Frid’Eh Update #39 Presented by OTSFF

By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford

Week #39 belongs to Vince Friese. | Bigwave photo

Welcome to Week #39 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by OTSFF. We did n’t get to see the #39 in action here in Canada this past summer, as it belonged to Vince Friese and he never lined up for a moto.

The polarizing 26-year-old rider came to Canada in 2014 and had one of the most memorable battles for a championship we’ve ever seen up here. His rival in the MX2 class was eventual champion, Kaven Benoit. The two riders exchanged wins and paint, but never Christmas cards.

In the end, Vince came up a little short that summer but returned in 2015 to race the MX1 class with the #12 on his Smartops Motoconcepts ride and shocked us all when he won the Calgary round.

We grabbed Vince for a chat today from his home in Menifee, California. In hindsight, we should have let this one run as a podcast. Oh well…

Vince finished 2nd overall in the 2014 Canadian MX2 championship. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Vince. First off, where did you grow up and how did you get into motocross in the first place?

Vince Friese: I grew up in Missouri and basically my dad rode and my brother rode. I think I was 2 or 3 years old and he had me on a little mini bike, riding before I can even remember. It’s kind of all I’ve done.

What’s your brother’s name and how far did he go in the sport?

My [older] brother’s name is Max. He did pretty good. He did the amateur nationals here at Loretta’s. He was a good, high-level A rider and amateur in America. He got hurt really bad one year and kind of called it quits after that. He’s a mechanic now and he was my mechanic there for a while in the amateur days. Now he’s a mechanic for some Pro riders right now.

“Ya, it was like a full-blown angry mob came over to the truck. It was pretty funny (Laughs). It was wild, that’s for sure.”

How did you pick your very first race number? (My new go-to question)

Man, I honestly don’t know if I remember. I think on a little PW50 I was like 99 or something like that and then my real first number that I liked was 19. I think it was just an assigned number from Loretta’s and I think I did good that year – I think I got second – and I just liked the number. I stuck with that one pretty much for as long as I could until I went Pro and I went with 719 because my dad was always #7 and my brother was #71 and I liked #19 and I went 3-digits so it was #719.

That’s actually the number I would prefer to have right now but they make is do this 2-digit thing down here. It changes every year and nobody can remember the numbers and all that.

What was your best amateur year and best Loretta’s finish?

I won Loretta’s twice. My best amateur year was probably my last one. I’m not sure if it was ’06 or ’07 I’d never won an amateur championship before and I went to Lake Whitney in Texas with a goal of just getting a top 10. I’d been working really hard at MTF and riding a lot. I’d been there the year before and barely even qualified for the final races or whatever. I ended up winning 3 out of the 4 championships that I raced and I went and won another one at Oak Hill.

What class were you in that year?

That was the B class. B class and Schoolboy also.

What year did you turn Pro?

I turned Pro at the end of 2008. I just did the last 3 outdoor nationals and then 2009 was my first year doing the full year in Supercross.

Vince remembers his battles with Canadian Cole Thompson in Supercross a few years back. | Tyler Spikman photo

Did you have support that first year? Were you in a team?

Ya, I had…at the time it was MDK and they helped me out with bikes and parts and all that other stuff and I just went to the first national…the Warthog team was kind of what Ted Parkes does. It was a decent program. I brought my own sponsors over from my amateur days. I liked it. I was comfortable with the bikes. I went straight to the 450 because I’d ridden a little bit with some guys like (Justin) Barcia and some of the KTM guys there and they’d run their Pro bikes and my 250F just wouldn’t even compare so I just went to the 450. I knew my bike was at least competitive.

How did you get hooked up with the Smartops Motoconcepts guys?

Basically, I think it was after I’d done Millville, Steal City and Southwick, I believe it was, with that Warthog team and then I went into the following year of Supercross pretty much on the same program. I went and did the first round in Houston, I think, and it was just me and my brother was my mechanic and we drove there with the bike. I think we had the Warthog rig there. We just showed up in a pick-up truck, put the bike in the Warthog tent and went racing.

I actually had a pretty good night. I think I got like a 4th or 5th out of the heat and in the main I was running 10th (?) with just a couple laps to go and I crashed. I think Mike Genova was looking for a 250 guy. My agent Allison Turner was close with Mike Genova and I’d just signed with her after my last amateur year to be my agent and she got the deal going. I believe it was Atlanta the next week I was signed and started racing with Motoconcepts. That was 2009.

That’s been a long time then.

Ya. I think I had 2 years there that I wasn’t with Motoconcepts, actually maybe only 1 year. They’ve been really good to me for a long time now, going on 10 years.

A few years back, it seemed that ever 250 Supercross race you were in, you got together with our Canadian rider, Cole Thompson. What do you remember from that year?

Um, ya, I don’t remember every one but I do remember one in Toronto we had a pretty good battle in the main event. It came down to like a knobby over the finish. I think I smashed him in the second-to-last turn and then he gave it right back at the last turn and I kind of ghost rode my bike over the finish line. I think that was my first-ever top 5, I think he got 6th right behind. I think they gave it to me. My leg got caught in his wheel and it burned the crap out of the back of my leg. It was kind of a crazy one.

We’ve had quite a bit of battles over the years. We’d both get good starts and we were always kind of around each other.

How did the decision come around to race up in Canada the summer of 2014?

Basically, ’14 was one of the years I didn’t sign with Motoconcepts. I signed with Factory Metal Works. It was a Supercross-only deal and they didn’t have a huge budget. It was a first year team to go racing and I actually had a pretty good year. I got 3rd in the championship. I got on the podium in Supercross. I was going into outdoors with no ride and Tony Alessi approached my and asked my if I was interested in going up there. He told me what the bonus program would be like and the whole deal. I was like, heck ya! I could go make some money and win some races and I would be on a good team with a good bike. I’m glad I did.

He remembers the 2014 season in Canada as the most fun he’s ever had racing his motorcycle. | Bigwave photo

The battles with Kaven Benoit were the stuff of legend. What do you remember about that fight?

I loved it. That’s the kind of racing that I live for. It’s awesome. 1 on 1 every weekend we were the fastest two guys and he was tough. He’d get a start and it’d be hard. He knew I was back there and he would get all his starts perfect and when he was on there was no catching him.

He had that 250 2-stroke which was frustrating that year. A lot of the tracks, especially as they got deeper and sandier it was frustrating, but it was a good challenge. That was one of the most fun summers I think I’ve ever had. It got a little crazy there at a couple points. I had fun and I’d love to go back up there again some time.

OK, now I’d already left the track but I heard the french fans at Ulverton surrounded your rig at the end of the day. What happened?

Ya, it was like a full-blown angry mob came over to the truck. It was pretty funny (Laughs). It was wild, that’s for sure.

Did you just stay inside the rig?

I stayed in there until like everybody was gone. I hopped right in the rental car and got out of there.

We didn’t see you this past summer. What did you get up to?

I had a back injury that I got during Supercross that I had to get surgery on so right after Supercross I had that fixed up. I just took some time off and started preparing for this next season.

I plan on doing Monster Cup with Motoconcepts again, Supercross, and a pretty similar program to last year. We’ve got some Honda support, which is awesome and I’ve already begun testing. We’ve been at the Honda track the last few days getting the bike better. That’s the plan right now.

Back surgery kept Vince of the bike this past summer but he’s testing and preparing for the MEC in October. | Bigwave photo

How’s your new teammate, Jake Weimer. doing?

Ya, hopefully he’ll be back on the bike for Anaheim 1. It was a bummer. We were riding together and getting his feedback on the bike too and (Justin) Brayton is in Australia so it’s going to be just me for development on the bike. It was good to have another experienced guy for bike set up and everything, si it was really a bummer when he got hurt.

So, you’re 26. What are your future plans?

I want to keep racing as long as I can. I would say at least 5 more years. I think I could probably go longer than that if my body holds up. I like doing this. I’m having fun. That’s one of the reasons I wasn’t too concerned about skipping the outdoors. I’m trying to prolong myself and Supercross is where the real money seems to be right now so I’ll focus on that. If a good deal comes along for the outdoors, I’d love to go do it. Like I said, that summer in ’14 was the most fun I’ve ever had racing my motorcycle.

Well, thanks for the chat today and good luck this season. Who would you like to thank?

Ya, the whole Smartops Motoconcepts Honda team. We’re working hard towards next season. They’ve been with me going on 10 years now, so all those guys: Tony (Alessi), Mike Genova, and the whole team.

This Update is presented by OTSFF.


Happy Friday, everyone.


This past Friday I headed northwest for Motopark. It was the media launch for the 2018 YZ 450. For 2018 there were a ton of changes. The 2017 bike was good, and it was very fast. Heck, it won the 2017 CMRC Rockstar Energy Pro Nationals in the MX1 Class with Matt Goerke! Well, for 2018 Goerke will be on a way better bike.

Graeme Jones and the Yamaha Motor Canada crew invited us to Motopark for the day. First of all, who doesn’t like Motopark, and second, who doesn’t like new Yamaha’s. Not many! The Crew at Motopark had the track looking perfect. I never get tired of riding there because of the great layout and endless effort that they put into their facility. It really is one of the best period! Next was the bikes.

Jeff McConkey at the 2018 Yamaha Media Day at Motopark. | Bigwave photo

Yamaha had a few of the all-new 450’s for us, as well as a couple 250F’s and a YZ250x. The weather was perfect and we really couldn’t ask for a better day. I started the day off on our DMX. 250 2-stroke practice bike to warm up and check out the track. Track was mint and I was ready for the new bikes.

I jumped on the mildly mapped 250f for my first ride on the 18’s. I really enjoyed the 2017 YZ250f and the 18 was no different. The bike had good bottom end power and revved out well. It turned nice and the 280mm front brake rotor helped stop the bike very well. I’ve always been a fan of the Yamaha spring fork and 2018 was very nice to ride in stock form. After enjoying the 250f, the wait was over. It was time to try the all-new 450.

I’ve never really been a big 450 guy. I’ve ridden lots over the years, but have always preferred the small bore bike over the big 450. That was then and this is now.Β  I don’t know if old age is helping this change, but lately I have been preferring the laid back style of the 450’s over the “ring its neck” 250f style of riding.

The first thing I noticed was the cockpit. To me personally, it felt short and compact. Almost like a KTM/Husky, which I really appreciated. The bike felt narrow compared to previous years, and was very easy to get used to. Within 2 corners I was on the gas and enjoying the bike. Like always, the Yamaha power plant was intense, but unlike earlier models, it was very manageable. It didn’t want to rip your arms out of their sockets, but it had power for days. This year’s bike turned very well. Maybe the best turning Yamaha, in my opinion.

After going back and forth on all of the new bikes, I can honestly say that you will enjoy whichever Yamaha you choose for 2018. The hard part is picking white or blue. A big thanks to everyone who made this day so much fun!

Fall is officially here, but unfortunately that means that the racing seasons are coming to an end. The AMO/MMRS season finale is going down this Saturday at Motopark. Just like last year, Ryan Gauld has gone above and beyond for his riders this season. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone try and give back as much as Ryan. I have no reason to kiss his ass, but I have to give credit where it is due. He has done one hell of a job once again and I hope the least that everyone can do this weekend is thank him and his crew.

Next up is the Vet National at Motopark. After quite a few years off from racing due to a broken pelvis, I really think it’s time for me to line up. I’ve been having a blast riding lately, and I just feel like it’s time to blow the dust off and see if I have any intensity left. I will be aboard a Yamaha and looking for Todd Kuli when I hit lappers. All in all it sounds like it will be a great event, so if you’re an old guy, don’t miss it!

Todd Kuli and Jeff McConkey will go head to head again at the Vet National Oct 7th at Motopark. | 2010 photo by Bigwave

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to #smileforBC and #liftwithscott


Thanks, Jeff. I’ll be fresh off leg surgery for the October 7th date of the Vet National at Motopark, but if I can get off the couch I’ll head north and check this epic battle in person. Sometimes it looks like you guys are having one of those ‘see who can go the slowest’ races out there! Don’t get me wrong, that also takes skill! HAHA

Her in my hometown the weekend is supposed to be 30 and 31 degrees Celsius (that’s 92 and 94F). It’s the first weekend in autumn but you’d never know it. It may mean one more go at some beach volleyball for me as it will definitely be my last chance before leg surgery on my return from the MXON in England.

Is anyone familiar with the surgery Steve Yzerman had? Well, it sounds pretty barbaric but he apparently played more Pro Hockey after having both his legs sawed in half, so hopefully I can see improvement after my one leg gets done. Google: High Tibial Osteotomy and send some love my way October 5th!


FXR Racing is proud to be supporting Team Canada’s Shawn Maffenbeier in his effort at the 2017 Motocross of Nations event being held in the U.K. next weekend. As a Canadian company FXR is honoured to design a custom kit for Shawn to compete in on the world stage.

As an added bonus we plan to offer a special limited edition Canada jersey to the public. We will custom build 10 more jerseys that will be available on our website shortly at All proceeds will be donated to Team Canada.

Let’s go Canada!

Madi Watt Update

As we all know, Madi Watt headed over to France to compete in her first ISDE. Things went bad when she crashed out early and ended up in the hospital with multiple internal injuries. The lacerated liver appears to be the one that is keeping her down.

Get well soon, Madi Watt. | Bigwave photo

All we’ve been able to find out is through Trevor Watt‘s Instagram account. Here is his latest update on Madi, but it was back on September 12th:


  • wattmoto439 I guess update time as it’s been awhile and we are still here @10madi498 is currently still in icu(15 days and counting😞)had surgury 4 days ago now and pulled 6l out of stumoch and around liver! Wow is right!
    But seems to be better each day, not so much pain with all that pressure gone but waiting for body functions to fully recover before more food is added( if you call apple sauce foodπŸ˜‚)and some of the meds get changed to pills instead of hoses. quite the roller coaster on emotions scale and hard to sit and wait to heal for all!
    Everyone at home has been super tough as frustrating as it it to be helpless that faraway and try to continue daily life. @watt_924, mason and Kenna @_mckennawatt better look after mom!
    But things can only get better right? Hope to see big improvements with in the week ahead right madi πŸ€”haha

Endurocross Round 2 This Weekend in Reno


  • August 19 – Las Vegas, NV
  • September 23 – Reno, NV
  • September 30 – Denver, CO
  • October 14 – Everett, WA
  • October 28 – Phoenix, AZ
  • November 4 – Boise, ID
  • November 18 – Ontario, CA

Canadian Shelby Turner took the win after a crazy main event at round 1 and will be back in action this weekend in Reno, Nevada.

GNCC Schedule – West Virginia This Weekend

MXON Team List

1. Gautier Paulin – MXGP
2. Christophe Charlier – MX2
3. Romain Febvre – Open

4. Glenn Coldenhoff – MXGP
5. Brian Bogers – MX2
6. Jeffrey Herlings – Open

7. Cole Seely – MXGP
8. Zach Osborne – MX2
9. Thomas Covington – Open

10. Kevin Strijbos – MXGP
11. Julien Lieber – MX2
12. Jeremy Van Horebeek – Open

13. Antonio Cairoli – MXGP
14. Michelle Cervellin – MX2
15. Alessandro Lupino – Open

16. Arnaud Tonus – MXGP
17. Valentin Guillod – MX2
18. Jeremy Seewer – Open

19. Max Anstie – MXGP
20. Tommy Searle – MX2
21. Dean Wilson – Open

22. Dean Ferris – MXGP
23. Hunter Lawrence – MX2
24. Kirk Gibbs – Open

25. Priit Ratsep – MXGP
26. Harri Kullas – MX2
27. Tanel Leok – Open

28. Colton Facciotti – MXGP
29. Shawn Maffenbeier – MX2
30. Tyler Medaglia – Open

31. Evgeny Bobryshev – MXGP
32. Evgeny Mikhaylov – MX2
33. Semen Rogozin – Open

34. Jose Butron – MXGP
35. Jorge Prado Garcia – MX2
36. Iker Larranaga Olano – Open

37. Filip Bengtsson – MXGP
38. Alvin Ostlund – MX2
39. Fredrik Noren – Open

40. Nikolaj Larsen – MXGP
41. Thomas Kjer Olsen – MX2
42. Stefan Kjer Olsen – Open

46. Filip Neugebauer – MXGP
47. Petr Smitka – MX2
48. Jaromir Romancik – Open

49. Cody Cooper – MXGP
50. Josiah Natzke – MX2
51. Hamish Harwood – Open

55. Domantas Jazdauskas – MXGP
56. Dovydas Karka – MX2
57 Arnas Milevicius – Open

58. Stuart Edmonds – MXGP
59. Martin Barr – MX2
50. Irwin Graeme – Open

61. Rui Goncalves – MXGP
62. Paulo Alberto – MX2
63. Hugo Basaula – Open

64. Max Nagl – MXGP
65. Henry Jacobi – MX2
66. Dennis Ulrich – Open

67. Tim Gajser – MXGP
68. Jan Pancar – MX2
69. Jernej Irt – Open

70. Marcello Lima – MXGP
71. Fabio Santos – MX2
72. Eduardo Lima – Open

73. Richard Van Der Westhuizen – MXGP
74. Kerim Fitz-Gerald – MX2
75. Neville Bradshaw – Open

76. Justin Starling – MXGP
77. Darian Sanayei – MX2
78. Marshal Weltin – Open

79. Mark Szoke – MXGP
80. Krisztian Robert Tompa – MX2
81. Gabor Firtosvari – Open

82. Tomas Simko – MXGP
83. Richard Sikyna – MX2
84. Tomas Kohut – Open

85. Juuso Matikainen – MXGP
86. Kim Savaste – MX2
87. Jere Haavisto – Open

88. Tomasz Wyscoki – MXGP
89. Gabriel Chetnicki – MX2
90. Szymon Staszkiewicz – Open

91. Janko Martinac – MXGP
92. Luka Crnkovic – MX2
93. Matija Kelava – Open

94. Toms Macuks – MXGP
95. Karlis Sabulis – MX2
96. Davis Ivanovs – Open

97. Dmytro Asmanov – MXGP
98. Volodymyr Tarasov – MX2
99. Roman Morozov – Open

103. Georgios Ilipoulos – MXGP
104. Ioannis Touratzidis – MX2
105. Emmanouil Kritikos – Open

106. Ingvi Bjorn Birgisson – MXGP
107. Andri Gudmundsson – MX2
108. Eythor Reynisson – Open

109. Eric Tabouraing – MXGP
110. Billy Lux – MX2
111. Bjorn Frank – Open

112. Tomer Harel – MXGP
113. Dan Maya – MX2
114. Ziv Karmi – Open

115. Ben Prasit Hallgren – MXGP
116. Kritsapa Potaton – MX2
117. Chaiyan Romphan – Open

118. Hakon Mindreboe – MXGP
119. Kevin Horgmo – MX2
120. Magne Klingsheim – Open

121. Joaquin Alberto Poli – MXGP
122. Juan Pablo Luzzardi – MX2
123. Jose Gerardo Felipe – Open

124. Amirreza Sabetifar – MXGP
125. Ali Borzoozadeh – MX2
126. Alireza Parvareshbaladi – Open

2018 AMA Pro Racing Numbers

Β 1 – 450MX Eli Tomac

1 – 250MX Zach Osborne

1 – 450SX Ryan Dungey

1 – 250SX West, Justin Hill

1 – 250SX East, Zach Osborne

2* Cooper Webb

3* Eli Tomac

4* Blake Baggett

5* Ryan Dungey

6* Jeremy Martin

7* James Stewart

10* Justin Brayton

11* Kyle Chisholm

12* Jake Weimer

14* Cole Seely

15* Dean Wilson

16* Zach Osborne

17* Joey Savatgy

18* David Millsaps

19* Justin Bogle

20* Broc Tickle

21* Jason Anderson

22* Chad Reed

23* Aaron Plessinger

24 Dylan Ferrandis

25* Marvin Musquin

26* Alex Martin

27** Malcolm Stewart

28 Shane McElrath

29 Martin Davalos

30 Mitchell Harrison

31 Colt Nichols

32 Christian Craig

33* Josh Grant

34 Weston Peick

35 Austin Forkner

36 RJ Hampshire

37 Fredrik Noren

38 Luke Renzland

39 Kyle Cunningham

40 Chase Sexton

41* Trey Canard

42 Dakota Alix

43 Sean Cantrell

44 Lorenzo Locurcio

45 Jordan Smith

46** Justin Hill

47 Jimmy Decotis

48 Henry Miller

49 Nick Gaines

50 Dan Reardon

51* Justin Barcia

52 Mitchell Oldenburg

53 Bradley Taft

54 Phil Nicoletti

55 Vince Friese

56 Anthony Rodriguez

57 John Short

58 Matt Bisceglia

59 Cole Martinez

60 Benny Bloss

61 Heath Harrison

62 Justin Cooper

63 Hayden Mellross

64 Michael Mosiman

65 Gannon Audette

66 Cameron McAdoo

67 Justin Hoeft

68 Justin Starling

69 Tyler Bowers

70 Jesse Wentland

71 Josh Mosiman

72 Joshua Hansen

73 Brandon Scharer

74 Jon Ames

75 Noah McConahy

76 Kyle Peters

77 Ryan Surratt

78 Ronnie Stewart

79 Nick Schmidt

80 AJ Catanzaro

81 Chase Marquier

82 Cody Williams

83 Cole Thompson

84 Scott Champion

85 Joshua Cartwright

86 Dylan Merriam

87 Dylan Wright

88 Paul Coates

89 Jerry Robin

90 Dakota Tedder

91 Alex Ray

92** Adam Cianciarulo

93 Mark Worth

94* Ken Roczen

95 Joey Crown

96 Zack Williams

97 Cade Clason

98 Ryan Sipes

99 Dillan Epstein

800* Mike Alessi

* Career Numbers
** New Career Number for 2018

Future West Arenacross Schedule

2018 Yamaha Media Day Video from Motopark

OK, that’s it for this week. Week #40 will be coming from somewhere over in England as we’ll be with Team Canada for the MXON at Matterley Basin. Have a great weekend.

For Sale: 2017 Scott Addict XL/58 Email: for details. See you at the races…