Frid’Eh Update #14 Presented by Yamaha Motor Canada
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #13…er, I mean, Week #14 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update presented by… For 2017, #14 belongs to the rider everyone has had slotted as a future champion since he was ripping Ontario tracks apart on a mini bike.
Dylan Wright has been touted as a future champion for many years and is inching closer and closer to that dream. He finished 2016 in a close 3rd spot in the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals MX2 class.
Dylan grew up and lives a mere 5 minutes from the Sand Del Lee track and the MX101 team near Ottawa he’s called family for the past many years, so the decision to make a team change going forward couldn’t have been easy.
Always a rider to keep an eye on when he’s on the track, Dylan’s aggressive and ultra-stylish riding have spectators on the edge of their seats the entire time. Here’s a look at his 2016 season:
He’s definitely got the speed to win, all he has to do is work on the little things that will all add up to consistently good finishes and he should be chasing this championship all the way to RJ’s in August.
We caught up with the former straight A student out in California to talk about last season and 2017. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Dylan. You’re #14 for 2017. My first question has to be about why you’re not #13. Whose decision was this and why?
Dylan Wright: You know what, honestly, it was a pretty hard decision for me to make. I am not a very superstitious person so the #13 really doesn’t bother me as I don’t think of it as a bad number or anything. Basically, the only reason I didn’t end up choosing the #13 is because of the horrible incident that occurred with Jessy Nelson. When the number came up it was the first thing I thought about. I just didn’t want to have to ride with that in the back of my head so I opted to run #14 instead. Also, Honda has had a lot of success with the #14 lately with Kevin Windham and Cole Seely, so why not keep the trend going!
Let’s talk about 2016 to start off. You always have high expectations and you got your first overall at the Ulverton round (3-1). How did your summer start out?
Yeah, I mean, I do always have high expectations for myself and my racing. Every time I line up at the gate, I want to cross the finish line first, that is for sure. I never line up at the gate without setting my goal to win. Yes, I finally put two good motos together and got that first win to check off my list.
Honestly, the first moto of the season went great, I got the moto win and everything was shaping up great that day. That is until my bonehead move in the second moto where I jumped the gate. I do have to admit the west coast wasn’t the greatest after that. I was penalized a few times, I hurt my foot at the second round in Nanaimo, and also had a first turn pile up incident that took me out of the race. That definitely wasn’t the way I had planned on starting off the season, but it did get better for me as the series moved east.
Did you feel you were ready for the big win in Quebec? What happened that made it happen for you?
Yeah, I definitely felt like it was time to get that first overall win under my belt. I had some great rides before getting the win, but could never really seem to put it together before that weekend. I felt great on that track all day and knew I had the speed to do it. With two great starts, I was finally able to seal the deal and get the win. The first win was cool, but it just motivated me that much more to win another one. Now that I have that crossed off the list I am hoping to cross a championship off the list next!
What was your favourite track on the circuit?
I would have to say that my favourite track on the circuit would have to be Gopher Dunes or Deschambault. I love riding in the sand, I like when the tracks get gnarly and rough. I have also had some success at both these tracks in the past so I am always exited pulling in to race at those two events.
You signed with a new team for 2017 and beyond. Can you take us through how that came about and if it was difficult to leave your old friends at MX101?
Yeah, I have signed with the Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing team for the 2017 and 2018 season, and I couldn’t be happier to be working with such a great and determined group of people. The guys over at the Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing team approached me not too long after the 2016 season had ended, and wanted to talk about possibly working together in the future. Obviously, I was interested in what they had to say, I mean they have had a really good and reputable team for quite a few years now, and I think have the program and tools to win us a championship this coming season. I honestly couldn’t have been more honoured that they approached me.
I went back and forth with both teams quite a bit before settling this deal. I do have to admit it was probably the hardest racing decision I have ever had to make because of my friendship and being so close to the guys over at MX101. I honestly wouldn’t call them old friends because we are still friends, and we on both ends I believe handled the situation as professionally as we could as well as wishing each other the best in the future.
How do you like the new ride?
I honestly could not be happier with the new ride! The team has been super good to work with and I love the new bikes, that’s for sure! Being part of such great organizations with Honda and Fox is honourable, they pretty much treat you like family and I mean what more can you really ask for as an athlete? I have gotten to meet so many great people from both companies, and couldn’t be more ecstatic to represent them on the track, that’s for sure.
What did you get up to after the season ended last year?
Actually, after the season ended last year I did the one US national at Ironman which was really fun, and I feel like it was a great experience for me. Then, not too long after that, I ended up breaking my leg. I kept it pretty hush hush, but I was off the bike until early December when I got to try the new bikes! Since getting back on the bike, I headed out to California to train for the winter, and get ready for the upcoming season.
You’re out west training now. What have you been doing? Where are you based?
Yeah, I’m out here training in California right now. I have been doing a lot of riding at some of the local tracks as well as enjoying some off-road riding which I have really taken a liking to. I have also been attending the gym and doing some cycling on my great Marin bike. I am based just outside Riverside, which is a great central location to many tracks in the area!
What’s been your routine out there? Who are you riding with?
My routine is normally to ride moto 4 days a week. I like to get my motos in and time on the bike at different tracks. I always save one day a week to go off-road riding in the desert. Then, when I am done riding, normally I will get my bike work done, and make sure the bike is ready to go for the following day. After all that is done, normally it’s off to the gym or out to cycle before dinner. It is a pretty tight schedule sometimes, but I know the hard work will pay off when the season starts! I have been doing quite a bit of riding with Shawn (Maffenbeier) and Keylan (Meston), as it’s always nice to have some company at the track and some guys to do some motos with.
Which Canadians have you been seeing a lot of? How is everyone looking?
Like I said, I have been hanging out with Shawn and Keylan the most, but I do see Jess (Pettis) and Hayden (Halstead) as well. Over March break there was a bunch of Canadians down here riding. It was pretty cool to see that!
Hey, can you take us through what happened last summer at the Deschambault round? It seemed like that was an emotional MX2 round for a few of you guys.
Yes, the Deschambault round was a pretty good one for me, coming away with the second moto win. Yes, when we are out racing our emotions and adrenaline run pretty high, there was a little bit of a confrontation that happened. It was nothing I think that was too out of the ordinary, but I do think that we have been able to put that behind us and move on as riders.
I have to ask this dumb question. What are you goals for this coming season?
My goals for this coming season are to stay healthy, and have fun. That’s the goal we all have when entering the series. At the end of the ten rounds, my goal is to be standing at the top of the podium with the big number one plate. The team and I have been working really hard this offseason to prepare ourselves for the championship that lies ahead, and I believe that we have all the tools necessary to get the job done this year!
Will you race some Arenacross and/or Supercross?
That is all to be determined. I would definitely like to race some Supercross in the near future, so we will see what the future has in store for some indoor racing.
Will you race anything before the Nationals start in Kamloops?
Yes, my plan is to race a few local Ontario races before the season starts back up again. I am not too sure which races I will attend as that is yet to be determined, but you will definitely see me line up for a couple, that’s for sure.
When are you coming home?
I am heading home Easter weekend because we have some testing and stuff to do. My girlfriend was able to come out here and help me make that long drive home. That should definitely make the drive home easier!
OK, thanks for the chat today. Good luck this year, and who would you like to thank?
Not a problem, thank you for the chat! I would first of all like to thank my amazing team Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing for everything they do for me as well as all of the team sponsors, without them we wouldn’t have the great program we have! I would also like to thank Allan and Jen Brown for letting me stay at their house out here in California so that I can get my training in before the season.
As well I can’t thank my amazing girlfriend for all of her support and my parents for their continuous support, my friends and family that always have my back, and my amazing fans that I can’t wait to see again this season!
Thanks for the chat today, Dylan. It’s going to be fun watching the MX2 series this year!
Happy Friday, everyone. I was super-excited all week, and then Mother Nature showed up and ruined the party. The excitement was that Motopark up in Chatsworth, Ontario, was going to be open Saturday and Sunday this weekend. That is fantastic news. Add in that Gopher Dunes is also open, and there are smiles all around. Although I complain a lot, we still have been very blessed here in Southern Ontario weather-wise, so I’ll stop my belly ache’n. By the looks of it, we should be riding all across Canada in the next few weeks, and that is reason to smile.
Last Saturday, Billy, Redemption Racing’s Josh Snider, and I made the short trip West to Ford Field in Detroit. Even though it was way too early in the morning, it was nice to pick Josh’s mind on riders for his team this season. Billy slipped out some pretty big news last week when he mentioned that Josh had been talking with some serious talent, and one of those riders was Cameron McAdoo.
As you know, Redemption Racings top dawg the last few seasons has been my good buddy, Cade Clason. Cade now calls ClubMX home in Chesterfield South Carolina. Over the last few years, more and more fast Canadians call Club home. Redemption Racing and their riders spend quite a bit of time down at Club, and I’m sure Josh has been eyeing up some talent for both classes, just in case Cade and the squad can’t come to terms for 2017.
I know everyone will bitch and moan that he should hire more Canadians, but let’s pump the brakes for a minute. What if you were the team owner or manager? The team has a budget and they need to stick to it. Sponsors expect certain results, and to be honest, we don’t have that many Canadians that can reach those results. Yes, it is a Canadian team in a Canadian series, but do you want a team that can give you results or a team that can give you Canadian passports?
Now let the moaning and bitching begin saying that it is wrong for an American to take a ride from a Canadian. Yes, the Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing team is all Canadian, and yes they will achieve top results. Now we have to be honest with ourselves… what other Canadian deserves the ride and will achieve the results? That list is very very small.
Funny thing is, people bitch about Americans coming up and taking rides from Canadians, but people are pissed that our guys can’t get a shot at a ride in the U.S. It is the same thing. Why should a Canadian take an American ride from an American rider? Do you see how stupid that sounds?
The best rider should get the ride. If our Canadian riders aren’t good enough, then that just means they need to work a little bit harder. That is life, and life is hard sometimes. We need these Americans to elevate our series and the talent of our own riders. Heck, Davi Millsaps is our reigning MX1 Champion. Davi rode his ass off this past weekend in Detroit, and held off one of the greatest (Ryan Dungey) ever for 18-plus minutes. Could any Canadian ever do that? Not a chance! Let’s be grateful how much better our series has gotten and will get in the future with the help of our American friends.
Speaking of Davi Millsaps, how about his ride Saturday night?! Davi had his best SX ride in a long time on a very slippery Detroit track. To be honest, the dirt was crap. Guys were struggling left right and centre and it affected the racing. Of course, nobody told Eli Tomac that it was supposed to be hard, as Eli won his 4th straight race and closed the points gap to only 7 points behind Ryan Dungey with only 5 rounds to go.
Ryan had a good ride, although his start was kind of crappy. He fought tooth and nail with Millsaps for an eternity, and actually caught teammate Marvin Musquin at the end. No, Ryan hasn’t been his regular dominant self, but he hasn’t been bad either. I’m still calling him for the championship, but it will 100% be a nail biter – Tomac is riding that good right now. The series heads to St. Louis this weekend, and here are my predictions:
St Louis 450
1st Ryan Dungey
2nd Eli Tomac
3rd Blake Baggett
4th Marvin Musquin
5th Cole Seely
In 250 action, I would like to point out that I predicted the Jordon Smith‘s win. I was probably the only person that called it, for the exception of Smith’s family, for the record. Jordon made it hard on himself and had to win the LCQ just to make the main. He had a little help with guys going down, and Osborne having issues, but he still got it done. Congrats, Jordon.
One issue I have noticed about the 250 class of late is how the guys pass each other. I touched on it in last week’s ‘McTHOUGHTS,’ but I’m going to talk about it again. I don’t know if it is because Tomac is so damn fast right now, or because Dungey is like the nicest guy ever, but the 450 guys pass clean. The 250 guys always seem to be playing cat and mouse and almost look like they are hoping to clip a tire on their way by.
Don’t get me wrong, SX is all about a little bit of contact when needed, but it isn’t always needed. I’d really like to see someone put in the effort and set up the pass. Almost like a chess match or a well placed shot in pool. This isn’t bumper cars, let’s see a little more finesse. Anyways, enough of me bitching, here are my St. Louis predictions:
250 East St. Louis
1st Adam Cianciarulo
2nd Joey Savatgy
3rd Zach Osborne
4th Jordon Smith
5th Dylan Ferrandis
That is it for me, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and hope for nice weather so I can hit up Motopark this Sunday. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out this week’s ‘Out of the Blue‘ featuring Kate Legassie brought to you by Shrader’s.
Also, I ‘d like to send out a big “Get Well Soon” to PR-MX’s Logan Karnow. Logan had a nasty get off in Detroit and has some new hardware in his back. Heal up soon, buddy. Have a great weekend everyone and always #smileforBC and #liftwithscott.
Thanks, Jeff. I’m not sure how often Jeff gets his predictions right, and part of the fun is seeing how far off he’s going to be each week, but he almost nailed it last week in Detroit. Smith won the 250’s and Musquin was leading the the 450 main until the seemingly inevitable happened and Tomac went by. Close one, Jeff. I had to laugh at him when we went to Detroit and he had called Eli for a mechanical. He’s right, it does seem like that’s the only way he’s going to be stopped in this title chase, but it didn’t happen in Detroit.
In fact, with Tomac now only being 7 points behind Dungey with 5 rounds to go, we put up a POLL asking you if you thought Ryan Dungey would hold on and win the title this year.
At this point, it looks like the majority of you don’t have high hopes for Ryan to close out his 4 title when we get to Las Vegas in May. Head over and participate or check out the poll pinned to the top of our Twitter page @DirectMX So far, the news isn’t quite as dire for Ryan on our Twitter feed, with 30% of you thinking he will hold on and win. Whatever happens, this title is going to get very interesting. Who do you think will win?
Tyler Medaglia 2017 Update
2-time Canadian MX2 champion, Tyler Medaglia, has been a hot topic of conversation lately. CMRC Pro rules state that he is now eligible to drop down and race the MX2 class in 2017 should he want to go that route.
With French rider, #377 Christophe Pourcel committing to racing the MX1 class in Canada this year, what did that mean for the Truro, Nova Scotia, riders 2017 summer season?
Well, we grabbed Tyler for a chat today as he was doing a recovery ride on the cycle trainer at his house out in the maritimes.
The original plan was to do the entire 10-round National series as Pourcel’s teammate but the prohibitive costs rendered that undoable and so Tyler was left to consider his options.
At this point, Tyler says he will be at round 1 out in Kamloops, BC in the Husqvarna Sprinter Van and trailer with Kibby and/or Derek Medaglia and they will make their plans from there.
You will see Tyler working at some of the Husky ride days and special events that will take place across the country. Events like the ‘Grand Prix De Snow‘ are where Husqvarna sees value in Tyler’s presence.
Tyler will also compete in the 2017 ISDE in France alongside Nathan Bles and Philippe Chaine. Tyler enjoys and excels at off road racing so he will put a lot of priority on this event.
Tyler would also like to compete in some of the American outdoor nationals like Southwick and Unadilla. He would also like to race the Unadilla GNCC.
He already has his bikes and is currently in talks for a gear deal. He will be wearing Atlas Brace.
Tyler will do a few races before Whispering Pines, including a local race in Nova Scotia, April 22nd.
To add to how busy he is, he and Heidi Cooke are expecting a 3rd child (a daughter) “anytime now.”
Good luck, Tyler, and we’ll see you at round 1 in a couple months.
Trey Canard to Miss Remainder of 2017 SX Season
“I am extremely saddened to sit out the rest of the series; it has been a disappointing season for me to say the least,” Canard lamented. “I’ve been dealing with severe fatigue issues and need to figure my body out so that I can race at 100% not only for myself, but for everyone who continues to support me.
“Competing at the level we do requires you to be at your healthiest in order to remain competitive and safe on the track. I just don’t feel like I’m there and I think its best I fully recover so I can give the outdoor series my undivided attention. I want to thank everyone for being so understanding and assure those who continue to believe in me that I will do everything within my power to be at my very best as soon as possible.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Team Manager, Roger De Coster added, “We fully support Trey’s decision to focus on getting healthy and turn his effort toward being ready for the motocross season. We look forward to being able to get an early start on motocross testing with Trey to make sure he along with his teammates have their KTM 450 SX-F’s dialed-in from the start of the series.”
Amsoil Arenacross Heads to Sacramento, CA
Friday Reno Arenacross – 3/24/2017
Livestock Events Center
Saturday Reno Arenacross – 3/25/2017
Livestock Events Center
TEAM CANADA READIES FOR 2017 ISDE | Team Named
The Canadian Motorcycle Association is pleased to announce the members of the various teams who will represent Canada at the International Six Days Enduro, which takes place in Brive La Gaillard, France from August 28th through September 2nd.
FIM JUNIOR WORLD TROPHY
• Jamie Baskerville, Meaford, Ontario
• Ryder Heacock, Pontypool, Ontario
• Jarred Jonker, Brockville, Ontario
Manager – Derek Rockel
FIM WOMEN’S WORLD TROPHY
• Felicia Robichaud, Cornwall, Ontario
• Shelby Turner, Barons, Alberta
• Madi Watt, St. Paul, Alberta
Manager – Derek Rockel
FIM WORLD CUP FOR CLUB TEAMS
• Theo Lepley, Pierrefonds, Quebec
• Andrew Sawyer-Tremblay, St-Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec
• Patrick Tremblay, St-Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec
Manager – Joel Lepley
Team Club #2 – name will follow
• Nathan Bles, Bayfield, Ontario
• Philippe Chaine, Chesterville, Quebec
• Tyler Medaglia, Brookfield, Nova Scotia
Manager – Guy Robichaud
FIM ENDURO VINTAGE TROPHY
• Frederick Beaudoin, Mercier, Quebec
• Lucien Caggiano, Ormstown, Quebec
• Thierry Lacombe, Beloeil, Quebec
• Joel Lepley, Pierrefonds, Quebec
Ryan Lockhart and Kyle Beaton | Future West Moto MX Schools
Kaven Benoit Ready to Ride Again
From Kaven’s Instagram page @kavenbenoit26
That’s it for this week. We had a crazy thunderstorm down here in my neck of the woods and our kitchen skylight decided to leak, so I’ve got to get back to work before the rain starts again. I think you’ll find me up at Horseshoe Valley Sunday checking out the finals of the Snow Bike races. I’ve never shot photos of these races before so I’m looking forward to it. See you there!