Frid’Eh Update #29 | Chase Marquier | Presented by Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada
By Billy Rainford
Hello, everyone. Welcome to Week #29 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada.
There’s a lot to talk about this week, so let’s not waste any of the usual time talking about the weather. No, wait, we just finished a record-breaking plus-30C stint here in Ontario and are about to head into another one, starting today. We didn’t get much of a break from the nasty humidity and it’s set to return this afternoon.
Looking at the longrange forecast, it appears we are in for a hot and sticky Round 1 of the 2020 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MX Nationals at Gopher Dunes next weekend. But that’s how it should be, right? It’s the toughest track we’ve got and in the toughest conditions our country has to offer. It’s perfect. (says the guy not lining up behind the gate).
#29 for the 2020 season would be a guy we met last season at McNabb Valley MX in Minnedosa, Manitoba. Chase Marquier is the super-nice guy from Oklahoma with the fancy French name. Most people know there’s another person out there roaming the world with the same name as them, but I bet Chase is an original.
Chase was the fill-in rider for the Manluk Racing Team when Cheyenne Harmon did a number on himself at Round 2 in Prince George. He fit in so well with the team that it even took him to a Supercross run in 2020.
Here’s a look at his 2019 Canadian results:
We grabbed Chase for a chat to let everyone know more about the man from just west of the Ozark National Forest:
Direct Motocross: OK, since this is our first time doing this with you, I get to ask you all my first-timer questions to help people get to know you a little better up here. For starters, where are you from and how did you first get into Motocross?
Chase Marquier: I am from Newcastle, Oklahoma. How I got into motocross was from my dad. He raced in his younger days so he ended up getting my older brother a dirt bike and I believe my older brother talked my parents into getting me a KTM 50 when I was 4 years old.
What was your first race number and why did you choose it?
My first number was 23. I think that was my mom’s softball number so she suggested it and also my dad was number 3 when he raced.
Who did you come up through the amateur ranks with? Who were the hotshots you always had to deal with?
I came up with a solid group from 50’s to big bikes, some I’m still racing to this day. But guys like Alex Frye, Mark Worth, Mitchell Harrison, Benny Bloss, Tristan Charbonneau.. also when I would race an Open class I would always have guys like Adam Cianciarulo, Jordan Smith, Cooper Webb, and other big names like those.
Did you hit all the usual big American Amateur Nationals? WHat was your best race at them?
We tried to hit all the major amateur nationals. We’d do the Spring Nationals in Texas, then I would do the Areas and Regionals for Loretta Lynn’s, then we’d end the year down at Gatorback for the Mini O’s.
I would say my best race would have to be Loretta’s 2014. The week started off pretty rough but then I ended the week with a moto win in Schoolboy 2 and a 2nd in 450 B Stock.
What brought you to Canada in the first place?
What brought me to Canada? Well, last summer I didn’t have any plans for racing during the summer so I started up a lawn business and was doing that. The second outdoor round last summer Team Manluk’s 450 rider got injured, unfortunately, but they needed someone to ride the bike. They called me up and I couldn’t turn it down. Next thing I knew I was on a plane to Canada for round 3 of the outdoor series.
You missed the first 2 rounds of MX last summer and then did the rest of them. You saved your best finish for last at Walton Raceway for a 6th overall. What was your best race, as you saw it last summer up here?
Yeah, I missed the first few rounds last summer and then came in for the third round. I really didn’t even touch a bike after Vegas SX last year until I showed up at the 3rd round at McNabb’s. So I think I showed up for that race with 7 weeks off the bike straight into a mud fest race. Haha. I improved every weekend by quite a bit.
I would have to say things really started to click for me at Deschambault. I really liked that track and scenery. That was definitely my favorite track I raced on, but, as a whole race, Walton sticks out the most for me because I finally got a good start and ran up front for pretty much the whole moto with the guys that were winning races. That felt good.
What is your favourite part of Canada that you saw?
My favorite part was either Moncton or Deschambault. The scenery was top notch.
How would you sum up our series up here? Most people say it definitely has a different feel than the AMA MX Nationals.
I really enjoyed the series. It was a little bit more laid back than maybe the US races, but once the racing started it felt just like an AMA outdoor.
You also raced for the Canadian-backed Manluk Racing Team for Supercross. Can you tell us how that went for you?
I was fortunate enough to race the East coast SX series with the Manluk team. It was pretty good, but definitely should have been a lot better we know. The team and I had a little set back with getting bikes pretty late, nobody’s fault. Just how it goes sometimes. So, I didn’t get any off season riding or testing in. I rode a few times before the first round in Tampa which probably wasn’t a smart idea to go race because l wasn’t ready to go out there and try and push that hard.
I ended up not even making the main event at the first race and then I had a crash at Dallas where I fractured my hand. I took a few weeks off and came back for Daytona. I rode really well there, even qualified 6th out of practice and qualified pretty good out of the heat.
What are your thoughts on that stay in Utah for the final 7 rounds? Did you enjoy your time there?
The stay in Utah was amazing! I think that was the most fun month I’ve ever had. I was a huge fan of racing multiple times a week. Besides that, it was just awesome to be able to do some rad things that Utah has to offer that I don’t really get to back here in Oklahoma. The mountain biking was next level and the fishing was good. I just really enjoyed my time there.
If this COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t happened, what was your plan for racing this summer?
My plan for the summer was to come up to Canada with the Manluk racing team and race the Rockstar Triple Crown series. I’m very bummed that we weren’t able to make it up. I was looking forward to mixing it up with those guys this summer.
What have you been up to with all this down time?
I really haven’t had any down time at all, actually, After Daytona I immediately started training hard and testing hard for the Outdoors on my 450. Since I got home from Utah and once I found out I wasn’t going to be racing in Canada for the summer, I started working for my dad doing construction just to keep money coming in.
Our series is starting up in a couple weeks. Are we going to see the #29 up here at all?
Unfortunately, I won’t be up there to show that new number 29.
What does your near future look like? What are your plans, moving forward?
My future plans right now are really up in the air. Like I said, I’m working full-time right now, 6am to 6pm Monday – Friday, just building up some money. But my goal is to be on the starting line next year for Supercross, ultimately.
OK, that’s about enough of this interrogation! No wait, before I ask you to thank some sponsors, what kind of music do you listen to?
I listen to just about anything other than death metal and screamo. I like country the most but also like my rap and hip hop. Haha
OK, thanks for taking this time with us, Chase. Now, would you like to thank some sponsors? Hopefully, we see you somewhere soon.
Thanks for having me, Billy, always a pleasure! I would definitely like to thank some of the awesome people that made the year possible: Frank at Manluk, I can’t thank him enough truly! Steve and everyone involved with the team, Jim and Rydane at Merge Racing, FXR, Alpinestars, Eks Brand, Defy graphics, Pirelli, Guts, Rekluse, Vertex, UFO, Works Connection, Maxeys, and all the awesome sponsors that contributed to the team this year to make it possible for us riders.
Great rider and, more importantly, a great dude. It’s always nice to get to know people from different parts of the world. Thanks for taking the time with us this week, Chase. Good luck with your future racing.
The big news this week was that the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships has announced their schedule.
Here’s the official press release:
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
Confirms Nine Round Schedule for 2020 Season
|Late Summer Campaign Will Kick Off at Famed Loretta Lynn’s Ranch on August 15|
|MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (July 16, 2020) – Following extensive efforts by race organizers, local government and health officials, participants, sponsors, and series partners, MX Sports Pro Racing has announced the intention to host a nine-round schedule to complete the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. The season is scheduled to begin on August 15, with the inaugural professional event at famed Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. The next eight rounds will take place at well-known venues ranging from Washougal MX Park in Washington to Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota. The 2020 series will also feature the first-ever Pro Motocross “doubleheader” at RedBud MX in Buchanan, Michigan.|
The first half of the season will open with five consecutive rounds. Following the debut of the Loretta Lynn’s National, the schedule will then travel to the scenic Pacific Northwest for the Washougal National, on August 22, before heading to the greater Indianapolis area for the Ironman National, on August 29. From there, Michigan’s legendary RedBud MX will give way to the season’s lone off weekend after it hosts a pair of races around the Labor Day holiday, on Saturday, September 5, and Tuesday, September 8. Racing will resume with the Spring Creek National in Minnesota, on September 19, before heading to Florida for the WW Ranch National, on September 26. The penultimate round of the championship will take place in Colorado with the Thunder Valley National, on October 3, before crowning a pair of champions in Southern California at the season-ending Fox Raceway National, on October 10.
|All events on the 2020 schedule will adhere to social distancing guidelines and health management protocols. Each round will be conducted in accordance with local and state ordinances, as identified between the event organizer and local officials. The paddock will be closed to the general public, with access limited to properly credentialed parties only and facemasks required at all times. Hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer stands will be placed throughout the venues and personal hygiene education signage will be prominent.|
“While we continue to navigate through these challenging and continuously evolving times of the coronavirus pandemic, we are confident that we’ve developed the framework for a high-caliber championship schedule that can be successfully implemented,” said Roy Janson, MX Sports Pro Racing Competition Director. “Although we respect the unpredictability of scheduling any live events during these uncertain times and are sensitive to the hardships many people are going through, we remain committed to making our best effort to host the world’s most prestigious motocross championship. Thanks to the tireless and cooperative efforts of our event organizers, competitors, sponsors and partners, not to mention the ongoing communication alongside local officials, we have an opportunity to prioritize the health and well-being of everyone. We will conduct these events in a safe environment by implementing several policies, all in an effort to control as many variables as possible.”
Select events will feature limited spectator capacity, while others will be conducted exclusively for participants, professional and amateur, with attendance limited to crew members and family. All events will feature an amateur racing component, both before and after the professional race day. Ticketing and amateur race program information will be posted Monday, July 20, on the event websites.
“From the moment we faced our first bout of adversity surrounding the coronavirus we have diligently tried to find a way to make the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship a reality,” said Davey Coombs, President of MX Sports Pro Racing. “Needless to say, it’s been a tumultuous year for everyone, and I think we’re on Plan ‘W’ by now. But we’re racers at heart, and our business is founded on bringing together fellow racers for some of the world’s most competitive and high-profile off-road motorcycle events. We know the motocross community is as passionate about this championship as we are, as it’s the lifeblood of the sport, and it’s been our goal to bring everyone, from riders to fans alike, the series they deserve. We’re confident that this schedule will accomplish that, and we look forward to providing the joy and sense of normalcy that American motocross can bring during these incredibly uncertain times.”
|For information about the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, please visit: |
September 5th and 8th at Red Bud is a Saturday and a Tuesday. If borders are open and they get their coronavirus numbers in check, that would be a pretty fun few days of camping in Buchanan, Michigan!
The first round at Loretta Lynn‘s will be interesting, too. People always say that the track there at the dude ranch is best suited for Superminis, so Pros racing 250’s and 450’s on it will be something. I’m sure they’ll tinker with the layout a little to make it better suited, but we’ll have to wait and see what they do.
Also, Team USA announced they will not be partaking in the 2020 Motocross of Nations that was recently moved from France to England.
There hasn’t been any talk about Team Canada, so I think it’s pretty safe to say we won’t be making the trip across the pond to the motherland, either. It’s the weirdest year most of us have ever seen, so nothing would really surprise me anymore!
Things have been pretty busy here in southwestern Ontario the past few weeks with the AMO Ontario Provincial Championships (OPC) taking place between Walton Raceway and Gopher Dunes.
I had to miss Round 1 in the sand but managed to make the past couple rounds. To say the numbers have been pretty good would be an understatement! 680 entries at Round 2 in Walton!
Last Sunday at Gopher Dunes saw somewhere around 530 entries and many of our top Canadian Pro riders are already in the area and taking advantage of this extra track time on the Pro National tracks.
I know the Carlson Racing riders are now here in Ontario from BC, so I expect we’ll be seeing Wyatt Waddell, Keylan Meston, and Davey Fraser in action this week.
I just spoke with Keylan and he’s currently relaxing just east of Toronto with his mechanic. He says’ he’s a question mark for Walton this weekend but that Davey and Wyatt will be there.
Teammate Casey Keast won’t be at Walton this weekend and is a question mark for Round 1 as he is nursing a broken wrist back to full strength. We hope to see him back as soon as he’s ready. I really want to see what a rider with his talent can do with the support of a solid team and an amazing group of people around him in his corner. Get back ASAP, Casey.
I always joke about the Honda team of #43 Ryan Derry and #57 Dario Zecca winning the “Congeniality Award” easily in 2020, but let’s not count this band of cross-Canada brothers out too soon!
ICYMI, here are some of the videos we put together from last weekend at Gopher Dunes:
I’ve also heard that fierce 450 competitors, Cole Thompson and Dylan Wright, won’t be at Walton this weekend. Too bad because their races have been amazing to watch! What happens when we throw Phil Nicoletti, Tyler Medaglia, and Matt Goerke in there is going to be a blast next week.
We’ve got this one last event to prove that we can all stick to the COVID-19 restrictions and regulations. If you are coming to Walton this weekend, please do what you’re asked and do not be the one who gets racing shut down here in Ontario!
Stay socially distanced, don’t wander pit to pit chatting with friends, and wear a mask when in the staging and starting line area.
These are pretty simple rules, and jumping through these hoops is what it takes to ensure we are able to have a Pro series. It wouldn’t take too many fools to screw it all up for the rest of the Canadian Industry, so make sure you’re not the one who brings this all down.
Starting today, Ontario has passed on to Stage 3 in the recovery and reopening of the province. Some of what that means is we’re allowed to have indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100. Always following distancing and mask rules.
As I type, Greg Poisson is on his way to Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada in Montreal to pick up a 2021 FC350 media bike for our upcoming video series.
I don’t envy him crossing the entire city twice on a late Friday afternoon, but the thought of being one of the first people with a 2021 model 350 will make the stop-and-go traffic slightly more tolerable…slightly.
Huge “Thank you!” to the gang over there at Husky.
We’re excited to be involved in this project that will take Gregg from racing retirement back to the starting line all in an effort to raise awareness for Mental Health issues. #breakthestigma
Stay tuned for some upcoming videos documenting the journey.
Speaking of which, it was really big of #28 Sam Gaynor to post something to his timeline about this very topic. Here’s his post:
Thanks for taking a stand in this area, Sam. #breakthestigma
Other big news this week was the cancelation of the Eastern Canadian Amateur National (ECAN) at MX Deschambault, just west of Quebec City.
Daniel Thibault and his gang always put on a great event and it’s a shame we won’t be going this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like at the Walton TransCan, it’s always great to build up through the week of amateur racing to get ready for the Pro National on the weekend.
As the Press Release says, they’ll be back in 2021 when everything gets back to normal.
OK, I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my Saturday. There are lots of practice tracks in the London area, so I really need to get the DMX YZ250 test bike ready to ride. Any suggestions as to where we should go ride?
Have a great weekend, and I’ll see everyone at Walton Raceway on Sunday for one more “local” race before we head straight into the Rockstar Triple Crown Tour.