Frid’Eh Update #37 Presented by WASP Cam
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to Frid’Eh Update #37 Presented by WASP Cam. Week #37 goes out to the rider whose track we were just at on Thursday. Team Canada MXON rider, Shawn Maffenbeier, and Redemption Racing’s Josh Snider hit the Gully Mor track for some final testing and preparation for the MXON in Italy in a couple weeks. #37 Drew Roberts‘ family owns the track just southwest of London, Ontario.
Drew has been an up-and-coming Ontario rider for a number of years and had his lowest number heading into 2016. He only lined up at a couple of the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals – Gopher Dunes and Ulverton – but he managed to grab himself a nice, juicy holeshot!
We interrupted his back-to-school festivities when we got in touch with him today to get his thoughts on last season and what the future holds. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Drew. First off, we were at your home track yesterday. Can you tell us a little something about your track and property there at Gully Mor Moto? And where were you?!
Drew Roberts: Hey, Billy! Ya, I heard there was a crew out at my place yesterday. I was bummed I couldn’t be there, I was in class all day! Our track and trails at Gully Mor Moto has come along ways over the years. My whole family enjoys having races and we have put a lot of work into the property.
Hi, guys. Happy Friday. There was a lot of debate going into last weekend’s Charlotte GP about who was the best 250 racer in the world, and the best 450 rider in the world. It’s really not even an argument. You cannot judge from one race, and to be honest, two of the world’s best were not there. (Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen). The GP’s vs the AMA Nats are both very special in their own right. The tracks are different, the qualifying and racing schedules are different, and you just can’t compare the two.
In MX2, Jeffrey Herlings is a super talent. He has speed, he has talent and he has boat loads of attitude to go with it. I love watching him ride, but in my opinion, the best racers want to race against the best, not run up their wins racing against lesser competition. How would he do in the US? I think he would be fighting for wins right away and a championship in his second season. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Herlings has the want or need to make the switch. I guess we will have to look forward to the American GP’s and the Motocross Des Nations each and every year.
Team Canada MXON
Speaking of Des Nations, have you bought your ticket yet to support Team Canada? I have bought mine, and I’m really starting to get excited for this event. I was present for the Team Canada Des Nations meeting back in Calgary and we watched a video of Chad Reed riding the track. It looked very hard packed with very big hills and even bigger jumps. Luckily for Team Canada, MX1 rider Kaven Benoit has never looked better. Benoit has been getting better and better each and every time on the big 450. He was all over Davi Millsaps for the East portion of the Canadian Nationals, then he put in a great performance at the last AMA National of the season. Benoit has been to the Des Nations a few times and he knows what to expect.
Another veteran returning for Team Canada is our MX3 rider, Tyler Medaglia. Tyler has been around for a long time. This guy isn’t afraid to line up anywhere, anytime. He won’t be affected by the big names and bright lights. He also really picked up the pace for the final rounds of the Canadian Nats.
Our MX2 rider is the rookie of the squad, but I’m honestly not too worried. Shawn Maffenbeier had a great season, and will do just fine over in Italy. Yes, Maff’s results weren’t as good at the final rounds as they were earlier on, but that won’t be an issue. I think he maybe got a little burnt out towards the end, but with some time off, he will be back to his old self and give it his all.
I’ve really been impressed with Team Canada manager, Kourtney Lloyd. I’ve been able to sit down quite a bit with Kourtney this season and talk about her role and the team in general. She may be a rookie, but nobody will be able to tell. I truly believe Kourtney is the best pick for the job, and she will make us very proud with all of her hard work and professionalism. We may not ever be podium contenders, but there’s no reason why we can’t dip into the top 10 and have people talking about Canada.
Canadian AX Tour
With outdoors pretty much over, the Canadian AX Tour is the next big series. I spoke briefly with Justin Thompson at Walton and he filled me in on the 2016 season. Everything sounded great and I’m excited to see some aggressive racing in the tight confines of the smaller venues. The series starts off October 1st in Montreal, Quebec, before heading West for two events in Ontario, before heading further West.
The big question is…Who’s going to show up?
Most contracts are over, bikes have to go back, and some guys are just plain out of money. Some guys bitch that they won’t make money, but let’s be honest, those are the same guys that don’t make money outdoors, either. For the amateurs, I really hope they show interest. It’s not often you get such a top notch series coming to your city. Make the best of it and get in some seat time.
If you’re in Southern Ontario, you’re in luck . The great gang at Gopher Dunes have built an Arenacross track on their property. I even saw a photo on social media from Donk (Scott Donkersgoed) of Matt Goerke putting in some time at the Dunes getting ready for AX. The track must be pretty good if Goerke is all of the way up here testing on it.
Motopark on the DMX Yamaha 250 2-Stroke
This past weekend I made the drive North up to Motopark in Chatsworth, Ontario. Motopark has been around forever. I remember going there in the early 2000’s and not wanting to ride without chest protector, hand guards, and in some cases full body armour. Well, things have certainly changed a lot over the years, and Motopark might honestly be my favourite track in Ontario. The layout is awesome, the dirt is real good, and the facility and crew are top notch. The track has some nice elevation, and it still flows very well if you’re a jumper, or even if you like keeping your wheels on the ground.
I had a great two days riding Motopark, putting our DMX Yamaha to the test. The MB1 suspension felt great everywhere and really allowed me to push as I gained more and more confidence. This is my first time running MB1 and MB1 Canada’s Mike Parliament has been a treat to work with. In my opinion, he is the guy to deal with in Ontario as he is very visible at all of the races. I’ve got 6 hours on the suspension and am very grateful for all of the help and support from Mike and MB1.
That is all for me this week. I hope you have a great weekend and remember to #smileforBC!
Thanks for that, Jeff. I can’t wait to get out and put in some laps on that sweet Yamaha 250 2-stroke! Just don’t ask me to do an enduro race and certainly not the Corduroy!
I went from looking for something moto-related to do early this week to having too much stuff to cover very quickly the past couple days. After randomly running into Josh Snider and Shawn Maffenbeier at Burrito Boys in north London Wednesday night, it has been a couple days full of moto!
Gully Mor Moto
Josh and Shawn were heading to Gully Mor Moto Thursday to get in some riding and testing before they head over to Italy for the MXON. I tagged along, of course. They’re actually hosting an AMO race there this Sunday but Jim Roberts left the track un-worked so it would best mimic the assumed conditions of the Maggiora track over in Italy – hard and dry. I shot a few photos and did Episode 4 of ‘Tailgating Brought to you by Scott Sports and Mica Sport Canada.’ In case you missed them, here they are:
A Few Photos from Gully Mor Today with Shawn Maffenbeier and Josh Snider
By Billy Rainford
It’s that time of year when the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals are finished and I find myself looking for some racing or riding to cover. By random chance, I bumped into Josh Snider and Shawn Maffenbeier at a burrito shop last night and they told me they were heading to Gully Mor for a little more Team Canada MXON preparation. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to tag along and shoot some photos, video, and an episode of ‘Tailgating’ with them!
Gully Mor is hosting an AMO event this Sunday, so if you’re in the area and looking for a nice, late-summer race, head on over to this track that is just outside London, Ontario.
Here are just a few photos from a very humid afternoon.
Tailgating with…Shawn Maffenbeier and Josh Snider
By Billy Rainford
We sit down and have a casual chat at Gully Mor on the tailgate of Josh Snider‘s lifted F250. Nobody was there to time me, so this one runs a little long. Get comfortable.
Oh, and a guest drops in for a visit…
Team Canada MXON Raffle Draw is Tomorrow!
You still have a few hours to purchase a raffle ticket, help Team Canada, and maybe win $5000! The draw is tomorrow, so you’d better move fast. Contact Kourtney Lloyd at Cycle North Powersports in Prince George, BC to get your ticket before it’s too late.
OK, I’m going to cut it off there for this week. I have too much stuff to go work on and not enough time to get it in here for this Update. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!