Frid’Eh Update #31 | Ryder Floyd | Presented by Matrix Concepts Canada
By Billy Rainford
Finally, we’re back to racing some motocross nationals! It felt so good to be at the track watching our top riders rip up and get ripped up by Round 1 of the Rockstar Triple Crown Tour at Gopher Dunes.
From what I saw, everyone followed the COVID-19 rules well and because of that the future looks pretty good for us, but more on that later.
Ryder Floyd showed up at Round 1 of the AX series in 2019 and took the red plate into Round 2.
The rider from the Paris of the prairies…no, wait, he’s actually from Paris, Texas…wasn’t able to duplicate that win but looked good during his first trip to the Great White North. Unfortunately, an injury sent him home at Gopher Dunes.
He’s made friends with some Canadians and because of that he’s been connected the Canadian team – Manluk Racing – the past couple seasons.
Here’s a look at his 2019 season up here:
He should have been up here racing this summer, but the coronavirus took care of that. We caught up with him to find out what he’s been up to and what his future plans are:
Direct Motocross: Hey Ryder. Thanks for taking some time with us this week. Let’s go back to the beginning with you and ask you how you first got started in Motocross?
Ryder Floyd: Hey Billy, thank you for having me! I was introduced to motocross by my dad. My dad did not race or anything growing up but had a motorcycle he rode around the neighborhood. My first bike was a 2002 KX65. I clearly remember just riding circles in our yard with my dad following me. I went to my first race when I was 7. It was about an hour away from where I lived. That feeling that I got when I was on the gate for my first race is indescribable! I ended up finishing second overall, but my most vivid memory was how upset I was that I didn’t win. Haha. Ever since then I have been hooked.
What was your first number and why did you choose it?
My first bike came with #96 on it! I liked the look of it so it just stuck with me. Number 96 has been with me my whole career, so when I had to run a three digit, 96 had to stay!
Who did you come up through the amateur ranks battling?
I was a pretty quiet amateur racer, no titles, unfortunately. Growing up racing the local amateur scene I was always battling with my friends. Grant Harlen is one that I raced and grew up riding with that is a current pro racer.
Did you hit many of the big US Amateur Nationals? What was your best finish?
I hit some Amateur Nationals but never did anything to catch eyes. I have been to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch four times: 2009, 2010, 2015, and 2017. No top ten finishes, I was able to finish inside the top 15 one moto.
Not everyone can say they held a red plate in a Professional racing series, but you did it! What was your best performance up here in Canada?
Holding a red plate has been a dream of mine since i was a kid. To be able to come to Canada AX and have the red plate after the first round was so awesome. It was short-lived but very motivating! I struggled a little in the AX part of the racing due to inexperience but it was a blast racing some guys that I have looked up to.
I believe the best I rode was at Prince George MX. I battled hard all day and never gave up, l left with a 7-7 moto finish, I believe.
You grabbed the W in the first AX race and then raced until Gopher Dunes. Can you take us through your season?
Two weeks before the first round I was presented the opportunity to go to Canada and race for the first time. I knew going into the first round that I had to take advantage of the chance that I was given. The team and I were able to start the series in a great direction but we had a lot to learn. When the AX series ended I had one win and three DNFs.
When the MX portion started I was super excited just because I had more experience outdoors. The first couple of rounds were fun but I was just making silly mistakes at the beginning of the motos. I had a lot to learn but the team worked their butts off and so each moto I was laying it all on the line!
I fractured my wrist at Gopher Dunes so I had to take some time off to heal and reflect on my riding/mistakes during the season. Looking back at, it was definitely the best thing for me.
What did you get up to after that until Supercross started?
October came around and I had been riding for about 3 weeks since my injury from Canada. I raced the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas, and I did really well. I got a holeshot and led some laps. I still had lots to learn before I raced SX.
How did Supercross go for you?
The start of my Supercross season was February in Tampa, FL. I ended up breaking my ankle in qualifying. It was a tough pill to swallow due to the injury wasn’t from a wreck. It was a very unfortunate deal but I am so grateful that the whole Manluk team was sticking behind me! Being sidelined is one of the toughest things as a racer, but it has helped me grow and has allowed me to sit back and really study the small things. My perspective has definitely changed for the better since I have been to Canada.
Were you planning on coming up to Canada to race before all this COVID-19 stuff happened?
My plan for the summer was to be in Canada with Manluk Racing, but due to the COVID complications the team and I had to sit out this year. It was very tough to watch the first round at Gopher Dunes. Haha. I hope to return to Canada at some point for sure! I will never forget all the awesome Canadians I was able to meet and build relationships with.
What are you doing for racing this summer?
The team has been working hard to keep me training and also to keep me racing! You will definitely see the Manluk Honda at some races this summer in the U.S.!
OK, thanks for your time, Ryder. Good luck, and who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank Manluk Racing, Merge Racing Technologies, Maxim Honda. I am very lucky to have such a great team/supporters around me! Thank you for the opportunity, Billy! I am missing the Canadian racing this year but I am keeping up with it fully! Good luck and safe travels to all the racers and staff for the rest of the season!
We made it! We’re actually into the 2020 Pro racing season. That was easy…
It sounds like the work behind the scenes to make this season happen has taken a toll on everyone concerned. With so many roadblocks and restrictions, the fact that a gate has dropped anywhere is a miracle.
Thank you to everyone who has painstakingly done the leg work to get this whole thing rolling. But the work isn’t over yet. There are still rolling roadblocks to maneuver.
As we get ready to head to Walton Raceway for a short residency, work continues. Here’s a very heartfelt message from Mel Lee and Brett Lee from the Walton Raceway Instagram page:
As an example of what an uphill battle this whole season was and continues to be, here’s a column written in a local newspaper talking about the upcoming Walton TransCan:
Walton TransCan concerns some, despite HPPH approval
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Several members of Huron East Council can now count themselves among those who are concerned with the Walton Raceway hosting its annual TransCan in just a few weeks.
The event, which brings riders to Huron County from all over Canada and the United States, is slated to go ahead Aug. 12-16. The discussion at Huron East Council’s July 21 meeting, held in person at the Brussels, Morris and Grey Community Centre, came about thanks to a letter written by Pauline Linton sent to a number of local municipalities, Huron and Perth Counties, MPPs Lisa Thompson and Randy Pettapiece, Huron Perth Public Health and the Ontario Provincial Police.
Linton wrote, she said, as a concerned local resident and a registered nurse at a local hospital.
“As a registered nurse who works in a nearby hospital, I can tell you that each year during this event, we see an increase in the number of patients that utilize our emergency department, as one would expect with any event that brings a large number of people to an area,” Linton wrote in her letter. “The difference with this year is that we are in the midst of a pandemic. I have great concern with a sporting event in Huron East inviting hundreds of visitors with unknown travel and exposure [to COVID-19 histories] to Walton.”
Linton went on to detail additional concerns, like the effect the event might have on local paramedic services and the community at large.
At the meeting, Chief Administrative Officer Brad Knight said Linton laid out numerous concerns in a well-written and thoughtful manner, admitting he has some concerns of his own.
He and Mayor Bernie MacLellan then brought councillors up to speed on a subsequent meeting that was spurred on by the letter. It brought together Thompson, the owners of the raceway, members of the OPP, Huron Perth Medical Officer of Health Dr. Miriam Klassen, Knight and MacLellan.
MacLellan said part of the problem was communication, specifically that the raceway’s website hadn’t been updated to reflect this year’s event. There was information pertaining to a Friday night concert, camping and bouncy castles for children, all of which would not go ahead in the pandemic era.
Knight said Klassen outlined very strict requirements for the event under the new Stage 3 protocols instituted by the provincial government, saying that if the raceway were to follow them for the duration of the event, it’s possible the event could move ahead.
There would be no spectators on site and the event would not be open to members of the public. However, riders would be allowed in with members of their pit crews for the duration of the event, allowing them to camp at the site. When asked how many people could be anticipated at the site for the event, Knight said it would likely easily exceed 300 people.
Knight also said people would be coming to the event from all over Canada and the United States. Those who come from the U.S. would be allowed to cross the border, technically, because the TransCan is designated as a professional sporting event, but they would be required to self-isolate for 14 days before coming to Walton.
Furthermore, there are a number of guidelines for the event, including physical distancing, the wearing of masks when a crew is not on its specific site and extensive record-keeping on who is attending the event. In addition, the raceway will be required to submit a detailed site plan showing how they will keep crews apart and ensure everyone is safe for the duration of the event.
Knight said he would be interested in seeing that site plan, a sentiment echoed by many councillors, but he noted that despite the property being in Huron East, it is private land and whether the event can move ahead is not under the municipality’s purview. If the OPP and Dr. Klassen give the event their blessing, Knight said, it can move ahead.
Knight compared the event to the Brussels Optimist Club’s spring auction and dinner. In the early days of the pandemic, he said, the club was making every effort to move ahead with the event in as safe a manner as possible. However, as the event drew near, it became clearer that it would be problematic to host it, so he wondered aloud if the TransCan would perhaps face a similar fate.
MacLellan agreed that there are concerns, but he said it will all come down to enforcement. If the raceway and its security does a good job of keeping each rider and crew in their own area, that should limit potential spread, but the rules set out by the OPP and Dr. Klassen need to be enforced.
Councillor Ray Chartrand was the first councillor to express his concern, specifically about Americans coming into the community to participate. In his area, he said, residents had returned from visiting the U.S. and were seen out and about just a few days later, not observing the mandated 14-day quarantine. He felt no one was checking in on those coming into Canada from the U.S., so there would be no way to know if those travelling to Walton had actually quarantined for 14 days.
Councillor Brenda Dalton said she was thoroughly surprised that Americans would be allowed to cross the border to participate in the TransCan, especially after the federal government had denied the Toronto Blue Jays the ability to play home games in Canada for the truncated 60-game Major League Baseball season.
Councillor Gloria Wilbee, who has volunteered at the event for years, said she feared it was a “dangerous idea”, adding that each year the event is set out with best laid plans, but it’s difficult to stick to the plan with so many people involved.
She did say, however, that there will be extensive record keeping in place, where the raceway will have to take down the names and licence plates of all who enter the site for tracking purposes.
Councillor Alvin McLellan felt it would be beneficial to perhaps have a consistent OPP presence on site for the duration of the event, or perhaps the police could do frequent drive-by inspections to ensure the rules are being followed.
“I am asking you to, at the very least, research this event and its potential implications on our communities,” Linton concluded her letter. “We here in Huron and Perth Counties have worked very hard to keep our COVID-19 numbers at impressively low levels. I would hate to see our efforts to this point be all for naught.”
It sounds like this is still a fluid situation. As I keep saying over and over, please keep following the rules set out by the race tracks and organizers. Not doing so will mean a sure end to having races at all.
Here are the basic rules for Walton:
The TransCan is my favourite week on the racing calendar. Last year was a bit rough for me because it turns out I was battling viral meningitis, but I managed…slowly and painfully.
If you’ve got the opportunity to be there and have yet to sign up, do it. This race is like none other in Canada and will be a week at the track you’ll remember forever.
All you need to know about the TransCan is just a click away, HERE.
It was great to be back on the track snapping photos and video of the Rockstar Triple Crown MX Nationals. The racing itself was pretty predictable but had a few plot twists.
In the 250 class, pre-season favourites, Jess Pettis and Marshal Weltin, lived up to the billing.
Jess was flawless at the front and Marshal got it done in second the hard way. He found the Gopher Dunes sand a few times but still managed to snag 2nd overall after all 3 motos had been run. The question heading into Round 1 was rally about who would take the 3rd spot on the podium.
We’ve got Tanner Ward and Marco Cannella who have come up through the ranks sharing the same sentence since we first saw them on little bikes. They went back and forth in the results and, wouldn’t you know it, tied for 3rd place on the day with Marco getting the nod with the better final moto.
I was impressed with #123 Ryan Surratt who is back from California for another kick at the Canadian can. He’s been racing the WORKS enduro races and so the long, hot motos were a breeze for him. He’s got style for days and will be fun to watch at the next couple rounds at Walton Raceway.
One other rider I’ll mention here in this brief review is #381 Jacob Piccolo. He should move forward with the confidence that he’s got the pace to run with the top dogs in the class. He ran up with Jess and Marshal in the 3rd moto and looked comfortable doing it until the heat and humidity (not to mention an incredibly rough track) got the best of him and he faded back to 13th by the checkered flag.
In the 450 class, #9 Dylan Wright, who just moved up to the big class, was the question mark. He’s always been known as a flashy rider, but how would that translate to the top class?
As you can see by the results, they translate very well! Dylan looked like a seasoned 450 veteran out there. Watching how hard the other riders looked trying to keep him in sight was very telling. He was hauling!
The other big news of the class was Cole Thompson. Cole came into the summer as one of the riders expected to be going for this Rockstar Triple Crown title. Unfortunately, a cut under his arm he received during a mid-week practice incident left him suffering from infection and not able to compete in these tough conditions.
Cole was fighting for podium position in the first moto on Saturday morning but then looked to uncharacteristically begin to fade from the lead fight.
He would really struggle during the last couple laps and even go down and drop out of the top 10. It was learned afterward that he’d been throwing up in his helmet during the race and crossing the line at all was amazing.
He went to get checked out Saturday evening and returned to the track for the 2nd and 3rd motos on Sunday. After just a couple laps of practice, it was obviously not going to work and he pulled off the track, ending his day, and likely his championship hopes.
I spoke to him briefly on Thursday and here’s the Update we posted on our Instagram page:
#5 Tyler Medaglia was impressive in 2nd place on Saturday. #2 Matt Goerke was trying to get things to where he wanted them and was fast but off the pace of the top 2 riders at the end of the weekend. After some of his past performances in the sand, it’s hard to imagine anyone being in front of him, and not by a minute!
#54 Phil Nicoletti was the only one able to sniff Dylan’s exhaust by the final moto. Phil looked good and pushed hard to make this a battle but will live to fight another day, after suffering only minimal damage with a 2nd place.
You want to say something like, “Ya, well of course Dylan is fast at his team’s home track!” but I wouldn’t be so sure things will be much different at the other tracks. Time will tell, and, as they say, that’s why we drop the gates.
So, now we have an idea of where everyone stands. Obviously, some riders just can’t do well at Gopher Dunes and will move themselves up the results page at Walton and the other tracks, but the points sheets say what they say.
Round 1 was a wake-up call for some and a pat on the back for others. What will happen in the rutted clay up in Walton is yet to be seen.
2020 FIM Motocross World Championship Calendar Update & 2020 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations Cancelled
MONACO (Principality of Monaco) 29 July 2020 – Infront Moto Racing regrets to inform that the 2020 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations scheduled to take place on the 25th – 26th and 27th of September in Matterley Basin, Great Britain, has been cancelled.
Despite all the efforts from the local organiser (Steve Dixon) and Infront Moto Racing, there is no other viable options but to cancel the 2020 edition of MXoN due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, Infront Moto Racing have received information from nearly all of the non-European teams normally attending the event that due to COVID-19 complications of travel and quarantine protocols, they will not be able to take part in this year’s event.
Therefore, taking all these factors into consideration and with the goal to coordinate the greatest off-road event of the year at a very high level, Infront Moto Racing and the FIM have arrived to the conclusion to cancel the event and look forward to a phenomenal Monster Energy FIM MXoN in 2021!
With the MXGP of Winchester planned to be held together with the MXoN, this GP event will now take place on the 30th of September in Mantova as the MXGP of Città di Mantova featuring a back-to-back MXGP race in Mantova, which will place on September the 30th and October the 4th.
The updated Calendar can be downloaded by clicking HERE
Infront Moto Racing and the FIM would like to thank the Organizers, National Federations, the manufacturers, partners, riders, teams and fans for their cooperation, patience, understanding and support.
We’ll leave you with this video introduction of our upcoming video series called “RE·VIV·AL” featuring Greg Poisson with the goal of spreading the word of Mental Health Awareness. Give it a watch and then go have a great long weekend.