Frid’Eh Update #35 Presented by Husqvarna Canada
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to week #35 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update Presented by Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada.
This week we feature the Quebec racer who has also called Florida home for the past several years.
Chris Fortier is the friendly rider who got a chance on the Sky Racing International Husqvarna team this past summer. Here’s a look at how his summer went:
He lined up at round 1 in Calgary but things didn’t go the way they were supposed to (we asked him about that). He then picked up the 250 series when we hit the eastern rounds and had a solid 10th place finish at River Glade out in Moncton, NB. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see him finish out the season at Walton and we also ask him about that.
Here’s what he had to say when we got in touch with him this week:
Direct Motocross: Hello Chris. Let’s take it all the way back to the beginning. How did you get started racing Motocross in the first place?
Chris Fortier: When I was 5 years old I got into riding because of my dad and I really loved it so I got into racing. He was a fan of the sport and he also had a CR80 when he was younger
What was your first number and how did you choose it?
The first number I had was #2 because of Jeremy McGrath. I remember seeing the #2 font on his Honda and really liked the way it looked, so I wanted to have #2 with the same font.
Do you remember your first race? Where was it and how did it go?
I do not remember my first race. It was in East Broughton, QC and I finished last and got lapped, I am pretty sure, on a KDX50. Haha
Your path was a little different than most Canadian kids. Can you tell us where you grew up?
I grew up riding and racing in Quebec till I was 10. Then I moved to Florida and spent most of my life there since then. I have spent a lot of time traveling and racing over the years, so I have lived in a lot of different areas for short periods of time.
(We sat down for an episode of Tailgating with Chris a couple years ago down in Florida)
Who was your main competition coming up through the amateur ranks?
It’s hard to say because I was always racing different kids every year and spent a lot of time doing regional racing in different states. I would say for the year I did amateur nationals in the US on 85’s I had some good races with Jayce Pennington. We were friends that went to the same races and seemed to find each other a lot on the track that year. It was a good time.
I also raced against (Austin) Forkner, (Chase) Sexton, and other guys on that level but they were always ahead of me at the nationals.
I trained with Brad (Jerominski) at Club57MX during my amateur years on big bikes and spent a lot of time battling with Daniel Herrlein. I consider him as a good competitor during my amateur years because we raced so much against each other during the week while training. We were close most of the time and were always able to push each other.
You picked up the MX season in the east and your best finish was a solid 10th at River Glade. Can you sum up your motocross season for us?
My motocross season was a disaster. I had a bolt come out of my front caliper on a jump because it wasn’t properly tightened in Calgary for the first round. It was 2 laps into the first moto, I lost my front breaks then on the 3rd lap my wheel locked up in the air causing me to crash and have another bad concussion. I couldn’t workout or ride with the symptoms I had following the race.
I went to Gopher Dunes to try and race but I had only practiced twice before the race and was out of shape from resting and hitting my head.
I had some strange bike problems happen throughout the summer that were no one’s fault as well. I also had to deal with a sponsor that wasn’t coming through like he was supposed to and that took away from my practicing in between the races. It also had me stressed knowing I might not be able to make it to the next race if he doesn’t come through.
Anyways, life doesn’t always go your way and I am happy to walk away from the summer healthy.
How come we didn’t see you at Walton?
I got really sick the week before and was still feeling terrible on Thursday before the race so I decided to not make the trip considering how my season was going.
What have you been up to the past few weeks?
I have been spending some time with my family and getting my things ready to head to Florida.
What will you do for the Triple Crown Supercross season?
I will not be racing.
What are your fall and winter plans?
My plans are to work and ride as much as I can in Florida.
How about in 2020? What are those plans?
Those plans are not made yet. I’d like to race, for sure.
OK, thank you for answering a few questions for us today. Good luck and who would you like to thank?
Thank you, Billy, I would like to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to grow up racing motocross. Thanks to all of these people and companies for helping me get to the races this summer. It did not go the way I wanted but I really appreciate some of the things these people did for me.
Thank you Christian Dallaire @CarrxpertChicoutimi, Rob Redekop – Mid Holdings, David Carignan, Al Dyck @SkyRacing, Jeff @ TTI logistics, Rousseau Family -Guy RousseauPerformance, Andre Moore Moore Électrique, WW Ranch Family, Antoine Baron @ Equipied, Fred @Dotcom Computers, Vesta Properties, Park Ridge Homes, International Motorsports, Marco and Isabel @ MDdistributions, Grigoletti Family, FXR Racing, Mika Metals, Blud Lubricants, KSR Wheels, SSI Decals, 100% goggles Canada, @thenewf9, Rekluse Canada, Motoseat, and Yoshimura.
Happy Friday, guys.
Well, this is the awkward slow time of the year. Up here in Canada a few are prepping for our 3 remaining rounds of the Triple Crown. First up is the Montreal Supercross.
This is such a great event. I can’t stress how great it is to have it back. Last season we had some amazing guest riders such as Malcolm Stewart, Colt Nichols, RJ Hampshire, Alex Martin and Josh Hansen, to name a few. The riders put on a great show, and, like always, the Quebec fans supported the races and packed the Olympic Stadium. Is it just me, or do they just support Motorsports more in Quebec?
Anyway, this is such a great event in a great city, it shocks me that more riders don’t try to set up borrowed rides to race this event.
So, with this happening, who else do we see line up? Do we see an entry for the GDR Honda team in the 450 class? What new ringers are coming North for a fun night of SX? To be honest, it’s just the atmosphere in Quebec. You have got to be there to experience it at least once.
With only 3 rounds remaining there has been some talk about Rookie of the Year. We all have our own thoughts, so here are mine.
Sam Gaynor and Quinn Amyotte are the top 2 in this category. Sam jumped into the deep end of the pool and rode the 450 class and Quinn rode the 250 class. Both finished top 10 in their respective classes and both have lots of upside. So who gets the win?
I like them both, I like their families and I have helped both over the years. Sam rides the 450 better than he does the 250. He almost reminds me of a young Shawn Maffenbeier. Shawn pretty much went straight to the 450 class many years ago. Then, after establishing himself, he moved down and was a real force. I could possibly see Sam following and doing the same.
With Quinn, I see a kid busting his ass on a stock 250 and getting it done. I also see Quinn sticking it out in the 250 class for a few solid years before making the full-time jump to the 450 class.
Realistically, a top 10 in the 450 class should mean much more than a top 10 in the 250 class. But….. the talent falls off in our 450 class and, to be honest, we have a lot of “gate fillers” that wouldn’t qualify in the 250 class, period.
Yes, I’m a grumpy asshole blah blah blah, but I’m right.
So who do you give the nod to?
A very tough question, as both riders have heart, fitness and speed. Both have fought back from serious back injuries recently and both have had success racing in the US amateur scene.
Anyway, my pick this year for Rookie of the Year, and it was so very close, is Quinn Amyotte. Quinn barely, and I mean barely, edges out Sam for the simple fact that the 250 class has more depth in the top 15 or even top 20. No disrespect to Sam, he’s a great kid and great talent and will do great things.
That’s it for me this week, short and boring. Have a great long weekend and #smileforBC
Thanks, Jeff. Again, I’d like to start off by apologizing for my lack of production the past few weeks. I’m just now starting to be able to look at my computer screen for any length of time.
I even had to cancel my trip out to Abbotsford, BC for Claudie Lapointe and James Lissimore‘s wedding. Have a great weekend, you two, and I’m really sorry I had to flake out and not be there.
We’ve just finished the Motocross portion of our Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Tour and teammates Dylan Wright and Colton Facciotti took home the titles.
That’s a pretty big deal for the Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing team, and something very few teams can lay claim to. The extra cool thing about it is that they are both Canadian riders.
Lately, Derek Schuster and the GDR gang try to focus on Canadian talent, but that’s about to get a little trickier as we head into 2020.
Colton has definitely retired from Pro racing, so that opens up the 450 seat. Dylan would like to fill that spot in the big bike class, but I’m sure there’s some pressure to run the #1 plate and defend the title in the 250 class for his sponsors.
If Dylan were to move up, who slides into his spot? Finding a Canadian rider who can win the title is always a difficult thing, and with our 6-time champion retiring from the 450 class, that’s one less rider in a small pool who can rise to the challenge.
There are a few fast Canadians who will be looking for rides in the new year, so there will definitely be a few options.
Will the team be forced to look south of the border? There will be pressure to win titles in the coming years, so this may force them to do just that.
We’ll definitely have a lot to talk about over our ever-shortening silly season this year. It’s amazing what the retirement of a rider of Colton’s calibre can do to things.
PS Dylan Wright was forced out of the Ironman MX National last weekend after that crash in the first moto.
I spoke with Derek today and he said Dylan is fine and has actually been back on the bike again already, so that’s great news.
Next on our racing calendar is round 1 of the Supercross portion of the tour in Montreal.
MONTREAL OLYMPIC STADIUM
SUPERCROSS MONTRÉAL makes a roaring return to the Olympic Stadium for one night of high-caliber international motocross action featuring some of the top riders in North America. Montréal will be a stop on the international circuit of Supercross event in 2019. It’ll be the second time event organizer GESTEV has been let loose at the Olympic Stadium, and thousands of spectators are expected.
- PRO riders
- Amateur riders
- Freestyle demonstrations
- Expo zone
- And way more!
For the ultimate fan!
As of 1pm, your Super Pass allows you:
- Access to the qualifying sessions and final heat of the amateur riders
- Access to practices and qualifying sessions to the Pro 250cc and 450cc classes
- Access to the professional rider’s pit area
- Access to the Exhibit Hall
*The Super Pass must be accompanied by an event ticket.
Last year, Supercross was back in Montréal after a 6-year absence. Building on last year’s big success and the enthusiastic response from fans, we have a string of new features this year that will make Supercross 2019 an event to remember!
- ATV races
- Autocross is back
- Tribute to the legends, featuring Jean-Sébastien Roy and his surprise guests
- Moto trial demonstration
Plus free activities for the whole family:
- Skateboard and surfing simulator
- Meet your idols
And a bonus: a rocking after party with the band The Rock Show!
The Supercross Montreal is a special edition event in the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Series! This event in Montreal, featuring three 450 class races and one 250 class race, is a special edition on this season’s tour on top of the three regular events in the series. Points earned in Montreal will count toward overall series rankings. Jetwerx International will be in charge of all course building and competition timing!.
Matt Goerke Injury Update
To end what was already one of the weirdest summers of racing for Matt Goerke (hurricane, theft, bike issues, broken finger), he took it up another notch to cap the MX season off at Walton Raceway.
Heading down the start straight for moto 1, Matt was to the inside when he was forced off the track and crashed into Tony Alessi inside the first turn hay bale.
They were both unconscious for a short time and when they woke up, Matt says they looked at each other and asked, “Are you OK?!“
Tony was able to get up and watch the rest of the racing for the day, albeit a little groggy.
Matt, on the other hand, had broken his collarbone that already has a plate in it.
I spoke with Matt this afternoon and he is back in Florida recovering from surgery he had to put in a new plate. He says he went to Las Vegas to the same surgeon who did the latest work on Zach Osborne. He’s a very reputable doctor and was able to do it right away, so Matt went that route.
He hasn’t been back on the bike yet, but still has some time to be ready to go for the Montreal Supercross.
His plan is to get on the bike a couple times before that and be ready to go. The SX races are a little spread out so he should be able to heal up and be at or near 100% as the 3-round series moves to Quebec City and then to Hamilton.
Monster Energy Cup is Coming, October 19
The Monster Energy Cup is no ordinary race, and once the sun goes down and the lights click on at Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium, the surprises and excitement are nonstop. The event has ﬁlled a void in the American racing off-season for seven years now and has yet to disappoint. The headlining Cup Class features the world’s best riders on a single stage competing for $1 million, but you also get a chance to see the stars of tomorrow when the “250SX Futures” and “Super Mini 2” class competitors compete for the coveted Supercross Futures AMA National Championship. The winners from each round of the KTM Junior Racing Supercross events will also compete to see who’s the fastest of them all. This is truly a night of Supercross Superstars you won’t want to miss!
TICKETS ON SALE NOW!
OK, this is going to hurt me to type, but enjoy the final long weekend of the summer, everyone. Yep, I was right…painful.
It doesn’t matter that I’ve been out of school for a long time, September just isn’t summer.
However, we’re heading into perfect riding weather! Focus on that and not the fact that you’ll be looking for where you put your car window scraper soon enough.
We’re also deep into yellow-jacket wasp season too, so if you’re hitting a beach, get ready to see more than your fair share of these little buggers!