Frid’Eh Update #3 Presented by Race Tech

Frid’Eh Update #3 Presented by Race Tech

Frid’Eh Update #3 Presented by Race Tech

By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford

Week #3 belongs to the rider who’s been a Pro racer since the tender age of 14, Colton Facciotti. | Bigwave photo

Sometimes, you have to take a moment and say that again: Colton Facciotti has been a Pro racer since he was 14. Do you remember being 14? I do. And I can tell you I wasn’t ready to be taking anything seriously, let alone the very competitive and dangerous sport of Pro Motocross! Most are still looking forward to racing 80’s for two more years at 14!

I was still living out in Vancouver when Colton turned Pro. I remember watching him at the local tracks and at Washougal. I remember thinking he should have been doing better. I also remember being floored when I learned how young he still was!

Most kids are worried about being picked on in the high school hallways, not lining up next to JSR and Marco Dubé at a Pro National on the weekend.

I’m also impressed when someone can stay that competitive in anything for that many years. Myself, I stagnate and find myself moving on to something new. Colton just finished 3rd in the 2017 Rockstar Canadian MX Nationals behind Matt Goerke and Christophe Pourcel. He’s not even showing any signs of slowing down. How can that be? Oh, it be (Elaine from Seinfeld)!

Colton is currently down at GPF in Cairo, Georgia, beginning his training for his run at the Rockstar Triple Crown $100K that starts in Abbotsford, BC with Arenacross on February 24th.

We grabbed him for a chat to see how he keeps doing it year after year and what his goals are for 2018 and further. I’ve been so preoccupied with getting my camera home from Kingston (7 hours east of my hometown) before heading west for X Games and Supercross, that I didn’t give Colton enough time, so I apologize.

We couldn’t have Colton’s week without this shot of him proposing to Jocelyn! | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Colton. We haven’t seen you since you finished 3rd in the 2017 Canadian Nationals. Let’s talk about that series, first. How did this season stack up against the others? Were you happy with your results?

Colton Facciotti: I think every season gets tougher and with that you got to find different ways to get the job done. The season started off a little rough, from there it got better but it was a little on the late side.

It seems every year there’s a new challenger from south of the border. You’ve pretty much seen them all! Who’s been the toughest rider to come north that you’ve had to battle?

I’ll go with (Davi) Millsaps. I think he’s one of the few guys that didn’t think coming up to Canada would be a cake walk.

I found Christophe Pourcel to be a very interesting racer and person. Did you get to know him much? How was it racing a former World Champion and 2-time Lites SX champ?

I really didn’t talk to him very much other than some friendly chit chat. Racing against him was good, I was expecting him to be really aggressive like a lot of the US guys, but he was very calculated and I respect that.

What did you do after the season ended? Did you take any vacation time?

Nothing exciting just took it easy for a little bit and enjoyed some time with the kids.

Here’s an oldie but a goodie of Colton racing the Washougal National way back in the day! | Bigwave photo

You’ve got lots of indoor experience behind you, but really haven’t done much the past few years. You’ll be doing all 3 disciplines in 2018. Are you looking forward to it? How is your prep different than past years?

I’m really looking forward to it. I see myself as a good all around guy and I think consistency is going to play a big part in it. As far as prep goes, it’s somewhat the same just a little earlier.

As a competitor, are you looking forward to all the new changes here in Canada? What will you notice different, as a racer?

I’m looking forward to it. I’m not sure what to expect, there’s so many changes in a lot of aspects, but overall I think it’s going to play out well for everyone.

Not that you’re old, but you’re getting up there. What do you do to stay motivated year after year? Do you change your program at all?

I’m old you don’t got to beat around the bush (Laughs). Motivation is tough but there’s always ways to find stuff that motivates you.

He’s been at this game at the highest level for a long time, but still finds ways to keep it fun. | Bigwave photo

You’re down at GPF again this year training alongside your MX2 teammate, Dylan Wright. Will your family get the chance to be down there with you again this winter?

Yes, it’s great to have Dylan down here, we can keep each other motivated and push each other as well. I’m hoping the family can come down for a bit. If not, I will have to head back a few times. It’s a struggle to travel with kids and the wife works so it makes thing a little more complicated.

How is the new Honda 450? Have you got it dialed yet? Can you feel any improvements on the track?

It’s great, they made a few more improvements to it this year and we got it really dialed in last year, so I’m supper happy with it.

What are your goals for this coming season? Is the 100K the carrot keeping you focused?

That helps, for sure! Goals are simple: to win races and be consistent.

The Rockstar Triple Crown $100K will help keep Colton motivated at least another year. | Bigwave photo

How many more years do you have in you?

That’s a good question. I’m just taking it year by year now so we will see.

Some younger readers out there may not realize, but you’ve been a Pro since you were 14! What advice can you give young racers about being in the game that long?

Be persistent and have goals.

OK, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. Sorry I got these to you so late. Good luck with the rest of your preparations. Who would you like to thank?

No problem. Sorry for some of the short answers. I got this today and trying to get it back to you quick, but big thanks to my wife for being the best mom out there and letting me do my thing training down here, and also big thanks to the Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing team and all our sponsors.


Week #3 is presented by Race Tech.

Founded in 1984 by Paul Thede Race Tech specialized in Motocross Suspension. In the early ’90’s Street/Road Race Products were developed contributing to Jamie James AMA Championship. 1994 marked the first official Race Tech Suspension Seminar, G3-S Custom Series Shocks released in 2008, Race Tech Suspension Bible in 2010.

Today, Race Tech offers Suspension Services for every type of Powersports Vehicle.

Mission:

Provide the best in Custom Suspension for Handling, Comfort & Safety along Customer Understanding of Suspension Operation


JEFF McCONKEY


Monster Energy Supercross

Happy Friday, guys. We are 2 rounds into the ’18 Monster Energy Supercross season, and we have already had some crazy events. Round 1, we had heavy favourite Eli Tomac go down hard while leading, forcing a DNF. Round 2 came and there was the early news that Eli would not be able to complete in the night show. A visibly upset Tomac explained how he tried, but just couldn’t do it.

Eli Tomac will be back on the gate at A2. | Bigwave photo

Fast forward to the night show and heat race #2. The one whoop section was big and gnarly, we all know what happens then. Round 1 race winner and points leader Marvin Musquin tends to jump through instead of skimming. Well, disaster struck when Marvin clipped a whoop and rode the front wheel for a bit, eventually pile driving himself awkwardly at the end. He got up holding both wrist and shoulder, and was forced to hand over the points lead after electing to sit out the rest of the night.

As of right now, Eli is in for A2, and there is still no official word on Marvin. But life goes on, and the races will continue with or without.

El Hombre Jason Anderson took full advantage of the absences, and is now our points leader. I really don’t think it was a “gimme” as Jason rode great at A1, and looked even better at Houston. We all know that Jason trains with Aldon Baker. He has been on the program for 4 years, but this off season he changed things up a little and spent more time in California away from the Baker Factory. Anderson was just goofing off in Cali, he still had his program and he was spending a lot of time developing the new bike. End result after 2 rounds, he looks as great as ever and he now holds a very big points lead over the two earlier favourites, Musquin and Tomac.

One rider that has also stood out early is Weston Peick. Weston went from a full on privateer, to a very impressive factory rider in only a few years. He looks very comfortable on the Suzuki, and his fitness gets better and better. In the past, it looked like Peick tried to muscle his way around in Supercross too much, but it really looks like he has figured out the finesse side of it and it’s working well for him. I still don’t think he has the flat out raw speed to come through the pack to get a top 5, but with the starts he has been getting, he doesn’t have to worry about that yet.

#34 Weston Peick has stood out so far this season. | Bigwave photo

Although Peick has had a great off season and start to the season, the same can’t be said for teammate, Justin Bogle. Justin was coming off a 2017 season where he looked great in SX at times, and where he won an Outdoor National, straight up. It looked like he was ready to join or at least challenge for a spot in the top group of the sport. That was until a nasty crash at Monster Cup, and we haven’t seen Bogle since.

Bad luck for Bogle equals good luck for Malcolm Stewart. Yes, Stewart is a super talented former East Coast 250 champ, but come on, Mookie. If you aren’t racing outdoors, you best be putting in more SX laps than anyone, and you better be in tip top shape. Malcolm showed up last season at A2, and he didn’t have the fitness to challenge in the main, and I’m willing to bet that this year will be very similar.

#47 Malcolm Stewart needs to improve his fitness. | Bigwave photo

Speaking of fitness, look no further than Ken Roczen. Ken could be a poster boy for any fitness club or equipment, not to mention how hard he has busted his ass and altered his life to get back to racing. He won his heat race this past weekend and led some laps in the main before finishing 2nd behind Anderson. Do I think Ken can beat Jason yet? No, not yet, but after he irons out some small issues, he should win a few.

You see, Ken’s left arm is obviously a little weaker than his un-injured right arm. Ken has been having some issues with his right arm pumping up, reason being that he is compensating for the surgically repaired left. No, Ken doesn’t look weak or bad out there, it is just that at this level you need to be almost perfect to win against this stacked field. I’m sure Ken and his amazing team and group around him will figure it out sooner than later.

This weekend’s race will be the 3rd of the season and 2nd in Anaheim. A2 will hopefully be a little more technical, but not as rutted or as squishy as last year’s event. We may have Tomac and Musquin back, but I don’t expect either to be competing for the win. Here are my predictions for A2.

450 Class

1st Jason Anderson

2nd Ken Roczen

3rd Cole Seely

4th Weston Peick

5th Justin Barcia

Jason Anderson wins again this week at A2. | Bigwave photo

In 250 action, Aaron Plessinger leads the way back to A2 with the red plate as the points leader. Nobody was going to stop Aaron and his lanky frame for the win last Saturday night. He made it look easy, even after a not-so-great start.

The biggest question so far in the 250 West… Where is Justin Hill? I’ve seen his bike, it looks great with the #1, but the poor thing has barely seen the top 10. Like I have said in the past, unless Hill is dealing with a secret injury, I have no idea why he’s struggling so much. Yes, the RMZ250 is outdated, but you have to believe the JGR gang have given Justin a bike that can at least hang with the top dogs of the class. I hope we see Justin near the front soon because he was so much fun to watch last season.

Where is THIS Justin Hill? | Bigwave photo

I am expecting that we will see a much better Joey Savatgy this week, after a tough week at The Farm, and I also think we will see a better Adam Cianciarulo. AC had a few brain farts last weekend and it really cost him. Adam can be hard on himself, so you can bet that he put in double time with his trainer, Nick Wey, and he will be more polished for A2. Here are my predictions for the 250 Class.

250 West

1st Joey Savatgy

2nd Adam Cianciarulo

3rd Aaron Plessinger

4th Shane McElrath

5th Mitchell Oldenburg

Joey Savatgy gets the A2 250 win. | Bigwave photo


Project 7C | Blair Morgan’s Winter X Games Snow Bike

Superman, Captain Canada, or simply, Blair, Blair Morgan will be on the line at the Winter X Games in Aspen next week. | Bigwave photo

Closer to home, there has been a project going on at the OTSFF Rockstar Yamaha shop. I have no idea how it came together, but I couldn’t be more excited. Andre Laurin‘s crew of Steve Simms, Squish (Josh Cox), and some fantastic fabricating and welding by Jason Burke have created an amazing snowbike. This isn’t just an ordinary 450 where they slapped on a track kit and a ski. This bike is being developed for someone special.

If you have ever ridden a snowmobile, post 1997, you owe a lot of the technology to one man. This one guy changed the sport of snowmobiling and snowcross when he basically stood up and took off from the competition. I’m talking about the legendary 7c Blair Morgan.

We all know how great Blair was on a bike, but if you’re new, you should maybe hit up some YouTube and get ready to be amazed. I first saw Blair race snowcross at the Ottawa Snowcross in 1997. I was standing outside of the stadium warming up when I could see this guy jumping from over the wall. He went on to destroy the pro class and throw down some heel clickers at the checkered flags. His style was unheard of, and he honestly changed snowmobiling forever.

The Project 7C Blair Morgan Snow Bike coming together for X Games. | Steve Simms photo

Fast forward many many years, and although things have changed for Blair, he is still one of the greatest of all time, if not the greatest. And we can’t forget what he has done on a bike in Canada, or his US Open win, or his many amazing rides for Team Canada at the Motocross of Nations.

Blair will be back at X-Games competing in 2018, and I bet he will have one of the best receptions ever. Best of luck to Blair, and a huge thumbs up to everyone who had a part in Project 7c. You guys killed it!

Can’t wait to see this beauty in action next weekend! | Jason Burke photo


That is it for me this week. Have a great weekend, stay warm, and #smileforBC, #liftwithscott, and #4estrella.

 


BILLY RAINFORD


Thanks, Jeff. Yep, seeing Blair Morgan back in action next week is going to be the highlight for an awful lot of people. I’ll be backing out of the driveway to cram on several thousand more miles on the #DMXVan at some point the middle of next week. I’ll tell you one thing, at the prices they charge up on the hill, I’ll be spending as little time as possible in the Greater Aspen area!

My plan is to head down the mountain and into Carbondale, like I did last winter. I found a place that came straight out of the 1950’s that was quite reasonably priced. Sure, it literally looked like something out of the Psycho movie, but hey, the price was right and I made it through to see the daylight!

Our old friend, Allison Kennedy Davies, will be there on assignment for Racer X to do the full story on Blair’s return to racing. Allison is one of those writer/photographers who’s always taken the high road and is greatly respected in the moto industry, ever since here illustrious days at Racer X Canada. In fact, when I see she’s commented on a photo of ours on Instagram or wherever, it always means a lot to us.

It will be great to hang out with her at the races again, and I’m looking forward to sponging some more photographic knowledge from her over a tasty, apres-X-Games, malt beverage.

Speaking of Racer X Canada, I mentioned in last week’s Update that I uncovered all those Racer X Canada hats I found last year. Since then, several have been sold out of the trunk of my car and sent off to BC, but there are still a bunch left. If you’re interested, I’ve only got SM-M sized navy or black left. You would have to e-transfer money plus shipping and I’d be more than happy to fire a few out to you. They are $20 each, taxes included.

I’ve got a bunch of SM-M navy and black Racer X Canada hats. $20 + shipping and they’re yours! Email me at billy@directmotocross.com to reserve yours today.


Winter X Games

OK, let’s talk about something. Somehow, 4-time Supercross champion, Ryan Villopoto, has skipped qualifying and is allowed to race at the Winter X Games in the Snow BikeCross event. I think he’s even stealing Nolan Heppner‘s #44, too! I guess when you’re one of the greatest riders to ever throw a leg over a bike, you get certain privileges. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a Monster Energy athlete, either.

I’m sure nobody will complain about letting someone in with his credentials, unless he wins…

Next stop Aspen @xgames 🤘🏻

A post shared by Ryan Villopoto (@ryanvillopoto) on

Ryan Villopoto Instagram post | Octane Labs photo

He may be one of the greats, but everyone I’ve talked to said riding a Snow Bike isn’t the same as riding a dirt bike or a snowmobile. It lies somewhere in the middle and the skills don’t just appear out of nowhere.

Having said that, I’m not putting my money on RV for the win. Canadian Brock Hoyer is the defending gold medalist, but it’s not going to be easy for him.

Yes, he’s the ‘Godfather’ of the sport, but the rest of the field is closing the gap. In fact, a few riders at last year’s event were hot on his heels, but mistakes took riders out, one by one.

Stomping on the brake tends to send these things into an out-of-control slide and into the weeds. It bit every rider last year except the smooth and consistent Colton Haaker, but his name isn’t on the list of competitors this year.

Fellow Canadian Cody Matechuk showed great speed last year and I expect him to be right up there fighting for the win. Another rider who shows skill in every aspect of two wheel racing is Axell Hodges. With another year of riding these things, he will be a contender. And then there’s snowmobile great, Kody Kamm. I don’t know how he’s going to do, but he’s sure used to racing in the slippery snow conditions. And Nolan Heppner looked great last year, too.

CSRA forst year champion, Nathan Bles, is another Canadian headed to Colorado. This will be a big test for him to line up against the best riders the young sport has to offer. With a perfect race, he could also be a contender for a medal.

This will be no cake walk for the defending champion.

Defending X Games champion, Brock Hoyer, will be in tough to repeat as the Snow BikeCross champion in 2018 as the rest of the field plays catch up. | Bigwave photo


Amsoil Arenacross | Round 3 Wilkes-Barre, PA

It’s a pretty exciting time for Canadian Motocross, as we’ve got riders spread out across the continent racing. The Amsoil Arenacross Championship heads to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, this weekend and that means Canadian, #184 Tanner Ward, is back in action.

He made the night show in both classes last week in Worcester, MA, so he’s starting to get the hang of what it takes in this most aggressive form of moto. It’s all about laying down a fast lap in qualifying because they will line you up in the back row for the heats, otherwise.

2018 AMSOIL Arenacross

AX Lites East Class – POINTS
    Place – Name
Number – Hometown
      Total Points
  1st – HEATH HARRISON
#14 – SILVERHILL, AL
31
  2nd – GARRETT MARCHBANKS
#282 – COALVILLE, UT
31
  3rd – ISAAC TEASDALE
#21 – ROBBINSVILLE, NC
28 (-3)
  4th – JOSH MOSIMAN
#71 – MENIFEE, CA
18 (-13)
  5th – TJ ALBRIGHT
#422 – MOUNT MARION, NY
13 (-18)
  6th – JORDAN BAILEY
#133 – ORLANDO, FL
11 (-20)
  7th – LUKE NEESE
#125 – JAMESTOWN, NC
11 (-20)
  8th – JEREMY HAND
#332 – MANTUA, OH
7 (-24)
  9th – TANNER BASSO
#727 – ALPINE, CA
5 (-26)
  10th – JERRY ROBIN
#189 – CORCORAN, MN
4 (-27)
  11th – TRAVIS DELNICKI
#248 – WOODSTOCK VALLE, CT
3 (-28)
  12th – MICHAEL LANG
#661 – SAUGERTIES, NY
2 (-29)
  13th – BROCK PAPI
#144 – GROVELAND, FL
1 (-30)
  14th – SHANE SEWELL
#351 – WESTVILLE, IN
1 (-30)
250AX Class 
    Place – Name
Number – Hometown
      Total Points
  1st – GAVIN FAITH
#1 – DUNCOMBE, IA
66
  2nd – JACOB HAYES
#90 – GREENSBORO, NC
60 (-6)
  3rd – CHRIS BLOSE
#2 – PHOENIX, AZ
54 (-12)
  4th – DANIEL HERRLEIN
#9 – BETHESDA, OH
43 (-23)
  5th – GARED STEINKE
#4 – WOODLAND, CA
43 (-23)
  6th – KYLE BITTERMAN
#581 – WEST PELZER, SC
39 (-27)
  7th – TRAVIS SEWELL
#3 – WESTVILLE, IN
31 (-35)
  8th – JACOB WILLIAMSON
#373 – SWARTZ CREEK, MI
31 (-35)
  9th – MICHAEL MOSIMAN
#64 – SEBASTOPOL, CA
30 (-36)
  10th – SHANE SEWELL
#351 – WESTVILLE, IN
27 (-39)
  11th – JACE OWEN
#5 – MATTOON, IL
26 (-40)
  12th – LANE STALEY
#740 – CHILLICOTHE, OH
23 (-43)
  13th – TJ ALBRIGHT
#422 – MOUNT MARION, NY
18 (-48)
  14th – CODY VAN BUSKIRK
#7 – HARVARD, IL
17 (-49)
  15th – HEATH HARRISON
#14 – SILVERHILL, AL
11 (-55)
  16th – CARTER GORDON
#151 – MATTOON, IL
11 (-55)
  17th – JARED LESHER
#13 – BALL GROUND, GA
10 (-56)
  18th – TANNER BASSO
#727 – ALPINE, CA
7 (-59)
  19th – JEREMY HAND
#332 – MANTUA, OH
6 (-60)
  20th – STEVE ROMAN
#731 – APOLLO, PA
3 (-63)

We’ll be sure to grab Tanner for a chat early next week to catch up on how things are going. Tanner’s plan is to head west for round 1 of the Canadian Rockstar Triple Crown Series in Abbotsford, BC.

Fellow Canadian racer, #664 Kieran Doherty, has been out of action since he raced the Amateur Day at round 1 in Dayton, Ohio, and snapped his wrist. I know he’s there with his team, so we’ll bug him and his dad, Terry Doherty, for some photos throughout the day.


Brock Leitner | Houston Supercross Conversation

Canadian #497 Brock Leitner is out west chasing the Supercross dream. He made his first-ever night show last week at round 2 in Houston, Texas. He was pretty pumped, to say the least. We’ll be talking with him each week to find out how it went Saturday night.

In case you missed it, here’s our chat from this past Monday:

 

We check in with Canadian #497 after he made his first-ever Supercross night program in Houston. | Bigwave photo

Motocross is all about progression. Of course, you dream of making it to the ‘big show’ under the lights of the stadiums and Monster Energy Supercross, but every rider knows there are many steps before you take that last one. Well, Canadian rider #497 Brock Leitner just took the next step.

Brock made his first night program at round 2 in Houston, Texas, Saturday night. On a track that was trickier than it appeared on TV, Brock rolled his bike out into the packed stadium for the first time, and raced the heat and LCQ. He didn’t make it into the main, but he gained the experience that will help make that final step more attainable.

We’ll be grabbing Brock each week to talk about the weekend, so sit back and check out how Brock’s visit to The Longhorn State went.


Direct Motocross: Hello, Brock. So, you stepped into the stadium for round 2 in Houston and onto the track for track walk. What did you think of it?

Brock Leitner: I mean, the track was good. For the most part, it was pretty simple. They had an on-on-off that was impossible to do, so I don’t even know why they made it. They should have made it like a double-triple-triple or something and use way less dirt. But it was good.

Looking at the whoops, I was a little nervous with the one set, to be honest. It was a long set of whoops and they were pretty big. I tried not to let it get to me too much because I knew that the other set before the finish line was easier. The rest of the track was easy.

Looking at the finish line on track walk, me and Austin Politelli looked at each other and both thought it looked like the Gopher Dunes finish line! They had so much sand because of the hurricane that they had, all the dirt was saturated. That’s why the track was so soft. They had to add so much sand to it to make it dry.

And then how was practice?

When I went out for practice (Brock was in 250 C Group), I jumped out first. That’s something I usually don’t do. After talking with my trainers, they said it was something I needed to do was to get out first and have a clear track. So, first lap I obviously just doubled some stuff and then on the second lap I started blitzing the whoops and I did everything on the second lap, which was good. It shows that I’m adapting to the track good and I don’t need to have a bunch of time on it before I figure it out, so I was happy with that.

The biggest thing was coming into the long set of whoops. It was weird having such a long straightaway before a set of whoops. That’s another thing that I’ve never really had. To have that was like a totally different technique to come into the whoops. They both had entry whoops which was really good.

Luckily for me, being the first practice, I had fresh whoops. That was good. But when I went out for qualifying, the track was totally different. The long set of whoops wasn’t even skimable, really, for me. I really struggled with that so I just tried to find a couple ways to jump through the first few and then skim the last half.

The set before the finish line literally just got 5 ruts straight across. You just picked one and tried to keep it straight through the whole thing because it was so tough. The dirt was so tacky that your tires would grab every little notch and just kind of pitch you. That was tough.

I mean, the whoops got a lot of people! (Marvin) Musquin, Justin Cooper…everyone.

“I tried to stay calm, but it’s so hard to stay calm when there are that many nerves going on.” | Bigwave photo

I was impressed that you went out first in your qualifier, and I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to watch Race Day Live, but so were they. You got a ton of TV time.

Ya, I actually watched it last night, just because my dad and everyone was saying that it was a lot about me, so I wanted to actually see myself ride. It was pretty cool. This week we’re working on a lot of things that I noticed that I struggled with.

Watching on the weekend, I’ve got a bad habit that I’ve got to break because it’s going to bring down my times. Watching my corner speed, I need to be more aggressive in my turns. The rest of the track, I’m getting more aggressive, but…I’m more aggressive in between the rhythms and everything, but now I just need to start coming into the turns harder and getting off the brakes earlier to allow for more rolling speed. Getting off the brakes, the bike will corner a lot better too. I have a bad habit of kind of dragging my back brake.

You’re always going to watch yourself on video and think you should have gone into the corners faster.

Even just today at Lake Elsinore, I came through the whoops super quick and at the end I hit a little notch and it kind of pitched me sideways. I was kind of going through the whoops drifting, kind of. I’ve never come into that corner that quick so it scared me but it was like a good scare, if you know what I mean. It shows me that I can come into the corner this fast and I’m still able to do the corner correctly. I just need to start getting out of my comfort zone. That’s what we’re trying to work on, getting out of my comfort zone and bringing more intensity and more speed to everything.

You go and watch the A practice and you feel like you’re going into the corners fast but then you look at the video and it’s like wow, I’m holding my brakes on this long, I’m pausing at my turns 3..4..5 tenths of a second and then finally coming out where all the top guys it’s just one fluid motion, and that’s what I’m trying to work on this week.

Well, not to point out the completely obvious, but that’s called getting better at Motocross.

(Laughs) Ya, no, exactly, and it’s cool for me because I’m starting to see and be able to criticize myself rather than always having to have someone say, “Hey, you’re doing this, you’re sucking here, you’re OK here, but there’s this that you can do.” I’m finally starting to criticize myself.

You’re up against the best riders in the world now, so you want to know what you have to do to keep getting closer to that level. So, you qualified 36th. How was that? Were you pumped with that?

I was obviously really happy and excited to make it. Before I figured out that I was 36th, I was right around 32nd and then some people threw down a lap at the end of the B practice because I was quicker than a few people in the B. When I got told that I was 36th, I was still happy but I was kind of bummed at the same time. I’ve got to make it so that I’m not like right on the bubble.

36th isn’t 38th or 39th but I want to be 22-29 or 32 or even better than that. I want to be able to give myself some room to not be stressed. I want to be able to go out and know that I don’t have to be stressed and be hoping that someone doesn’t go and throw down a bunch of fast laps.

“Literally, like 10 minutes before I went up for the gate drop, I was talking to my dad and my mom was already up in the stands and I just told him I’d talk to him at the end of the night. I told him I loved him and I started getting choked up and almost like crying.” | Bigwave photo

Ya, for sure. You don’t want the night program to be in question, you want to know how high up into the qualifying you can get.

Ya, exactly. No different than my first year racing the Canadian Nationals, now that I’ve made one, I’m definitely not going to be OK with not making one. Like, I know what it takes and I know how much more work I’ve got to do, so, like I said in my (Instagram @brockleitner) post, it’s back to the drawing board this week to do my homework.

You got 17th in your heat race, but had to start from like 4th from the outside.

Ya, I was like 4 or 5 from the outside. I had a good jump, but as soon as I hit the plastic on the gate and then the dirt on the other side was really blue-groove, I could feel myself spinning on the dirt, as weird as that sounds. I hooked up so good with that mesh starting pad and then it was just spinning a quarter of the way out. That was tough.

And then, I was trying to look at the track, sitting on the line, to see how the whoops looked and everything. I could tell that the whoops were peaked where they were rolled all day. When I first hit them at the start of the day, they were rolled. They were easier to hit. It’s not like we get a lap to kind of check them out, it’s just the gate drops and you’ve got to go for it!

So, the first lap I came around and I just committed and I got through them good, and then the 2nd lap I came in with a bit more speed and I was gaining speed through the whoops and I my front end skipped one whoop and ended up going over the bars. That was a bit of a bummer and took the wind out of my sails. I got back up and tried to shake it off.

In the LCQ, I knew I was going to have a bad gate pick, but I felt a lot better. Like everything, that first gate drop and first time actually racing in a Supercross stadium with that many people…I tried to stay calm, but it’s so hard to stay calm when there are that many nerves going on.

I felt a lot more comfortable. I felt good on the track. I rode more aggressive. I kind of brought it in on people and I wasn’t nervous or timid or anything like that. I felt like I did in qualifying or at the practice track.

With that being said, now that I have the first race jitters out, now I feel like I’ll be able to be a lot more calm and do better for the next ones.

My dad, my girlfriend…they were all talking to me like, “So, are you excited?!” I told them I was but that it hadn’t really set in yet. That was right when I found out that we were in, for sure.

Literally, like 10 minutes before I went up for the gate drop, I was talking to my dad and my mom was already up in the stands and I just told him I’d talk to him at the end of the night. I told him I loved him and I started getting choked up and almost like crying. It was actually setting in. It’s a dream come true but it’s one of those things that’s off the bucket list but there’s more to go. It’s that stepping stone and I’m getting over the hurdle and getting across each little bridge as it comes.

That was the first hurdle to get over and it’s not an easy hurdle to get over. So, when it set in I kind of got emotional. It kind of makes me feel like a baby but…I don’t even know how to word it. I guess I was just happy and proud of my accomplishment.

I’m pretty good friends with Josh Grant‘s mechanic (Travis Parry) and I saw them sitting under the tunnel waiting to go for opening ceremonies and me and my mechanic rolled up and I walked over and put my arm on his shoulder and he looked at me and is like, “Hell ya! You made it?!” He was just so pumped for me. He’s seen me ever since I started riding Supercross so it was cool to kind of check that off the list and now just keep progressing.

Now it’s time to head into A2 like he belongs there! Good luck, Brock. | Bigwave photo

So, it was almost like a ‘welcome to the club’ type thing.

Ya, exactly. It was cool, Travis and even Josh was pumped and then Josh Hansen and Robbie Feder. It’s cool because I know those people and I have those people to go talk to to see and ask questions rather than not know anyone at all.

So, what’s the game plan this week? You just got in from a recovery bicycle ride. How does the rest of the week look?

The rest of the week, I’ve got riding tomorrow (Tuesday), and then a day off Wednesday, and then riding Thursday, and then another day off on Friday to get ready for the weekend. I’ll be working on some sections, putting the motos in, working my weak points, and just doing some circuits and more cycling and some running, and that’s about it for the week.

A lot of it is just maintaining at the gym right now. Not too much pushing like the way we were before the season started, so it’s definitely a little bit different. I’m used to getting my butt kicked in the gym, but it’s not nearly as intense as it was when I first got down here, up until Anaheim 1.

It’s good and I’ve got a good group of people and they know what it takes to succeed and have progress, so it’s just awesome to have those people at the track with me.

Well, congratulations on making your first one! That’s a big deal. Good luck this weekend and we’ll check in with you again early next week after A2.

Sounds good. Thank you very much, I appreciate it.

Brock’s sponsors:

Redline Powercraft, Kawasaki Canada, ROQ Power Tongs, Strikt Gear, 100% Goggles, Virus Action Sport Performance, DT1 Filters, Pro Taper, SKVI, Temecula Motorsports, FMF, SAXX Underwear, HJC Helmets, Fusion Graphics, Evans Coolant, Rekluse Clutch, C4MX, BMC, Motostuff, Vicki Golden, GTC, Marin Bikes, Lory’s Oilfield, Fuel Clothing, Hellbent, Keybar, Metal Mulisha, Holeshot Trucking, M.A.D Support, my girlfriend, Kailey, and my mom and dad.

Brock will try to repeat his night show appearance this week at A2. It will likely be a little more competitive as some riders weren’t able to make the long trip to Texas last week, so the entries should definitely be up.

Good luck, Brock. We’ll be cheering for you from north of the border. See you in Oakland!


Jake Anstett Competing at Inaugural X Games Hill Climb

I’m sure you recognize the name Jake Anstett from his many Future West Arenacross and Western Canadian Motocross Nationals appearances. The Washington State rider has just announced that he will be competing in the inaugural Snow Hill Climb presented by Harley Davidson at the Winter X Games in Aspen, next week.

They’re holding this event after all the rest of the competition is finished and then they are turning these things loose on the Superpipe in the dark at 8:15pm Sunday.

There goes the neighbourhood!


Anaheim 2 Supercross Format Changes

Don’t forget, this weekend at A2 we’ll get our first look at the new Triple Crown race format and Sunday’s Amateur Supercross. Here they are explained.

Triple Crown:

Amateur Supercross:

Watch for Canadians #43 Noah Viney and #53 Bjorn Viney to be on the line Sunday. They will be racing 3 classes each with fellow Canadian Brandon Gourlay looking after their mechanical needs.


Canada to Miss 2018 ISDE in Chile


Rumours of Canada Also Not Attending the 2018 MXON

Along with this ISDE announcement, there have been rumours swirling that the Canadian 2018 Motocross of Nations effort has also been canceled. We heard all the talk and so gave the CMA’s Marilynn Bastedo a call to get a statement from her on the rumours.

When we spoke, she wasn’t aware of any of these rumours and said, “All kinds of things go on and I have people saying, “Well, who’s asked for your input?” and I say, nobody.” So that’s exactly what we did.

There has been some mud slinging going on saying that it’s already a known fact that Canada won’t be sending a team to the 2018 MXON at Red Bud. Marilynn didn’t know “why the segue to the Motocross of Nations because there has been no decision at the moment. “

Is Team Canada Motocross of Nations going to Red Bud in 2018? | Bigwave photo

She did say that it is always time to be talking about the MXON because of the funding involved. Of course, this year the event is at Red Bud and so the funding should be less than in years when much more intricate travel is needed.

Assuming the running of the team this year was set, I mentioned that this one should be easier due to that fact and that she’s already got a proven and keen Team Manager in Kourtney Lloyd, to which she replied, “Yes and no. Kourtney’s done an excellent job. I have no intention of pointing fingers…it takes all of us to screw things up or make it a success.

With the MXON, the riders aren’t really expected to do a whole lot of behind-the-scenes work like they are with the ISDE and so “the manager has a real burden,” she added.

The deadline?

“I would think that if we don’t have it resolved and in place by the end of February, it’s too late to start fundraising and making arrangements for accommodation, and talking to the riders about who’s interested in going. You have to do a whole lot of stuff before the start of the season. Since the start of the season starts with that Arenacross series, which is no longer ours, you can see that increasingly, every year it gets earlier and earlier,” she said.

I had to ask her whether or not the fact that Jetwerx and the CMA couldn’t come to an agreement on the sanctioning of the newly former Rockstar Triple Crown Series had anything to do with the MXON effort as some have suggested. Marilynn flatly stated, “It has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it. In fact, Justin (Thompson) has offered some help.

“One thing that is changing is we will be taking the management of the project and taking it here into the office because managers shouldn’t be expected to be thinking about the corporate risks and liabilities and all that kind of stuff. That’s our job here to think about.

“We have no animosity towards Jetwerx. It’s unfortunate it didn’t work out. I’m not surprised. It’s other forces that are pulling the strings. When I’m gone from here, I’m going to write my book!”

So, from that conversation we are left a little empty as to whether or not we should cancel our hotels and flights to Red Bud next September. We’ll wait until sometime in February to dig in again. Hopefully, it all works out and we send a strong team and maybe even get our best finish yet.

To be continued…


OK, have a great weekend, everyone. We’re finally coming out of the deep freeze here in Ontario. More people will be poking their heads our of their doors and it will be nice to see a temperature without a negative mark in front of it.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check in with us over the weekend and we update you on how our Canadians are doing south of the border.

Jenny Taft says, “One more sleep till Supercross, and see you at the races…” | Bigwave photo

 

 

 

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