Frid’Eh Update #39 | Donald “Donny T” Turner | Brought to You by Troy Lee Designs
By Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #39 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week brought to you by Troy Lee Designs. I’m not sure why, but #39 always reminds me of Josh Snider from the 2009 season. We always laughed back then that every time he’d fall, it would happen right in front of me with my camera pointed at him. I’ve got some pretty funny shots from that year. Sorry, Josh.
I’ve made it back from Red Bud and the 2022 Motocross of Nations. My plan to live the full camping life didn’t pan out because of the limited wifi in the media center. With everyone uploading 4K (or better!) video to their YouTube channels etc., it meant that I had to leave the track in search of wifi that would work. I missed all the crazy camping stuff I was ready to witness. Oh well, next time…
Also, the beginning of this week was tough for me as I had the worst pain between my shoulder blades I’ve ever felt and caught a cold at the MXON super-spreader event. My back feels better but I still have a non-COVID cough (I tested myself).
Donald Turner is the rider who runs the #39 this year. We didn’t get to see a whole lot of him at the Nationals but he was at Walton Raceway and then the Gopher Dunes SX races. However, he ran his familiar #751 and not the #39 anyway. He’s busy with work and with kids who want to race the Provincials in Ontario, so that doesn’t leave him a lot of time to hit races that require travel.
Most people know him simply as “Donny T.” He’s been around the “northeast of Toronto” scene for a long time and turned Pro way back in 2010!
We grabbed him for a chat this week to give everyone a chance to get to know him a little better. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Donald. I don’t think we’ve gone back in your history for this before, so let’s get everyone up to speed. How old are you, where are you from, and where’s home now?
Donald Turner: 33 years old. I’m from a small country town, Claremont, where kids still ride around town on 4-wheelers and golf carts. After all the years of travelling around I ended up back in Claremont. My kids go to the same school I did.
How did you get into MX in the first place?
When I was 5 my dad brought home a mini trail. I grew up just down the road from the MX club OCMC. Every day on the school bus we would drive passed the track so I begged for a dirt bike and to go to the track.
What was your first number and how did you choose it?
51 was my first number. My dad got a CR 500 and that’s the number he had on his bike, so that’s what got spray painted on mine.
Who did you come up through the ranks with and when did you turn Pro?
My Junior and Intermediate years were pretty tough racing guys like Dylan Kaelin, Jeremy Medaglia, Nathan Bles, and Brandon Cowie. In the fall of 2010 I jumped to Pro class.
I only see you in the results for the final round at Walton Raceway this past summer in the MX Nationals. Where were you and how did Walton go for you?
Yea, the reason I only did the Walton rounds is I like hard pack with ruts and Walton is one of my favourites. I’d like to do all the rounds but with kids wanting to race the provincials it’s hard to make everything happen.
I felt good at Walton 2. In the second moto I finally got a start and stayed up in 14th for opening laps but had a tip-over after the rollers. Got up and finished 20th. I was pumped. I only ride when we go to the races.
You grabbed 10th at the first round of the indoor racing at Gopher Dunes. How did that go and how do you like the tighter racing?
Gopher SX was sick. I was able to find a flow around the track and had some good battles with (Zack) Zager and (Dario) Zecca. Big fan of riding the tighter stuff. I feel like I have good control of the bike to make it through the tight sections. I just struggle because my bike has stock suspension and I’m a heavier guy, so I just ride in my limits.
We’re heading to Sarnia this weekend. Will we see you there?
Last minute but I’m going racing. It’s 10:30 pm Thursday night, I just got home from work, bikes still dirty from the last round at Gopher, but I’ll be there.
You’re also one of the growing number of Pro riders who is also a Moto Dad. How do you like that and how do you balance it all on race days?
I think it’s awesome that the three of us can all get excited to go to the race on the weekend. It’s cool watching the kids progress. When me and the kids are racing same days it can be hard to make every moto. But I’m pretty good with it, I don’t push the limits when I’m racing. I just get out there and enjoy racing my dirt bike while trying to survive to see the checkered.
What’s your coaching style?
Riding calm. I think it’s important for helping make less mistakes and saving energy to last the motos.
OK, Greg just sent me a link to the new Larry Enticer Youtube video where you are the new challenger to his #69 supremacy. Can you tell us what’s going on here and what the fans can look forward to in the next instalment? Who won the race???
Hahahaha Yea, I kicked Larry’s lap time to the curb at his home track and that got him fired right back up to come out from what looked like retirement. There is a 13-minute short movie that was released today on YouTube. See all the action there. Unfortunately, I lost to Larry. I’ll be back.
Over the years, what stands out as a highlight for you?
2012 racing every east coast national. Traveling with friends out east racing dirt bikes and feeling factory was cool.
How long will you keep racing? Will you chase the series next season?
I will probably show up to races forever. Only getting better with age. lol It’s hard to commit to a full series these days, but I will definitely be at some races.
Well, thanks for the chat and good luck. Who would you like to thank?
Good times, thank you. I just want to say thanks to everyone. See you at the races.
2022 MXON Video
No fancy edit here, just a full-length video trying to give you the feeling that you were there at Red Bud with Team Canada.
Here’s the full experience:
2022 Future West Arenacross
Toronto Spring Motorcycle Show – April 1-2, 2023
It’s officially Fall, so whaddya say we skip Winter and jump straight into talking about Spring!
Mark your calendars for April 1 and 2, 2023 for the 31st Toronto International Spring Motorcycle Show!
After a 3 year postponement due to pandemic measures, April 2023 will be the return of the TISMS at the International Centre…we couldn’t be more excited! We’ve used this time wisely, re-inventing, revitalizing, and we’re chock full of new features.
So faithful friends and followers, we will be keeping you updated from time to time of what you can expect to see.
In the meantime, Classic & Vintage bike owners and Showbike owners please contact us so we can send you a proper invite to participate! email@example.com
Got a used bike for sale? Get your bike shined up to enter in our ‘Show & Sell’ used bike market feature.
Attention all ‘Moto Poets’, get your entries ready for our Biker Poetry competition.
Racers and race teams, be ready to exhibit and promote your racing season.
So don’t you worry, we have a great show in store for you all!
Got a question or comment? Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to contact me directly email@example.com
Moto for life!
Sarnia Arenacross | Friday – Saturday
There is a good group of fast riders here in Sarnia this weekend. In addition to those we saw at Round 1 at Gopher Dunes, a few riders have come up from south of the border, including #53 Chris Blackmer, #103 Nate Mason, and #170 Devyn Simonson.
You can but tickets at the door, so we hope to see you there!
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend. If you’re in Sarnia, we’ll see you at the races…
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