Frid’Eh Update #46 | Marco Cannella | Presented by Yamaha Motor Canada
By Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #46 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update Presented by Yamaha Motor Canada. I’ve been out in Kamloops, BC for the week between the final two weekends of Future West Moto Arenacross racing out here…but more on that later.
It’s currently snowing pretty hard here and I’m actually glad I don’t have to be fighting my way back to Chilliwack in the Lower Mainland for AX practice this afternoon. I’m sure Jamie Davis is getting the opportunity to shoot some upcoming episodes of ‘Highway Thru Hell,’ and I don’t really need to be featured. Actually, we’ve got the news on in the background and the Coquihalla Highway is getting 35cms of snow today. If you’ve ever driven this road in the winter, you know that spells trouble.
#46 Marco Cannella is the rider featured in this week’s intro interview. Marco is from Waterdown, Ontario. If you’ve done the drive between Hamilton and Toronto, you’ve likely noticed the signs. It’s a nice little town that is nestled between two major cities, close to the shores of Lake Ontario.
Marco came up through the ranks with the eyes of the Canadian media on him the entire time. He’s had to make every move while we all shot photos and recounted his every result. It’s got to be a lot of pressure, but he seems to have taken it all in stride and now he’s on the cusp of taking the top step in 2021.
He finished 2nd in the 2020 Rockstar Triple Crown Tour 250 class behind Marshal Weltin.
As you can see, he only finished off the podium at 1 event all season! It seemed like he could start anywhere in the field and finish up in the top 3. He had the rest of the field covered.
We got in touch with him this week, as rumours swirl of him heading to a (the) factory team ride for 2021 and beyond. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Marco. You chose #46 as your career number, so can you remind us all the significance of it? How did you choose your number in the first place?
Marco Cannella: So, I’ve had the number 46 literally since the first race I ever did on a PW-50. I got it from when we signed up for Steel City Racers. They had two numbers left to pick, 46 and 185. Me and my dad signed up to race and that was it, I picked 46 so he had to go with 185 and the rest is history.
My mom always said we picked 46 because 4+6=10 and she would pretend the zero wasn’t there so I was always number 1, but I’m not sure how good that math works out! But I picked my career number to go back to 46 because I felt like I’d already built my career and reputation around that number and that’s the number people would recognize me from.
You were right there at every race this summer. In fact, you were only off the podium once! Can you tell us how you thought your season went?
Yes, this year was definitely a step in the right direction, results-wise. My goal was to be on the podium every round and to do that 4 out of the 5 outdoor rounds we had was pretty awesome.
I felt like the best riding I did was at the last race of the season at Sand Del Lee. I needed some better starts to try and battle for my first moto win but with seconds in every moto coming from behind most of my competition every time, proved I had speed and the fitness.
(Jess) Pettis was on another level this year, for sure, but with him moving up to the 450 class next year I honestly believe I will fill his winning role in the 250 class next year. But all in all it was hands down the best season I’ve had to date, considering I hadn’t had a single outdoors podium the year before.
What was the highlight of the series for you?
One of the highlights of the season for me was how I felt during the first national weekend at Gopher Dunes this year. That track, as we all know, is one of the gnarliest tracks to race for 30 minutes and to have to do it 3 times in a weekend this year was gonna be no joke.
I had previously stepped up my off-the-bike training to a whole other level then it had ever been and even though my results may not have shown how good I felt physically with a close 3rd overall, it was a huge confidence booster knowing I had enough to push hard at Gopher Dunes for 3 30’s. It makes all those hours on the road bike worth it.
You were so close to Marshal Weltin at some of them. What do you think it was that kept you from that top step?
Starts. I’m not sure how I haven’t been able to figure them out after racing a dirt bike for like 15 years, but if I could have been up there on some of those starts I feel like I could have definitely put more pressure on him and the rest of the guys in outdoors. Even just some top 5 starts but coming from outside the top 15 makes my life too difficult. We will be burning some clutches this off season for sure.
You finished 2nd in the Rockstar Triple Crown Tour. Do you think 2021will be your year? What will you do extra this off-season to try and make it happen?
My goal next year is to win. I’ve had three years in the class now and enough 2nd and 3rd place finishes. I know I have what it takes to be a champion and what it’s gonna take to get me there. I wanna have a successful career in Canadian Moto and sign to a top 450 program when the time comes, and the only way to do that is to first secure a championship in the 250 class. That’s what I have all my focus on at this point and what I’m striving for in 2021.
It’s the little things that add up. I will take what I learned this year and how I progressed and carry that into next year’s season and hopefully find that last little edge I need.
What have you been up to since the season ended?
Since the season has ended, I haven’t been up to that much. I’ve been helping my dad out at work a little bit and trying to get as much cycling in as I can before the cold hits! I did the longest ride I’ve logged so far – 200K outside which was a nice 7 hours on the bike and I’m thinking of going for a 12-hour indoor Zwift ride in the next few weeks.
What are your plans for the winter?
It’s hard to finalize plans for the winter right now with all this COVID stuff and waiting to hear when we will be going racing next year. But I’m assuming it’ll be the usual Florida trip that takes place for a couple months. I’m not sure where it will be yet. Hopefully, we can have that figured out shortly.
OK, so the rumours are swirling that you’ll be joining the Orange team for the 2021 season. Is there anything you can say about this?
There’s always rumours floating around at the end of a race season! I could see how people would just assume since Pettis will be on the 450 next year and that his 250 spot is open.
All I can say for now is my contract is up this year but I have had a great last 3 years with the team that’s supported me and I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of. I’m sure KT (Kevin Tyler) will be running another solid program for 2021 that I can win on and would enjoy to be a part of again.
Are we going to see you taking a run at AMA Supercross before you stop racing?
I will definitely take a swing at some AMA Supercross during my racing career. I doubt it will be this year with them starting east coast first and me still being in Canada right now. But in the future when everything is hopefully back to normal you guys will see me under the lights at some point.
How about cycling and triathlons. Will we see you racing any more of those in the future? Is it something you see yourself transitioning too when you get older?
Yeah, this year I got pretty big into cycling. I think I put 4500K in since I got home from Florida and started getting out on some local group rides. I’d really like to try and get into some races next year and maybe join a local racing club. I could see myself taking a swing at some pro cycling events in the future, for sure.
Although I do enjoy triathlons and have trained for them lots in the past and competed in some events, I think right now I’m definitely more interested in cycling. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see me in The Tour after my moto career is done. Ha ha.
Thanks for chatting today, Marco. Good luck and who would you like to thank?
Thanks for taking the to me to do this interview with me, Billy. I appreciate it. I definitely wanna throw a huge thanks to Kevin Tyler for never giving up and taking us racing this year. Thanks KT and all the team sponsors. Couldn’t be where I’m at today without you guys: FXR, 100%, FMF, Dunlop, 6D, Rockstar, Yamaha, Ride Engineering, SSS suspension, Gaerne, Renthal, Works Connection.
FWM Arenacross Championships Rounds 5 and 6 Cancelled
The news came out just Thursday that due to the increases in coronavirus cases, Chilliwack Heritage Park has been forced to cancel the racing this weekend.
As I said earlier, I’m out here in BC to bring the racing action to the internet with the live broadcasting we’ve been doing throughout the series to this point. It’s been going well and we’ve been doing everything we could to adhere to social distancing regulations.
Unfortunately, Lesley Reid (Owner of Future West Moto) was forced to announce the decision that will see us trying to reschedule the final 2 rounds of racing at some point in the future.
The way the COVID-19 cases are going up in most parts of the country, it’s going to be a pretty tall order for us to do any more racing this year, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed and wait for any additional decisions.
Here is the Press Release:
Obviously, if we’re unable to do any more racing in 2020, the standings will be final as of the last round – round 6. Here’s what that looks like:
At this point, #77 Casey Keast from Kelowna, BC is at the top of the sheet for both classes. He’s been fast and steady and is deserving of these titles, regardless of whether or not we have to cut the series short.
#170 Julien Benek from Mission, BC is the Intermediate rider who didn’t land off the podium once! This kid is the real deal and it’s going to be fun watching his progress into the Pro ranks.
In the Pro Am Lights class, I think it will be #381 Jake Piccolo who is the most disappointed because he definitely has the speed to take wins, but luck just wasn’t on his side and this will end up as a series to forget for the Abbotsford, BC rider.
In the Pro Open class, #10 Keylan Meston was the rider I thought looked to be the favourite for the title on his big 450, but a couple blips in his results have seen him slip 6 points down in 2nd.
I was also very impressed with the speed and aggression of #2 Brock Hoyer from up in Williams Lake, BC. In fact, I was surprised to see him on the line at the first round, but he showed he’s still got the speed and was actually showing the young riders some pretty advanced lines!
He was stepping up onto the tabletop consistently, he was the only rider quad-ing in room 2 on almost every lap, and he made the huge double over the starting line look easy.
It’s pretty anticlimactic if we don’t get to do the final rounds and these results stand, but it’s pretty likely this is how they would have ended up anyway, so we can’t be too upset.
We’ll wait patiently in the coming days and weeks to see what decision gets made about getting the last two rounds in.
If they do happen, we’ll be sure to get back out here to bring all the action to you live from the barn.
You can look over the full results and points of every class HERE.
MX2 – World Championship Classification
MXGP – World Championship Classification
And check out Canadian #651 Kade Walker landing on the EMX2T podium for 2020:
I’m pretty sure I heard 2020 Endurocross champion Shelby Turner say it was fun in our podcast. What do you think?
OK, have a great weekend, everyone. With no Arenacross to pay attention to this weekend, hopefully you’re able to get out and do some riding in your neck of the woods…not here.