Frid’Eh Update #36 Presented by FXR

By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford

Week #36 belongs to US rider, Austin Kouba | Bigwave photo

Welcome to week #36 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update. It’s been a long summer that seems to have disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Well, time slips away and leaves you with nothing, Mister, but boring stories of…Glory Days.” ~ The Boss

It’s not until you look back at all the things that happened that you realize it was actually a long, action-packed and exciting few months. It doesn’t matter how old you get or when the last time was that you had to wake up to the first day of school, Labour Day Weekend is a roller coaster ride of emotions. Outdoor series are done, nights are noticeably longer and colder, and if you live in a University city like I do, the streets are even more jammed with cars as students return.

On a positive note, most of us in Canada have a couple more months of near-perfect weather for riding. There are tons of great events on the horizon and if you ask a lot of people, fall is their favourite time of year. Although the grass seems greener on the other side of a lot of fences, I would miss the changing of the seasons if I were to live in a climate that was basically the same 12 months of the year.

OK, that was my “Er ma gherd, it’s the end of summer!” self pep talk. I can’t believe we all do the same things ever year – we freak out that it gets darker earlier and we all have that same reaction when we see orange leaves on the trees or dead ones on the ground. September always means “Back to school” and I haven’t been there in a helluva long time!

Hockey will be starting soon, the NFL will be firing up, and baseball will soon stop choking up your TV channels with boring, 6-hour games of catch…

But that’s not why you called…

The only Vietnamese Pro Motocross racer that studies accounting | Boise State

#36 for 2017 belonged to Idaho racer, Austin Kouba. If you check out Austin’s Facebook page, you’ll learn that his tag line is, “The only Vietnamese Pro Motocross racer that studies accounting | Boise State” Actually, now that I’ve creeped his FB page, it looks like he’s been very busy at the lake riding Jet Skis and has a pretty busy moth coming up racing in Wyoming and Utah!

Austin is the friendly and fast rider that would often have Canadians looking to their programs to find out who the fast rider with the 3-digit number was. He’s had some great rides north of the border over the years.

He lined up for a few rounds of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship this summer and wasn’t able to run his #36 up here. We grabbed him for a chat to see what he’s been up to. Here’s what he had to say:

Direct Motocross: Hello, Austin. You earned #36 for the 2017 season but we didn’t see you up here in Canada. Can we back up and have to introduce yourself? Where are you from? How old are you, and how did you get into motocross in the first place?
Austin Kouba: I’m from Boise, Idaho, 22 years old and first got into dirt bikes when I was little. I didn’t race motocross too much until I was about 15-16, then started doing it quite a bit. Before then I just rode around on trails with big barkbusters on my handlebars.
What was your first race in Canada and why did you head north?
My first race in Canada was in 2014. I did the first few rounds in MX1 and had a blast. I think I got a top 10 at Nanaimo which was cool. We just wanted to go up there for something different, and more challenging than local stuff. It was cool because it’s serious and really competitive, but also a lot more laid back than the US nationals.

Austin has now fallen hard for Jet Skiing and says that “it’s better than dirt bikes!” | Kouba photo

What has been your best memory from racing up here?
My favorite memory from up there would probably be Nanaimo in 2016. Everyone hates that place but for some reason I always do good there (Laughs). I think I got like an 8th or 9th overall because some people got docked for jumping on a cross flag, but I’ll take it (Laughs).
You only did a few rounds and got #35. We didn’t see you up here this summer because you raced some AMA Nationals. How did those go for you?
They went pretty good, I was just wanting to qualify for them. I made 4 out of 5 of them and missed the motos by one spot in the consi at Millville which sucked. But overall I had a ton of fun and learned a lot! I came close to scoring a point at Lakewood, was battling with Justin Beiber‘s doppelgänger (fellow Idahoan, Morgan Burger). We were going back and forth in the midst of getting lapped, and I tipped over in a turn and threw away my chances on the last lap. But I still had fun!
Did you pay attention to the Canadian series this summer? What did you think?
Yeah, I followed it closely, actually. It’s always cool to see which one of the guys from 8-12 are going to make it into the front group. It looks like that guy was (Keylan) Meston, good for him. I can’t believe (Matt) Georke beat (Christophe) Pourcel, to be honest, but good for him. That guy is an animal.
What will you do for the rest of the fall months?
For the fall I’ll probably just ride when I can, try to focus on my last year of college and then start getting ready to race in the spring. Only two semesters left so I need to put my head down and get through them so I’m done with it.
What did you think of the final round at Ironman MX? How would you rank that performance by Jeffrey Herlings?
I thought he would be good, but I didn’t think he would school everyone. As much as it hurts me to say that, because I’m a huge (Eli) Tomac fan. I think his ride is indicative of how fast those guys really are. But I think the #3 will be ready to show them who the big dog is now that he’s not in conservation mode.

Austin says he always does well in Nanaimo even though most riders aren’t fans of the track | Bigwave photo

What are your winter racing/training plans?
Through the winter I’ll probably just do whatever races RMX has, try to mountain bike and not get fat. Maybe get into snow bikes? Who knows (Laughs)?!
How about next summer? Will we see you up north again anytime soon?
I’m racing Calgary next summer, stamp it. I was going to go this year, but, to be honest, I was over it after racing the first 3 AMA nationals. It blows me away those guys do that every weekend.
OK, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. Good luck, and who would you like to thank?
No worries. First off, thanks to my brother who played mechanic 5 times for free, and busted his ass every weekend to make sure I was good to go. He sacrificed a lot of his own riding to be at the races with me, and I couldn’t have done it without him. Also, thanks to Carl’s Cycle Sales, Fokus Graphics, Fly/WPS, koubalink, Scott, Rekluse, Pro Moto Billet, and obviously my parents. They’re the main financial sponsor at this point so I couldn’t do it without them.
You’ve got to cheer for a guy who is a university student and still finds as much time to race at the Pro level as he can. We’ll keep an eye out for him when we head to Calgary next summer.

Week #36 is brought to you by FXR. Be sure to check out all the new gear over at their site. You can have a look and place your orders HERE.


Happy Friday, everyone.

AMO/MMRS Madoc National

This past weekend, I decided to head East and enjoy the AMO/MMRS Madoc National. Madoc is a little town in Ontario that opens their arms to this club each year. The race is held at the town’s fairgrounds where the MMRS crew has had a permanent track for quite a few years. The township runs the food, and makes some great meals over the 3 days, and they even open up the community center to allow the racers and families to use the showers. The grounds are pretty flat with 75% smooth grass and 25% asphalt. It really doesn’t get much nicer than that.

The track crew had the track tilled deeper than usual making for epic conditions in the morning. My one major complaint is that they never seem to put down enough water throughout the day. It needs to be a little sloppy in the morning, and they need to keep on top of the dust. The turnout was pretty decent, but I was shocked that more people didn’t flood to Madoc after the loss of Walton.

All of the classes had some serious talent. The Intermediate classes had the most depth by far. There is a very deep group of B riders working their way up to the Pro class. A few guys that impressed me, other than  the regular “Fab 3,”  were Sam Gaynor, Brock Kelly, Kyle Brown, Nick Cryer and Max Filipek, to name a few.

#28 Sam Gaynor was impressive up in the Intermediate class and took the ‘DMX Total Devotion Award’ for a week at Club MX | Randy Wiebe photo

In the Junior class, it is “The Jake Tricco Show.” Behind Tricco, there is a very good group trying to beat the #527. I was impressed by guys like Seth Hughes, Quinn Amyotte, Sam Matthews, Seth McDowall and Cameron Wrozyna.

The Junior class is ‘The Jake Tricco Show.’ | Randy Wiebe photo

On 85’s, Luke Tricco is the guy to beat, with Mitchell Zaremba and Jamie Powell hot on his heals.

And last but not least, the Vet class. It was really cool to the Canadian Goat, JSR, blow the dust off of himself and have some fun.

JSR did more than help Tanner Ward this weekend and raced the Vet class | Bigwave photo

All in all it was a great event. I hope the numbers will grow in the upcoming years. The new 3-moto format and lower class prices are a huge hit. The only thing I would change would be the Pro schedule. These guys race all year long and don’t want to be at the track for 3 long days. I would keep the amateur program the same. For the pros, I would have them arrive for one day only, either Saturday and Sunday. I would give them a 15-20 minute practice right after riders meeting and that way they could set some good lines into the fresh track. Then, I would have them run a 25-minute moto at 11am, and another one at 2pm. Or, if they are doing 3 motos, maybe 10am, 12:30pm, and 3pm. Get them on the track when the most spectators are there and put on a show.

No disrespect to the amateur racers, but sometimes it gets boring watching motos for 3 days straight and people want a pick-me-up. That’s just my opinion, run the Pros on one day only, and if they want to race more, they can sign up and race age classes. I really feel like that will entice more Pros to show up after a long grueling season.

Madoc McThoughts

Ladies A 14+

1st Kelcey Jones 2-1-2: Kelcey should be the 2017 ‘Most Improved Rider.’ She’s been getting better over the years, but something clicked in moto 2 at RJ’s. She’s been a different rider since. I think the fitness has helped, and if she ups the intensity in the gym this off season, she will be a player next season. She was the most consistent in Madoc and leaves with the money.

Kelcey Jones won the Women’s A +14 class | Jeff McConkey photo

2nd Kassie Boone 5-2-1: Kassie stepped back from racing to pursue her new love of freestyle (in which she is killing it). You could tell Kassie was pumping up pretty bad, but she still looked great. She didn’t unleash any of that raw speed we all know her for, but she left healthy. She rode the 250 2-stroke very well on the slippery hard-pack Madoc track.


3rd Estrella Cemovic 1-4-3: Estrella looked good, but I think the raw speed is missing. I know it wasn’t the best track for a 2-stroke, but she rode it well. I’d like to see her hang it out a little more. She’s still young and will continue to improve and impress.


4th Taylor Grills 10-5-4: This is the best I have seen Taylor ride. I’m glad she ditched the 4-stroke and is back on the 125. She needs to squeeze the bike more and get her butt off of the seat, and that will help her improve.


5th Lindsey Bradley 6-9-5: Lindsey is a veteran of this race, and had a solid weekend. With a little more aggression, she should be fighting for top 5’s. She’s just too nice out there.


Cash Class


1st Jeremy Medaglia 1-2-1: Jeremy was the heavy favourite going in, and his riding both days showed why. His last-to-2nd ride in moto 2 was pretty bad ass. It’s nice to see J-Dags back at the races putting in solid motos and having fun.

#58 Jeremy Medaglia won the Cash class | Randy Wiebe photo

2nd Tanner Ward 2-1-2: This was Tanner’s last race with yellow plates. He rode like a beast all weekend and will be a serious threat next season. I’d like to see him improve on his ruts a little more, but other than that, he looks great.


3rd Eric Jeffrey 3-5-3: Typical weekend for Eric, good starts and consistent rides from the 32 machine. Eric looked good and for his lack of riding, 3rd overall is a great weekend.


4th Austin Watling 5-3-4: Austin was good at Madoc, but to be honest, I expected him to challenge Medaglia the most. Austin is a technical racer and I think the balls-to-wall style of racing on the slippery Madoc track didn’t suit him this season. Still a good ride for A-Dub.


5th Drew Roberts 4-4-5: This is the best I have seen Drew look in a long time. I think he was burnt out and over it at the Nationals. He was fast at Madoc and his intensity was awesome. Drew is a great guy and gives back to the club races all of the time which is super cool.


6th Jason Burke 6-6-7: Good Old Burkey showed up to Madoc and had a blast mixing it up with the kids. The best thing about this guy is that he knows when to back it down and ride smart to make it to work on Monday. Burke grabbed a holeshot and had 3 solid motos.


7th Nick Jones 7-8-6: Jones has good style, and looked good on the KTM. I’d like to see him lose the yellow plates and run the white with black. Consistently good weekend for Nick.


8th Sam Gaynor 8-7-8: Congrats to Sam, he is our 2017 ‘Direct Motocross Total Devotion Award‘ winner. Sam looked good all weekend and never gave up. This kid has heart for days and I’m excited to see what he can do after sometime down at ClubMX.


9th Jack Wright 10-9-15: Not the weekend Jack was hoping for. He looked good at times, but had some bad luck. I think he may be a little tired from a hectic schedule. I expect to see a fresh #56 next season.


10th Duncan MacLeod 16-11-9: I like watching Duncan ride, but I think he just needs to let loose a little more. He has decent speed and style, but I think he just needs to loosen up a bit to take it to the next level.


Biggest Stud: AMO and MMRS for giving everybody a great weekend. Hands down.


Biggest Dud: Hey Pro’s… fun event with good cash and a great atmosphere. Where were you guys?


Biggest Surprise: With no Walton, I was really shocked that this place wasn’t overflowing.


MC’s “G’d Up from the Feet Up” Award: I liked Max Filipek and his Alpinestar Tech 10’s, FXR Gear, Bell Moto 9 helmets and Spy Optics goggles. A very clean look.

Max Filipek won MC’s “G’d Up from the Feet Up” Award…just not in this particular get up | Bigwave photo


Gopher Dunes Quicksand Sprint Enduro

How do you follow up a great weekend racing in Madoc? That’s easy…you load up and head out to Gopher Dunes this Saturday for their Quicksand Sprint Enduro! We all know what an off-road specialist I am…

All jokes aside, I plan on actually finishing this race and finishing well. Derek Schuster and the awesome gang at Gopher Dunes are preparing me a bike for this great event. I by no means am an off-road guy, but after Derek sent out a text asking if Billy or I were interested, I just couldn’t say no. Gopher Dunes puts on some of the best races in the country, and I wasn’t going to miss this one. Especially coming in hot off my Madoc Legends Class championship! I really hope to see everybody out at the Dunes this Saturday, I know you won’t be disappointed.

For more information, click HERE.

That is it for me this week. I am on my West to Gopher Dunes. A huge thank you to Derek Schuster and the whole Gopher Dunes gang for putting on this great event, and an even bigger thank you for getting me a bike and prepping it. I can’t wait to take part in this event and have some fun. One last big Thank You to my good friend Andy White over at FXR. Andy sent me some of the new 2018 FXR Gear for me to wear while dominating the Legends class. Look for a product review real soon. Have a great weekend, and always #smileforBC and #liftwithscott.


Thanks for all that, Jeff. Up until late last night, there was a chance I was going to be at the MXGP of USA at WW Ranch in Jacksonville, Florida, this weekend. However, after considering all my options and the fact that no Canadians are taking to opportunity to race a GP, I decided to stay home instead. These trips are time-consuming and expensive, and with no Canadian Content I figured there was really no point in going. I never like to stay home and just pay someone for photos, but it looks like that may be what I do for this event.

Fortunately, I got to see Jeffrey Herlings line up at Ironman MX last week. It was a pretty impressive come-from-behind ride in that second moto, for sure. People will argue that none of the other riders really had much to race for, and just didn’t want to get hurt at the final race of the season, and that does have some validity, but he was flying!

Dutchman, Jeffrey Herlings, finished 1-1 at the final AMA round at Ironman MX | Bigwave photo

Marvin Musquin was looking to go 2-1 and take the overall for the day. He would have had it had he not gotten out of control on that tricky, blind, step-down-ish double. I stood in that area for most of the day and could tell it was giving riders fits trying to decide if it was worth pinning it over the top. Herlings made it look simple but some guys gave up on it and just singled.

I think Marvin got off lucky in that weird crash. Had he not gone down where he did, he could have whiskey’d off that following jump and who knows what could have happened next, it was a pretty big drop. There were trees close by and the ground wasn’t exactly forgiving. He should be mad that he messed up but thankful he didn’t get hurt.

Marvin Musquin was actually lucky that crash wasn’t worse at the end of moto 2 | Bigwave photo

As for eventual series champion, Eli Tomac, he was tempted to go with Herlings in the first moto and it almost bit him hard. He was trying that outside line and hit the soft stuff and went down. Of course, we all know he has the speed to go head to head with #784, but I think we all know how the conversation went back in the Kawasaki pit between motos. I think I could actually hear Eli telling himself to just take it easy and ride to the championship the entire second moto. You know how the internal chatter goes during a race.

Eli Tomac got passed and then went with Jeffrey Herlings in the first moto before crashing and falling back. Wisely, he just raced for the title in moto 2 | Bigwave photo

The 250 title was decided the week before at Budds Creek and that one went to #16 Zach Osborne. He really didn’t have any reason to push so hard at the last round last Saturday, but nobody told him that. He pushed hard, made passes, and took the 1-1 win to end the outdoor season.

Zach Osborn finished 1-1 for the final overall | Bigwave photo

It was an impressive performance, especially given those circumstances. #36 Adam Cianciarulo finished the season strong and took 2nd. #39 Colt Nichols took his first-ever podium for 3rd.

250 podium: Zach Osborne, Adam Cianciarulo, Colt Nichols | Bigwave photo

Canadian #223 Dylan Wright made the trip to the final two rounds and rode very well. His 13-13 for 13th at Budds Creek was definitely the highlight (on paper) but he rode extremely well at Ironman MX and came from last to 18th in that second moto.

Dylan Wright lined up at the final 2 rounds of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross | Bigwave photo

Mentally, these races have shown him what’s possible, as far as increased speed is concerned, so he should be able to use that as bait to keep improving heading into the 2018 season here in Canada. You need to go where the fast guys are and Dylan did that. Depending on the type of head you have, getting beat when you think you’re fast can either knock you down and send you home or motivate you to keep improving. We know what kind of racer Dylan is, what kind are you?

They are going to look for other opportunities this winter that could see them head over to Europe to race some indoor stuff, like the German SX series, perhaps. I hope they give us a reason to go to Germany this winter!

We also grabbed him for an installment of ‘Tailgating with…‘ presented by Scott Sports Canada:

Future West Moto Arenacross Schedule

While we’re at it…

Tyler Gibbs Wins at Washougal

Speaking of BC…

From Tyler’s mom’s Facebook page (hope she doesn’t mind):

“This was just way too cool. @emig47 bet a $100 bucks that I would win the final and I was lucky enough to do it. After the race he comes up and gives me the $200 he won. Such a cool guy fan for life.

It was at the Holeshot Challenge at the 125 Dream Race. Check out the video from Vital MX:

RAW: 125 Two-Stroke Dream Race – 2017 Edition from Washougal MX on Vital MX

Gatorback Cycle Park Situation

Baja Brawl This Weekend

Weekend Schedule:

Friday 9/1:
8am-5pm – Practice Sign-up / Pre-Entry Check In / Post-Entry Registration (Practice $20 per rider/per class)
11am-6:30pm – Practice
5pm-8pm – Mandingo Pickle / Monster Energy wHipster Championship Registration – $20 entry fee
5pm-8pm – Pre-Entry Check In / Post-Entry Registration – LAST 4 DIGITS OF FRAME # and Transponder # REQUIRED FOR SIGN-UP
9pm-10pm – Mandingo Pickle / Monster Energy wHipster Championship

Saturday 9/2:
6:30am-8am – Pre-Entry Check In / Post-Entry Registration – LAST 4 DIGITS OF FRAME # and Transponder # REQUIRED FOR SIGN-UP
Racing begins with Day 1 of 3 (3 Moto Format)
7:30am – Mandatory riders meeting @ the starting gate
8:30am – Practice – followed by Day 1 of Amateur Racing (Note: Not all riders will get 3 motos if a qualifier race is needed)
2pm-6pm- Pit Bike Racer Registration – $25 entry fee per class – AMA membership required
SEVEN PIT BIKE CHAMPIONSHIP RACES – 7:30pm bike inspection/riders meeting – 8pm practice with racing to follow Award presentation at the fire Pit upon completion of races
8:15-9:45- Pit Party

Sunday 9/3:
7:30am – Church Service @ MXers for Jesus pit area
8am – Pro Am Only mandatory riders meeting
8:30am – Day 2 of Amateur Racing (Following Pro-AM Practice) – Check race order at the track for Pro-AM race times
4pm-6pm – Side X Side registration – $40 entry fee per unit – MUST BE 18 or OLDER TO PARTICIPATE
Immediately following racing – Babbits Side x Side race will run the Modified Main Track – All Side by Side’s must have working seatbelts & roll ba No crazy engine mods Please – Suspension mods are allowed. All drivers must have a navigator(passenger) – MUST BE 18 or OLDER POND PALOOZA-
7:30pm – Typhoon Tommy Water Show
8am-6pm – Belly Floppers Sign-up at Racer Registration OR 7pm-8pm at the Pond
8:45pm – FMF “FAT MAN FLYING” BELLY FLOP CHAMPIONSHIP Sponsored by FMF (must be 18 or older to enter) – $500 to win.
Motoplayground MOTOBOATER

Monday 9/4:
8:30am – Final Day of Amateur and Pro-AM Racing
Baja Brawl Championship Awards given 30 minutes after each moto
Go home happy!

Baja Acres circa 1983. We didn’t have no stinking fancy Brawl and we rode barefoot without googles or suspension! | Bigwave Sr. photo

Team Canada ISDE | France

Thanks for all the great updates that have been keeping us all up to date! I don’t really know how it all works, but it looks like a hell of a challenge. Congratulations to the team for lining up and going for it. You just have 1 day left.

Here’s what we knew after Day 4:

All smiles before the start of day 4! Yesterday was the best day for the team overall, riders are past halfway point!
@ryderheacock51 94rd after test 1
@jjonker80 101
@shelby50turner 6th
@mharten53 22nd
@t_medaglia 21st
@philippechaine 56th
@nathan_bles 115th
#TeamCanada #ISDE2017 #France #YourEhTeam #Canadians #CanadaEh

Full results and updates can be found at the ISDE France website HERE.

MXGP of USA | WW Motocross Park | Jacksonville, Florida

You can watch both days live for a fee of 8 Euros:

OK, that will do it for another week here at Direct Motocross. This is officially the final long weekend of the summer, so get out there and enjoy it. Will I bring riding gear and line up next to Jeff tomorrow at Gopher Dunes? Who knows…

Have a great weekend and thanks for all the support for yet another summer of moto!

Austin Kouba says, “See you at the races…just maybe not the kind you’re thinking…” | Paige Garcia photo