Frid’Eh Update #2 Presented by Race Tech | Matt Goerke

By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford

Week #2 belongs to Florida rider Matt Goerke. | Bigwave photo

Welcome to the first real week of the Frid’Eh Update. Things have gotten a little sticky since we introduced the career numbers.

Matt Goerke is the Florida rider who has been given a partial Canadian citizenship. It’s a rare honour but one we’re happy to bestow on this 3-time Canadian Motocross Champion.

The story about Matt that I’ll tell until the end is about his last name. Being that I do some voice-over work in our videos etc., I like to make sure I pronounce the riders’ names the way they want them pronounced.

When I asked Matt several years ago if it was an “OR” or an “ER” sound in his last name, Goerke, he told me they’ve always said G’ER’KE. I pointed out that the O comes before the E and he responded with, “Oh, then maybe it’s G’OR’KE.”

I found that to be one of the funniest things I’d ever heard in all my interviews. It’s kind of along the current pronunciation issue I’m having with the last name, “Viney,” but that’s another story…

There is some big news in Matt’s world, as he makes the change over to the Monster Energy Alpinestars Piller’s Kawasaki team for 2019 and 20 as their 450 guy.

We got in touch with Matt to ask him the usual intro questions and here’s what he had to say:

Here’s a little more info about Matt Goerke… | Jeff McConkey photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Matt. OK, let’s start at the beginning. Where are you from? How old are you? And how did you get into Motocross in the first place?

I’m from Lake Helen, FL but I live in Panama City Beach now.  I’m 32 years old. My dad used to race and bought me a bike when I was about 5 years old.

What was your first number and how did you choose it?

My first number was 210. It was my dad’s old number. And then when I was on 65’s I switched to number 89, which was one of my grandpa’s professional football numbers.  And I ran that number most of my amateur career.

What was your first race, and how did it go?

I think my first race was at Hardrock in Ocala, FL. I have no idea how I did.  It was so long ago.

What was the highlight of your amateur career?

Probably, winning my 2 titles at Loretta Lynn’s. One in the Supermini class and one in the 250 A Pro Sport.  Or winning the Bronze Boot at the Mini O’s.

How did your B Class year go, and who were the top guys you were up against?

My B class year at Loretta Lynn’s I got 2nd in 125 B Mod with 1-4-1 moto finishes.  And I think I had bike problems or something in the stock class. It’s hard to remember.  My competitors were Kyle Chisholm, Josh Grant, and Nick Evennou.

What year did you turn Pro and how did that season go?

I turned Pro right after Loretta’s in 2004 and raced Southwick. I fell a few times the first moto, but ran 5th for the majority of the 2nd moto until my pipe fell off, but still finished 10th that moto.

2005 was my first full year. I rode for Motoworld Suzuki. I jumped into the stands in practice at my first Supercross.  (Laughs) I tore my ACL so I didn’t come back until Outdoors. And outdoors I rode a 450 and got a couple top 10’s I think. My best moto was a 4th at Millville.

Matt running the #1 back in 2016. | Bigwave photo

What was the highlight of your 2017 summer that earned you the 450 title?

That’s a hard one. I can think of quite a few highlights. I guess probably at Pleasant Valley when me and (Christophe) Pourcel were close in points (only because my chain came off 2 turns before the finish at Regina when I was winning or else he would not have been that close to me in points. I had to throw that in there! (Laughs))

Anyways, at Pleasant Valley I fell when I was behind him. I got up, ran him down, and passed him at the end of the moto. That felt good. He was pissed.

What is your favourite track in Canada?

Prince George is probably the most fun for me!  I obviously like racing at Gopher Dunes, but we’re all usually dying at the end of moto 2 so it takes some of the fun out of it.

In Motocross, you had 4 2nd places overall in 2018 but didn’t land on the top of the box. What was it your best ride of the summer?

Probably, Prince George. I won moto 1 and had a bad crash moto 2 going down the big hill but still caught back up to 3rd and got 2nd overall.

You ended up 3rd in Motocross. There were rumours circulating that you just couldn’t get comfortable on the bike. Can you sum up the summer for us? Are you happy with your results?

It was a tough summer.  It was a new bike so we were doing a lot of searching to get it comfortable, but we were still right there for the Championship until the DNF at Gopher.

 

How do you think the first season under new ownership/management went?

It went pretty good.  I’m sure it was difficult for them with it being their first year.  I think this year they will have everything figured out and it will be better.

Matt turned Pro after Loretta’s way back in 2004. | Bigwave photo

Can you sum up the Arenacross portion of your year?

In Arenacross, I started with a broken arm, so I struggled at the beginning, got a little better each race and ended up 3rd overall.

How about the Supercross series? How did that go for you?

Supercross started great.  3rd in Montreal, but was ahead of everyone in the Triple Crown Series.  At round 2 I won my heat, was feeling good in the main trying to make a pass on (Cole) Thompson and then I just clipped a tough block, hit neutral and flipped over the bars.

After that we had a long break and during that time my town got hit by Hurricane Michael, one of the worst hurricanes in history. I didn’t have a bike to practice on anymore either, so the last 2 races weren’t as good, but I still got 3rd overall. So not bad considering all of that.

You recently announced the switch over to the Kawasaki team. When did you start talking with those guys?

I started talking to them around the time the Supercross Series was starting up.

How are you liking the change? Are you comfortable on the bike?

The bike is great!  I felt comfortable on it right away!

You’re back with your old team manager, Adam ‘Disco Stu’ Robinson. Does it feel like home over there but just with a new colour?

Yeah, exactly!  It was great working with him in 2015 and 2016. We won a championship the first year together and got 2nd behind (Davi) Millsaps the next year.  Chad Goodwin is going to be my mechanic, and we won a championship together in 2012, and came close to winning the US Arenacross series in 2015.  So I’m already really comfortable and pumped to work with both of them again, and excited to work with the Huber’s and the rest of the team.

Matt knows how to win a championship and should be a factor when racing starts in April. | Bigwave photo

How is it having Tyler Medaglia as your teammate? Do you know him very well?

I’ve known Tyler since we were amateurs, but we have never been teammates before. I think it’s going to be great!  We both have a lot of experience, and we get along well!

What are your winter plans? Where are you training? Will you do any races before our season starts?

I’m going to train here at my private track I built near Panama City, FL and also go to California to test some.  I won’t do any races until Rd. 1 of the Arenacross series.

OK, thank you and good luck. Who would you like to thank?

Thanks. I would like to thank Monster Energy, Parts Canada, Alpinestars, Piller’s Fine Foods, Canadian Kawasaki Motors, Atlas brace, 100 percent, and Docedwardsfitness.


Week #2 is presented by Race Tech. Give them a click and learn how they can help your racing.


JEFF McCONKEY


SUPERCROSS

Hey, Guys, Happy Friday. We all received a huge pick-me-up last week from the winter blues. It was the return of supercross. The weather wasn’t the greatest, but surprisingly we actually had a decent enough track to race on. Sure, it held most back, but it was still very raceable. To be honest, I think it’s just great to have racing back. It’s also great to have a Canadian to cheer for that is doing well. Could Jess Pettis be our next Darcy Lange in SX? This week we will have a dry track and it will be a better indication of where everyone fits in. I’m sure Jess will be in or around the same group.

Is Jess Pettis our next Darcy Lange in Supercross? | Bigwave photo

In the 450 class the results were kind of all over the place. Our defending champion looked anything but a champion. I’m thinking Jason Anderson is dealing with an injury of some sort, because that was not him last Saturday night. The red number 1 plate is heavy, but not that heavy.

Jason Anderson definitely had an off night at A1. Surely, he’s been thinking about it all week. | Bigwave photo

And how about Marvin Musquin…. yeah, somebody told me that he raced A1. He was dealing with a knee injury late in the off season, but all was said to be good going into A1. He definitely did not look like himself. Let’s hope it was just an off week for Marv. I guess we will see tomorrow how things stack up.

Here are my predictions for round 2:

250 Class

1st Adam Cianciarulo
2nd Dylan Ferrandis
3rd Shane McElrath
4th Colt Nichols
5th RJ Hampshire

#92 Adam Cianciarulo will get the 250 win this week in Glendale. | Bigwave photo

450 Class

1st Eli Tomac
2nd Justin Barcia
3rd Ken Roczen
4th Justin Hill
5th Cooper Webb

#3 Eli Tomac will be back to his winning ways at round 2. | Bigwave photo

MATT GOERKE TO KAWASAKI

Some exciting news in Canada that Matt Goerke has signed a deal with Huber to ride the Monster Energy Alpinestars Piller’s Kawasaki in the 450 class for the next 2 years. That’s bad news for the competition as Matt was very dangerous the last time he rode green. With Matt in the 450 class, Tyler Medaglia has been asked by the team to tackle the 250 class.

Now, Tyler is a 2-time 250 National Champion, and he would give it his all on any bike, any class, any discipline. I feel he will be prepared, fast, and very smart. Will he win? Well, he’s definitely capable, it just depends on who else shows up. But to be honest, I see Tyler in the mix indoors and out, no matter who lined up against him.

That’s it for me this week. Enjoy the cold and #smileforBC!


BILLY RAINFORD


Thanks, Jeff. Let’s see how you do with your predictions this week. Do you play any of the Fantasy leagues? I’m curious to know how you’d do if you played.

I’ve had a pretty crazy week out here in California chasing the Supercross races and heading to practice tracks during the week. It’s a moto photogs dream.

This week, I headed over to Milestone MX and Lake Elsinore. The drive to Riverside can be a real drag, and no matter what time you go there always seems to be an issue where the highways meet at the top.

Milestone Photos HERE.

Dean Wilson Lake Elsinore Video HERE:

Photos HERE.

Heading down to Elsinore was a lot easier on my nerves. Also, the cycling loop around the lake is nice and flat and there’s a big bike lane almost the entire way around. It’s perfect to get a Canadian experiencing snow back in shape.

Anyway, we’re running a little late here, so I think I’ll let Matt’s interview hold the bulk of this Update. I seem to have come down with what Donk calls a “California Cold” and I can barely move right now.

I went down to watch Jess Pettis ride the track at 8:00am this morning for the local TV stations. It was a great way for him and Matt to get a look and feel for what they need to do heading into Saturday morning.

I’ll post some photos on their own as soon as this Update goes live.

I was planning on heading back for Press Day at 1, but I really shouldn’t be around the riders right now, so I’m going to finish this up and head back to bed, I think.

I’ll be back and ready for action tomorrow morning.

TYLER MEDAGLIA TALKS ABOUT DROPPING BACK TO THE 250 CLASS

If you haven’t already, you can listen to the interview we did with Tyler Medaglia where he talks about dropping back down to the 250 class for 2019.

He’s a 2-time champion and I have him pegged for the wins in the new season.

COLTON FACCIOTTI MAKES HIS RETURN IN 2019 OFFICIAL-ER

I’ll leave it here this week. The one major remaining move to be made public is what the guys over at MX101 Yamaha are going to do to replace Jess Pettis in the 250 class.

I just had a brief text exchange with Kevin Tyler and he is actually here in Phoenix this weekend. I’ll be sure to attach myself to his hip and see who he talks to.

He’s really good at picking winners. In fact, he may be the Brian Burke of Canadian Motocross! Remember the moves Brian made to get the twins, Hernik and Daniel Sedin back in the day? No, probably not…

We always walk around and I take photos of Kevin shaking hands with riders, so we’ll see whose he shakes while he’s here. This should be fun.

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you next week.

“Too much sag…” ~ Dean Wilson. See you a the races… | Bigwave photo

PS Get well soon, Mitch Cooke. In Tyler’s podcast he mentioned that Mitch had a run in with a Vet rider and sustained a nice list of injuries. Hope you’re feeling better soon, Mitch.