Monday, November 16, 2009

Rock Maple Racing 2009-10 Competition Preview

DERRY, NH (Nov. 13, 2009) — If there’s going to be a new face atop the northeastern regional snocross ranks in 2010, that rider will need to get past one smooth, determined athlete.

After one of the most dominant seasons in series history, 2009 Pro division champion Danny Poirier will return to action, as teams around the region get ready for the 2009-10 Rock Maple Racing (RMR) season.

Poirier, of St. Theodore, Quebec, won all but two Pro finals last season, an amazing feat in such a competitive series. When the new season revs up just one month from now, Poirier will return with a new yet well known teammate in the Hulten Speed Sports/Polaris trailer. Bobby “The Rage” LePage will join the RMR ranks this season, and he’s not the only big name headed to New England for 2009-10.

Quebec native Mathieu Morin, who won the last RMR Pro final of 2009, will join the Ingles Performance/Ski-doo squad and should be among the top contenders. Both Morin and LePage are highly-skilled athletes with national experience, adding a great deal of excitement for race fans here in the northeast.

As Poirier looks to defend his 2009 title, a host of veterans and newcomers will be after his crown. Multi-time champion Jason Boron will be back aboard the D & Z Racing Ski-doos this season. While his brother Matt has retired from snocross, Jason isn’t quite ready to hang it up. He’s one of the most consistent, rock-solid athletes to ever climb on a sled, and will no doubt be running up front again in 2009-10.

Other riders to watch this season within the Pro division include Norwegian veteran Stale (pronounced Stolay) Eggen, who joins Bruce Gaspardi’s Team Southside organization; Jason Stone, part of the powerhouse Ingles Performance squad; Chris Chico, back for his second season on the mighty Amsoil/Arctic Cat Sno Pro 600; and Renaud Alexandre, back with Hulten Speed Sports.

Team Southside is also proud to announce the return of Alaska native Robert Graeber to RMR competition. Graeber turned a lot of heads when he joined RMR as a Semi-Pro rider two years ago. He’s recovering nicely from a serious accident in March of 2008, and everybody is thrilled to see this determined, talented young man with a big heart return this season. Team Southside will also support the Ackers (Melanie, Sarah and Wade) this season, and the whole team is headed for Duluth later this month.

While Graeber will compete in the Semi-Pro division for 2009-10, two other former Semi-Pro sensations are making the move up to Pro. Vermont-based veterans Brennan Berardo (Essex) and Jake Melville (Pownal) will be part of the hottest rookie class in recent memory, which will only enhance the competition. Think RMR’s Pro division will be exciting this year? Just wait until they throw the green flag Dec. 12-13 at the Hickory Ski Center.

Rock Maple’s Semi-Pro division is where future stars hone their skills, and they provide a ton of excitement as they rise to regional stardom. While defending champion Aaron Pfeifer won’t be back, there are plenty of athletes gunning to take his place. Among the top contenders is Corin Todd (D&Z Racing/Ski-doo), who many feel is the favorite to secure a title.

Yet talented young guns like Trevor Bouchard (now on Arctic Cat), Brad Davis, Garrett Mees, Lucas Brunelle, Lincoln Lemieux and Michael George have other ideas. A newcomer to the Semi-Pro ranks this year is motocross veteran Ash Woskob, of Tyrone, Pennsylvania. Woskob (D&Z Racing/.Ski-doo) is a multi-time MX champion and finished sixth in his RMR snocross debut last spring at Windham.

One of the sport’s rising stars is making the move up from Sport to Semi-Pro for 2009-10. Joey Stock (part of Team Southside), of Bearsville, NY, won the Sport 600 title in 2009 and finished only one point shy of Joey Mosher in Sport Super Stock. Watching this young man take his program to the next level will also be entertaining this winter.

Jake Dasilva and Andrew Bailey are two more former Sport division stars making the move to Semi-Pro. These two will run part time on both the RMR and International Series of Champions (ISOC) circuits for 2009-10. When ISOC rolls into historic Rockingham Park for the inaugural New England Nationals Feb. 13-14, Dasilva and Bailey will be going all-out for wins.

While RMR’s headline Pro and hotly-contested Semi-Pro divisions are expected to have banner seasons in 2009-10, the Sport, Women and Junior divisions are full of talented riders, as well. Add those eager young racers (ages 6 through 10) on the 120cc machines competing on their own little track, and you’ve got the recipe for another fantastic winter of snocross fun.

Some of Rock Maple’s teams will get a jump on the new season later this month, as they travel to Minnesota to compete in the 18th annual Amsoil Duluth Nationals on Nov. 27-29. Look for a report on how these teams make out shortly after the event. Good luck to all as a new season of high-flying snocross competition get under way.

To follow all of the action this season or to learn more, go to Rock Maple Racing is the proud eastern affiliate of ISOC, the national sanctioning body for snocross.