Frid’Eh Update #47 Presented by Dragon
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Week #47 belongs to the California rider with Canadian parents, Tallon LaFountaine – he lives basically at the base of Big Bear Mountain road. The past couple summers, Tallon has come north and raced like a rider we all wanted to see compete in the entire series. Unfortunately, his plans south of the border stopped him from joining the traveling Canadian circus and back to the USA he went to continue as a test rider for Transworld MX and get some surgery taken care of.
Tallon’s dad is from Medicine Hat, Alberta, and his mom in from Saskatchewan. Tallon, himself, was born in the USA (sorry to get you singing that for the rest of the day) and doesn’t have dual citizenship, but says that he will soon.
Here’s a look at his brief 2017 Canadian season:
He got his racing start a little later than most, but is making up for lost time. We grabbed the fast rider who started the 2017 season in Canada with 8-9-6 overalls in the MX2 class for a quick chat to learn a little more about him and what we can expect to see in the future.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Tallon. Let’s start the usual way by asking you to tell us where you’re from and how you got into motocross in the first place?
Tallon LaFountaine: Hey, whats up! I live in Yucaipa, California and I have kinda been around motocross my whole life. My two older brothers raced all the amateur nationals down here, and I was always there but never raced much. I had some eye problems when I was younger and that’s part of the reason I never raced growing up.
When I was 11 or 12, I really got into riding pit bikes and loved it. A few years later, when I was about 14, I hopped on one of my brother’s 250’s one day just messing around and next thing I know my dad surprised me with bikes for Christmas in 2011 and that’s pretty much how it started.
Since the beginning, Dragon set out to be the leading eyewear and accessories brand in the active youth lifestyle market by supporting the best athletes with the best product, while remaining connected to core retailers and consumers. That mission still holds true today and is the driving force behind the company’s success and heritage.
In 1993, in a garage in Capo Beach, CA, founder Will Howard aimed to build a company that encompassed his passions for surfing, snowboarding, and riding dirt bikes. Enthusiasm and knowledge of the market bore Dragon’s first and still primary product, sunglasses. The company began distributing to local surf shops before expanding to Hawaii and Florida, and later Australia and other international markets.
Dragon gradually extended its reach as well, developing innovative, diversified products in all eyewear categories. With an emphasis on creating functional, high-quality merchandise that appealed to the youth market and pushed the status quo. Dragon introduced a number of innovative products early on. “We saw an opportunity to add snow goggles to the lineup by aligning ourselves with the emerging snowboard market,” says founder Will Howard. “We loved riding and realized snowboarders were treated as second-class citizens just like we were as a start-up, so we thought that would be a good match.” From there, Dragon recruited snowboarders Jamie Lynn, Chris Roach, and a few others. Many years and many ride days later, Dragon has established itself as a leader in the snow goggle business.
More recently, Dragon’s innovative approach has lead to further market-leading developments, including the first-ever frameless snow goggle which launched in the winter of 2011. This goggle has revolutionized the snow market and is one of the most sought after styles at retail. Along with that, the latest Dragon sunglasses have showed design innovation and a unique styling like the JAM, Domo, and Viceroy. Rider-inspired design and feedback has always been key and one of the important philosophies of the brand in creating new products.
Through it all, Dragon has continued to be true to its roots. Original snow team rider Jamie Lynn, along with Dragon’s first surf team rider, Shane Dorian, remain on the team roster today. With top-tier product and athletes in mind, Dragon’s roster has grown to include some of the best surfers, snowboarders, moto riders, and wakeboarders in the world.
Canadian Supercross Racers
Happy Friday, everyone. Supercross and Supercross prep seems to be the buzz this time of the year. New teams, new brands, new gear deals and new attitudes are everywhere and everyone is excited. As of right now, we have 3 Canadians preparing for 250 SX in 2018. Westen Wrozyna on the East, and Jess Pettis and Brock Leitner on the West.
Out of the 3, I feel Leitner is the one flying under the radar the most. Everyone seems to forget how young he actually is, and he was awarded the CMRC Most Improved Rider at the 2017 season-ending banquet.
All three riders are starting to put in the necessary prep to make sure they are ready to make night shows and possible mains in 2018. Now, I know everyone is proud of our guys and want them to do well, but here is where we have to be realistic. I see comments like “you’re going to kill it!” and “hope to see you on the box!” on social media, and I really hope people aren’t too clueless to expect the world out of theses young guns.
I had some spare time, so I dug up some SX results of Canadians from my era. Yes, you are going to say I forgot so-and-so, but these are the guys I researched that made main events. Sorry if I left anyone out:
*all results we found are courtesy of the Racer X VaultColton Facciotti: Colton made 3 West Coast Lites main events in 2006 with his best finish being a 14th at Anaheim 3.
Tyler Medaglia: Tyler made 1 main even in East Coast Lites in Minneapolis in 2008 finishing 17th.
Kyle Beaton: Kyle made 7 West Coast Lite main events with his best finish being an 11th at San Diego in 2012.
Brady Sheren: “Mr. Atlas Brace,” Brady qualified for 5 main events over his career, all in the Lites class with a best finish of an 18th in San Francisco in 2009.
Cole Thompson: Cole has quite a bit of SX experience on both coasts, making 25 main events. Cole’s best finish was a 5th on home soil in Toronto in 2014 East Coast action.
Jean-Sebastian Roy: JSR raced SX on and off between 1993 and 2002. The Canadian G.O.A.T. made 73 main events in total. Roy made 9 main events in 125 action with his best finish of 6th in Indianapolis in 1995, and he qualified for 64 premier class main events with his best finish being an 8th in Charlotte in 1998.
Doug Dehaan: Doug lined up in SX from 1994-2006, making 38 main events between the two classes. Dehaan had 22 main events on 125cc with a best finish of a 6th in St. Louis in 1997, and he had 16 premier class main event starts with his best finish being an 11th in Las Vegas in 2000.
Marco Dubé: Marco lined up to race SX in both classes from 1996-2006. He made 9 main events in total. Marco had 7 main events in 125 action with a 9th in Tampa in 1998 being his best and a 14th in Daytona in the premier class in 2000.
Blair Morgan: Blair raced 125 SX in 1995-1996. He qualified for 3 main events, with his best finish being a 15th in San Jose in 1995.
Darcy Lange: Darcy may have had the most success out of the Canadians in his short SX career. He raced SX between 2000-2007. Darcy qualified for 19 combined main events. Lange finished an impressive 3rd overall in the 2007 East Coast Lites championship behind teammate Ben Townley, and Ryan Morais. Darcy had two 2nd place finishes, one in Irving, and one in Atlanta that season. His best premier class finish was a 13th in Las Vegas in 2002.
So that being said, making the main events are a win on their own. Quite a few Canadians have lined up, but unfortunately just couldn’t put it into the main. I feel with the 3 young guns that we have, night shows should be the norm, and on the right night, a main event might be in the cards.
Rockstar Triple Crown Top 100 Numbers
JetWerx and the Rockstar Triple Crown had a really cool count down to the release of their Top 100 numbers for 2018. It started off with the unveiling of the new career numbers. I myself am a huge fan of this and think it is a great idea. This system will help fans track their favourite riders a little better. For example… how many people were reaching for their programs last season in moto 1 at RJ’s to find out “who the heck is #58 out front in the lead?!” Well, it was Jeremy Medaglia and he was running the #58 after a not-so-great previous season.
With permanent numbers being chosen, riders can brand themselves a little better. And how cool is it to see the guys running their amateur digits. I’ve always been a huge fan of Mike Alessi sticking with the 800. Very cool. The 11 riders that were eligible to choose a permanent number have put in their time and earned this prestigious right.
After the career numbers were chosen, the remaining numbers up to 100 were awarded due to points from the 2017 season. Brandon Gourlay lucked out, and will be stuck with the #69 for 2017. We will check the rule book for Brandon and see if his numbers are required to be made of electrical tape or spray paint.
Anyways, it is nice to have some answers and it looks like the new series is shaping up quickly.
AMO Moving Riders Up
AMO president Ryan Gauld posted his list of riders being forced to move up classes this past week. Over the last few years there have been way too many sandbaggers hanging back in all classes and I applaud Ryan for pushing these riders out and making it fair for all. After all, are Junior championships still glamorous when you’ve been a top contender in the class for a few years and everyone else has already moved up?
Thor Winter Olympics
As Bigwave has mentioned, we will be heading south to the Mini O’s this Monday. I am really looking forward to seeing all of the fast up and comers. There hasn’t been much to talk about as of late, but I’m sure this trip will keep you busy reading for weeks.
Mark Booker is On the Mend and Going Home!
Before I go, I’d like to congratulate Mark Booker on his hard work. Mark suffered a horrendous crash the day prior to the Motopark Vet National breaking 36-plus bones. Booker is a stubborn old goat and busted his ass to get out of the hospital in 7 weeks. Mark will be leaving with 50+ new pieces of titanium in his body and an ever-growing list of bills. If you can, please donate and help Mark and his family get back on their feet.
A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our good buddy, Cade Clason. Cade is still trying to get some answers after a failed drug test and suspension from Supercross. He’s a great guy and the races are a better place with him there. Happy B-Day, Cade!
That is it for me. Don’t forget to #smileforBC and #liftwithscott, and I’ll see you in sunny FLA.
Thanks, Jeff. Yep, assuming I get the thumbs up from my surgeon to drive on Monday, we’ll be filling up the DMX Van and heading south to the Mini O’s, yet again. Would you believe me if I told you I raced the event back in 1985? It’s true.
There’s a growing list of fast Canadians making the trek to one of the biggest amateur nationals on the racing schedule. With a couple days of Supercross followed by a few more on the motocross track, the Mini O’s is a one of a kind event that every young amateur rider and their family strives to attend.
Kade Walker Podcast
I’ve been wanting to talk with the Quebec native who now calls Italy home for quite some time now. I finally got my chance Thursday afternoon when we caught Kade Walker at his apartment above a bike shop just outside Bologna, Italy.
I remember seeing young Kade ripping around the US Amateur Nationals collecting first place trophies in the little bike classes wherever he went. When things didn’t really add up for him as he made the transition to big bikes and then the Pro ranks, he made a call to Europe and hasn’t looked back since.
Talk about an interesting life! Kade can now be found criss-crossing Europe chasing races every weekend. He went through some hardships with a terrible knee injury, but he got that fixed last year and is now getting back to speed and racing all over the place.
Be sure to give this podcast interview a listen as it may give some other young Canadian riders some ideas about the different directions a motocross career can take you.
Thanks for talking with us, Kade, and good luck.
Endurocross Finale this Weekend
We’re heading into the final week of racing to decide the titles for the Endurocross series. 2017 Women’s Canadian West MX Champion, Shelby Turner, is looking to defend her 2016 title as she leads the group into this one.
On the men’s side, Canadian Trystan Hart from Invermere, BC sits 2nd in the Super Endurocross class , 32 points behind leader Cody Webb.
The action takes place Saturday night from Ontario, California. Good luck, Canucks!
Paris Supercross this Weekend
SX1 Entry List
#2 – Florent RICHIER – France – Suzuki JPM
#3 – Nicolas AUBIN – France – Amexio Suzuki
#5 – Cyrille COULON – France – Suzuki SR 75 World Team
#6 – Jeremy MARTIN – USA – Honda Geico
#8 – Thomas RAMETTE – France – Suzuki SR 75 World Team
#14 – Cole SEELY – USA – Honda HRC Factory
#15 – Dean WILSON – Ecosse – Husqvarna Rockstar Factory
#16 – Zach OSBORNE – USA – Husqvarna Rockstar Factory
#25 – Marvin MUSQUIN – France – KTM Red Bull Factory
#36 – RJ HAMPSHIRE – USA – Honda Geico
#85 – Cédric SOUBEYRAS – France – Suzuki JPM
#121 – Xavier BOOG – France – Honda SR Motoblouz
#137 – Adrien ESCOFFIER – France – Husqvarna
#871 – Fabien IZOIRD – France – Honda SR Motoblouz
#911 Jordi TIXIER – France – KTM Bos engineering
Canadian Women’s Motocross in 2018
The question about the new series and where women’s motocross fits in hasn’t been answered officially, but word on the street is that we’ll see the ladies lining up during the Pro day’s racing when the gates drop this summer.
Again, we haven’t heard this officially, but it’s starting to look like the idea is to build that series up stronger like it was a few years ago. As far as the indoor portions of the Triple Crown series goes, well, that’s still up in the air.
Kicker Arenacross | Albany, New York
If you’re looking for some indoor action this weekend, head across the border to Albany, NY for the Kicker Arenacross series. This is the final round of the 2017 series and there should be a few Canadians on the gate, including Westen Wrozyna who will line up on his PRMX Strikt Kawasaki for the first time before racing East Coast 250 SX this winter.
It sounds like Westen’s AMA Pro Supercross license isn’t a “given” at this point, so we’re hoping they can get that all sorted out with the CMA and have them give the AMA the release form stating he’s eligible to compete. Westen DID get invited to and raced the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas a few years back, so he’s no slouch on the Supercross tracks. If this doesn’t work out, it looks like it’s the RC Road to Supercross for the young Canadian.
OK, not a ton from me this week. My days have been spent trying to get this leg ready to head south next week. I’m going under the assumption I’ll get the green light Monday morning. It’ll be nice having Jeff there this year, as I’ve been running solo at this event for 10 years running now!
Good luck to all the families who are spending this weekend driving across North America to be at Gatoback for the Mini O’s next week. Don’t go crazy during the Supercross days, and be ready to attack the motocross track later in the week.
Fortunately, they’ve toned down the SX track the last couple years and it’s paying off with fewer injuries.
We’ll see you there! We’ll let these kids from the 2011 Mini O’s say it this week. “See you at the races...”