Catching Up with…Matthew Davenport
By Billy Rainford
In case you missed this in the Frid’Eh Update, here’s our chat with University of Calgary student, and Fort St. John, BC native, #31 Matthew Davenport.
Week #31 goes out to the Fort St. John rider who now calls the University of Calgary home, Matthew Davenport|Bigwave photo
Welcome to Week #31 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update presented by Toys for Big Boys in Moncton, New Brunswick. The #31 has not been seen on the track this summer but it belongs to the university student we’ve gotten to know very well over the past few years. Fort St. John rider, Matthew Davenport, is a hard-working guy who was always ready to strike if one of the top, established Pro riders should falter.
Matthew is currently a University of Calgary student who started rowing for the team and improved very quickly, obviously due to his dedication to hard word and training learned in motocross. We grabbed him for a chat today to find out what he’s been up to and what his future plans are:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Matthew. We haven’t seen you in a while. You wound up with #31 for 2016. Can you take us through your 2015 racing season? Highs? Lows?
Matthew Davenport: The 2015 racing season was a great success for me. I had a different approach to the season as I was in University for 8 months prior and didn’t get to have my usual California training before racing started. I had my best year and had positive improvements each weekend. 2015 was the best summer of my racing career results wise and on the enjoyment scale. I had a lot of fun traveling the country with my family and especially my dad. The high for the year was getting an 8th in Regina on my dad’s birthday. The low of the season was probably not getting to finish the final moto of the year in Walton due to injury. But all in all, it was a great year!
Matthew had his best season ever in 2015 but it ended a moto short with an injured thumb at Walton Raceway|Bigwave photo
Things didn’t end well for you. Can you tell us what happened?
Yeah, I wasn’t able to race the second moto at Walton due to a severe thumb dislocation/sprain. I got into a crash as I tangled up with Bobby in the first few laps of moto 1. I finished that moto and actually came back into 22nd, I believe. But I could not hold onto the bike for moto 2, so I had to cut my season 1 moto short!
A big problem was that it might affect your rowing. Did you row last season?
It didn’t actually affect my rowing season. I row on the port side of the boat which worked out perfect because I didn’t need to use my injured hand for anything technical. I had a great season last year. My pair partner (Brandon Mooney) and I had a great season winning medals in Varsity Men’s events at Westerns and local Regattas. We qualified for Nationals and were looking promising for a top 5 finish but unfortunately didn’t get to attend due to a late season injury for Brandon. Otherwise, we had a stellar year and are really looking forward to this season.
What have you been doing since last summer?
After last season I headed home, got ready for school and headed to Calgary to finish up my second year of University. I was rowing until November and then had two surgeries over the winter months. I had my ankle worked on in December and my knee in February. I finished my second year of university and am really looking forward to my next few years of school.
Matthew is currently studying Kinesiology as a Dino|Bigwave photo
Did you get up to any riding or racing or moto training over the winter months?
Unfortunately, I have only ridden a motorcycle once since Walton last year and that was in May. I have had a tough time finding the motivation to ride knowing that I am unable to compete at the nationals. I spent a lot of my life dedicated to achieving my goals and with the support that I have had in the past I have been able to work toward achieving them, but with things not working out this year with the economy and sponsorship I was unable to race.
We’re heading into August now. What have you been up to this summer?
This summer I have been working and golfing. I am working for a bridge maintenance company on contract with the BC Government. I work 40 hours a week and enjoy my weekends. I have been golfing, going to the mountains on quad-ing and fishing trips and spending a summer at home for once in my life has allowed me to grow a garden in my backyard, so I have turned into quite the gardener… (Laughs). I am actually competing in my first golf tournament this weekend, it should be fun!
Have you been paying attention to the series this year? What do you think?
I have been watching the series a little bit. I think the MX1 class is stacked with 8 fast factory guys, and then a few very quick guys behind them followed by a huge drop off. It looks like a lot of people didn’t get to come back to racing this summer. The MX2 class is decent this year but it definitely seems like there are riders lacking from both classes. [I’m] excited to see my buddies doing good this year though!
Are we going to see you at any races next season?
I would like to say yes, but if I don’t get support from a manufacturer and oilfield companies I don’t think I will financially be able to race (which was the case this year). If I am not racing I will probably be working again next summer so I can afford to go to school.
He will continue to row for the Dinos but we may not see him racing the Nationals anytime soon without support|Bigwave photo
What’s next for you?
Next for me is probably going to be a big shift with a focus on school. I have two years left of my Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Major in Exercise and Health Physiology. Once I am finished that I will be applying to Physiotherapy which could be another 3-4 years depending on which school I get into. So I have a long journey ahead of me to starting my career in the working world.
Thanks for the quick chat. Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
Thanks, Billy, good to chat with you guys, it has been awhile. I would like to thank my parents, girlfriend and sister for the continuous support over my entire racing career. Yamaha Canada and Redline Powercraft for being my biggest supporters throughout the years. The very generous donations and sponsorships I have received from many people/companies in Fort St. John which have allowed me to go racing in years past. I am very grateful for the group of people who allowed me to achieve my goals.
Bonus. What’s tougher, moto or rowing?
Moto is definitely tougher on mental, physical and emotional levels. The sport is the ultimate test of fitness and preparation. I don’t think anything else can compare to it.
Double bonus. Which rider is impressing you the most this season?
I think I am most impressed with Jess Pettis. I knew the kid was going to be fast, but some of his results and qualification times are incredible. Yamaha needs to hang onto that kid!