that they work their butts off which gives me more incentive to do that myself.”

Blair Morgan rounded out the top-ten for Toyota/Yamaha Blackfoot Fox, but not without drama. A collision with returning 2006 MX1 Champion Dusty Klatt put them both at the back of the pack. Thompson states. “He and Dusty Klatt went down in the second moto and ended up in last place. He got up and worked his way back to 11th. Dusty finished a couple positions behind him and just couldn’t gain on him which shows everyone he has the speed to run up front.” That finish combined with Morgan’s sixth place in moto-one was enough to give the veteran Blackfoot rider eighth overall.

Aron HarveyIn the MX2 class Aron Harvey struggled in the first moto after a fall left him over a lap down. Thompson says “On the first-lap Aron started off around fifth, then on the conclusion of the first lap he went down while moving up front. He was on an uphill and was trying to start the bike but couldn’t get a good kick and flooded the engine. By the time he got going again he was down a lap and a half. He hammered it and rejoined the group, proving that he had the speed to run with those guys.” His first time at a Canadian National, Harvey had every right to be nervous, but was happy with the way things worked out. “I wasn’t too worried,” he modestly says. “I’ve been in a lot of big races and knew what to expect. I felt a little rusty, so it was good to get those first two motos out of the way. I was in sixth in the first moto and just fell over. I just tried to put that behind me for the second moto. I had a bad gate pick but got an ok start and put my head down and worked my way up. I was in third and caught the leaders, until I made a mistake and fell and went back to sixth. I got back up to third and just kind of rode it out.” Thompson continues “In moto two, around the first corner, Aron was in 30th position. Then he was in 10th, then six laps later he was up to third! He started chewing away, two seconds a lap faster than the leaders before going down. He got going and regained third place on the final lap. It was a valiant effort and he knows that he has to keep it on two wheels, just falling in a corner can basically write off a moto for you. Aron is coming off a serious Supercross injury and only received clearance from the doctor to ride 3 weeks ago so he will get faster every week.”

With 5-time champion Jean Sebastien Roy acting as team mentor the Blackfoot squad had a secret weapon at their disposal. “This was pretty exciting,” says JSR. “Actually I was nervous. Honestly, I was less nervous at the first round when I was racing than I was this year helping the team. Colton was perfect! I’m working with them this week at my house, training and riding.” Laughs Harvey “Yeah, JSR Is babysitting us this week! He’s pretty much my dad when I’m away and he helps me a lot.”

Nelson, Morgan, FacciottiThompson is justifiably proud of the season’s first race and the way the Toyota/Yamaha Blackfoot Fox team works together. “It’s a long season and this is just the start,” he says. “Survival of the fittest, and Colton is by far the fittest rider out there. For Colton to come back from something like that is a huge confidence boost for him. At the midpoint of the first moto he was 18 seconds behind the leaders, but he charged up and won by 16 seconds! He won the second moto just shy of 30 seconds, so he definitely left his mark on the series for sure. I have to admire the kid, he spent three months in Georgia doing nothing but training, never complaining once. With the addition of JSR to the team as a mentor, well it’s unbelievable what he’s added to our rider’s confidence level. When you hear about riders who tweak their ankle in a corner and then pull off…obviously they have no heart when it comes to overcoming adversity and doing what it takes to win a Championship. This is a championship, not a lifestyle.” Facciotti obviously agrees, adding “Everyone is super-cool on the team this year, the bikes are wicked and everyone gets along awesome. I’m taking a couple days off to rest my shoulder, then I will be road-biking and riding some sand with JSR here at his house so I’m ready for Gopher Dunes.”

With the current media hype about the economy, rising fuel costs and whatever else, it’s easy to believe that motocross would be among the first victims. That, fortunately, is not the case says Thompson. “There were over 50 entries in MX1!” he says. “There is a lot of doom and gloom out there in the industry, but I want to say something about the positive vibe of the series at Ste. Julie. There were five transporters there, the pits were full and rider sign up is higher than it was two years ago! Motocross racing in Canada is alive and well! Anyone not involved is really missing out. There is a lot of activity in Canadian Motocross this year.”

That excitement continues when the Toyota/Yamaha Blackfoot Fox blue streak makes its way to sandy Gopher Dunes for round-two of the Canadian Nationals June 1. Perhaps the toughest track of the series, this will be a race you don’t want to miss!

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