Frid’Eh Update #17 Presented by RMR Online Outlet
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to the DMX Frid’Eh Update #17 Presented by RMR Online Outlet. Week #17 goes out to the young rider who has been climbing the ranks consistently since turning Pro. Richmond, Ontario’s Dylan Wright heads into the 2016 MX2 season with confidence gained from solid results last summer and a productive winter of training.
Dylan finished 6th in the competitive MX2 class in 2015 and will look to improve on his #17 this summer. He actually missed the Moncton, NB round at Riverglade or maybe he could have chased down Blake Savage for 5th overall.
Did you know that it was Dylan’s dad, Bill Wright, who actually pulled the trigger on the first ‘Pirate Radio’ broadcast over at Sand Del Lee in 2008? Yep, we did it from the roof of their old school bus in the pits. It proved that it was easily possible and we spent the day getting guest riders to climb onto the roof and chat with us as the races went on that day. It was a lot of fun and it opened the door for my summer or travel in the old 1989 Buick Electra Estate Wagon doing live audiocasts from each round of the Canadian Nationals the following summer. Thanks, Billy…I think. LOL
Dylan will front the young, all-Canadian MX101 FXR Yamaha team. The riders: Dylan Wright, Jess Pettis, Hayden Halstead. To be honest, it will be an interesting year as all 3 riders look to establish themselves as ‘the next Canadian standout.’ Jess and Dylan came up through the ranks together and have both turned a corner in their speed this past year. Dylan has always had that flashy, incredible pace while Jess has grown in stature and now looks much more comfortable and in control on the 250. And with the unpredictable and entertaining antics of Hayden thrown in the mix, the balance should be there to have this team making waves, getting results, and having a great time doing it. It’s going to be fun to watch.
We got in touch with Dylan as he was driving home from California. I’m actually sitting in a truck stop just west of Rochester, NY typing this. There are a lot of people gathered around a TV as the newscasters make as big a deal about a presidential candidate’s protest. Anyway, here’s how our conversation with Dylan went:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Dylan. We haven’t spoken to you in a while. To start off, would you mind summing up how your summer of racing went in 2015? You finished 6th overall but missed a round and were still close to 5th.
Hello Billy, yeah it’s been a while. It’s been a long off-season. My summer went pretty good. I had a lot of fun and definitely learned a lot again, that’s for sure. Yeah, I ended up 6th overall in the series and will be running the big number 17 this summer. Yeah, I did end up missing Moncton because of a practice crash during the week, and without missing that round I feel like my chances of being in the top five overall would’ve definitely been better. But what can I say, our sport is a crazy one. Other than that, I am pretty happy with how my year went, I had a few podium finishes and I felt like my speed was pretty good.
What did you do at the end of the season after Walton?
After the season, I’m not even sure if I took a weekend off! I kept racing as much as I could until the snow hit! I ended up doing some races in Ontario and south of the border in New York, as well as the first two rounds of the AXTour Arenacross.
Then you spent some time out in California. Who did you train with?
Yeah, at the end of January my dad and I packed up and left for California. It was an amazing trip! I got a lot of riding in and I feel great on the bike heading into the season. It was great to train on hard pack dirt and tracks like we will have out west for the beginning of the series. I think that will be an advantage for me. Also, I got a lot more testing done thanks to Allan Brown from Allan Brown Motorsports who helped me get the bike exactly the way I like it!
For the majority of my stay I was training with Matt Georke which I think was great for my riding as I can learn a lot from him and we pushed each other to get better. I also did some training with (Shawn) Maffenbeier. During my stay in California I also fit in some training with Billy Laninovich, which I think helped me improve my riding even more.
Was there anything specific that you worked on?
There was nothing specific, I worked on mostly smoothing my riding out to suit the more hard packed dirt and keeping my momentum up as well. I can tell you that we did a lot of motos to make sure conditioning wouldn’t be an issue and sprints for speed! One other thing I focused on more than ever were my starts. I have struggled with starts in the past and I know that if I want to have a shot at the championship, my starts will need to be better. So, that is one thing that I have really been focusing on!
You raced out there also. Can you tell us how that went?
Yeah, I did a few races while I was out west. I didn’t do as many as I would’ve liked, but I did do a couple. They went pretty good, they were only small local stuff. My starts seemed to be pretty good and I feel that my sprint speed at the beginning of the moto has gotten better as well.
What have you been doing lately?
Honestly, I have mostly been riding and training my butt off getting ready for the season. There was never a day off, every day the goal is to better myself in any way possible. Last week, my girlfriend flew in for a few days and on Tuesday we started the long drive back home. Trust me, it’s a long way (Laughs)! [You don’t have to tell us, Dylan.]
I always like asking you about school because I know you excel at it. What are your current and future school plans?
Yeah, you’re right I do excel in school, and I promised myself and my parents that I would finish high school. Last year, I completed that and for now I’ve just been focusing of my racing and my riding, trying to better myself as much as I can and get ready for the nationals this summer! So for now I have put the academic side down, but when I am done racing I do plan on going back to school to study something.
You have an all-Canadian team full of young up and comers this year. What are your thoughts and predictions for the team?
Yeah, your right we are a true full Canadian team, and I think that is awesome to see and we need more of that! I think it is a great thing for us and I think we will do great this year and the vibe under the tent should be great. I don’t really have any predictions for the team, but I hope that I can bring the championship home as I and everyone around me has put the effort in. I think it would great to do that with MX101 FXR Yamaha because, honestly, they want it just as much as I do. The crew and I pretty much treat each other like family!
Will you race before round 1 out in Kamloops?
Yeah, I will for sure be racing before round 1 in Kamloops! I plan on trying to race every weekend until the start of the season to keep myself sharp and ready to go so that I know that come round one I will be ready! I think that racing is one of the best things for training, so yeah, you will definitely see me out there.
I know you have future Supercross plans. When will you start pointing your career in that direction?
Yeah, it is one thing I have definitely looked at doing for sure. I’m not sure if or when that will happen. I only have my eyes set on the upcoming season for now.
Any predictions/hopes for yourself this summer?
I feel like I have learned a lot the last 2 years and I know what it takes to run up front. With the few podiums I have under my belt I am hungrier than ever to get an overall. I am hoping that during the season I can consistently run up front and that at the end of the summer I can come out on top with the championship.
OK, we’ll let you get back to the highway miles now (and I have to do the same!), but first, who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank: MX101, FXR Yamaha Canada, 6D helmets, 100% goggles, Atlas Braces, Forma boots, R&R Automation, FMF racing, TM design works, Matrix concepts, GYTR, DeCal Works, Brown Motorsports, Renthal, SSS Suspension, Dunlop, Cl brakes, Motorex, Twin Air, Ride Engineering,VP fuels, RK chains, Excel Rims, Evans Cooling, Mechanix Wear, Nihilo, Cosmetic gaskets. I’d also like to send out a huge thanks to my family and my girlfriend for supporting me and all the help as well as all my fans out there – 2016 is going to be a great year, I cant wait to get it underway!
Thanks for taking the time to do that, Dylan. We can’t wait for this season to get rolling. It should be one for the record books, for sure. Good luck!
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Hi, guys. Moto is finally in full swing here in Southern Ontario. This past weekend I loaded up the Husqvarna FC250 and headed East for the MMRS School and Practice Weekend. As soon as you pull in the driveway you are instantly greeted with some of the biggest smiles, and the further you drive in, the bigger your own smile gets as you check out the perfectly-prepped MMRS track. It’s usually a little muddy this early on in the spring, but not this time. The track was perfectly ripped and looked like some very tasty chocolate cake. The morning started off with John Maguire introducing his instructors before assigning groups and sections. There was a place for every age and every skill. The talented instructors covered every aspect of racing and a super-fun day was had by all.
Here are a few photos from the day. Photo Credit: John Wright.
This past weekend the Monster Energy SX series held a day race in Foxborough, Mass. The weather didn’t start out the greatest and it honestly looked like it was going to be another nasty mud race. Fortunately, the sun came out and the track and conditions got really decent. The track was pretty technical and Ken Roczen once again continued his hot streak of late. This was the first time in a very long time where it looked like Ryan Dungey was almost human. No, he didn’t win the main, but Ryan fought hard and showed that he is simply the best all around racer in the world at this time. He now heads into Metlife Stadium to clinch the 2016 Championship.
In 250 East action, the craziness once again continued as nobody wants to run away with this years title. Martin Davalos stepped up and took the win in Boston. Malcolm Stewart didn’t have his best race, but he padded his points lead over Aaron Plessinger. This weekend will be the riders’ last chance to really race their competitors straight up as next week in Vegas the Coasts will be combined. I’m not a big fan of how the points will be awarded in Vegas, but it is what it is and everyone has to deal with it.
Here are my predictions for New York this weekend:
Holeshot: Jeremy Martin
1st Jeremy Martin
2nd Aaron Plessinger
3rd Shane McElrath
4th Martin Davalos
5th Malcolm Stewart
Holeshot: Cole Seely
1st Ryan Dungey
2nd Cole Seely
3rd Ken Roczen
4th Jason Anderson
5th Eli Tomac
That’s it for me this week. I will be loading up the FC250 Husky and be heading East to the Big Apple in Brighton to hit up the MMRS season opener at Cochrane’s. It’s a fun, flowing track with a nice loamy mixture with a little sand in the back section. Nothing is ‘do or die’ at this track and the roost is actually bearable. If you are a first-time racer or a seasoned Pro, the MMRS series has a spot for you. Before I go, be sure to check out this week’s ‘Out of the Blue‘ featuring Megan Joycey, presented by Shrader’s. Have a great weekend and #smileforBC!
Thanks, Jeff. These past couple Frid’Ehs have been tough ones for me as I try to balance getting to these too-close-to-fly-but-a really-far-drive Supercross races and digging for the latest stories on the riders we know and love. I’m embarrassed to have messed up last week and skip weeks 17 and 18 but it happened and I hope you can forgive me. Luckily, I have an old Delorean in the driveway and my crescent is just long enough to get up to 88mph before smashing into the bend at the end and all the wild turkeys who call that end home. We set the flux capacitor to 2 weeks ago and here we are at week #17.
How cool is this that Chad Reed is going to head back to the MXGP‘s for a couple rounds this June?! The top few guys are probably on a different level but he will bring a whole bunch of extra eyes and interest to the British and Italian rounds.
There is a lot going on behind the scenes…well, as behind as you can be nowadays with social media, so we thought it would be interesting to see who is going where for amateur racing this summer. Head over to the site and give your two cents. Click HERE.
Watch: Chasing the Dream|Episode 3
Watch: GPF Don’t Get Tired by Just Giver Productions
Foxboro SX|Photo Gallery
If you still haven’t got your Supercross fill for the week, we posted a bunch of photos in a gallery to look at. You can check it out HERE.
I hate to cut these things short (although many have said I usually ramble too much) but we need to put the miles it this afternoon and make it to our fancy Red Roof in by MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Something about this I-90 East feels very familiar…
Have a great weekend and be sure to check in with us on Twitter @directmx and on Instagram @directmotocross for as much behind-the-scenes action I can muster.
This may be the last chance this season for #418 Dave Blanchet to make a 450 Supercross night show. We’ll be sure to wish him luck and keep you all posted on how his day goes on his PR-MX Strikt Gear Kawasaki.
OK, off we go. Thanks for reading! Hey, Emily, it’s your turn to drive…