Frid’Eh Update #39 Presented by Shot Race Gear
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Week #39 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update is presented by Shot Race Gear and goes out to Teagan Williams. We didn’t see Teagan this summer at the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals and we weren’t able to get in touch with him before this Update goes live.
As always in this situation, we will be sure to catch up with Teagan as soon as he is able to chat with us.
Monster Energy Motocross of Nations | Maggiora, Italy
Well, it’s finally time. The Motocross of Nations is here and we have a team! For 2016, Team Canada will be at Des Nations, and we have sent a pretty solid team. Team Canada manager, Kourtney Lloyd, has put together a very good team that we can all be proud of. Will we win or even podium? No, but that is not what we are going over for. We have a very good National series, and we have some great up and coming young stars. We need to go over to Italy and put in a very solid performance and finish in the A final. This is a building year, and maybe one day we may get a sniff of the podium, just not yet. In my opinion, Kourtney and her team need to show the Canadian Industry and fans that we are capable of competing at the highest level, and with time, she should be able to get more and more people on board and supporting this effort. All in all, I think we are sending a very good team that should make the A final with ease. Here are my Motocross Des Nation predictions:
2017 Husqvarna FC450
Last Wednesday, I headed East and ended up at Husqvarna Canada headquarters in Montreal, Quebec. I was there to meet Husqvarna Canada’s Victoria Hett and pick up the new 2017 FC450. After spending some time saying hello to the crew and catching up with everyone, I was on my way West with a huge smile on my face. The weekend couldn’t come soon enough.
For my first ride on the new model, I decided to head to the MMRS practice day at Muttco Mountain just East of Cobourg, Ontario. The Muttco track is by far their best as it is a sand track that offers plenty of elevation. I was instantly shocked at how smooth the FC450 was. I was kind of worried and expecting a really hard hitting 450. It was a great surprise. Like all the previous Husky models, this bike felt very nimble and maneuverable. It was very easy to ride from the get go, and a ton of fun.
It’s no secret that I am not a huge fan of the bigger 450cc bikes. Well, this bike has changed it all. I was very impressed after my first outing on the new bike. The following day, I headed northwest to my favourite track in Canada, Motopark. Motopark has some elevation and a little bit of everything for styles of dirt. The power of the FC450 was very usable everywhere. I really couldn’t get over how great the power delivery was.
In the past, I have struggled with confidence in my front forks. I would tend to avoid the rough stuff and take the long way around the track. Lately, I’ve been doing the opposite with the Cone Air Fork. I found myself attacking the rough chop and wanting more. The bike didn’t dance or buck in the highspeed chop and it was actually fun looking for the rougher lines.
As always, the brakes were a 10 out of 10 and made it real easy to knife down and hit the very inside lines. I honestly cannot wait to get more seat time on this amazing bike. The only bad part about the 2017 Husqvarna FC450 is that I have to eventually give it back.
Paul Smith HAF Helmet Raffle
We received some sad news not long ago, that Canadian freestyle rider Paul Smith had passed. I had the opportunity to meet and hangout with Paul back in 2013. I was staying down in Gainsville, Florida, with Jeremy and Tyler Medaglia. Former top pro, Mitch Cooke, flew in to join us, and we ended up at Dade City for some night racing. While down at Dade, we met up with Canadian star, Jolene Van Vugt, and we made plans to hit Paul’s compound together later that week.
We made the drive south to Tampa and met at Paul’s place. Paul instantly made each and everyone in our crew feel welcomed. After the fellas were done with their motos, Paul and Mitch Cooke hit Paul’s perfectly prepped freestyle compound. Paul was a true professional and an all around great guy. I will never forget that day and feel very lucky to have met such a great guy. To try and help out Paul’s family, Mitch Cooke is selling tickets for a pretty badass custom painted HAF Fox V4 helmet. Please take the time and head over to Mitch’s Facebook or Instagram and get the details so you too can help out.
That’s it for me this week. A big happy birthday to MX101 Yamaha’s Dylan Wright. I’m sure he will be watching the Des Nations very close as he will no doubt be a member of Team Canada in the near future. Good luck to Kaven, Tyler, Shawn, and the entire Canadian team. Make us proud guys! Have a great weekend and #smileforBC!
Well, here were are in Italy and the big races are set to get going Saturday morning at around 10:00am. If you get CBS Sports where you are, you can tune in LIVE Sunday morning at 7:00am EST. You could also head over to MXGP.com and purchase a one-time password and watch all the action from start to finish.
Once again, I find myself busier than ever on a Friday and so digging for stories other than those related to the MXON here in Italy was basically impossible again this week. I’m sure there are a lot of riders out there who have enjoyed the silence the past few weeks. However, once we return to Canada and things slow down to a more normal level, they can be sure their phones will be ringing late in the week, just like normal.
I’m trying to upload the Opening Ceremonies video I shot today, featuring Team Canada but the internet is just so slow here that I may have to wait until I get to the track to do it from the media centre there. This also means uploading photos for my nightly Photo Report is also a nightmare! Technology, eh.
Kieran Doherty’s ‘Happy Camper Podcast’ | Episode 1 with Nate Adams
Team Canada Practicing on Thursday in Malpensa
Team Canada MXON | Thursday Photos | Shot Race Gear
By Billy Rainford
Well, after almost a week of trying, we were finally able to find the elusive Team Canada MXON today. It was the final day of testing for the team at the track directly next to the Milan Airport at Malpensa MX.
When we pulled into the facility, we were pleased to see a flurry of activity, with a bunch of teams ready to finalize settings. Unfortunately, the area received a fair bit of rain overnight and the track was too muddy to get any real testing done, so everyone played a game of ‘Let’s Watch the Track Dry.’ It’s not as fun as it sounds.
Team USA was also set up and ready to ride. The Americans always draw a crowd in Europe and it was the same this year as many who were there lined up in a big semi-circle around them.
The track is set on the side of a hill and is a great place to mimic the conditions the riders will face this weekend at Maggiora. Team Canada riders, #112 Kaven Benoit, #113 Shawn Maffenbeier, and #114 Tyler Medaglia were three of many who waited patiently for things to improve before hitting the track one last time.
They sent out a couple riders with yellow plates who didn’t look like they were there to race this weekend to do a bunch of laps and speed up the drying process. After about 8 or 10 laps, #6 Jason Anderson started the flow of top riders to the ever-improving track.
Here are a few riding shots:
So now everyone else is sleeping and I’ve just found out that my camera automatically stopped recording while shooting an episode of ‘Tailgating’ with Stu Robinson today. He won’t be too thrilled tomorrow when I inform him we need to do a re-shoot. Oh well, things happen.
Tomorrow gets started a little later at the track, so I think we’ll make a leisurely drive back into Italy and meet up with the team. Check back tomorrow for another photo update…and Tailgating with Stu.
Well, I thought maybe if I added some of this stuff the video and photo reports from today may have had time to load. Nope! Remember when you had to actual DIAL a telephone?! Well, nowadays we’re unable to wait AT ALL for things to get done. Remember that Homer Simpson line when he read the microwave instructions on the food? “Awww, 30 seconds??!! But I’m hungry NOWWW!” Classic and true.
Anyway, this internet is getting me nowhere so I’m going to have to call it a night. We’re 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time here so it’s getting late. I’ll get the video and some photos up as soon as I can tomorrow when we get to the track.
Go Canada Go!!!