Frid’Eh Update #41 Presented by Yamaha Motor Canada
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #41 of the Direct Motocross Frid’Eh Update this week presented by OTSFF. We’ve all gotten to know Michael Fowler quite well over the past few years. He’s the personal rider who always has time to talk to the media and anyone else who happens along to strike up a conversation.
His 2017 summer season got off to a rocky start that almost left them with a blank timetable (more on that later) but with an attitude as positive as Michael’s they rallied together and made the entire season happen, regardless of the stumbling blocks placed in front of them.
Michael also lost his dad during the season, but in true moto family fashion he didn’t skip a race weekend, and that’s exactly how his father would have wanted it. Our condolences to you and your family, Michael.
Here’s a look at his 2017 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals season:
Michael finished 15th overall in the MX1 class and will be #25 for the 2018 season. We grabbed him for a chat this week to learn a little more about his past and what he has planned for the future.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Michael. First off, our condolences on the loss of your father this past summer. Like we were talking about, moto families are the closest families. Can you tell us how you first got into motocross?
Michael Fowler: Thank you. It was very random and unexpected how we lost him this summer, but it showed me how much everyone in the moto community is there for each other. I had so many people willing to be there for me when I needed them this summer.
Anyway, I actually got started in motocross by seeing my cousins ride and I wanted to ride with them. My mom wanted me to play baseball and forced me to go to a baseball camp one summer. While I was gone, my dad bought me my first race bike which was a YZ80. Once I started riding and racing I fell in love with the sport and knew this was what I wanted to do with my life.
Hey, Guys. Happy Friday. Well, The Motocross of Nations has come and gone. No, we didn’t win, but I think we did very well on the world stage and represented Canada very well. The conditions were obviously very tough and I’m very proud of all 3 guys, the mechanics, crew, Kourtney, and everyone involved. I think we have a great program, and we really need to keep pushing and supporting these guys each and every year.
A lot of silly season news in the US, not much of anything going on back here at home. We are still waiting to hear if we are going racing again with the CMRC or will everyone be heading a new direction with JetWerx. A big question is, “what happens to the Women’s Nationals if JetWerx takes over?” I have heard that they may be racing in the Sunday as part of the amateur program. In my opinion, the girls have not stepped up to support and improve their own series much. Obviously, we have a few people that have gone above and beyond to make the series a success over the last few seasons, but for the most part, the rest of the girls haven’t done much. I still don’t understand why a “prize table” is needed? This isn’t Timbits Hockey.
Quite a few of the girls like to call themselves “Pro Women” still, and I can’t remember ever seeing a prize table for the men’s Pro nationals. But anyways, whatever floats their boat. Talent-wise, the top few racers on both coasts have really put in the work and have stepped up their game a ton. Unfortunately, the rest of the pack is really far off of the pace and it looks pretty bad.
There have been a few rumblings that a few people would like to see the series go coast to coast with the men. I guess these people were around when this was going on back in the day. It didn’t work back then and it won’t work now. I’m willing to bet that we’d get a handful of fast girls to contest the entire series, and maybe a few others whose parents have deep pockets. If we barely fill over half of the gate now, what makes you think doing 8 rounds will improve the series? I’d love to hear it. Anyway, I think taking a step back and rebuilding may be the best thing for a few years.
Motopark ‘War of MX’ Vet National
Motopark will be hosting their War Of MX Vet National this Saturday. I, personally, love the idea and will be lining up, myself. New marketing coordinator, Graeme Jones, at Yamaha Canada stepped up huge and has graciously handed us at Direct Motocross a new 2018 YZ250f. I was fortunate enough to ride the new bike at the media launch earlier this fall, and I can’t begin to tell you how great this bike is. Yamaha already had a great 250f, and they just tweaked and fine tuned this beast.
I’ve been a long time Yamaha pilot, and I can say that I’m a big fan of this bike. The power was very good all the way through the gears, and the bike seemed to keep revving and never really fell off. I was very happy with the cockpit and the brakes felt very solid. I think the biggest thing for me was the suspension. The bike tracked very well and it liked to sit in the ruts, which made life a whole lot better.
I’m really excited to have the opportunity to race the new bike this weekend and have a ton of fun on a very good bike. Thanks again to Graeme at Yamaha for the perfect weapon for the War of MX Vet National.
I’d also like to thank Dan from Strikt. I will be wearing some very trick gear this weekend and beyond. It looks good, and functions and performs even better. Also, I can’t forget Aaron and Davis from Mica Sport/Scott Sports Canada for their continued support and love. Thank you everyone for a great set up to go racing with.
That’s it for me. Good luck to Bigwave on his surgery today. Hope all goes well. I’ll see you at Motopark, and don’t forget to #smileforBC and #liftwithscott.
Thanks, Jeff. Good luck this weekend at the ‘WAR OF MX” Vet National up at Motopark on your sweet new 2018 Yamaha YZ250F. Yes, we see the irony and humour in calling this event a “war.” Jeff will be heading over to Chatsworth this Saturday to go head to head with his old rival, Todd Kuli.
Kuli got the best of him at the Sprint Enduro at Gopher Dunes last month, so Jeff will need to even the score on the motocross track. To be honest, I can’t see Kuli doing any of the big jump combinations at Motopark, so I give the nod in this event to Jeff. No pressure, Jeff.
I was joking with Jeff about the big battle and that there’s a chance it could rain and he said, “Oh, I’m actually good in the mud, I just don’t like getting dirty.” How classic McConkey is that?!
Anyway, if I weren’t sitting in a hospital as you read this recovering from High Tibial Osteotomy surgery, I would definitely be heading up to Motopark to snap some photos of this event. These vet races are always some of the most fun days you can have at a track.
Next time you see me, I’ll hopefully be walking without a limp and toying with the idea of going for a run, but maybe I shouldn’t ask for too much.
Good luck, everyone, and don’t forget to pop your Ibuprofen on the way to the track!
It’s Official, the 2018 MXON Will Be Held at RedBud
Legendary Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Venue RedBud MX Adds to Legacy as Site of 2018 FIM Motocross of Nations
U.S. Track to Host Global Battle of Supremacy
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (October 5, 2017) – One of the most storied tracks in the history of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, presented by AMA Pro Racing, will add to its legacy next year when RedBud MX becomes the first venue in the United States since 2010 to host the FIM Motocross of Nations. Event organizers, Youthstream, made the announcement at this past weekend’s annual MXoN gathering from Matterley Basin in England.
As the halfway point of each season RedBud is the centerpiece of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, and also serves as American motocross’ perennial Independence Day celebration. It has been a part of the championship since 1974 and thanks to an incredibly dynamic track layout and a diehard fan base, it has become arguably the most popular and most anticipated round of the summer.
Second generation RedBud track co-owner Amy Ritchie was on hand for the announcement, proud to add her family’s track to a small but prestigious list of U.S. venues, all Pro Motocross tracks, that have hosted the MXoN, joining Unadilla MX, Budds Creek Motocross Park, and Thunder Valley Motocross Park. The announcement carried added sentimental significance as well, with late RedBud patriarch Gene Ritchie serving as inspiration for the decision.
“My dad’s passion for the sport put RedBud on the U.S. motocross map. He was very proud to see my brother [Tim], my sister [Angie], and myself continue to grow RedBud’s legacy. He dreamed of hosting the Motocross of Nations one day and would have been thrilled to see that dream come true,” said Ritchie. “Bringing the biggest motocross event in the world to RedBud is the perfect way to honor everything our parents put into this facility. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome the world to RedBud and showcase what has made this track a favorite for visitors and racers. And we can’t wait for RedBud fans to meet their counterparts from countries around the world! It’s going to be a fantastic event.”
Since it began in 1947, the Motocross of Nations has visited the U.S. just three times in 71 years. Unadilla hosted the first MXoN in the states in 1987, but 20 years passed until it returned for a second time in 2007 at Budds Creek. Just a few years later it visited Thunder Valley for the 2010 race. The United States team has won each MXoN on U.S. soil and has won a record 22 times in total, but is in the midst of a six-year drought since its last triumph in 2011, now the longest gap between victories.
“It’s no secret that the United States has had a tough go of it at the MXoN the last several years. Coming off its most adversity filled event to date, I’m sure team manager Roger DeCoster and all American riders are looking forward to the opportunity to represent their country and race in front of the home crowd,” said MX Sports Pro Racing President Davey Coombs. “In many ways RedBud epitomizes what American motocross represents, and is a bucket list destination for any fan. Next year’s MXoN is destined to be a truly memorable and highly competitive event.”
The 2018 FIM Motocross of Nations will take place next fall, with the event dates to be announced in the coming weeks. Additionally, the 2018 RedBud National will once again take place on the heels of Independence Day. The 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship schedule will be announced next week.
For information about the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, please visit ProMotocross.com and be sure to follow all of the Pro Motocross social media channels for exclusive content and additional information on the latest news:
- Facebook: @americanmotocross
- Instagram: @promotocross
- Twitter: @ProMotocross
- YouTube: AmericanMotocross
KTM Canada is Hiring
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT – CHAMBLY, QUEBEC
KTM North America – a subsidiary of KTM, a global leader in the off-road motorcycle competition segment and developer and producer of street as well as off-road motorcycles – has an exciting opportunity for a ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT located in CHAMBLY, QUEBEC.
Under general supervision, the Administrative Assistant provides administrative and clerical support to all departments in the Canada office. Acts as point of contact and liaison between the US and Canada regarding administrative tasks and day to day operations.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Provides general administrative support to various team members in a busy office environment. Handles basic office operations and administrative duties while identifying process improvement and cost savings opportunities.
Ensures office operations run smoothly by coordinating various administrative tasks/projects and expediting work results through diligent follow through.
Sorts and distributes incoming/outgoing mail on a daily basis and handles overnight shipments, as required.
Greets visitors, answers calls, and routes them to appropriate contacts.
Coordinates and arranges domestic and international travel for staff members, as needed.
Schedules meetings for staff members and may prepare related meeting materials (Word, PPT, Excel), as needed.
Prepares purchase orders and invoices/check requests for processing to the Corporate Accounts Payable department in the US office. May provide other support related to accounting or finance tasks, as needed, such as assisting in maintaining the office budget by recording, tracking and processing office expenses.
Maintains office supplies and equipment by monitoring inventory and placing orders.
Manages all recordkeeping and filing, including hard copies and electronic documents.
Acts as point of contact with governmental agencies.
Ensures proper French communications at all level to the Quebec market and assist in translation processes.
Manages all Canadian contracts, including real estate and vehicle leases, maintenance, security, racing, marketing, insurance, etc.
May run reports and compile information, as needed.
Partners with US Corporate IT department and/or other parties as needed for computer equipment issues, system access, phones, etc.
Assists US Corporate Human Resources team in various administrative tasks, such as collecting/distributing employee forms, following up with employees on pending benefits or other HR actions, manages time off calendar/tracking, other employee activities, etc.
Prioritizes and manages multiple projects simultaneously and follows through on issues in a timely manner.
Under the direction of the US corporate office, communicates important information to dealers via dealer.net and email blasts.
Performs mass mailing for PG&A and marketing material by using the most cost effective shipping means
Performs other duties as assigned.
EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS: Generally requires a minimum of three to five (3-5) years of experience in an administrative role. Bilingual in English and French is required. Required proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite. Motorcycle, motorsports or outdoors industry experience preferred.
EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS: High school diploma required.
OTHER SKILLS AND ABILITIES: Generally requires the ability to demonstrate the following:
Ability to maintain confidentiality at all times
High degree of tact and professionalism in interpersonal communications and teamwork with internal and/or external customers; pleasant, cordial, team player
Strong work ethic, productivity, efficiency and attendance
Adhere to all Company policies/procedures, safety regulations, local/state/ federal employment laws
Excellent organization and attention to detail
Strong time management skills
Multi-task in a fast-paced, deadline driven and constantly changing environment
Flexibility to switch gears with little notice
Prioritize workload, meet deadlines and understand when to escalate potential issues
Basic math skills
Internal and external customer focused
Self-motivated with ability to use own initiative
SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES: None
Internal: All Canadian staff in all departments, certain staff in US Corporate office such as Accounting Finance, IT, HR, Sales, Marketing, etc.
External: Dealers, office visitors, customers
JUDGEMENT/REASONING ABILITY: Ability to recognize discrepancies and resolve problems quickly using sound judgment, poise and diplomacy. Requires ability to use judgment and reasoning skills, and determine when issues need to be escalated.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The following physical demands are generally representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to allow differently-abled individuals to perform the essential functions of the job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to see, talk, hear and speak; sit, stand and walk; use manual dexterity in hands and fingers; reach with hands and arms; kneel, bend and stoop; and.
Ability to lift, move, carry up to 35 pounds
Able to sit at a desk and use/view computer
Able to talk, hear and speak into a telephone
Able to stand, walk, bend, stoop, twist, squat
WORK ENVIRONMENT: In general, the following conditions of the work environment are representative of those that an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to allow differently-abled individuals to perform the essential functions of the job within the environment.
Noise in the work environment is generally considered low to moderate.
Fast-paced environment with multi-level distractions
Professional, yet casual office work environment
Ability to work extended hours as required
Ability to travel if needed; travel is minimal up to approximately 15% in this position.
Required Pre-Hire Screenings:
Criminal – Felony and Misdemeanor 7 Years
National Criminal Data Base 7 Years
Successful candidates will be required to pass a post offer, pre-employment drug screen and background check.
APPLY ONLINE AT:
LOCAL CANDIDATES ONLY.
NO PHONE CALLS, FAXES OR DROP-INS.
RATE OF PAY IS BASED UPON EXPERIENCE.
Sorry, everyone. This Update is short and late. Those are two things I dislike. I’m currently sitting in UH recovering from what seems like a pretty barbaric surgery where they deliberately cut your tibia in half and plate it so it’s in the shape of an open wedge. It sounds pretty gross, but if it means I can get back to being more mobile at the races, I’m good with it. It also means I’ll have plenty of time ti sit around and spin yarns, interview moto peeps, and edit this Team Canada MXON video, so that’s good. Unfortunately, this surgery means I’ll be unable to fly to the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas next week.
Oh, before I go, there’s a pretty cool rumour going around that Josh Snider and the Redemption Racing team are very close to sealing deals that would see them traveling the entire Supercross series, starting in January in California. None of this is confirmed, but names like Kyle Peters, Henry Miller, and maybe even dragging Blake Wharton out of moto retirement is on the rumoured table. Of course, they have their guy, Josh Osby, so this could turn into a pretty big deal, if any of it comes to fruition. We’ll have to wait and see what happens over the next few weeks to find out what happens. I believe they’re already planning on doing the East Coast, but this could bring things to a whole new level!