By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Hello and welcome toWeek #23 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update Presented by 100%. I’m on my way north from Kamloops to Prince George, stopped at a Starbucks in Williams Lake, so we’ll keep it to the bare necessities this week.
I’ve known Wyatt Waddell and his dad, Laurie Waddell, fro quite a few years now. It’s safe to say you will not meet two nice people in the racing world, anywhere.
Respectful and always displaying love for the sport and the people in it are two ways I would describe how these guys represent themselves, always.
It really sucked when Wyatt had to miss his first Pro year (and then some!) so it’s great to see him back again this year, and with his lowest number to date.
We grabbed him for a chat as he was getting ready to make the drive north from the lower mainland to Prince George.
Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: OK, I think this is your first top 52 number and therefore our first Frid’Eh Update intro interview with you. Congratulations!
Let’s start at the beginning. How did you get started in Motocross?
Wyatt Waddell: Yeah, thanks Billy! I’ve been reading these for years, so it’s cool to finally have one of my own, and hopefully more to come.
My dad grew up riding on the family farm and racing some local events. From what I remember there had been a PW50 waiting for me from the day I was born.
What was your first number and how did you choose it?
Well, I wanted to be 199 after an early childhood hero, Travis Pastrana, but 77 was easiest with electrical tape. I ran that number through a lot of my amateur days.
Do you remember your first race and how it went?
My first race was at Mission Raceway on my PW50. I remember the bike really struggling to make it up the jumps and around the track, but I loved it and we bought a KTM Jr. that same day.
Who did you come up through the ranks battling?
There were many guys at different times throughout my career, but Jess Pettis, Kyle Biro, and Alex Jeffery just to name a few.
What year did you turn Pro and how did it go?
2016 was suppose to be my rookie year, but I didn’t get the chance to start it after tearing my ACL, MCL, LCL, and meniscus. It took about 5 months to get the surgery and nearly a year-and-a-half for it to fully recover. So last year was considered my rookie season and first time back racing in 2 years.
Who was your racing idol growing up?
Tough to pick just one so I’m gonna say RC, JSR, and James Stewart.
23 is your lowest number yet. How did 2018 go for you?
Yes it is. My only other 2-digit number was 91 which I never got to run. 2018 was a good year for me. After not riding for 2 years and starting from just about scratch, I was happy to make it through all the rounds and gain as much experience as I did. My results weren’t the best and I know I am capable of better, but it was a great learning year for me to get my feet wet back racing and feeI I built a good base to build off of for the 2019 season.
I can’t thank the Carlson family enough for giving me the opportunity to go racing across the country. It had always been a dream of mine and I look forward to doing it again this year!
We’re heading into Round 2 this weekend in Prince George, but first, how did Round 1 in Calgary go for you where you finished 19-20 for 22nd?
Honestly, not great. I came into the weekend with high hopes and was excited to go racing. Not getting a good qualifying lap in didn’t start my day off great. I had a bad start in moto 1 and seemed to struggle a bit. I was feeling spunky for moto 2 and had a good start until I got collected in that first turn pile up. I picked my bike up and fought back to 20th. Overall, not the weekend I was looking for so I’m hoping to bounce back this weekend in PG.
What did you get up to this week heading into Blackwater MX?
Not a whole lot. The couple days back home went by real quick. I got a bicycle ride and gym day in. Then I prepped my bikes and packed all my things to head up to PG Wednesday and out east for the rest of the season.
Is there a track you really look forward to riding?
I really look forward to heading back to Minnedosa. Super fun layout and awesome ruts. Doesn’t get much better. Also grabbed my first holeshot there!
What was your favourite subject in school?
Photography. I was one of the only dudes in the class, too, so that was a plus.
What would you be doing if you weren’t racing Moto?
Well, considering I got my real estate license recently, I’d hopefully be selling some homes. So if anyone in BC is looking to buy or sell, don’t hesitate to give me a call!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully racing still, getting better each year and considered a title threat guy. If not I would like to be involved in the industry somehow and selling real estate.
OK, have a safe drive to PG this week. Who would you like to thank?
Thanks, you too. First off, I have to say a big thanks to my parents and the Carlson family for everything they have done for me. None of this would be possible without them. Also, a big thanks to all my awesome sponsors this year: Carlson Racing, International Motorsports, FXR, 6D, 100%, Matrix Concepts Canada, Direct Suspenion, TAG metals, Mobius, Mechanix Wear, Ryno Power Canada, Proven Moto, Dubya Wheels, Rekluse Canada, DeCal Works, West Woods, Bulldog MX Training, and Canine Country Pet resort.
Thanks Billy, see you at the races!
Nice job for your first appearance in our opening intro interview, Wyatt. If I’m buying in BC, it will have to be a cage match between you and Kevin Lepp to see who gets our money!
Happy Friday, guys.
A very happy Friday as we are one round deep into our famed outdoor series, and we are on our way to round 2. Round 2 will be held in Prince George, British Columbia. Although this track is a bit of a trek, I have not heard any complaints about the track itself or the facility. The only complaint in the past is cell reception, and I am sure something has already been done to fix the issue.
It’s not often when you hear riders talk about how “fun” a National track was. Well, that seems to be the word used most when riders explain PG. Kourtney Lloyd and the crew at Blackwater MX have once again gone above and beyond to bring us the best possible product, and it shows. These guys and gals have busted their asses, and will continue to do so. They are very proud of their town, facility and National, and I already have it on my list for next season.
So, Calgary has come and gone, and there really weren’t too many surprises in the 450 class. Mike Alessi and his great starts are back, and all of the guys that should be up front, are up front. Colton Facciotti has already stated that this is his last season, and you had to know that there was zero days off in the gym, and no wasted practice days. Colton is coming to win, and this one isn’t going to be easy.
Cole Thompson wants a 450 championship. He dominated the 250 class, but I honestly feel his silky smooth style is much more suited for the 450. Cole will also be very fast everywhere, and very hard to beat.
Just when we think we have a serious title fight ready to go for the entire series, you remember that we also have Phil Nicoletti and Matt Goerke, and the always dangerous Mike Alessi. These 5 guys will most likely be the only guys capturing moto wins and overalls in 2019, but some guy name Shawn Maffenbeier may make me look like a fool once again.
Calgary will be the last of the hard packed until we hit Moncton and Walton, so there are quite a few East coasters licking their lips at the thoughts of the softer terrain, and sand.
I think the 6 names that I listed will no doubt be very close in speed with no one guy particularly standing out right away. Yes, Goerke is know for is incredible sand skills, but the rest of the gang can ride the loose stuff well, and have had wins over Matt in the sand. I think the racing is going to be so close at times that we are going to have some intense rivalries form and that will make for great racing.
We all know that there is no love lost between Colton and Cole after the Québec City incident last season. Cole and Goerke have also got heated with each other in the past, so that is possible as well. And with Phil, I think his no bullshit approach could fire up with just about anyone in the field.
Nicoletti gets fired up, and I like it. The guy wants to win and he wants it bad. You can’t fault him for that heading into PG tomorrow, I’m willing to bet we see fireworks with at least 2 of these top 6 stars. But what 2 will it be? Anyways, here are my predictions for Prince George in the 450 class.
1st Matt Goerke
2nd Colton Facciotti
3rd Phil Nicholetti
4th Cole Thompson
5th Mike Alessi
In the 250 class, we also have a nice sized group of guys that can win, and maybe should win. I think round 1 overall winner Josh Osby flew in a little under the radar, and he really shouldn’t have considering how much he improved in Supercross and how well he did. It may have been his ‘off’ season in 2018? Not to say he wasn’t good, but in my opinion he wasn’t as good as the previous season. That was the season where it looked like he could have clinched the title before that scary injury out East. Josh had really picked up his speed and was honestly the guy to beat in the last few rounds.
Fast forward to 2019 and Josh is our points leader and red plate holder heading into motos 3 and 4 of our young season.
Newcomer Luke Renzland picked up his first Canadian moto win, and Dylan Wright snagged the other. Former two-time champion Tyler Medaglia had an off weekend and will be looking for wins in Prince George.
Defending Champion Jess Pettis is still healing up and will most likely build his speed and endurance every weekend. Jess just needs to keep the damage in check and not allow the top guys to get to far away from him in the points. I feel like we will have a 250 pilot step up and dominate this weekend going 1-1 with some impressive rides. That guy will be the #5 of Tyler Medaglia. I just feel like Tyler is that good, that fit, and that experienced.
Here are there rest of my 250 predictions.
1st Tyler Medaglia
2nd Luke Renzland
3rd Dylan Wright
4th Josh Osby
5th Marshal Weltin
In the Ladies class, we have 3 girls that are head and shoulders above the rest: Shelby Turner, Avrie Berry and Eve Brodeur. These 3 will make the rest of the pack look silly, and will hog the podium all season long.
There are some good racers behind them, just not at their level. The West girls do need a big round of applause for their amazing turnout for the first round. Good job, ladies.
Here are my Prince George predictions.
1st Shelby Turner
2nd Avrie Berry
3rd Eve Brodeur
4th Liz Burke
5th Eden Netkelos
That’s it for me. I will once again be back in Southern Ontario aboard my PR-MX backed Kawasaki KX450F hitting the local races and looking good. Have a great week and #smileforBC.
OK, I really should be in PG already. I’m going to have to leave it all here and get back behind the wheel.
We’re hiring our action photos out this week, so watch for more behind-the -scenes stuff from Round 2 this coming week, The day’s schedule is so jammed that I didn’t have a chance to do the things I enjoy, like pestering riders and teams during the day in the pits. That’s going to change this week, and I apologize in advance.
Have a great weekend and come back in a few hours for our Moto Central Live Show Presented by Sneaky Weasel Beer tonight from Prince George.
I’m going to have to sneak into a conference room at the Courtyard Marriott for this one, I think. It will all come together last-minute, so check our Facebook page and here for the LIVE LINK.