Frid’Eh Update #19 Presented by Fly Racing
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to the 19th week of 2017 and of the Frid’Eh Update. For 2017, #19 belongs to Ontario racer, Hayden Halstead. Hayden is famous for his love of the entire sport of motorcycling and his appreciation for what’s fun while he’s doing it. Actually, we think he has fun doing just about anything.
Hayden has also been a Pro rider we can call on when we are heading to a new bike launch or ride day. You can always count on his riding skills to get you some of the best photos and video clips. His 12 o’clock slow wheelies are legendary, as are his whip skills.
Hayden had an interesting deal with his team, MX101 FXR Yamaha, last summer – he drove the rig and raced on the team at the Rockstar MX Nationals. He spent the summer on the road crossing the country and gathered enough stories for a lifetime of campfire entertainment. We’ll ask him about that later.
In 2016, Hayden finished the MX2 class in 8th spot, and he will run #19 this summer. He just returned from training out in California with his teammate (and yesterday’s birthday boy), Jess Pettis, among others. Here’s a look at his 2016 season:
We grabbed him for a chat as we draw closer to round 1 out at Whispering Pines in Kamloops, BC, June 4th:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Hayden. I was going to ask what you’ve been up to lately, but with your mom’s Facebook account being live for pretty much all of last week from Las Vegas, we know what your every move was! Is there a point when a son is forced to take away a mother’s social media privileges?
Hayden Halstead: No, it doesn’t matter to me. My family and friends always get a kick out of her social media enthusiasm and love to be in the loop.
Ok, just kidding. So let’s first back up to last summer. You had a pretty sweet deal with the MX101 FXR Yamaha team. Can you tell us how you first came to be with the team?
I was looking for a ride out west when I started talking to Cale Foster and Kevin Tyler. We worked out a deal that would help both sides. They took care of me and I drove the rig for them (something I love doing anyway). I was surprised to have as much support as I did; I’m thankful for that. By the end of the season, I feel like I proved that I belong there as a rider and not just a driver.
Do any stories about your drive across the country stand out…that you can repeat here?
I’d have to say that the first flat tire we got was the most memorable. Cale and I were an hour from Thunder Bay and we couldn’t find the key to get the spare tire down from under the truck. There was no help until the next morning so I decided to give it a shot myself. After 3 miserable hours of grinding with a grinding wheel, instead of a cutting wheel, I had the tire down. We were back on the road after a quick change.
So, round 1 in Kamloops didn’t start out well, but ended strong (33-8) for 17th. Can you take us through that day?
Anyone that was there knows how hot it was. The first moto, the track was great and I felt even better. Early on, I came together with another rider hard enough to knock off my water pump while I was going for a pass. I ended up pushing my bike off the track. The second moto, I rode my stock practice bike and unfortunately had the last gate pick. It was one of the hardest races of my season but I was determined to prove myself. After the heat almost killed us, I was happy with 8th place.
You finished the series in 8th, and 8th was actually your top moto finish. How did the summer go for you? Were you happy with your results?
I was pumped with my results. I’ve never been more excited for an upcoming season based on how well last summer went for me. I had to double class at the last round in Barrie to achieve #19. It was probably the hardest weekend of my career but between the support of the entire MX101 family, including Kevin Tyler’s dad Robin, my grandma Linda and my parents, we pulled together to make it happen. I ended up going 10-10. I ended on a strong note and that’s what I need to bring into this season.
What did you get up to when the series ended?
After the season ended, I caught up with friends and family. My girlfriend Meg, our friends and I spent time fixing up my parents’ house while they were on their first vacation since their honeymoon, 25 years ago. After a few weeks off, it was time to go racing again.
We loaded up and went down to Indiana where I raced my first GNCC ever. What an experience it was. Despite not knowing what I was doing, I finished 13th in the 250 Pro class. I thought 30 minutes was long, try 3 hours! We had such a great time, I’m thinking about doing as many GNCC’s as I can after moto season is over.
How did your negotiations go with the team for this coming year?
I am still driving the rig and they are still supporting me in every possible way, except this year, they are setting me up with a race bike and some other perks that I believe I’ve earned.
And then you heard out to California to train. How did that all go?
Meg and I loaded up the truck and trailer and headed to Kevin Urqhart‘s (Bulldog MX Training) in Menifee, California. On our way, we saw as many sights as possible. Most days, I went to the track with Kevin and Jess. Training with some of the fastest guys every day was perfect. We rode the typical SoCal tracks: Glen Helen, Milestone, Perris, Cahuilla, Lake Elsinore, and Pala.
Is there a moment that stands out for you from that time out west?
Glamis, for sure. My friend, Colin McGregor, flew in for a weekend and we drove out to the sand dunes. Growing up watching Crusty Demons, it was a dream of mine to ride there.
And then you drove home again recently. Having seen most of the USA, what is your favourite state?
I loved California for the fact that there is always something to do, see or explore. Arizona was so beautiful, especially the Grand Canyon, it’s hard not to say it’s my favourite.
Will you do some racing before heading west?
I don’t think there is any time. With all of this rain, I’m just trying to stay on my bike as much as possible.
What are you hoping for out of this coming season of racing?
I’m hoping to ride to my potential, like every other year. I’m hoping to improve last year’s results and stay consistently inside the top 10 every weekend.
OK, I’m really looking for something new to watch on Netflix, and I think it helps let people know a little more about you, personally, so what should we all be binge watching?
Californication, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, or Trailer Park Boys.
So, you’re back at work now? What is it that you do from 9-5?
I’m on the same program as I was in California. I work as much as I can throughout the winter months so that I can afford to take the summer off…and a little help from my parents doesn’t hurt. I’m trying to ride and workout as much as possible. Luckily, there are lots of sand tracks where I live, so this weather isn’t hurting my program too badly.
OK, thanks for the talk and best of luck this year. Who would you like to thank?
As always, my parents, Michelle and Brent, my grandparents, Ron and Linda, my girlfriend, Megan, and the rest of my extended family and friends. I am very lucky to have such a huge fan base that are willing to support me. MX101 / FXR / Yamaha, R&R Automation, Jonas Building Restoration, Forma Boots, DeCal Works, FMF, Allan Brown Motorsports, SSS, 6D, Motorex, Renthal, Dunlop, 100%
Keep an eye out for the #19 as he races his way across the country with his teammates Shawn Maffenbeier and Jess Pettis.
Hey, guys, Happy Friday. Well, it’s been super-wet as of late, which has put a damper on the local racing. The ANQ scheduled for last week at Motopark was canceled due to rain. Fortunately, the heavy rain didn’t go too far east and the MMRS crew was able to hold their ANQ.
This week, the action is scheduled for Muttco Mountain for AMO/MMRS, and it too will be an ANQ. If you’ve never been to Muttco Mountain, you seriously need to check it out. Located East of the GTA about 15 minutes off of the 401 is the crown jewel of the MMRS club. Rolling, sandy hills with some nice man-made obstacles. This place has a great flow and is a favourite among riders across Ontario. This is honestly one you won’t want to miss. As always, the turnout will be big, so get there early.
MONSTER ENERGY AMA SUPERCROSS
Well, 17 races in 18 weekends is coming to an end this Saturday night in Las Vegas. The 250 West has already been crowned and Justin Hill is the deserving champion. He started the season coming off an injury and he got better and better as the season went on. Aaron Plessinger and Shane McElrath gave the biggest challenges, but Hill was just too good all season long.
250 East/West Shootout
In 250 East, it looked like Joey Savatgy had this title wrapped, until a mistake followed by a huge brain fart, and we have one of the tightest title fights yet. Going into the finale, Savatgy and Zach Osborne both trail points leader Jordon Smith by a single point. All three have had their ups and downs, but would all make a deserving champion.
Going into Vegas this close in points, anything could happen. You have to remember that the West and East will race each other for the first time. This is a race where a guy who has been winning all year can come in and win. Or this can also be a race where a guy totally out of the points could come in and wax everyone. Either way, expect some great racing as we finally get to see the best from the West vs. the best from the East. Here are my East/West Shootout predictions:
1st Justin Hill
2nd Jordon Smith
3rd Zach Osborne
4th Aaron Plessinger
5th Joey Savatgy
For the big boys in the premiere class, Ryan Dungey heads into what I believe will be his last SX race with a solid 9-point lead. Going into the 2nd last round, Eli Tomac found the points lead and red plate to be a little too heavy and he dropped the ball. Not just once, but over and over and he has now dug himself a hole with 20 minutes of main even racing plus 1 lap.
People are still going to bitch and moan about the “Let Ryan Bye,” but it is over and done with and at the end of the day, the championship is all that matters. Yes, Marvin Musquin was the real winner of that race, and poor Eli Tomac is unfortunately the loser. Eli may be down on himself, but in all honesty, he dug himself out of a huge hole and had a great season minus a few hiccups. Here are my predictions for the last SX main event of the season:
1st Eli Tomac
2nd Jason Anderson
3rd Ryan Dungey
4th Blake Baggett
5th Marvin Musquin
Short and sweet for me this week. I’m on my way to the airport for a non-moto-family vacation before the non-stop moto action begins. Have a great week and #smileforBC and #liftwithscott.
Thanks, Jeff. You were right last week, so we’ll be watching to see how your final Supercross predictions of the season turn out. Have a great time in Mexico. Come back well-rested and ready to dive into our Pro motocross season that will be less than 3 weeks away when you get back.
We have been dealing with the wettest spring I can ever remember. In fact, I’ve been up on the roof putting a nice blue tarp over the skylight in our kitchen and digging out the eaves troughs. There isn’t any light at the end of the tunnel until next Saturday. If you’ve been watching the news, Ontario and Quebec are on flood watch!
Lots of riders who have come home from their time down south expecting the warm, dry weather to have arrived, will be spending their time staring at the weather forecasts with fingers crossed. It’s not pretty.
John Maguire and his MMRS crew have had to pull the plug on their TransCan ANQ this weekend at Muttco Mountain, east of Toronto. It’s really making me regret canceling our planned trip to Las Vegas this weekend. Sunny and 30C tomorrow in Vegas. Ya, but it’s going to be windy…
ROCKSTAR ENERGY MX NATIONALS PREDICTIONS
Speaking of predictions, we’ll be doing our pre-season show when Jeff gets back. Until then, why don’t I go out on a limb and put my (current) predictions for the 2017 Rockstar MX Nationals down on paper:
- Cole Thompson
- Jacob Hayes
- Dylan Wright
- Shawn Maffenbeier
- Ryan Surratt
- Jess Pettis
- Christopher Fortier
- Casey Keast
- Josh Osby
- Hayden Halstead
- Matt Goerke
- Kaven Benoit
- Mike Alessi
- Colton Facciotti
- Christophe Pourcel
- Kyle Chisholm
- Tyler Medaglia
- Cade Clason
- Tim Tremblay
- Dillan Epstein
Wow, there are a few names I left off there that may be angry with me, but I had to make a Top 10 decision, so there they are. It’s going to be another one of those years where it is extremely difficult to break into the top 10 consistently for a lot of riders. Yes, there will be some races where other riders will get in there, but I’m going with these riders as my top 10’s, at this point. I say that because you just never know who may show up at round 1. We’ll see how this plays out as we get closer to June 4th.
COLE THOMPSON – COSTA RICAN MX NATIONALS – Round 2
Canadian MX2 defending champion, #148 Cole Thompson, headed back down to Central America for round 2 of the Costa Rican Motocross Nationals.
Watch the Las Vegas Pre-Race Press Conference Today at 4pm ET
CROSS-CANADA TRANSCAN ANQ’s THIS WEEKEND
Alberta South (AMSA)- GNC Allocation (3)
- May 7.2017 Lethbridge (Temple Hill Motorcycle Park)
Contact: AMSA www.amsamx.ca
Central Ontario – GNC Allocation (1)
- May 6/7.2017 at Runway Park
Contact: www.runwaypark.net or firstname.lastname@example.org
South Western Ontario – GNC Allocation (10)
- May 7.2017 Muttco ***CANCELED (RAIN)***
Contact: Amateur Motocross Ontario
Eastern Ontario – GNC Allocation (5)
- May 7.2017 Muttco ***CANCELED (RAIN)***
Contact: Amateur Motocross Ontario
Atlantic – GNC Allocation (4)
- May 6.2017 Riverglade, NB ***CANCELED (RAIN)***
Contact: Atlantic Motocross
AMSOIL ARENACROSS FINALE TONIGHT IN LAS VEGAS
It all comes to an end tonight from Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Can Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha rider, Chris Blose, make up the points he needs to take this title for the Canadian team or will Gavin Faith hold on and take the championship? We’ll know soon enough.
Here’s a look at the points:
CANADIAN WOMEN’S MOTOCROSS
The Canadian Women’s Motocross Nationals – West starts the day before the Pro Nationals start. Whispering Pines in Kamloops, BC is where you’ll want to be, Saturday, June 3rd.
From the Canadian Women’s MX website:
THE FUTURE FOR CANADIAN WOMEN MOTOCROSSERS AND WHAT WE HAVE TO OFFER
2016 East Top 10
Well, guess I’ll go organize my sock drawer. Seriously, you have no idea how much rain we’re getting here in my neck of the woods. Go turn on the news and you’ll see. It’s bad. Have a great weekend, wherever you are. Hopefully, you’re on the other side of this massive weather system that is bashing the eastern part of the country. Thanks for reading.