Frid’Eh Update #27 | Bobby Piazza Interview | Presented by Yamaha Motor Canada
By Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #27 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by Yamaha Motor Canada. We’re heading into the second weekend of racing in the 2021 Canadian Triple Crown Series MX Nationals. We learned a lot at Rounds 1 and 2 at Walton Raceway, but more on that later.
Pennsylvania’s Bobby Piazza earned #27 last year as one of the very few riders to cross the border and race our series. Bobby has been coming to Canada for a number of years and and he can be found racing here or across the USA, depending on what time of year it is.
Bobby is currently racing the 450 class in the eastern rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships. He finished 18-32 for 23rd at Red Bud last week.
We got in touch with him to talk about last season, this season, and what the future holds for him.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Bobby. I’ll just quickly back it up to last season because you were one of the few Americans who managed to cross the border to race in Canada. Can you sum up your summer here for us? Were you happy with how things went?
Bobby Piazza: Hello, Billy. Yes, I had a great season up there even with all of my bike issues. I was pretty much on a different bike every moto and ended 9th in points.
What did you get up to when the series ended in Canada?
I went back home to race all of the local money races: Kroc, 2-stroke shootout, Travis Pastrana Pro Challenge, etc.. Then I started training and getting ready for the 2021 Supercross season.
Which events did you do and how did that go for you?
I started the season in Houston competing in the 450 class then moved down to the 250 class at H3 and made my first main event. After that I continued 250 East Coast and made another main event in Indy. After that I raced my 250 in the 450 class.
And now you’re racing the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships. You didn’t go west but have raced High Point and Red Bud. How did High Point go for you?
I had a freak accident and lost my rear breaks and hit a trailer and crushed my foot. I came back 30 days later and raced High Point off the couch! I qualified 28th and went 28-DNF
Did you see Tyler Medaglia there and talk to him or no?
Yeah, we waved at each other. Lol
And then you were at Red Bud this past weekend. How was that?
Yeah, it was good. I was able to put in a little bit of work with the week off and ended up scoring points – 18-32 for 23rd overall.
Is Dylan Ferrandis going to win this 450 title?
Yes, dude is on another level.
What’s your plan for the rest of the series?
I plan on doing the rest, hopefully, if I can get to them all.
Will you take another run at Supercross?
Yes, I plan on racing SX and probably 250 East / 450 west.
Will we see you north of the border again any time soon?
Not sure, honestly. I was hoping on getting some type of support with finishing every moto 6-10 and got nothing.
What’s your favourite track up here?
OK, good luck at Southwick this weekend. Who would you like to thank?
Yeah, I’d like to thank all my supporters, my girlfriend for sticking it out with me, and my family. I would also like to thank all my sponsors:
@alienlabcbd @themotoaftermathshow @kangracing @6dhelmets @100percent_moto @deftfamily @mxboot.com_ @camporiginals @yanik_dupuis @tractionmx @bruceenterprises @jwtfmx @pirellimx @vperacing @enzoracingkyb @bludlubricants @lastingimpressioncg @protaper@rev10designs @buckypiazza @helenafrelak @morganpaigeeexo
We’re heading over to Gopher Dunes for some amateur racing this afternoon, so this is going to have to be short again this week. If you’d like to do some more reading, I wrote down a few things that I think we learned at Round 1 and 2 last weekend but never had time to put photos to it, so I never posted it up.
What We Learned | First Two Rounds of Canadian MX Nationals
Tanner Ward leads the class now. He’s a rider we’ve been paying attention to since he was on 50’s and now it’s his time to shine before moving up to the 450 class. The problem is, this is also a big year for a few other top, young riders in the class. His pre-season injury was a concern heading in, but, although it may bother him at the end of the day, it hasn’t exposed any weakness on the track.
Jake Piccolo is ready for his time in the spotlight. It’s been a long road for him but his time at Club MX over the winter may be exactly what he needed to pull off more than the periodic flashes of brilliance we’ve come to expect. He had to come from the back of the pack in the second moto at round 2 and showed that he will be a fixture on the podium this summer.
Seth Hughes and Keenan Peterson are holeshotting machines! I’m not sure how they were so consistent, but if there’s bet in your group about starts, pick one of these two.
Casey Keast may be out of competition while the fracture in his upper arm heals, but he left us with a video clip we’ll be watching for years to come. I find myself watching it over and over again. Fortunately, everyone who was standing in line with his crash is going to be fine…but not the mountain bike he landed on. The owner of that simply walked away and left it. We’ve been told that Casey is indeed out for 6-8 weeks with his injury.
The rider who placed 7th at round 1 on Friday, William Crete, decided to head back to Quebec for a Provincial race on Sunday where he was sure he could make more money.
17-year-old Wyatt Kerr should be the top yellow-plated Intermediate rider at every round this summer. Sebastien Racine goes bar-to-bar with him when they race on Amateur Day, but Wyatt is in a B class of his own out there on National Day.
- Davey Fraser is an animal. He’s been racing the Pro class since like 2004! He had a few problems early at Round 2 and then went out and got 5th place in moto 3. That was an impressive performance.
- We forgot to mention Jeremy McKie in our pre-season broadcast. The Quebec racer has the potential to break into the top 5, but he’s going to have to get good starts and stay out of trouble. His shoulder isn’t 100% right now so I don’t expect Gopher Dunes will be the track where he meets his expectations.
- I don’t know what to expect from Sam Gaynor in this 250 class. He looked like he was flying Tuesday at Gopher Dunes, so we’ll have to see what he has for this field of young rippers.
- Quinn Amyotte has been unpredictable so far. He’s got the equipment to succeed so we’ll have to see if he can improve on his 12-5 overalls. I think he would agree that his round 2 5th is a solid result and one he’d be happy with on a weekly basis.
- Daniel Elmore is a rider who’s been putting in the work in the off-season and now I think we’re all going to become more familiar with him during the racing season. It took me a few laps to realize who was up so far on the #39 bike. Keep an eye on him this summer because I bet he’s not a rider you had in your picks coming in.
- Julien Benek is young and ready to start making his mark. He grew about 2 feet over the last couple seasons and he now has the ability to man-handle his 250 on the rough tracks. Watch for him to keep improving as he gets used to how things work at this level.
- We all went into this season thinking Marco Cannella was one of the favourites for the title because of his consistency. Well, he got himself into trouble in the final moto at round 2 and had to come from dead last to 20th. He’ll need to just clean the slate and go for wins from here on out.
- Darien Sanayei has the pedigree to be the class of this field, but it’s not coming easy, yet. He grabbed the second moto win at round 2 and is definitely one of the riders who will be chasing this title. It will be interesting to see how he performs in the sand this weekend.
- I think I’m most impressed with the poise I’m seeing from 15-year-old Ryder McNabb. We all knew he was going to be fast, but to come out and win the first moto of the new season was impressive. And he did it under pressure the whole time!
- Hayden Halstead will be racing this weekend and he pulled in behind Darien on Tuesday and worked to make a pass. No, you can’t conclude much by this except that Hayden loves the sand and could make things interesting inside the top 10.
- If you’re reading this and racing this weekend, never quit at Gopher Dunes. Things happen and just crossing the line can put you in a position that will surprise you.
- We’re supposed to lose the heat and humidity, so riders may be getting off easy this year in the sand.
- I spoke with Julien Perrier from Team PRMX Gas Gas and they have filled the seat for the injured Casey Keast. We’ll wait for the official press release where he’ll announce another BC rider who will step in. Hint: He didn’t race at Walton One.
- Yanick Boucher way back in 19th place is surprising. He’s not going to win any motos, but he should be up a lot farther on the results sheet. Let’s see how he rebounds this weekend.
- Logan Leitzel needs to stay in the battles with Shemko, O’Farrell, and Eales all the way to the checkered flag. Let’s see how he rebounds this week, too.
- Parker Eales is one of the riders who will be fighting for top 10’s all summer. He’s in a group of riders that is fun to watch out there.
- Ty Shemko has been one of the breaths of fresh air in the 450 class this season, so far. I joked with him that he’s like Kyle Keast in a way – holeshot or dead last, he finishes 10-12. I think he’ll keep getting fitter and faster as the summer goes on. Keep an eye on the #107 out there.
- Liam O’ffarell keeps on going and going out there. He’s another rider in that group battling to stay inside the top 10. Like I said, watch for him and his group this weekend to see who’s got the fitness to take the place in the sand.
- I want to say Keylan Meston should be sitting higher than 8th right now, but then I look at the names above him and realize just how difficult that will be. He ended up riding alone out there and will need to latch on to the group ahead of him and hang on.
- Shawn Maffenbeier showed great speed and fitness in pre-season racing. He’ll want to stay with the group ahead of him, too, to see where he belongs in this group. He held off Dylan Wright for quite a long time at Walton.
- I think Tim Tremblay will be interchangeable with Maff and Keylan as the summer moves along. It’s great that he’s doing the entire series this year. Another rider at his level is always welcome.
- Tyler Medaglia sits 5th in the series. He expects to be fighting for wins in this group, so you know he’ll be going for it this weekend at Gopher Dunes, where he book-ended 450 wins 10 years apart! He’ll need starts.
- Marshall Weltin is fresh out of the 250 class and looks at home on the big 450. I watched Maff stay on his wheel at The Dunes in pre-season, so this shows just how good the racing should be this weekend.
- Cole Thompson is riding like himself and looking smooth as silk running in the top 3. He wants wins and flies at Gopher Dunes. He’ll need a win soon to show these youngsters what’s up…before it’s too late.
- Dylan Wright is the fastest rider in the 450 class, no doubt. If he can limit the mistakes, this is his title to lose. We saw him come from way back to 4th this past weekend. Watch how easy he makes going so fast look this weekend.
- Jess Pettis has landed on his feet in the 450 class. We watched him dominate last summer in 250 MX, so I shouldn’t be surprised at how fast he’s going on the 450 so far this season. He’s like our Aaron Plessinger – I should stop being surprised when he does well in the 450 class. If he thinks he can run Dylan’s pace, this is going to be good! He’s leading the points by 1 over Dylan. Crazy…oh, wait, I said I was going to stop being surprised, didn’t I?
The program is definitely set up to be enjoyed at home on the app because it’s not very easy to stay on top of the action live at the track (I’m saying this from a media perspective)! The days are so jam-packed now that you barely have time to get a drink and a bite to eat. Fortunately, I parked close to the Huber Motorsports rig and Gerhardt Huber puts out one of the best spreads in the pits! Thank you for letting me wander in and fill up on gourmet food and good coffee.
I think riders deserve more than one time on the track before lining up to race. One practice/qualifier doesn’t give them the chance to make any adjustments as needed. It’s definitely a complaint I”m hearing from riders and teams.
I’d also like to see a live timing screen at the mechanics area. I’m guessing it’s not there due to the pandemic and the resulting urge to cluster in a group? I hope it’s a feature that comes back once we’re back to normal.
I’d like to preemptively apologize for this coming weekend and our lack of ability to post things to instagram as they happen. Cell service is spotty at best at Gopher Dunes and the good spots are so far away from where I’ll be parked that it make it difficult to keep up on the action.
25% of capacity at these huge facilities means they can let a lot of people in the gates. Don’t let the limit stop you from trying to be there in person. Go online and buy tickets. But when Dave Bell asks you to get down from the top of the grassy ridge, just do it. People can see that from the road and will be tempted to call the bylaw officers. We don’t need to be shut down, and, if we are, you don’t want to be the reason.
OK, I’m off to The Dunes to check out some of the smaller bike classes for Day 1 of Amateur Day. Have a great weekend and be sure to follow us on our social channels as we try to keep you up to date on what’s happening all weekend long.
Here’s the schedule for the weekend: