By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #27 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update, this week presented by Yamaha Motor Canada and the 2020 line-up of motocross bikes.
Yep, week 27 means we are now officially past the halfway mark in the 2019 calendar. Have you gotten a headstart on your Christmas shopping, like me? I couldn’t finish that question with a straight face.
Anyway, we’re now heading into the hottest part of the year, and the temperature where I am in London, ON is ready to lay a beatdown on the racers next week at Round 4 of the Rockstar Triple Crown MX Nationals series.
The car thermometer read 35 degrees Celsius (102F) when we got into it to go for a hot cup of coffee earlier today. And it’s not a dry heat, ether, so don’t kid yourself into thinking it’s not so bad!
The long range forecast for next Saturday is 28 and sunny. Not crazy hot, but it didn’t mention the humidity, so I’m not sure what we’re really in for, yet.
#27 is Hayden Halstead from Waterford, Ontario, and I joked with him that it seems to be “Hayden Halstead Week” here at DMX! It’s warranted, however, so I don’t mind that he’s getting all this added publicity.
He did his first-ever Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Championship race last week at Southwick in Massachusetts, and he did very well. He’s a sand guy so this was a great entry race for him in the big show.
He’s coming off that ugly leg break that he suffered when his leg got caught between his BMX bike’s pedal and the ground (if you’ve ever ridden, you know exactly what I’m describing here), so he’s still not quite at 100%, but he’s getting close.
28-19 motos put him 21st on the day and scored him some points, so he’s pretty happy with his results.
If you didn’t get a chance to listen to our post-race conversation, you can check it out here:
He’s returning to action this week at the 4th of July classic at Red Bud. Emily and I are about to hop into the DMX Van and head that way, so we’ll be sure to tag along with him throughout the day and document his event.
As far as his 2019 Rockstar Triple Crown MX Nationals season is concerned, he’s doing pretty well, all things considered. He’s driving the rig to all the races again this summer, and is sitting 14th in 250 points with 19, 16, and 12th overalls.
We got in touch with him on his way down to Red Bud with his family. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: It seems to be ‘Hayden Halstead Week’ here at DMX! Let’s start off like we always do and ask you to head back to the beginning, how did you get started in Motocross?
Hayden Halstead: Hi, Billy. It’s been a great week for me for sure.However, I have to acknowledge the devastating loss the Derry family has experienced. Ryan and I are good friends and have grown up racing together. I’ve been in touch with Ryan and told him I’ll be riding extra hard at Red Bud for Desi this weekend as that’s what she would want me to do.
As for how I got started, my parents both rode motorcycles. Dad had a GSXR and Mom had a Ninja, so naturally it was in my blood!
I asked you this in our Southwick podcast, but can you tell us again what your first number was and how you chose it?
I picked 160 because that was my dad’s racing number when he raced his street bike at Shannonville when he was younger.
What was your first race and how did it go?
My first race was at the Rat Track in Paisley [, Ontario]. I had a 2003 KX 65 we got from McKee Sport in Delhi. I remember getting 5th place which was great but they only did trophies back to 3rd place. My mom told Ewald’s wife that it was my first race and she could see I was disappointed so she took an old trophy and put a 5th place sticker on it and told us not to tell anyone. That’s was so awesome!
You’re a guy who likes different types of riding, tell us about a crazy or memorable experience riding on two wheels?
That’s a loaded question, Billy… just 1?? I’d say trying to do that giant leap last year at Deschambault in 2nd gear was pretty crazy, or maybe that’s the stupidest thing I’ve done!
I do enjoy riding on two wheels and am pretty good on 1 wheel too.
I went to Silver Lake Sand Dunes with Josh Long in 2015 which was a crazy experience. We got stuck there because Josh’s truck broke down. We were only supposed to be there 2 days but ended up being there a week waiting to get the truck fixed.
One day we were doing slow wheelies and giving high fives to these kids and a park ranger stopped us and wasn’t as impressed as the kids were with the slow wheelies. He said we were going over the 15m/hr speed limit on the beach. Obviously, we weren’t, however we just accepted the tickets and didn’t argue.
About a month later, I was coming home from work and my mom met me in the driveway and I could tell she was pissed off. She had a ticket in her hand. I hadn’t really said anything to them because I didn’t think it was a big deal, however the ticket was for “exhibition driving” but she thought it was for exhibitionism!
I’m still not sure that she believes me that I wasn’t down there riding naked!
Let’s take a page out of Jeff’s ‘Out of the Blue’ interviews and ask you who your hero is?
Well, my original and probably most important hero has to be my dad, Brent. As I currently do this, he’s driving our truck and trailer to Red Bud for the AMA national. Now, that might be a normal thing having your dad drive you to a race, but this guy worked nights last night.
He’s consistently always there quietly making sure every single thing is getting finished: race bike prep, packing up the rig, everything, even being my mechanic my entire life. He’s been at every race and he’s never let me down.
What’s the most impressive thing yo’ve ever seen someone else do on a motorcycle?
Basically, any time Kevin Tyler gets on a bike. I saw him shred a 125 last year at the FXR Ride Day. He rode my race bike this spring at our testing day and still rips!
You snapped your lower leg in a BMX incident heading into this summer. How does it feel now and are you back to 100% yet?
Leg feels good now. It’s come a long way from Calgary! I only had about 5 hours on my practice bike and no time on the race bike before I drove the rig West, compared to the 3 months of training I was planning.
It’s gotten progressively better except whenever I had to turn left and would dab that leg which was very painful.
The week before Southwick I got some great practice in and started to feel like I was getting back to my level last year. Just need to continue working on my endurance.
You described your first-ever AMA Pro National last week in Southwick in our podcast, but let’s see if you can sum up the experience here again but in just one sentence?
Really Billy… me, one sentence??!! I see what you’re trying to do here so how about this… A rollercoaster of emotion from nervous to excited to proud!
See, I knew you could do it! So now you’re on your way to Red Bud for your 2nd AMA National. What are you hoping for this week? Any chance you’re thinking about trying Larocco’s Leap on your 250? I bet you’re also hoping lots of the MXON sand is still around, huh?
Unfortunately, I don’t think the 250 guys have been hitting Larocco’s leap. I’m hoping to qualify and get two good motos in by getting through the first turn clean both races this time. I heard rumours that they are bringing more sand in!! The more sand the better for me to get more practice for the Canadian East rounds.
What’s the biggest difference between a day at a US National and one here at home?
Qualifying with 80+ guys is nerve-wracking Flagging was unreal. They made it very clear to let you know where the downed rider was in blind sections.
The officials and track staff were extremely nice but also very professional and strict. That made things easier as the rules were black and white.
They only let you have 1 mechanic per rider behind the gate and that mechanic had to show his “signal pass” on his pit board or wasn’t allowed out to the mechanics area.
The mechanics area had live TV feed of the race and lap times on another TV under the 5 pop ups, so there were 10 TV’s!
You’re always a fun interview, so I’m trying to think of something a little different to ask you. How about, if you weren’t racing motocross, what do you think you’d be doing?
It’s pretty hard to imagine my life any other way but on my Tim Bit Hockey card when I was younger I put down “Garbage Man” for future occupation because I wanted to hang off the back of the trucks!
What other sports do you like or play?
I liked playing hockey as a kid, am an avid mountain and BMX rider and I’m pretty good at skiing.
What are you hoping for in the rest of the Canadian Nationals this summer? Keep moving up the ranks, I assume?
Hoping to get back to to how I was finishing last year before I got injured in August.
OK, let’s let you get ready for this big race. Thanks for talking with us again today, good luck at Red Bud, and who would you like to thank?
My parents and girlfriend, Meg, my family, especially my grandma and grandpa, my good friend Zach Koncir, Kevin Tyler and my team: @royaldistributing/@fxrmoto @yamahamotorcanada/ @mx101racing #R&RAutomation @decalworks @allanbrownmx #Jonasbuildingrestoration @superiorsuspensionsettings @rekluse_canada @6dhelmets @mongoosemachine @maximausa @ridedunlop @fmf73 @renthal_moto @gaerneusa @rideengineeringinc @vpracingfuels @twin_air @cometicgasket @tmdesignworks @ride100percent @acerbisusa @worksconnection @matrixconceptscanada @gytr_performance_products @nihiloconcepts @mechanix_wear @evanspowersport @rk_excel
Hey, Guys. Happy belated 4th of July to all of our American friends. We have yet another week off from the action up here in Canada, eh, so not too much happening.
I feel like most of the riders are pretty divided: You bet the serious guys are grinding even harder on the break, then you get the “insta racers” who are in full party vacation mode.
Yes, you need to enjoy yourself a little, but when your window in the sport is so short, maybe you could hold off for a few years. Our season really isn’t that long, and yes, the grind is hard, the training is beyond hard….. but you’re still traveling across the most beautiful country racing a dirt bike with your best friends.
Hard? Yes. Dangerous? Yes. But it’s still better than what 95% of the others are doing.
Just my opinion, but I’d say put everything into right now, or forever regret half-assing it when the opportunity has passed you by.
The Gopher Dunes National is just one week away. It will 100% filter out the “insta racers” from the real ones and it’s sometimes a little comical hearing the excuses.
It’s extremely hot and humid in Southern Ontario right now, so good luck to all of the racers trying to acclimate themselves to the East.
Some very terrible news from Southern Ontario as we lost a racer this past weekend at Motopark. For as much as I love this sport, I really do hate it even more at times.
We’ve all been hit up over the seasons to help get racers down south or get through a series via GoFundMe accounts, well, this cause trumps it. Please don’t be shy and give what you can to help a poor little girl, 3-year-old Angel Adams, who lost her mother.
You can click here to go to the fundraiser page to add to Angel’s future education fund:
**Official Release from the Derry’s**
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Desiree Adams on July 7th, 2-5pm will be held at R.S. Kane funeral home.
Location: 6150 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M2M 3W9
The Derry/Adams Family welcomes all to stop by and share your memories!
Please share this with everyone.
That’s it for me this week. Stay safe and #smileforBC! Rest easy, Desiree.
Thanks, Jeff. Jeff mentioned the loss of Desiree this past Monday and I can’t even put into words how sad this is.
I didn’t know her very well, but I sat with her, Angel, Ryan, Robyn, and Peter Derry at the end of the day Sunday up at Motopark. She couldn’t have been lovelier or friendlier. I sat and enjoyed a drink with them and we all just shot the breeze as if we’d known each other forever.
I remember saying to Emily when I finally got home that I really liked Desiree and couldn’t believe how nice she was. What a tragic loss.
Motocross is supposed to be dangerous, but not a sport where you lose your life. Broken bones are a given, but this really shakes the foundation of things when such a rare tragedy occurs.
Being in the position I am, I get to know a lot of riders and their families. Truthfully, it’s my favourite part of the sport. Unfortunately, it also means I have a relationship with most of them and the odds of knowing someone who’s been injured are much greater. This is my very least favourite part of the sport.
The Derry Family will be preparing a trophy that will remain at Motopark in Desi’s name to commemorate her, as this was her favourite place.
Once a year, a rider who demonstrates excellence, courage, and outstanding sportsmanship will be recognized on this trophy.
What a beautiful and meaningful way to remember her. Young Angel couldn’t have been any cuter as she took our little dog, Maggie, around on her leash and let her drag her around the pits.
My sincerest condolences to her family, friends, and loved ones.
Catching Up with Women’s West Champ, Avrie Berry
We’ve got some really fast riders here in Canada to battle for both halves of our Women’s MX National series. Having Eve Brodeur head west for the first time to race but not for points added another top-level rider to the mix.
When we added American World WMX competitor Avrie Berry this spring, we knew we were in for some great racing between the top 3 women.
Avrie won the AX title and has now added the MX title to her list of Canadian accomplishments, but it came down to the final round at Whispering Pines in Kamloops, BC against former champ, Shelby Turner.
She’s not resting on her laurels, however, and is now preparing to head back to Europe to race the World series.
We caught up with her to talk a bit about the title, racing in Canada, and about herself a little, too.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Avrie. Congratulations on winning the Women’s West title. We’ve spoken a few times on DMX, but let’s let everyone know a bit more about you before we talk about the actual series. How did you first get involved in racing moto?
Avrie Berry: Thank you! I started riding when I was three years old and racing when I was four, so motocross has been a big part of my life for a long time now. My older brother was someone that I looked up to and he was a great rider so I was lucky to have him as a mentor.
What was it like growing up in Washougal? Do you like the track there? Riders always say it’s slippery and not as much fun to ride as it looks.
I loved living in Washougal. I’ve ridden there so much but I can still say that is one of my favorite tracks. Some people may complain about the conditions but the good thing about that track is it can change a lot. Nobody gets faster from riding on a perfect, groomed track.
What was your first number and how did you choose it?
My first number was 55 and I chose it because that was my brother’s number and I just liked to copy everything he did.
You also race the World WMX series. Can you sum up what that’s like for us? What’s the coolest place you’ve ridden, besides Canada?
Racing over seas is a lot different than anything we’re used to in USA and Canada. Each race is in a different country and you get to see a lot of different cultures over there. My favorite place I’ve raced was Trentino, Italy. The pictures from there really don’t do it justice, it’s insane.
So, the US series isn’t what it used to be, so you headed north to Canada. What is your impression of our country and series?
Yeah, unfortunately, WMX in the US has basically come to an end. I think what they’re doing with WMX in Canada is exactly what we need to do in the US. Women’s motocross will never be big again unless we put the races back with the Pro Nationals. I think that people don’t see the market in women’s motocross but girls buy dirt bikes too! Especially if they see fast girls racing on TV.
You, Shelby Turner, and Eve Brodeur made the series a lot of fun to watch. How was that battle from your perspective?
I thought it was really cool that we could come together from east, west and south and race against each other. I wasn’t sure how the competition would be so I was happy to see some fast girls at each race.
Did you end up getting to know the other riders up here? Is racing the same all over or did Canada feel different?
Yeah, I got to meet a lot of girls. I’d say the Canadians were the most friendly competition I’ve ever had!
You had a 7-point lead going into the final round at Whispering Pines. Without Eve there, you and Shelby were definitely the class of the field. Did you go into it thinking you just had to stay up and not finish worse than 2nd in either moto, or how did you approach that round?
I was going into that round wanting to go 1-1. I was pretty bummed with my riding but I’m glad I could claim the championship still.
What did you do with the Manluk Racing team to celebrate?
After the awards ceremony, we all went to dinner to celebrate. It was pretty laid back.
What was your favourite track of the 4? I guess the weather will affect this answer, though.
My favorite track was Prince George. I think I liked it the most because it reminded me of a European track.
What’s next for you?
I’ll be on a plane to Belgium in less than two weeks and that’s where I’ll be staying for the rest of the year as I finish out the rest of the WMX series over seas.
Cool! How about next summer? You have to come back and defend your #1 plate, right?
It all depends on the schedule for MXGP. I was lucky to have a perfect gap in my races so that I could do the West Canadian Nationals this year. So we will see how everything works out. Maybe I’ll try out the East coast next year.
What other things do you do besides moto? Do you play any other sports or what is it you like to do to recharge your batteries?
My life is pretty centered all around MX so there’s not many other things that I do. My favorite thing to do is going home to see my family.
OK, congratulations on getting a Canadian title. Good luck and who would you like to thank?
I can’t thank the Manluk Racing team enough for giving me the opportunity to race in Canada. This is their first year as a pro team and we became a family. I’d also like to thank Merge Racing Technology, they’ve helped the team so much making the bikes fast and perfect suspension. And of course my mechanic Dave for the inspiring pit board messages and everyone else that helps me out: Thor, Bell, Scott, CTI, Young Living, KTM, and my parents for always sticking behind me.
Axell Hodges Injured in World Record Jump Attempt Practice
I guess this is one way for motocross to make it on mainstream TV. These two are definitely NOT moto people!
Women’s Pro Event in Alberta “North/South Shoot Out”
‘Moto Central Live Presented by Sneaky Weasel Beer’ Returns for Gopher Dunes
It seems like it’s been forever since I was sitting around sipping Sneaky Weasel beer and talking to people about moto!
Well, we’ll return next Friday night at 7:00pm Eastern Time LIVE from the showroom at Gopher Dunes. I think I’ve got Derek Schuster talked into cohosting the festivities with me, too.
See you next Friday.
OK, we’re about to hop into the van and start making our way toward Buchanan, Michigan. Have a great weekend, everyone.
One more week and we’re back in action. I hope all the racers are doing their homework to be as ready as anyone can be for a Gopher Dunes National!