Frid’Eh Update #24 Presented by Royal Distributing
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
It’s week #24 for the Frid’Eh Update Presented by Royal Distributing and that means we are headed to the second round of Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals at the Wastelands in Nanaimo, BC. When we arrived in Kamloops, BC last weekend, I saw the #803 in the back of a pick-up truck and only then realized that Floridian, Marcus Nilsen, was racing the series again in 2016.
Then when I saw the Husqvarna with #24 on it the following day, it took me a couple looks to realize who it was! Marcus showed up at round 2 in Nanaimo last summer and finished 16-18 for 16th overall. It wasn’t the result he was looking for, but you knew things would pick up from there. His best finishes would be a pair of 8th overalls at Calgary and Moncton.
He finished 12th overall in the MX2 series and will run the #24 in 2016.
He finished 13-28 for 21st overall in Kamloops. He was putting in top 10 lap times past the halfway point of the 2nd moto last weekend but then disappears from the results sheet. Here’s what Marcus had to say when we contacted him:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Marcus. I didn’t actually even know you were coming back to Canada this season! Let’s back up and ask you what made you come up here last summer?
I believe it was Calgary and Moncton. I think it went decent for my first year. I wanted to be a top ten guy and just build for my first year – most of all make sure I was there for every race.
What was your best memory form last summer up here?
Oh, man, it’s really hard to choose one! I would say traveling around with the GA Checkpoint team and the crew; we had fun just experiencing everything Canada has to offer, especially the mountains on the west coast, you don’t see any of that in Florida!
Were you happy with your finish in 2015? What would you have done differently?
I finished 12th overall in the series, I really wanted to be top 10 but I had quite a few DNF’s that were my fault. If I could do something differently, I would have made myself finish every moto even if my bike is jacked up or I was feeling like crap because, in the long run, it will make a difference.
What did you get up to after Walton last year?
After Walton, I took about a month off and got a job for the winter. My buddy owns a valet company so he helps me out anytime I need a job and have some time off.
Over the winter, I worked for a while until Arenacross started and then got in full race mode for that. I also moved from GPF back home to Florida. I started training with Tim Ferry. It works out a lot better because I’m with my family and we have a solid group of guys pushing each other everyday.
What made you decide to come back again this summer?
After last year, I kind of fell in love with Canada! I couldn’t wait to come back. The races, the scenery, all the people I met and became friends with. I even told my parents if I ever had a job offer I would move up there! (Laughs)
Is your plan to race the whole season?
Yes, I will be here all summer.
Will you stay on the road all summer? If so, what are your plans for riding/training as you cross Canada?
For the west coast rounds, I’m flying back and forth to Florida because it was a lot cheaper than doing the whole RV thing that I did last year. But for the East coast I will be traveling with TCD Racing. I don’t know exactly where we will be riding or where we will be making our pit stops; I’m just along for the ride!
Who are you traveling with?
I’m just riding solo. The Husky guys are helping me out for the west coast and I’ll be pitting with them.
What track are you looking forward to?
I’m bummed there’s no Sand Del Lee this year, so my next favourite would be Deschambault.
What track are you dreading?
I know everybody else would probably say Nanaimo, but I don’t mind that track. It’s hard to separate yourself there because there’s not much traction to charge, but I would say Regina.
What do you hope to accomplish this summer?
My goals for this summer is to be solid. I look up to B-Naughty (Brad Nauditt) because he’s a guy you can always count on being up at the front, so for me top 5 is where I should be.
Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals
Hey, guys. Wow, what a first round of the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals. There were a lot of good surprises and a few bad. With it being the first round, after a very long off-season, you have to expect some nerves, some nagging injuries, and some riders that just didn’t improve or work hard enough. The weather in Kamloops was a scorcher, and it wreaked havoc on the riders. Some of the moto scores will show how the heat really affected the riders and the results. I believe we saw a few riders jump up the score sheets that we would not normally see, nor will we see again. Is it safe to say that round 1 was the longest race day ever? If not, it was very close. The CMRC staff had to deal with many scoring issues, but did their best to keep the day rolling. I won’t even get started with Conx2share app. There were some serious issues, and let’s hope they have it better handled for round 2 and beyond.
I’ll start with the MX2 class. Going into round one, most people had #4 Cole Thompson and #14 Jeremy Medaglia as the top dogs, with #15 Shawn Maffenbeier close in tow. A few even had #100 Jacob Hayes in that bunch. Well, I don’t think anyone expected #17 Dylan Wright to take that first moto win, except maybe Dylan, his family, and Kevin Tyler and crew. Dylan was very impressive and it looks as though he certainly put in the hard work this off-season. Also very impressive was Dylan’s teammate #20 Jess Pettis. I knew Jess was faster, stronger, and fitter coming into 2016, but I didn’t expect him to be this good, this fast. I was very impressed with Jess, and am sure we will see him all summer long, as he looks great on that MX101 FXR Yamaha.
Cole Thompson had his work cut out for him in moto 1, and he rebounded nicely for a strong moto win the second time out. Jeremy Medaglia had a bit of an off weekend going 8-4. It was still good enough for 4th o/a. I’d watch for Jeremy to be a lot better in Nanaimo. How about Shawn Maffenbeier and his Big Steel Box Redemption Racing KTM debut. Shawn has always been fast and fit, but he has came into the series injured the last few. Well, this season Shawn looks fit, fast, and hungry for a championship. I think he is a great fit with the Redemption Racing crew and I’m sure they don’t want to give up that red plate.
In MX1 action, we are dealing with the most stacked class ever. It’s a major chore to get a top 10 this season, even harder for a top 5. We all know #118 Davi Millsaps is a super talent – probably the most talented guy ever to race our series – we just weren’t sure how his fitness was, and how he would adjust to our tracks. Well, Davi shut us all up and completely dominated moto 2 on his way to the overall win. Now, I’m not going to give the title to Davi just yet as we have a very strong group just behind him that are very capable to win this title also.
Reigning and defending champion #1 Matt Goerke will be there fighting for wins every moto this season. The guy works his butt off and has the talent and speed to match. And heart… yeah this guy has heart. Did you happen to see his palms after the motos? I don’t know why he stuck his hands in a meat grinder, but you can bet that more than a few guys would have pulled off. And how about #2 Colton Facciotti. This guy is a machine. Where does he get that 2nd and 3rd wind from? If Colton can work on maybe sprinting a little bit more early on, I don’t know if anyone will be able to match him late in the races. #800 Mike Alessi had an off day with speed, and was forced to ride a moto stuck in 2nd gear. Mike will, no doubt, be ready to erase round 1 with a very strong Nanaimo. Let’s take a look at my predictions for the Wastelands.
1st Cole Thompson
2nd Shawn Maffenbeier
3rd Jeremy Medaglia
4th Brad Nauditt
5th Jess Pettis
1st Colton Facciotti
2nd Davi Millsaps
3rd Brett Metcalfe
4th Kaven Benoit
5th Matt Goerke
Women’s West Nationals
The Women’s West Nationals kicked off their 4-race National series in Kamloops as well. It was the invasion of off-road racers as #50 Shelby Turner and #151 Lexi Pechout showed some serious skill and speed at round 1 .Defending champion #1 Sara King was very fast and very good, and will be right there all season long. The big question is, will we see Kennedy Lutz, and when. I truly believe Kennedy has the speed of the class and could really mix things up if she chooses to line up in any of the 3 remaining rounds. The girls had a nice size gate for round 1 (34 riders), but please stop calling it a “Pro series.” It’s not, it is a National series. You can’t call it a Pro series when you have riders that have just started racing. I also feel that the word “Pro” will scare off younger, less developed racers from having the courage to jump in and get their feet wet. Anyway, mini rant over, let’s see my predictions for round 2.
1st Lexi Pechout
2nd Shelby Turner
3rd Sara King
4th Dominique Daffé
5th Brittany Danyluk
Ryan Dungey Injury
Big new south of the border is that of reigning 450 champion #1 Ryan Dungey is out hurt. Ryan rarely ever gets hurt, so this is big news. Add in the fact that he is probably the only guy that can challenge #94 Ken Roczen at this point, well, that’s just a bummer for the fans. Yes, there will still be great racing throughout the pack, but people want to see battles for the lead. The series take a a break this weekend, which will allow a few guys to get caught up on testing, and others a chance to address weaknesses.
That is it for me this week. Check out this weeks ‘Out of the Blue‘ with Mariah Gauthier brought to you by the great people at Shrader’s. I’d also like to give a big shout out to Bigwave Billy. Keep up the awesome work, Billy, you’re doing a great job. Don’t worry, I’ll be back next week. Batman and Robin return. Wait, which one of us is Robin? Anyway, have a safe week and #smileforBC!
Thanks, Jeff. You’re right, that was a pretty crazy first round in Kamloops, BC. I actually took me until Tuesday to start feeling normal again. Two straight 12-hour, 40-degree days left me feeling pretty rough Monday morning! I can’t even imagine how the riders felt late in those second motos.
It’s funny though, sometimes you get through those conditions unscathed, and other times it just puts you on your butt and you fold like a house of cards. I’ve been in races (multi-sport events) when I’ve been totally hydrated and seemingly ready for anything only to cramp up or fade to a near walk without explanation. Heck, I’ve even woken up in a canoe filled with ice water throwing up over the side and thinking it was my friends trying to dunk me under the water. Now that’s a horrible feeling!
I hope all the riders were able to take some time off and regroup after that tough weekend. Yes, the heat is rather dry by inland standards, but 100+ degrees is brutal even with ZERO humidity! It takes a while to recoup and get your fluid and electrolyte levels back on track after that kind of exertion. We’ll see a different result sheet this weekend in Nanaimo, for sure.
Here’s what the Weather Network says we have in store for this weekend:
That forecast should make for some near-perfect racing conditions.
We got the chance to hang out in Vancouver the past couple days. I lived here in Kitsilano for 11 years, so it was nice to get back and see some of the people and things I’ve missed since 2007. We walked out the door of the hotel this morning and you can actually see two Starbucks within 100 feet of one another. And there is actually another spot downtown where there are two of them sitting kitty corner to one another! It’s pretty safe to say there is a solid coffee culture on the west coast. We chose the location to our left.
We’re going to be catching the 2:30 ferry from Lion’s Bay to Nanaimo and I expect to see a few other moto folks on the ride. See you over there!
AMO Video Series Episode 2 – Team Effort
Ken Roczen to Honda/Trey Canard to KTM?
Transmoto.com is reporting they have solid sources telling them the deal is already done that will see Ken Roczen head over to Honda for the 2017 SX season and beyond. They also have Trey Canard heading over to KTM. You can read their article HERE.
#17 Dylan Wright Gets the Jump on the Field in Kamloops
Yes, the race was red flagged.
Mark Worth to Fill In for Injured Jacob Hayes at Monster Alpinestars Kawasaki
When Jacob Hayes got caught up in the first turn of moto 1 in Kamloops, he managed to remount and finish the moto, but didn’t line up for the second moto. Unfortunately, Hayes suffered a knee injury and will be evaluated at the doctor’s office as soon as possible. The Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki team dipped into the talented moto pool south of the border to find a rider capable of challenging for wins in the MX2 class up here in Canada, and Mark Worth is the rider who will fill Jacob’s boots.
Mark has been a rider headed for great things and should be mixing it up with our front runners this weekend in Nanaimo. Hopefully, Jacob is back in action sooner rather than later.
Video Recap – Round 1 in Kamloops
Thanks to FXR, Factory Ride Suspension, Royal Distributing, Forma Boots, and Mika Metals, Andy White and I are back at it with our DMX Canadian Motocross Weekly Wrap Up videos. Our formula has been to cover the top 5 in both classes and then talk about any other newsworthy stories we can think of in these 20-minute videos. Grab yourself a beverage and a snack, and sit down as we take you through most of the action from the weekend of Rockstar MX Nationals each week.
Here is the first installment from Whispering Pines in Kamloops, BC:
Women’s West Nationals – Round 1 Video
Top Intermediate, #217 Casey Keast, Round 1 Video
Poll Question Results
Last time, we asked you to vote for who you thought would win Round 1 in the MX1 class. DMX readers got it right! Here is a look at the results.
% of Votes
The new question:
You’ve got less that 24 hours to get your votes in for this new question. Get to work!
2017 Husqvarna Off-Road Range Reveiled
It’s time to head to Lion’s Bay to catch the ferry. Good luck to everyone, wherever you end up riding or racing this weekend. We will be sure to get our Photo Reports up Monday, and have our video wrap up done for Tuesday. I’m also sitting on a ton of photos for my favourite column, ‘Faces at the Races.’ I’ll get on it. Thanks for reading.