Frid’Eh Update Presented by Race Tech
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to the 6th week of 2018. The Monster Energy AMA Supercross season is well underway and Kyle Chisholm has been busy racing the 250 West Series.
Kyle has done some time in Canada, starting way back when he came up to race at the Walton TransCan. He’s been back to race our series a couple times since and is one of the rare racers to head north from the United States who brings an AMA career number with him.
Kyle was part of the Huber Motorsports team last summer alongside teammates Nathan Bles and Tyler Medaglia. He finished 6th in the series and then headed home to Florida to sort out his plans for the winter indoor racing months.
Kyle has been very consistent so far this season and has scored between 12 and 15 points at each of the first 5 rounds. His starts have been solid and he will move over to the 450 when the series heads east, starting at Dallas next week.
I had a talk with Kyle after he’d finished Thursday practice at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park and forgot to ask him questions right when I had him in front of me. He’s been kind enough to answer some questions this morning, if he has any time. Thanks, Kyle, and good luck this week in San Diego.
Unfortunately, I didn’t give Kyle enough time to get at the questions, so we’ll have to wait until he has time to answer them. I’ve really got to stop doing this to the riders. Sorry, guys.
Happy Friday, everyone.
Davi Millsaps Announces Retirement
Well, the big news that hit me the most was the announcement from Davi Millsaps this week. Davi has officially hung up the boots after a pretty stellar career. Davi made his professional debut February 21, 2004 at the Minneapolis SX where he finished 14th in 125 East action. What most people won’t remember is that the 125 East Coast started the season in Houston in February 14th. Unfortunately, Davi wouldn’t turn 16 years of age until the following day (February 15th), hence Davi’s debut at the 2nd round of the season in Minnesota.
Davi was on the radar from the very start and was one of America’s hottest prospects. He started out with Factory Suzuki, before leaving for Factory Honda where he claimed the 2006 East SX Lites title. Davi didn’t waste any time and moved to the premier class at the Hangtown season opener May 21st, 2006 aboard Factory Honda.
Over his career, Davi was a threat indoors and outdoors but the majority of his success came in Supercross. Some highlights of Davi’s carrer include 7 125/Lites SX wins, and 5 450 SX wins. He finished 2006 as the 125 East SX champion, and 3rd in 450 once (2010), and 2nd twice (2012, 2013) and his best outdoor season was 2006 where he finished 3rd overall in the 450 class.
Last, but certainly not least, Davi captured the 2016 MX1 Canadian National Championship. Any time a rider like Davi can join your series, it instantly elevates everything. Not to disrespect the others, but Davi was in his own league in ’16. It was amazing to watch him every weekend, and just imagine if he wasn’t hurt for the entire East coast. Not only did he wax the competition, he was also a great mentor for future MX1 champion Kaven Benoit.
I was a little intimidated to talk to Davi at first, but he was a no bullshit type of guy and gave great interviews. It was a pleasure to watch you over the years, Davi, and best of luck in the future!
Monster Energy Supercross
With Millsaps retiring, it seems like a no-brainer for Factory Yamaha to sign #51 Justin Barcia for the remainder of SX and Outdoors as well. Justin has been on fire so far this season and currently sits 3rd in points. He has been a breath of fresh air for the Yamaha squad, and he deserves this spot. If his starts continue to be there, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him win one.
It’s not going to be easy with the likes of #21 Jason Anderson and #94 Ken Roczen riding well. Those two had a pretty great battle last week and took it right to the checkers. Pre-season favourite #25 Marvin Musquin had a better outing as he continues to heal from an arm injury. #3 Eli Tomac continues his hot and cold season, as he just can’t seem to find any consistency at all. Good thing is, us fans should be treated to some great battles right up until the Vegas finale.
Here are my San Francisco predictions.
1st Justin Barcia
2nd Ken Roczen
3rd Eli Tomac
4th Jason Anderson
5th Marvin Musquin
In the 250 West Class, we have many potential race winners, and possible champions. But it looks like #23 Aaron Plessinger is the guy that’s going to leave it all out on the track and claim this championship for himself. His performance last week was pure heart and determination, and in all honesty… probably the race that gets him the title.
#17 Joey Savatgy is close in points, but I’m afraid that Joey is just trying to be too perfect and is apt to make more mistakes. This is Supercross, sometimes you just need to hang it out and get bucked in the whoops and just not back down. It worked for James Stewart and Ricky Carmichael.
I feel that #92 Adam Cianciarulo is the fastest in the class, but he just needs the start. All in all, we have a great group of guys, and I love the fact that we could have up to 5 different winners on any given night.
Here are my predictions for this week.
1st Joey Savatgy
2nd Aaron Plessinger
3rd Adam Cianciarulo
4th Shane McElrath
5th Alex Martin
Canadian #160 Jess Pettis lined up for his first ever Supercross, and impressed a lot of people. Jess has been improving every season, and has some serious indoor skills. He made some mistakes, but so did everyone else. He has the speed and skill to be a main event guy, and I believe he makes it with ease this weekend.
That is it for me this week, have a great weekend and don’t forget to #smileforBC, #liftwithscott, and #4estrella.
Thanks, Jeff. I have to say I wasn’t all that shocked at the news of Davi Millsaps’ retirement. You shouldn’t mess with concussions when you’re a young up-and-coming racer, and you certainly don’t mess with them when you’ve “been there, done that.”
Davi has a family and has already had a great career. There is no sense going out and risking your health when there is less and less reason to. Yes, there are young riders out there willing to risk it all to make some retirement money, but Davi has already done that. I’m sure he sat down with his family, weighed it all out and said, “That’s it.” Great call, Davi.
You get into motocross because it’s the most fun you can have. You keep racing because you keep progressing and getting better. If you’re lucky enough to make it to Pro, it’s still fun but it also is what pays the bills. You keep racing, chasing that carrot of a Factory Ride and lots of money. If you make that money, it’s now what motivates you. You age, make bank, and wonder how much money you need to retire comfortably. Hopefully, you’ve been smart with your earnings and can make a smart decision like Davi just made and you have the rest of your life to spend with your family.
Most of us only make it to the “progression” phase of that moto cycle. You realize you’re probably not the next RC and decide school may be the wiser choice. Either way, you play your hand and enjoy life. Why do I suddenly feel like I’m lying on a couch psycho-analysing myself?
Anyway, Davi lived the dream, made his money, built up a bank account, and can now walk comfortably into the sunset and decide what he wants to do, now that he’s retired at a very young age. As Ricky would say, “Freedom 35, baby!”
From the Supercross Practice Tracks
I’ve been lurking around down here in Southern California. This MX Roadtrip has so far taken me to the Winter X Games and the Oakland Supercross. This week, I’ll be at the San Diego Supercross before heading east to the Dallas Supercross. If you don’t like being on the road, maybe motocross isn’t the thing for you.
I actually love it. I like to analyze life and I always say that life needs to be unscripted and continue to challenge you. Early in life, you have the next year of school to keep you going. Once you graduate from high school or college or university, work comes next. That’s usually when the anticipation of “what’s next” stops for a lot of people.
Of course, there’s family and kids that can come along, but personal advancement can stagnate if you let it. You need to make yourself uncomfortable from time to time to make you feel alive. I love it and have found a way to ‘stop and smell the rose’ as I’m trudging through the flower patch; you have to.
It’s also like I always say, you wouldn’t want to go back to high school knowing what you know now because it would take all the awkwardness away and that’s what makes you feel alive! Embrace the unknown, take a chance, and get out of your comfort zone once in a while. You may hate me for suggesting it at the time, but you’ll look back with a sense of pride and maybe even thank me later.
Anyway, I’m currently sitting in a Starbucks in Temecula, California, (actually, I’m now at another one just outside Petco Park in San Diego) watching the rat race go on around me. I actually feel sorry for these people with their briefcases and caramel macchiatos and 9-5 problems. It looks boring to me. I’m sure they go look at the same numbers every day and stare at the clock until it strikes 5. Not me. I’m going to work my way to the stadium in downtown San Diego and watch some Supercross! It’s Media Day and they’ve got a pretty solid line-up of riders again this week.
- Monster Energy Kawasaki
- Eli Tomac
- Josh Grant
- Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing
- Aaron Plessinger
- Mitchell Oldenburg
- GEICO Honda
- Christian Craig
- Chase Sexton
- Fasthouse Racing
- Gage Schehr (local – San Clemente)
- Robbie Wageman
- Deagan Vonlossburg
- IB Corp
- Martin Castelo (Hispanic media)
My previous rant reminds me of a great line from The Who: “I remember throwing punches around and preaching from my chair!” I may not have thrown any punches, but I definitely preached a bit from this Starbucks’ chair. Sorry, if you’re reading this from your desk during your 15-minute break. I meant no offense…
I had a great time this week walking up to riders I’ve never met before and getting to know them a bit. I started off talking with #78 Ronnie Stewart at Lake Elsinore. Ronnie, his wife, Brooke, and their dog, Mya, were at the track in their van. They are a great team and look to have the privateer side of things figured out.
Sure, they’re looking for more sponsorship and a solid reason to keep going, but they conduct themselves like true professionals and work together to get faster.
If you missed our conversation, you can check it out here:
I also had a talk with the rider who finished 3rd in MX2 points in Canada last summer. #77 Ryan Surratt is a rider in flux. He’s not really sure where his future will take him, but he says he’s willing to do whatever it takes to race his dirt bike…ANYwhere.
You can check out our conversation here:
Then, yesterday, I walked up and started talking with #120 Todd Banninster. To be honest, I was just walking up to say hello. Once we started talking, I realized his story was amazing and asked him if he’d mind doing an interview. He accepted and we spoke for 45 minutes!
He has actually been commuting from work in Colorado and driving back and forth to the races! Every week! Alone in his van! What a classic story of the privateer lifestyle. If you didn’t see it on the site, you can read it here:
Canadian Strikt Gear for Military Appreciation this Week
Check out the Strikt gear #471 Logan Karnow and Canadian #497 Brock Leitner will be wearing this week for Military Appreciation Day.
Looking good, guys!
Brock Leitner Update
#497 Brock Leitner took a hard fall last week in Oakland and left the track on the Medic’s Mule. I spoke with him earlier today and he says he’s 100% and looking to keep progressing this week. Good news.
Westen Wrozyna Ready for Dallas Next Week
OK, guys, I’ve literally run out of time. Media Day starts at 1 and I need to get in there. We’ll leave the Update a bit short and go grab some content and post it later. Thanks for your support, and have a great weekend.
We’re back to a more normal schedule this week here in San Diego. Enjoy the races.