Frid’Eh Update #18 Presented by KTM Canada
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to week #18 of the Direct Motocross Frid’Eh Update this week presented by KTM Canada. In 2017, the #18 belongs to the Vermont rider who we’ve watched come up through the amateur ranks, all the way up to the Pro ranks when he first showed up at Walton Raceway.
Dakota Alix is the quiet, no-nonsense rider who usually lets his results (and famously great starts) do the talking for him. Dakota is currently in New Jersey for the 250 East Supercross at Met Life Stadium. Watch for the #70 on the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, WPS, KTM to be out near the front early in his races.
Dakota raced the entire east series of the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals last summer. He was always a factor and took his first overall at River Glade in Moncton, NB with 4-1 motos to edge out #17 Dylan Wright‘s 3-2 by 1 point. He was never worse than 4th overall and took 7th in MX2, even after missing the first 4 rounds out west. He will be #18 in 2017. Here’s a look at his 2016 season:
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get in touch with Dakota in time for this Update, so watch for an interview with him as soon as we’re able to catch him with a free second to chat.
Hi, guys. Happy Friday. Well, I’m thinking Mother Nature finally figured it out for good here in Southern Ontario. The weather has been heating up and the action isn’t far behind. This weekend, the AMO/MMRS are offering two ANQ’s (Walton TransCan Amateur National Qualifiers) on the same day at two different locations. Racers will have the opportunity to choose between Motopark in Chatsworth, Ontario, or Cochrane’s MX just outside of Brighton, Ontario. Both tracks will be prepped to perfection and offer lots of racing lines.
MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS
With only 2 rounds of Supercross remaining, that means every point counts. Starts will make or break the championship fight in the 450 class. If Eli Tomac gets a good start, the only thing that can stop him is himself. If Ryan Dungey gets a bad start, he should be able to get himself up on the podium, but more than likely, Tomac will be long gone.
In the past, we have seen Tomac push a little too hard and make a big mistake. Dungey seems to be a little too smart and seasoned to make those big mistakes, but he is going to have to get out of his comfort zone a little if he wants to steal this title back from Eli.
Behind the top 2, we have a plenty of guys that want to end the season on a high note. Jason Anderson looks to be back where he belongs, and training partner, Marvin Musquin, is a threat to win in any conditions. Throw in a hot-as-of-late Josh Grant, a rising Blake Baggett, and a super-consistent Davi Millsaps, and a top 5 finish is almost as good a s a podium.
This weekend’s race is held at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey. Metlife is an open air stadium and anything can happen. Both Tomac and Dungey will have no problem racing in wet conditions should it rain, but let’s be honest, nobody wants to see a championship won or lost in a mud race. I don’t want to jinx anyone, but I just have a feeling that Eli is due for an off weekend. I feel like Dungey is going to dig deep, and I think his training partners, Anderson and Musquin, will make it tough for Tomac to pass, and Dungey will either tie it back up or take a very small points lead going into Vegas.
Here are my predictions for the New Jersey round:
1st Ryan Dungey
2nd Marvin Musquin
3rd Jason Anderson
4th Eli Tomac
5th Blake Baggett
The 250 East resumes this weekend with Joey Savatgy holding the points lead and red plates. Savatgy leads Jordan Smith by 6 points and Zach Osborne by 12 with New Jersey and Vegas left. Smith had been hot lately and Osborne had some tough luck before the break. Anything can happen, but I’m thinking Savatgy will pull it off, but Smith will take it right up until the final lap in Vegas.
The AMA changed the 250 SX move up points rule effective immediately. I think it’s bulls#!t, but what do I know. Let’s keep guys on 250s for 10-plus years. Anyway, here are my 250 East predictions for the weekend:
1st Joey Savatgy
2nd Adam Cianciarulo
3rd Zach Osborne
4th Jordon Smith
5th Dylan Ferrandis
MMRS MX SCHOOL AT COCHRANE’S
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Don Carr
This past Saturday, I was lucky enough to be involved in the annual MMRS Motocross School. This year’s one-day school had an incredible 110 students, and featured some first-time riders all of the way up to some of the most seasoned vet riders (and I mean that in the nicest way).
As we are all aware, John and Jean Maguire and MMRS joined forces with Ryan Gauld and the AMO for 2017 and beyond. This newly-formed super-team is a much needed breath of fresh air for amateur racing in Ontario. With these two organizations teaming up, riders and racers can expect great tracks, properly trained flaggers, solid competition, and plenty of smiles.
This year’s school offered many stations that covered every aspect of racing. The riders moved from station to station, learning all of the ins and outs from a great group of instructors.
Later on in the afternoon, the riders were offered a structured practice so they could apply all of their new techniques on the well prepped Cochrane’s track. It was a great day from start to finish. I would like to thank the AMO, MMRS and a very special thank you to Don Carr for taking all of the great pictures, and for really capturing a great day!
That’s it for me this week. I hope you have a safe weekend and I’ll see you next time. Don’t forget to #smileforBC and #liftwithscott.
Thanks, Jeff. Have fun ripping up the dirt on that 2017 Husqvarna FC250F this weekend! If I had half a knee, I’d join you! Actually, speaking of this weekend, Emily and I were supposed to do our annual trip to NYC for the New Jersey Supercross but we decided at the last minute to call it off. My main reason for going to these races is to cover the Canadians who line up and give Supercross a go, or at least the teams with major Canadian connections. With none scheduled to be on the gate this week, we figured we didn’t need to post any more photos of Eli and Ryan. Of course, Team PR-MX will be there with their guys, so we’ll be sure to check in with Julian Saturday to find out how everything is going.
Instead, we’re going to meander our way up to Chatsworth to Motopark for their ANQ this Sunday. Can you believe I first raced up there in 1982? Yep, that’s 35 years ago! And I don’t look a day over 60… I get asked if I used to race, a lot. I used to always joke, “Ya, and I don’t even limp!” Well, unfortunately, time and wear and tear have finally caught up to me and I can’t make that joke any longer. Do what you can to take after your knees, folks.
One day, you’ll be watching people hovering around artificial dirt tracks on silent, solar powered bike-like devices talking to some other ex-riders about how 35 years ago, in 2017, you used to race, too. It happens. Someone wise once said, “Time waits for no man.” Believe me, I know you think you’re the exception, but I have bad and sobering news for you – you’re not.
What was I talking about, again? Oh ya…
NEW RULES FOR AMATEUR ADVANCEMENT
This story is destined to get bigger as we march closer to the Parts Canada TransCan at Walton Raceway in August. Without a unified gradation system across the many different sanctioning bodies in Canada, there are bound to be protests and disgruntled riders when the time comes to enforce rules.
There is a very simple TransCan rule that:
10) The top THREE finishers from all Junior and Intermediate classes at the Grand National Amateur National Championship in Walton, Ontario will be automatically upgraded to a higher class the following year. Intermediates may stay if they fall under rule chapter 1
(B)(1) or they don’t have enough upgrade points and their appeal is granted. If they win a championship they may not compete in that class again at the Walton Amateur Grand National.
11) Any rider competing in the MX2 Pro/Am East/West national series that earns a national number will be automatically upgraded to the Pro ranks regardless of their total upgrade points earned at regional events in the Intermediate class, however an appeal may be granted. If the rider falls under rule chapter 1(B)(1) he may use this option.
Full 2016 rules can be found at:
We’ll have to see where this all goes, because it definitely affects a few of our top, yellow-plated riders this season.
Here is the latest statement from the AMO/MMRS in Ontario regarding this same situation:
Over the last week, we have had many questions about advancement points and structure with rules regarding racers that should or shouldn’t move up. Last year AMO/MMRS was a soft amalgamation of the two clubs and each had their own rules and structure. For 2017 and beyond there is one set of rules and structure for both clubs.
In saying that, we will have a full RESET of points from 2016 where no advancement points will come into play because of the two clubs having different views and different competition. We are not doing this to favor or go against any particular racer but rather ensuring the best for every racer in AMO/MMRS.
- No advancement points from 2016 will carry into 2017.
- 2017 Advancement points are as follows:
- Riders riding in more than one class will have upgrade points combined for both
- Beginner to Junior, 10
- Junior to Intermediate, 20
- Intermediate to Professional, 40
- Full points are awarded in classes of six or more riders. In classes of less than six riders, the winner will receive 2 points and second place will receive 1 point
1st overall receives 5 points
2nd overall receives 3 points
3rd overall receives 2 points
4th overall receives 1 point
- Every race/event counts towards advancement points
RULE CHANGE: Girls 9-16
- NO SUPERMINI BIKES. Any girl within the required age bracket for the class is only allowed to ride 65cc, 85cc (small wheels), and 150CRF Small Wheel. SUPERMINI Machines are no longer allowed.
****RULE AMENDMENT – FOR ANQ RACES WE WILL ALLOW THE SUPERMINI TO BE RACED. IT IS A CURRENT BIKE OFFERED IN THIS CLASS AT TRANSCAN SO WE WILL HONOR THAT.
FOR ALL ATLAS SUPER SERIES AND ORANGE MOTORSPORTS RACES NO SUPERMINI IS ALLOWED. WE WILL ADDRESS THIS RULE AGAIN IN THE FALL OF 2017
FOR THE THE JUNE 11TH RACE AT WALTON WHERE ALL ANQ DIVISIONS AND ATLAS SUPER SERIES ARE ONE WE WILL HONOR THE ANQ/TRANSCAN CLASS STRUCTURE
Also coming into play here is the recent rule change that affects riders wishing to compete at the 2017 US Amateur National Championships at Loretta Lynn’s that says if you race a MX2 national in Canada as an Intermediate, you cannot race the B classes in Tennessee.
We’ll have to wait and see what this actually means to some of our fastest Intermediate riders across the country. Since we’ll be at the Motopark ANQ Sunday, we’ll get to the bottom of it…
COLE THOMPSON OFF TO COSTA RICA FOR ROUND 2
The defending MX2 champion, Cole Thompson, is already down in Central America for round 2 of the 2017 Campeonato Nacional Motocross in Costa Rica. After being down at Club MX in South Carolina for the team’s photo shoot, Cole jetted off again to compete in the second round of that country’s national championship.
You can check out the results, and even watch it live (sometimes), at the series Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cnmxcostarica/
Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha Photo Shoot at MP@County Line
It’s that time of year again when teams are finalized and are meeting up at tracks around North America for their photo shoots. The Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha squad is no exception. Team riders, #2 Matt Goerke and #38 Tim Tremblay, were in attendance at MP@County Line in Florida for theirs.
We all know Matt is capable of winning another title but let’s not count out the skill of his new teammate. It will be great to see what he can accomplish given the chance to do the entire 10-round series. He should be battling inside the top 6 once he gets rolling.
Guess Who’s Coming to Canada?
So, we may not have the #1 plate of Davi Millsaps in the MX1 class this summer (or will we?) but that doesn’t mean the competition is going to be any less that the quality we saw last summer. New teams and riders seem to be making announcements daily, lately. Here’s a look at the top 20 riders and then some others to keep an eye on in 2017:
- Davi Millsaps – not returning to Canada…or is he?
- Matt Goerke – MX1 Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha
- Kaven Benoit – MX1 KTM Canada Thor Racing
- Brett Metcalfe – not returning to Canada
- Mike Alessi – MX1 Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki
- Tyler Medaglia – MX1 Royal Distributing Motovan Huber Motorsports Honda (what’s the short form?)
- Cade Clason – MX1 Redemption Racing FXR KTM
- Keylan Meston – MX1 RM Motorsports BLKRDR Yamaha
- Morgan Burger – game-time decision
- Colton Facciotti – MX1 Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing
- Cole Thompson – MX2 KTM Canada Thor Racing
- Shawn Maffenbeier – MX2 MX101 FXR Yamaha
- Dylan Wright – MX2 Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing
- Brad Nauditt – game-time decision
- Jess Pettis – MX2 MX101 FXR Yamaha
- Mark Worth – not returning to Canada
- Dakota Alix – game-time decision
- Hayden Halstead – MX101 FXR Yamaha
- Kyle Swanson – MX1 Team PR-MX Strikt Kawasaki
OK, those are the top 20, but there are many others looking to break into this group in 2017. Here’s an incomplete list of who else to watch for:
#377 Christophe Pourcel – the Rockstar Husqvarna rider is sure to be racing for wins in MX1
#38 Tim Tremblay – Tim will race all 10 rounds as Goerke’s teammate on the Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha team in MX1
Ryan Surratt – NUT Up Kawasaki in MX2
Dillan Epstein – Nut Up Kawasaki in MX1
PR-MX Strikt Kawasaki is yet to officially release a couple more riders but he’s looking at guys like Brandon Leith and more
Josh Osby – Josh is the newest member of the Redemption Racing team in the MX2 class
Dakota Alix – if Dakota can get to the west, he will be a factor in the MX2 class
Kyle Chisholm – should be an instant contender for top 5’s in the MX1 class on the Royal Distributing Motovan Huber Motorsports Honda team
Nathan Bles – should also be fighting for top 6 positions in the MX1 class on his Royal Distributing Motovan Huber Motorsports Honda
Jacob Hayes – most would say Jacob should be Thompson’s toughest competitor in the MX2 class on his Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki
JC Bujold – with a solid winter of training on his 450, JC could be a darkhorse pick for top 7-10 on his BLKR Honda in MX1
Taylor Arsenault – Taylor was showing great potential in the MX2 class last season and says he wants at least another season to go for better results
Casey Keast – Casey should be fighting for top 5’s this season in MX2
Christopher Fortier – probably the rider who is coming in under the radar the most. Christopher is a super-fast Canadian rider who lives in Florida and should be fighting to top 5’s or better in the MX2 class this summer
RPMA FXR – watch for this 4-rider team to keep improving as they get the chance to hit all 10 rounds. Riders include: Michael Fowler, Ryan Batman, and Zachery Nobrega in MX1 and Broc Loftus in MX2
Of course, there are riders I’ve missed and still some more to be added as we get closer to the June 5th gate drop in Kamloops, BC. We will keep updating the list as we learn of them. It should be another highly competitive year!
RYELEY GALLUP UPDATE
There comes a time in every young man’s life when he has big decisions to make. At 20 years old, Rosemary, AB rider, #23 Ryeley Gallup, finds himself at those crossroads. And if you know where Rosemary, Alberta, is, that’s about all there is! Sorry, Rosemary.
Ryeley is the stylish MX2 rider who got everyone’s attention last year when he showed flashes of top-level speed and even took a 4th place in moto 1 in Calgary. He raced a KTM 250 2-stroke and had everyone’s ear as he ripped across the country.
His plan was to hit all of the west rounds and then see what happened. He managed to make it all the way to the east but suffered a few mechanicals that hurt his chances. So, what is his plan for 2017?
Well, we grabbed him for a quick chat today and found him under the weather, fighting a cold or a flu. He said they don’t really have a concrete plan for this summer but plans on being at round 1 at Whispering Pines and taking it from there.
Interestingly, he will make the switch to a 250 4-stroke this year and may even line up in the MX1 class on a 450 at some rounds. He said that if he did double class it, it would likely be in Calgary and/or Regina. We’ll have to watch for that.
He doesn’t have any major industry support so they will likely be at the first 4 rounds in the west and then hit the local races for the rest of the summer, unless he does very well and something comes up that will see him head east.
Here’s how his 2016 summer went:
Good luck, Ryeley. Most riders my age know exactly the questions and decisions you’re struggling with. Unless you are a top Pro, we all hit that point in life, eventually. You’ll make the right choice for you and it will all work out. We’ll see you in Kamloops in a month.
TEAM KTM CANADA THOR RACING RUMOURS
“We debunk an American myth…” ~ Gord Downie
With official ‘Silly Season’ coming to an end, we wanted to get to the bottom of some of the rumours swirling around the KTM Canada Thor Racing team. You’ve probably heard some of them, too.
The #1 rumour seems to involve whether or not Davi Millsaps is staying down south or not. Yes, we know he has a solid home with his Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM team in the USA, but sometimes you just never know.
We spoke with KTM Canada Team Manager, JSR, today as he was returning from the tea’s photo shoots down south. He didn’t want to say his words were final, but he did “confirm” that Davi will be staying south with his current team, for now…
Davi’s 250 teammate, Dakota Alix, is another rider whose name keeps popping up as a 10-round racer in Canada in 2017. Well, he is filling in for the injured Benny Bloss and so should have a home until his return. However, there is a chance we’ll see Dakota north of the border in the east, like we did last year. We’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out. He’s not a KTM Canada-supported rider anyway, so whatever he does is up to him.
Whatever Happened to…Nick May
Ex-Canadian Pro rider from Ottawa, Nick May, made an appearance on Dragon’s Den and had the support of two of the dragons. Since then, Nick has been very busy with his waterless shaving product, REMAY.
It’s always cool to see an ex-racer do well in their post-moto life. You can read our conversation to find out what exactly he’s been up to HERE.
ONE ROUND TO GO IN AMSOIL ARENACROSS
The Amsoil Arenacross series takes a break this weekend and gets set to invade Las Vegas for the final round next week. The battle at the top of the premiere class will come down to the wire between points leader Gavin Faith, Chris Blose, and Jace Owen. Here’s a look at the points:
CYNTHIA GAUTIER MONSTER TRUCK VIDEO
Remember Quebec motocross racer, Cynthia Gautier? Well, she’s made a name for herself in the Monster Jam world these days. Check out this latest video:
SARA KING TO SIT OUT 2017 CDN WMX SEASON
We were a little shocked when we saw this post on Sara King‘s Facebook page:
That’s going to do it for another week in Canadian Motocross. I hope everyone has a great weekend of riding and/or racing, wherever you are.
OK, here’s the CODE PHRASE for this week: “The ants in France feed mainly on the plants.” All you have to do is be the first one to walk up to Jeff McConkey and say this to get yourself a few Direct Motocross stickers. The funny part is that Jeff has no idea about it. Let’s see how it goes and we’ll come up with a different phrase each week. Yes, you’re going to have to explain it to him…
Also, if there’s an ex-racer out there who you’d love to find out “Whatever Happened to…” please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll start doing podcasts with these former racers and see what they’re up to nowadays.