2017 DMX Awards | 7th Annual
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
It’s that time of year again when we dust off the tuxedos, roll out the red carpet, and broadcast the annual DMX Awards around the world on live television for millions and millions of viewers to watch live. OK, OK, maybe it’s not quite on that level, but we always enjoy handing out our annual Canadian Motocross awards.
The choices for our awards are always up for debate and that’s what makes coming up with the final list so much fun and yet challenging.
It was another great year for racing in Canada and although we head into 2018 under new management, the racing is always the most important thing, and 2017 saw lots of great races and individual efforts.
Sit back and enjoy our 7th Annual DMX Awards.
Most Dominant Intermediate Rider
We’ll start with the ‘Most Dominant Intermediate Rider’ this year. If you’re a fan of moto, you like to get a glimpse at what the future of the sport will look like. The top yellow-plated rider is the best way we get that chance. We had 3 top Intermediates in 2017: Marco Cannella, Tanner Ward, and Austin Watling would have all been solid choices.
However, Tanner Ward went 9-for-9 at the ECAN at Deschambault this year, and that’s a pretty big accomplishment. Not only that, he finished off that week in Quebec by racing the Pro MX2 class and going 2-2 for 2nd overall! That’s huge.
Congratulations to Tanner Ward for winning this one.
Most Dominant Pro Rider
The most dominant Pro rider was Shawn Maffenbeier. Yes, even though in his pre-season predictions Jeff called him “an 11th place guy,” Shawn was an animal this season. He had a raw speed that we haven’t seen from him in the past. You just knew that the #12 was getting to the front of the pack no matter what. Heck, there were times when he would hit the dirt once or twice and still win! Shawn was the most dominant in our eyes.
Most Dominant Women’s Rider
Shelby Turner is our most dominant woman. Not only did she capture yet another Canadian National Championship, she represented Canada over in France at the ISDE and she dominated the Endurocross series, yet again. It is even pretty safe to say she just may be the most talented, most bad ass, most dominant all around Canadian Woman rider ever.
Best Looking Team
This one is very subjective and Jeff is our subjective guy. He can tell you what gear (and I mean everything!) a rider wore as far back as you can remember. It’s uncanny, if not a little frightening! We’ll let him take full control of this category:
“Jay Moore and Fox Canada had Colton Facciotti, Dylan Wright and the entire Honda Canada Fox Racing GDR team looking top shelf. Jay takes care of his guys, and is very fussy over every detail. ”
Best Looking Rig
Again, we’ll let Jeff take this one.
“The GDR rig once again gets the nod. They just look so clean and dialed with a very sharp and professional look at all times.”
Feel Good Story of the Year
It was great to see Kevin Tyler and Johnny Grant’s MX101 FXR Yamaha team win the MX2 championship with Shawn Maffenbeier. These guys showed everyone that the “little guys” can win and did! The question is, what will they do for an encore in 2018?
Kaven Benoit coming out and leaving the MX1 class in his dust was our biggest surprise. You would have thought he’s have been a little behind after his German ankle injury. It’s too bad he re-injured it, he looked like he had everyone’s number.
Jacob Hayes had some pretty bad luck, and Dylan Wright wasn’t far behind. These guys just couldn’t buy a break at times.
Dylan Wright sticks out in our minds. Bad starts hurt him all season long.
Tyler Medaglia and Mike Alessi, for sure. These guys are the top 2 in Canada, straight up.
Cole Thompson has that silky smooth style that people would kill for. It looks so effortless for Cole, you almost question if he’s pushing. Cole has battled that stigma since he was a young ripper, but it’s worked out pretty well for him, to say the least. There’s rarely anything out of place on Cole when he rides, except, of course, when he hurt his thumb at Bon Conseil.
Everybody we spoke to praised Prince George. They just need cell service. We don’t think many expected to see how much the riders seemed to enjoy this track, but they did. With some tweaks and increased parking space, this should be another great race in 2018. It would be nice if they could move the town a little closer to Vancouver though…
Least Favourite Track
We were divided on this one.
Jeff: RJ’s is my least favourite. The track is less than 1.5 hours from my house and I haven’t ridden there since 2005. The pits were a complete joke and a certain female there needs to learn how to treat people better.
Billy: For me, Regina gets the nod here. As a photographer, I really struggle to get to where I want to be. The talk of ticks and the VW-sized mosquitoes just take the edge off the enjoyment for me. There didn’t seem to be much local fan support, either, which is always unfortunate. And it’s really difficult to get that dirt right – it’s either too wet or too dry.
We won’t be going back to either of these tracks in 2018, so who will be the lucky track this year???
We like Deschambault, Old Quebec City, and the crazy French fans. The track is good, and you can see well from most spots. Like all Quebec motorsports events, the atmosphere is just better. They just need to figure out the Pro pits a little better this year.
This one was a no-brainer. Although we were a bit apprehensive approaching the former World Champion for the first time, Christophe Pourcel proved to be a breath of fresh air once we got talking. He was honest, didn’t pull any punches, and there was no sugar coating to be found. In fact, the one interview we did with Christophe nearly broke the internet!
Christophe Pourcel vs Matt Goerke in Prince George. These guys laid it all out on the line and took it right to the checkered flag in the one moto. Christophe’s pass on the final straightaway rhythm section gave him the win by a nobby. It was intense!
Tyler Medaglia and Cade Clason win this one. Just two goofy guys that will crack a smile at anyone, and are able to get one back. Very easy to talk to and easier to get along with.
Most Improved Rider
Brock Leitner is our most improved. The guy is barely 20 years old and he’s putting in the work and improving quickly. His jump to the 450 class paid off and he should be a top 10 guy next year. Hard work pays off. He’s also the Canadian rider you can cheer for when the 250 West Supercross Series starts up next week at A1.
Rider of the Year
Matt Goerke is our rider of the year. He stepped it up once again and was pretty darn good everywhere. Even when he struggled, he didn’t panic, did the work, and kept moving forward to score the points he needed to take this MX1 championship home another time. Congratulations, Matt, and the entire Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha team on another job well done.
Jeff: Shelby Turner
Billy: Shelby Tirner
Jeff: Kennedy Lutz
Billy: Kennedy Lutz, if she races.
Jeff: Josh Osby
Billy: Josh Osby
Jeff: Kaven Benoit
Billy: Cole Thompson
Triple Crown $100 000 Winner
Jeff: Cole Thompson
Billy: Cole Thompson
Congratulations to all the winners. There are always other great choices for each award, but these are the ones we went with for 2017. Thanks for another great year of racing. We’re looking forward to doing it all over again in 2018.