Frid’Eh Update #7(7) | Casey Keast | Presented by Yamaha Motor Canada
By Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #7(7) of the DMX Frid’Eh Update presented by Yamaha Motor Canada. As you can see, we’ve had to do something a little different this week. With this career number thing we don’t actually have a #7 in the series for 2020, so I decided to double down on the 7’s and go with #77.
So, for this week we’re going to feature Kelowna, BC rider Casey Keast in our intro interview.
Casey is one of the fast riders out of British Columbia who we all had our eyes on as he came up through the amateur ranks. He was always a rider you could count on to perform at the biggest races, like the TransCan GNC at Walton Raceway.
He’s had some very solid finishes as a pro rider but has also struggled to find the necessary support that would see him traveling the entire series on a consistent basis.
He just finished a very successful Future West Moto Arenacross Championship series with a 2nd overall in Pro Am Lights and 3rd in Pro Open.
He only raced the first 3 rounds of Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Tour MX Nationals in 2019. Here’s a look at his results:
We got in touch with him this week to let him know we were doing Week #7(7) and wanted to do an intro interview with him. He was happy to chat with us and you can read what he had to say here:
Direct Motocross Hey there, Casey. I haven’t talked to you in a while. It’s week #7 and we don’t have a #7, but we do have a #77, so thanks for chatting with us today. Let’s ask you the usual first couple questions: How did you first get started in Motocross?
Casey Keast: My mom really wanted me to try racing when I was 10 and I didn’t want to do it. My first race was Penticton Arenacross in 2010. I didn’t finish last and had a lot of fun so that’s where the addiction of wanting to win came, and I pretty much never looked back.
What was your first number and how did you choose it?
My first number was 21. It was my sister’s favourite number and she really wanted me to run it so that was my number all the way through my amateur career.
You’re one of the fast riders who came up racing the Future West Moto AX series out there in BC. Who did you come up racing against?
I raced with Jess Pettis, Wyatt Waddell, Jacob Piccolo, and Tyler Gibbs. Those were the fast amateur kids I raced when I was amateur.
I remember all eyes were on you as you came up through the amateur ranks. What year did you turn Pro and how did that first year go?
My first year racing Pro was 2017. I finished top 10 almost every weekend and got 4th in one moto. I finished 6th in the series and won ‘Rookie of the Year.’ I was one of the top Canadians in the MX2 class that year.
What’s your favourite track on the circuit and why?
My favourite track was Prince George. Out east my favourite track is Deschambault, but I’ve always had bad luck there for some reason.
What is your most memorable racing moment so far?
For sure racing the Monster Energy Cup the three times that I did. I’ll never forget how cool that was.
Let’s talk a bit about your 2019 season. You did the first 3 rounds of 450 MX last summer. How did that go for you?
I wasn’t planning on racing the nationals at all. I didn’t do much riding at all leading up to the first round in Calgary, but last-minute decided to send it anyway.
I raced 450 because there was no pressure/expectation for me. I just wanted to go out there and have fun. If I raced 250 I wouldn’t have had fun because I would have been beat by guys I had beat the year before and it would have taken away my whole purpose of riding last year which was just to have fun and find the fun in racing again.
We didn’t see you at any other rounds though. Why not?
I didn’t want to race the full series anymore. I was just tired of doing it on my own with no support.
And now you’ve just finished 2nd in Pro Am Lights and 3rd in Pro Open in FWM Arenacross. Can you tell us how that series went this year?
Yeah, that series was great. It was a rough start to the series. I had a couple crashes from not getting good starts and having to push my way through, but the second half of the series I got better and finished strong.
What are your plans for this upcoming 2020 season?
My plan is to do the full series this year in MX2 with a team. I can’t say too much yet but that is my plan.
That’s great to hear! What will you do for the rest of the winter?
I’m going to head down to California soon and start training for the upcoming series.
You’ve got a ton of indoor skill. Is AMA Supercross something you want to try?
Racing Supercross is one of my main goals to accomplish before I hang up the boots. If all goes well this year, I’d like to give it a go for 2021.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
No plans yet. I just like to live day by day.
Well, congrats on a solid Arenacross series, good luck, and it’s great to hear we’re going to see you at tall the races this season. Who would you like to thank?
Thanks a lot. I’d like to thank Kelowna Yamaha and Marine, Fox Racing, Shift MX, EKS Brand goggles, Factory Connection, Lime Nine, Gibson tyre, Mobius braces, King Concepts, Rekluse Canada, Mongoose Machine, Bulldog, and my mom and dad!
It’s great to hear that Casey will be getting some support this season and will get the chance to race the entire series again. This is a tough sport and there aren’t a ton of rides to go around, but you never want to see someone with this much talent slip through the cracks before they get a fair shake.
We’ve just gone through our coldest night of the winter so far here in Southwestern Ontario. The temperature dropped to -20 degrees Celsius last night, so there’s no chance any local track will be opening for riding anytime soon!
Of course, we’re heading back up above the freezing level tomorrow or Saturday, so it’s really difficult to guess what will happen as we make our way to spring.
I’ll be watching this week’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross round in Tampa, Florida, from the comfort oof my own living room again this week.
We’ll get a look at the 250 East riders for the first time and it should be a solid group of riders.
Last week in San Diego, we got to cheer on Tyler Gibbs from Abbotsford, BC. Well, this week, it looks like we’ll have #551 Guillaume St Cyr from Quebec to root for.
Guillaume is the French Canadian rider who has a ton of skill in the indoor discipline, so it’s great to see that he’s going to give it another go on the biggest stage our sport has to offer.
Good luck on Saturday, “Gullimer” (as Jeff McConkey called him), we’ll be cheering loudly from back home in Canada.
Tampa SX Entry Lists:
This will be a very busy coast for the Canadian PRMX Kawasaki team! Logan Karnow moves to the 450 class while Josh Cartwright and Cade Clason continue their run. 250 East riders #96 Justin Thompson and #47 Lorenzo Locurcio will be their riders for this part of the season.
We’ve got a few other reasons to pay close attention this week as the Canadian Manluk Racing team will have #296 Ryder Floyd on the track with #73 Chase Marquier.
#335 Joey Crown hits the track on his Club MX FXR Jeffery Homes Yamaha.
And I see our old friend #313 Kyle Swanson on the 250 entry lost, too.
Another cool thing to keep an eye on in the 250 class is the return of #175 Josh Hill to the little bikes. How do you think a guy with his skill will do against the youngsters?
And Canadian Josh Cox reconnects with #11 Kyle Chisholm to spin the wrenches. Can someone completely random walk up to Josh and just say, “I like it when you call me Broc Pap…pi!” to the tune of Biggie’s ‘Big Poppa?’ Don’t worry, he’ll get it.
And last but certainly not least, we’ve got the return of Broc Tickle to action after his suspension.
There are lots of reasons to keep you glued to Race Day Live and the live race broadcast this Saturday.
These historical notes graphics are always cool to read:
I heard from Ulf Viney out at Viney Ranch in Murrieta, California, and he informed me that Tyler Medaglia is probably going to swing by for some riding.
Ulf has been great about getting us some Canadian content when riders spin laps at their little piece of moto heaven out there, so let’s hope he can come up with some stuff on the #5 for us.
This Week’s Podcasts
I went on a bit of a podcast binge this past week. Obviously, the benefit of doing interviews this way is easy: NO TRANSCRIBING! You do the chat, make a few audio adjustments in Audacity, and BOOM, it’s up on the site. Here are a few from this week:
Next week we’ll be at the Toronto Motorcycle Show and TLD Canada and DMX will be hosting a night of Supercross viewing, so be sure to come watch the races and bench race with us!
We’ll have more details on this as we get closer to the weekend.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.