Frid’Eh Update #30 Presented by Freedom Cycle

By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford

Liam O'Farrell 2

Week #30 belongs to South African/Canadian, Liam O’Farrell|Bigwave photo

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:

Direct Motocross: Hey, Liam. It’s been a while since we’ve spoken. Let’s back up a little. Can you tell us a little about where you’re from, what racing was like, and what brought you to Canada in the first place?
Liam O’Farrell: I grew up in a small town called Howick (South Africa). There’s a big valley and a lot of waterfalls in the town; I had a really fun childhood there. It’s warm all year round so it’s really good for racing. The racing scene is small but competitive, we have some really talented riders and some good tracks. I always dreamed of going racing overseas and when I won the 2007 national championship, somebody offered me the opportunity to go race in Canada and it was a chance to make my dream a reality.
Liam O'Farrell

Even on a greatly shortened schedule, the likeable O’Farrell was able to earn #30 for 2016. Unfortunately, we won’t see him run it|Bigwave photo

So, did you plan on staying when you left South Africa? How did that happen?
I never planned on staying when I left. My first year in 2008, I was able to get a support ride from Andy White and Orange Motorsports and even though I got injured I still did enough for them to want me to do another season in Canada. 2009 was when I met Pam and she ended up being the reason I’m still here.
What was your impression of our racing scene here in the beginning? How did you know about it back home?
Back in the early 2000’s, we randomly got the Canadian nationals on TV back home. It was just for one year and that was the first time I heard of the Canadian nationals. And then when Kerim (Fitz-Gerald) came over in 2007, he had nothing but good things to say about it. I was really impressed at how many people were at the races, 600 entries at local races, I think the most we had was 100. All the big motor homes and trailers, it blew my mind. I had always just gone to races in a pickup.
What was your best season in Canada as a Pro? Anything in particular stand out about that season?
2009 was my best season. It’s pretty much my only season on a team with a trailer and mechanic every weekend. The west coast was rough but I had a few top 5’s on the east and ended up with my only top ten overall.
You’ve joined the regular working folk now. What is it you’re doing these days?
I’m working for an HVAC company as a gas technician and air conditioning apprentice.
You raced a shortened schedule last season. Can you take us through how 2015 went?
With everything going on, I was feeling a bit drained and didn’t have time to go all the way out east. I wasn’t able to ride at all during the weeks so I was really just a weekend warrior. I was pretty happy with my results under the circumstances but I didn’t enjoy feeling like I was unprepared, especially at that level.
We saw you at Gopher Dunes watching the races. What do you think of this season’s racing? That’s a pretty tough MX1 class, no?
Both classes had some really good racing and it was exciting to watch. MX1 is tough this year – it’s like watching an American national. Davi (Millsaps) seems to be able to get up front early and control the race, so it was really exciting to see (Matt) Goerke put in that hard of a charge, his fitness must be really good to be able to push that hard at that track.
You mentioned you don’t own a bike right now. Do you have any plans to come back to racing?
Originally I was going to buy a bike at the beginning of this year, but when I started night school again in January I realized I had zero time for riding or training and I was worried I would end up getting injured because of it. School is finally done now and I’m planning on doing some more riding again, but it won’t be at the level I was at. Probably just a few local races and possibly an Ontario national next year.
If you were racing this season, where do you think you’d fit in? Who would you be battling, do you think?
If I raced this year, I’d want to be on a 450. I think I’d be battling (Morgan) Burger, I’ve had a few good battles with him. The guys on the factory teams are just way too far ahead right now.
Liam O'Farrell 4

There’s a good chance we’ll see Liam at a National or two in 2017, now that his schooling is finished|Bigwave photo

What do you have planned for the rest of the summer?
I’ll be at RJ’s watching again. Other than that, I’m just enjoying mountain biking and going to friends’ cottages. Just trying to do stuff I’ve missed out on the past few years. Also, in September I’m heading back to South Africa to visit my family for 3 weeks and meet the latest edition to my family.
It was great to see you. I know you’re probably getting ready for work right now. You’ve had some great support over the years. Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
I would like to thank my parents for all the support for all these years, Pam and her family for looking after me here in Canada, Andy White for all his support, Orange Motorsports, the Wieringas, Aaron Barsanti at Scott, Marco from MD Distributing and the Mombergs for their help my first year here.
Thanks for taking the time with us today, Liam. Good luck with your job and we’ll look for you spectating at the final round at RJ’s.

freedom cycle logo-hi-res copy

This week’s Update is brought to you by Freedom Cycle in Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia. Be sure to check them out online or at the shop if you’re in the Maritimes.

Jeff McConkey

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.

Ulverton National

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.

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The Women’s East Nationals take a 2-week break until Deschambault. Can anyone beat Eve Brodeur?|Spikman photo

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.

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Can anyone step up and beat #4 Cole Thompson straight up this week?|Bigwave photo

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.

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Jeff has Matt Goerke picked to win this weekend at Pleasant Valley|Bigwave photo

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.

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Dylan Kaelin headed to Washougal to race the 450 class on his KTM 250 2-stroke|Bigwave photo

That is it for me. Have a great weekend and always #smileforBC!

Billy Rainford

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!


Add a full dose of humidity to 36 degrees Celsius and you’ve got a very hot day!

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.


If you’re old enough, what song just popped into your head?


I missed the shot of the actual sign, but if I quoted a scream, “It’s eduCAtional!!!” what song from what group would I be singing, and where must I be?

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.

We grabbed Josh Clark for a quick chat Friday and here's what he had to say... - Photo supplied with permission by Josh Clark

#114 Josh Clark will make his return to Canada this weekend on a privateer Yamaha 250F in MX2|Photo supplied with permission by Josh Clark

Team Canada MXON Raffle Tickets – I’ll Have Some on Me!

Yes, the team has been picked. Yes, the numbers have been assigned:
MX1 – Kaven Benoit #112
MX2 – Shawn Maffenbeier #113
MX3 – Tyler Medaglia #114
But we aren’t there yet, folks! The team still needs some financial help, and that’s where you come in. I will have raffle tickets in my pocket this weekend at Pleasant Valley and next week at Riverglade. Hopefully, my pockets will be empty after that.
If you’d like to help get our team over to Italy in September, please grab me and purchase your ticket before it’s too late. The draw date is AUGUST 5TH!
MXON Raffle

You want Washougal stats? MX Sports has you covered…

Rockstar Energy Point Standings Heading into Round 7 at Pleasant Valley

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Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.47.07 AM

Women’s East Nationals|Ulverton Round 2 Video

Women’s East Nationals|Ulverton Round 2 from on Vimeo.

DMX Canadian MX Weekly Wrap Up Show|Presented by FXR|Ulverton Round 6

2016 Ulverton MX National Recap from on Vimeo.

Just Giver Productions|Ulverton Edit

2016 Canadian Ulverton National from Just Giver Productions on Vimeo.

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…

Kerim Fitz-Gerald

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.

20160716- Eve Brodeur

If you have some time, go check out our ‘Faces at the Races‘ column from this past weekend in Ulverton, PQ. See you at the races…|Bigwave photo