Frid’Eh Update #12 Presented by Gamma Powersports
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to week #12 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update presented by Gamma Powersports. The way the point system works, #12 means that person finished 2nd overall in the MX2 class. Shawn Maffenbeier started out the Rockstar MX Nationals with a 2-2 day for the overall. It was the start of a long season that would see Shawn finish runner-up to eventual winner, Cole Thompson, who looked unbeatable at times.
Shawn has been racing the Pro Nationals for a long time and even earned the #6 in the MX1 class a few years ago. The Swift Current, Saskatchewan, native is known as one of the hardest working riders on the circuit and is currently down in California training with his new teammates.
For 2017, Shawn will be a member of the always-competitive MX101 FXR Yamaha squad, alongside returning riders, Jess Pettis and Hayden Halstead in the MX2 class. The team lost its highest placing rider in Dylan Wright, but has filled his boots with the speed and experience of the #12 of Maffenbeier.
Here’s a look at Shawn’s 2016 season:
He was never far from the front (except for his one glitch in Calgary), but the fact that Thompson won 7 of 10 overalls, meant Shawn was 106 points off the win. Thompson returns to defend his title in the MX2 class and so Shawn and his team will have to work extra hard this off-season to come in prepared and ready to fight.
We grabbed Shawn for a chat to get his thoughts. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Shawn. We always like to start with a quick trip down memory lane. Can you tell us all how you first got involved in motocross?
Shawn Maffenbeier: Hey, Billy. It all started when I was 3 years old on a Yamaha PW 50. The rest fell into place over the years of going racing with my dad to all the Saskatchewan provincial races and slowly worked my way onto the Pro national circuit.
You raced the Pro MX1 class at a young age. Would you consider yourself as a better 250 or 450 rider? Is the 450 class your goal again in the future?
My dad and I went about things a little differently than most kids nowadays. Instead of taking the 250f route and chasing the championship, we opted to go with the 450 when I was 16. It was mainly due to the fact that we didn’t have a lot of money and the 450 was a more economical route for us. Why not try something different as well.
I feel like so many people, including our promoters, continue to follow the same route but expect a different outcome every year. I currently have a YZ 250f and 450 and I’m actually really enjoying both of them. I think I’ve learned over the years how to ride both real well and wherever I put my focus and attention I can become very competitive. That being said, the 450 class is in my plans for the future.
So, let’s talk about last season. You finished 2nd overall in the MX2 points and came into the season with a 2-2 overall win at round 1 in Kamloops. What was your highlight of last summer’s racing?
My biggest highlight last year was representing team Canada for the Des Nations. My summer had some ups and downs but for the most part we had a great summer of racing. Heading overseas to race was a whole other ballgame. Continuing to prepare for Des Nations through the fall and then racing some of the best of the best in the world was an incredible experience and one that I believe helped me grow as a rider and a person.
Although you were 2nd, you were over 100 points in back of Cole Thompson. What’s it going to take to narrow that gap or even take this championship? Is the support from the MX101 FXR Yamaha team an integral piece of that puzzle?
Not to take anything away from Cole, but there were some things that contributed to the 100-point gap. The situation from Regina’s round was a big hit for points for me. Pretty much 50 points went out the window there, along with a few minor hiccups out east.
I think with my partnering up with MX101 FXR Yamaha we’re going to be able to put together a few missing pieces that I had last year. I know my speed is there to win, I just need to work on some racing stuff and being smarter about a few things and I think we’re well on our way to doing that this year.
What’s your favourite track on the circuit? Why?
Regina, for sure. It’s home turf for me. I grew up racing there my entire life and I have a great fan base when I race there.
There will be even more young, up-and-comers in the MX2 class in 2017. Do you look forward to an even more stacked field in 2017?
It’s always cool seeing new kids making the move to Pro. I personally think the media has given a little too much credit to some of the kids that live on the east coast. I’m a touch biased coming from west provinces and don’t believe the kids out here get the respect and support they deserve. I’m more looking forward to seeing what kid is putting in his work right now and is going to come out and surprise everyone at a few races, like a Casey Keast last year.
What did you get up to when the outdoor series ended at RJ’s in Barrie, Ontario?
I never stopped racing and training. I raced Walton, an AMA national, and kept preparing for Des Nations at Italy. I got back from Italy and went straight into Arenacross and that took me into December. It was a full year of racing and riding. Once we got into December, I took some time to hang out with the girlfriend and spent some time in the mountains to get away from the moto scene.
How has your training been going so far this winter? Where have you been and who have you been riding and working out with?
Training has been good. Keylan Meston and I are down in California right now. He’s made some huge improvements over the last year and he and I have been able to push each other and learn from each other. Making the switch back to Yamaha was easy for me as I have spent my entire career on Yamaha’s. It took some time to get comfortable and familiar with all the great supporters and sponsors of the MX101 team, but it’s feeling like home again every time I jump on the bike.
Have you done the entire La Cresta bike route out there in Menifee? Did you have to get off your bike like me?
I’ve got a few new loops that I’ve been doing this year. Keylan and I were doing that one last year and on one of our rides we ended up both getting double flats at the same time. Needless to say, it left a bad taste in our mouths.
Dumb question, but I’m going to ask it anyway…what is the goal for 2017?
The goal is to win the MX2 championship. But I also think, more importantly, it’s to grow as a rider and a person. If you aren’t making some sort of gains every year then you need to question whether or not you’re putting enough into it or if your enjoying it still. We put so much time and effort into all of this racing that at the end of it all I want to be able to say that I learned a lot about myself in different situations in my life. I just want to keep growing. Keep building!
Will we see you at any of the Arenacrosses or maybe any AMA Supercross races in the near future?
Arenacrosses for sure, possible Supercross. Who knows?!
Will you race anything before Kamloops?
I’ll be doing lots of racing beforehand. It’s a huge part of my preparation for me. I’ll be doing a few races down here and a few back at home.
OK, good luck with the rest of our preparation. Who would you like to thank?
Just a huge shout out to Kevin Tyler and Johnny Grant from Mx101. Without their support and belief in me I wouldn’t be able to do this. The guys at Yamaha for accepting me back with open arms! Andy at FXR, Allan Brown for helping with all my stuff in California and our motors this year, Joe Skidd from SSS for taking care of me in the suspension department, the guys at Forma boots and 6D Helmets, Ryan Lockhart for keeping my knees safe with the Mobius braces and 100% goggles. There are lots more that help out the team but these guys really stand out and go above and beyond for me. Thank you, guys.
Shawn is always fun to talk with. His dry sense of humour will usually keep people on their toes and guessing. Being of British decent, I can appreciate that. Good luck with the rest of your prep, Shawn. We’ll see you at round 1 at Whispering Pines in Kamloops, June 5th.
Hey, guys. Happy Friday. It’s a happy day because it’s finally spring, and even though Mother Nature is still a little confused, we are looking like we are done with the snow here in Ontario. With the weather heating up, that means we are nearing the end of the Supercross season already. Yes, we are already at Round 11 of 17. They say time flies when you’re having fun, and this season of SX has definitely been a blast.
In the 450 class, what started out as ‘The Ken Roczen Show,’ turned into ‘The Ryan Dungey Show’ after A2. Well, don’t touch that remote or you’ll miss out on ‘The Eli Tomac Show!’ Eli has been very dominant lately and it doesn’t look like anyone can match his speed or fitness. Eli has the whole package, and he can do it for 25 minutes straight without worry. The guy just seems to be on rails as of late. And for guy who had the most difficulty in getting off the line early on, he has been one of the best starters lately.
Ryan Dungey still holds a 12-point lead with 6 races to go. Yes, Tomac is hot right now, but we have to remember that Dungey is a multi-time champion, and is also the reigning champion. That means the guy straight up knows how to win. All Ryan needs is a Tomac crash, or bad start, and it just may give him enough to manage the points until the checkered flag in Vegas.
All I can think about is, ‘what if Roczen didn’t crash?’ The racing has been great, but just imagine if Ken Roczen was out there battling the #1, #3, and #25. Detroit is up next, and the track looks pretty decent. I’m sure we will get some more excitement as we inch closer to the finale. Here are my predictions for Detroit:
1st Marvin Musquin
2nd Ryan Dungey
3rd Cole Seely
4th Blake Baggett
5th Jason Anderson
*Eli Tomac will suffer a mechanical
In 250 action, Zach Osborne is clearly the guy to beat. It’s plain and simple. He has a great bike, great team, the necessary skills, and he’s fit and confident. That is why he will be our 2017 250 East Champion. That’s not saying that Joey Savatgy and Adam Cianciarulo are riding bad. They are both riding very well. It’s just that Zach is a little bit better right now, and it is his time.
So far this season, I have been very impressed with the consistency of young Jordon Smith. Early on in his career, he was a ‘checkers or wreckers’ type of rider, and he hit the dirt a lot. 2017 has been a different story. He has been getting great starts and has been riding and finishing up front. We haven’t seen the out of control incredible speed yet, but we have seen some very good rides. He is much more in control and I’m sure his body is thanking him. I think he will get lucky soon and steal a win. Here are my 250 East predictions for Detroit:
1st Jordon Smith
2nd Joey Savatgy
3rd Zach Osborne
4th Adam Cianciarulo
5th Alex Martin
Ride Day at Gopher Dunes
Closer to home, the good news was that Gopher Dunes opened their gates last Sunday, March 19th. I myself missed the action back on Family Day, so I was not going to let it happen twice. I loaded up the DMX Yamaha 250 2-stroke project bike and made the drive.
The weather was a little chilly for my fair-weather liking, but, like always, Digger (Derek Schuster) and the crew had the Dunes looking great. It wasn’t the biggest of turnouts, but they say it’s quality not quantity.. right? Anyways, I’d like to give a big thanks to all of the great people and companies that have helped us out with that bike, so far. A special thanks to Mike Parliament from MP1, and Steve Simms from Steve Simms Racing, who got us the incredible looking, sounding, and performing Bill’s Pipes pipe.
That is it for me this week, I am on my way to Detroit. Have a great weekend, and remember to #smileforBC and #liftwithScott.
Thanks, Jeff. It’s been a busy week around here trying to get to all of the content we generated on the trip south to Florida. Like I always say, it’s easy to go to races and snag all kinds of coverage, the difficult part is finding the time to go through it all and get it up on the site. I’ve still got video and photos to go through!
Lots of things have been going on in the Canadian Motocross scene. From the new series starting up with new sanctioning bodies, to teams being announced, to new rules being instated, it’s an interesting time.
What it’s all going to mean in the end is going to take a little while to play out. For starters, we all know there isn’t room for two series in Canada during the summer. Something has to give and we will have to wait a while longer to see what it all means as we head into the 2018 season next year.
Anyway, here’s a look at some of what’s going on in the Canadian Motocross scene this week:
New Rules for Rockstar MX Nationals
Something that seems to be getting a lot of attention is the new rule that states riders and teams competing in the the 2017 Rockstar MX Nationals are not allowed to post any disparaging comments on social media without penalty.
Here is the rule:
No, I don’t like censorship any more than you do. However, try being a movie star in an upcoming movie and then go on a late night talk show and badmouth the movie and see what happens. This rule was unwritten last season but enforced none the less. There are a few riders you could ask about Regina last summer…
I guess what it all boils down to is that everyone is being treated as equally important in the role of promoting the series and therefore its success. If you are having an issue with something to do with the series, go to an official and try to work it out before going to social media to air out your dirty laundry, I guess is the bottom line.
Having said that, just because we can’t talk about it, this rule doesn’t mean Fight Club doesn’t exist! Not that people were going to start tweeting bad things about the series, but being told you’re not allowed to is where this gets sticky.
Cole Thompson Heading to Costa Rica this Weekend
KTM Canada Thor rider, Cole Thompson, is off to Costa Rica this weekend to compete in the opening round of the 2017 Campeonato Nacional Motocross. Last year, Cole missed a couple rounds and wasn’t able to take the championship.
Unfortunately, this means Cole will not be competing at the Detroit Supercross. Watch for him to be on the line next week in St. Louis…maybe.
Good luck this weekend, Cole.
Watch the James Stewart Freestone Spring Classic Live
Catch all the action from Freestone Texas LIVE on Ditch Banger TV (why, oh why?) We’ve got a handful of talented Canadian riders at the event this year, so follow along with the action.
Brock Hoyer Wins Snow Bike Hill Climb
Congratulations to Williams Lake, BC Snow Bike racer, Brock Hoyer, on his win in the Hill Climb in Jackson Hole, WY. He moves on to the mass climb this weekend and you can watch all the action live!
From Kourtney Lloyd‘s Instagram page:
Redemption Racing Update
We spoke with Josh Snider of the Redemption Racing team today to find out what the plans are for the 2017 season. “We’re going racing! We always were,” he was quick to point out. The only question mark appears to be who will be on the bikes when they do go racing.
They were in talks with Cameron McAdoo until he was picked up by the Geico Honda team for a fill-in ride. They are now in talks with another fast, up-and-comer and will know more next week, if it is going to work out.
As far as Cade Clason is concerned, he still has a home on the team unless he finds a more lucrative gig in the USA and decides to go that route.
Eric Jeffery is the only rider solidified on the 450 for the team. Regardless, the team will be at round 1 out in Kamloops, BC with a full paddock of riders.
Poll Question Results
Having been asked a lot as I travel to the races lately, we figured asking what you thought of the television coverage of the 2016 Rockstar MX Nationals was relevant. Here are the results of the poll that covers both the poll on the site and on our Twitter feed:
How was the TV coverage of the 2016 Canadian MX nationals?
Excellent – 3%
Adequate – 15%
Poor – 16%
Non-Existent – 66%
- Good received 1% of votes on the site but wasn’t included as a Twitter option due to only 4 being offered.
As you can see from the results, the general public had some issues finding the TV coverage from the 2016 MX Nationals. Hopefully, this issue gets resolved for the 2017 season.
Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki Announces 2017 MX Team
Amsoil Arenacross Heads into Reno, Nevada
Canadian Women’s Motocross National Series Association
Which logo do you prefer?
Head over to their Facebook page and let your opinion be heard: CDNWMX
OK, have a great weekend. We’re off to Detroit!