DMX Frid’Eh Update #4 Presented by Dragon Alliance
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Week #4 belongs to one of the few riders who’ve headed north and currently hold a career number in the AMA. That’s a pretty big deal for the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals. Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha’s Kyle Chisholm isn’t a stranger to Canadian motocross, though. If you take a look at the Past Champions over on www.mxnationals.ca you’ll see that Chisholm won the MX2 East title way back in 2006.
Well, he came back in 2014 and was a permanent fixture near the top every week last summer. His season culminated with the overall in Ulverton, Quebec, after racing the day before at Lucas Oil AMA Outdoor race at Unadilla the day before (and there’s more to that story, too).
We weren’t able to get in touch with Kyle before this Update as he is busy with some race out in California or something. What we did instead is get in touch with his mechanic from last season, Josh Cox. Josh was nice enough to take the time to answer a few questions for us as a representative for Chisholm. Josh was there when Kyle took the overall in Quebec last season. Here’s what Josh had to say:
Hello, Josh. Thanks for stepping in for Kyle Chisholm this week. As many may or may not know, you were Kyle’s mechanic and general ‘man friend’ throughout the eastern portion of the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals last year. Like all racers and those involved, you had your share of ups and downs. First off, could you tell us how you got the chance to work with career AMA #11 in the first place? What did you know of him before this summer?
I honestly didn’t know much about him at all! I watched some YouTube videos of him testing and riding to kind of see what he was like. I learned the most about him from Adam Robinson who was a huge help with learning a new bike/team and rider all within a week’s time. Kyle showed up late Friday afternoon to Gopher (Dunes) and that is where we met and he went over his bike set-up and adjusted it as needed and went through some possibilities for morning practice. It was different but he is such a down-to-earth guy and easy to get along with, so it was, from what I believe, a good fit from there on.
How was he to work with/for?
Kyle was awesome to work for. He knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to tell you when the bike is bad or good. He was picky and I really liked that. Throughout the week, Kyle and I would talk to bounce some ideas on ways to improve the bike as he was changing things back home. I won’t forget him yelling at me after the first moto at Sand Del Lee though (Laughs)!
Did he have any funny quirks or weird settings you had to get used to?
He was very picky about his throttle and how smooth it would be. Other than that, he just did the normal adjustments as any rider would do.
What was your favourite memory from the 2014 season?
Ohhh man, could you not tell? ULVERTON! I love being at the races but when you see all the hard work the team put in was finally paying off was just awesome. Seeing Shawn Maffenbeier win his second moto was awesome as well.
Since I knew you were going to say that, what do you think made the difference in Ulverton?
Just finally getting a pair of good starts. Kyle changed some stuff on his starting technique and it helped. We also had a rocket Bondi motor that made it even easier to get up front!
What was your worst memory from last summer?
I have two that stick out in my mind: seeing both Bobby Kiniry and Kyle down in the first corner at Sand Del Lee wasn’t fun but the worst was when Kyle crashed at the RCH Supercross down in Michigan. Seeing one of your friends leaving in a ambulance isn’t something I like to see.
Do you know what Kyle’s favourite track was?
I honestly do not know! I would say Gopher as he liked it but he rode well at all the tracks and was consistent through them all…I know he wasn’t super-happy at Deschambault…
What have you been up to since Walton?
I have just been relaxing and working as a regular Joe. I rode twice since then and had to have surgery which took some time to heal and get over it. Now it’s all about snowmobiling, so every weekend we’re gone up north riding!
What are your winter plans?
Right now, moto hasn’t really been on my mind too much but obviously the itch will be happening soon! I’m planning on attending one of the Atlanta rounds but then will be going back in for more surgery, so that will take some time to heal up from.
Didn’t I read somewhere that you wanted to ride more again? What’s the plan?
I always want to ride more but never seem to have time. But as most people say, I spend more time working on my bikes and cleaning them. You know what they say, if you’re going to go slow you may as well look good! (Laughs)
What are your plans for this coming summer?
Right now, I haven’t got any plans, but I would love to be back at the races spinning wrenches. If that doesn’t happen, you will find me out riding and enjoying the sport doing half laps at a time!
What would you like to say to potential teams/riders out there who could be looking for a mechanic? Ummm, wow, that’s on the spot. Many people that know me know how passionate I am about racing and there is no better place I’d rather be than at the race track. I feel I’m hard-working and enjoy learning from everyone, and wanting to be one of the best is what really motivates me. I’m sure everyone wants to win but to me I believe I want it more than anyone!
Thanks for subbing in for Kyle this week. Before we let you go, is there anyone you’d like to thank?
Thank you, Billy! I’d really like to thank Andre Laurin, Adam Robinson and the whole Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha team for giving me the opportunity to go racing last year. To be able to be apart of a team of that caliber and have the knowledge of those guys was amazing and I am very grateful for everyone who has helped me make my dreams come true!
After Sand Del Lee, John Nelson came over to the pit and had to mention the nickname he and my boss Larry Wilson had given me. I still don’t know where it came from but I guess I’m stuck with it!!! (Laughs) From there on, everyone was calling me “Squishy” and they actually put it on my toolbox.
I think it’s so interesting to hear stories from people on that side of the toolbox. We all see the results on the track, but it’s rare that people get to hear from the ones who are on the other side. There is so much pressure on these guys – nobody notices them when their rider wins, but they sure do when something goes wrong, mechanically. They are the goalies of our sport.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Josh. Have fun on your sled this winter, and, hopefully, something comes up that will get you back ‘in net’ for this coming season.
The Update this week is brought to you by Dragon Alliance. Be sure to check out the full line of moto products distributed by Gamma Sales here in Canada.
Hey, guys. How about the action so far this season in Monster Energy AMA Supercross?! We have had great battles in both classes and some serious bar banging in both as well. After a crazy cased triple in the 450 class, we now have a new points leader. Lots of people bag on Ryan Dungey for his lack of aggression and his inability to make the pass early and ride safe. Well, guess what? ‘The Dunge’ is now the points leader and it is very rare to see this guy make a mistake. He may not be the fastest, but he is a smart racer and he is definitely fit. Talking about fit, Ryan has joined forces with super-trainer Aldon Baker. But the big news is former points leader Ken Roczen leaving Baker’s stable. Yes, Kenny has won races and Championships without Aldon on his side, so we will have to wait a while to see if this is a bad move or not.
In 250 action, it looked to be a 3-horse race until TLD’s Jesse Nelson threw it away one race and then followed that up with a 10th. That leaves Tyler Bowers and Cooper Webb to duke it out. Things have been going back and forth and tempers are heating up. Bowers is the veteran and has numerous Amsoil AMA Arenacross titles, but Webb has the raw speed and is oozing confidence right now. I feel the title is Webb’s, but nothing is in stone, just look at last year’s East Coast 250 series. Justin Hill was expected to win after 2 fantastic showings at Monster Cup and Red Bull Straight Rhythm. I’m not sure what his deal is, but he has seemed “off” so far this season. I expect a dominate win after the east coast break.
In Canadian action, or lack of it, most riders are down south preparing for 2015, or on their way shortly. Word out of GPF is we may see Tyler Medaglia line up for the Daytona SX. It’s been a while since Tyler raced SX, but he has some serious indoor speed and he isn’t afraid to line up anywhere.
I just want to thank all of the lady racers out there for their interest and fantastic support for my weekly ‘Out Of The Blue‘ features. I have always been a huge supporter of Women’s MX, and it’s really nice to get to know all of the great talent from across the country. Be sure to catch this week’s with Quebec’s Kim Normandin. Have a good week and always #smiileforBC!
Thanks, Jeff. I always get a kick out of Jeff’s insights into the world of ‘big league’ Supercross. There are few people who are as into it as he is. Jeff can tell you what brand of gear any Pro rider wears. And I don’t mean currently! I’m talking as far back as anyone can remember a certain rider, Jeff knows. He’s like an MX/SX savant! And I mean that in the most positive way you can call someone a savant (lol). Hopefully, you’ve been checking out all his articles lately on the site. Watch for more as we move forward and the snow starts to melt. Jeff will be out there on the track trying out gear and giving his reports on it. If anyone is finicky about gear, it’s him, so watch for those.
Brock Hoyer Heading to Idaho to Defend Title
I saw on Facebook that William’s Lake, BC resident and Canada’s version of Travis Pastrana, Brock Hoyer, is in Idaho as we speak to defend his Snow Bike title. Brock showed up last year on his Timbersled-equipped Yamaha YZ450F and stuck it to the competition in his first-ever organized race. We were unable to get in touch with Brock, but I assume he’s down at the McCall Winter Carnival in Idaho. We’ll be sure to check in with him when he gets back to Canada. Good luck, Brock. I saw this photo on the Timbersled Facebook page. See if you can spot Brock:
Ross Johnson Racing in Denmark this Weekend
So, I was talking with Ross Johnson‘s Canadian sponsor Cycle North’s Kourtney Lloyd this week and she sent me a photo of Ross’s graphics with the big Canada flag. I assumed he was in Holland again this week, but it turns out he’s actually racing at the Yamaha Supercross and Freestyle Show in Herning, Denmark. I got in touch with him just now as he was getting ready for the opening ceremonies. He had his phone and was chatting with me as the show was about to start. Thanks for taking the time to do that, Ross.
He said it’ mostly the same riders who are over there and raced the German SX and mentioned he was “2nd fastest in practice.” Here are a couple pics he fired over:
Good luck this weekend, Ross.
Devil’s Lake Yamaha Team Getting Ready for 2015 Campaign
I saw this photo of the Devil’s Lake Yamaha Team stripping bikes down to build their race bikes:
PS Who chooses 888 as their number anyway? #baddigits
Devil’s Lake MX owner Trevor Cerny informed that #888 has been his number since 1987, so we’ll give him a break – bad taste is nothing new to him…except in his choice of brides. Whew, that was a close one…
I got in touch with Trevor today and we talked about what’s up for the coming season. We already knew Dylan Kaelin was on the team again for 2015 but didn’t know what else he had in store, rider-wise. After a little bit of telephone begging, Trevor leaked it to me that their MX2 rider will be none other than Utah’s own Blake Savage.
If you remember, Blake raced on the GDR team a couple years ago and really never showed the results he knows he can produce. Said Cerny, “this will give him a chance to show what he’s capable of.”
Here’s what Blake’s MX1 teammate, Dylan Kaelin, had to say today:
Did you happen to see this recent stat from Husqvarna? If you were wondering how the restructuring of the brand has been going, wonder no more – they’re doing just fine. Check this out:
HUSQVARNA MOTORCYCLES ACHIEVE RECORD BREAKING SALES AND TURNOVER IN 2014
2014 has been a momentous year for the Husqvarna brand. Enjoying record figures in sales and turnover, a total number of 16,337 motorcycles were sold. Passing the magical 100 million Euro mark in turnover, this growth provided Husqvarna Motorcycles with production and sales figures never before achieved during the iconic brand’s 111 years of motorcycle production.
Husqvarna gained significant market share in the enduro competition segment as well as making an outstanding restart into the motocross segment, where close to 6,000 Husqvarna motocross bikes were sold worldwide. As such the brand has re-established its position as a key player within the offroad motorcycle segment. In 2015 Husqvarna will pursue its growth strategy.
What’s Happening over at Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki?
I gave Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki team owner, Jason Hughes, a call this afternoon and he actually answered! I could hear the truck door open sound going off in the background and he informed me that he was just putting on his boots about to hit the fresh Owl’s Head powder for a snowmobile ride. The big question, of course, was who was the final rider on the team for 2015 that will make up 3-rider team in the MX2 class?
With their previous support MX2 rider, Jess Pettis, headed over to Blue for 2015, it left us all wondering who was going to fill his boots. Well, Jason wasn’t about to spill the beans, entirely, but he did tell me that their MX2 rider would be a Canadian. Now hold on?! Who’s left? Jason told me I was going to have to wait about a week to find out, officially, who the MX2 rider would be to go along with Teddy Maier and Brett Metcalfe in MX1.
Jason dropped me a big hint and told me I’d never be able to guess because most don’t realize this rider holds a Canadian passport but has been living in the U.S. for the last 6 or 7 years. Hmm, I’ve been going to the big amateur nationals down south for quite a few years, so I’m going to have a look at some results and make some educated guesses. No, it’s not John John Pauk or David Buller Jr..
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, everyone. We’re back in Anaheim for A3 Saturday night, so enjoy. I know it’s difficult to watch up here in Canada, but it can be done. Go HERE and follow the instructions for viewing – it works, but you didn’t hear it from me…
Everyone knows I’m a huge supporter of amateur moto, so when I saw this short video Branden Small put together of young up-and-comer Devin Sache over on Facebook, I figured I’d throw it up here to end this week’s Update. Devin just moved up to the big bikes and if you’re wondering who one of the fast kids in the Junior classes will be in 2015, look no further than #291 Devin Sache. Assuming the family is going to qualify and make the trip, watch for him at this year’s Parts Canada TransCan GNC at Walton Raceway next August. He could be in the running for The Bronze Boot!