Frid’Eh Update #35 Presented by the New WASP Cam

By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford

20160724-I Hayden Halstead

Week #35 belongs to Waterford, ON rider, Hayden Halstead | Bigwave photo

Welcome to week #35 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update, this week presented by the new WASP cam 9906 and 9907 4K. This week’s honoree could easily win ‘Mr. Congeniality’ every year, if that honour were to be given out. Hayden Halstead is a racer who just loves to ride dirt bikes, and it shows every time he’s on one…which is a lot.

The Waterford, Ontario, native has been working his way up through the ranks the past few years and had his best season to date in 2016. He finished 8th overall in MX2 and will be #19 in 2017. Not surprisingly, his best overall finish was an 8th (8-8) at Round 5 at Gopher Dunes. He likes the sand. Here’s a look at his 2016 MX2 results:

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 11.10.29 AM

We got in touch with Hayden to talk about a few thinks, like how it was to drive the MX101 FXR Yamaha team rig across the country and race. Here’s what he had to say:

20160820- Hayden Halstead

Hayden took some time out from wedding prep to speak with us | McConkey photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Hayden. Let’s start by telling us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in Waterford, Ontario, 25 minutes away from Gopher Dunes. I started riding when I was 5 years old on a Honda Z50 and didn’t start racing until I was 7 on a KX65. I have my AZ and drove truck at US Steel hauling B trains the last three winters.

How did you actually get started riding/racing?
My parents trail rode and I naturally followed in their foot steps. They sold their suburban house to buy a farm and build a track because they couldn’t keep me off my bike.
You were going to travel as a full-on privateer this summer, but another option came up. Can you tell us how this all happened?
I was planning on racing the full series this year as a full-time privateer. My parents and Mckee Sport have always had my back since day one. Trevor at Mckee’s helped me out with buying two new bikes and getting the insane amount of parts I thought I needed. I drove MX101’s rig last year for them from Naniamio to Calgary as their driver had to be at home that week. After that week last year, a bit of a friendship was created. I had emailed Kevin Tyler in the fall about driving the rig and he wasn’t too sure on what was happening in the spring. Thinking that I was going to have to figure out the summer on my own with my parents I ended up working into April and only getting a month down south before Kevin approached me with driving and riding for MX101 while I was down south.
After coming home from south I went to Sand Del Lee to build my race bike and do a couple days of testing with the team. This opportunity definitely let me focus a lot more on just riding racing and training. Not as much worrying about bikes and parts and gear and all that comes with trying to race Pro nationals. My parents also stepped up when the team did for me. I can’t explain how hard everyone works under the tent and I couldn’t be more grateful for every single person helping me.
So, what did your weeks consist of as you drove the rig across the country?
Driving the rig was an awesome experience for me. I love driving as long as it’s in moderation. Moderation for me consists of no more than 12 hours at once (Laughs). Me and mx101 mechanic Cale Foster took the rig out west together. Since I’m the only one licensed to drive, Cale was there for entertainment purposes which he didn’t lack in!! I motored down pretty good out west with only a couple stops most times to jump on my road bicycle.
An average week consisted of trying to recover on Mondays and normally driving to the next race. Riding the next nationals track on Tuesday (96-hr rule). Wednesday, usually road cycle. Thursday, normally try to find somewhere to ride. Friday morning, I haul the rig in to the track to get set up – tent, bikes everyone flies in to help with that! Saturday, normally just a light cycle to get things warmed up! Sunday, I usually try to kick ass! Jess Pettis and his parents travel the nationals in their motorhome, so most weeks just was on the same schedule and we did moto’s and cycles together.
20160619 Hayden Halstead
That must have been an amazing summer. Can you give us a few highlights?
Summer 2016 highlights definitely include the whole opportunity to be with everyone at MX101 and having my parents at almost every single race. My dad was at every national as he was my mechanic and my mom flew out to Kamloops and Naniamo. Then, they both worked and drove to the nationals on the weekend for the East Coast, somehow making it work driving though the night and working all day.
Moncton was definitely another highlight. I normally struggle a bit on the hardpack but I seemed to put it together this year and was super happy with my results. I was pretty confident coming into Moncton after the couple East Coast rounds before the results and my teammates and team and parents and everyone helped pump me up to ride to the best of my ability.
What was your favourite part of the country? Best week?
Best week would’ve had to have been the week before Gopher. I had the Pettis family and Davey Fraser stay at my place. That is also when I met Broc Loftus (who ended up riding my practice 250 at RJ’s) at my local bike shop and invited them to come stay and ride with us. My mom cooked us all dinner every night, grandma baked for apple pies. We cycled Lake Erie, worked out in my gym and, of course, did motos. And every night went down to the quarry for a swim.
OK, so now what? There’s Ironman and MMRS Madoc National this weekend. Are you racing anywhere?
Unfortunately, I am not racing anywhere this weekend. I will be at a family wedding, but I am planning on going to the CAN AM Air at Area 51 and the Monster Mash at Baja Acres.
What will you do for the rest of the summer/fall?
Planning on heading back to work this fall and focusing on going somewhere this winter. Hopefully, just after Christmas to train for outdoors 2017.
20160807-Hayden Halstead
 What did you learn about yourself this summer? summer like that must have had moments of reflection and contemplation, no?
It’s pretty surreal on the West Coast at Kamloops, being treated like family from MX101, and having my mom and dad with me was unbelievable. I remember one night after the team left to go to their hotel I was just sitting under the tent with my dad, looking at the mountain in front of me while my mom cooked dinner and just thought to myself, “look at us, we couldn’t be happier!” Our little family under this huge tent halfway across the world cooking dinner, no cares at all, just excited for the first race to begin!
I also had a moment like that at the banquet Sunday night after RJ’s. It was all engines go between my parents and the team helping me race all four motos that day. I was so exhausted by the time I got to the banquet I don’t even know how I managed to have the energy to even have a thought but as we sat again as a little family with my big team I thought, “man, I’ll never forget this summer, I’m proud of everyone.”
OK, thanks for the chat. Who would you like to thank?

I’d like to thank everyone that made this year as great as it was. All my competitors who were all ultra-friendly, especially during the week making some good memories. My huge family!!! Kevin, Cale, Johnny, Pete, Al, Robin and Mitch and everyone from MX101 for believing in me. Joe Skidd for saving me this summer! Andy White with the continued support! R&R Mark and Chris. The Mckee family. Everyone at Yamaha Canada. Ryan Lockhart at 100%, Atlas. Dawn McClintock. And anyone one I’ve forgotten, thank you. And yourself, Billy, and Jeff!

WASP cam

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Jeff McConkey

Team Canada MXON

Hi, guys. Well, it’s a sad Friday. It’s been 2 weeks since the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals have ended. The Walton Super Final was last Sunday, and the last AMA National is tomorrow in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Where has our summer gone? The good news… we actually have a Motocross Des Nations team to cheer for, and it’s a pretty good one. Kourtney Lloyd has been chosen to lead our 2016 effort and I’m sure she will do us proud. I first met Kourtney a few years back at the DMX Toronto Supercross Pre-Party at Houston’s. I instantly liked Kourtney and her love for the sport. Over the years, I have seen her run a very successful amateur program, a successful Pro National team, and countless Arenacross teams. Her track record speaks for itself and I don’t see things changing anytime soon.

Check out Episode 2 of Tailgating with…Kourtney Lloyd

Tailgating with…Kourtney Lloyd from on Vimeo.

I feel the biggest hurdle for Kourtney will be the fact that no matter what she does, people will criticize her choices. From her riders, to her lodgings, everything and anything will be under the microscope. Yes, we could have sent a few different riders, but I was in the Des Nations meeting in Calgary. The 3 guys she chose, to me, showed the most interest, and looked like they’d do anything to go.

Everyone’s obvious choice would have been to have Colton Facciotti and Cole Thompson on board. Well, unfortunately, Colton’s not going to make the trip as his wife is due with their 2nd child right around race time. Our new MX2 champion, Cole Thompson, has had a very long season. It started with Arenacross, then Supercross, then outdoors, and a few Costa Rican rounds in between. The guy has been going non-stop. Would I like to have him on the team? Heck yeah, but I understand the situation, and I think we honestly have the best team going.

Cole Thompson and Colton Facciotti

Neither Cole Thompson or Colton Facciotti will be on Team Canada this year. | Bigwave photo

Our MX2 rider, Shawn Maffenbeier, is set for his first Des Nations. Going in, is anyone really ready for their first time? I think it’s overwhelming for everyone. Picking Shawn is a good pick. He’s fit, fast and he’s a no bullshit type of guy. If his bike isn’t perfect, not a problem. Maff will give you his all each and every time, no matter what the stage is. He’s not flashy, and that’s good because we don’t need that. This is a full team effort and this guy fits in perfectly.

20160820-Shawn Maffenbeier

Shawn Maffenbeier will ride MX2 | Bigwave photo

Our MX3 rider couldn’t have picked a better time to get hot. Tyler Medaglia has really picked it up as of late, and is another guy that will give you everything he has. Tyler has been to the big show a few times and the bright lights won’t scare him. He’s coming off of his best ride in years at RJ’s and doesn’t seem to be slowing anytime soon. This guy is a racer. He shows up prepared and goes out there and does it to the best of his abilities no matter what. Who doesn’t love that?

20160724-Tyler Medaglia

Tyler Medaglia will be our MX3 rider | Bigwave photo

And last, but certainly not least is our MX1 rider, Kaven Benoit. This was Kaven’s rookie season in the 450 class. I know, right…you never would have guessed it. Minus a few mechanicals, his season was fantastic. Once we hit the East, Benoit’s speed picked up and so did his confidence. He wasn’t afraid to show Davi Millsaps a wheel, and just think, he’s still getting used to the big bike. Kaven has been to a few Des Nations before, but it will be much easier this time around. He is still getting better day by day and I think he should open some eyes.

20160820-Kaven Benoit

And Kaven Benoit is our MX2 competitor | Bigwave photo

All in all, I truly believe that we have a great team, and that this is just a start. No, we aren’t going to win, but in my eyes, putting together a great program and gaining respect year after year, while bettering our results, is the main goal. I’m really excited to see our team and riders compete at the highest level. If you haven’t already, please get in touch with Kourtney and support this great effort.

AMA Ironman National

As I said earlier, the final round of the AMA Nationals is this Saturday at the Ironman National in Crawfordsville, Indiana. I will be skipping my regular trip to the MMRS Madoc National and making the drive South.  I won’t be the only Canadian in attendance as we actually have a few lining up. Big Steel Box, Redemption Racing will have Cade Clason and Shawn Maffenbeier lining up. They won’t be alone, as MX101’s Dylan Wright will be attempting his first AMA National, and Kaven Benoit has decided to throw his hat into the ring. It will be nice to see a few of our top riders out there battling with the best in the world.

Dylan Wright

Dylan Wright will line up for his first AMA Pro National this weekend at Ironman MX in Indiana. Watch for the #223 | Bigwave photo

Before I go, I’d like to give a huge shout out to Brett Lee, Mark Perrin, Barry Hetherington and the entire Walton Crew. These guys absolutely killed it last week on and off the track. It was a great event, but I’m a little disappointed in the poor rider attendance. This is still, and will always be the crown jewel in Canadian motocross. Open your eyes people and embrace it. If we don’t support the people and events that support us, they won’t be around much longer.

Barry Hetherington and the Walton Crew get stud status.

Shout out to Barry Hetherington and the Walton Crew | Bigwave photo

Have a great weekend and #smileforBC! See you in Indiana.

Billy Rainford

Thanks, Jeff. Safe travels to Indiana! It should be cool to see how these 3 Canadians (Kaven, Dylan, and Shawn) do against the best of the Lucas Oil AMA circuit. I went last year and Kaven had a solid day. There are a couple massive jumps on the Ironman track that will test the nerve of any rider. Good luck, guys. I can’t wait to see Jeff’s ‘Faces at the Races’ article from this one!

I’ll be making the drive just northeast of Toronto to Madoc for the 6th Annual MMRS Madoc National. I won’t be racing the Legends race this year, but it will still be a great day at the races.

We’ll be presenting the DMX Full Circle Award again this year. The winner will receive a gift certificate for time at Club MX Training Facility in Chesterfield, SC. If you know someone who has shown perseverance and dedication to the sport this year, be sure to let me know Sunday.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 11.37.33 AM

While we’re at it, here’s a look back at Jeremy Medaglia‘s time at the 2012 edition of the MMRS Madoc national when he took home the lion’s share of the cash:

Jeremy Medaglia: 2012 MMRS Madoc National from on Vimeo.

2017 CMRC Top 100 Pro National Numbers-1 2017 CMRC Top 100 Pro National Numbers-2 2017 CMRC Top 100 Pro National Numbers-3

We all did the same thing and scrolled down to see who was the winner of the #69 sweepstakes. John John Pauk gets the dubious honour of running #69 in 2017. Congrats, JJ.

Parts Canada TransCan GNC at Walton raceway


The 25th anniversary event is in the books. I gave Brett Lee a call to get his thoughts on how everything went. We could have just talked about the damn weather and how it did everything it could to prevent the final couple days from happening at all, but we talked about the things that could be controlled instead.

The Numbers: The bad news: the numbers were down about 40 riders from 2015. The good news: 2015 was a record year, so the numbers were actually right on par with the usual. Good to see.

20160818 Tanner Ward

Overall, the rider turnout was only down from the record year in 2015. The quality of riders, however, was higher than ever! | Bigwave photo

The Concert: Cold Creek County played Friday night despite the monsoon that swept through the Walton area. They played acoustically while the storm raged and it was too dangerous to plug in their instruments. Most people headed home or back to their trailers and tents, thinking the night was over. Nope. The rain stopped, they mopped up the excess water, and the guys rocked out to those who remained. People back in the pits heard the music and slowly wandered back for what I heard was a really good and enthusiastic show. I’m not a country fan by a longshot, but that is pretty cool.

Awards Ceremony: The awards ceremony was held inside the Honda Solar Building and went very smoothly, I thought. In the past, riders 10 deep would slowly walk to the mic and thank sponsors. Although it’s a great way for them to practice public speaking and giving those who helped them some recognition, the fact that it extended the proceedings for hours left most just angry instead of appreciative.

This year, Ryan Gauld kept it moving along quickly and smoothly, interspersing class awards and special awards nicely throughout the evening.

The Track: The Walton gang made a few changes to the track that had very positive results. They tilled it nice and deep and there were, literally, 10 line choices in almost every corner. It was nobody’s fault but your own if you were unable to get around lappers.

20160821 Ryeley Gallup

Line choices were not an issue. There were usually 6 ruts in every corner! | Bigwave photo

The new section that had riders ride up into the middle of the crown and back again was a great addition. It gave spectators a much better chance to get a close look at the action.

They also got rid of some of the extra area that had the riders in and out of the fans’ view in the trees. They really never left anyone’s sight this year. It was great.

The Pits: The Pro and Amateur pits were all on the same side this year. It made for a really great atmosphere all contained in one area. I know I didn’t put in half the walking miles I usually would at this event, and my knees thank you.

The Pro Race: OK, so we really could have had a better turnout for Sunday’s Pro Open races. They only had riders line up on one side of the gate for the MX2 and MX1 motos and then opened it up for the Super Final. Where was everyone? There was cash to be made and riders didn’t take advantage of the opportunity.


A Pro moto heads into the second corner | Bigwave photo

I can almost understand some of the big ‘factory’ teams not coming simply because of budget constraints etc., but where were all the local or Quebec Pro riders? I spoke to one rider who finished in the mid-teens and they won $600 for their efforts.

I my opinion, Walton is all about the TransCan and I hope that remains the focus, moving forward. The Pro race could go away for all I’m concerned, as long as manufacturers all get behind and support the amateur week. The TransCan as the TransCan and it’s what all the amateurs across the country (and their families) strive for all year long. It needs to remain the so called ‘crown jewel’ of amateur racing in Canada.

I also understand it’s expensive to have top guys like Davi Milsapps or Matt Goerke show up for that extra round of racing. How about the teams all park their rigs at Walton throughout the week (they were just in Barrie anyway) and they have a few of the top amateur prospects pit under their awnings for the week and give them the full Pro treatment? I think that would be amazing! And then, while we’re at it, pick a couple of your top privateer brand riders and give them the same chance on the Pro day. How cool would that be?! I know, just ask Brock Leitner how cool that would be! He was pitted under the Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki rig all week. Cool deal.

20160821 Brock Leitner

#45 Brock Leitner got to pit under the Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki awning in Walton | Bigwave photo

OK, we’ll let Brett and Mark and Barry catch their collective breath before we start firing ideas down their throats. Oh wait, what about the idea of moving the entire proceedings ahead one day so that the amateurs finish on Friday and the Pro race is Saturday, along with the season-ending concert/party? I love this idea! Traditionally, Walton has meant the end of a long season and it was a great opportunity to unwind and have some fun with the people you may not see again until the next spring. This idea would give us that opportunity again. Do it, do it!

Canadian AX Tour is Coming!

2016 AXTour Schedule

FXR | Behind the Fence | Parts Canada TransCan

If you still can’t get enough TransCan coverage, check out this FXR-centric look at the week through the lens of Dawn McClintock:

The Walton TransCan Champions and Special Award Winners

2016 GNC Special Award Winners

2016 Canadian Amateur Grand National Champions join the Hall of Fame

Team Canada MXON | Raffle Ticket Draw Extended

You can still support Team Canada MX by purchasing your raffle tickets. I will have a handful of them at the MMRS Madoc national this weekend, so bring your $100 cash if you’d like to chip in. You can also get in touch with Team Manager, Kourtney Lloyd, to buy tickets or to support the team.

Draw will now be held SEPTEMBER 10th.


  • Trip for 2 to the 2016 Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas
  • $5000 cash

Heading into the final round, both titles have been decided. Here’s a look at the point standings after Budds Creek:



Women’s MX Championship

Quebec rider and 3-time defending Women’s East National champion, Eve Brodeur, will be in action in Indiana this weekend, too. Watch for her to compete in the remaining 5 rounds of the Women’s MX Championships south of the border.

Round 6

Ironman MX – Aug 28

Round 7

Baja Brawl – Sept 3

Round 8

Kawasaki Race of Champions – Oct 2

Round 9

Budds Creek – Oct 9

Round 10

Winter Olympics – Nov 26

20160813- Eve Brodeur

Watch for Eve Brodeur to compete at round 6 of the Women’s MX Championship at Ironman MX in Indiana this weekend, too | Bigwave photo

London Ontario’s Shawn Maffenbeier Set to Represent Canada in Italy…

Shawn Maffenbeier London

Sorry, Shawn, looks like we’ve claimed you as our own now that you spend a little time here in London! See you at the races… | Our London photo