Frid’Eh Update #43 Presented by KTM Canada
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Hello, and welcome to week #43 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update Presented by KTM Canada. This week, the Update goes out to a rider who’s been racing a long time. Jason Burke has had his ups and downs in motocross and these days can be found working 9-5 in the Burlington, Ontario, area. Jay only raced 2 rounds in 2014 and then hit all 6 of the eastern rounds last summer. His best finish was at the final round at Walton Raceway where 11-11 motos gave him his one top 10 result of the year.
Gopher Dunes: 17-12 15th
Sand Del Lee: 18-18 18th
Deschambault: 28-22 24th
Riverglade: 15-11 12th
Ulverton: 22-31 23rd
Walton: 11-11 10th
Jay finished 20th in MX1 and earned himself #38 for 2016. We caught up with one of the hardest working riders on the circuit to find out what he’s been up to and what his future racing plans are:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Jay. We haven’t seen you in a while. What are you up to today?
Working at a job site in Oakville today, carving a pumpkin with Beckett tonight.
You hit all 6 rounds of the east last summer. You best finish was a 10th overall at Walton. Was that your best race? If not, which would you say was your best?
Had a blast doing all of the rounds this summer. Not all my results were what I wanted, but overall it was a good season. Yes, Walton was probably my best, I got great starts and rode solid till the end. I was happy with that.
You finished 20th in MX1. Were you happy with that? What were you expecting?
I wasn’t sure what to expect for 2015. The field was stacked, and I didn’t get much track time in over the spring, but yes, overall I was happy with how most weekends went.
I’m sure you’ve heard there will be some track changes for next year. What do you think about losing Walton and Sand Del Lee, but picking up Pleasant Valley and RJ’s?
It’s nice to mix it up a bit each year with circuit changes – makes it fun for the riders, presents different location options for spectators and hopefully grows the sport. I’m looking forward to seeing a nationally-prepped RJ’s again.
What is your favourite track on the circuit?
Standard answer – Gopher. Never my best result, but always a challenge and I like that it separates riders on fitness and machine readiness.
What are your future racing plans? Will you go south this winter? Next summer?
No plans to head south this winter, I’ll stick around for work and do some projects around the house. Maybe a trip in the spring after the next baby arrives, but that would be more for family time than riding anyways. Next summer we will figure out weekend by weekend. No plans as yet. I like doing the whole east, but it’s a lot of travel back and forth to work – it’s a lot to commit too, and the more I do it the more I like finding time to do the extras that are normal for vacations, instead of sitting for days at the track – the zip lines and tidal bore rafting out east were awesome this year.
It’s Halloween. What’s the best costume you’ve ever had? Will you dress up for a party this year? Costume?
I’ve never been big on Halloween, but Beckett’s looking forward to tomorrow so I’ll dress up with the family and walk the block. He’s pretty bossy, so the costumes will be his choice – Meag’s ready with costumes for either Curious George and ‘the man in the yellow hat’ (yes you can laugh that I know these characters) or lumberjacks (pretty easy for me pull that one off). I’m sure you’ll see one way or the other on social media.
Have you been following the Arenacross series? You raced it here in Ontario back in the day. Can you see the series flourishing?
Not as much as usual, I checked the results, but we had a few busy weekends in a row with milestone birthday parties and family stuff, we turn down so many invites through race season that the fall and winter is packed with stuff. Meag and I talked about the arenacross races – the weekends didn’t work well, the bike wasn’t ready and either was I, no point in taking chances at this point in my riding career – I ride for fun, and riding unprepared isn’t fun.
Are you typing with sewage on your hands?
OK, we’ll let you get back to work and finish off a Friday afternoon. Who would you like to thank?
The same great team of support I’ve thanked all year: Steve Simms and John Nelson for keeping the Yamaha strong, everyone at FXR (Side note, in addition to the gear and adult winter stuff, the toddler snow suits are killer), LGS suspension, WASPcam, Scott goggles, Label-it, my family, and thanks to the media guys – surprising but nice to see my name or pictures pop up with supportive comments.
Jay is one of those riders you talk to when you want the real goods. He’s never been one to beat around the bush. The sport needs guys like Jay. Thanks for the chat today and good luck in the future. Now get back to work!
This week’s Update is brought to you by the gang at KTM Canada. Royal Distributing Fox KTM rider, Cole Thompson, is currently fighting for titles in the Canadian National AX Tour Presented by Royal Distributing. With only one weekend of racing left, it’s coming down to the wire.
Get a little European dubstep in your life and check out this video showing the 2016 SX models in action:
Hey, guys. It’s Friday here in Southern Ontario and it looks like we have survived hurricane Patricia. The weather has been pretty hot so far for the AX Tour. Especially between points leader Jacob Hayes and Cole Thompson. It has been very exciting, and rubbin’ is racing. I just hope these two are able to take as much or more as they can dish out.
I’ve really been excited about this whole series. It is a huge breath of fresh air for moto in Canada, and more importantly, the poor provinces that have gone without for so long. It looks like it will be here to stay and continue to grow at a rapid pace. It’s just too bad we don’t have a great facility here in Ontario that is willing to put in the work and grow with the sport.
Silly season is one of my favourite seasons of the year. After the Rockstar squad dropped the bomb that they had signed Brett Metcalfe, it’s really going to force other teams to open up those pocket books. The big rumour is Mike Alessi to Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki. I, myself, have been saying Alessi needs to be up here full-time. Mike is a world class talent and a great guy. Yes, there is some drama with him, but I’d like to throw it mostly towards others (Tony & Jeff). And let’s be honest, it’s entertaining and it’s attracting a lot of attention to our series. There are quite a few riders now following our nationals, and just as many open to racing here. It’s not just a coincidence. We really need these riders and personalities to attract fans and sponsors.
2016 Monster Energy MX Nationals
So, the buzz this week is about Walton and Sand Del Lee off the tour. Does that mean the Walton after party is off too? Just kidding. At first I was in shock, but I do understand why. I’m not saying I agree with it, but I do understand. Change is always good, but it takes a while to accept it sometimes. My only issue is trading Walton for let’s say an RJs, is like handing over your steak for a slice of bologna. Yes, the track is pretty decent, but it’s just the way they treat people there.
Losing SDL is sad. It’s a nice facility, and an even better crew. I’m sure something new will pop up, but that’s not my department. Short and sweet for me, like always. Check out my ‘Out of the Blue‘ with Nelly Dufour and my ‘On the Radar‘ with Leith Ness. Have a great weekend and #smileforBC!
2016 Rockstar MX Nationals
What a week it’s been for Canadian motocross. The annual manufacturers’ meeting took place to talk about all things Pro Canadian Moto and roll out the new Rockstar Energy MX Nationals’ schedule. We haven’t seen the official list of tracks and dates, but with all the rumours floating around the industry lately, we can make some very educated ‘guesses’ at what it will look like next summer.
Ryan Gauld mentioned Walton Raceway and Sand Del Lee were off the schedule, so we mentioned it too and then guessed at the rest of the host tracks from all the rumours we’ve heard. Ryan then went on to guess at the specific dates of the races. What I’m saying is, it seems like it’s open season on speculation and rumour revealing!
Could next summer look like this?
June 5 – Kamloops, BC
June 12 – Nanaimo, BC
June 19 – Calgary, AB
June 26 – Regina, SK
Regular 2-week break?
July 10 – Gopher Dunes
July 17 – Deschambault, PQ
July 24 – Moncton, NB
July 31 – Truro, NS (Pleasant Valley)
July 7 – Ulverton, PQ
August 14 – Barrie, ON (RJ Motosport Park)
August 17-21 – Parts Canada TransCan
The annual Parts Canada TransCan at Walton Raceway will run from August 17-21. Normally, we only have a few days to drive from Quebec to Walton, so we could still have a 2-week break after Regina, forcing the final round at RJ’s to August 14th leaving us a couple days to head down the 401 to Walton. This is all educated speculation at this point so we’ll have to wait for the official Press Release from the CMRC.
Parts Canada TransCan ‘PLUS’
If you were paying attention, you’d notice that the 17-21 schedule for the TransCan puts it finishing on the Sunday. Well, historically, that has been the Pro National day, so what does this mean for this year’s finale?
The topic was brought up over on MX Forum and Walton Raceway co-owner, Brett Lee, responded, and then some! Here is what he wrote:
Walton Parts Canada TransCan August 17-21.2016
We are still on, just not part of the CMRC PRO SERIES, still doing the same format, except the Pro will be a unique format.
Right now we are laying out the Pro format with industry, creating a new purse structure, new race format and all the details for what will be the biggest outdoor motocross event in Canada.
We have all our partners from Toyota, to Parts Canada, the OEM all back and even Rockstar, who is in their fourth year with us, wanting to return.
I think we have done a good job, I know we have tried and this all gives a lot of motivation to knock one clear out of the park. I think that the series loses a lot with us out, and SDL. Ottawa Gatineua, which SDL is smack in the middle of is 1.5 million people. The average income is very high with so many people working in the government, high bilingual element, close to Montreal… and MX101 has worked hard on that facility and if you haven’t been there, go.
The entire demographic argument never sits OK with me. We are really in the middle of Waterloo-Kitchener and London which represents a lot of people. Ironically, London is the same size as Halifax (400 000-ish) and the same distance from London as Turo is from Halifax.
Anywho, we will be on this year and circle your calendar because we are very motivated to do awesome things for moto.
Here are some more demos and an interesting letter for those who still think we are in the weeds. See everyone next season, or maybe at the Dunes this weekend for Vet Fest.
From Walton Raceway:
50 kms (<30 minutes driving)
Est. 150,000 population
90 km/hr roadways with unimpeded, low density traffic.
100 kms (<60 minutes driving)
Est. 1 Million population
Waterloo coined Canada’s Tech Centre – Silcon Valley North
4 Major Universities and 4 Colleges
Shipping receiving centers for Major offroad distributors Motovan, Parts Canada, Royal Distributing Stores
66+ Recreational Off Road Businesses
80+ Macs Stores important to Rockstar.
150 kms (<90 minutes driving)
Est. 4 Million pop
5 of Ontario’s fastest growing urban centres
Every major urban centre west of Highway 400 except Niagara Falls and Windsor
Gateway to USA Border-Michigan via Port Huron/Detroit I94/I75 and I69
Four major Off Road Facilities located within.
200 kms (<120 minutes driving)
Gateway to USA border – New York via Buffalo I-90
Estimated 13+ million pop.
Regional Tourism Organization 4 (RTO4) is one of thirteen regional tourism offices established by the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport in the province of Ontario and includes Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington County. RTO4 has been called the “petridish of tourism development in North America” by the Canadian Tourism Commission, specifically because of its innovative, analytical and non-traditional approach to growing tourism and economic development.
The Walton Raceway is a highly unique attraction as one of the longest running motocross tracks in Canada and has been identified by RTO4 as one of our five key Demand Generators in the region. Situated in Huron County, it represents a significant tourism driver in Ontario and one that presents itself well for targeted, niche marketing to motocross and outdoor sport enthusiasts. As host of the Transcan Grand National Championship, Walton Raceway handles 75,000 to 80,000 annual day visits in addition to a variety of other regional events that draw large crowds.
They have been strategic in expanding their fan base to broaden their audience and create relevance for sponsors outside of the immediate industry to include Toyota, Valvoline, Arctic Cat and others.
Walton Raceway continues to innovate and add distinctive programming to its space including team-building and summer camps for youth. They have been recognized for these growth initiatives, including entertainment programming, and their capacity for further growth is given credibility due to support of RTO4, Celebrate Ontario and the Tourism Marketing Event Programme among others.
RTO4 has engaged with Walton Raceway for its Enabling Engagement project after identifying it as an innovative tourism product with capacity to grow significantly. Walton Raceway was already carrying out digital marketing and very much open to learning and improving their tactics via a cooperative approach with RTO4. Walton Raceway TransCan Event presents an opportunity to target a niched audience while also expanding its geographical reach (i.e.: target motorsports fans in nearby US border states) and continues to increase its reach.
Because of the potential for growth and the innovation displayed, RTO4 plans to be Walton Raceway partner in future growth and integration into the regional economy attracting national and international visitation.
David Peacock, CEO
RTO4 Inc., Waterloo, Wellington, Huron&Perth
1020 Ontario St.,Unit 6, Stratford, Ontario, N5A 6Z3
Brett and co-owner Mark Perrin have really looked into this thing! Losing Walton and Sand Del Lee from the schedule will be a hit felt by many racing fans and riders. Sand Del Lee is close to our nation’s capital with a huge population base. Not lost in the decision to delete these two tracks is the fact that the owners of them are the two who spearheaded the Allied Promoters Group (APG). Clipping them from the schedule definitely means fewer headaches for series owner Mark Stallybrass. Once the schedule is release, we’ll be sure to speak with him to get his thoughts.
A one-off Pro money race at Walton at the end of the TransCan could be a great event for moto in Canada. The schedule Pro National schedule would have to be such that it ends the weekend before the TransCan to ensure the Pro rigs can roll down the road without having to sit around an extra week. Like I said, it’s an interesting time in Canadian moto.
Canadian National AX Tour
Hey, have you been following along with all the action in the Canadian National AX Tour? It has been nothing if not thrilling! The two top riders coming into the 8-round series had to be #148 Cole Thompson and Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki’s #100 Jacob Hayes. Thompson is a past series champion in the AX Tour down south and Hayes just missed winning the Amsoil Arenacross title last winter.
These two riders have raced each other since they were very young and each is not without a story or two about the conduct of the other from that time. I like to equate these on-track incidents to some hockey fights you see: one guy does something minor, the other says, “Screw you!” The other returns with a “Screw you!” of his own. It goes back and forth like this until gloves are dropped and you’ve got yourself and old fashioned donnybrook or brouhaha.
If you were to ask both riders (and I have) what they think of the situation, they are quick to acknowledge the other’s competitiveness and distaste of losing, but that’s where the niceties end. We’ve all been there. Cole thinks Jacob is riding dirty and Jacob thinks it’s Cole’s fault. And then the gloves get dropped!
We’ve got one weekend left in Calgary, November 6-7. Here’s a look at the points:
1. 100 Jacob Hayes KAW 135
2. 101 Chris Blose KAW 131
3. 148 Cole Thompson KTM 79
4. 20 Dylan Wright YAM 73
5. 373 Jacob Williamson KAW 61
6. 65 Scott Champion KAW 60
7. 727 Dave Blanchet KAW 56
8. 10 Nathan Bles KTM 52
9. 34 Westen Wrozyna HON 51
10. 7 Bobby Kiniry YAM 47
1. 100 Jacob Hayes KAW 130
2. 148 Cole Thompson KTM 129
3. 101 Chris Blose KAW 126
4. 373 Jacob Williamson KAW 68
5. 65 Scott Champion KAW 56
6. 34 Westen Wrozyna HON 51
7. 20 Dylan Wright YAM 48
8. 7 Bobby Kiniry YAM 47
9. 727 Dave Blanchet KAW 47
10. 10 Nathan Bles KTM 41
Clash for Cash
1. 100 Jacob Hayes KAW 141
2. 148 Cole Thompson KTM 139
3. 101 Chris Blose KAW 120
4. 34 Westen Wrozyna HON 58
5. 727 Dave Blanchet KAW 53
6. 20 Dylan Wright YAM 53
7. 373 Jacob Williamson KAW 50
8. 10 Nathan Bles KTM 50
9. 65 Scott Champion KAW 33
10. 464 Kyle Keast HON 30
You can listen to the short interviews we did with both riders at the end of the night last Saturday in Penticton, BC:
#100 Jacob Hayes – Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki
#148 Cole Thompson – Royal Distributing Fox KTM
If’ you have the opportunity to get to the races in Calgary, do it!
Brett Metcalfe Racing in Australia
2013 Canadian MX1 champion, Brett Metcalfe, just signed on to race on the Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha team alongside 2012 and 2015 champ, Matt Goerke, in Canada next summer. He is currently back home in Australia racing Supercross.
Kaven Benoit Update
We haven’t spoken with 2-time MX2 champion, Royal Distributing Fox KTM rider Kaven Benoit, in quite some time. Kaven won the last 2 titles and will be forced to move up to the MX1 class in 2016. His plan was to do so regardless of 2015’s results but given the fact that he is now a 2-time champ, it’s a done deal. We grabbed him for a brief chat today just to get caught up on what he’s been doing lately.
Kaven took a couple weeks off the bike a few weeks ago but is getting in as much time on the big 450 as he can. He said he’s still getting used to not being able to wring its neck constantly like he did on the smaller bikes. He mentioned he’s had a couple get-offs just getting used to all the extra power.
He’s also been busy updating his apartments (he owns one building with three rentals in it) and that’s been keeping him busy lately too.
I asked him where he’s going to go for winter training this year and he said that he actually struggles with allergies in Georgia so they’ve been looking into other options. He loves the GPF track but the allergies are just so bad that he’d like to try somewhere else where he’ll feel better – maybe Club MX.
He also thought about trying to spend some time in California but with the Canadian dollar being so weak, it makes that a very expensive option.
He likes the big bike and says that he was always pretty solid on it back when he raced them when he was younger. He said it’s hard to be perfect on them and that he’ll need to get his suspension dialed in as he hits rougher tracks.
Halloween costume: Batman
Tyler Medaglia NOT Racing Final GNCC at Ironman MX
Journeyman racer, Parts Canada Thor Husqvarna rider (officially until Nov 1), #3 Tyler Medaglia, has decided not to head to Indiana to race the final round of the Amsoil GNCC series at Ironman MX. In his words, he “needed a break.” He said it would have also been too difficult, logistically, to get there, also.
His contract with the team officially ends November 1st. He’s in the process of sorting out his racing future but said that he would ideally be able to do some Rockstar MX Nationals, a few Lucas Oil Nationals, and some Amsoil GNCC races. He likes to ride and race a lot and loves to spread it out over different disciplines. The problem is finding support that will allow him to pick and choose the events he does. In the end, he figures we’ll probably see him at all 10 rounds of the Canadian nationals next summer.
He’s been busy racing cross races on his bicycle out in the Maritimes. He’s done the entire series and is in the top 5. Adam Turner from Podium 1 Suspension also has caught the cycling bug and is competing in the series. They are busy getting the Pleasant Valley course set up for next week’s event that will see the two line up on their home soil.
Halloween costume: He’s not sure, but Talon will be a firefighter and Millie will be Wonder Woman.
AMO Awards Banquet
OK, time to go put the finishing touches on this Nosteratu costume. He is probably the creepiest horrow character ever to grace the screen. Have a fun and safe weekend. We’ll be at Bitzy’s party here in London again. It’s always the best one of the year!