Frid’Eh Update #39 Presented by Kawasaki Canada
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #39 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update presented by Yamaha Canada. We’re still in our mid-season off-season here in our Pro Motocross season, but there’s a ton of cool events going on all across the country and around the globe.
Of course, this break would have made perfect sense if we had been fielding a team at the Motocross of Nations in Holland, but we are not.
That ship has sailed and we will all be looking for a reason to care about the biggest event on the yearly calendar.
Here’s one for you: Manluk Racing’s fill-in guy, Chase Marqier, will compete for Team Puerto Rico on the #54 machine. There’s someone for you to cheer for.
#39 in 2019 was Massachusetts rider, Ryan Dowd. This summer was Ryan’s first time competing in an entire Pro series, from start to finish. He loaded up the RV and headed west.
Along the way, he made new friends and saw just about every corner of our country; he made memories he’ll have the rest of his life.
On top of that, he proved to himself and everyone that he’s very close to making that next step to becoming a challenger for podiums and then wins.
Here’s a look at his summer’s results:
His best finish was late in the season on some familiar sand in Deschambault, Quebec, with a 5th overall. He was just 3 points behind Keylan Meston in 6th in the competitive 450 class.
We got in touch with him this week to talk about his season, his future plans, and find out a little more about him as a person. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello again, Ryan. I know we asked you for all your historical information last time we interviewed you, so I’ll only ask you this one thing again: What was your first racing number and how did you choose it?
Ryan Dowd: Hey, man! My first racing number was #16 because it was my dad’s number when he was racing nationals!
You just completed your first trip across our entire MX series. You ended up 7th overall, just 3 points out of 6th. Can you take us through your season? How did it go for you?
Yeah, I’m actually really happy with how the season went. I didn’t know what to expect and I was just doing it for the experience and to see where I ended up. The only goal I really had was to earn a career number and I made good on that goal, and I also got my first top 5 of my career! So definitely happy with my season.
What was your favourite part of your travels across Canada and why?
Probably just the fact that I was so far away from home. It was just cool to know that I was out on the other side of the continent. Definitely some memories I won’t forget.
These trips rarely go perfectly. Can you tell us a story of something that may not have gone the way you’d hoped or planned? There must be something!
Well, I guess the weekend that comes to mind is Gopher Dunes! I felt like I was coming in there this year with a good shot at being one of the front-runners and I got cleaned out on the beginning of both motos. But it ended up being all right because I got the hard charger award and some exposure out of my hard earned ride!
Did you end up getting hooked on Tim Hortons breakfast sandwiches and coffee like the rest of us?
Haha No, I actually only went there once the entire time I was in Canada!
What did you learn about Canada and Canadians this summer that you can pass on to your fellow Americans?
The fact that you guys are way more laid back than we will ever be, hands down. And every stranger I met was helpful and kind!
What was your favourite track and why?
Deschambault. I don’t know, man, every time I go there I have a good day. The track feels like home and I feel so comfortable on it every time!
What was your racing highlight?
Deschambault! I went 6-5 for 5th overall and I felt like I rode my butt off to earn it! That was definitely the highlight of my career so far.
And now you got to choose a career number for Canada. You chose #14. Why? And does this mean you’re returning in 2020?
Well, I really wanted to get a single-digit number because I thought that would be pretty cool, but I didn’t realize singles were saved for champions. So, the next number that I was interested in was 14 because it was a low 2-digit number and it just so happens that my dad ran the #14 for 2 years in the states! And it was Kevin Windham’s career number, who was my dad’s teammate for a few seasons on factory Yamaha. So it just seemed right!
What have you been up to since the series ended in Walton?
Honestly, not much. I did a big local money race in my area that I do every year but other than that I’ve just been hanging out and working as much as I can to save as much money as possible towards this winter and next year. Haven’t really been around the dirt bike too much. I like to get away sometimes!
What are your winter plans?
Well, the plan is to go down south again for hopefully 3 months, January thru March, and train somewhere. I just have to figure out where. Then local racing starts up in April and I will race that until I figure out what nationals I’m gonna do.
Hey, what would you be doing if you weren’t racing Motocross? Do you have any other passions?
I’ve thought about that a lot and I don’t think I’d be doing anything too exciting. Haha. The only other thing I’m good at other than riding dirt bikes is playing video games and that doesn’t really get you anywhere. But I do really enjoy playing them with my friends and I feel like it helps me get away from the constant grind of training and racing year round.
OK, I have to ask you for one story about your dad, John Down. Does he have any crazy race day superstitions or something funny you could tell us about him?
If anything, I think it’s just how casual he is about racing nowadays. He will literally roll up to the starting line for his class at a local race while his class is on the line and the white flag is out for the race on the track. It’s just funny being around him on race day, you never know what you’re gonna get!
Thanks for talking with us, and good luck. Who would you like to thank?
Thanks for the interview! Gotta give a huge thank you to everyone that is involved with my program and continue to stand behind me: Mom and Dad, Full Throttle Motorsports, Kenny Germain, Alexander Adams, Joe V, Performance Tuning, Joe V Designs, Moose Racing, Factory Connection, 100%, Shoei, Dunlop, Pro Circuit, Hinson, R2MXGraphics, Vesta CBD, Renthal, Alpinestars, Spectro, Sunoco, Motion Pro, Wiseco, Twin Air, Works Connection, and Leatt!
Hey, guys, Happy Friday.
Well, it’s actually sad for Canadian Motocross. We are about to sit out one of the, if not the, most important races of the year. The 2019 Motocross of Nations will be without Team Canada. No we weren’t going to win or podium, hell, a top 5 is even a pipe dream, but we could have shown up, done our best and helped improved Motocross in Canada and our program.
We have some great talent, great industry people, and some really great support in Canada, but unfortunately at this time we just don’t get to show it. I don’t know all of the politics and I really don’t care, to be honest. I just know that we need to make some serious changes. We need to grow and not be held back. It’s as simple as that.
I really hope the proper changes are made before more people miss out on an amazing opportunity. Shout out to the amazing people that want to fix this for the right.
Round 2 of the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown SX series is just around the corner. The racers have had a few weeks to work on their SX game and get used to that style of racing. Most just went from outdoors and adjusted a few clickers or maybe added more fork oil.
The next 2 rounds are tighter and might be a tad bit easier for the less SX savvy riders. The top riders will still be much faster and more skilled. The tighter tracks and the fact that the leaders will be into lappers 3-4 laps in will close the gap.
This weekend is the Motopark Vet National. If you have never been to Motopark or to one of their events, you really are missing out. It is a top notch facility with one of the best staffs around. They have a great track, good accommodations, a very good shop, which all make for a great time.
This event is one of the “can’t miss” races. It’s honestly just a great time racing and riding with friends and competitors. Yes, there are the serious racers, but there are enough happy people to even it out. Tons of bench racing and old memories will be shared and it should really be a great event.
I will be heading up today to enjoy the festivities. Like always, none of this could be possible without the great supporters behind us. For this event I’d really like to thank Callus Moto. For those who don’t know, Callus is owned by Mitch Cooke and Tyler Medaglia. Do many people have more insight into the sport in Canada than Mitch and Tyler? That’s a hard no!
The gear and gloves are by racers for racers. Mitch is a super talent who has done it all in racing on all sides, and he has transformed into a very successful business man. Not often does a racer leave the sport and really take off like Mitch has.
So anyway, I will be wearing some fresh Callus moto gear and gloves. Be sure to give them a look as they are currently letting this year’s stuff go at 40% off. Watch for a product review in a few weeks.
That’s it for me. Time to head to Motopark and try and keep my PRMX Kawasaki and Callus moto gear clean. #smileforBC
What can I say? It’s Friday of the MXON and we’re not there. We should have been covering Team Canada throughout the week as they prepare for the sand of Assen and then head into this weekend hoping for their best finish ever.
Nope, we’re here at home. I sure hope this protest and resulting boycott show results, whatever that looks like, as we move forward.
I’d like to wish everyone who is proudly representing their country the best of luck this weekend in Holland.
The MXON is always my favourite MX trip of the year, and it’s a shame the red and white maple leaf isn’t being represented.
Hopefully, when the dust settles here in Canada, we can move forward in a positive manner and get three riders together to show the rest of the world how good we are as a team and a country.
Anyway, like I said, there’s a lot going on across the country this weekend.
Jeff and I will be at Motopark for the Vet Nationals on Saturday. Jeff will be racing his KX450 in his new Callus gear, and I’ll be shooting photos and video.
Friday, September 27 – 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm – Early Vet National registration.
Saturday, September 28- 7:00 am – 8:30 am, Vet national race sign in
Saturday, September 28- 8:30 am, MANDATORY RIDERS MEETING
Saturday, September 28- 9:00 am, race practice starts
Saturday, September 28 – Pot Luck Dinner
Good luck to everyone racing.
The guys over at the Vision Built Supercross practice track just east of London, Ontario, are inviting Pro riders to their track on Saturday to help them get ready for the final 2 rounds of Canadian Supercross.
I’m sure there will be quite a few riders there and I’m sorry I’m already booked for this weekend.
In Calgary, the Red Bull Outliers event will take place in the heart of the city. Fox Racing Canada and Direct Motocross will have Jared Stock on course for another mission.
He’s our go to guy for anything off-road race related, so he was quick to agree to hitting this race and let us all know how it goes. Of course, he was already signed up before we even approached him, but whatever…
Among many others, Canadian Pro Keylan Meston will also be lining up this weekend as will Canadian MX champ, Shelby Turner, so be sure to check in to find out how everyone is doing.
2020 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Schedule Released
May 16 Hangtown Classic Prairie City SVRA Rancho Cordova, Calif.
May 23 Fox Raceway National Fox Raceway Pala, Calif.
May 30 Thunder Valley National Thunder Valley Motocross Park Lakewood, Colo.
Jun 06 Florida National WW Ranch Motocross Park Jacksonville, Fla.
Jun 20 High Point National High Point Raceway Mt. Morris, Pa.
Jun 27 Southwick National The Wick 338 Southwick, Mass.
Jul 04 RedBud National RedBud MX Buchanan, Mich.
Jul 18 Spring Creek National Spring Creek MX Park Millville, Minn.
Jul 25 Washougal National Washougal MX Park Washougal, Wash.
Aug 15 Unadilla National Unadilla MX New Berlin, N.Y.
Aug 22 Budds Creek National Budds Creek Motocross Park Mechanicsville, Md.
Aug 29 Ironman National Ironman Raceway Crawfordsville, Ind.
Red Bull Straight Rhythm | Saturday, October 5th
These Red Bull ’90s Moto Show video promos for the 2019 Red Bull Straight Rhythm are awesome!
Here’s one now. Head over to the YouTube channel and check them all out.
I’ll actually be there next week to take in all the pre-mix-burning action, and I can’t wait.
I’m just going to stand behind every 500 2-stroke that’s fired up and enjoy the sound and smell.
OK, that’s it for Week #39. Have a great weekend, everyone. Have fun, go fast, and stay safe, wherever you find yourself.