Frid’Eh Update #20 Presented by
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
We’ve regained control of the calendar and are back on schedule. Sorry for the confusion the last couple weeks, our abacus has been on the fritz here at DMX HQ. Week #20 belongs to the rider who we’ve all watched flourish into a podium threat in the MX2 class. Prince George, BC’s Jess Pettis has had the eyes of the industry fixed on him since he was a young rider. He was always, shall we say, “small in stature,” and it paid dividends in the little wheel classes but seemed to hinder his progress to the big bikes.
However, last year we all watched as Jess seemed to grow before our eyes and gain a control of the 250F that would even see him lead a moto in Deschambault and become a legitimate contender all season long. For 2016, Jess has joined forces with the MX101 FXR Yamaha team out of Ottawa that should see him get the everything he needs to keep moving toward the goal of winning a 250 Pro championship.
Jess’s 2015 MX2 season:
We got in touch with Jess as he was testing at the team’s home track, Sand Del Lee, in Richmond, Ontario.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Jess. We last saw you when you arrived at GPF. Can we first back up to last summer? You really seemed to make some major improvements with your riding last year. Can you sum up your 2015 outdoor season for us?
Hey, Billy. Ya, last summer went pretty good, for the most part. Of course, doing it on our own program from help with local sponsors, and being inside the top 10 pretty well every round and 9th overall at the end of the year, I was pretty happy with how it went.
You actually led a moto for a while in Deschambault! How did that feel and what did you learn by seeing the riders at the top end of the class ride like that?
Yes, I led Deschambault for a brief moment, and ran up front for half the moto. Definitely learned the intensity was super-high and just being smooth and not letting them get away was key.
You finished 9th overall in the series last summer. Were you satisfied with that? What were you hoping for heading into last season?
I was definitely satisfied with it, considering I missed Calgary. I feel if It wasn’t for that I could have been right there battling for 7th in points. My goal coming into it was 10th overall at the end of the series, so that was good.
What was your favourite race of the season?
Deschambault was a good one. I also always enjoy Walton and the ruts.
What did you get up to after Walton?
After Walton I went home, did some local racing, enjoyed some jet-skiing, and then there wasn’t much time until I was getting ready for Arenacross.
You took a great opportunity to train with Colton Facciotti at GPF this past winter. How did that come up and how did it go?
Ya, it was really good being down there on the program training with him. I stayed at his place for a week last summer, and we just kept in touch as he wanted a training partner for down there. I just leared his program and how everything ran.
Is there 1 thing you took from the experience more than anything?
How important it is to train everyday on a pretty gnarly and rough sand track, just like race conditions.
You’re riding for the MX101 FXR Yamaha team for 2016. Can you take us through how that deal came together and what it means for you and your future?
Yes, I am. I was down at GPF when they contacted me, saying Jimmy (Decotis) wasn’t coming back and they were interested. It was last minute but we were able to make it work and everything is going good.
You’re in Ottawa testing now. How is that all going?
In Ottawa testing and doing all that stuff right now. It’s going good and we have the race bike dialed now.
You and your teammate, Dylan Wright, sort of came up through the amateur ranks together. How is your relationship? Will your “rivalry” fuel better results for you both? How will it go, do you think?
Ya, we have raced each other through amateurs. We have always got along, and he’s a good kid. Ya, it will for sure and I think it’s going to be good to be pushing each other each round.
How did your racing go last weekend up at Muttco Mountain?
It went OK. I won a couple motos, and a couple I had bad starts and couple crashes, but was good racing experience. (Kyle) Keast, (Westen) Wrozyna, and a couple other local Pros were there.
Will you do any more races before round 1 in Kamloops, BC?
I would like to, for sure. I’ll have to look and see what there is for local stuff.
What are your goals for this summer?
First off, get through the year safe, finish all rounds, hopefully be inside the top 5 all rounds, and battling for podiums, but we will see where we stand when Kamloops comes.
Is racing in the US (SX/MX) a goal for you?
Yes, for sure. I feel the age and time pretty soon will be good to go do the Supercross, but first get through the Nationals, and then worry about that.
OK, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. Good luck this summer, and who would you like to thank?
Thanks a lot. I’d like to thank mx101/FXR/Yamaha/Prince George motorsports/Ride Engineering/ 100% /Forma boots/ FMF/ Nihilo/ Cycra/ SSS suspension/ Allanbrown/R&R automation/6D helmets/ Twin Air/ Renthal/ RK chains/ Dunlop/ Works Connection/ Matrix Concepts/ VP race fuels/ Decal Works/Motorex/Evans Coolants/ and mom and dad.
Going from racing the Pro nationals on your own to getting this kind of support is going to be huge for Jess and his racing. Watch for this young BC rider to be moving forward all summer long. Thanks for the chat, Jess, and we will see you in just a few more weeks out in Kamloops!
Rockstar MX Nationals
Well, Supercross is over, but outdoor preparations are in full effect. The practice tracks are super-busy with riders getting used to their outdoor settings and even some getting used to new teams. The big news just came out that Davi Millsaps will indeed be heading North to contest the CMRC Rockstar Energy Nationals. Now, I first heard this rumour way back during SX and I thought it was just that, a rumour. Well, time passed and next thing you know, it’s true. Now, Davi isn’t the first superstar to head north, and he certainly won’t be the last. Davi was destined for greatness from the very beginning. He was always ‘that kid’ and had a very successful amateur career.
I remember as if it was just yesterday when Davi was forced to sit out the East opener and his SX debut due to the fact that his 16th birthday was a few hours after the first East Coast round. Since then, Davi has had success indoors and outdoors battling the best in the world. Although he was never able to secure a National Championship, I would still call it one heck of a career.
It will be interesting to see how Davi makes out in our National series. Our tracks are quite a bit different from the US and things are way more laid back up here. I’ve heard some people say that Davi will ‘wax’ the field, and others say that he won’t do squat. Here’s my opinion….
I feel we are very blessed to have Davi here. He is a very talented rider and he will bring our series a lot of good attention, and another guy fighting for podiums. Do I think Davi can win the title? No, I don’t think he can, but that’s not to say he won’t be in the mix for wins and overalls.
Our M1 class this season is stacked – nobody will be running away with it. So who do you pick for the championship? Matt Goerke is our defending champion and he will be very consistent and fast like always. His new teammate and former champion, Brett Metcalfe, will also be there each and every weekend. Next, you have multi time champion Colton Facciotti. Colton was hurt in the off-season last year and jumped into the series a little behind. This season, Colton is healthy and fresh, and looking to cut his number in half.
Next we have the new dynamic duo for the Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki squad. Mike Alessi and Vince Friese are back as teammates, but now repping the green monster claw. Mike had his best SX season of his career and looks to be coming into Kamloops hot. It’s not long ago where Mike almost captured our MX1 title, if it weren’t for a few unfortunate mechanical issues. Vince is coming off of an up and down SX series and will no doubt be looking forward to starting where he left off on Calgary last season.
Wait, I’m not done. We still have MX1 rookie Kaven Benoit. Kaven moves to the 450 after a very dominant MX2 season where he repeated as small bike champion. I don’t know if Kaven is ready for wins, but he will surely open some eyes and land on the podium. Fan favourite Tyler Medaglia is back with Husqvarna Canada. This year, Tyler will pilot the FC350. I personally think this is a great idea. The bike is absolutely incredible and will not be lacking anywhere. I feel that Tyler will stay stronger later in the motos and be able to push hard for the full 30-plus minutes.
Heck, I’m even willing to bet that we see the white number 5 machine snag a few holeshots. Last but not least out of the heavy hitters will be Redemption Racing’s Cade Clason. Cade is coming off a very solid SX season and will be looking for his first Canadian podiums. I think he learned a lot racing the best in SX, and it will help him for outdoors. All in all, we have a very stacked 450 class and I can’t wait for the first gate drop in Kamloops!
MMRS AMO MX101 ANQ
Closer to home, the MMRS/AMO/MX101 relationship kicked off very strong almost netting 500 entries this past weekend at Muttco Mountain. It was a very successful weekend, and has got to make you feel good about amateur racing in Ontario. This weekend, the MMRS crew heads to Thunder Mud in Lindsay, Ontario, while the AMO sets its sights on Gopher Dunes. Whether you’re a sand specialist or prefer the hard pack, there’s a great event for you this weekend.
Thanks, Jeff. Jeff was flying to California today, so I guess it’s understandable why he failed to mention that this is Frid’Eh the 13th! Now, I usually start these ones off with the history of why there is a spooky stigma surrounding this date, but I just don’t feel like it today. If you don’t remember it from the past few times…Google it, Bowker!
This date also means bikers everywhere are descending upon the small Lake Erie town of Port Dover. I think this might be the single biggest one-day bike event in the world…or is that the stat for the Pottahawk boat thingy? Anyway, this is a big deal. You can check out the official website HERE to see what it’s all about or you can watch the following Rick Mercer video to see a more tongue-in-cheek perspective:
Davi Millsaps is Coming to Canada!
We’ve been sitting on our typing fingers with this information for quite some time now. The story was at about a 95% level for the past couple months but there were a few things that had to fall into place for it to reach that all-important 100% where we are able to officially release the information. No serious news source wants to get caught going off half-cocked!
Well, it’s now official. #118 Davi Millsaps will indeed be lining up in the jam-packed 450 class this season on a Parts Canada Thor KTM Canada 450. When we were out in California with the KTM squad a couple months ago, Davi showed up to check out the action at the practice track while Cole Thompson and Kaven Benoit were getting their official photos taken.
I’ll tell you one thing about Davi, he is one of those no nonsense guys who will tell it like it is. If you don’t want to know the real answer, don’t ask Davi!
He is in very good shape and may even give Tyler Medaglia a run for his money on a bicycle. I doubt he will be staying above the 49th between rounds, but if he does, I’ll try to be with these two as they hit the roads or trails for some bike rides. Yes, I’ll keep a safe distance behind them just to make sure they didn’t drop anything…besides me!
Davi turned Pro in 2004 and finished 8th in 125 MX down south. He spent his amateur career fighting with #800 Mike Alessi for wins, so this should make for an interesting summer in Canada. Seriously, the stories just keep writing themselves for this upcoming season! All we have to do is un-retire Ryan Villopoto and this could be some serious fun!
Davi’s best outdoor overall was way back in 2006 when he won the SX Lites East title and finished 3rd in 450 MX (Alessi was 2nd in 250 and Goerke was 9th in 250 that same summer). He’s got some serious pedigree! But what has he done for you lately, you ask? Well, for this we will have to just wait and see.
He finished 9th in the AMA 450 class back in 2012 and has since been a Supercross-only type rider. But we all know that Davi still has the talent to win any time he lines up in Supercross, and that has got to transfer over to a pretty solid chance to win a 450 moto outdoors in Canada, no?
We’ll be sure to get in touch with him to get his take on everything as soon as we can.
2017 Husqvarna Motorcycles Cross Country Range Unveiled
AMO Video Series – Atlas Brace Madskills RD1 – SWO ANQ RD1 – Motopark
Hey, what are you doing this summer…#29 Jeremy Pronovost?
We posted this yesterday after asking Montreal, Quebec, rider, Jeremy Pronovost, what he was doing this summer. Jeremy is one of those riders on the fringe of greatness in Canadian Motocross. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes more than skill and passion to get to the top in this sport. Once a rider turns Pro and wants to compete for National titles, things get even more expensive than they were when it was pricey in amateurs! Here’s a re-post of the article:
We’ve gotten to know the friendly Quebec duo of Jeremy Pronovost and his dad, Guy, quite well over the past few years. Jeremy will admit that 2015 didn’t go as well as he would have wanted (he crashed and had to deal with some post-concussion issues) but it usually takes more than that to wipe the smile from their faces.
Jeremy finds himself in that large group of riders who have a ton of potential that will only be realized with the right amount of support. Pro motocross is an expensive quest and usually takes more than passion to make this dream a reality. We hadn’t heard from him for a while (and it was his birthday Monday) so we got in touch with him and asked, “Hey, what are you doing this summer?”
2016 #29 Jeremy Pronovost:
This winter I did my first snowcross season. It was pretty sick, I won some heats and got second in some finals. It was a pretty good way to stay in shape. When that was over I went down south to check out the tracks in Florida and vacation a little. After that I went to JWTF to train for a month.
This year we are only doing the east cost nationals because it’s pretty tough to go out west by yourself and trying to get on the box every weekend. Last year was pretty awful. I was struggling with a concussion but this year my head is feeling good and my dad told me I could stay away from the roofing company and focus on my training and races. So as of now I feel pretty confident to get back on the podium this year.
I’m racing the 250 class on a 2-stroke again this year. We will try to find what was in Kaven‘s (Benoit) bike last year. That bike looked fast (Laughs)!
[Race rig and who traveling with] We don’t know yet. I hope it’s gonna be has flashy as it was last year (Laughs). I’m going to have my mechanic with me and my dad. He can never miss a race. He loves it just as much as me.
I would just like to thank my mom and dad for still believing in me after last year’s races, Jimmy Weinert, EVO suspension, Oakley, Duroy, David Fortin, Soudure MotoX, Usinage Brodeur, and the Lebel Family.
Good luck, Jeremy. We’ll be looking for you once the series heads east…unless someone reads this and gives you the support you need!
2016 Yamaha YZ 250 2-Stroke ‘Project Bike’
Jeff picked up his brand new 2016 Yamaha YZ 250 2-stroke from Asselstine’s the other day and we’re excited to turn this beauty into our ‘Direct Motocross Test Bike.’ Thanks to Casey Huntley over at Pirelli, Jeff will get to try out the all-new SCORPION MX32 PRO tires. These things look like they’ll be kicking up an awful lot of roost, so watch for Jeff to make frequent trips to the pits for wardrobe changes as he soils a lot of new gear!
Brock Hoyer Update
So, you’ve been wondering what William’s Lake, BC rider, Brock Hoyer, has been up to, have you? Well, let’s just say he’s been busy. We gave him a call today to see what he’s doing and we caught him on a job at home in BC. He runs his own business as a contract mechanic and was in the middle of welding up something or another when he answered the phone.
Yes, we’ll see him at round 1 in Kamloops, June 5th, but that is as far as he’s got his Pro moto planned. He will be busy with MX schools and really enjoys helping the stars of tomorrow hone their skills. It’s also his 29th birthday Saturday, so Happy Birthday, Brock. Oh, he also dropped the news that he and his wife, Jenni, are expecting their 2nd child, November 7th! Congrats, guys.
He has been very busy this past winter with his snowbiking and said that there is “no way to describe the feeling of riding your dirt bike in the snow at 7000 feet!” Brock is now a big fish in a little-but-growing pond and loves it.
I asked him what would happen if he did very well at round 1 and he just said we’d have to cross that bridge when and if we get to it. Thanks for chatting with us today, Brock, and good luck.
Check out this Red Bull Snowbike video:
MXGP of Trentino
Sara King Article on CDNWMX.COM
The start of the Rockstar MX Nationals also means the beginning of another season of Canadian Women’s Motocross Nationals. Summer Knowles is a competitor herself, but took the time to do this article on 2015 West Champion, Sara King. If you watch the races, Sara has one of the most solid riding styles of any female racer and looks very comfortable in the air. She won the title being consistent and winning races. This will be fun to watch again this summer as the series is expanded to 4 rounds on each side of the country.
You can read the full article HERE.
Check out this RTBA promo video for the West Series:
OK, it’s time to hit the roads on the 2015 Scott Solace 15 that is for sale! The sun has come out and it’s always nice to get out and clear your head on a ride. Plus, if I have any plans to ride with Tyler and Davi this summer, I’d better get out and make my legs and lungs burn a little! Have a great weekend, wherever you are. I may head over to Gopher Dunes to check out some racing action and keep my photo skills and sharp as possible given my limited raw talent!
Since it’s Brock Hoyer’s 29th B-Day tomorrow, let’s leave it this week with a funny look back to when Brock showed us around his Race Rig in 2011. See you at the races…