Frid’Eh Update #4 Presented by Shot Race Gear
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #4 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week brought to you by Shot Race Gear. Well, it was good while it lasted. We knew a rider like Brett Metcalfe couldn’t stay in Canada forever, didn’t we? Heading into last season, when we heard that the likeable Australian was coming back to Canada to race our series again, we knew we needed to enjoy it while we could.
Brett is one of those riders who doesn’t come around often enough – fast, hard-working, polite, courteous, classy, and, most importantly, great with us media types. You always knew what you were going to get when you spoke with Brett after a hard day of Canadian Moto… the un-sugarcoated truth, like it or not. It was refreshing.
Sometimes, you feel intrusive when you know a rider hasn’t had the kind of day they would have liked and you still need to get an interview with them. Brett usually had pretty good days, but on the days when he didn’t, he was still quick to give up some of his time to chat with all the media outlets.
Well, word on the street is that we won’t be seeing the former MX1 Champion back in Canada anytime soon for a full-time run at the Rockstar MX Nationals. Brett has agreed to a full year of racing back in his home country in 2017.
I’ve seen him at both the San Diego and Anaheim 2 Supercrosses and each time we joke about how he’s going to race in both countries this summer. In San Diego he joked, “It’s going to be a lot of travel!” Then, when Jeff asked him if we’d see him in Canada this summer, he said he’d love to try and make it to at least a round.
Here’s a look at Brett’s 2016 summer:
Brett didn’t get an overall last summer but he landed on the podium 50% of the time – not bad. Good luck ‘down under’ this coming summer, Brett. Watch for an interview with him as soon as we can get in touch with him.
Welcome a new era in riding with SHOT RACE GEAR‘s 2017 light weight gear.
For 20 years, SHOT RACE GEAR® has been developing with the world’s fastest racers the lightest gear on the market today.
Our collection is made from the finest handpicked materials and is engineered to meet the most challenging racing conditions.
SHOT RACE GEAR® gives you a new effortless riding experience, enhancing your performance, in the lightest,
highly comfortable and durable gear available in the industry today.
Hey guys, happy Friday. It’s kind of rough writing this back in Ontario after doing this last week from SoCal. Yeah, it wasn’t the warmest, and it was raining, but it was better than this Ontario weather. It was nice to get back in the saddle and see everybody that I have been missing since last year. This was my first visit to Anaheim, and it was a good one.
Before I start talking about anything, I have to give all of the credit in the world to the track crew. WOW! They turned what was destined to be an absolute mudder into a really good track. Press day was cancelled Friday due to all of the rain, and then it started coming down ever harder that night. To my surprise, when I woke at 6am Eastern time Saturday morning, the rain had stopped, but I was still expecting the worse. It rained so much, there was no way it wouldn’t be a sloppy, muddy mess, so I was debating hitting Walmart for a set of rubber boots.
Well, good thing I was lazy and didn’t waste my money on a set. They were not needed at all. The sides of the track were bad, but the actual track was mint. There were a small amount of puddles in between the rhythm lanes, but for the most part, it was pretty amazing considering.
Anaheim 2 Supercross
Now onto the bigger news. Ken Roczen crashed. No, Kenny wasn’t riding over his head, it was a pure racing incident. Everybody was getting sketchy through that section, and Ken got bit. I don’t blame him for over-riding, he was just racing. Marvin Musquin mentioned that he almost died there a few times as well. It’s very sad to see anybody go down like that, but I’m really bummed because it was Roczen. No, I’m not some super-fan, nor do I have a lot of money bet on a championship, I just respect how hard this guy has worked, and I was excited to see someone really challenge Ryan Dungey in what could be his last season.
With technology nowadays, Ken will be back up in no time, but the next big question is…Who will challenge Ken, if Ryan retires? I don’t want to think about that right yet, so I will move on. How about Cooper Webb? The rookie finally looked good on his bike and was able to commit to the whoops and charge. This is the Cooper I have been waiting for. He’s not ready for a podium yet, but with a few more solid rides to build himself up, well, he’s going to be right there for a podium.
Jason Anderson/Vince Friese
Now on to the drama. I guess this is where I say, “Insert McConkey hate mail” now. Like before (Weston Peick vs Vince Friese) I will start off by stating that I am not a Vince Friese super-fan, nor am I a relative in any way. Oh, and no, I do not work for MotoConcepts. For some reason, the majority of people love to hate this guy. Yes, he has ridden over-aggressive, yes, he has crossed the line, and yes, he has pissed off a lot of people over the years.
In the early years, Vince would have to ride over his head, and sometimes dirty to keep positions. Things have changed. Vince has gotten quite a bit faster, and he seriously does belong in the top level of the sport. He’s got fitness, he’s very skilled, and he is a competitor. For someone who is a hockey fan, I’d call Vince the Darcy Tucker, Matthew Barnaby, or Steve Ott of the AMA. You love to hate him, you hate to play against him, but you’d seriously be a diehard fan if he was on your team.
The incident at A2 was a racing incident, straight up. Don’t think so? Watch it over and over again. He came in hot, squared it up and moved on. That’s how you race SX. Guys get cleaned out left and right… that’s SX. It’s life. Last year Nick Wey cleaned out my good friend, Cade Clason, for a transfer spot into the main near the end of the season. It was way dirtier, and it actually left Cade hurt. Was I mad? Heck yeah! How could a young tough guy like Cade get parked by a senior citizen?! All joking aside, yes, I was disappointed because my friend didn’t make the main and was left with an injury, but I accepted it because it was racing.
Vince didn’t want to hurt Anderson. He wanted to make the pass and qualify. If he wanted to hurt someone, he would start going right at legs and ankles. The guy is a racer. He is super-competitive, and the better he does, the more money he makes. I am a big Jason Anderson supporter. I love his style and really enjoy watching him pass Cole Seely rough (sorry, Cole), but as much as a fan as I am, I will never condone what he did. Like your parents always you to say, “Beat him on the track.” The DQ was called for, although the wipeout in the tunnel was probably the worst part for El Hombre. I really hope Jason can bounce back and get into the top 3 where he belongs.
Phoenix SX Predictions
Here are my predictions for Pheonix:
1st Ryan Dungey
2nd Cole Seely
3rd Marvin Musquin
4th Jason Anderson
5th Eli Tomac
In the 250 West action, Justin Hill showed everyone that he is in it to win it. He looked the best out of the 250 class all day long. Aaron Plessinger is not far behind, and then you have the super-consistent Shane McElrath right there as well. It’s going to be a great 3-way battle with these guys. I also imagine that Jeremy Martin and his bad luck string of races are a thing of the past, and he will finally finish up near the front. Here are my predictions for the 250 West in Pheonix:
1st Aaron Plessinger
2nd Justin Hill
3rd Shane McElrath
4th Austin Forkner
5th Dan Reardon
Before I go, I’d like to wish Brock Hoyer good luck as he goes for X-Games gold. Have a great weekend everyone, and always remember to #smileforBC! and #liftwithscott.
Thanks, Jeff. I’m sitting in the Press Tent at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, right now. Fun (and obvious once it’s pointed out) fact: Colorado just means ‘Colour Red.’
Anyway, as with most things, seeing them on TV for years and years and then being at it live is pretty weird. Have you ever been to a tack meet in person? Standing around all day waiting for the 10-second 100 metre final is not nearly as exciting as watching it on TV.
Anyway, I’m not saying this isn’t really cool, I’m just saying that when things are all nicely packaged on TV, it’s a lot different. However, the part of these things that I enjoy most are seeing what the athletes go through before and after their events. Seeing the emotion (and sometimes panic) is much more intense live than on TV. You can turn your head and see what parents and loved ones are also going through as the stars make their runs. That part is amazing.
Yesterday, it was Tim Tremblay‘s turn to wave the Canada Flag in the SnoCross heats and final. The track was only 18 seconds long and that meant you HAD to get a great start if you wanted to do well. Tim didn’t, and had to charge the entire 30 laps from dead last.
He made it up to 5th, right behind Tucker Hibbert, but commented that there was only one good line and passing was pretty much impossible. We grabbed him for a chat in his rig afterward, and you can listen to it below:
Here are the results:
1. Petter Narsa (SWE) 9:53.91
2. Adam Renheim (SWE) 9:56.75
3. Lincoln Lemieux (USA) 9:58.19
4. Tucker Hibbert (USA) 9:59.93
5. Tim Tremblay (CAN) 10:01.97
6. Corin Todd (USA) 10:09.53
7. Elias Ishoel (NOR) DNF
8. Ryan Springger (USA) DNF
Gold – Petter Narsa
Siver – Adam Renheim
Bronze – Lincoln Lemieux
The big news here was that Tucker was going for an unprecedented 10th Gold in a row. He was tied with 9 going in. Well, he didn’t make it and I’m pretty sure starting another run at 10 is not going to happen. Congrats on one heck of a run, Tucker!
Time out. Snowmobile Jump and Snow Bike practice is happening right now. Back in a minute…
OK, that was pretty cool. The Snow Bike course looks to be much better than yesterday’s SnoCross track. I heard lap times were much longer than the 18-second jobs we saw Thursday.
Here are a couple pics from the guys hanging around:
Here’s a look at the Heats:
Heat 1: Curtis, Faisst, Gomez, Haaker
Heat 2: Heppner, Hodges, Hoyer, Huizenga (that’s a pretty stacked heat!)
Heat 3: Jarrett, Matechuk, Moos, Renner
Heat 4: Scott, Sieg, Strong, Thomson
We’ve got 16 riders and 2 of them are #44! What is this, the CFL?!
OK, there’s just too much going on here today. I have to head over to the pits now to see how everyone is doing. I’m sure they’ll all love me throwing my cameras in their faces as they try to get prepared for the big race here.
Oh, and now I’ve just learned there is a Kicker Arenacross taking place Saturday night nearby in Denver on my way home. I guess I’ll have to stop in and check that out, too!
Have a great weekend, everyone. We’ll get back to our normal Frid’Eh Update style next week when I’m at home and have more time to pester riders and team managers.