Frid’Eh Update #16 Presented by FXR Moto

By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford

Week #16 belongs to Prince George, BC rider, Jess Pettis | KT Photography photo

Welcome to week #16 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week brought to you by … Jess Pettis was one of those riders we all had our eyes on as he came up through the amateur ranks. In fact, he came up with Dylan Wright and Westen Wrozyna as that era’s very own “Fab 3.”

We’ve all watched as the then small in stature rider from Prince George, BC came into his own as he grew into the position as one of our top MX2 competitors, right before our eyes. Jess’s charge to the front has really gained momentum over the past two seasons.

Jess showed up at the first round of the 2016 season and took a very impressive 3rd in the first moto, letting everyone know he had arrived and meant business. Here’s a look at his Rockstar Energy MX Nationals season:

Jess has been out in Menifee, California, training with Kevin Urqhart and the crew at Bulldog Training all winter. We got in touch with him as the MX101 FXR Yamaha team was finishing up their team photo shoot. Here’s what he had to say:

Check out what Jess Pettis had to say | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Jess. Thanks for chatting with us today. We always like to start with a look back at the previous season. You showed up at round 1 in Kamloops and took an impressive 3rd in the first moto. You must have been happy with that. Was that where you expected to be?

Jess Pettis: Yeah, first round was really good an showed where I belong. Podium first was awesome and felt that’s where I belong with the work I put in.

The rest of the day didn’t go as planned. Can you take us through the second moto?
Yeah, second moto I was in third again with a couple laps left and my bike blew up, so I ended with a DNF, but I knew where I belonged.
You finally got on the overall podium with a 3rd at the final round at RJ’s. How did that day go for you?
At the last round I told myself I had to make it happen and go out on a good note, so I got two decent starts and rode my butt off, going 3-4 for 3rd overall. I was pumped to say the least.
Were you happy with your season? Can you sum it up for us?
Yeah, I was really happy, from signing with the mMX101 team, to reaching all my goals I had set. A couple podiums in the nationals, 5th overall in the series, and then topping it off with both Arenacross championships were awesome and I can’t complain at all.

What was your favourite track on the circuit last year?

My favourite track last summer was probably Deschambault. It’s an awesome facility and I seem to always enjoy the track every year.
Is there a track you always look forward to?
This year, I look forward to the Prince George national with all my friends and family out there.

Jess always looks forward to the great track in Ulverton, Quebec | Bigwave photo

What did you get up to after the Pro National season ended?
I did some local races, hunting, and then went to my buddy Ross’ (Ross Thompson) in Kamloops and got ready for the (Future West) Arenacross series.
(Jess won both the Pro/Am Lites and the Pro Open titles)
I saw you out in California this past January. Tell us what you’ve been up to all winter out there training with the guys at Bulldog Training.
I came down to California in December and have been here ever since, for about 4 months now. I’m staying at Kevin Urqhart’s and training with him. I originally was going to do the west coast SX, but I had a minor setback, and wasn’t able to race any
Ya, you took some time off with an injury. Can you tell us what happened?
I had a stupid little crash, ended up breaking my scapula, but I rehabbed it quick and it’s feeling 100%.

Jess won both Future West Arenacross titles this past season and was all smiles | KT Photography photo

Like you said, I know you originally wanted to line up at the Seattle SX. You said you’re going to wait until the outdoor season starts. Will you line up at Hangtown or Glen Helen?
I did want to do Seattle. I got back riding Supercross and was feeling really good and race ready, but I had a few bike issues and financially it is expensive, so I decided to focus on outdoors to make sure I am 100% at Kamloops. No, I won’t be lining up at Glen Helen or Hangtown.
Who is in your regular group out there for riding and training?
It has been me, Noah McConahy, Dylan Delaplace, and Hayden Halstead.
How is Noah doing?
He is doing better now. He got released from the hospital and is back home in Washington. It was definitely scary but he is on the road to recovery.
You just had your photo shoot for the MX101 FXR Yamaha team. How did that go?
It went really good. We were at Sunrise MX in Adelanto, CA (used to be Racetown) and Cody Walters shot the photos.

Jess’ goals are to be a consistent podium threat and take some wins in 2017 | Bigwave photo

What are your goals for this season?
I want to be on the podium a lot, hopefully get some wins, and be up there in the mix at the end of the season. But most of all stay safe and make it through the series.
OK, sorry about going into overtime here. We’ll see you out in Kamloops. Who would you like to thank?
No worries. Thank you, and I’d like to thank MX101, Yamaha Canada, FXR, 6d, Rockstar, 100 Percent, Möbius, Ryno Power, Dedicated Ride Co, Forma, SSS suspension, Alan Brown Motorsports, Dunlop, Cycra, FMF, Ride Engineering, Rekluse, Decal Works, Bulldog MX Training, my parents, and everyone else, thank you!
Thanks for the chat, Jess. Good luck with the rest of your preparation. The MX2 class is going to be fast this year!

Update #16 is brought to you by FXR Moto.

Be sure to check out the new MX line at FXR.


JEFF McCONKEY


Jeff is riding up at Motopark today and since there is no Supercross this week, we figured it would be OK for him to slack off…just this once!
He did manage to snap a few photos of what’s going on up there in Chatsworth. Here are a few pics:

The familiar MP logo of Motopark

The Pro Shop

Davin Grose in his happy place

Strategic product placement on the DMX Yamaha YZ 250 2-stroke project/test bike

Subtle logo placement on the new Shoei lid


BILLY RAINFORD


Thanks, Jeff. I hope you’re having a blast up there at Motopark! And Happy Good Friday to everyone. I don’t know where you’re reading this from right now, but it is the nice day of the weekend here at DMX World HQ in London, Ontario. 20 degrees C and sunny means people are out and about doing this and that. I hope you’ve managed to get out on your bikes somewhere.
It’s the one weekend off during the entire Monster Energy AMA Supercross schedule. We’ve got Bigwave Sr. and Momma Wave here at the house, so this weekend is all about family and hanging out away from most things motocross-related. It feels pretty weird not to smell race gas or hear the sound of dirt bikes, but we’ll make do…this week.
Speaking of Supercross, check out this mainstream online coverage the series got from The Huffington Post:

Battle of the Primes: The Points Are Tied as Supercross Heads into the Final Stretch

04/12/2017 03:19 pm ET | Updated 1 day ago

Battle of the Primes

As much as I both love the Transformers (and loathe/love Michael Bay’s [aka Michael Bassdrop] take on the Hasbro cartoon of my youth), this article has nothing to do with fictional bio-mechanical robots. The focus here, instead, is on the battle that has been waging between two prime numbers since January 7 in the ballparks and football stadiums of North America. Monster Energy AMA Supercross in 2017 has so far been the closest title fight the sport has witnessed in years, and as of last Saturday, it is as close as a championship can get.

Reality Bites

This year’s series took an unexpected and scary turn when heir-apparent golden child and Honda’s new ticket to the top, Ken Roczen, had a nasty spill in Round Three of the series. After dominating Round One in Anaheim and winning a close race over Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey in San Diego for Round Two, Roczen seemed poised to go on a win streak that could decimate the hearts of his competition. Instead the German rider, while blasting his way through the pack during the main event and rapidly catching the lead group, got bucked off of his all new factory racing machine and suffered a devastating compound fracture in his arm. The injury and subsequent 10 (yes, 10!) surgeries were gruesome but Roczen will likely make a full recovery, although we probably will not see him racing again this year.

Instead what we have seen is week after week of an ever shrinking lead from the defending champion and a rock-solid competitor whose confidence has the momentum of a locomotive, or dare I say… a Transformer.

The Primes: No. 1 (and No. 5)

Ryan Dungey, the current and three-time champ (hence the Number One plate, but holds permanent Number Five) has been Red Bull KTM’s go-to guy since he came aboard the team back in 2012. Back then, KTM was still an unproven brand in Supercross but with the full commitment of the Austrian manufacturer and U.S. team manager, Roger “The Man” DeCoster at the head of racing redevelopment, the orange machines have gained respect (not to mention wins and championships) among the American Supercross set. Dungey has literally been at the controls during this transformation, and while he’s never been considered the most stylish rider in the field, nor the most dominant, his consistency is almost unparalleled.

However, 2017 has been Dungey’s most inconsistent season in years. That is to say, he’s finished off of the podium top three more than once, yet has still managed to stay within the top five all year…and in 2016…and 2015. Yup, the Dunge has not finished outside of the top five since April of 2014. No other rider, current or retired, even comes close to that record. However, even with his consistency and excellent riding of late, he still has only garnered two wins this season.

When Roczen suffered his injury, Dungey was right there to capitalize and immediately inherited the points lead… a points lead he maintained without interruption. At least, it was uninterrupted until Round 14 in Seattle when another player came into the mix.

No. 3

Eli Tomac’s (permanent Number Three) transition to Monster Energy Kawasaki at the beginning of 2016 was…well, it was not terrible. Then again it was not exactly what the team or Tomac himself expected either. In Supercross, he struggled to adjust to the new machine after years spent on Hondas (which have vastly different handling characteristics). During the outdoor racing season, the natural terrain on which Tomac tends to excel, the struggles continued as he was out shined by then Suzuki-mounted Roczen in all but two rounds.

Finally, though, at Round 4 this year in Phoenix, the Kawasaki and Tomac combo found the magic sauce and collected their first win indoors. Then they did it again the following weekend in Oakland. In fact, they’ve managed to keep their mojo flowing to the top step of the podium an additional six times this season and if it was not for a crash and mechanical in Dallas, Tomac would be firmly in control of this championship chase right now. There is certainly no denying his riding of late.

Team Tactics?

Making things even more exciting and and unpredictable are the other players in the field. First there is Marvin Musquin, who is firmly in third place in the standings and the only other rider with a mathematical shot at the title. Further complicating the picture is the fact that the Frenchman is both Dungey’s Red Bull KTM teammate and training partner, and also just netted the second win of his 450 Class career in Seattle last weekend.

Then there is Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson (currently fifth in points), who is also a training partner of Dungey and Musquin. Where is the mire in this picture? Husqvarna is a subsidiary of KTM. Sitting in sixth and seventh in points are Rocky Mountain ATVMC/KTM teammates Blake Baggett and Davi Millsaps respectively. Yup, both also KTM supported riders.

I will not implying that team tactics will come into play in this title fight, but I also would not say it is completely out of the question. Every single one of these riders are not only capable of winning on any given weekend, they all also firmly believe they will win every time they get behind the gate. If they didn’t, they probably would not show up to race. There is a reason why any time a surprise winner is interviewed after taking the checkers, they usually say something to the effect of “I just knew this was my weekend.” Even if they have never won a race in 100 tries, that belief in themselves never diminishes.

My reason for illustrating this point is that no rider will give up a win if given a chance. That is not to say it has not happened before, but team orders that could drastically change up a points battle are rare. Beyond this there are still too many rounds left and far too many variables for anyone rider other than Tomac or Dungey to change the points landscape.

Even when Monster Energy Yamaha’s Chad Reed decided to block Dungey for a few laps while being lapped, the effect of his actions were negligible other than a fine passed down to the Australian by the AMA. While Dungey was slowly catching up to Tomac, who went onto win that controversial St. Louis main event, Dungey’s actual chances of passing the No. 3 at the time are debatable. One might speculate that Reed could have blocked Dungey due to orders coming from Monster Energy itself, but that would be a far-fetched speculation. Conspiracy theorists would like to connect the dots, pointing out that not only is Monster Energy the title sponsor of Tomac’s and Reed’s teams (Monster Energy Kawasaki and Monster Energy Yamaha, respectively) but also the main series sponsor as well. However that speculation should end there.

Primed and Ready

As I mentioned before, there are far too many variables in the championship and just in Supercross racing in general for anyone to be able to manufacture a title hunt. Instead, what we have here, ladies and gents, is a good old-fashioned championship battle and SX fans the world over are frothing to see the action unfold. And just like any good story, we have come to the dramatic pause just before the climax.

We are now in two-week break just after the two lead riders came to a dead-even tie with three rounds remaining. Eli Tomac and Ryan Dungey both have 194 points with another 75 points up for grabs. The prime numbers will duke it out three more times in 2017, and I cannot wait to see the action unfold.

The series resumes on April 22 in Salt Lake City, then heads to the penultimate round in East Rutherford, NJ on April 29 (tickets are on sale here). MetLife Stadium, located just quick train ride away from New York City, has been one of the highest attended races of the series since its introduction in 2014 and will set the stage for the final showdown in Las Vegas one week later on May 6.

For for all of you SX fans looking for things to do in NYC before or after the race, take a look the guide I put together a few years ago: 5 Things for Motocross Racers to Do In NYC. And give me a follow on Instagram while you’re at it: @bayodome.

For more information, be sure to visit www.SupercrossLive.com.


I’m just going to go ahead and say that I thought that was a very well-written article! This is probably my favourite moto paragraph I’ve read in a long time:
The Colorado native has a style that is unique but not unconventional. As a taller rider, his movements on the bike are obvious and slightly exaggerated. While Tomac is rarely out of control, he doesn’t quite have the precision or flare of Roczen, remains looser than Dungey, yet easily avoids the raggedness of someone like Jason Anderson. Tomac can both bulldog his KX450F-SR like Ryan Hughes in 1990’s but manages to do it with more finesse. When Eli is on, he is virtually unbeatable. Only a handful of riders have ever put in dominant performances like Tomac has shown he is capable of doing.
Well done, Bayo Olukotun
The series resumes in Salt Lake City, Utah, next Saturday night.

Tyler Medaglia and Nathan Bles Find a New Home for the 2017 MX Season

This has been one of those stories that we’ve known about but were unable to mention “officially.” We’ve been going back and forth between throwing it out there as simply a rumour to not mentioning it at all. You never want to say too much for fear you’ll upset those who give you the information in the first place as well as possibly jeopardize anything the team is working on.
Anyway, it will be great to see what Nathan Bles can do with good support and 10 rounds of MX1 racing. Remember that time he almost got on the podium in Ulverton until Kyle Chisholm got by him an knocked him back to 4th? Well, if the pieces all fall into place, The Chizz will be pitted right beside Nathan this season. No, Nathan is not one to hold a grudge, but I like to stir the pot when I can.
Tyler Medaglia has been with Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada for the past couple years and looked to have a permanent home with the Swedish brand. As we all know, Canadian Motocross is always in flux, and when this new opportunity came up for Tyler, he had to pull the trigger and make it happen.
Tyler ended the 2016 MX1 season with a very impressive 2nd place at RJ’s. He feels that with proper preparation heading into this coming season, that is where he should be more often. It will be interesting to see where the 2-time MX2 champ finishes when the gate drops in less than 2 months!

Adam ‘Stu’ Robinson (left) will be at the races again in 2017, but wearing a different coloured hat | Bigwave photo


Tyler Medaglia and Mitch Cooke Launch Callus Gloves

We mentioned it last week, but now it looks like the two motocross racers taking over the Greater Truro Metropolitan Area have officially launched their Callus Gloves website.

From their site:

Where we come from…

Who better to create a glove than a professional who uses it. That was our philosophy here at Callus Gloves. We are two professional Motocross riders who know exactly what we want in a glove. We spent the last year developing these gloves; testing samples and working out design details to bring you the best glove possible.

As a result of the hours spent, we are able to bring our customers not only a great Motocross glove; but one that works in almost any situation where you would get a callus. So from cutting wood, mountain biking, paddling, to Motocross we have the glove for you.

Good luck, guys.

Gatorback to be the Site of the 2017 MXGP of USA

(PIETRAMURATA) Trentino, Italy, 13 April 2017 – Youthstream and MX Sports Pro Racing are very proud to announce that the Monster Energy MXGP of USA scheduled on September, the 3rd will be held at Gatorback Cycle Park in Gainesville, Florida.

Gatorback Cycle Park has already hosted professional motocross racing in the past as a stop on the AMA Pro Motocross schedule from 1983 to 1997. Throughout those years Gatorback saw some very historic moments, including 1989, when two-time FIM Motocross World Champion Jean-Michel Bayle won his first race in US in dramatic fashion. That win was a sign of things to come as he would later claim both the AMA Motocross and Supercross Championships.

In 1993 Jeremy McGrath won his first national at Gatorback, topping the 125cc Class, while in the middle of his march to the first of his many AMA Supercross Championships.

Another remarkable moment was when Florida’s own Ricky Carmichael won his first of what would grow to an all-time record 102 AMA Motocross Nationals here in 1997. Like most aspiring young motocross riders in the U.S, Carmichael visited Gatorback Cycle Park often for the annual THOR Winter Olympics, one of the biggest and longest running motocross amateur events in the world.

Now, 20 years later, Gatorback Cycle Park is set to make history once again being the 17th stop of 2017 FIM World Motocross Championship. Both Youthstream and Gatorback Cycle Park are excited for the spectacular racing this event and venue will provide and look forward to the Monster Energy MXGP of USA on September 3rd, 2017.

David Luongo, Youthstream Vice-President and Head of Operations, stated: “We are very excited to come back in the United States of America for the Monster Energy MXGP of USA. Gatorback is one of the most historical track out there, the venue is beautiful and the MXGP fans in America will have the opportunity to watch the best Motocross Riders in the World to race on a classic US Track which will be very exciting for everybody. I really want to thank MX Sports and the AMA that helped a lot to make this event to happen and also Mr. Kern, the owner of Gatorback facility, to take this opportunity to bring back the MXGP World Championship in USA.”

Wyn Kern, Unlimited Sports MX, stated: “We are excited that Youthstream and MX Sports are working together to bring the Monster Energy MXGP of the USA to Gatorback Cycle Park this fall. We are going to give motocross fans the rare opportunity to see the best racers from AMA Pro Motocross line up against the best riders from the FIM’s MXGP World Championships, on a classic American motocross track.  Add the fact that Unlimited Sports MX will host national-caliber amateur racing on this same Labor Day Weekend and Gatorback Cycle Park is going to be the capitol of the entire motocross world come the first of September.”

Davey Coombs, President of MX Sports Pro Racing, stated: “This is very exciting for American motocross, and also for MX Sports, finally having a chance to work with Youthstream to build a successful new race together here in the U.S.  Our fans, not to mention most of the top riders, have long been familiar with what a great motocross track Wyn Kern and the Unlimited Sports MX crew has at Gatorback Cycle Park, so there is a lot of buzz already building about bringing the best professional motocross riders in the world here once again for a new MXGP in the USA.”

Please find here below the updated 2017 Calendar

2017 FIM MXGP / MX2 MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR
DATE GRAND PRIX VENUE ADDITIONAL RACES
25 February (Sat) QATAR Losail
5 March INDONESIA Pangkal Pinang Women
19 March PATAGONIA – ARGENTINA Neuquen
2 April LEON – MEXICO Leon
16 April TRENTINO (I) Pietramurata EMX250, Women
23 April EUROPE (NL) Valkenswaard EMX125, EMX250
7 May LATVIA Kegums EMX125, EMX250
21 May GERMANY Teutschenthal Honda EMX150, EMX300
28 May FRANCE Ernée EMX125, EMX250, Women
11 June RUSSIA Orlyonok EMX250, EMX300
25 June ITALY Ottobiano EMX125, EMX250, EMX300
2 July PORTUGAL Agueda EMX125, EMX250, Honda EMX150
23 July CZECH REP. Loket EMX65, EMX85, Women
6 August BELGIUM Lommel EMX125, Honda EMX150, EMX300
13 August SWITZERLAND Frauenfeld/Gachnang EMX125, EMX250, EMX300
20 August SWEDEN Uddevalla EMX125, Honda EMX150
3 September Monster Energy MXGP of USA Gatorback Cycle Park
10 September THE NETHERLANDS Assen Honda EMX150, Women, Veteran
17 September PAYS DE MONTBELIARD (F) Villars sous Ecot EMX250, Women
1 October – Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations – GREAT BRITAIN, Matterley Basin
30 July – FIM Junior Motocross World Championship – ESTONIA – Lange Motokeskus
Yes, this means yet another trip down the I-75 for the #DMXVan…
The 2017 MXGP series heads to Trentino, Italy, and the Pietramurata track this weekend.

2017 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals on TSN and Fox Sports Racing

Stouffville, ON — April 11, 2017 – Stallybrass Promotions Inc., the promoter of the 25th Annual Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Canadian television broadcaster TSN (The Sports Network). This national broadcast deal, along with the continuing relationship with Fox Sports Racing (FSR), brings the fast-paced, exhilarating sport of Canadian motocross to more fans across the country.

TSN will air 10 – 30 minute shows of the premiere MX1 class throughout the summer months, with the initial national broadcast on TSN1 followed by repeats on TSN2, TSN3, TSN4 and TSN5. This national coverage of the most intense motocross racing in the history of the sport in Canada will add to the multiple platforms available to follow each round of the series.

FSR will air 30 minutes of coverage for the 10 rounds of the MX2 class of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals that will also be available from July to September.

“This is excellent news for our fans, riders, teams and sponsors,” says Mark Stallybrass, President, CMRC/SPI. “An enhanced TV package with both TSN and FSR brings the intensity of our sport to more Canadians and it’s a great way to celebrate our 25th anniversary with both seasoned and new fans across the country.”

The opening round of the series at Whispering Pines Raceway in Kamloops, British Columbia kicks off on Sunday, June 4th in only eight weeks.

For more details, visit www.mxnationals.ca, “Like us” on Facebook www.facebook.com/CMRCMX and follow us on Instagram CMRCMX and Twitter @CMRCRacing.

2017 ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MOTOCROSS NATIONALS – SERIES SCHEDULE

 

Sunday, June 4                  Whispering Pines Raceway, Kamloops, British Columbia

Sunday, June 11                Blackwater MX Track, Prince George, British Columbia

Sunday, June 18                Wild Rose MX Park, Calgary, Alberta

Sunday, June 25                Moto Valley Raceway, Regina, Saskatchewan

Sunday, July 9                    Gopher Dunes, Courtland, Ontario

Sunday, July 16                  Motocross Ulverton, Ulverton, Quebec

Sunday, July 23                  Pleasant Valley Motorsport Park, Truro, Nova Scotia

Sunday, July 30                  Riverglade MX Park, Moncton, New Brunswick

Sunday, August 6              Motocross Deschambault, Deschambault, Quebec

Sunday, August 13           RJ Motosport Park, Barrie, Ontario

 

About Rockstar Energy Drink: Rockstar Energy Drink is designed for those who lead active lifestyles – from Athletes to Rockstars. Available in over 20 flavors at convenience and grocery outlets in over 30 countries, Rockstar supports the active Rockstar lifestyle across the globe through Action Sports, Motor Sports, and Live Music. For more information visit: www.RockstarEnergy.com

 

Find us at:

Instagram.com/RockstarEnergyFacebook.com/RockstarYouTube.com/RockstarTwitter.com/RockstarEnergy

 


Podcast | CMRC President – Mark Stallybrass

With all the news about the series this year and in the future, we felt it was the perfect time to get CMRC President, Mark Stallybrass, on the phone for a PODCAST. We had planned on doing this a while ago, but new announcements kept happening and we wanted to wait to be sure we could talk about all of them.

Photo from Mark Stallybrass’ Facebook page

 

 Listen here:


‘Tailgating’ Episodes from Gopher Dunes

Nicky Beatty

Tailgating with…Nicky Beatty from Directmotocross.com on Vimeo.

Jake Tricco

Tailgating with…Jake Tricco from Directmotocross.com on Vimeo.


Practice Day at Gopher Dunes


OK, everyone, that will do it for this week. I’ve left my parents unattended sitting on chairs in the front yard. I’ll go make sure they’re still there. Thanks for your support of Direct Motocross. Have a great long weekend and be careful out there.

Moto parents are the best parents! See you at the races…