Week #51 belongs to Pennsylvania rider, Bobby Piazza | Bigwavephoto
To put it in rather British parlance, welcome to the penultimate Update of 2016 (said in my best Jackie Stewart voice). Yes, another year has come and gone in Canadian Motocross. It was a year that saw probably the deepest MX1 talent we’ve ever seen within our borders, so it was a thrill to have witnessed it. We’ve only got two riders left to spotlight in our Update intros, so let’s get to #51, shall we?
In 2016, #51 would have belonged to Easton, Pennsylvania’s Bobby Piazza. We didn’t see him on the line in Canada this season, as he rehabbed himself from injury. We grabbed him for a quick chat today to see what he’s been up to and what his future plans are.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Bobby. We’ve met a couple times through Tyler Rayner but we haven’t seen you in a while. Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?
Bobby Piazza: Hey, guys. My name is Bobby Piazza, I’m from Easton, Pennsylvania, and I’m 21 years old. I started riding a PW50 when I was 2 years old and started racing at the age of 4. My dad used to race back in the day so that’s how I got into the sport and ever since then I’ve raced a dirt bike.
You earned #51 in Canada for 2016. Can you tell us which Canadian rounds you did in 2015 and how they went?
In 2015, I raced 3 east coast rounds of the Canadian nationals. The first one I went to was Gopher Dunes. I actually raced a borrowed stock bike with no suspension (Laughs)! That track was no joke! Super gnarly but I’m pretty sure I came out of there with a top ten overall (14-11 for 9th). After that I haven’t rode for a few weeks at all because I blew my bike up a week or two before Gopher Dunes.
Bobby raced Gopher Dunes, Deschambault, and Walton in 2015. | Bigwave photo
The next round I did was Deschambault with the JMR Suzuki team thanks to Jeff (team owner) or I wouldn’t have raced at all! The first moto I was running top 5, passed my way into 3rd, then my chain snapped and got a DNF. The second moto I came from 19th to 8th. I also did the last round at Walton. I went 7-20 for 11th overall.
How did you learn about our series and what did you think of the racing and facilities?
I really enjoyed racing in Canada and I thought all the tracks I raced up there were great!
You dealt with some injuries early in 2016. Can you tell us what happened and how that’s been going?
Yeah, in 2016 I haven’t raced much at all. In March I had surgery on my shoulder that I injured back in 2014 and has been a problem ever since. I popped my shoulder out 9 times since then and I got to the point where I didn’t even have to crash for it to pop out of place. As of now I’m 100%.
Shoulder issues kept him off the track for the better part of 2016, but he’s back to 100% now. | Bigwave photo
You raced the Budds Creek National last August. You went 34-33 for 36th. Can you tell us about how that went?
I showed up to Budds Creek without riding and being injured all year and my goal was to qualify. I qualified 28th and I was pretty pumped just to do that!
I noticed online that you are looking for some support for the 2017 season. What are you looking to do this coming season?
My plan for 2017 is to get some type of support with bikes parts etc. I would love to do all the outdoor nationals somehow, but as for now everything is up in the air. It all depends on what type of support I can get!
Would you ever consider coming back up to Canada?
I would love to come back to Canada and race all the rounds. I feel like I could do some damage up there if I had the right support to do it.
What are some of the highlights from your amateur career?
I haven’t really done any big races as an amateur other than Loretta Lynn’s. In 2013, I got 5 overall in 250A and the last moto I got a podium with a 3rd place moto finish.
Bobby is currently working hard to be ready for the 2017 season and is open to offers both below and above the border. | Bigwave photo
So, you’re already down at JWTF getting yourself ready for racing. If no support comes your way, what will you do all winter and next summer?
As of now, I’m stay down at JWTF and I’m helping ‘The Jammer’ out with training as I also train myself and I ride my buddy’s bike here and there.
What’s your Supercross experience? Will you consider racing either Arenacross or Supercross this year?
I’m not sure if I will be racing any Arenacross or Supercross this year yet.
Well, good luck and thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
I would like to thank my mom and my dad – they do all they can for me – and I would also like to thank Jimmy Weinert, Mgx, Scott Goggles, 6D Helmets, JWTF, and all my friends and family!
After multiple neck and back injuries, even partial paralysis, Christophe Pourcel has never accepted defeat. Constantly pushing forward, and even after taking time away from the sport in 2007 he fought back to not only walk again, but compete at the highest level of the sport with great success.
Hi, guys. It’s Friday already and it’s getting oh so close to Christmas. Supercross is just around the corner and it’s looking like we have 2 full Canadians to cheer for, and a few half Canadians or honorary Canadians that we can support on both coasts.
Arenacross has come and gone, and both series produced some amazing racing with some amazing talent. With the year coming to and end, it’s almost sad to look back. Where did the time go? It seems like it was just yesterday that we were counting down for A1 and the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross season, and then it was the AMA Outdoors and our beloved Rockstar Energy CMRC Nationals. Now we are all set to do it all over again.
With new seasons around the corner, it means that racers are out looking for new or more support to help them either achieve their dreams or just get through another season. It’s sad to say in a way, but for some, being “sponsored” is just another way to brag or boast on social media. It’s almost like the big race is to see how fast you can get it up on social media, and how many likes you can get. Hashtags on top of hashtags just to garner some new followers and likes.
Always left out is the part where you actually paid for the product 9 times out of 10, and you’re probably getting the exact same deal as the kid you are trying to impress or show up. One big thing I don’t really get is brand loyalty with some of these racers. If a company is willing to float you a deal, you best be faithful to those helping you out. I get a good laugh when I see racers pumping one of their “sponsors” yet not being brand loyal and rocking competing gear or products. You may not think people notice, but I’m one of those geeks that does!
Since I’m a little fired up, why not throw in another rant…
I am a huge supporter of Women’s Motocross. I’ve wrenched for a lady racer, trained and travelled with, and have helped the ladies series as best I can. I want to see the girls get the respect they deserve, but there are a few times when it’s a little harder. This is Motocross, not ‘Bikinicross.’ Being sexy in a bikini, draped over your bike has absolutely zero to do with riding and racing. Do you want to be taken seriously for your skills and talent on a bike, or have people show interest for your looks off of the track? When it all comes down to it, and the gate drops, we will see who has been putting in the real time at the gym and on the bike. As for the girls that haven’t put in the work, well, I guess there’s always Instagram? Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy girls in bikinis, I just think it takes away from the hardworking, no bullshit girls that just want to race and compete. Rant over.
Sorry for the shortness this week, the cold weather is killing me. Keep an eye open for Part 2 of our 5 Lap Sprint Christmas Edition. I was able to get in touch with a few moto people that you’d love to get gifts from, and a few that you’d rather not. Have a great weekend, and #smileforBC and #liftforscott
Who rattled Jeff’s chain today? I guess he really is going a little stir crazy with all this late fall snow we’ve received over here in Ontario. Seriously, last year we were still out at the tracks throughout the Christmas season and this year we’ve already got set snowmobile trails alongside the back roads in these parts!
We head 3 hours north of North Bay on Highway 11 to a town called Kirkland Lake, Ontario (actually where Alan Thicke is from – RIP), every Christmas and they had their first green Christmas of my lifetime! It was strange. ‘Fortunately,’ the forecast for today is a high of -32! Yep, that’s more like it.
We pull into town and the sky is usually a deep blue and the smoke rises from the chimneys pin straight into the ice cold sky. It just defines the Holidays for me. It feels like that here in my hometown of London right now!
2016 Most Influential People in Canadian MX – People’s Choice
Who is the most influential person in Canadian Motocross?
1. You can only choose one person.
2. You can choose whoever you want.
3. We will keep track of the votes and tabulate a TOP 20 list and post it up.
4. Email your choice to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Most Influential‘ OR post your answer publicly on our Facebook/Instagram/or Twitter pages.
5. If emailed, we will not make your name public.
6. We will accept names until MIDNIGHT EST DECEMBER 31st
7. The list will be published New Year’s Day.
8. You can only vote once.
9. Every vote counts, so start thinking!
10. Nominations will be accepted, starting….NOW!
This could be both fun and educational. Who do you think the winner will be? Let’s hear from you!
We’re well underway in this first-annual survey and the results have been interesting. I guess the key here is that we’re hoping to make this an ANNUAL People’s Choice Award, so that likely means people from the late 1970’s or early 80’s aren’t as influential as they once were…
Basically, we want to hear from you as to who you think was this particular year’s MOST INFLUENTIAL person in Canadian MX. Of course, there is no wrong vote. The easiest way at our end is if you send your one-time vote to email@example.com so it is simpler to keep track of.
Thank you to everyone for participating. And if you haven’t voted yet, what’s the hold up?! Send us your vote ASAP!
Monster Energy Supercross 2017 TV Schedule Now Available
New Explosive Ways to Experience the World Premier Off-Road Motorcycle Racing Championship Around the Globe
ELLENTON, Fla. (December 15, 2016) – Feld Entertainment Inc. announced the upcoming 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, schedule with more ways to watch, on more channels, globally. With an expanded FOX broadcast partnership, Supercross fans will also be able to watch the first race from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., on FOX Deportes, alongside social media and live streaming options for enthusiasts outside of North America and Australia.
Devotees of Supercross can still watch races on FS1, FS2 and ESPN (Australia) throughout the season, but for the first time in the four-year media partnership with FOX, Monster Energy Supercross will have airtime on FOX Deportes for the kick-off in Anaheim, Calif. on January 7, 2017 and on every local FOX station throughout the country for races in Indianapolis (3/18/2017), Salt Lake City (4/22/2017) and East Rutherford, N.J. (4/29/2017). Check local listings. Fans in North America can catch the aerial excitement and high-speed chases on their desktops and mobile devices via FOX Sports GO, FOX Sports’ authenticated TV everywhere app, as well as the Monster Energy Supercross pay-per-view livestream available at Supercrosslive.com/live-race. Providing an option to access the action and energy in real time outside of North America, the pay-per-view live stream offers a season pass for the first time for $99.99. Races stream live and up to one week following the race.
For those already excited for the season, Feld Entertainment will also debut the Monster Energy Supercross 2017 Preview Show on December 18 on FS1 at 5:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. PT. This unfiltered look chronicles the preparations of elite riders before head-to-head competition begins in the ultimate quest for their place on the podium.
As the world’s most competitive and high profile off-road motorcycle racing championship, Monster Energy Supercross attracts nearly one million fans in live attendance at the nation’s most renowned stadiums over the course of the 17-race season. Its digital fan base on social media boasts an even more impressive number, engaging with 10 million viewers around the globe weekly and providing an industry-leading footprint.
Catching Up with…Shawn Rife
While I was down in Florida at the 45th Annual Thor Winter Olympics checking out all our Canadians competing, Friday came around and I had no way of getting in touch with #48 for the Update intro. Just as I was wondering what I was going to do, #48 walks right past me on the hill. Shawn Rife was down in Florida helping out a buddy of his. It was an extremely random sighting, to say the least.
Here is the interview we did:
We grabbed Shawn Rife for a quick chat to talk about what he’s been up to lately and what his future plans are. | Bigwave photo
Direct Motocross: Hello, Shawn. It was good to bump into you last week at the Mini O’s. What were you doing at the races there?
Shawn Rife: Hey, Billy. It was good running into you at the Mini O’s. Actually, it was a spur of the moment decision to head down. A lifelong buddy of mind had gone down from Ohio so I decided to drive down and help him out a little during the week.
You’ve got quite a history with the event yourself. What is your best memory of the Mini O’s?
I’d have to say my best memory from the event would have to be when I won a championship on the SX track with a flat front tire. My dad actually knew on the line but didn’t tell me so that I wouldn’t panic.
Let’s back up a little. How did you get into motocross?
I got into riding when I was three. My pops always got into bikes and things and one of his buddies bought their daughter a bike and at that time my dad got me one. I went to regular school through the greater part of my educational life where I rode in the field of a park until 6th grade.
Can you tell us what the highlight of your amateur career was?
I’d say the highlight of my amateur career would have to be winning the KTM Jr. Supercross Challenge in Vegas right after 9/11. I had my hair dyed and colored like the American flag and just really one of the greater memories I have.
Shawn Rife at the 2008 Sand Del Lee National where he finished 7th in MX2 | Bigwave photo
How did you first decide to come up to Canada to race?
I actually got tuned into the Canadian series through a buddy named Joey Leadbeater. Him and his brother had raced up there for a team at the time so I went up to check it out as I was still an amateur in America. It was a good way to judge some speed and get track time with long, rough motos.
How did your first visit go?
My first visits weren’t the best but they weren’t too bad either. I got top ten in all of the races, I do believe, and I thought it was a great stepping stone as it led me to awesome opportunities with Leading Edge and things.
What did you think of our series?
My thoughts on the series are and always have been on the positive side. You guys put on a great event, involving everybody and the atmosphere at each round is different but it still feels ‘homey,’ if that makes sense?
You came up to Canada in 2016 and raced 3 rounds. Can you take us through those?
I came up for 3 races. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity but not being behind a gate of that caliber since the winter before or summer before, I just wasn’t prepared mentally, so I definitely wasn’t prepared physically. I showed some good signs but some bad as well.
You didn’t come up and race the final round at Walton. How come?
The final round they actually pulled a kid (Joey Crown) from amateurs up to ride the bike at Walton, which the kid deserved 100 percent.
Shawn will head back down to Florida in January to get ready for whatever happens this coming summer. He’s hoping to get support to go racing full-time again | Bigwave photo
What did you get up to next?
Since then, I’ve started working with my dad pretty much day in and day out. I still have bikes and ride when the time’s right.
You mentioned you are about to get back on a bike and get back to doing some racing. What’s next for you?
I plan on going to Florida in January and putting the hammer down on some laps, so hopefully come May I’m ready to go anywhere someone’s willing take me.
You also mentioned you’d love to come back to Canada. What are your plans for the future with racing?
I’d love to come back to Canada; I’m familiar with all of the rounds and the way the system works. It’s really easy to be liked up there and I feel like the respect is up a bit more in everybody’s aspect.
What do you do when you’re not riding or racing?
When I’m not riding I’m usually working and if I’m not working then 9 times out of 10 I’m making music. I picked it up as a hobby for something to do a few years ago and I’m only getting addicted to it.
What will you do when you’re done racing at the Pro level?
I would have to say when I’m done racing at any level I would love to start my own studio.
You’re in Myrtle Beach right now. What are you doing there?
I was in Myrtle Beach for storm clean up. My dad owns a tree service so we have been going out of town since the beginning of November, off and on.
Who impressed you at the Mini O’s?
Honestly, there were a few people that impressed me. (Carson) Mumford was impressive on the SX, along with (Challen) Tennant. I wish I could name them all. All I have to say is the future is bright for two wheels!
OK, thanks for taking the time with us. Good luck getting back at it. Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
I just gotta say thanks to anyone that’s ever given me an opportunity, because over all they’re the reason I’m still going. To my parents and all of my family – much love. Also, you can view my
Music on Riffy at SoundCloud:
Who’s Racing Where in 2017 – The Top 20
1. Davi Millsaps – Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-KTM-WPS Team – AMA Supercross/Motocross
2. Matt Goerke – MX1 Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha
3. Kaven Benoit – MX1 KTM Canada Thor Racing
4. Brett Metcalfe – Rumours of retirement from Pro motocross
5. Mike Alessi – MX1 deal being finalized with Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki Team
6. Tyler Medaglia – Likely back with Husqvarna Canada running a modified schedule
7. Cade Clason – “Has a home at Redemption Racing unless something else comes up” ~ Josh Snider
8. Keylan Meston – MX1 Unless team comes calling, he’ll race all 10 rounds with current sponsors and set-up
9. Morgan Burger – Watch for Morgan at some western rounds with same support as last year
10. Colton Facciotti – MX1 Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing
11. Cole Thompson – Should be finalized at KTM Canada Thor Racing to defend MX2 title
12. Shawn Maffenbeier – “Has a home at Redemption Racing unless something else comes up” ~ Josh Snider
14. Dylan Wright – MX2 Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing
15. Brad Nauditt – Brad is preparing for Supercross
16. Jess Pettis – MX2 Should be finalized with MX101 FXR Yamaha
17. Mark Worth – Likely stay south in 2017
18. Dakota Alix – Dakota is preparing for Supercross
19. Hayden Halstead – Likely has a home with MX101 FXR Yamaha
20. Kyle Swanson – PRMX Kawasaki
Jacob Hayes – MX2 deal being finalized with Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki Team
Amsoil Arenacross Schedule
Ride 365 Arenacross Tour Presented by FXR Schedule
DMX Toronto Supercross Parties at The Houston
Yes, the time is coming for the 4th annual DMX Toront0 Supercross Parties at the Houston. David Toye at the Houston has already started getting things organized to help make this year’s pre and post TOSX parties the best yet. If you haven’t been to one of these things yet, you really need to get on it this year!
Friday, March 3rd – The Pre Party
Saturday, March 4th – The Post Party
The only other party that tries to rival these is the DMXS Supercross Party in Atlanta. This will be their 14th annual and these two top parties will be run back-to-back as Atlanta is the weekend before Toronto. Of course, if we count our previous parties at the previous location, we’ve been doing this a while too!
Either way, these two parties have managed to stand out in the crowd as the ones to be at, so let’s have some fun again in 2017.
Schedule Conflict – We’re Better Than This
I just finished saying, this week, that I don’t like to get involved in opinion pieces here on the site. However, something is amiss when the two main Amateur National Championships get scheduled AT THE SAME TIME! Yes, you read that correctly. The new CMRC Grand National Amateur Championships have been set to take place out in Revelstoke, BC from August 17-20. That is the exact same time as the 26th Annual Parts Canada TransCan Grand National Championships at Walton Raceway.
Im sorry, but this cannot happen.
We all know what happened between Mark Stallybrass‘s CMRC and Brett Lee‘s Walton Raceway but this new schedule does nothing but hurt the sport where it needs the most support – the amateur level. Why would we throw the amateur racers in the middle of this conflict and make them choose between the two? It makes no sense. Riders and their families don’t need to concern themselves with the political side of the sport. They just need to find enough money and support to actually get to the races and battle the best competition. This is ludicrous.
Let’s be clear, the TransCan is our Loretta Lynn’s and that’s the way (uh huh, uh huh) we like it! America has Oak Hill, Freestone, Ponca, Mammoth, Mini O’s, and the like, and then the granddaddy at Loretta’s. It works. Do you think anyone is going to schedule an upper-level amateur event at the same time as the Dude Ranch in the U.S.? No, they are not.
Our job here at Direct Motocross is to cover all things Canadian Motocross and that’s what we do and will continue to do. But when something like this comes up, it makes it difficult for all levels of the sport to support. What are riders going to do? Obviously, a bunch of riders will save themselves the travel cost and simply go to Revelstoke, while riders in the east will go to Walton. What has this done to make the sport healthier in Canada? Nothing.
Why not hold the event at Wild Rose MX Park during the 3rd round week of the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals? We all understand the CMRC is fighting back against the TransCan, but this way it wouldn’t look vindictive.
This situation isn’t good for Canadian Motocross and something needs to be done about it. It’s almost as bad as having 6 Professional Football teams and 2 of them being named the Roughriders! Canada is better than that. Oh, wait…
Yes, our summers are shorter here in Canada, but surely there’s a solution to this situation. I’d like to think we’re better than this.
Today’s Birthdays (yep, slow week…)
That will do it for this week. Have a great weekend, everyone. The next #DMXVAN road trip is already in the works. It looks like we’ll be loading up and heading west in January! San Diego, A2, and the Winter X Games is the plan. It means I’ll miss A1, but we’ll have Tyler Spikman there taking nicer photos than I can manage anyway, so it’s a win-win, really.
Ever had a dream where you’ve flown like this? It will change your life! See you at the races…