Frid’Eh Update #35 Presented by Husqvarna Canada
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to the 35th week of the Frid’Eh Update Presented by Husqvarna Canada. Week #35 goes out to the rider from British Columbia who is also becoming a very competitive university rower out at the University of Calgary. Matthew Davenport had an up and down season in 2015 – there were times when he was up in the mix for a top 10 finish and others where bad luck jumped up and bit him. Throughout it all, both he and his dad kept the smiles on their faces and enjoyed the experience of traveling the national circuit.
In 2015, Matthew finished with motos of: 14-14-20-10-22-20-18-17-16-37. He earned 169 points and will be #31 in 2016. He ended his season at Walton raceway with a crash into Bobby Kiniry‘s downed Yamaha which left him with a suspected broken thumb or wrist. We grabbed him for a talk to find out the answers to this and other questions. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Matthew. Can you tell us how your 2015 race season went?
2015 was a great year for me. I came into the year with a slightly different approach, as I didn’t spend time in California. I had the fire in me all year, and I was excited to go racing every weekend. I had some really good results and I progressively got better as the year went on. I think without the bad luck and some mental blocks I could have had a much better overall finish. But I am still very proud of my results and the fact that I made it to all 10 rounds this year!
So you were happy with your results?
I was definitely happy with my results. Considering how stacked the MX1 field was, I would say my results were exceptional for being a young Canadian University student.
What have you been up to since Walton?
Since Walton, I have moved back to Calgary to get ready for my second year of University. I have been here for almost two weeks now and classes start this coming Tuesday. I have been rowing 1-2x a day with the Dino’s rowing team since I have got back. Basically just getting settled in and ready for the shift change from nationals to school!
I know you hurt your hand. What was the final extent of the damage?
I did damage my thumb pretty bad in Walton at the final round. Unfortunately, I got together with Bobby (Kiniry) and ended up dislocating and spraining my thumb. I am currently working with my chiropractor in Calgary and getting it back to 100% so I can start riding again, along with getting out on my MTB and not having to get my girlfriend to open the jam jar!
Will it affect your rowing this year at U of C?
No, it will not affect rowing. I row on the port side of the boat, so the hand I injured is my outside hand, therefore I don’t have to squeeze or rotate with it just pull back and forth. It actually worked out great for my rowing season and I am happy that is wasn’t any worse than it is!
What are you taking in Uni and what are your career goals?
I am taking a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a major in Exercise and Health Physiology (I know it’s a mouthful). This program can allow me to proceed into Medicine, Chiropractic, or Physiotherapy. My main focus is going to be continuing to hold a high GPA and work towards writing an MCAT in my 3rd/4th year so I can apply for Medicine once my undergrad is done. If that falls through, I will be trying for chiro or physio. AND if that falls through, I will pursue my own business training high performance athletes.
What will you do for racing/training over the winter?
I want to possibly try to do a couple of the AX rounds. If my thumb heals fast and I can start riding soon I will continue to do some local races until the snow falls. I will be training with the rowing team in preparation for University National Champs in November and hopefully have some great results with the team. Along with that I will be doing a weight training program throughout the winter to keep up and continue to expand my fitness horizons.
And will you do the entire MX series again in 2016?
I plan to race all 10 again next year, and I am already looking forward to it.
What was you best memory from this past summer?
[My] best memory from the summer was my 8th place in Regina. It was super-special because it was on the same day as my dad’s birthday and I figured that was a pretty stellar present. We were both super-happy and that bond and excitement that comes from good results is what makes racing so worth it.
Well, thanks for the chat today and good luck in school. Who would you like to thank?
Thanks, Billy. I would first off like to thank my parents. My dad spends the whole summer with me and I am super-grateful that we manage to get along and continue to do this because it is truly the best thing in the world. My parents are my biggest supporters and I wouldn’t be able to do it without them. Redline Power-Craft, Yamaha Canada, Parts Canada, Thor, 6D helmets, Forma Boots, MDDistributions, Mica Sport Canada, Factory Connection, Dissentlabs, VP Racing fuels, PerformX, Dunlop, Scott Pomeroy, Propile Inc, Platinum Grover, Eco-Depot, Walts Automotive, D&T Disposal, Viper Innovations, ARC Resources, Compression Technology, Great Canadian Oil Change, T&T Communications, Wilson M. Beck Insurance, TrimFX, and Stu Robinson for the help throughout the summer.
It’s always great to talk with a rider who is doing everything they can to get faster on a bike while also taking care of their future. Kudos to you, Matt. I rowed a little bit ‘back in the day’ and can attest to just how much work and money you have to put in…it also explains why I didn’t last.
Check out this video of the 2016 Husqvarna Enduro Motorcycles:
It’s Friday again, and unfortunately we don’t have a whole lot of big races left to look forward to. We have the Motocross of Nations, but with Team Canada not sending a team, it is a real touchy subject with some. We have some great talent here in Canada and could send a really good team. I, myself, would have Colton Facciotti riding MX1, Kaven Benoit riding MX2 (on a 250f) and Cole Thompson riding MX3. No, we wouldn’t win, but we sure as heck would be competitive! Whatever the reason, we are not sending a team. It’s a little frustrating, but it is what it is.
With the cold weather approaching, it’s almost time to start thinking about indoors. This season we will have not just one great arenacross series, but two! The big question is, who will ride which series. The Future West Moto Series will have its regulars, and you can always count on the Americans from the North West to make the drive up. I really don’t think the 2nd series will have much of an effect, if any, on the attendance or rider turnout. The 2nd series is the AX Tour. This series has been running for many years down in the south east and these guys know what they are doing. I think they will do a great job, as always. I just hope the riders show up and give their support so the series can continue to grow.
Jeff McConkey Set to Compete in The Corduroy Enduro
I plan on lining up for the Sarnia round, October 9-10. I would have loved to race both Ontario rounds, but somehow I was talked into racing The Corduroy Enduro. No, I am not an off-road racer at all! Heck, I don’t even like to get dirty. Long story short, Bigwave Billy and Husqvarna Canada’s Victoria Hett came up with a crazy idea for a story. I really don’t even know the details yet, except I will be racing both days of The Cord aboard a Husqvarna from Husqvarna Canada. Like I said earlier, I am not an off-road guy at all, but I will do my best to stay clean!
“You don’t see many sissies out there!” …until now! Jeff McConkey has no idea what we’ve gotten him into.
Rockstar MX Nationals Awards Teaser
Since the national season is over here in Canada, here’s a little teaser of our annual awards column coming soon to Direct Motocross:
Most Dominate: Kaven Benoit was the most dominate guy in any class. He went on an insane holeshot and moto win streak that I doubt will be matched, ever. He looked like he was built for the KTM 250 2-stroke, and he dominated the MX2 class.
Best Looking Team: Jay Moore at Fox Canada, had the Royal Distributing Fox Racing KTM Canada team looking top shelf every moto at every single round. I’m all about the looks, and these guys looked good!
Most Improved: Jess Pettis was my most improved. He looked like a completely different guy out there this season. He was bigger, stronger and faster. Pettis may not have been ready for the Leading Edge Monster ride he once had. I believe if he had another shot at that ride, he would certainly open some eyes.
Feel Good Story: I’m going to have to go with the Devils Lake Yamaha Team signing Kyle Swanson. Swanson needed a ride bad, and Devils Lake had already been through 2 450 riders. It was a match made in heaven and I honestly think we will see these guys doing great things together for a long time.
Worst Starter: Dylan Schmoke was pretty bad at his starts this year. This guy had to pass his way into the top 10 every moto. He has the speed to be well inside the top 10, he just needs a start. It would honestly help him get “on the board.”
Well, that’s it for me this week. I will be heading East to Madoc, Ontario, to get some much needed seat time at MMRS. There’s still lots of great local racing left, so give the MMRS series a look. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out this week’s ‘Out of the Blue‘ with Summer Knowles. Summer is quite a character and it’s a good read.
Before I go, I’d like to send my best wishes to Jack Wright. Jack was the Intermediate racer who had his stomach sliced a few years ago by his foot peg leaving his insides on the outside. Well, this past weekend, poor Jack got bit again by his foot peg and has some serious nerve and tendon damage in his wrist. He underwent surgery and now has a long recovery ahead of him. Stay strong, Jack, you will be back in no time. Have a safe but enjoyable long weekend, and always remember to #smileforBC!
Thanks, Jeff. I have to start off by touching on the fact that we’ve got Jeff signed up to ‘compete’ in the 2015 Corduroy Enduro. Let me explain how this started:
I was speaking with Victoria Hett over at Husqvarna Canada trying to think of a cook way to get out on a Husky and do a little story. I was thinking maybe Emily and I would jump on a dirt/street bike and head north for a coffee or head to a local race to shoot some coverage and talk about how nice it was to get there on the seat of a Husqvarna.
Next thing you know, I’m not involved at all and we’ve got Jeff signed up for the toughest event on the planet this side of Erzberg! (Actually, that event isn’t until May, Jeff. What do you think?) See how I managed to get myself out of doing any work? That takes skill and lots of slacker practice, folks.
Jeff is infamous for his love of all things moto fashion and absolutely HATES to get his gear dirty. He is in for the shock of his life at this event. My only regret is that I won’t be able to be there to ‘help’ him. I’ll be at the first round of the Canadian Arenacross Tour in my hometown of London, Ontario.
I think this could be my new calling in life: find the most difficult and ridiculous events to sign Jeff up for. If you’ve got any suggestions for upcoming races/rides/whatever that you think we should enter him in, please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll do our best to get him to the start line of whatever we can.
Nobody let Jeff see this next video…
It’s a little known fact that my favourite track of all-time is the Baja Acres sand track in Millington, Michigan. Back in my day, I don’t think they really had anything of this level to attend. I’ve been too busy to make an appearance at this event since moving back from BC, but it looks like I will make it for the final day of racing at the Baja Brawl this holiday Monday.
I know there will be a big group of Canadians in attendance as well as a bunch of Pro riders from the USA (like James Roberts and Marshall Weltin who appear on the main page!) who we’ve gotten to know over the years at our Canadian Nationals. I’ll be sure to snag lots of photos and some video of the event to post up on the site next week.
Area 51 Can-Am AIR
If you’re over in this part of the country and aren’t going to be at Baja Acres, you’ll likely be heading to Area 51 in New York State for their annual Can-Am AIR event. I know riders like Hayden Halstead and Mitch Goheen will be heading east for this one.
Good luck to everyone making the trip.
Future West Moto BC Motocross Outdoor Finale
If you’re over on the left side of this country, you’ll likely be heading to Kelowna for the final race of the Future West BC Motocross outdoor season.
Dusty Klatt Wild Rose MX School
And if you’re in the Calgary area, I just noticed on Dusty Klatt‘s Facebook page that he’s got a couple spots left for this weekend’s MX School out at Wild Rose MX Park. He says you can give him a call or text at 1-250-204-2400.
Women’s East MX Nationals – Report Card
We continued grading final papers and dioramas to come up with final grades for the Women’s East MX Nationals riders. If you missed it, here’s another look:
Women’s East – Report Card
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
The Women’s East Nationals ran a 3-round series again in 2015 with rounds at Gopher Dunes, Sand Del Lee and Ulverton. Quebec rider, Eve Brodeur, defended her title in dominant fashion and the only blemish on her results sheet came when one of the best female motocrossers to ever ride a bike, Jessica ‘JP$’ Patterson, came up to race (and win) the Ulverton round.
Here is a look at the top 10 racers’ report cards.
10. #31 Heather Bennett HON: 9-13-14 (57)
Heather rode strong all season long and had a solid season. Her speed was decent but her starts killed her. The back half of the pack is so much slower, you just can’t afford to have to pass though them every moto. With better starts, Heather would be in around the 7th or 8th position.
Heather is one of those riders who impressed me when I first saw her ride up here in Canada a couple years ago. I guess I just thought she would be battling for podiums eventually and that just never materialized. She’s a very competitive person and, I’m sure, hoped for the same.
She had a wedding to plan and so we’ll give her a bit of a break, but let’s see if she can get back to form for 2016, should she return for another kick at the can.
9. #265 Brittany Gagné SUZ: DNR-3-11 (60)
I’m giving Gagné a high mark, because she is a top tier rider. She showed up at round 2 and instantly got into the mix. She had to jump through many hurdles just to line up at Ulverton. It started with paying to have a bike shipped from Montana, then having a motor shipped over night, only to have it not arrive for the race, and then being forced to race her brother’s 450 with zero 450 experience ever. She looked really good on the 450 until she ate it pretty hard.
Brittany is an American rider who came up to Sand Del Lee and looked fast. She has the speed but just didn’t get the luck this summer. She came into the final round at Ulverton looking to challenge Eve for moto wins but when her plans got all screwed up, she was forced to race her brother’s 450 an then a hard crash took her out. A C is all I can give her, but if we were grading for effort she would receive an easy A from me.
8. #8 Allie Argue YAM: 4-2-41 7 (8)
I feel bad giving Allie such a low grade, but she has crashed out 2 years in a row. She has some serious speed, but really needs to control it more. The classic saying, “sometimes you need to slow down to go faster,” applies to Allie. She is still young, and with the great MX101 crew, she will figure it out soon.
I’m giving out a lot of C’s in this class. Allie had two solid rounds and then fell hard in a rather weird place in Ulverton. It took her out of competition and removed any hope of a top 3 number for 2016. Allie is a competitor and has the speed and support to finish up there. She’ll need some good starts and then try to run up with Eve to call 2016 a success.
7. #5 Alexandra Raymond KTM: 10-5-7 (79)
After a rough first round at Gopher Dunes, Alexandra really impressed me with her speed at the last 2 rounds. She got decent starts and pushed all moto long. If she can figure out the Dunes, she will get a better grade. She also has some of the nicest looking gear combos out of the Ladies.
Although she dropped from #5 to #7, I’m giving Alexandra a B because I was impressed with the speed she showed. I didn’t think she had it in her, but she rode really well at the Walton TransCan and showed everyone that she really is a rider to be taken seriously and given respect in this class.
If she rides like she did in Walton next summer, she could surprise the rest of the field and drop her number substantially.
6. #4 Cassandra Belanger KTM: 7-8-9 (80)
Cass had a hard time getting going in the motos. Her first lap or 2 hurt her. If she can figure out her starts and sprint for the first 2 laps, she will be inside the top 4 or 5. Her fitness will never be an issue.
I really thought Cassandra would have been closer to the front this summer. She still rode a consistent series but didn’t show me the speed she did in 2015. She managed to not have one of those really bad weekends and that’s what saved her from falling two places to 8th in the standings. The points were very close.
She is very fit and could finish much better in the standings, if she wants to. I think that might be the big question, right there – does she want to? If I’m wrong, she can prove it next summer.
5. #3 Abbrielle Tardelli KTM: 5-10-6 (83)
Abby gets a B- from me, and it’s definitely not for lack of effort. She had terrible starts and was on the ground for most of them, but she never stopped charging hard. She has a great attitude and never gave up. In my opinion, she should be a 3-4 girl at worst.
Abby told me at the start of the season that she wanted to better her number for 2016. She was a little under-powered on her little 2-stroke and her poor starts reflected that. She spent her whole summer playing catch up, and that’s not going to win the title.
She will probably have to bite the 4-stroke bullet in 2016 if she wants to get back on the podium like she was in 2014. She usually passed more people than anyone else, but she still gets a C because, at her level, she shouldn’t have to.
4. #887 Madison Seguin YAM: 6-6-8 (87)
Madi didn’t have blazing speed, but she was consistent, and stayed on 2 wheels. With better starts, I think she could hang with the 4th-6th place girls with ease. Her father said she tested a 4-stroke and is quite a bit faster on it, so maybe that will help her next season.
Madison was that rider who was always right there but didn’t draw a lot of attention. Snagging 4th in the series should be enough to have us all expecting more consistent top finishes in 2016. She will need to find a little more speed and maybe move to the smoother power delivery of a 4-stroke if she wants that to happen, but she is a good rider and that should be well within her capabilities this winter.
3. #79 Kassie Boone SUZ: 3-9-4 (92)
Kassie gets an A- because she wasn’t expected to do more than 1 round and ended up finishing 3rd overall. She has fun when she rides and it really shows. Her fitness is holding her back, but for not training her butt off, she had one heck of a season.
Part of me feels Kassie deserves a lower score simply because she has more natural talent, arguably, than the rest of the field combined! With that skill, I feel that if she put her mind to it she could be a multi-time champion. The only thing stopping her from making that a reality is Kassie, herself.
In fact, I didn’t really think we’d see her in Ottawa, and certainly not in Ulverton, but we did and she took 3rd overall just by being there. Now, with a little more race drive, she could win a few of these things…but she’ll probably stick to ramp jumping, and that’s just fine because she’s really good at that, too.
2. #6 Kim Normandin HON: 2-4-5 (111)
Kim actually impressed me the most this season. She has a good style and charges all moto long. She led Brodeur in the 2nd moto at the MMRS Madoc National and looked very comfortable. She doesn’t have the speed of Eve, but she has everyone else covered.
I have to admit I didn’t see this one coming. Kim has shown speed before but nothing like I saw this summer. She has a good, solid style to build on and could show Eve a wheel in a bunch of motos next summer. If she gets the support she needs this winter, she could actually win this series.
1. #1E Eve Brodeur KTM: 1-1-2 (144)
It’s pretty simple, Eve Brodeur is just that good at the young age of 15. She is not great at one thing, but she is very good at everything. The only thing that Eve has against her is lack of competition. The Brodeurs go looking for stiffer competition and welcome faster riders into the series with open arms. For 2016, Eve needs to be pushed a little more, as she may have slowed down a bit near the end of the season. The sky is the limit for this young lady, and I don’t she her letting up anytime soon.
It took the female G.O.A.T. to stop Eve from another perfect summer. Some might say that her loss to Jessica Patterson could remove the ‘+’ from her grade but I’m leaving it in there. Eve is clearly the fastest female rider still racing in the eastern series. It will take some pretty impressive improvements from any other rider to get up to her level in the near future.
Congratulations on another title, Eve. This title could be hers as long as she stays motivated and interested.
Enjoy your off-season, everyone. There shouldn’t have been any reason to hide this report card from your parents.
We’d also like to congratulate Leah Carke, Sylvain Brodeur, and everyone else involved in putting on another great series for the Women’s East Nationals. This series is getting done on hard work and sweat. I’m not sure how much longer they can run at this level and, hopefully, their hard work and great results have been noticed by a would-be title sponsor and these people don’t have to scramble to make this series a success again in 2016. A+
Canadian Arenacross – Who’s Going Where?
Wow, here’s an unusual problem for us to have in Canadian post-nationals Professional moto: we will have two separate arenacross series this fall. The Future West Canadian Arenacross Championships will again do their thing out in BC while the new Arenacross Tour Presented by Royal Distributing will fire up and hit 3 provinces for 2015.
The question is, who’s going where?
I hopped on the phone this week and tried to find out where everyone is going and, believe it or not, it’s still a little early to give you a definitive answer. Here’s what we kind of know:
Royal Distributing Fox Racing KTM Canada:
Cole Thompson, Kaven Benoit, and Tanner Ward will be in London for round 1 of the AXTour.
Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki
They will be doing the AXTour starting in London. Watch for a Press Release next week that will give us the riders who will be representing them. We’re hearing names like Jacob Hayes thrown around.
Parts Canada Thor Husqvarna
Tyler Medaglia is maybe racing the Future West Moto series and will have an answer for us soon. He’s waiting to hear about dealer support out west, is what we’re hearing.
Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha
OTSFF will be involved in the logistics end of the AXTour. Bobby Kiniry is said to be representing the team on the race track.
Redemption Racing Fly Dragon KTM
It sounds like Nathan Bles, Eric Jeffery, and Alex Jeffery will be at the Ontario rounds, at least. They’d like to get Cade Clason up too but they don’t have many race bikes left from the summer season.
Canada’s Motorcycle FXR MX101 Yamaha
Dylan Wright will be in London for the AXTour event. The team would love to have Jimmy Decotis race but nothing is finalized yet as he tries to secure his ride for Supercross.
Honda Canada TLD GDR
We’ve heard that it isn’t 100% what Colton Facciotti, Jeremy Medaglia, or Kyle Keast are doing yet, but if they do any arenacross racing it will be the AXTour events. At least the Ontario rounds, anyway.
OK, so that’s what we ‘know’ at this point. I just spoke to the main factory-supported teams from the outdoor nationals. We’ll have full entry lists from both series posted on the site as soon as they are finalized. We’ve also heard that the powerhouse Cycle North Team will not be competing out west this fall as their manufacturer support just isn’t there. That means defending 450 champion, Ross Johnson, will probably not defend his title as he commits to the German SX series. We’ve heard Adam Enticknap will be at the Future West AX but that he may not be racing as he is still rehabbing his wrist. We’re also hearing some other names tossed around like Chris Blose, Dave Ginolfi, Travis Sewell, and Kyle Regal for the AX Tour.
Arenacross Tour Schedule
Sarnia, Ontario Oct 9-10
Penticton, BC Oct 24-24
Calgary, AB Nov 6-7
Whichever series you race or go watch, there will be upper-level riders racing for the checkers. It should be a great fall season to be a moto fan.
Red Bull ‘Rocks and Logs’
Wild Rose MX Park
Saturday-Sunday September 12-13
More information HERE.
Team Canada at the ISDE (Sept 7-12)
Be sure to follow along with the team in Slovakia on their Facebook page HERE.
Also, you can follow along live with a new smartphone app. Check this out from the official ISDE Facebook page:
For the first time you will be able to follow every second of the FIM International Six Days Enduro using the new FIM ISDE App that is available for FREE download (Apple Store & Android Market).
Ready for the 90th edition of the ISDE that will take place in the city of Košice, Slovakia from 7 to 12 September the FIM ISDE App will really bring all the action to the palm of your hand.
You will be able to follow every rider through every special test using the LIVE RESULTS facility, this will be complimented by TEAM RESULTS and CLASS RESULTS that will be updated at the end of each of the six days of competition. All the very latest NEWS will be available as it happens, along with a SOCIAL MEDIA feed where you can join the conversation #FIMISDE2015.
In addition you will also find profiles of all the leading RIDERS in each of the classes, plus information on DAYS 1-6 including route maps and useful GPS co-ordinates, all the GENERAL INFO together with local emergency numbers etc. The HISTORY section tells the story of how the ISDE began along with archive images and previous winners right back to 1913 and every edition thereafter.
All the latest IMAGES/VIDEOS from each day will be uploaded to the app so you can view them the moment they are ready. Finally you can explore the official PARTNERS of the 2015 FIM ISDE by selecting this option from the main menu.
2015 Promotional Video
OK, thanks for reading and have a great Labour Day Weekend. This is officially the last long weekend of summer but it doesn’t mean riding season is over. Some would argue the fall is the best time to ride in Canada. The heat and humidity are slowly dissipating (although it’s hard to believe with the 30-degree C and humid weather we’ve been having here lately) and it makes for some great riding days. The only problem we have is that it’s starting to get dark earlier and you have to pull your trailer and bike to work if you want to hit your local track afterwards.
Anyway, that’s all for this week. There will be lots to talk about this coming week, so be sure to tune in.