Frid’Eh Update Presented by Scott Motosports
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
We’ve tuned the page on another year. Yep, we’ve come all the way around to Week #1 here at the old Frid’Eh Update desk. Technically, last Frid’Eh was the first Friday of the year, but it fell directly on New Year’s Day so we felt it better to get things rolling this week instead. It may mean we don’t get a 53rd week late next December. Sorry #53 Taylor Arsenault…
Week #1 is a special Update, obviously. It goes out to the rider who managed to beat the odds and come away with the coveted Rockstar Energy MX Nationals MX1 championship. 10 rounds of blood, sweat, and tears mean you get to run the big #1 the following year. For 2016, that honour goes out to Florida-rider-tuned-Californian, #1 Matt Goerke.
Matt first won the title in 2012 and then came back to take it again in 2015. We had too many questions to ask him so we decided to do something a little different in honour of the champion. We were able to get him on the phone Thursday for a long chat (too much to type!), so here is the podcast of our conversation that covers everything from:
-his amateur racing career
-his AMA Pro debut
-why he came up to Canada
-was the first or second title the toughest?
-Gopher Dunes or Southwick: which is the tougher track?
-why is he just back from the physio therapist?
-his September shoulder injury was a pretty well-kept secret
-when and where will he be racing next?
-teammates with one of his toughest competitors next summer in Brett Metcalfe
Matt Goerke Interview|Thursday, Jan 7, 2016
Whether it’s battling on the track, pushing FMX progression or exploring new places, our athletes live by taking #NoShortcuts. See the gear they use at http://bit.ly/1TGq8tW
Hey, guys. It’s Friday, and not just any Friday. It’s the final Friday before A1. Yes, it is finally here. The 2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series starts tomorrow! New tracks, new riders, new teams, new bikes, and new gear. It’s like Christmas all over again. I, personally, couldn’t be happier. The weather hasn’t been the greatest the past few days around Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA but the track crew is doing their best. The track has been covered up and they have been trying to pump all of the water out. This wouldn’t be the first mudder at A1, but I honestly don’t think it will be even close to as mucky as ‘The Perfect Storm’ A1 2005. Just like 2005, we have a very stacked field. We have 450 SX champions, MX champions, regional SX champions and even a few World champions lining up tomorrow night. Heck, we even have a Canadian, a real Canadian, back racing SX.
It’s Round 1 of 17. The championship will not be won tomorrow night, but it can definitely be lost. I believe the key for most riders going into A1 is to leave A1 with solid points and in one piece. Too many guys get caught up in the emotion and go balls to the wall and throw it away before it can even get rolling. Last year’s champion, Ryan Dungey, finished off the podium once. And that was a 4th! That is how you win a championship. I think Dungey will be even better this season, and will most likely win the championship, but this is racing and anything can happen. Here are my predictions for A1:
Holeshot: Jessy Nelson
1st – Cooper Webb
2nd – Jessy Nelson
3rd – Christian Craig
4th – Joey Savatgy
5th – Chris Alldredge
Champion: Cooper Webb
Holeshot: Jason Anderson
1st – Trey Canard
2nd – Ryan Dungey
3rd – Jason Anderson
4th – Justin Barcia
5th – Eli Tomac
Champion: Jason Anderson
That’s it for me this week. Check out my ‘Out of the Blue‘ with off-road racer Natasha Lachapelle, and if you’re really bored, have a look at the latest ‘McThoughts’ and read my 250 West and SX predictions. Have a great weekend, and always #smileforBC!
Yep, Week #1 for the old Update. Did we all just get another year older? Maye YOU did! I always get a kick out of Jeff’s ‘McThoughts’ and his predictions. With this highly competitive field of 450 riders, you might have just as good of luck throwing darts at a board to choose a winner. Of course, we say that a lot, and it seems to come down to the usual suspects. How can you bet against Ryan Dungey? Well, since we have a healthy Eli Tomac, a refreshed Ken Roczen, a motivated Trey Canard, a rehabilitated James Stewart, and a happy Chad Reed, let the bench racing begin!
Who is your money on? You have 1 more day to make your vote count in our Poll Question: Who will win A1?
We hadn’t spoken with journeyman mechanic, Scott ‘Donk’ Donkersgoed in quite some time, so when we found out he would be wrenching the 250 East SX for Vicki Golden (and he just celebrated a birthday) we thought we’d give him a call to see what was up. He’s loaded up the trusty truck with his 450 and two bicycles and headed west to Lake Elsinore where they will get to work.
For those of you who aren’t quite sure who this ‘Donk’ character is, we went way back in the conversation and covered just about everything you can imagine. It’s about 50 minutes in length so push play and go clean the room.
Cole Thompson Ready for A1
With a Canadian in the mix for the 250 West SX series, all northern eyes will be on the #127 Slaton Racing Nuclear Blast Fox KTM rider, Cole Thompson. We gave him a call this afternoon to see how he was doing. We caught him out for an easy 20-mile cycle around Lake Elsinore and he was kind enough to pull over (I think) and chat.
He was out for a solo right to “stick to his program” before heading over to Anaheim later this afternoon to check out the track and make sure his bike is all prepped for action. He said he had a “good off-season, stayed healthy, and got adjusted to SX again” after so much time away.
He’s been riding a lot with his buddy Cooper Webb, new Pro, Mitchell Harrison, and Broc Tickle. I asked him if he’d seen our buddy, Seth Rarick, around the tracks and he said, “He’s with Cooper 24/7, helping him out at the tracks” so he sees him all the time.
He said they just got their race motor yesterday, so he was just able to ride it for about 20 minutes at a sand track Thursday. It was a little bit of a rush at the end but he just kept his focus on riding and let the team take care of all the behind the scenes stuff. Having two teams come together presents a unique set of hurdles but they have it all under control and he’s ready for battle.
Jay Moore at Fox Head Canada flew into action and got him the new gear all the Fox athletes will be showcasing at A1. Steph LeBlanc got the bike pretty much dialed back in Montreal and then shipped it out to the team to get the final tweaks before the big day.
His teammate, Zac Commans, will head to the first two round of Amsoil Arenacross where he hopes to gain enough points to get his Pro SX license and make it to A2.
Good luck, Cole, and thanks for taking a hand of the handlebars to give us a little story before A1. We’ll be watching!
GDR Team Update
The Honda Team out of Gopher Dunes will have a big, multi-year sponsorship deal to announce the first week of February. We gave team owner, Derek Schuster, a call this afternoon to see what’s up with his riders and team. We couldn’t get him to give us the OK to spill the beans but he did tell us it’s a multi-year deal and let us know what his two riders will be up to this winter.
#2 Colton Facciotti and #14 Jeremy Medaglia will be on their usual schedule and head down to GPF in Cairo, Georgia, at the end of the month. The plan is to stay south until mid-April to prep for the 2016 season. They won’t be headed north to any bike shows this winter, but they will be in Toronto for the Toronto SX but not racing…this year…
Colton has re-signed for 3 more years with the team while Jeremy is on the 2nd year of his 2-year deal with GDR. 2016 is scheduled to be Jeremy’s final year in MX2 so you know he’ll want to go out with a bang and capture the title that has eluded him thus far.
4-Pack of Toronto Monster Jam Ticket to Win
If you can be in Toronto, Ontario, next weekend and would like to go see the Monster Jam event at Rogers Centre Saturday, Jan 16, head on over to the Direct Motocross Facebook page and give us a ‘LIKE‘ to be entered. If you’ve already liked us, just put your name in the comment section of the contest post and your name will also go into the big hat for the draw that will take place tomorrow (Saturday).
4 tickets will be mailed to the winner on Monday. Good luck!
Kieran Doherty’s World Tour Podcasts
We have a Canadian racing ‘across the pond’ in the Arenacross UK series. Kingston, Ontario’s Kieran Doherty is lining up in the 250 Pro class and raced round 1 in Manchester, England, last weekend. He’s been doing a rather entertaining series of podcasts to keep those interested up on what it’s like to be a Canadian in England racing motocross. Here is Episode 8 from just after the Manchester round:
Nick Jones Hits the Rink…
Toronto Motorcycle SUPERSHOW Coupon
Going to the Toronto Motorcycle SUPERSHOW at the International Centre this weekend? Use this discount coupon and save $3.
Michael DaSilva’s ‘Quest for the West’ Fundraiser
Michael DaSilva is once again holding a fundraiser to help get him to the western rounds of the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals. If you’re in the Dorval, PQ area this weekend, check it out…and watch A1 with a bunch of moto peeps. Click the link below for more information:
2016 CMRC Southwestern Ontario Amateur MX Schedule Announced
CMRC is pleased to announce the schedule for the Southwestern Ontario region for the 2016 racing season. The momentum is building for what is sure to be the most rewarding season in many years for riders of all classes. For ATV and Vintage racers, designated events will be determined soon.
Tens of thousands of dollars of prizes will be up for grabs from industry leading companies including Motovan Corporation, Royal Distributing, and FXR, plus more exciting news will be released in the near future that will give you all the more reason to race with CMRC.
If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to renew your license and maintain your racing number from last year. You can renew your racing license online at http://www.cmrcracing.com/membership-services/, or to download a license to mail to CMRC, go to www.cmrcracing.com – Corporate – License Holders – Competition License Application.
This weekend, CMRC will have a booth at North America’s biggest motorcycle consumer show, The Toronto Motorcycle Supershow, January 8-10, 2016, at The International Centre, Airport Road, Mississauga. Dawna Stephens and Wendy Snelgrove, CMRC’s Eastern Canadian License Director, will be on hand to answer your questions and distribute the schedule. You will also be able to purchase your annual CMRC license for 2016 and instantly receive your temporary license. The booth number is 4413 located in Hall Number 4. We hope to see you there.
General questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or for license inquiries, contact
Wendy Snelgrove at email@example.com or call 05-642-5607 ext. 5.
Unfortunately, the Rothmaier family has decided to not hold events at their very popular Paisley R.A.T. Track due to health issues within the family. CMRC would like to wish the Rothmaiers our best wishes and we hope to return there soon.
2016 CMRC SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO SCHEDULE
April 9 Gopher Dunes – CMRC Practice
April 17 Motopark – CMRC Ontario Provincial Championships
May 1 RJ Motosport Park – CMRC Ontario Provincial Championships
May 8 Gopher Dunes – CMRC Ontario Provincial Championships
June 5 RJ Motosport Park – CMRC Ontario Provincial Championships
June 19 TBA – CMRC Ontario Provincial Championships
July 9 Gopher Dunes – CMRC Ontario Provincial Championships
July 10 Gopher Dunes – Round 5 – Rockstar Energy Drink MX National
July 31 Motopark – CMRC Ontario Provincial Championships
August 4-7 Deschambault, QC – CMRC Grand National Amateur Championships
August 13 RJ Motosport Park – CMRC Ontario Provincial Championships
August 14 RJ Motosport Park – Rockstar Energy Drink MX National
September 11 Motopark – CMRC Fall Series
September 18 Gopher Dunes – CMRC Fall Series
September 25 RJ Motosport Park – CMRC Fall Series
October 2 Gopher Dunes – CMRC Fall Series
This Pro’s POV – A Column by Nathan Bles
Getting the views from us media types is one thing, but to hear things from the mouths and minds of the top riders themselves sheds new light on things. Nathan Bles has always been one of the most-liked and friendly Pro riders on the circuit so when we got him to write a column, we were pretty excited. You can check out his first installment below:
This Pro’s POV – A Column by Nathan Bles
By Nathan Bles
Off-Season for Canadian Pros
Race season has come and gone. For many racers it’s back to school, back to work or just continue their job. Ever wonder what the professional motocross riders are up to? It’s different with every pro rider. Some pros are established and have contracts that continue another year that simplifies things a little. They get to relax, take time off knowing when January hits you go down south and train your butt off. They have a lot of expectations on their shoulders and have sponsors wanting results. Most have a plan ready or still continue to race and ride all fall season, getting that extra seat time and edge for when they travel south to train. Unfortunately, many Canadian riders aren’t so lucky. Most are calling and emailing every team and sponsor they know for any sort of deal or ride available. I am one of those pros and I am going to explain a little of what goes on during this time, what we face, and why the fall season is sometimes a struggle.
November 1st rolls around on the calendar and you are a free agent – no team, no sponsors and no bike. Fresh start for a new beginning, that’s what some would think. It’s more like, “Now what?!” It puts a whole new level of stress and anxiety on the pro rider, constantly worrying about next year and trying to find a deal to race.
From Oct 1st to Jan 1st is the ‘silly season.’ If you don’t find a deal in that time frame you are sometimes out of luck. Scraping all the leftover budget from the bike manufacturers to finding gear deals last-minute to only finding out most, if not all, of their budget went to the big teams. It’s a frustrating and crappy situation.
Most pros have gone through this in their career at some point; it’s the struggle to the top. This is the reason for all the stress for us pros working our way up the ladder. We want to find a solid deal or plan for the upcoming season. It’s especially hard because a lot of us are back to work, attending school, or busy catching up from the summer of racing. I can guarantee each pro in this position is checking their phone every day for that one email or phone call, wishing for the dream to come true and be able to prove themselves again and race with the best in Canada.
On a more personal note, it really makes you wonder about the sport we motocross riders love. It makes you think about how much you want it…or is it time to move on? Would people care? Would they notice if I quit? Would they even remember me? These are all solid questions I am sure more pros other than myself have asked.
I have a job to make my racing career work and I know I am not the only one, so don’t go thinking every pro out there is making big amounts of money and can hand out goggles, but as tough as it is we always come back. I always wonder why.
It comes down to the love of the sport and the fact we are good at it. We may not get great deals or a paycheque, but we are a part of Canada’s elite and it’s something we all strive to be a part of. I am proud to be one of Canada’s top pro motocross riders and I will never quit. There are way too many young kids that look up to us that are dreaming of being where we are. Maybe by the time they become pros the industry will have picked up enough for it to be a full-time job and maybe the silly season will be sillier, with more teams and sponsors to choose from?
The problems involved are sometimes frustrating, but one thing is common with all pro racers: the worry. The worry if teams are going to call you? Are sponsors continuing to support you? Will they drop me for a younger, faster rider? Will there be a paycheque? Will I even be racing next season? Will I get injured again?
Each rider has their worries but I think that’s what makes them work that much harder to stay ahead of the curve. I am sure all of the pros will keep training, keep their head up and keep pushing forward to reach their goals because they all know who is watching and dreaming to be in our shoes.
Watch for more POVs from Nathan. If you have any questions for him, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see that he gets them.
Watch Replay of Anaheim Press Conference
OK, thanks for reading and have a great weekend. I hope everyone has their A1 viewing plans sorted out! We’ll be at the Toronto MC Supershow all day and then head over to the AMO Awards Banquet at Dave and Busters in Vaughn. They will also be showing A1 there so come on over and share a tasty beverage and some bench racing!