Frid’Eh Update #20 Presented by Husqvarna Canada
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #20 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada. As we headed toward this week, it wasn’t obvious to me who would be running the #20 for our 2019 season. When I clicked on the 2019 numbers image I have saved, it turned out to be Michigan rider, Joey Crown.
We’ve all known Joey since he was a little kid coming over to Canada to race the Walton TransCan, year after year, with his dad, Matt Crown. I even posted a Throwback Thursday photo from 1984 or 1985 at Hully Gully where the rider may or may not have been Matt!
Anyway, Joey has had an interesting last couple years and I was eager to speak to him about what he’s been through and what he’s got planned for the near future.
Here’s what Joey had to say as he was on his way to a doctor’s appointment that wasn’t even related to his latest back injury:
Direct Motocross: Hi, Joey. Where have we caught up with you today? What are you doing?
Joey Crown: Right now I’m on my way to a doctor’s appointment. Before this, I was working somewhat of a normal job.
What have you been doing for work?
I was working for my dad at MCR Suspension motorcycle shop. I’ve been answering the phone and doing billing and working on mikes a little bit. I’ve been off the bike for a bit so I wanted to make some money so I can go racing the rest of the year.
OK, so you’re on your way to the doctor’s. Can you tell us what happened?
Two days before Nashville (Supercross) I hit neutral off a dragon’s back and I went over the handlebars and compressed a couple vertebrae in my back. I haven’t really announced anything. I was kind of waiting until I had more of an idea of when I’d be back.
This is a different appointment for just an old injury check-up, but yesterday the doc said I should be able to start riding in 2-3 weeks. My goal will be to be back for Red Bud and then do Gopher Dunes and some other Canadian Nationals.
Where did your crash happen?
It was at Club MX. I was riding Supercross getting ready for the Nashville Supercross. The FXR photo shoot happened to be that day. I was feeling really good and then just a dumb little mistake – the bike jumped into neutral or I bumped it into neutral – and I don’t remember the exactly what happened. Either way, I crashed and hurt myself, so I’m just trying to recover.
You were in the process of signing with Al Dyck and the Sky Racing International Motorsports Husqvarna Team, right?
Ya, I went to California and rode the bike and he sent me a contract and we were getting ready to figure it out and then that happened. If it wasn’t for that I’d be up and racing the Husky with him, but crap happens so I’m not going to be on the team now. They’ve got Marshal (Weltin) on the team now so that’s good for him.
So now you’ll be privateering it this summer. How many American Nationals will you do?
My goal, if everything goes right, is to start at Red Bud and then I’ll do the rest of the series here besides probably Washougal and I’m planning on doing Gopher Dunes and Deschambault also. It’ll be fin to go do them on my 250 2-stroke.
Woah, wait a minute! You’re going to race a 2-stroke up here?
I have so much fun riding that bike. If they’d let me race the 250 2-stroke in the 250 class down here I’d do that. My main goal for the rest of the season is mainly to just have fun.
Supercross season wasn’t very fun for me. I’ll just get back to having some fun and get 100% ready for next year. My plan is to ride Supercross or if I get a ride to go race in Canada next year or if I’m racing here. Either way, hopefully I can be racing and show my true potential when I’m 100%.
You’ve always been one of the fastest young riders coming up through the ranks but you’ve had some setbacks. What are you going to do to change that, going forward?
It’s hard to have the perfect answer. I know a lot of it is my fitness. Not really fitness, but I need to build up my strength to make me more durable, so to speak, when I hit the ground. After last year when I broke my collarbone that kind of hit me because I was going through the whoops for 45 minutes and to this day I don’t know what I did wrong. You come through and it just catches the wrong way on the same exact line and it shot me sideways and I crashed.
It hit me a little bit and I started thinking a little bit too much for the Supercross season and I was a little uncomfortable and started to ride a little too defensive. Not necessarily scared but over-thinking things and worrying about injuries and sometimes what you think about is what happens.
Whenever I go the fastest my mind isn’t on, sort of. Last year at Loretta’s I had a mid-pack start and I was just passing guys and passing guys and at the end of the moto I ended up being in 2nd place. I didn’t even realize I was in 2nd place because I just shut my mind off and then if I get a good start I’m thinking too much. I end up getting fatigued and tired and I worked twice as hard the other moto by getting a mid-pack start.
I’m just trying to work on stuff like that and not over-think things and hopefully I’ll get better results.
You were riding on the CTR Club MX Redemption Yamaha team and then went on your own. Can you take us through what happened there?
In Supercross I was struggling from when I broke my collarbone. I was feeling really good but I only had a few weeks on the Yamaha. Originally, I was planning on being on the CTR team and then (Cameron) McAdoo came and there wasn’t room and I didn’t get the spot. I went on my own and bought Yamahas and then I got hurt and I heard McAdoo got moved to Geico so called them and they let me come on the team.
I came back riding a month before the first round in Minneapolis and just struggled with set-up and getting comfortable on the bike. The settings just took a little bit to get happening and I’m overly picky with my stuff, especially when it comes to Supercross.
I was coming off an injury and when the bike isn’t quite right I was just over-thinking things and it probably affected me a little too much. As you could see, my results were not nearly where I wanted to be. It took me a month of riding to get back to my speed where I was back in December after only 2 days of riding on pretty much the exact same track.
It took a while and my results were struggling and we couldn’t find a good set-up. The team was working hard to try and figure it out but it just didn’t work out for both parties.
I ended up tweaking my ankle and so I was going to be out for a couple of rounds so they got a fill-in rider, one for me and one because (Jayce) Pennington got hurt.
I saw that and I went to everyone on the team to talk and figured that when I get back I’ll just race my own bike and I’ll make sure everything’s done. I think they understood and were fine with it. So I just did the last 3 rounds on my own bike. I’d already built a race bike because I was going to do it on my own.
It just didn’t work out, unfortunately.
Well, let’s try to finish on a positive note, here. Give us your highlight from last season.
(Laughs) I have to think of this way too hard because there really wasn’t anything great for the Supercross anyway. It was tough. Definitely a lot tougher than expected. I can’t really say.
Well, this is no good!
No, it’s not good at all! It was just rough. I didn’t make a main event which is depressing, but I made improvement throughout the season. My qualifying time got better every weekend.
Are you going to race between now and Red Bud? Where are we going to see you first lining up at a race?
I’m not sure. Maybe a local race if there is one between now and then. I don’t know. I haven’t really looked into it. I’ll probably just ride and train and get ready and still work a little bit.
I’ll probably do some RC car racing on the weekends. That’s what I’ve been doing right now. But my first race will probably be Red Bud if everything goes right and I’m 100% ready.
OK, well thanks for chatting today. Good luck getting back and who would you like to thank?
Thanks. I’d like to thank Championship Powersports, MCR, Adapt Technology, Race 401, Gaerne boots, Shoei, Dunlop tires, XSI Graphics…I haven’t been on a podium in a long time… and Mobius braces.
Happy Friday, guys. We are 1 day out from the AMA Motocross Championship. The annual open kicks off at Hangtown tomorrow. There’s a ton on the line, and a bunch of new fresh faces, so let’s hope the weather gets better. We have one full Canadian lining up in the 250 class (2 actually), one in the 450 class, and quite a few others with Canadian ties.
With Hangtown kicking off the great outdoors in the US, that means our Canadian Triple Crown starts very soon. We are counting down the days. This is when the last-minute prep gets pretty serious and everything needs to get sorted before the opener in Calgary at Wild Rose.
Going into Round 1, there are many questions in both the 250 class and 450 class.
In the 250 class, we have more top talent than ever. Is defending champion Jess Pettis healthy? Can Jess up his game to compete with all of the new challengers? How good is Luke Renzland going to be? Is this new consistent Dylan Wright here to stay? And, can Tyler Medaglia make it 3 250 National Championships? What young rider is ready to make the biggest splash…Tanner Ward, Marco Cannella? How will Jake Tricco bounce back from his broken wrist in the pre-season. Then we have to question how well will the other American imports do? Josh Osby, Marshal Weltin, and Jaycee Pennington to name a few.
This is the most stacked our 250 class has ever been, and I’m leaving out some serious talent. Gone are the days of the 1/2 yellow plate gate fillers. We will have some great racing all of the way through the class.
I’m the 450 class, we also a ton of talent for 2019. Winning motos and capturing the championship won’t be an easy task for anyone. Colton Facciotti, Mike Alessi, Cole Thompson, Phil Nicoletti, Matt Goerke will be the main guys fighting for wins and the championship.
Then you have Dakota Alix, Shawn Maffenbeier, Cade Clason, Keylan Meston and a few others trying to fill up the podium and the top 5. There won’t be any easy motos or passes as every point counts. It’s a very exciting time for the 450 class.
Short week for me leading into the long weekend. Stay safe and #smileforBC.
Thanks, Jeff. We’re heading into round 1 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Hangtown MX in Sacremento, California. We’ve got at least 3 Canadians to keep an eye on: Jared Petruska and Keylan Meston, both from Calgary, AB and Mitch Goheen from Oshawa, ON.
Jared will be #209 and Mitch will be #964 in the 250 class while Keylan will be #403 in the 450 class and it looks like we’re in for some mud for the first round. They say it’s the great equalizer, so maybe it gives our guys an even better chance to do well.
Here’s a look at the entry lists:
This should be a ton of fun to watch. #2 Ryan Villopoto is back but will he have anything for #141 Robbie Wageman on a 125? And how about #10 Colton Haaker lining up on a Husky 125? If it’s a mudder, maybe he stands up and runs circles around everyone!
In the 250 class, I’m looking forward to watching young #936 Ty Masterpool out there in the 250 class. He was always the most exciting rider to watch, coming up through the amateur ranks, so let’s see if he can translate that action into results in the Pro class.
And what about #196 Hunter Lawrence from Australia? If this is a wet one, he’s going to do very well while turning some heads and opening some eyes! Actually, he’s going to do that this year no matter what the conditions!He was supposed to race Supercross but broke his collarbone and had to sit it out. He’s back and will be in the hunt for wins.
However, my money for this mudder is going to go on #34 Dylan Ferrandis. In fact, we could very well see an all French win list when this one is all said and done.
In the 450 class, I have a hard time not betting on #3 Eli Tomac, wet or dry. #21 Jason Anderson makes his return to racing and #2 Cooper Webb comes in with the confidence that comes along with winning the Supercross title. I also like #4 Blake Baggett‘s chances at this race, but #25 Marvin Musquin will probably excel in the wet conditions and take the first win.
I’ll jump into the predictions pool for fun. Here are my top 5’s in all 3 classes:
1. Robbie Wageman
2. Ryan Villopoto
3. Jeremy Ryan (It’s been brought to our attention that Jeremy suffered a broken tib/fib last weekend)
4. Broc Shoemaker
5. Colton Haaker
1. Dylan Ferrandis
2. Hunter Lawrence
3. Adam Cianciarulo
4. Shane McElrath
5. Chase Sexton
1. Marvin Musquin
2. Eli Tomac
3. Blake Baggett
4. Cooper Webb
5. Zach Osborne
Don’t make me jump into this Fantasy League nonsense!
Here’s how you can watch:
We had a couple big Canadian racing announcements to make this past week: Marshal Weltin signing with the Sky Racing International Motorsports Husqvarna team and Josh Cartwright signing with the PRMX Strikt Kawasaki team to head north.
We gave them both a call for podcast interviews, and you can listen to them both here, if you missed them:
Both riders should make an impact on the results sheets. Marshal will race the 250 class for the entire MX series and beyond while Josh will move up to the 450 class and join the MX series at Gopher Dunes after doing a few Quebec Arenacross races.
Speaking of Quebec Arenacross…
Riviere Du Loup, Quebec, is where you’re going to want to be next weekend for some great Arenacross action. It’s the 39th edition of the event and it’s one you should make sure you see live, at least once.
Kaven Benoit is coming out of “retirement” to race against what will be an army of Team PRMX riders.
We’ll have Frede Forest there for DMX to capture all the action and excitement, so watch for that next weekend.
Check out this entry list:
We spoke with Race Director Paul Thibault and he gave us a very competitive list of riders! Check this out:
Logan Karnow (defending champion)
Davey Sterrit and three more from New Jersey and New York state.
Plus, a few more from Québec.
We spoke with Team PR-MX’s Julien Perrier and he said we can add Scott Champion, Justin Rodbell, and Josh Cartwright to the list.
That’s a pretty impressive gate.
Carl Vaillancourt has been named as honorary chairman.
According to the forecast, we’re going to finally see some warm temperatures this weekend. Perfect timing as we head into the first long weekend of the season.
I’ll be heading up to Motopark near Owen Sound, ON to check out their first Moto Cup weekend of their season. They always put on a great show, and it will be nice to check out some local racing for the weekend before things get crazy busy for the Rockstar Triple Crown season.
I’m going to bring my Scott Spark 29er MTB along for this trip so I can test out their new mountain bike trails they’ve opened for this season.
Motopark has long been one of the nicest and most professional facilities in Canada and it’s nice to see they haven’t been resting on their laurels and are continuing to expand their reach in the action sports game.
I’ve got to get out and mow the lawn to get ready for this long weekend. Plus, these days you just never know how long the sun is going to stay out!
Have a great weekend, everyone.