Catching Up with… Kaven Benoit
By Billy Rainford
*this interview was to be the intro to Frid’Eh Update #3. However, as Murphy’s Law dictates, our site updates and host change tried to happen Friday and today. We’ve put the site back the way it was until we get home from California. Sorry for the inconvenience. Here is our conversation with #3 Kaven Benoit.
Welcome to Week #3 of the Frid’Eh Update. In 2017, #3 belongs to the MX1 rookie that took the last 12 months by storm and impressed the heck out of everyone. From his cool and confident rides in the Rockstar MX Nationals to his outstanding performance for Team Canada in Italy at the MXON, it was a year to remember for Kaven Benoit.
Here’s a look at Kaven’s outdoor season:
Kaven had plans to do more indoor races down south when the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series headed east, but as you’ll read here, those plans have changed.
Unfortunately, Kaven broke his ankle last week at the Dortmund SX in Germany and will be out of action for a while as it heals. You can read our Injury Update HERE.
We grabbed Kaven for a chat to talk about the crash and his amazing 2016 season. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Kaven. First off, sorry to hear about your crash in Germany. Let’s start off by talking about last summer. It was your rookie year in the MX1 class and it sure looks like it was a success. How would you describe last summer?
Kaven Benoit: Last summer was great! I had good confidence coming into the season but at the same time I was gonna face one of the biggest competition Canada ever got in the MX1, so I didn’t really know where I was gonna fit in. My realistic goal was to be a consistent top 5 guy which I think I did and even got better towards the end. So, I’m really satisfied with my first season on the big bike.
Going in, did you think you’d compete at that level with those guys all summer long?
Like I said, I had good confidence in my speed going in but it was a new challenge mentally to be able to run with these guys. I think I progressed well during the season and I’m happy with that.
How was it being teammates with a proven superstar like Davi Millsaps?
Davi is an awesome guy. I didn’t know him before the season and it turned out to be awesome. We had great times under the tent and he was good to me. He brought good experience to the team and I’m happy that I got the chance to team with him.
He joked that he’d gladly give you advice until you started beating him. What was your relationship like?
Yeah (Laughs), hard to tell how it would have turned out if we were battling for a championship, but hey… he did give me a lot of advice and we had a good relationship. Even at Deschambault we had good battles and he stayed the same. Davi is a nice guy.
What did you think about the 2 new track on the schedule?
I am not going to lie that I miss those 2 tracks… I wasn’t a huge fan of the 2 new ones. I think Truro has lots of potential just that there are couple things that need to be changed to make it better… same with Barrie.
So, you miss Sand Del Lee and Walton?
I personally preferred Sand Del Lee and Walton, but that’s not my deal so I’m gonna race the tracks we are given and try to make the best out of it.
You finished 3rd in the series and then went on to blow us all away in Italy. Can you highlight your MXON experience for us? We were all running around high-fiving when you were up near the front!
The MXON experience was really special. There was something special about that event that I cant describe. It probably has to do with the organization (thanks to Kourtney [Lloyd] again!) I felt super-comfortable that weekend and things were clicking. I am really [happy] with my performance and hope to do even better in the future.
Was that the highlight of your career, so far? If not that, what is?
I would consider that as the biggest highlight of my career, for sure.
What did you get up to after Italy?
After Italy I took some time off and worked on my house a bit and did some other normal activities and enjoyed some time off really, and then I went to Club MX in November where I hurt myself, so it’s been tough lately.
OK, lets talk about your Dortmund SX experience. We just did an Injury Update, but maybe you could take us through it here?
I had fun in Dortmund until the crash… it was cool to race indoors again; it’s a lot different. I was feeling better and better each time I was on the track. I only had couple days of preparation because of that previous injury from before Christmas so I was getting more and more comfortable on the track but then the accident happened.
I’m super-bummed because I had some plans if that weekend was going to be good for me but now I am scratching indoor races from my program. My stats aren’t really good so I’d rather put that aside and focus on outdoors.
Well, good luck with your recovery and we’ll be watching for you to be back on your bike sometime at the end of February. Who would you like to thank?
Thank you. Yes, there is no date right now on my return but I’ll be back! I would like to thank KTM Canada for being the best team for me and all the sponsors that come with it. I don’t have any confirmation on our team status right now so can’t say much more. I will still have some usual supporters like Oakley, Atlas, CTi Orthoflex, Marin Bikes, Ryno Power. Thanks everyone, and see you this summer!
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Kaven. We’re all sorry to hear about your set back. Good luck with your recovery and we’ll be looking for you when you return.