WALTON, Ontario – The KTM Canada Red Bull THOR Race Team had a strong start to the 2021 Triple Crown Series, capping off an exciting double-header weekend at Walton with a powerful finish in the 450 class. With rookie Jess Pettis on top claiming his first-career 450 win on Sunday and getting his first-ever 450 Class Red Plate going into next weekend, teammate Cole Thompson backed it up with a solid runner-up finish, giving the team a positive outlook after the first two rounds of racing.

Officially debuting in Round 1 of the premier class aboard the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION on Friday, Jess Pettis was eager to return to racing with a new challenge on his plate. Pettis eased his way back in having been out of the racing circuit due to a knee injury in the beginning of 2021 and finished with a strong second place. His consistency and speed earned him a second place overall to kick off the season. Cole Thompson was not far behind finishing the day with a 4-4 for 4th overall of the day. 

Round 2 of racing resumed on Sunday with a three-moto format and Pettis maintained a consistent pace throughout the day. Claiming a strong 3rd place in moto one, the 450-rookie turned it up a notch in the final two motos with an impressive 1-1 finishes to solidify his presence in the premier class being followed closely by teammate Cole Thompson who finished the day with a solid 2nd overall.

Jess Pettis, KTM Canada – Red Bull – THOR Race Team 450 Rider: “I’m really happy with how the first two rounds went at Walton. I started out with consistent podium results on Friday to get second overall at my first 450 race after a long injury with my knee during the winter time. Round 2 on Sunday went really well – I qualified first but I didn’t feel too comfortable in the first moto so we made a few small changes. Then I went 1-1 in the last two motos to get my first overall on a 450 and getting the red plate leading into Gopher Dunes next weekend. I’m really excited and hopefully we can keep this rolling.” 

It was a solid entrance into the 2021 season for Cole Thompson, who came away with a consistent set of finishes as well. Thompson put himself in a favorable position from the get-go as he battled up front in both motos on Friday. Leading a few laps in the second moto, Thompson fought hard to ultimately come away with 4-4 finishes at Round 1. 

On Sunday, Thompson once again found himself in the lead battle during all three races and he maintained a consistent performance to claim 2-2-2 finishes across the board. Concluding the weekend with solid finishes of fourth and second overall, Thompson sits third in the early championship standings. 

Cole Thompson, KTM Canada – Red Bull – THOR Race Team 450 Rider: “Second overall today and a 1-2 finish for the team. I’m happy to be in the mix for wins, I just need to keep pushing forward to be better every moto. I want to give a huge thanks to my entire team for their full effort every day, let’s keep this ball rolling into next weekend. “

Jean-Sebastien Roy, KTM Canada – Red Bull – THOR Race Team Manager“It was an amazing first weekend for the series. The whole team did an incredible job getting the season started right and of course, Cole and Jess put the hammer down with the results on the track. Having two guys on the podium is what we have been looking for. Moving into the next round, the team is looking to put their fitness to the test in the deep sand of Gopher Dunes.” 

WMX Class – KTM Supported racer Eve Brodeur had a great start to the 2021 series as she swept the first two motos of the Thor WMX class to claim the overall victory on Sunday. Additionally, Brodeur put in a solid performance on Friday in the 250 Pro class, where she scored 26th overall at the season opener.

Orange Brigade – KTM Orange Brigade rider Jacob Piccolo had a standout performance at the opening weekend, managing two consistent podium finishes in the 250 Pro overall. Piccolo started off strong with 3rd overall on Friday and he carried that momentum into Sunday’s race as he claimed a moto win to start day and finished 3rd overall. 

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Next Race: July 10 – 11 – Courtland, Ontario


450 Pro Results – Walton 1

1. Dylan Wright, Honda (1-1) 

2. Jess Pettis, KTM (3-2)

3. Marshal Weltin, Kawasaki (2-3) 

4. Cole Thompson, KTM (4-4)


6. Tim Tremblay, KTM

9. Liam O’Farrell, KTM 


250 Pro Results – Walton 1

1. Tanner Ward,        Honda (4-1) 

2. Marco Cannella, Yamaha (3-2)

3. Jacob Piccolo,        KTM (2-3) 


11. Jeremy Mckie, KTM  

26. Eve Brodeur, KTM


450 Pro Results – Walton 2

1. Jess Pettis, KTM (3-1-1) 

2. Cole Thompson, KTM (2-2-2)

3. Dylan Wright, Honda (1-4-4) 


7. Tim Tremblay, KTM 

10. Liam O’Farrell, KTM

250 Pro Results – Walton 2

1. Tanner Ward, Honda (4-3-1) 

  1.  Ryder McNabb, Honda (2-2-4)

3. Jacob Piccolo, KTM  


10. Jeremy Mckie, KTM 


Photos provided by James Lissimore