Friday, March 11, 2011

Morin closes in on Pro titles at Snow Ridge

        Red-hot Mathieu Morin inched one step closer to locking up the 2011 titles last weekend, winning both the Pro Stock and Pro Open finals as East Coast Snocross (ECS) completed Round 7 on the 2011 schedule at the Snow Ridge Ski Resort.
Morin (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo), of Val-D’Or, QC, held off chief rival Danny Poirier (Hulten Speed Sports/Polaris) to claim Saturday’s 10-lap Stock final, while Poirier’s HSS/Polaris teammate Matt Piche filled out the podium. Morin’s margin of victory over Poirier was a mere 2.4 seconds.
In Sunday’s grueling 16-lap Open final, Morin prevailed once again to earn his 10th victory of the season. And just like the previous day, Poirier and Piche powered their “Red Sleds” to second and third respectively.
From a manufacturer’s standpoint, Ski-doo is clearly on top but Polaris sure isn’t far behind on any given weekend here in the east. It should also be noted the tremendous progress Arctic Cat has made this season, thanks to riders like Corin Todd, Chris Ackerman and Jason Boron. To see all three brands on the podium this year has certainly been refreshing.
Action in the Semi-Pro ranks produced a few surprises at Snow Ridge. Lucas Brunelle broke a long winless streak when he captured Sunday’s Stock final. New York native and veteran racer Adam Sedlmeier made his ECS debut with a solid second place run, while rising star Jacob Muller, of Richmond, MN, (Team Southside/Polaris) came home third.
Saturday’s Semi-Pro tilt went to ECS part-timer Kevin Morin, with New Jersey’s Jesse James Bonaduce second and veteran Dale Petrus third. Morin’s margin of victory was the least of any winner within the top classes, just 1.4 seconds over a hard-charging Bonaduce. Each week, fans get their money’s worth in Semi-Pro action as these rising stars reach for the spotlight.
In the Sport division at Snow Ridge, Leo Patenaude (Patenaude Pool Plasters/Ski-doo) put in an impressive effort. The young athlete from Hartland, VT, held off a hard-charging Mike Pilotte (by less than two seconds) to claim Saturday’s Super Stock final. Jarett Catlin made the long haul from Rochester, NH worthwhile with a fine third-place finish.
Pilotte bounced back to prevail in Sunday’s Super Stock battle, yet Patenaude was right there in second. Catlin capped a successful weekend outing with another third place run. In Sport 600, it was all Patenaude once again. Catlin stepped up his effort to claim the runner-up spot, while Bruce Gaspardi Jr. (Team Southside/Polaris) filled out the podium.  
Connor Roscoe was the rider to beat in Junior division action over the weekend in Turin. The talented young athlete from Cheshire, CT, picked up three more final round wins. On Saturday, he held off Tyler Zuidema and Peter Yerden to claim the 16-17 Stock 600 final. He also out-gunned Jerry Field and Cole Fredricks to prevail in 14-15 Stock 600 action.
On Sunday, Roscoe powered his Ski-doo to victory in the Jr. 14-15 Stock 600 final, while Jayme Lynch took top honors in 16-17 competition over Yerden and Zuidema.
Other final round winners over the weekend in Turin include Jason Boron (Pro Vet); Steffanie Lemieux-Bell (Pro Women Sat. and Sun.); Joe Lemieux (Plus 35 Masters Stock); Daryl Nutting (Plus 25 Stock); Sarah Acker (Women Stock 600 Sat.); Wade Acker (Jr. 10-13 Stock 380 Fan Sat.); and Hunter Patenaude (Jr. 10-13 380 Sunday).
East Coast Snocross would like to thank the entire staff at Snow Ridge for hosting last weekend’s event. With less-than-ideal weather conditions, it was a challenge to say the least. Having enough snow to hold up during heavy rains is something few sites could handle, yet the folks at Snow Ridge had us covered.
Next up for race teams here in the northeast after a much-needed rest is Round 8 at the beautiful Peek ‘N Peak Ski Resort in Findley Lake, NY, on Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27.