Frid’Eh Update #30 Presented by Freedom Cycle
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to another busy week here at Direct Motocross for Frid’Eh Update #30 Presented by Freedom Cycle in Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia. We’re currently somewhere on the eastern seaboard of the United States near Portland, Maine. As I sit here in a roadside restaurant writing about our little sport of motocross, it’s difficult to listen to the news channel on the TV above me explaining the ongoing situation in Germany. Wow, it really puts things in perspective. However, if we don’t carry on with our everyday lives, they have won. So, here goes.
In 2016, #30 would be the South African rider who quickly became a fan favourite when he first showed up to race our series. Strangely, I learned when I saw him at Gopher Dunes a couple weekends ago that he doesn’t even own a motorcycle right now! It sounds difficult to believe that Liam O’Farrell, the rider who came here for no other reason than to race dirt bikes at the Professional level, has no bike. Don’t worry, I ask him about it.
Anyway, Liam is now married to Pam Blam and the two live in Hamilton, Ontario, and live relatively normal lives…away from motocross. I know! We grabbed him for a quick chat to find out what he’s been up to and if/when we’ll see him line up on the gate for a Pro National again. Here’s what he said:
Hey, guys. The racing is getting hotter, just as the weather is. The Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals head to Pleasant Valley in Nova Scotia this weekend. This will be the first time this facility has held a national in sometime. I believe the last one was 2002, but a lot has changed. Mitch Cooke and family have been busting their asses, and are ready for their time to shine. I like that they are adding this track, as it gives us something new. No, I still don’t think Walton or Sand Del Lee should be off, but that is a different discussion.
Women’s East Nationals
Last week, we were treated to 4 great motos on Sunday, and 2 fantastic ones Saturday. In Women’s East Nationals action, defending champion Eve Brodeur once again showed everyone that she has all of the tools to go undefeated. Eve has been getting great starts and has just simply been doing everything right. She had a minor mistake in moto 1, but after getting passed, I think we saw an even better Eve. Can she have the perfect season? Yes and no.
The Yes is if she keeps on doing everything that she is doing now. The No is if that one special girl shows up…that girl being Jessica Patterson. Do I think Jacqueline Ross can win a moto? That is a tough one. Going in, I expected Ross to be the girl to beat. Yes, she has been very good so far, but I just feel that the lack of seat time is hurting her a little. She is still a super-talent, but so is Eve.
Right behind the top 2 is a hungry pair. Shannon Fleming and Brittany Gagne are chomping at the bit and are working hard to make the jump into that next level. These two girls had probably the best battle I have seen in ladies racing, ever. I don’t think they are that far off, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are showing Eve a wheel before the end.
After the top 4, I see Megan Brodeur as the next threat. Megan is still pretty raw as she does not train moto over the winter. She is too busy racing snowcross. If she were to focus on just moto, I really think she has what it takes to jump right into the top group. We have a few weeks off now until round 3 in Deschambault, and you can bet that these top girls will continue to put in the hard work to get better.
In MX2, it has been ‘The Cole Thompson Show’ all season long. He has a clear advantage in speed, skill, and experience. But that’s not stopping guys like Shawn Maffenbeier, Dylan Wright, and Dakota Alix. All 3 of those guys have a decent shot at stealing a win from Thompson. Will it happen? I don’t think anyone will beat Cole straight up, but heck, I’m wrong quite a bit.
Going into the Nova Scotia round, I feel like Cole will be a little more fired up than usual. I didn’t see the incident that caused him to be docked, but I’m almost certain that he is pissed off and will come out to prove a point and just put it to the others. All in all, it should be a good battle, and here is how I think it will go down:
1st Cole Thompson
2nd Shawn Maffenbeier
3rd Dylan Wright
4th Dakota Alix
5th Mark Worth
In MX1, it is really starting to heat up. Brett Metcalfe and teammate Matt Goerke have really turned it on since the break. It looks like they have the bike set up now, and it’s time to continue to chip away at Davi Millsaps‘ lead. Yes, Davi has been pretty banged up lately, but Goerke and Metty shine on the East. They are both now full of confidence and will be looking for wins.
Another rider that should be riding high in confidence is Kaven Benoit. Benoit is the real deal in MX1, and will be fighting for the title next season. I don’t know if he will in Nova Scotia, but I’d be willing to bet he gets one before Walton.
Husqvarna Canada’s Tyler Medaglia should be smiling big all weekend. Tyler’s in-laws own and operate Pleasant Valley and he has spun many many laps around the track. Tyler is an emotional guy and will no doubt be fired up to do well in front of family, friends and neighbors.
Probably the only guy with more of an advantage than Tyler would happen to be the in-law himself. Mitch Cooke will line up in the MX1 class at his very own track. The Martin brothers were very impressive this past weekend at their very own track (Millville), and I expect the same thing from Cooke. I was talking to Mitch last season during amateur day at Riverglade, and I mentioned how good he looked. His reply was that he “stopped racing nationals, [he] didn’t stop riding!” He could be one of the most talented Canadian riders of all time, and he will show everyone that he can still go very fast. I expect Mitch’s speed to fall in around Tyler Medaglia and Cade Clason. I’m not sure how his fitness is, but I’m sure he will be able to run off of adrenaline for a while. In the end, I’m just happy to see Mitch out there. Here are my predictions for Sunday:
1st Matt Goerke
2nd Davi Millsaps
3rd Brett Metcalfe
4th Kaven Benoit
5th Colton Facciotti
Dylan Kaelin Lining Up for Washougal
Dylan Kaelin will be lining up this weekend south of the border. Kaelin will attempt to qualify in the 450 class at Washougal. Dylan will have the cards stacked up against him and will be competing on a 250 2-stroke against the 450’s. Kaelin has been racing more for fun this season, and will most likely have a blast on the 2-smoker. I doubt he will make the motos, but anything can happen. Two thumbs up for Dylan just going out and having fun riding his dirtbike.
That is it for me. Have a great weekend and always #smileforBC!
Thanks, Jeff. This is going to be a brief one for me this week. Did I just hear a collective slow clap? I’m currently headed east from DMX World HQ in London, Ontario. I decided to cut through the USA for a change of scenery. I-90 is ripe with tolls pretty much the entire way! It’s cutting into my coffee money. If I were still driving the old Buick Electra Estate wagon with broken A/C I would not be having a good time, right now. Has anyone broken the news to Pillow yet? I haven’t. If you see him, tell him the car was sold to a guy who was headed to a demolition derby. Sad but true story. Huge thanks to John Roney at Xtreme Toys in London for housing the beast the last couple of years. It is extremely hot and humid. I haven’t looked at the forecast for Brookfield, NS but if this is headed that way, look out!
I can’t really explain some of the nonsense that flashes into my head as I simply look around at the world around me…it just happens.
OK, moving on to more important (and moto-related) stuff…
Josh Clark Will Race Pleasant Valley This Weekend
You remember Josh Clark. He’s the no-nonsense, hard-working rider who raced for the Devil’s Lake team and scored a 2nd place in MX2 back in 2013. An unfortunate eye injury took him out of action for a while but he’s been riding and has plans to hit a couple rounds of our series this summer.
“Just going to be doing this one and the last one. Been racing local stuff here. Tough to fit it all in with work, but been training hard and just want to do what I think I’m capable doing, especially with one eye (Laughs). I believe I’m a top 5 guy, but we will see Sunday. [I’m] coming up there out of a van and out of my own pocket! Most importantly, [I] want to have fun and maybe turn a few heads up there.”
He will be racing the MX2 class at Pleasant Valley Sunday. Be sure to give him a cheer on the #114 Yamaha 250F. Good luck, Josh, see you there.
Team Canada MXON Raffle Tickets – I’ll Have Some on Me!
Rockstar Energy Point Standings Heading into Round 7 at Pleasant Valley
Women’s East Nationals|Ulverton Round 2 Video
DMX Canadian MX Weekly Wrap Up Show|Presented by FXR|Ulverton Round 6
Just Giver Productions|Ulverton Edit
Kerim Fitz-Gerald to Represent South Africa at MXON
Our old friend, Kerim Fitz-Gerald, will make the trip to Ital in September to represent his country. Congratulations on being chosen, Kerim. See you there, hopefully…
Davey Fraser on Global News for this Weekend’s Races at Pleasant Valley
This was a short week for me as I make my way east. If that wasn’t enough to whet your moto appetite this Frid’Eh Afternoon, give our ‘Faces at the Races‘ column from Ulverton a look – that will keep you out of trouble for a while! Click HERE to be taken to the photos.
OK, I’m just inside Maine now with a few hours to go before I make it to Truro, Nova Scotia. Be sure to check in with us this weekend for updates via Twitter @DirectMX, Instagram @Direct Motocross, and our Facebook Page. It will be fun to head to a new venue and then try to cycle with Tyler Medaglia this week, and maybe even get to Lawrencetown for some surfing. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.