Frid’Eh Update #33 Presented by Race Tech
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to week #33 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update Presented by Race Tech. For 2017, #33 was Kelowna, BC racer, Casey Keast. Casey is completing his first full summer of Pro racing. He raced out west in 2016 but didn’t make the trip east.
He’s had some very impressive results and also struggled at times, as most rookies do. We grabbed him for a chat to talk about all of this and more. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hey, Casey. We’re down to one more round of the Nationals this summer. You’re currently sitting tied for 7th with #16 Jess Pettis. With Thompson and Osby out, you’re just 23 points out of 5th spot. How has your summer gone for you? What was your highlight and low point?
Casey Keast: Yeah, I’m satisfied sitting top 10 overall, but I wanna do more than just be a top 10 guy. The summer has been a lot more stressful than I originally thought, doing it as a privateer, but I’m still having a good time traveling the country and seeing new places everyday.
My highest point this summer was definitely my 5th place in moto 1 at MX Bon Conseil. It felt good to finally get into the top 5 again but I did that last year as Intermediate at the second round in Nanaimo so it’s not like I was overly excited with 5th because I know that’s where I should be every weekend.
My lowest point was definitely the first 4 rounds on the west coast. I was struggling to even crack the top 10 on tracks I’ve been racing on for years.
We just came from round 9 at a muddy Deschambault. Everyone seems to have a story about their day. Can you take us through how it went for you?
Deschambault was a weekend to forget. Finally got a top 5 start and ran up at the front for the first 2 laps and then went down 2 times all on my own. I just feel like when things start going right for me it’s the simple things that bring me down.
You turned Pro last year, but you only did some western rounds. What did you learn that you are putting to use this summer?
Well, one thing I have learned is that when you get a bad start you need to go beast mode and pass as many people as you can on the first lap, no matter how you make the passes, but in the Pro game the starts are everything. I haven’t got off the gate in the top 5 without something happening on the first lap, so if I get a good start and get a clean first 2 laps in then I know I can stay there.
What would you say is the biggest difference when a rider moves from being an amateur to a Pro?
As a top Pro/Am rider racing Pro, you have all the confidence in the world and no pressure, but once you jump to the big leagues and start getting beat all the time it’s hard to keep your confidence up knowing you’re not the best guy in the game but it gives motivation and fuel to make yourself the best.
How has your cross-country road trip been going? Who have you been traveling with and what have you been getting up to?
It’s been hectic trip, that’s for sure, just in the trailer side of things. Our septic tank broke, our water tank broke and just when we thought the problems were over the septic tank clogged and we had to hire a plumber to fix it. I’m traveling with my trainer Kevin Urquhart and MX1 racer Parker Eales from Maple Ridge. I’m having a great summer but without those issues with the trailer it would have made the trip a lot easier.
You’ve now seen the entire country. What part did you enjoy the most this summer? Why?
I can’t say I have a favourite part of Canada after seeing it all but Nova Scotia and Quebec City were the highlights of my summer, for sure, mainly because they were a lot more than what I originally expected before coming out there.
Are you happy with your results? What can you do to improve on them in the future?
To say I’m satisfied with my results would be a lie. I’m happy that I’ve made it to the last round with only 1 DNF but I wanna be battling at the front a lot more than what I am doing right now, but bad starts are holding me back so the goal for the last round is holeshots.
After we leave RJ’s this weekend, what’s next for you this fall.
I’m going home and going to take a week off of riding and not think about racing the next weekend. I’m going to race some local Pro/Am races in BC and Washington.
Is Supercross something you’re interested in doing? If so, what is your next step in that direction?
Supercross is something I would love to do but if I can’t even get a ride for Canadian outdoor nationals then the chances of me getting a ride for Supercross is pretty low and we can’t afford to do Supercross on our own. But either way, I want to practice Supercross this winter after Arenacross in California with Kevin Urquhart, Noah MCconahy and Jess Pettis.
What has been your favourite track this summer?
My favourite track this year was Prince George. It was the only track that had more than 3 lines in the corners. I think it was a great addition to circuit and if they get their parking figured out then it would be stupid not to have another national there again.
Who has impressed you most this summer?
Dillan Epstein definitely surprised everyone – that’s a no brainer, but T-Dags (Tyler Medaglia) surprised me more. That guy has been killing it all year with a new team and new bike. He’s definitely been holding it down for the Huber Team.
Mx2 had a lot of guys who surprised me the but I’d say Tanner Ward surprised me the most. We’re good buddies off the track and we’ve always had a little west coast/east coast rivalry but never once did we have problems; it was always clean, fair racing and let the best man win and he came out on top with two 2nd place finishes last weekend and no one can say that it was a fluke. He earned it and deserved it just as much, if not more, as anyone else on the track. Yeah, obviously it bums me out knowing I’ve only cracked the top 5 once this season with no holeshots, but I can’t help but being happy for the kid.
You mentioned Arenacross. Which series would be racing?
The plan is to race the Future West Arenacross Series and then head down to California to prepare for the 2018 season. But who knows what opportunities might pop up.
OK, good luck this weekend and thanks for chatting with us today. Who would you like to thank?
I’d just like to thank everyone that supports me. They know who they are because they have been supporting me for a number of years: Yamaha Canada, Kelowna Yamaha and Marine, Fox Canada, Shift MX, X Brand goggles, Gibson Tyre, Rekluse Canada, LimeNine, Möbius braces, Bulldog MX Training, Mongoose Machine, Factory Connection, and can’t forget the most important people in my corner, my mom and dad!
Those were great and honest words from a young Pro racer. Thanks for your candor, Casey. Good luck this weekend and in the future.
Since Race Tech started in 1984, Rider Support has played an important role in the company. From the beginning, Paul and the Race Tech box van spent endless hours at the track with riders that demonstrated the desire to become the best. Sound mental and physical conditioning along with a great attitude are the basis of what it takes to be a Race Tech Support Rider.
Each year thousands of riders apply for a spot on Race Tech’s Rider Support Team. We treat every rider with the same respect from the local Novice to the seasoned Factory Pro. Sponsored riders represent Race Tech and are an important part of Race Tech’s image. They also play a key role in our testing program; therefore we are very selective.
The best way to apply is online. You can also mail your resume to: Race Tech – c/o Rider Support – 1501 Pomona Rd. – Corona, CA 92880.
Good Luck & Good Riding,
Happy Friday, everyone. Can you believe that we are in mid-August already? Where did our summer go? The sad news is, we are heading to our last CMRC Rockstar Energy Pro National of the season. Could this be our last CMRC National ever? What does 2018 have in store for us? There are so many questions that need to be answered, but let’s start with the good news… We have had one heck of a season, and both classes are going down to the wire.
Women’s East MX Nationals
We head to RJ Motorsports in Barrie, Ontario, for the 10th and final round. And before we pack up Sunday evening, we will crown our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Champions of the season. Congrats to Shelby Turner who captured the Women’s West National Championship earlier this summer. Let’s start with the women.
Kennedy Lutz looked like she was going to win every moto of the season after the first two rounds. Round 3, and Eve Brodeur finds her flow and earns an impressive moto win at Deschambault. Kennedy fought back and won moto 2 and now heads into the 4th and final round with a 14-point lead. We have had great racing throughout the pack this season, and I expect the same for the last 2 motos. Here are my predictions:
1st Kennedy Lutz
2nd Eve Brodeur
3rd Brittany Gagne
4th Liz Burke
5th Emilie-Jade Levellie
Rockstar Energy MX Nationals
I’m really excited for the MX2 class. We have 11 points between red plate holder Shawn Maffenbeier and Ryan Surratt. But that’s not it. I’m excited to see the band get back together. I’m talking about the “Fab 3” of Tanner Ward, Austin Watling, and Marco Cannella.
Tanner Ward made his debut at Round 5 of the series at Gopher Dunes. He immediately impressed and has already holeshotted, led a lap, and is coming off of a very impressive 2-2 at round 9. Marco and Austin are both coming off very impressive finishes at Loretta Lynn’s in the super-competitive B classes. Who has the edge? I believe Tanner for sure. He knows the routine, the schedule and has been racing these Pros for 5 weeks straight now.
But the bigger news is the title fight. Ryan Surratt hadn’t been on the podium all season long, then he shows up and rides a near perfect pair of motos and goes 1-1 and claws himself within 9 points of the series points lead. I have to give the nod to Maffenbeier this weekend, though. He has the experience, and he will bring home his first professional title. Here are my MX2 predictions:
1st Jess Pettis
2nd Jacob Hayes
3rd Shawn Maffenbeier
4th Tanner Ward
5th Ryan Surratt
It looks like we have some tension in MX1. Matt Goerke and Christophe Pourcel don’t look like they will be exchanging Xmas cards this year. The two had some contact at round 9, and then there was a minor tiff on twitter. The result… We are going to see two guys go at it for 30 minutes plus 2 laps, twice, and one guy will walk away as the champion.
Colton Facciotti looked amazing at Deschambault and rode to a very dominant 1-1. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that again this weekend. We should have some very good racing for the last round, and here are my predictions:
1st Colton Facciotti
2nd Christophe Pourcel
3rd Matt Goerke
4th Dillian Epstein
5th Mike Alessi
That is it for me this week. Hopefully, I will see you at the finale at RJ’s. Have a great weekend, and #smileforBC and #liftwithscott.
Thanks, Jeff. Let’s see if you get your predictions right at your last chance of the summer. I’m betting his streak of disappointing results continues for one last time. However, every dog has his day, so we’ll see if Jeff gets a bone this week.
Like Jeff said, Ontario hotshot Intermediate riders, Marco Cannella and Austin Watling, will be lining up for the final round of competition this week. They’re run in the amateur ranks is done and they are hitting the final round in their debut on the big leagues.
We’ve seen in the past, these three riders (including Tanner Ward) exchange wins 3 different times in 3 different motos on the same day. It should be interesting to see who gets the best of the others at the highest level.
It will be hard to bet against Tanner, as he just finished 2-2 at round 9 last week and knows what it feels like to lead, after grabbing a couple Royal Distributing holeshot cheques and giving speeches on stage and for the live audience. Confidence and calmness are hugely important for rookies and it will probably play a part this week.
Having said that, Marco and Austin know what it’s like to win south of the border at the biggest amateur nationals on the planet. Some would probably argue that those are bigger stages, so that could cancel this whole argument out.
Like we said, this should be a really fun sub-plot to follow this weekend at RJ’s.
I gave both Marco and Austin a call this afternoon to ask them the same few questions. Here’s what they had to say:
What are your goals for your first Pro/Am race this weekend at RJ’s?
Austin Watling: I’m going to be like a sponge and learn as much as I can. I’m going to say I want to get a top 10 so I’m not disappointed if I don’t finish in the top 5.
Marco Cannella: I’d be happy with a podium. If I have a perfect weekend, I think there’s a chance. I’m going for it!
Are you more nervous or excited?
AW: More excited. I’m sure I will be more nervous as the race gets closer. I’m sure it will be like when I skydived at Loretta Lynn’s this year. I was excited but when I got up there to actually jump, I was nervous.
MC: 100% excited. I’ve been racing since I was 5 years old, so there’s no point getting nervous now.
What do you expect to be the biggest difference moving up to the top level.
AW: Aggression. And I’m also pretty sure there will be some guys who don’t really want to get beat by riders with yellow plates.
MC: 25 + 2. I’ve only done this once but I think it suits my fitness and style better. The pace will be up, and there are more fast guys, for sure.
Who are you predicting to be the top yellow-plated racer this week?
AW: I’d like to say me! Tanner has been doing really well and he told me the first one is a lot different than the rest, so we’ll see.
MC: Well, I don’t want to be the cocky guy, but I’ve beat them before at Loretta’s and Walton. I want to race up front and have some good, clean racing.
What’s next for you after this weekend?
AW: I’m going to take a short break and go camping next weekend. I’ll race the MMRS/AMO Madoc National, Baja Brawl, and the Mini O’s. I’m also going to do the enduro race at Gopher Dunes.
MC: I’m trying to get into the Monster Cup. I’ll just keep working hard and look for offers. I’m going to race the MMRS/AMO Madoc National, Mini O’s and some Arenacross.
What are your winter plans?
AW: I’m going to head down and train at Real Deal and work hard to earn a spot on the Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing team for 2018.
MC: I went to Club MX before Loretta’s and really liked it. I think it can help me get to the next level so I want to go there this winter to get ready for the Pro season.
#262 Jesse Wentland Finds Support for RJ’s
#262 Jesse Wentland has been in the battle for top finishing privateer rider in the MX1 class the past few rounds. This weekend, he’ll move from being the only Suzuki on the line to riding Mike parliament’s Honda 450 at the final round.
With the right support, you’d think Jesse could find himself battling a few spots higher and chasing podiums. We’ll see how this added support from MP1 Suspensions and WCK Honda pays off for the likeable American racer.
Mini O’s Is a Go…at a New Location
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Heads to Unadilla
MX Deschambault Apologizes for Registration Mistake at ECAN
PRESS RELEASE August 11th 2017
MX DESCHAMBAULT would like to thank all the riders who attended the 2017 ECAN last weekend. Daniel Thibault and his team worked for more than 27 years and always thrive to put the best event possible in the friendliest atmosphere.
2017 was no exception and we hope all riders and their families left with big smiles and tons of memories.
The 2017 ECAN is an event sanctioned by CMRC Challenge Quebec. Every rider attending was required to have a CMRC license to race. Daniel knows that some riders did not have a CMRC license. In a previous press releases, it was published that riders without CMRC licenses would be accepted without any charge. In the previous ECAN, a $20 license fee was charged per rider for the event, but for 2017 Daniel Thibault decided to waive that fee to make the event more cost friendly.
CMRC Canada President Mark Stallybrass charged a one-time set fee to the promoter to compensate for those lost fees, and it was left to the discretion of the promoter only to decide whether a cost would be charged for a license for the ECAN. $20 was the fee applied in previous years.
MX DESCHAMBAULT is the only decision maker regarding any fees being charge during the ECAN.
Guranteed MX thru Ryan Gauld’s blog claimed “LAST MINUTE TAX”:
MX DESCHAMBAULT charged either additional funds or entry fees and/or license fees for riders without CMRC licenses and said it was orchestrated by CMRC President Mark Stallybrass.
Those accusations are totally false because Mark Stallybrass and CMRC had nothing to do with the additional fees.
Entry fees were posted on our website $50 pre-entry and $60 post- entry.
MX DESCHAMBAULT sent a press release announcing a free CMRC licenses for the weekend of the 2017 ECAN.
Daniel Thibault would like to apologize for the mistake at registration. Since they were under the same rule as previous years, which a $20 fee was charged, that is why CMRC Challenge Quebec charged the riders who didn’t have a CMRC license. Please understand this was really an unintentional mistake.
MX DESCHAMBAULT hopes no one left our dear ECAN with a sour taste about this mistake, s we are offering to compensate every rider who will attend the 2018 GNAC with a $20 credit, which can be applied to their registration fee.
Group Ride Saturday after Women’s First Moto from RJ’s
Come for a ride with us this week immediately after the first Women’s moto at around 11:30am. We will meet at the DMX van in the Pro pits and head out from there. Greg Poisson has mapped out a nice route for us. This is a social ride to spin the legs out before Sunday’s races. See you there!
OK, thanks for reading and we’ll see you at RJ’s all weekend. Good luck to everyone at this final round. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, as Jeff will be at the event and keeping everyone up to date.