Frid’Eh Update #48 Presented by Atlas Brace

By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford


Week #48 belongs to Idaho native Austin Kouba. – Bigwave photo

Welcome to week #48 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update. This week the Update is presented by Atlas Brace and goes out to the rider from Boise, Idaho, #48 Austin Kouba. We got to know Austin back in 2014 when he showed up at the first round of the Canadian MX Nationals at the Wastelands in Nanaimo, BC and took an impressive 10th place overall as a relative unknown rider to Canadians.

We didn’t see Austin at the 2015 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals but in 2014 he did the first 4 rounds out west and did enough to earn #48.

Nanaimo: 10-11 10th

Kamloops: 14-11 12th

Calgary: 13-DNF 16th

Regina: 30th

We got in touch with the speedy Idahoan to find out what he’s been up to and what his future plans are. Here’s what he had to say.


Why Canada? “I decided to go up to Canada for a few reasons. I knew it was a little laid back compared to US nationals, but the competition and experience would be awesome.” – Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Austin. We got to know you a little bit a couple years ago when you showed up at round 1 in Nanaimo, BC. For those who don’t know you, can you give us a little background on yourself?

Austin Kouba: I’m from a small town called Star, located in Idaho. It’s really close to where Morgan Burger is from. I turned 20 this August and am a full-time college student. Ive raced Pro locally since I was 17, but my first national was when I raced the western Canadian Nationals in 2014.

What made you decide to head north to Canada?

I decided to go up to Canada for a few reasons. I knew it was a little laid back compared to US nationals, but the competition and experience would be awesome. A few friends and I who race a series called RMX decided to form our own little team and head up.

What was your impression of Canada and our series?

I loved it. I only raced a few, but it was a great experience as a whole. I loved how everyone was so friendly and welcoming. Tracks were good as well. I can’t wait to go back to Kamloops. There was one thing that I really didn’t like though, for some reason they wouldn’t let us park next to the big semis in the pits. We had 2 people in the top 10 in points, yet we had to park with a bunch of squids just because our ride wasn’t very pretty. Granted, it was an eye sore, but a little recognition would have been nice. I mean, we were doing pretty well considering we slept on tiny bunks every night and ate more easy Mac and Top Ramen than what is considered healthy (Laughs).


“There was one thing that I really didn’t like though, for some reason they wouldn’t let us park next to the big semis in the pits. We had 2 people in the top 10 in points, yet we had to park with a bunch of squids just because our ride wasn’t very pretty. Granted, it was an eye sore, but a little recognition would have been nice.” – Bigwave photo

You did the 4 western rounds. What was your favourite track? I think Nanaimo (10th) was your best finish. Was that your best race?

Yeah, actually, my first moto was my best of the entire trip, and at my least favorite track. I came from off-road so the rocks, holes, and slick dirt was kind of a homecoming for me. My favourite track was Kamloops, for sure. It reminded me of a track we race in a small town called Rupert. The dirt was way better than all the other rounds, too.

We didn’t see you in 2015. What were you up to last summer?

I wanted to come up and race, but ended not being able to due to work and school and stuff. I did race some off-road and my first AMA National in Utah, which was an awesome experience.

What are your winter racing plans?

For the winter, I don’t have much. It gets so cold and frozen here during the winter you pretty much just sit around and gain weight. I just broke my left clavicle, so I’ll be recovering from that over the next few weeks.

What are your racing plans for next summer?

For 2016, a few friends from here are going to hit as many of the western Canadian nationals as possible. The goal is 3, but for sure Kamloops and Calgary. I’ll probably try to race another US National, depending on how I feel and how the Canadian rounds go.


Austin is a Junior at Boise State University and works part-time at Western Power Sports/Fly Racing. – Bigwave photo

What else do you do besides moto?

As far as sports other than racing…nothing. I was that kid growing up who pretty much couldn’t do anything athletic. I’m not good at sports that require running, jumping, throwing, or any ball handling (Laughs). As far as school and work, I’m now a junior in college attending Boise State University. I also work at Western Power Sports/Fly Racing in the accounting department part-time, which fits my Asian heritage.

Did you follow the Canadian series last summer online? What did you think?

I did. I would check up on Burger and the Broughs to see how they were doing. I couldn’t believe how close it was at the end. I thought (Colton) Facciotti was going to get (Matt) Georke, but congrats to both of them on a great season. It was cool to follow.

OK, we’ll let you go. Thanks for playing along and who would you like to thank?

No worries. I’d like to thank everybody who helps me out; my brother, parents, Carl’s Cycle Sales, Fokus Graphics, Western Power Sports, Fly Racing, Rekluse Motorsports, Scott USA, Moto One, AirPro, and Koubalink. Also, a big shoutout to Ultimate Heating and Air and Cloverdale Plumming for helping me get to the Canadian nationals in the first place.

Thanks for the chat, Austin. Good luck rehabbing your shoulder and in your classes. We look forward to seeing you mix it up in the top 10 again out west next summer.


This week’s Update is brought to you by Atlas Brace.

This Update is brought to you by Atlas Brace. We stopped into their new office space just outside Surrey, BC yesterday for a quick tour…and lunch.


Brad McClean opened the Matrix doors for us.


Here’s a look at the Mechanix Wear entrance that is still a work in progress.


Brady Sheren behind his desk closing deals.


Rick Sheren doing likewise. These guys are good! They even took us out for lunch at Ricky’s – the restaurant chain that is actually named after THIS Ricky.


Look who else we found sitting at his desk – Ryan Lockhart will be in action again this weekend at arenacross.


The new space is over twice the size of their old place at 29000 square feet.


They’ve got enough space for machinery that will keep them advancing design.


They print their own graphics to go on their Atlas Braces and more.


Bill McClean’s replica 1974 championship bike sits prominently in the foyer.


Brad and James Lissimore look through an old edition of Racer X Canada that had Brad’s photo in it…that James took.


You gotta love old pinball machines!


Brady shows us that it even still works.


New shipment of Next sprockets waiting for nice homes.


Matrix stands doing the same.


The view from above the office space.


Jeff McConkey

Hey, guys. It’s getting closer to Christmas, but the weather sure doesn’t look like it here in Southern Ontario. We have been very blessed to be able to ride outdoors still. I was able to get out this past Sunday, but not before hearing the bad news about my close friend Dylan Kaelin. Poor Dylan basically sat out the entire season after tearing his ACL. After riding for fun the last few months, Dylan decided to keep the fun going and lined up for some arenacross action in Chilliwack, BC. Unfortunately, the bad luck injury cloud, once again, followed DK and he was left with some pretty serious internal injuries. After reading about Dylan’s injury, it was an absolute no-brainer to throw on my Atlas Defender chest protector. Not only does it look great, but it works! I’ve never been a fan of neck braces or chest protectors, but, after wearing both Atlas products the last few weeks, I really have become a fan and a believer. Motocross is a very dangerous sport, so we really should take every opportunity to make sure we are protected as much as possible. The Atlas Defender, and the Atlas Air neck brace should both be on any riders Xmas wish list. You really can’t put a price on safety, so don’t be a Scrooge and keep yourself and your loved ones safe.


The first advancement in 4 decades.

Traditional chest protectors have been the same for over 40 years – A combination of injection molded plastic, laminated absorbent foam, and a fastening system holding them together. Finally, we are proud to introduce the Defender – The first modern solution to body protection made to integrate seamlessly with your Atlas Brace.



Waterproof. FINALLY.

With inspiration from high end running shoes, we are introducing a big step forward in comfort, durability, and water resistance. The Defender padding is extremely light weight, incredibly tough and tear resistant, and is completely waterproof. Finally, a chest protector you can wash knowing it will not put on water weight, or be wet for your next ride.


Out with the old. In with the new.

Using a high performance padding solution also meant using a high performance assembly technique. Gone are the days of using dozens of cheap, low quality rivets to hold everything together. By bonding the padding to the plastic shell we create a permanent singular assembly with no gaps, loose parts, fasteners, added weight, or protruding plastic features facing the body.


Integration. And security.

With 5 possible configurations, and the ability be worn under or over a jersey, the Defender is the perfect addition to your Atlas Brace. We even provide built in simple elastic straps to hold your brace in place.

Cole Thompson Signs with Slaton Racing

Congrats to Cole Thompson on his new SX ride. Cole will be lining up in the West 250 series. It will be really nice to have a Canuck racing SX so we have someone to root for. Cole is no stranger to SX and has all the skills to be a solid top 5 guy.


Cole Thompson will race the West 250 series for Slaton Racing. – Bigwave photo

That’s it for me this week. Be sure to have a look at my ‘Out of the Blue‘ featuring the real ‘Newf’, Torbay, Newfoundland’s Emily Cole, and my ‘On the Radar‘ with another East Coast rising star Malcolm Farris. I’d like to wish a happy belated birthday to our Ladies East Champ, Eve Brodeur. I believe our young champ will be able to get her drivers license now, so look out! Also, a happy birthday to her father, the man behind the Ladies East Nationals and the 2015 MMRS Madoc Legend’s Champion, Sylvain Brodeur. Have a great weekend and #smileforBC!

Billy Rainford

Thanks, Jeff. I’m currently out west to catch all the action of the final two rounds of Future West Canadian Arenacross Championships. Thanks to Cycle North Powersports up in Prince George, BC, we’ll be able to cover all the action in what should be Ross Johnson‘s second championship north of the border. Like they always do, they rent the track out for practice during the week, and the Thursday before Friday’s racing is when the top dogs hit the track to test it out and shake down their set-ups. Here are a few shots from last night out at Chilliwack Heritage park.

#18 Brad Naudiit was set to hit the track at 10pm…I was still on Florida time and couldn’t make it that late. He has both a 250 and 450 for arenacross.


Cycle North had the track from 9-10pm. #573 Wyatt Waddell was back in action and looked good.


2016 #47 Dylan Delaplace is back again after recovering from a broken scaphoid suffered at Ulverton last summer. He was looking comfortable last night.


It was great to see Matt Koeleman back in action after his scary fall from a bridge that really broke him up.


A good group of riders set to practice last night.


#1 Ross Johnson is poised to take his second Canadian Arenacross title this weekend in Chilliwack.


Kyle Beaton said, “I really miss the days when I had someone to do this stuff for me.” There’s a chance we’ll see the past champion line up to race tonight.


There’s a tricky new section in front of the stands where faster riders will be tempted to jump all the way into the rhythm section. Ross came up short and cased it hard but kept going. I didn’t see anyone clear it properly last night. We’ll watch for it tonight during Pro practice.

Walton Raceway to Partner with All Regions, Organizations and Clubs for ANQ’s, Qualifying Racers for The Parts Canada TransCan- Canadian Motocross Amateur Grand National Championship-1 Walton Raceway to Partner with All Regions, Organizations and Clubs for ANQ’s, Qualifying Racers for The Parts Canada TransCan- Canadian Motocross Amateur Grand National Championship-2
2015 AMO Champions Banquet Reminder for Jan 9th, 2016-1 2015 AMO Champions Banquet Reminder for Jan 9th, 2016-2 2015 AMO Champions Banquet Reminder for Jan 9th, 2016-3 2015 AMO Champions Banquet Reminder for Jan 9th, 2016-4
Jeff already mentioned it, but here is the official PR on the Cole Thompson signing:



Slaton Racing USA agrees to terms with KTM North America; team will field Cole Thompson in 2016

(December 2, 2015) – After weeks of talks and restructuring, Slaton Racing USA is excited to finally announce its partnership with KTM North America and the signing of Canadian standout Cole Thompson. The signing comes just weeks before the start of the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross Series.

Thompson comes with a proven Supercross background both as a competitive privateer and most notably as a member of the 2014 Rockstar Energy KTM team (now Factory Husqvarna), where he served as a fill-in rider for the team in the 250 East Coast Championships. Not only has Cole proven himself as a 450 Canadian National Outdoor Championship contender the last two seasons, the 22-year-old Canadian talent has enjoyed numerous top-10 Supercross finishes and, most recently, nearly won the 2015 Canadian National Arenacross Tour title, losing only by a few points.

Slaton Racing USA’s Paul Marciano Jr. couldn’t be more encouraged by the relationship with KTM and the arrival of Cole to the team. “Bringing a rider like Cole Thompson onto our team makes my job easier,” Marciano said. “Not only does Cole bring years of top-level racing experience with him, but we will also look to Cole to help Zac Commans with learning the ins and outs of being a professional Supercross racer.”

The signing of Cole Thompson wouldn’t have been possible without the relationship forged between Slaton Racing USA and KTM Canada over the off season. While the focus will be putting Cole Thompson and Zac Commans to the front of the pack this January, the team is looking forward to building their relationship with KTM and its Royal-FOX-KTM Racing factory race team in Canada for 2016 and beyond.

KTM Canada’s Jean Sebastian Roy, “JSR,” has been a big part of building the relationship between the two teams, and the multi-time Canadian champion is as excited as anybody to have another Canadian rider in the United States fighting for podium finishes just as he did during his career. “I now can say that I’m confident Cole is going to be part of a great team for the upcoming Supercross series,” Roy said. “We are working on a long-time relationship with Slaton Racing USA and I see a great opportunity for both teams in the future. Cole Thompson now has a home during the Canadian off season.”

Getting ready to kick of their 8th year of racing Supercross, the Slatons have never been more thrilled with the team’s direction. “My father and I have been at this for almost 10 years,” said Team President, John Slaton. “We started with a pickup truck towing a small-enclosed trailer, and with the help of countless people and brands within and outside of the motocross industry over the years, we have continued to grow, and 2016 is looking like it will be our strongest yet. I know we still have a lot of work to do, and we will continue to grow and improve, but I just wanted to take a second to thank everyone past and present who has helped this team get to where we are today.”

Make sure you stop by the Slaton Racing pits to meet Zac Commans (Instagram/Twitter: @zaccommans), Cole Thompson (Instagram/Twitter: colethompson16), and rest of the team when the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross season kicks off on January 9, 2016 in Anaheim, California.

2016 Slaton Racing team apparel including Commans and Thompson signature shirts will be made available in the next few weeks and will be sold online exclusively at

For more information on Slaton Racing and its sponsors, follow us on Instagram, Twitter (@slatonracing), and Slaton Racing on Facebook.


CMRC is excited to announce a new plan for their annual Grand National Amateur Championships for the 2016 season and beyond. Next year, the amateur nationals will take place in Deschambault, Quebec from August 3 – 6 prior to Round 9 of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals, which will take place on the Sunday.

Deschambault has previously hosted the Eastern Canadian Amateur Nationals, an event that has grown in participation and prestige over the years, and will now be the site where all CMRC amateur racers will vie for their national status in each respective class. The event is an affordable way for amateur riders across the country to compete against each other at the sand based, national calibre motocross facility. The promoter, Daniel Thibault, is already hard at work to increase the size of the amateur pit area and spectator parking to accommodate the number of people that will be attending this high-status amateur national event. The track itself has been expanded as well and is one of the best in the country.

No longer will you be required to qualify for the event. Qualifiers for each class will be conducted at the event if necessary, therefore amateur national qualifiers will not be held in any CMRC sanctioned region across the country. This format has been proven successful at several major amateur nationals that take place in the United States and will prove to be just as successful in Canada.

In 2017, the CMRC Grand National Amateur Championships will be held in Western Canada. This will provide Western Canadians a better opportunity to participate in an amateur national when they couldn’t afford or justify the trek to Ontario in the past. The following year, the CMRC Grand National Amateur Championships will return to Eastern Canada then Western Canada, and continue to rotate east/west each year.

The 19th Annual Western Canadian Amateur Nationals will take place in Raymond, Alberta, July 1-3, 2016 with an organized practice on Thursday, June 30th. A new management group has been put into place for the event that will offer more incentives for amateur riders in Western Canada to attend this staple of Western Canadian Motocross. When the CMRC Amateur National Championships are held in the west, Deschambault will continue to host the ECAN.

This is a much fairer and equitable approach for all riders throughout the country. Riders no longer have to stress about qualifying for an amateur national, Westerners won’t be forced to undergo the expense every year to chase a national title and the cost to participate will be a fraction of the previous arrangement. It is highly expected that the 2016 CMRC Grand National Amateur Championships in Deschambault, Quebec will be the most popular and highest attended amateur national in our country’s history.

For more information regarding Deschambault, contact:

Daniel Thibault (French speaking)
(418) 268-3173

Hubert Roussea (French and English speaking)
(418) 952-0533

For more information regarding the WCAN at Raymond, contact: – Use contact form on website to email
Paul Jakober – (403) 393-7346

What’s Happening with Amateur Motocross in Canada?!

Well, the moves have finally taken place and the CMRC and the Parts Canada Walton TransCan have parted ways. It all started last summer when CMRC President, Mark Stallybrass, let it be known that Walton Raceway would probably not be on the schedule in 2016. Walton owners, Brett Lee and Mark Perrin, were two people involved in spearheading the National Promoter’s Group (NPG) whose mandate was to give track owners a little more say in what happens at their track as far as the Rockstar MX Nationals are concerned. The bottom line of all that was that it would take a little bit of the overall power away from Stallybrass, who obviously wasn’t thrilled with that possible arrangement.

The other track involved in the NPG was Johnny Grant and Kevin Tyler‘s MX101/Sand Del Lee. As we all know, the Ottawa National isn’t on the schedule for 2016 either. Watch for a full column on this whole subject soon here on the site. Suffice it to say, Stallybrass is trying to protect his business and making moves to retain full control.

Now, we’ve just received two new Press Releases regarding Amateur Racing in Canada.

Then we receive the CMRC Press Release announcing their GNC at Deschambault the day before their Pro National event. Riders will not have to qualify and we will have to wait and see who comes from where to attend this event.

Add to all this the fact that Ryan Guald has taken his Amateur Motocross Ontario (AMO) on its own and will no longer operate under the CMRC banner. Things are changing in amateur motocross and we’re really not sure who will be left standing at the end of all this turmoil.

As a media source, we will be at all the events covering racing. The question is, where will the riders go? That is the important question. Is this good for the sport as a whole in any way shape or form? I don’t think so. It seems too many decisions are being made as a result of personal vendettas and not for the long-term health of our great sport.

We are in an interesting time of flux here in Canada. Where will it end, only time will tell, I suppose.


Marco Cannella Mini O’s SX Video

#46 Marco Cannella – 2015 Mini O’s SX from on Vimeo.

Austin Watling Mini O’s SX Video

#424 Austin Watling – 2015 Mini O’s SX (2) from on Vimeo.

Dylan Kaelin Injury Update

From Dylan Monday: “They have to stitch up my small intestine, couple hernias on my diaphragm and my pancreas is swollen as well. So, I have 2 drains in my side and they had to cut my abs and stuff to get in there.” Ouch!

From Dylan Tuesday: “All the staples under the bandaging should at least leave me with a cool scar. Feeling a little better everyday, just taking the steps and time needed to let everything rest and heal up. Again thanks for all the support!! Your all great!”

From Dylan today: “Sick weak, getting exhausted. I haven’t eaten since the crash. I’ve lost 15 lbs this week, I was 138lbs this morning. Can’t really go to the washroom, trying to get things figured out but possibly getting a throat infection and pneumonia.”

This all happened last weekend in a crash at the Chilliwack Arenacross that had Dylan’s bars hit him hard in the stomach. Get well soon, Dylan! Maybe James and I will head over to visit him before practice this afternoon.

Dylan Hospital

Get well soon, Dylan Kaelin.

OK, with this west coast time difference I don’t have a lot of time to drone on, as usual. We’ll cut it off there. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to keep checking our Twitter (directmx)and Instagram (directmotocross) for updates on the Arenacross action Friday and Saturday night.


I just happened to show up on Jen and James’ doorstep in time for James’ birthday breakfast. Thank you, Jen. See you at the races…