Round 1 – Triple Crown Series – July 27, 2020
KTM Red Bull THOR Factory Race Team’s Jess Pettis kicked off the 2020 Triple Crown Series in a big way over the weekend as he swept all three 250 Pro motos at Gopher Dunes to claim a triumphant victory at the season opener.
With a new three-moto format taking place over the weekend – one moto on Saturday and two motos on Sunday – riders were welcomed back to racing with everything from scorching temperatures to a brutally-rough sand track but none of that seemed to deter Pettis, the two-time 250 Pro Champion, as he successfully began his quest for a third title in 2020.
250 Pro Class
In Moto 1, Pettis powered his KTM 250 SX-F into the holeshot and assumed the lead right away. He went to work creating a gap of almost five seconds early on but he was soon joined for the lead battle by Marshal Weltin on lap six. With Weltin as close as 0.8 seconds at the halfway point, Pettis remained poised under pressure and eventually broke away in the final laps to win the first moto by 11.8 seconds.
On Sunday, the heat clicked up a few notches just in time for the final two motos of the weekend. Pettis didn’t get the most favorable start in Moto 2 as he almost came together with a few riders and shuffled back to seventh early on. He worked his way up to third by the end of the first lap and after laying down the fastest lap of the entire race, he charged his way into the lead on lap two. He diligently extended his lead throughout the 30-minutes, plus two-laps to finish 24.5 seconds ahead for the win.
Heading into the third and final moto with great confidence, Pettis once again nailed the holeshot and it was fellow KTM-mounted rider Jacob Piccolo close behind in second. Pettis slowly extended his lead over Piccolo to 22 seconds by the ninth lap and he remained focused on the task at hand while the battle for second-place heated up behind him. With a steady – yet fast – pace, Pettis held strong to claim the race three victory giving him a 1-1-1 sweep at the season opener.
Jean-Sebastien Roy, KTM Red Bull Thor Factory Team Manager: “The team is super happy with Jess’ performance, he came prepared this year. We flew out east to get used to the heat weeks ahead of time and he got plenty of time on the race bike. The team did an awesome job by setting up the bike through pre-season testing, so we were READY TO RACE and the result proved.”
Jess Pettis, KTM Red Bull Thor Factory 250 Rider: “I’m really happy to go 1-1-1 for the overall and have such a good start to the season. The track got really rough on Sunday, it’s a really sandy track and it was a really hot day so it was a tough one but I felt really comfortable and I’m looking to carry that momentum into the next round in Walton.”
KTM Supported racer Eve Brodeur managed an incredible performance in the heat racing a total of 5 motos in both the Women’s MX Class and the 250 Pro Class where on Saturday she claimed the 1-1 in the WMX Class and finishing with some solid work in the 250 Pro Class for 32-27-25 for a 29th Overall finish.
KTM Orange Brigade rider Jacob Piccolo had some stand-out moments at the season opener, including a notable performance in Moto 3 where he battled for a podium position for most of the race. He managed a 12th overall with 8-23-13 moto scores for the weekend.
KTM Orange Brigade rider Sebastien Racine was another young racer to have a blow-out weekend finishing with 1-1 in not only the Open Junior Class but also the Youth 14-29 Beg/Jun Class of the Parts Canada Amateur Open on his 125 SX.
450 Pro Class
It was an unfortunate start to the season for KTM Red Bull THOR Factory Race Team MX1 racer, Cole Thompson, who came into the weekend under the weather with an illness. Thompson attempted to compete in Moto 1 but ultimately made the tough decision to pull out after going down and getting sick on day one.
Next Race: August 8/9 – Walton, ON
250 Pro Results – Gopher Dunes
1. Jess Pettis, KTM (1-1-1)
2. Marshal Weltin, Kawasaki (2-2-4)
3. Marco Cannella, Yamaha (3-5-2)
7. Quinn Amyotte, KTM
8. Jeremy Mckie, KTM
12. Jacob Piccolo, KTM
17. Duncan Macleod, KTM
29. Eve Brodeur, KTM
450 Pro Results – Gopher Dunes
1. Dylan Wright, Honda (1-1-1)
2. Phil Nicoletti, Yamaha (3-2-2)
3. Matt Goerke, Kawasaki (4-3-3)
7. Liam O’Farrell, KTM
15. Blair Nauta, KTM
19. Max Filipek, KTM
250 Pro Series Points – Round 1 of 5
1. Jess Pettis – 75 points
2. Marshal Weltin – 62 points
3. Marco Cannella – 58 points
7. Quinn Amyotte – 41 points
8. Jeremy Mckie – 38 points
12. Jacob Piccolo – 21 points
16. Duncan Macleod – 12 points
450 Pro Series Points – Round 1 of 5
1. Dylan Wright – 75 points
2. Phil Nicoletti – 64 points
3. Matt Goerke – 58 points
7. Liam O’Farrell – 41 points
15. Blair Nauta – 17 points
19. Max Filipek – 7 points
20. Cole Thompson – 5 points
Photos provided by James Lissimore