Frid’Eh Update #2 Presented by DS Moto Customs
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #2 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by DS Moto Customs in San Diego, California. Week #2 belongs to a rider who has graced the Update many times in his career, covering a wide range of different weeks of the year. After what came down to the last moto of the last round, Cloverdale, BC native and Aylmer, ON resident, Colton Facciotti wound up 2nd in the 2015 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals MX1 championships.
We were able to get in touch with the busy father to find out what he thought of that epic season and what he’s been up to since it ended.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Colton, we haven’t spoken on a while. I know it’s a huge question, but can you get us up to speed on what you’ve been up to since the final round of Canadian MX?
Colton Facciotti: Definitely! A lot has being going on. For starters, the weather in Ontario was awesome so I was able to get in a bit of winter riding which is unheard of around these parts. Otherwise, I’ve just been enjoying the off season with the family. It was Keagan’s first Christmas where he had a little bit of a clue what was going on so that was really enjoyable to see him going nuts over toys and our house is now officially a disaster zone every day!
Let’s actually talk about the 2015 outdoor season. You finished 2nd in the title chase and it came down to the final moto of the final round. Can you take us through how close this MX1 championship was?
From the start I knew it was going to be a tough season and thought if I got through the west not far behind I would stand a chance. My injury (Colton came into the season recovering from an injury to his hip) nagged me for the better part of the season so points-wise I was kind of out of it. I really didn’t think I would make up as much points as I did in the east, so to finish off a few points behind I was happy but at the same time is almost more frustrating than finishing say 30 points behind. All in all, it was a good season and the team and I learned lots to make ourselves better in 2016.
What, exactly, happened in that 2nd turn at Walton when you and Matt Goerke went down together?
It was one of those times when neither of us were backing down and resulted in both of us going down. I thought I had the line and he thought he had it so it’s really hard to decipher. I’m just happy we were both OK and got going at the same time.
My most memorable moto of the summer was probably your come-through-the-pack-late moto at Ulverton. Was that a special race for you and how did you manage to disappear from them so quickly?!
I really have no clue. I knew the championship was coming down to the end, I was starting to ride better and had to put the hammer down. I felt like that was the first race I felt like my old self and put together two good motos. It was just a little too late but that’s racing and everyone has their struggles through the seasons whether you see it or not.
Was that as tough a title race as it looked? You top 4 guys were at it every single moto!
Every moto was tough! Usually in Canada there’s 2 maybe 3 guys that are battling up front. This year the talent far surpassed the last few years so it was a great year of racing. I really enjoyed the battles that I had on the track, It could have really gone a few different ways like what if (Brett) Metcalfe didn’t have a couple bad motos, he would have been right there in the hunt as well. (Cole) Thompson had a few bad rounds as well and he could have been right up there too. It was a real dog fight till the end and the most consistent guy won.
It should get even tougher next season. What can you say about the current state of the MX1 class up here, competition-wise?
Is Villopoto coming to race!? (Laughs) I guess we’ll see who comes up to race. You never know who will come and who will be fast so the goal is to be as ready as possible for round one. I don’t really get too caught up in to who is coming to race but it’s looking to be some good racing in 2016.
Derek (Schuster) says you’ll head down to GPF again this winter. Will you work on anything in particular? What do you think you need to work on to take back the #1 plate?
I’ll be working on getting in a solid 8 hours of sleep! Apparently, a one-year-old kid who is sick and teething doesn’t sleep too much. But on a serious note, I should be heading down to Georgia in February to start my training. Everything will most likely be routine, just a few tweaks and get some more testing in. Coming into 2016 and being the 3rd year on the Honda, we have a really solid setup and every year the bike has gotten better so I’m excited to kick 2016 off.
Goerke and Metcalfe will be teammates, Kaven Benoit is moving up, and Mike Alessi and Vince Friese (won Calgary) are also supposed to be returning. Is this the best group of MX1 riders you can remember in Canada? If not, what was?
It’s really hard to compare past years. Back when JSR and Blair (Morgan) and a few other Americans were up here, I believe it was just as tough. Every year it does seem tougher though but I think we forget a little bit about past seasons. Nonetheless, it’s shaping up to be one of the toughest years and should make for some great racing.
Will you line up to race anywhere this winter?
Not sure yet, I haven’t really looked. I’d like to do some local stuff but I guess we’ll have to see what works with my schedule.
Has parenthood changed anything in your lifestyle?
For the most part it hasn’t changed too much. It’s really made me enjoy the little things though and to see my kid grow up has been amazing. It’s gone by too fast; I’m just trying to keep up and try — key word try — to be a good dad. (Laughs)
You’ve got a couple more years on your current contract. Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
I signed a 3 year contract this off season so I couldn’t be happier to be back with the team for long-term. After that, I’m not too sure. I’d like to stay racing as long as I can but I want to be competitive and fighting for championships every year. It’s a long ways down the road from here so as of now I’ll just focus on the task at hand.
OK, we appreciate your time, so thanks for the chat. Who would you like to thank?
Everyone who make this possible: my family, my whole team, my mechanic, Honda Canada, Atlas, Matrix, 2undr, CTi, Marin, Oakley, Proven Motors, Fast Wheels Canada and all the others. Check out www.hondamx.ca for all our team sponsors and our Instagram pages, and thank you for the interview!
Hey, guys. It’s a cold Friday here in Southern Ontario, but thankfully we have Round 2 of Monster Energy SX to look forward to this Saturday night. We saw some good racing at Round 1, and even some fisticuffs. The track was good and technical, and both main event winners earned their victories. Jason Anderson came through the pack to secure not only his first 450 main event win, but the first for Husqvarna. Anderson rode great and chased down Cole Seely and took away what looked like a wire to wire win for Seely.
In 250 West action, it looked like a Jessy Nelson win early on, but as we learned last year… Cooper Webb can never be counted out. Cooper is just so confident and strong right know it’s scary. He is aggressive, fit, and in straight-up speed, nobody on the West Coast can touch him. I do believe the West Coast is very strong this season, but Webb is just on another level. I have to admit, I was and am very impressed with Jimmy Decotis. I know Jimmy has always had SX skills, but I really didn’t think he’d be this good. To be honest, I still think he has more to show us, and a podium will come very soon. You have got to keep an eye on Canadian Cole Thompson as well. Cole had great times all day and qualified easily into the main event. He had some issues in the main, but that is to be expected with the length of time Cole has been away from SX.
I’ve looked at the track map and San Diego looks like a good layout. There are a few guys that will definitely be looking to redeem themselves after a so so round 1. Ken Roczen will be one to watch. He got bounced around pretty good in his heat race and I’m sure it threw him off for the night. It will be interesting to see how James Stewart will bounce back after a hard unintentional hit from Ryan Dungey. I was a little disappointed with the crowds reaction and boos when the race was red flagged due to Stewart’s crash. These racers are risking their health and safety and there’s no need to ever doubt the seriousness of their injuries. Let’s hope James is feeling better and ready to show us that ‘Bubba’ magic at Round 2. Let’s take a look at my San Deigo predictions:
Holeshot: Joey Savatgy
1st Cooper Webb
2nd Joey Savatgy
3rd Jordan Smith
4th Jimmy Decotis
5th Chris Alldredge
Holeshot: Phill Nicoletti
1st Ryan Dungey
2nd Ken Roczen
3rd Trey Canard
4th Jason Anderson
5th Chad Reed
Before I go, I’d like to give a shoutout to Ryan Gauld. After the Toronto Motorcycle Supershow, Billy and I made the trip out to the AMO banquet Saturday night at Dave and Buster’s. Gauldy did a great job with the awards and I’m really excited to see what he has in store for 2016. If you haven’t already, check out this week’s ‘Out of the Blue‘ with Jacey McQueen, and keep an eye open for my SX McTHOUGHTS early next week. Enjoy your weekend, and #smileforBC!
Thanks, Jeff. It’s a warm morning here just north of San Diego, California. Sorry, Jeff, I had to! We were late leaving London Wednesday morning because they had to take the time to de-ice the place. What that meant was that we were going to miss our tight connection from Calgary down to Los Angeles. They ended up rerouting us off to Vancouver for another connection down to LAX.
It worked out OK except it meant we landed in the dark instead of having nearly half a day to get our bearings and get some sightseeing in on the very first day.
Since we’ve been traveling the past few days, my Update input is more of a travel diary. Meh, maybe you’ll enjoy this more?
Now we’re getting set to finish our trek from LA to San Diego this morning. We’re going to end up at the bLU cRU gathering at Motoworld of El Cajon Yamaha to check out all the Yamaha riders who will be in attendance signing autographs this evening.
Yamaha bLU cRU Riders Scheduled To Appear:
Monster Energy/360fly/Chaparral/Yamaha Factory Racing
CycleTrader .com/Rock River/Yamaha
51FIFTY Energy Drink/Yamaha
Barn Pros Racing/Yamaha
Blue Buffalo/Slater Skins/Yamaha
KTM Canada Signs Jake Piccolo for 2 Years
From KTM Canada’s Instagram page:
“ktm_canada_official We are really happy to announce that 85/Supermini rider, @jacobpiccolo81, will be riding orange for the next 2 years! We believe Jacob is an important addition to our Canadian Orange Brigade program as he proved his talent and speed at many occasions in the past?
Welcome to the Familly?”
Its great to see a manufacturer getting behind our fast amateur riders. Hopefully, this will see them progress through the ranks and be ready for the next step into Pro racing.
Monday Convo with Cole Thompson
We’ll be getting in touch with #127 Slaton Racing Fox KTM’s Cole Thompson each week to get his thoughts on the week’s Supercross race. Here is our chat after round 1, in case you missed it:
Brigden, Ontario, rider #127 Cole Thompson is the sole Canadian competing in the 2016 250 West SX series. With that in mind, we’ll try to catch up with him each week after Saturday’s event. We caught him earlier today after he finished riding the Supercross track at Pala.Here is what the Slaton Racing Royal Distributing Fox KTM Canada rider had to say about the first round in Anaheim.
I thought it was a technical track for the first round. There were a lot of rhythm sections and the dirt was a little bit soft in the middle and then the faces were hard. It was a weird pocket that was very hard to hit consistently every lap. All in all, I thought it was a good track for the first one but it was just a little technical.
There were a lot of triples that were right out of the corners and I was only able to get a few triples out of the corners. For the most part, you’d go 2 and then start tripling through, but everything felt like it was really tight so it was hard to get into an actual pocket and then land and get off to the next triple.
It was more technical than what I remember Supercross being but it’s also been two years since I’ve actually raced, so it could just be that I have to get used to it again, kind of thing.
The landings were pretty steep too on a lot of the rhythms. They’re usually a little bit more mellow but this one you couldn’t really mess up. You had to be spot on with every rhythm or else you were going to have a really close call or go over the bars or something.
Practice and Qualifying:
I didn’t really get to ride my race bike other than a few laps on a sand track to test the motor and make sure it was good, so I was kind of just trying to figure out the bike as practice went on. By the last practice, I actually felt pretty comfortable on it.
Lining up for the heat race, I hadn’t been doing starts because with everything going on I didn’t have a start device until we got there. It was one of those weekends where I just thought I’d go to the inside and tuck around the inside and just do the best I can.
In the heat race it was good but in the main event I just got a little off balance out of the gate. I was just a little rusty. It was a tough main event, for sure.
The Main Event:
I was good through the first couple corners and then right before you do the triple into the whoops there’s a rhythm right before that and I just…a guy had fallen I didn’t see him so I jumped right onto his bike. I didn’t crash but locked up our bikes together to where we had to get an assistant to get our bikes apart. Once I got going again, I think I was probably 15-20 seconds down on the last place guy. The first lap was kind of a mess.
The rest of the race, I don’t know if it was just me not breathing or what, but I felt really really tight. Near the end, if you’re not breathing, it makes it that much tougher to get through it. The last few laps I didn’t really have that much to give. I don’t know, it was one of those weekends where you can only take some of the positives and apply them to this week and get better.
I didn’t know who it was I landed on. I was more confused about how it all happened! I landed on his bike and just stopped dead and we couldn’t get apart. I know that when I came around, I’ve been riding with Mitchell Harrison a bunch, he jumped in right behind me and through the first few laps we were going really good together and then I ended up stalling it right after the whoops section and he got around me.
I got back in behind him and he kept going forward where I kind of got stuck in my position. It was kind of funny because he got up right behind me and he’s been doing most of our motos right behind me. I had a good opportunity to do well and had someone to push with that was like I was just on my own but it was just really really tough for the first weekend with the track and the little bit of jitters.
Plan for the Week:
Right now, we just went riding today to work on a few things; just getting more comfortable on the bike. Then I’ll start working on starts and then the same old…just always trying to improve.
I did the same sort of thing this summer – the first round things didn’t go really as planned and then I just put my head down and did my work during the week and made sure not to make the same mistakes the following weekend.
I rode the Supercross track up top at Pala today. It’s actually a pretty good track. That was the first time I rode there and it was over a minute lap times and it’s hard to find tracks that are that long that are public tracks, so it was good.
There were a lot of guys there today. Jimmy D (Jimmy Decotis) was out there today, and Alex Martin and Chris Alldredge, so there were a few factory guys and then quite a few good privateers. I think there were probably 20-25 guys out riding, so it was good.
Qualifying – 13th
Heat 2 – 6th
Main Event – 18th
Sponsors: YP.com, Nuclear Blast, Slaton Racing, KTM, Fox Racing, FMF, Factory Connection, Justified Cultures, Dunlop Tires, Mastel Linens, Rekluse, Motographix, Xtring, SKF, InnTeck, DID, Dubya, Acerbis, Renthal, Motorex, Works Connection, Matrix Concepts, TM Designworks, VP Racing Fuels, Motool, Dirty Motosports, Guts Racing
Kieran Doherty in Great Britain – Podcast
Kingston, Ontario, native, Kieran Doherty, is living over in England for the winter as he competes in the Arenacross UK series. He’s been producing 1 or 2 podcasts each week detailing his racing and everything else he’s been doing while across the pond. He’s pretty good at these things, so give the latest one from his time in Glasgow, Scotland, a listen:
DMX ‘Ask a Pro – with Nathan Bles’
We want your questions! Question and answer columns have been being done since the invention of the motorcycle. Why? Because they are a ton of fun to read, that’s why! With that in mind, we want you to send in your questions for Pro rider, Nathan Bles. No question is off limits and we will make sure he sees them all. Of course, not ALL will be answered but, if we get good response, we will make this a regular column on the site, so fire away!
Send your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org and add ‘Ask a Pro’ in the subject line. Go!
Ride365.com FXR AX Tour Heads to Hattiesburg, MS
Round 5 of the AX TOUR heads to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, this Saturday.
Kaven Benoit Update
We haven’t spoken to 2-time MX2 champ Kaven Benoit in a while so we wanted to check in with him to see what he’s been up to and what his upcoming plans are.
We caught him as he was finishing a workout in the gym, which is what he has been spending most of his time doing since he took a break from the bike back at the start of December. Kaven feels that taking some time away is important for him to keep the drive going strong.
It’s his usual winter program and he will head down to GPF in February and come back at the end of April (he’ll actually come home a few times between then). His hope was to head out to California this winter but the plummeting Canadian dollar makes that much too expensive this year, especially.
I asked him what his hopes were in this extremely competitive MX1 class for 2016 and he said he “wants to hit the podium.” He said he was always good on the 450 when he was younger and that the new KTM 450 is “crazy fast!” He added that he can’t believe they’re going to make it even faster!
Of course, after his history with Vince Friese two years ago in the MX2 class, I had to ask him what he thought about Weston Peick‘s reaction at A1. He said, “I respect the guy for doing it,” but he was quick to point out that you just can’t do that in professional sports.
Good luck with your off-season preparation. Having Kaven in the MX1 class this summer will easily make this one of the most competitive summers ever!
Help Get Fox Sports 1 on All Canadian Servers!
We got a call from Joel McDonald today as he was knee-deep in his fight to get FS1 and the Supercross races on all TV servers in Canada. He pointed out that most people will be surprised at just how much influence they actually have if they take the time to get involved. Here is the situation as explained by Joel:
Here is the Information for Canadians to put in a very important CHANNEL REQUEST. Most people don’t voice their opinion to the right people. Most people believe that it is going to fall on deaf ears and nothing will be done. So they don’t bother. for every 1 complaint to the right people they are probably 10,000 that won’t bother. We need people to send these CHANNEL REQUEST to their CABLE/SATELLITE PROVIDERS. We have a good chance to make enough noise to help get THE FOX SPORT RACING CHANNEL back in the homes of all Canadians where it belongs. When the Cable/Satellite Providers track THE FOX SPORTS RACING CHANNEL for the amount of time people view the channel, the people that get it for the racing only may view two different racing series that might only amount to 6 hours of time out of a 168 hour week. The provider does not understand we are all getting the channel for the racing that we love not the filler shows between. So, by the providers tracking the amount of hours the customers watch THE FOX SPORTS RACING CHANNEL does NOT give a real understanding why we are so passionate for this channel. By the hours they just figure that all these people are channel surfing and would not miss the channel or care if it was not on. That being said, they would have no problem dropping the channel and not getting it back because from that stand point in their minds it does not make financial sense. We need to show them that that is absolutely not the case. We NEED our RACING CHANNEL BACK!
For BELL, the customer must call and go through the automated service to speak to an operator and ask for a channel request for FOX SPORTS RACING.
For SHAW, the customer can send a quick e-mail that goes right to the proper department. The customer just has to follow the quick template by coping and pasting the template in the email. It is really easy to follow. They need their Name, Account Number, Province, and the channel that they are requesting (FOX SPORTS RACING) and send.
Here is what they need from you:
Subject Line: [Channel Request for: City]
Name: [First] [Last]
Account Number: [11 digit Shaw account number]
Channel(s) Requested: [channel information]
Email to: email@example.com
You never win a race you don’t enter, so take 5 minutes and do your part to make this happen. Thanks for the information today, Joel, and good luck.
OK, it’s time for us to pull out of Carlsbad and head into San Diego. It has clouded over and is pretty much perfect for racing right now. The forecast looks good for tomorrow so it should be fine. I’ll switch gears from surfing to moto and do what I’m supposed to. Have a great weekend and watch for the tall bald guy on the floor with the cameras to pull his earlobe. That means he’s thinking about you.
Watch for a few photos from the El Cajon autograph signing later. Let’s see how many people I can irritate by constantly yelling, “Hey, Where’s Ricky Johnson???!!!”