Frid’EH Update #37 Presented by KTM Canada
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to week #37 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by KTM Canada. In 2015, #37 was the friendly rider from Alberta, Danny Mathe. Danny’s season didn’t go a he would have liked this summer. In fact, we didn’t even get the chance to see him run the #37 at the Nationals this summer. We grabbed him for a quick chat today to find out how he’s been doing since we last saw him.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Danny. We haven’t seen you in a while. Can you tell us how your summer of racing went?
Yeah, it’s been a full summer! Missed all the Nationals this year, unfortunately. That wasn’t my plan. I got injured in beginning of May at a local race in Lethbridge. I got hit from behind and fractured my hand in 6 different places. Wasn’t a good feeling. I tried to be ready for nationals but when it came to the season it wasn’t even close to being healed and I wasn’t able to get a bike. So, midway of July I decided to just take the summer off and enjoy what I have.
What have you been doing since then?
I have been working with my dad and brother also doing stucco. I attended my brother’s wedding and went to Jasper and Camore a few times and did some camping with friends and just moved out of my parents’ place from Carvel to Spruce Grove, Alberta.
What are your plans for this fall/winter?
I don’t know if I’ll be going down to California this winter. Maybe closer to Spokane and Idaho.
Did you pay attention to the rest of the series after you were forced out?
Oh yeah! I had my phone out and live timing on pretty much every round.
Who impressed you the most?
Really impressed on everyone’s speed and aggression this year. Was cheering for my friends Teagan Williams, Jess Pettis, Matthew Davenport, Keylan Meston, and Shawn Maffenbeier! I was pumped for all of them.
Will you be back for the series in 2016?
I don’t really know what’s in store for the 2016 season, yet. There’s a possibility that I might go to Europe in February. We know people that have it really good down there and they have been telling us to come down for a while, but being as I was focused on Loretta Lynn’s and Nationals before, I think this time might be a good opportunity to try something new out. They are very close with Husqavarnas which I know are similar to KTMs so I know I’ll get comfortable quick on that bike.
You seem like someone with a plan for the future. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I am a kid with a plan and goal. I know my steps that I have to take and go through. In five years, I’d like to be racing still and making a good living out of what I have and get.
Thanks for the chat today, Danny. Who would you like to thank?
I would just like to thank my whole family and friends. Didn’t really race this year but still thanks to all my sponsors: Mathe Stucco Riverside Motorsports, Stealth Performance, Stealth Graphics, Troy Lee Designs, 100%, and Recycle Motorcycle.
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Hey, guys. It’s finally Friday. Fall seems to be in full effect and the fall riding couldn’t be better. I, myself, loaded up the DMX test bike and made the trip to Chatsworth, Ontario, home of Motopark. It seemed like that was the only place where it wasn’t raining. The drive was definitely worth it, as the MP crew had the track in mint shape. I wasn’t able to make it out to spectate at too many amateur races this season, so it was really nice to get to watch the future of the sport. And when I say future, I mean Marco Cannella, Austin Watling and Tanner Ward, to name a few. These 3 youngsters were on the gas, and all have bright futures.
Canadian Arenacross Tour Presented by Royal Distributing
Round 1 of the Canadian AX Tour starts next Friday in London, Ontario, and it couldn’t be more stacked. These guys have been running a series for a long time south of the border and will have the schedule running like a well-oiled machine. I’m hearing big rumours about the future of this series already and I can’t wait for them to get started.
Super-short and sweet for me this week. I’d like to send a huge birthday shout-out to Mitch Cooke and Jolene Van Vugt. These two beauties have done quite a bit for moto in Canada for a very long time. It is very cool to see them both having very successful careers after racing. I can’t believe how old we are all getting! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out this week’s ‘Out of the Blue‘ with Robin Hutchinson. Robin is the much better half of Redemption Racing’s Nathan Bles. She was on her way to a solid top 10 finish overall in the East before breaking her arm. Watch for Robin to redeem herself next season, I’m calling her for number 6! Also check out my ‘On the Radar’ with Brandon Caplar. Brandon is not only a racer, he is also the guy making things happen at GP Bikes KTM. Have a great week and always #smieforBC!
Thanks, Jeff. Next week when we post the Update, Jeff will be on the verge of ‘competing’ in his first-ever Enduro event. That’s right, we’ve signed Jeff up for, not only an enduro, but the toughest one in all of Canada! The Corduroy Enduro is the legendary event (in its 62nd year) that takes place up in the trails of Haliburton, Ontario.
The Corduroy Enduro
Hosted by the Haliburton Trail Riders, this event will be rounds 5 and 6 of the Off-Road Ontario Enduro Championship. Jeff will be competing on Husqvarna Canada Victoria Hett‘s 2015 Husqvarna TE250, so he’ll have the right machine for the job, just not the riding background. We’re basically sending him in blind on this one so he can tell a great story. I can’t wait to hear all about how it goes. If you know anything about Jeff, it’s that he simply hates to get his gear dirty.
I’d love to be there but I’ll be at the first round of the Canadian Arenacross Tour Presented by Royal Distributing doing the live video broadcast with Andy White, Ryan Gauld, and Chris Pomeroy. So, if you’re looking for something to do next weekend, and you’re up north of Peterborough, go cheer Jeff on as he tries to make it to the checkered flag both days. Better yet, sign up for this event and see if you can make it through!
Canadian Arenacross Tour Championships Presented by Royal Distributing
If you read the above paragraphs, you would have noticed I mentioned the AX racing was going to be shown live on the internet. It’s true. They have a full production crew and I’ve managed to get my mug involved. Andy White and I will be the ones taking you through a great couple nights of racing action up in the booth while Ryan Gauld is down in the dirt keeping the action running smoothly and Chris Pomeroy is walking around doing as little as possible. LOL Sorry, Chris.
I know the guys have already been out shooting some behind-the-scenes footage to keep the program full of interesting things as we go through the night of racing. I’m really looking forward to this series. Be sure to check in at Arenacrosstour.ca
Rounds 1 and 2 Sept 25-26
London Agri Plex
Rounds 3 and 4 Oct 9-10
Rounds 5 and 6 Oct 23-24
South Okanogan Events Centre
Penticton, British Columbia
Rounds 7 and 8 Nov 6-7
MXGP GP of USA at Glen Helen
Did you know that I was at the 1981 USGP in Carlsbad, California? Well, I was and it was by sheer luck it even happened, but that’s another story…
This weekend the MXGP tour makes its one-and-only stop in North America at Glen Helen. We don’t have any Canadians competing, but if you’re looking for someone to cheer for, look no further than our old friend, Riley Brough from Utah. Riley has been a fixture at the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals the past few years and feels like one of our own.
Ryan Dungey on ESPN Sportscenter
Ryan Dungey has been voted ‘ESPY’s Best Male Action Sports Athlete‘ and was invited onto the mainstream ESPN Sportscenter program this week. It looks like he got to rip around the grounds and then into the building a la Travis Pastrana on the Tonight Show a bunch of years ago.
Here’s a short video:
And HERE is a link to a few photos of the experience.
Tyler Medaglia Racing GNCC at Unadilla This Weekend
This was an instant classic after its debut in 2005. The legendary Unadilla Raceway has been hosting motocross races since the late 1960’s, and the track has a world-wide reputation as one of the fastest, roughest moto courses ever made.
Portions of the famous Unadilla motocross track (“U1”) will be used for the GNCC, which means wide, sweeping corners and some very steep elevation changes. There are some big jumps, but they are formed using the natural elevation of the terrain (no peaked doubles). In addition, the “U2” Unadilla amateur track will be used as well, so you’ll likely see two motocross tracks per lap here.
The woods are fresh and tight, and covered in that trademark black NY loam. It rains here quite a bit, and the course will get tough due to the soft soil. But it offers better traction when wet than the slippery clay in Ohio. But it doesn’t matter. The New Yorkers are a hearty bunch and they’re not afraid to tackle the mud.
Special Information: This event is co-sanctioned with our friends at the Western New York Offroad Association (WYNOA). The Parts Unlimited dinner is Saturday night at 5:30 p.m.
Fall Freeride // Mitch Cooke and Tyler Medaglia
Speaking of Tyler, check out this latest edit from Aaron Cameron featuring Mitch Cooke and Tyler Medaglia. If you’re a big Rick Astley fan, you may want to turn the volume down…
Baja Brawl Big Bikes Edit from MXPTV
Our buddy, Matt Wozney, and the gang over at MXPTV.com put together this video showcasing the big bike racing from the Baja Brawl at Baja Acres in Millington, Michigan. Check it out, there is some CANCON in there!
2016 Changes to the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals
I touched on this in last week’s Update: there will be some changes to the schedule for the 2016 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals. I spoke to a few track owners as well as CMRC President, Mark Stallybrass, before last Update #36. Mark has always been clear that he will be the one who makes the decisions for his series. It was in this vane that the rumours of a major schedule change started to swirl when the final checkered flag had been waved at Walton Raceway back in August. It got the wheels turning and we were all left wondering what this means for the future of the series.
Well, after my talk with Mark last week, we were left knowing that there were, indeed, some changes coming in 2016. I was left with the impression that Walton was definitely one of the rounds possibly on the chopping block. The argument goes that the small town of Walton, although the event itself is run at least as well as any other on the tour, is just too far from a major city to effectively promote the sport and its sponsors to the biggest possible audience. I get that…sort of.
It was also said that it was the main sponsors themselves who were asking for this change, so I got in touch with Dave Giancoulos from Rockstar Energy Canada to get his side of the story.
We actually had a great talk and he was very forthcoming with how he sees Rockstar’s relationship with the series moving forward. For starters, he was quick to point out that the Canadian Motocross Nationals is the biggest series they are involved with in all of Canada — their “biggest asset” to use the jargon.
He pointed out the concern about costs and target demographic at the Nanaimo national at The Wastelands. It costs a small fortune to get the teams over to the island and he expressed concern that, once there, it may not be the exact target audience for the brand anyway. From this, you could infer that Nanaimo is being looked at as a possible change for 2016. As beautiful as the area is, the event itself and the brand impact may be better served at another location.
Dave said that he “challenged Mark to align with major markets.” and pointed out that they want to “foster growth” and that it’s “important to increase exposure closer to major cities.” All of this makes sense and Rockstar’s stance is nothing more than business.
At this point, he said he wasn’t sure what Mark will do but that he would like the final race to be closer to the major city of Toronto. Hopefully, this means Walton could remain on the schedule just not as the final round??? More on that later…
Rockstar has one more year (plus an option year) left in their contract with the series but I definitely got the feeling Rockstar is very happy with the impact they have with the series and that it will be a relationship that moves forward into the future with a few tweaks.
So, what does all this mean? It means where there’s smoke there’s fire, is what I’m taking from this. There is a manufacturers’ meeting October 26th and the schedule will be outlined and finalized by then. What the changes will end up being will be revealed then. At this point, there seems to be talk about changes out in the Maritimes, too. Does it mean adding a race out there at a facility like Mount Thom or does it mean replacing River Glade? These are both rumours right now.
Regarding the Parts Canada TransCan
I would argue this is the most important race on our calendar and it is set to go in 2016 (August 17-21). I spoke with Brett Lee and he is quick to point out that having the amateur racing culminate with the final Pro National of the year is a big draw to both industry players and amateur riders alike. What happens if the national is removed from that date? Well, Brett has been sitting up at night going over this and many other scenarios.
The TransCan date is important because 1) it doesn’t overlap with Loretta Lynn’s and 2) it gives traveling racers the chance to get back home for the start of the school year. Moving the dates would not be a good idea for the event or the sport, period.
What if Walton gets a national but on a different date? That could work, no? At this point, we’re all just playing the ‘What if?’ game. However, it sounds like some of these scenarios are going to play themselves out and some tracks are going to be left without a chair when the music stops. It’s situations like these that highlight the need for an organization such as the APG whose mandate would include having set contracts with set lengths that guarantee a track’s Pro National future so they don’t have to wonder if they have an event to plan for the coming year or not. It can’t be an enjoyable position to be in.
We’ll stay on top of this situation as more details become available.
2015 Red Bull Rocks and Logs Crash Compilation Video
This event took place at Wild Rose MX Park in Calgary, Alberta, September 12-13. Check out the carnage:
Locked Down: GDR and Facciotti Ink 3 Year Deal
We knew that they were in talks to move forward together. We also knew that Colton Facciotti was being courted by at least one other team for the future. I the end, Facciotti will remain with the Honda Canada TLD GDR team for the next three years. Here’s the Press Release:
All You Need to Know for AMA Round 5 at Gullymor this Weekend
If you are a race organizer and have an event you’d like spotlighted in the Frid’Eh Update, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
That will do it for another week here from the Update desk. I want to end this one with a ‘Get well, soon’ wish to Matt Koeleman. Matt took about a 30-foot fall from a train bridge out in BC while he was, of course, trying to get the shot. I spoke to his brother Dex Koeleman out in California today and he said that although Matt did crush 3 vertebrae in his back, it will not require surgery. His wrist and leg, however, do and did. He’s got a long recovery ahead of him but it looks like he will be fine. Hang in there, Matt. We’re all thinking about you.
Have a great weekend, everyone. The days are getting shorter and the leaves are starting to turn colour. Yes, it’s beautiful, but still a little depressing. Ray Liotta has something he wants to tell you…