Frid’Eh Update #12 | Sebastien Racine | Brought to You by Yamaha Motor Canada
By Billy Rainford
The reigning AMA pro Motocross & Supercross champ now raises the bar even higher. Building on its best-in-class power delivery and suspension performance, the all-new 2023 YZ450F boasts even more power, better handling, less weight, a new more narrow body with improved ergonomics and next-generation Power Tuner app—all while maintaining its renowned ease-of-use that makes fast riders even faster.
Welcome to Week #12 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week brought to you by Yamaha Motor Canada. This is the first Friday I’ve been sitting at my desk to type in a few weeks. It feels good to be able to concentrate on the Update but I also miss being at a Press Day at some stadium around the USA.
Everyone is out in Seattle, Washington, this week where Lumen Stadium will play host to Round 11 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series. It also means we’ll have 3 Canadians on the track trying to make it in, but more on that later…
I was lucky enough to miss the majority of the winter here in Southwestern Ontario and it looks like we’re about to start opening tracks in the area very soon. In fact, Gopher Dunes will be open for riding on a couple of their tracks on Sunday (be sure to check with them before assuming the track you’re after is open).
I know we’re a little luckier than a lot of tracks across the country. Sand Del Lee has mentioned they’ve still got a couple feet of snow to get through, and Whispering Pines in Kamloops, BC is likely going to wait another week before letting people ride. Either way, we’re getting closer! If the track nearest you is open this weekend, consider yourself lucky and get out and spin a few early season laps and do whatever you need to do to protect those winter-soft hands!
Sebastien Racine from Casselman, ON finished 3rd in 250 MX points and 4th in overall 250 Triple Crown Points. He has chosen #12 as his career number. He came out guns-a-blazing at the first round of the season last year in Kamloops, grabbing an impressive 3rd place in moto 1. He’s a great starter and immediately looked comfortable going the pace of the seasoned pro 250 riders.
The KTM team didn’t do the “indoor” portion of the series and so his Triple Crown season ended at Walton 2 where he finished 4-4 for 4th place to cap off his season. Here’s a look at his season:
Impressive numbers for the rookie pro rider!
So, now he heads into his second full season on a new team. Kevin Tyler and the gang signed Sebastien to the MX101 FXR Yamaha team and we were introduced to him on blue at the 2023 Yamaha Ride Day held at the team’s home track in Richmond, ON.
Sebastien is down at Luke Renzland‘s track – Dreamland – in north Florida getting ready for the season to start out at RAD Torque Raceway (I wish it was RAD “TOQUE” Raceway…) in Edmonton, Alberta, June 3rd. We got in touch with him to catch up a little. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello Sebastien. We haven’t seen you since the 2023 Ride Day at Sand Del Lee where they announced you as a new team member. First off, congratulations on the new ride, but were you surprised your old team didn’t have a spot for you moving forward?
Sebastien Racine: Thanks, Billy. I was a little surprised at first because I got 3rd in the MX championship last year, but they did offer me an option, but I decided that it was best for me to go with the MX101 Yamaha Canada FXR racing team.
You finished a very impressive 3rd overall in 250 MX last summer in your first year as a Pro. You had to be happy with that. How did last summer go from your perspective?
Last year was great for me. First time out west and was able to get my first podium. I almost got my first pro win at Sand Del Lee. Was able to get 3rd in the motocross championship. I have nothing to say other than last year was a great year, but I want to make this year even better!
The top 5 is going to be very tough again this coming summer, with Josiah Natzke doing the whole series, Jake Piccolo healthy, and the addition of Justin Bogle, not to mention the returning champ Ryder McNabb and Mitchell Harrison. What’s it going to take for you to be in this battle every week?
2023 will be a tough year for sure, but I have been working extremely hard with my physical trainer, Rob Mouland at FitQuest, and I’ve been at Dreamland for 5 weeks working with Kody Renzland. I’ve been feeling great on and off the bike and I really think I can be up there this year. I’ll just need to stay focused, ride my bike like I know how to, and most importantly have a good time.
How have you been adapting to the Yamaha 250? Do you guys have it where you want it yet?
I’ve been adapting really well. Since day 1 on the Yamaha I felt amazing. We will do a little bit of tweaking but the bike is ready to go for this summer.
You’re down at Luke and Kody Renzland’s place at Dreamland in north Florida. Who have you been riding with and how’s it all going?
I’ve been riding with a couple of A class riders from the US and it’s been amazing. Kody and Luke are great people and we are able to have a fun time but still putting the hard work in.
Canadians have been showing up at races all over Florida lately. Are you planning to line up anywhere soon?
I’ve not planned to race anywhere but who knows maybe I’ll show up to a race some weekend if it’s close by.
How old are you now and does your future include AMA Supercross? If so, do you have a plan of action for starting it?
I just turned 17 and I for sure want to try AMA Supercross. I would like to maybe come down to Dreamland a little earlier next year and ride some Supercross and we will see what we do from there. We don’t really have a plan for that yet.
We’re heading west to a couple new tracks for you, Edmonton and Calgary. Which track in the series are you looking forward to? Which track do you find most challenging?
I’m really excited to go west again this year. I rode Wild Rose MX last year before Drumheller and the track was amazing, so I am pretty excited to go there. I think the most challenging track for me is Gopher Dunes or River Glade. Just how gnarly it gets, it’s crazy.
We didn’t see you in the SX/AX portion of the Triple Crown Series last year. Why not and is that something you’re looking forward to this year?
My team last year decided not to do it so I wasn’t there, but this year we are planning to be racing all the SX and AX. I am looking forward to it for sure. It’s always fun to try something new.
Is there anything that Kody and Luke have been noticing in your riding that you’re working on specifically down there?
We have been working a lot on my speed and keeping that speed during the full 30-minute motos.
And most importantly, how’s your ping-pong game? Tell Luke I’d still take him down any day!
Haha My ping-pong game isn’t good compared to those guys.
You’re young but you aren’t the…let’s say…flashiest rider for a new school kid. You seem to let your results do the talking for you. Are we going to see big whips or oppos added to your repertoire after your time at Dreamland?
AHAHAHAH. I didn’t really get the time to ride the track other than today because we have been riding the training track, so you probably won’t see big whips from me but you might see a couple of oppos.
Will you do any pre-season races in Ontario or Quebec before heading west to Edmonton?
Yes, we are planning on racing the AMO race at Sand Del Lee at the end of May, but I don’t think we are doing other races.
Who is your mechanic for the summer?
My mechanic for the summer will be Cory Wilson who was Marco’s (Cannella) mechanic last year. I’m really excited to start working with him!
OK, thank you for taking some time with us this week. Good luck with your prep and who would you like to thank?
Thanks to you, Billy, for doing this, and I would like to thank:
MX101, Yamaha Canada, FXR, Factory Ride Goggles, Krmc_moto, Carlson Racing mx, AMP construction, Alex Sarazin, Decal Works, Superior suspension settings, Mongoose machine, Maxima USA, Pro Filter USA, Dunlop moto, Rekluse Canada, FMF, Renthal moto, Ride Engineering inc, Acerbis USA, Gaerne USA, Works Connection, Matrix Concepts Canada, TM Designs Works, VP Racing Fuel, RK Excel, Evans Powersport, Kite Parts, Mom , Dad.
WATCH THE MXGP OF SARDEGNA 🍕
The second round of the FIM Motocross World Championship is landing in beautiful Sardinia at Riola Sardo!
First round in Patagonia-Argentina.. Done and dusted with an amazing first GP win for Ruben Fernandez in MXGP and a hat-trick for Jago Geerts in MX2 (RAM Qualifying Race-Race 1 – Race 2 and 60 points)!
What about Jeffrey Herlings Come back? Well, it’s like the Bullet never left! He clinched the second place on the podium on his first GP over a year, INCREDIBLE!
Jorge Prado was also a man on a mission after grabbing the first place in the RAM Qualifying Race, storing 10 precious points for the Championship along the way, the Spanish ended on the third march of the podium and will hold the Red Plate for the MXGP of Sardegna!
Could this weekend hold a Surprise? Like last year’s MXGP of Sardegna with a mighty Calvin Vlaanderen winning the first GP of his career!
This Season is already on Full Gear as the MXGP of Sardegna is getting all set up and ready to deliver another amazing full weekend racing with the WMX and EMX250 classes also joining in!
Begin the Weekend with the amazing Studio Show! Tune-in on Saturday at 12pm to watch Paul Malin and Lisa Leyland host Andrea Adamo, Ruben Fernandez and Rasmus Jorgensen, Team Manager of Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing!
MX2 – GP Classification ROUND 1
MXGP – GP Classification ROUND 1
Canadians at the Seattle Supercross
As I mentioned off the top, we’ll have 3 Canadians to cheer for this weekend in Seattle. The 250 West returns to action and that’s where we’ll find #83 Cole Thompson and #500 Julien Benek. Moving up to the 450 class, we’ll have Maple Ridge, BC rider #518 Parker Eales making his return to action after racing some of the 250 West earlier in the season.
I had brief chats with the guys this week and here’s how they feel heading into Saturday:
Julien Benek Back in Action at Seattle Supercross
The Seattle Supercross at Lumen Field this coming Saturday means the 250 West is back in action. That also means #500 Julien Benek from Mission, BC is back in action with his Partzilla PRMX team in the class he was meant to be racing.
Julien dabbled in the 450 class on his 250 but hasn’t done so since Daytona 3 weeks ago. He’s been dealing with his shoulder since his early-season injury and the team decided to take him out of racing action to get prepared for the home stretch of the 250 West class.
We spoke with Julien this morning. Here’s what he had to say:
“I’ve been riding a 450 on outdoors the last 2 weeks. I rode Supercross yesterday just to get used to it before Seattle. My shoulder is doing a bit better and I’m noticing it improving really slowly. My cardio has definitely improved a lot though. I was able to do a 20-minute moto on the Supercross track.”
We look forward to a stronger and healthier Julien Benek on the track this week in Washington State.
Cole Thompson Ready to Get Back Racing in Seattle
Cole Thompson Ready to Get Back Racing in Seattle
By Billy Rainford
Heartbeat Hot Sauce Team Solitaire rider #83 Cole Thompson from Brigden, Ontario, is ready to get back to racing when the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series heads to Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington, this Saturday night.
Cole Currently sits 11th in 250 West points after the first 4 rounds of competition. He lined up for the 450 class on his 250 at the Tampa, Florida, round where he qualified 24th but did not make the Main.
Since then, he says he’s “been spending the past few weeks going between Florida and Georgia to ride,” but that he’s “excited to be back at the races this weekend for Seattle.”
Parker was busy at work this week, but he told us this: “Let it rain! I’m excited for this weekend. I haven’t had any preparation really but I’m ready for it regardless!” Classic. With only 39 riders on the Seattle entry list, Parker is guaranteed a place in the night show, so that’s cool…not to mention a few dollars in his pocket!
Is it time to start hyping up the first East/West Showdown of the season coming up at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on April 22nd? The question is, which Lawrence brother is going to take it? Barring any unforeseen problems, Jett Lawrence and Hunter Lawrence have shown they are really in a class of their own in West and East 250 competition. But which one is your money on when they go head to head?
Before this season started, I would have said the race was Jett’s to lose, but now I’m not so sure. Hunter has shown speed with poise that is rare in the 250 class. He has made it look so easy on the east coast this year. Having said that, Jett is doing the same out west but I haven’t seen him in a while, so Seattle will have to jog my memory. Either way, as I keep saying, welcome to the “Lawrence Era” of American Motocross!
We’ve got Jessica Longname (her last name is really Malaknejadorangi) from Tree Three Media in Seattle for DMX this weekend. She shot photos for us at the Washougal MX National before and we look forward to her stuff from her first-ever assignment with us at a Supercross.
And if you’re planning on coming out to the Toronto Spring Motorcycle Show at the International Centre near the Toronto Airport next weekend, be sure to stop by and say hello to us at the DMX booth. We won’t have anything to sell, but Emily went out and got a TON of chocolates for us to give out, so you have to stop by.
And don’t forget to check out the MX Stars of Tomorrow exhibits.
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