Frid’Eh Update #25 Presented by RMR Online Outlet
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Week #25 belongs to New York State rider, Seth Rarick|Bigwave photo
Welcome to Week #25 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update, this week brought to you by RMR Online Outlet. We’ve gotten to know New York State rider Seth Rarick quite well over the past few years. Seth has proven to be one of the fastest and most approachable riders at the Canadian Nationals. He’s not racing this year, but don’t worry about him – he’s got enough exciting things on his plate these days.
Seth’s 2015 Canadian season:
Seth parted ways with the Redemption Racing late in the season and finished it out on his own 450. We spoke with Seth about that and more. Here’s what he had to say.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Seth. We saw you a bunch this winter at Supercross, and we’ll get to that, but let’s back up first. How would you sum up last summer?
Seth Rarick: Looking back at last summer now, it was disappointing and frustrating but at the same time it led me to a good place. I got on a bike I really enjoyed at the end of the year and fell in love with riding again. Midway through last summer I was beside myself and didn’t know what to do, but once I made the decision to move on and do my own program things really started clicking and I was having fun again. So, overall, yeah my results sucked, but I’m not bitter at all. It was a learning experience, that’s for sure (Laughs).
What did you get up to right after the season ended in Canada?
After Walton, I went and raced the last round of the US nationals in Indiana. That went all right, I was just outside of scoring points both motos. After Indiana, I went home and raced every single weekend until the weather got too cold. I hit local money races, wherever I could go to make a dollar. I had a blast.
Seth is now working with Cooper Webb. What is his job title? “I’ve gotten this question a lot, and my role changes daily. I’m a training partner, so pretty much anything he does training wise, I do it with him. I’m learning a little about the financial side of things, and keep track of the daily expenses.”Bigwave photo
Did you go on any non-moto trips?
The only non-moto trip I’ve gone on was a cruise to Mexico after Dallas SX this year. It was only for like 5 days. Other than that, every trip has revolved around racing.
You are now working with Cooper Webb. Can you tell us how this all came together?
Cooper and I have been friends for a long time. He asked me a few times last fall if I’d be interested in coming out to California and helping him out. I didn’t think he was serious, but he was. It was perfect timing really, I didn’t have anything lined up for this year and was wondering what was next for me. I felt like it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I figured why not?
What is your actual role there?
I’ve gotten this question a lot, and my role changes daily. I’m a training partner, so pretty much anything he does training wise, I do it with him. I’m learning a little about the financial side of things, and keep track of the daily expenses. Lately, I’ve been extra busy because we’ve moved from California to South Carolina for the rest of the outdoor series, so I had to drive all Coop’s stuff and the rest of the team’s bikes and parts across the country and then get us a set-up in a house over here. There are so many small things that change daily; I do whatever I’m asked, really. These guys have a lot going on and I’m here to take care of all the small things and make their life easier.
How are you enjoying that side of the sport?
I’m really enjoying this side of things. At first I wasn’t so sure. I came in with an open mind but didn’t know what to expect. It didn’t take me long to see that there’s a lot for me to do and I can help out in some areas. It’s been awesome and I’m really happy where I’m at.
I think you are preparing to race some of the eastern rounds, right? What is your plan there?
My plan was to race most of the outdoors this year, but I dislocated my shoulder again back in March and had to have surgery. After that, I was hoping to come back for the last three but here we are in mid-June and my shoulder still isn’t right. I refuse to rush back early and injure it again. Both of my shoulders have been operated on and I need to let them both heal completely. I’m not sure when the next time you’ll see me line up, to be honest. I need to get healthy and I really enjoy what I’m doing right now so I don’t see any reason to come back too early.
Will we see you up in Canada at all?
I probably won’t be in Canada at all this summer, unfortunately.
What’s one thing you miss about the Canadian series?
Man, I miss a lot of things about Canada. I’ve met a lot of great people up there and had a lot of fun racing there. It’s hard to pick one thing so I’ll have to say two…I’ll miss Gopher Dunes and Tim Horton’s!
What does Seth miss about Canada? “It’s hard to pick one thing so I’ll have to say two…I’ll miss Gopher Dunes and Tim Horton’s!”|Bigwave photo
Have you been paying attention to the Canadian series at all this summer yet?
I’ve been paying very close attention, with Davi (Millsaps) going up there I think everyone is. I think the 450 class is stacked this year and that’s very cool to see. Davi has surprised me by how strong he’s been, right off the bat, I know Colton (Facciotti) starts off a bit slow but that guy is unbelievable once he gets going. I’m hoping for more from Metty (Brett Metcalfe), that’s who I’m pulling for in that class. Brett is a class act and I highly respect that guy.
The 250….man, it’s cool to see different names on the podium and winning motos. We all knew Cole (Thompson) would be good and I believe I called Jess Pettis as a breakout rider for this year in an interview a while back, and I’m glad to see that happening. Outside of the top 5 in that class seems very weak though. Hopefully, on the east coast some more guys will head up north of the border and make it a bit deeper.
OK, we’ll let you get ready for this weekend. Thanks for taking the time to do this, and is there anyone you’d like to thank?
No problem, Billy. Since I’m not racing right now, I won’t do a sponsor plug but sincerely thank you to everyone that’s helped me out up there; I’ve had some great opportunities and met a lot of friends that I still keep in touch with. And obviously, I need to thank my buddy Cooper for giving me the opportunity that I have now!
It’s always great talking with Seth. Good luck with your recovery and your gig with Cooper.
Women’s West Nationals
Hey, guys. We are halfway through the Women’s West National Series and this weekend’s round may be the most important. Off-road specialist #151 Lexi Pechout was the big surprise at round 1 in Kamloops, BC. She immediately put herself in the championship battle. Unfortunately, at round 2 in Nanaimo, she struggled with the jumpy track and may have let this championship get away.
Defending champion #1 Sara King used her jumping skills to calmly put herself back in the driver’s seat with a slim 1-point lead over #50 Shelby Turner. Going into round 3 in Calgary, I feel this first moto will tell us who our 2016 champion will be. I think Pechout will be very fast at her home track round, but I think the championship will come down to King and Turner. Whoever can win this first moto, should be able to control the rest of the series and collect the championship. Pechout might be able to play spoiler, but her rough 2nd round has made it almost impossible to win this title.
Jeff has #50 Shelby Turner picked as round 3 winner in Women’s West Nationals competition|Bigwave photo
I know it’s early, but if someone can spend some time with Lexi this off-season and work on her jumping, she will definitely be a future champion. #5 Dominique Daffé
has been a pleasant surprise this season. She finished 5th last season, but she has really upped her game in 2016. I expect a solid podium performance out of Daffé, and the biggest smile on the box in Calgary. Here are my predictions for the Women’s West in Calgary:
1st Shelby Turner
2nd Sara King
3rd Dominique Daffé
4th Lexi Pechout
5th Brittany Danyluk
Rockstar Energy MX Nationals
In MX2, #4 Cole Thompson has shown everyone why he is the strong favourite. Cole will be very hard to beat from here on out. Not to be forgotten is the #15 of Shawn Maffenbeier. Shawn is one of the hardest workers in the class, and will be right there every moto looking for that win. I don’t know if Shawn can beat Thompson straight up, but you can bet that he will be Dungey-like consistent for all 10 rounds. After the top 2 riders, consistency has been an issue for the rest of the class.
The other heavy hitters have yet to put two back-to-back motos together over the first 2 rounds. MX101 ace #17 Dylan Wright showed everyone his speed in the first moto of the season, then the heart in the 2nd moto at Nanaimo. Now he needs to show that he can be a podium guy every weekend. We will see today, how banged up he is from his first moto at round 2. I’m sure once the gate drops Dylan will forget about everything and be right up front leading the way for the BluCru.
#4 Cole Thompson will be very hard to beat from here on out|Bigwave photo
Dylan’s teammate #20 Jess Pettis has also shown the speed and heart early on this season. Unfortunately, he has had some issues out if his hands that have kept him from stringing two motos together. Last week, Jess was involved in a scary incident where he landed on a fellow rider and will no doubt be nursing some bumps and bruises. (I’ll talk more about the incident later on.)
GRD Honda’s title hopes were damaged last week when #14 Jeremy Medaglia hit the dirt hard and was pounded by the pack. Jeremy hasn’t shown the championship speed yet this season, but if there ever was a time, it’s now. Look for Jeremy to dig deep and be a permanent fixture on the podium as he tries to claw himself back into this championship fight.
#18 Brad Nauditt will be a rider to watch this week. Brad has found his starts and will be very fast in Calgary, and looking for another podium. After these 6 riders, it’s honestly anyone’s game. I feel the MX2 class is much weaker this season than in past years. It’s a great opportunity for some lesser known riders to step up and insert themselves into the top 10 and better.
Intermediate rider #217 Casey Keast is currently sitting 6th in MX2 points but may not head east|Bigwave photo
Former top 10 MX1 rider #324 Dylan Kaelin
has shown everyone that he still knows how to ride a bike really really fast. Dylan seemed to have retired after a string of countless injuries. It was a last-minute decision for Dylan to line up and he has shown that you don’t lose your speed or skill that quickly. He hadn’t ridden much at all this year, but it’s awesome to see him the least stressed about racing ever. Intermediate #217 Casey Keast
is having a nice start to the season. He’s sitting 6th in points after 2 rounds. Let’s hope somebody can help him get East. Here are my predictions for the MX2 Class in Calgary:
1st Cole Thompson
2nd Shawn Maffenbeier
3rd Brandan Leith
4th Dylan Wright
5th Jess Pettis
In the most stacked MX1 season ever in Canada, #118 Davi Millsaps has shown everyone that he is in fact here to win. On paper, it says that Davi didn’t win the O/A at Nanaimo. Yes, Davi was docked 10 positions for jumping on a red cross flag, and rules are rule and that’s all fine and dandy, but we all know that Davi straight up dominated at the Wastelands. He has shown he has the skill, speed, and fitness to walk away with this championship. But there’s one problem…we still have Mike Alessi, Colton Facciotti, Matt Goerke, and Brett Metcalfe that say otherwise. With all of this talent, I don’t think we will see 1-1 performances much, as all of these guys can win at any time.
#118 Davi Millsaps will look to rebound after being docked 10 positions for a red flag infraction in Nanaimo that cost him the win and the red plate|Bigwave photo
Goerke and Colton seem to be the closest to Davi so far, but once Alessi and Metty get more time on their new brands, they should be that much better. Alessi is probably the greatest starter of all time, and once he gets his Monster Kawi figured, the #800 will be hard to pass. Facciotti heads into round 3 as the points leader carrying the red plate. This will be the first time in a long time that Colton has led this early. It will be very interesting to see if he can keep it, and if not, who will be our new 450 points leader. Here are my predictions for the MX1 Class:
1st Davi Millsaps
2nd Mike Alessi
3rd Matt Goerke
4th Kaven Benoit
5th Colton Facciotti
*editors note: Please don’t get butt hurt if you aren’t picked for a top 5 – it’s just too hard.
Now, onto my rant. Flaggers…..
If you don’t want to do your job, please do not sign up. You are not forced to be out there. If you are there just for the free pop and hamburger, meet me at the snack bar and I’ll take care of you. But seriously, flagging at any level of motocross is a very important position. You are the riders’ eyes. They are putting 100% trust in you that it is safe to hang it out and do their job to the best of their abilities. They need you to do the best job that you can, to ensure their safety. As we all have probably seen already, Jess Pettis and Carson McQueen had a pretty nasty incident last week in Nanaimo. The worst part of the whole ordeal is that it was 100% avoidable. We honestly need better flagging, and I, myself, would gladly pay a little more money to ride or race places knowing that my flagger isn’t busy snap chatting, instagraming, or just plain not paying attention and watching the race.
Also in Nanaimo, Davi Millsaps and Matt Goerke were docked 10 positions for jumping on a red cross. Yes, rules are rules, but 10 positions? And let’s be serious, 9 times out of 10, the flagger is in the wrong position for the already-committed rider to see the flag. By then, it’s too late. I agree with enforcing rules, but I feel 10 positions is way too much, and chancres are, that the flagger wasn’t visible until it was too late. If I screw up at my job, I hear about and possibly receive some sort discipline. Why aren’t the flaggers a held accountable for their poor performances?
NB: Carson McQueen will not be at the races this week in Calgary. He had 33 stitches to repair his facial injuries in that accident.
That’s it for me this week. Check my ‘Out of the Blue‘ with Meli Perrier and ‘On the Radar‘ with Quinn Amyotte. Have a great weekend and #smileforBC!
The Flagger Issue
Thanks, Jeff. First off, I want to reiterate your point on flagging. This position needs to be taken seriously and not just as a means to see the races for free. They are like firefighters…they don’t look like they’re doing much, but when the s#!t hits the fan, they are expected to step up, big time!
I watched the video of the Jess Pettis crash into Carson McQueen and it really makes me sick. You aren’t there to watch the races. You are there to keep our riders safe. I know the organizers are walking a fine line between spending as little as they can and keeping the riders safe, but this needs to be a job that has the employees’ FULL attention. Do it like they do elsewhere: give them frequent position changes or something to keep them attentive and interested (I think they already do this).
I realize they go unnoticed, for the most part, but when something like this happens, they stand out like sore thumbs. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to whistle at a flagger or jump into the middle of the track myself, over the years. I’m not trying to bag on anyone in particular, just pointing out the importance of these safety employees. It’s important.
After speaking with both Davi Millsaps and Matt Goerke at the end of the day last Sunday, I’m inclined to believe both of them when they say they didn’t see the flagger until it was too late. I haven’t seen the video of the ‘infractions’ so I won’t say much other than that on the subject. I did find it interesting when, on the stage, Davi made the point that he’s been obeying red cross flags since he was a little kid, knows what they mean, and takes them seriously. And if you listen to the Matt Goerke interview, he was as down about the whole thing as I’ve ever seen or heard a rider about anything! It was downright depressing.
Here is a screen grab from the Conx2share.com app Steve Simms sent over of the Matt Goerke infraction.
Let’s take all of this as a learning experience and make sure to not repeat these mistakes in the future. Motocross is dangerous enough without flying over a jump and hitting a rider in the head when all it would have taken was a flag to be waved properly and in time.
Updates from Calgary
OK, so this isn’t Calgary, but it just might be Donk’s new Facebook profile photo. Here he is getting a feel for what the waves are doing in Tofino on Tuesday.|Emily Nicholson photo
Incinerator Rock looked like the place the waves were the best, but a) it was only 12 degrees and b) I can’t really go left!|Emily Nicholson photo
This crab was ‘pouring one out for his homies.’|Emily Nicholson photo
Tofino is a unique place that you should really check out next time the series heads to Nanaimo.|Emily Nicholson photo
Donk fell in love with the place.|Emily Nicholson photo
OK, we got to the Wild Rose MX Park in Calgary today and found Daryl Murphy busy getting all the rigs parked properly.|Bigwave photo
It was #15 Shawn Maffenbeier who tagged #101 Mark Worth last week in the turn before the finish line on the first lap. Mark did not do the sight lap and was left charging from the rear after the fall.
Tyler Medaglia spent the week training on his XC Husqvarna that now has actual off-road suspension on it. Look out when he hits his next GNCC! Oh, and this is an example of why you always take more than one photo when faces are involved…
It was all hands on deck to get the rig shined up in the KTM Thor Racing pit.
Donk waterproofing the Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha pits in case the rains come. His rider, #3 Brett Metcalfe, spent more time working on his set up to be even more ready for this week.
#17 Dylan Wright had X-rays done in Nanaimo and there are no broken bones in his right foot but he is in considerable pain still. He rode once at home and it hurts to dab his foot. He’s racing and his teammate #20 Jess Pettis is fine after his scary crash last weekend.
Getting the Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki pits set up.
Look who has the red plates in the MX1 class this weekend.
#55 Vince Friese sat out the second moto last week after hitting his head pretty hard in a moto 1 crash. He will line up here in Calgary.
Mark Worth is back this week and should find his groove in Calgary.
#36 Davey Fraser spent the week at Trevor Carlson’s place and only rode his bicycle because of the rain they had on the coast. He should be refreshed and ready to go.
This is Salt Lake City, Utah’s #70 Brandan Leith. Brandan would love to head east with the series but this may be the last we see of him this summer if he doesn’t get some support. Anyone? Otherwise, watch for him at Washougal.
#14 Jeremy Medaglia is a “game-time decision” for this weekend, said Derek Schuster. He crashed hard last week in Nanaimo and is still feeling pretty beat up.|Bigwave photo
OK, Jeff McConkey is here in Calgary this week so be sure to stay tuned to our Twitter @Directmx and Instagram @Direct Motocross for lots of updates on all the action from the Men’s and Women’s 3rd round at Wild Rose MX Park.
Thanks for reading.
I had to use this one more time. See you at the races…