FastTimes' Blog
Words and photos by Marc Landry | Toronto Sports Photographer



Motocross

August 23, 2011

Photo Report From CMRC Pro National MX9 in Walton

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This weekend I covered my last outdoor CMRC Monster Energy Motocross Nationals race in 2011. I will be covering the Montreal Supercross for them in October but the outdoor season is now behind me. It has been an incredible ride this year and I met some great people along the way. The new friends and colleagues I have made is what I will take away from this season. I learned a few new tricks behind the lens but the people are what make the series for me. That is and will always be the story I hope to tell through my images.

I have been looking forward to the Walton stop all year. It’s the crown jewel of the series and one of my favorite tracks to shoot. The weather was beautiful all week for the amateurs but it quickly turned for the pro races this weekend. The forecast was all over the map but showed rain in one form or another for either day. I wanted to kill it at this race for CMRC and the Lee family but knew a soaker would end those dreams for me.  I brought my full studio kit, remote cameras and all the other goodies to capture something epic.  I remained hopeful but the forecast was ominous.  It just wasn’t in the cards.  No one expected the violent weather that came through. I am disappointed that I didn’t have a bluebird day to record this race, but after reading reports of the devastation in nearby Goderich, I am thankful to have got out unharmed.

I was also excited for this race as I would finally get to see the new issue of MXP.  My image of Topher Ingalls from Gopher Dunes was selected for the cover and I had only caught a glimpse of it during the planning stages.  I was stoked for Topher and the team at Gopher Dunes.  They are a good bunch of guys and deserve it.  Topher was kind enough to sign a copy for me but it unfortunately got damaged in the storm.  Hopefully I will be able to get another one.  Peter, Charles, Frankie and Gauldy did a great job on this issue.  Be sure to grab a copy at you favorite newsstand.  Here is a shot of the final cover.

 

I left Toronto early on Saturday morning and made my way to Walton. It’s a nice drive and it took me under 2hrs from the west end of the city. The grounds were packed and it seemed like the week-long event was a success. I had been following the action on twitter all week with great play-by-play from @gauldy107 and @palmsmx.  I made my way through the pits, checking-in and grabbing some shots here and there. The pro pits were pretty quiet, but I managed to get a few images. By early afternoon we got our first taste of what was in store for us the following day: high winds and torrential downpours.

All the vintage bikes get to come out and play at Walton.

Chris Lee. This was my first time meeting him and I snapped this shot of the legend. After we shook hands he said “I thought you’d be much younger”

Jason Burke (J.B.R./Rekluse/FXR/Machine Racing/label It, Honda)

Getting the chrome polished on the big rigs. Everything has to be perfect for game day.

Chris Pomeroy taking in the action from the skylift.

Denaye Giroux (Team Yamalube Schrader’s SMXRacing)

Jérôme Therrien sharpening the worn metal on Kaven Benoit’s bike for maximum grip under foot.

Then the rain came. It came hard and fast. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Dorothy and Toto fly by.

Everyone was caught off guard, seeking shelter.

On Saturday night we stayed at the quaint Blyth Inn. The Inn has a terrific restaurant and I had a nice dinner with Mark, Jan, Charles, Frankie, Andre Laurin and friends. A good time was had by all. I met Stally in the lobby at 6:00 AM the following morning and we headed over to Walton. Thank god for the Tim Horton’s on site. The rain diminished overnight and I really hoped it would stay clear of the track for race day. The track was still wet from the previous day’s rain however and morning practice was cancelled. The rain held off for most of the morning but it came in waves throughout the day, seemingly timed with motos. Each wave was worse than the previous.  Shooting conditions were next to impossible and were it not for the fact that it was the final race, I think I would have packed it in. I have rain covers for my gear but even they can’t keep this amount of moisture and humidity out of the cameras. My cameras eventually failed, just in time for the awards and, even as I type this, I haven’t had a chance to see if they are working. I know I wasn’t alone and that other videographers and photographers were in the same boat. But, when I look at what happened in Goderich, it puts it all into perspective. I think we were very lucky and that we were on the edge of what could have really been a disaster. Here are a few of the moments I managed to capture.

MX3 World Champion, Julien Bill, made the trip to race at Walton.

The window to get a clean shot of a rider was pretty tight. Tyler Medaglia – First lap/last lap.

Congratulations to Tyler and Heidi for becoming proud parents this weekend. Welcome little Talon.

Where NOT to stand during the lighting. Love the three Canada flags though!

Monster Canada’s, Danyel, always devoted and hospitable.

Coverboy, Topher Ingalls, signing the newest issue.

MX1 Start

Kyle Murphy charges in the downpour.

The rain was monsoon-like at times.

Keeping the bikes clean this weekend wasn’t easy.

Even in the cold wet rain, Sonni knows how to shine.

Julien Bill’s smoking bike looked like something out of a Predator movie.

Kornel Nemeth, last year’s number two finisher, piloted a Rockstar OTSFF Suzuki to a seventh place finish.

Eleven10 Mods Honda rider, Darryn Durham, was one of the other notable names to compete this weekend.

Yamaha Red Bull Blackfoot Fox Racing champions ColtonFacciotti (MX1) and teammate Tyler Medaglia (MX2)

‘King of Walton”, ColtonFacciotti, proudly holds up the coveted Walton Sword and shares the glory with his team.

Everyone made the most of the day.

Big thanks to the Lee Family, CMRC, and Monster Energy or your hark work. Big props to all the riders and staff who worked through these extraordinary circumstances.

To request access to complete gallery from this event please contact me.  These images are available for commercial use only.



About the Author

FastTimes
Marc Landry is a Toronto, Ontario based action sports photographer. Honing his skills on local and World Cup cycling circuits, Marc has since expanded his subject matter to include several outdoor adventure sports. Marc is in his element when surrounded by the energy that top athletes radiate. The relationships he forms with his subjects is apparent in his images and is part of what defines his look. He is most at home in the mountains and his preference for long glass and elaborate lighting setups has become his signature style. Born and raised in Ottawa, Marc now lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter




2 Comments


  1. Jennifer Cummings

    Great photo report Marc. I was born in Goderich and raised in Blyth until I flew the nest to move to Collingwood. It’s an area dear to my heart. Grew up with the Lee boys and so proud of their accomplishments. You did a great job capturing the event, even given the dire circumstances! Nice work!


    • Thanks for the comment Jennifer! It is so beautiful in that area, you are lucky to have grown up in Blyth. The Lee family has done well for themselves and are very nice folks. I liked spending time at the races with them this summer. Cheers!



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