Frid’Eh Update #34 Presented by Two Wheel Motorsport
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #34 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update, this week brought to you by Two Wheel Motorsport in Guelph, Ontario. Week #32 belongs to the rider who calls Newtonville, Ontario, home. Westen Wrozyna has always been a rider to keep your eye on – from his amateur progression to his time as a Pro, he’s been tearing it up.
This summer, Westen had a big decision to make: go race Loretta Lynn’s with his family and brother or finish out the eastern swing of the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals. He raced the final 6 rounds of the series and finished 14th overall with a best finish of 7th at Deschambault. We grabbed him for a quick chat during a busy week here at the Parts Canada TransCan. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get it finished in time for this Update. Watch for the short interview on its own, Monday.
Hey, guys. Well, the CMRC Rockstar Energy Pro Nationals have come and gone. We started in Kamloops and ended in Barrie, and had one heck of a season in between. We had two first-time Canadian Champions this season, and both seemed to be very dominant for the majority of the season.
Rockstar Energy MX Nationals
Cole Thompson is our new 2016 MX2 champ. Most people called Cole for the championship before the season even got started. He had the most experience, and his smooth style was very hard to beat. He was never really in any danger of losing the points lead at any part of the season, and he clinched with a round to go. He was so calm and smooth all season long, and only seemed to get fired up after having issues with MX101 Yamaha’s Dylan Wright. These two seemed to find each other for the majority of the East, and there looks to be a very nice rivalry forming. Unfortunately, at a few rounds, Thompson made it boring as he was so picture perfect out front. Lucky for the fans, the group behind the champ always seem to have some exciting racing.
Going into 2017, the real question is if Cole will return to defend his title. It’s no secret that Cole would like to ride 250 Supercross and a 450 outdoors, but only time will tell. Behind Thompson, the group of Shawn Maffenbeier, Dylan Wright, Dakota Alix and Jess Pettis will be the front runners for 2017. These guys will put in the necessary work and come out swinging. If I had to pick one guy as of now for the championship next year, I’d go out on a limb and select Jacob Hayes. Hayes mentioned to me at Gopher Dunes that he wants to come back and ride for the Leading Edge Monster team more than anything, and I think his speed and experience will be very hard to beat by anyone. The best part about all of this is that we have a whole off season to debate it.
In MX1, Davi Millsaps came in with quite a few doubters. Nobody has ever doubted Davi’s skill or speed. It was his ability to complete the season and nobody really knew if Davi even wanted to be up here racing. We knew his competitors like Matt Goerke, Brett Metcalfe, Mike Alessi and Colton Facciotti would be all in and it wasn’t going to be easy. Add in 450 rookie Kaven Benoit, wily vet Tyler Medaglia, and young star Cade Clason and you have a very stacked class.
I knew Davi was going to be really good, I just didn’t think he’d be the Davi of old. He was in great shape and wherever he pointed his KTM, it went. Davi had to face some adversity with being docked 10 positions, then his big practice crash, and even those couldn’t hold him back. He proved to everyone that he was still one of the top racers in the world. Yes, he looked that good. The bad news for us as fans is that Davi has a deal in the US for SX and MX for the BTO Sports KTM team next season. You lose one, but I’m sure we will gain a few more Americans into our series. These foreign riders have really elevated our series and our Canadian riders.
Women’s East Nationals
The final Women’s East National round also went off this past weekend, and young Eve Brodeur finished the season perfect. Yes, she was dominant, but she was really tested at the final round. Americans Shannon Fleming and Brittany Gagne gave our young champ quite a challenge.
In moto 1, Fleming was closer to Eve than anyone has been all season. She even passed her at one point. In moto 2, Gagne had the win in the bag until a torn knee ended the battle. The racing was awesome and if it weren’t for these two young Americans, our series would have been a serious sleeper with Brodeur long gone. I was really disappointed with the turnout this season. We have so many Instagram Women racers, but they just didn’t have the time to show up and support the series they all love to bitch about. All in all, the girls that did show up, rode their asses off, and I really hope they continue to support the series.
Parts Canada TransCan
Just because the series is done, doesn’t mean the season is. You can never forget about the Parts Canada Walton TransCan. Brett Lee and Mark Perrin bust their butts all year long to give amateurs a great event. Not only is it a great event through the week, they are also holding a fantastic Pro race on the weekend. They went out and listened to what the racers and fans wanted, and they are giving it back to everyone this Sunday. I am very excited to see this ‘exhibition’ race and enjoy another great weekend of Pro racing here in Canada. As of right now, I’m not exactly who is going to show up, but I can bet you that everyone in attendance goes home happy.
Really short for me this week. I need to hit the road to Walton. I’d like to send a big Get Well Soon to Brittany Gagne, and Shannon Fleming who are both going under the knife for ACL surgeries. Get well soon, ladies, our series needs you. Congrats to Cole Thompson, Davi Millsaps, Eve Brodeur, Shelby Turner and the entire KTM Canada crew for clean sweeping all four series. Very impressive. Have a great weekend, and #smileforBC! I’ll see you at Walton…
Thanks, Jeff. Yes, I’m going to have to keep it brief this week, too. I remember we actually canceled the Frid’Eh Update this week a few times in the past. We won’t cancel it this year, but it will definitely be a pretty quick read.
I’m sitting here in the sweltering heat of the big Honda barn at Walton Raceway. It’s really nice that they have this facility for us media types to use during the week while we’re here. Where the heck did the cooling breeze go?!
We’ve bee trying to keep everyone updated on how the racing is progressing here at the 25th anniversary event. The changes Kyle Keast and the gang made to the track seem to be being very well received. Riders are saying it removed a few of the more technical elements but that it flows better.
The long, rutted straights and corners have jumped out and bit a few riders, but it’s to be expected here. Actually, I think there were more 65cc machines tipped over in corners during one of the motos than there were circulating. This place gets rutty, is what I’m trying to say. If you didn’t do your homework and ride clay ruts during your prep work , you will struggle here.
The two biggest surprises have been the attendance of young Ethan Mann from Texas and Canadian Christopher Fortier who now calls Florida home. These two have been mixing it up at the front of the Supermini, Schoolboy, and Intermediate classes.
Also, #59 Joey Crown is here racing and has been pretty much untouchable so far. He’s out against some upper-level Pros on 450’s and taking wins.
And because there aren’t any Pro series rules to follow, top Pro’s have been competing in the +25 and Youth classes, much to the chagrin of Defending champion, Ryan Lockhart.
We’re on a break here at the moment, so I’d better keep moving…
I’ve been picking one class/moto per day here, so far, to shoot a short video recap of. Today it’s the Schoolboy 1 class. Don’t worry, this will be the one moto I don’t put a music track over! Here are the past two:
Thursday Photo Report
Here is our Photo Report from Thursday’s racing here at Walton Raceweay:
Walton TransCan|Thursday Photo Report
By Billy Rainford
The first full day of racing took place today at the 25th Anniversary Parts Canada TransCan GNC at Walton Raceway. Although there may be a few empty gates in several classes, the level of competition seems to be higher than ever. Because the threat of a severe storm late Wednesday, 4 motos were canceled and were to be run at the end of the day today.
Here’s a look at some of the racing action from the track just north of Slabtown, Ontario.
#265 Brittany Gagne Injury Update
By Billy Rainford
If you were at the final round of the 2016 Women’s East Nationals at RJ’s last Saturday, then the fact that #265 Brittany Gagne hurt her knee is definitely not news to you. She was leading the second and final moto in muddy conditions and looked to have the race in the bag when she got a little out of control and planted her right leg awkwardly.
She let out an bone-chilling scream and continued to yell her way around the track while holding down second place for the rest of the moto – it was a beast of a performance to be remembered.
She collapsed immediately after she crossed the line but still managed to climb onto the stage to collect her 2nd place overall trophy. Again, a beast of a performance.
Brittany went to get checked out when she returned to the USA. The news is exactly as she feared. She tore her ACL clean off the bone and also tore her MCL. She is scheduled for surgery September 9th.
From Brittany: “I have some of the best sports surgeons out here looking at it, so whatever it is, it will get taken care of and I’ll be back on a bike asap.”
Best of luck with the surgery and recovery, Brittany.
Champions are being crowned behind me! I have to run…
Thanks for reading this abbreviated edition of the Frid’Eh Update.