Frid’Eh Update #31 Presented by Toys for Big Boys
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to week #31 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update presented by Toys for Big Boys out of Moncton, NB. For 2015, #31 goes to one of the most stylish riders we have here in Canada. I’ve seen Zeb Dennis scrub and whip even the heaviest enduro bikes up at MotoPark! Whether he’s on a motocross bike or a BMX, Zeb has no problem throwing it wherever he wants.
Zeb recently headed over to El Molar, Spain, with Team Canada’s Junior Motocross team where Jake Tricco and Marco Cannella both competed against the best young riders in the world.
If you comb through Zeb’s Facebook page, you’ll see that his passion these days is his BMX bike or doing things to give back to the community.Gopher Dunes was the only round of the 2015 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals that Zeb raced. He finished 27th overall but that isn’t indicative of his speed. Will we see him again this summer? Who knows! Let’s ask him, shall we?
Direct Motocross: You’ve only raced one round of the Nationals. What have you been up to? WHat’s keeping you busy these days?
Zeb Dennis: Hey, Billy! Man, it’s been a super-busy summer for me and the whole Motopark crew. The summer camps have been packed every week, and our Academy program is as strong as it gets! I’ve kind of taken a bigger role this year with Motopark and our whole program, and I’m super-happy with everything that has happened with me and our key group of guys here!
Can you sum up the El Molar, Spain trip for us?
El Molar was a treat! Honestly, the whole trip was a blast; a little less pressure for me, obviously, with not being the rider. Flights were perfect and everyone got their luggage. A couple things we struggled with was the heat – we knew it would be hot, but not that hot. It was a great experience for me, Iain (Hayden), and Carl (Bastedo). I know Iain and I both learned a lot, and we are excited for next year. The guys rode well, struggled with really hard-pack track and the pace of all the top riders. I feel they learned as much as me and Iain for next year. I also learned that traveling with a group of 12+ is hard to keep organized (Laughs). All in all, the trip was amazing for everyone!
How did Gopher Dunes go for you?
Gopher did not go well (Laughs). 1st Moto, I got a mid-pack start and was feeling OK coming through the pack. Then I got a flat tire – at Gopher, yes! Went back to pits and changed it, came back into the Moto only to have the sprocket teeth sheer off of the new wheel I put on! So I waited at the finish for the checkers. Tried my hardest not to get bummed out and salvage the 2nd Moto.. Hitting a downed rider and bikes getting stuck in mine at the beginning of Moto 2 was not a good start. I told my self it’s a log Moto and to relax. I worked my way to 21st or 20th and, sure enough, went down. After that, I went into ‘rubber head mode’ and went down 3 more times. I finished the Moto in 23rd, I believe. So, to say the least, I was less than impressed with how I did and rode at gopher.
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2, 4, 6, 8, 10…
Hey, guys. Well, it’s slowly coming to an end. This weekend we will be in Ulverton for Round 9 of the Rockstar Energy CMRC Nationals. After 8 rounds, we have been blessed with some great racing. If you think about it, we are missing quite a few of our top finishers from last season. We are missing #2 Mike Alessi, #4 Kyle Chisholm, #6 Josh Hill, #8 Dylan Kaelin, #10 Nathan Bles, #12 Vince Friese, and #15 Jesse Wentland. That is a ton of great talent, but guess what…our series has still been great. Yes, the depth in the 450 falls off after 8 or 9, but the racing up front has been great. #101 Matt Goerke is in the driver’s seat and it is his title to lose. Unfortunately, a slow start for #1 Colton Facciotti, and some bad luck and mechanicals for #123 Brett Metcalfe have not allowed the series points to be closer. The points really don’t show how close the racing has been. At anytime there are 4-5 guys that can win a moto. You really don’t know who is going to step up each and every time the gate drops. That’s a pretty good thing, and the fans have got to be loving it.
With the series heading to the West, we are getting back to the softer tracks. I don’t think we have a clear cut favorite for the MX1 class this weekend in Quebec, but you can bet your marbles that we will see the current points leader Matt Goerke win at least 1 moto. He doesn’t have to win them all, but he’s surely going to try.
I haven’t heard any official word yet, but I think it is safe to say we will see the return of the #17 this weekend. No, it won’t be on the familiar orange bike. I’m expecting to see Seth Rarick show up on a 450 Yamaha and instantly be a 5th-8th place guy in the 450 class.
No matter what happens, you are not going to want to miss this round. Let’s take a look at my predictions:
1st Matt Goerke: Matt will go 2-1 and inch closer to his second MX1 Canadian Championship.
2nd Brett Metcalfe: Brett will ride great but be edged out by Goerke and go 1-2.
3rd Colton Facciotti: My crystal ball says that Colton will 3-3 and be just a tad off the top 2.
4th Cole Thompson: I think Cole and Medaglia will have an all-out brawl and not only swap moto scores, but a little bit of paint along the way.
5th Tyler Medaglia: Tyler will ride great and remind Cole about that last corner, moto 1 in Deschambault.
In MX2, it really has been the Kaven Benoit Show on the East Coast. It’s Benoit’s hometown race and the crowd will be cheering him around each and every section of the track. He really hasn’t ridden the track a whole lot, but I still feel the hometown fans will be a huge help, each and every lap. Almost forgotten in the “Benoit Era” is the great East Coast being had by #14 Shawn Maffenbeier, #21 Jeremy Medaglia and #762 Blake Savage. These 3 have really upped their games and if it weren’t for Benoit, they’d be splitting moto wins and overalls.
The big question I have been asking the last few weekends, and not getting much of an answer is… Who’s next for KTM? Who will get the MX2 ride for the Royal Distributing, Fox Racing, KTM Canada squad? It’s not a secret that KTM would like an all-Canadian team. So who do they have their eyes on? Well, the best 2 MX2 Canadian riders would have to be Jeremy Medaglia and Shawn Maffenbeier. I know Jeremy has one year remaining on his 2-year deal with the mighty GDR Honda team, but as for Maffenbeier, I really don’t know if he has another year left with Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha team. In my opinion, ‘Maff’ would be the best pick. I would eventually like to maybe see a guy like Jeremy Pronovost get a shot, but he is still a year or 2 away and would have to get on a 250f. Before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s look at my MX2 predictions for Round 9:
1st Kaven Benoit: It’s pretty simple…You’re not gonna not pick Benoit on his home soil.
2nd Jeremy Medaglia: If it weren’t for Benoit, and some mechanicals and bad luck, I truly believe Jeremy would be our points leader.
3rd Blake Savage: Blake is on fire lately. He will barely edge out Maffenbeier for the final spot on the box.
4th Shawn Maffenbeier: Shawn will continue his hot streak, but go 3-4 behind Savage.
5th Jimmy Decotis: Jimmy will be good as always, but I feel like he will be coming through the pack in both motos.
Women’s East Nationals
Ulverton marks the return of the Women’s East Nationals. It will also be the 3rd and final round. The hot story floating around the Moncton pits was that the female G.O.A.T. Jessica Patterson will be making the trip North. Jessica, in my opinion, is the fastest lady of all-time to throw a leg over. As great as young Eve Brodeur has been, I think she will be playing 2nd fiddle to the former American Champion.
Also making the long trip North will be Brittany Gagne. Brittany showed up at Round 2 in Sand Del Lee and instantly spiced things up. I think with good starts, Brittany will be closer to Eve, but she may have her hands full with another hometown racer in Kim Normandin. Kim is a fan of the soft stuff and will no doubt have the locals on her side. Let’s take a look at my predictions:
Women’s East Round 3
1st Jessica Patterson: Just like Benoit, you’d be silly to bet against ‘JP Money.’
2nd Eve Brodeur: Eve will be great like always, but just not ready for the likes of Patterson.
3rd Brittany Gagne: Gagne will show Eve a wheel early on, but will be just a tad off of her pace.
4th Kim Normandin: Kim will be riding the wheels off of her Honda, and she will be a handful for Gagne.
5th Alexandra Raymond: Alexandra will be smooth and solid all day and be the best of the rest.
MMRS Madoc National
I hope you guys are planning to hit the MMRS Madoc National after Walton, August 21-23. The MMRS crew is offering some great money and prizes for every age, and every class. It really is a can’t miss event. Nowhere else does a whole town and community open their arms to racers like this.
That’s it for me. Time to hop in my 2nd home (the #DMXvan) and make the trip to Ulverton. Have a great week and don’t be afraid to say hi at the races. Have a great weekend and always #smileforBC!
Thanks for all that, Jeff. We should definitely go back over your predictions at the end of the year and see what your win percentage is. The top few riders are all fairly easy to pick. I’d like to see someone try to get the positions from 8-15 right! That has been the other place where the action has been edge-of-your-seat fun. You never really know what’s going to happen. Well, you know that #30 Kyle Keast is going to get a mid-pack start and then keep moving forward wearing riders down to the checkered flag. I’d hate to be late in a moto with my tongue in the front spokes hoping for the last lap flag and look back to see the big #30 there. That will not be an easy final lap.
#23 Dylan Schmoke should bust into single digits after this weekend. He’s currently in 10th, just 8 points behind the injured #5 Teddy Maier. It’s here that your eyes should be glued after the Goerke, Facciotti, Metcalfe, Thompson, Medaglia, Kiniry, Clason train goes by. Between Schmoke, Shawn Robinson, Keylan Meston, Matthew Davenport, Riley Brough, Hayden Halstead, Michael Da Silva, Kyle Swanson, Eric Jeffery, and Davey Fraser, it’s anyone’s 8th place finish. Seriously, watch for it again this week. I don’t know how to pie chart something like this so let’s just have a look at the current point standings with just 2 rounds (4 motos) remaining:
‘Can anyone stop Kaven Benoit?’ is definitely the question. There are 30 points available each moto and Kaven is ahead by 82 points. Unless something goes terribly wrong for the #1, he will clinch the title this weekend in front of his home crowd in Ulverton. It’s cliché to say it, but Kaven is the only one who can stop Kaven.
The battle to watch will be for the runner-up position. Both Jimmy Decotis and Jeremy Medaglia have one blemish on their season. Aside form those bad races, they have been back and forth in the results all summer. Only 5 points separate the two and you’d have to give the edge to Medaglia simply because he knows these last two tracks and they are harder-packed than the other soft track Jimmy is known to excel at, even though it’s Jimmy who’s up the 5 points.
Brad Nauditt and Morgan Burger had a great battle last week in Moncton and it should continue this week and next as the two are only 1 point apart in the fight for 7th.
My favourite thing to keep an eye on in the MX2 Pro/Am class is the top-finishing Intermediate/yellow plated rider. Right now, #111 Alex Jeffery is the one to beat. He’s got a 16-point lead on #456 JC Bujold (65 to 49) but I think this one could still be tight when we get to the final moto of the year at Walton Raceway.
Also, let’s see how far up the points #10 Nathan Bles can get with 4 motos remaining. In one weekend, he snagged 33 points. There are a ton of riders with not too many more points than that just ahead of him so he will move up quickly over the next two weeks. He may be able to crack the top 20.
Dylan Wright Set to Return
We should also see the #20 of Canada’s Motorcycle FXR Yamaha’s Dylan Wright this week in Quebec. Dylan fell during the week leading up to Moncton and decided to sit that round out. Ulverton is a track with lots of elevation change and jumps – it should suit Dylan just fine.
Stop by the Atlas Brace Display in Walton
Join us at Walton.
Come by our tent & grab a limited edition event sticker!
Our own Ryan Lockhart will be on hand to show off our complete line of neck braces, help with sizing or any questions you may have, service product, and will even be handing out limited edition Walton Transcan souvenir stickers! Don’t miss out, stop by out tent and see how we do safety.
#17 Seth Rarick Returns for Ulverton
After leaving the Redemption Racing team in Deschambault, it appears #17 Seth Rarick will return this week in Ulverton aboard a friend’s Yamaha 450. Yes, he will be taking a shot at the MX1 class for the final two rounds of competition. Where will he stack up? Good question. There’s one heck of a 7-rider battle going on at the front and I think Seth should be the guy right behind that group. We’ll see…
John Dowd and Mike Treadwell
Watch for these two northeasterners to blow into Quebec and make things interesting at the tail end of the top 10 in both classes. #160 John Dowd has shown he still has the sand skills to finish inside the top 10, even at the tender age of 50! Mike Treadwell showed up alone in his pick-up truck at Deschambault and had some fun. Hopefully, both riders can turn back the hands of time for another week and have a great weekend.
The last time I was at Unadilla was at the MXON in 1987. There, I said it. The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship makes it’s return to this famed track in Upstate New York on Saturday. That’s not too far from Montreal, so let’s see who has the nerve to cross the border and test our guys in Ulverton. That’s an open invitation…for a fee.
250 Points after Washougal
Jacob Williamson Coming to Ulverton
From Dusty Wise: I think he’s an unknown up-and-comer. He’s just 18 this year. We race in Michigan with him and I like his style, so me and my D&D crew helped him out.
Jacob snagged a 2nd overall in Colege (16-24) last week at Loretta Lynn’s. He finished behind Justin Cooper and ahead of Austin Dodd. I don’t know a whole lot about either of those two riders, but to finish 2nd in any class there means you will be an instant ‘fast guy’ here in our series. He’s set to race MX1. Good luck, and welcome to Canada, Jacob.
Rider Information Sheet for Walton
Dylan Schmoke in Moncton
Moncton National Wrap-Up Show
Two Yamaha Factory Rides Awarded at Deschambault
Dusty Klatt MX Schools
NANAIMO MX SCHOOL
Sunday/AUG 16 2015/ 10:30-2PM
$150 Per rider, 12 Riders max!
School covers body positioning, bike set up, cornering, jumping, braking, starts and developing you into a smooth and controlled racer by getting rid of bad riding habits!
4x Canadian National Champion
WildroseMX / Calgary, AB
Sat / AUG 22/2015
$150 per rider
NEW advanced section I will be teaching you how to pick and choose racing lines, attacking the track, scrubbing and staying low over jumps, finding strong points over your opponents and more on becoming a professional racer! If you have not taken my Basics school which covers body positioning, bike setup, starts, corners, braking and jumping I’d suggest taking both classes as it will help with proper rider development and being smooth!.
Call Blackfoot to reserve your spot now! 403-214-2850
Thanks and see you there! DK 2 @blackfootdirect @husqvarnacanada @redbullcanada @foxheadcanada @oakley @rynopowerca @dissentlabs #blackfootdirect #redbull #redbullcanada #shiftmx #husqvarna #rynopowerca #rynopower #oakley #MXCanada #Motocross #foxheadcanada #fox #dissentlabs #devinci
OK, just like every week so far this summer, we’re in a huge hurry to hop in the van and hit the highway to the next round. The weather looks good and I can’t wait to snag photos of all the riders laying it flat on that perfect tabletop jump that sends riders out and into the big valley in Ulverton.