KTM Canada Thor Racing Team Photo Shoot|Behind the Scenes

By Billy Rainford


Did someone say they liked behind the scenes photos? Well, grab a drink, sit back, and read on…

We’ve been out here since last Friday with the crew from KTM Canada, and having a blast. We’ve been to downtown San Francisco, the Santa Clara Supercross, Pismo Beach, Maverick’s, Cahuilla Creek MX, and now the KTM head office, WP Suspension, and Husqvarna in Murrieta – it’s been a great week.

On Tuesday, we got the chance to head to the private KTM Supercross test track to watch as James Lissimore shot the official team photos of team riders, Cole Thompson and Kaven Benoit. It was a hot and sunny day but the light breeze made the 30+ C temperature very manageable.

I enjoy taking photos of other people taking photos, so this was right up my alley. James is a consummate professional so I like to think I not only get some interesting behind-the-scenes photos but that I learn new things. Tuesday was like that, so here are a few photos to show you what goes into one of these team shoots. Thanks, James, for letting me look over your shoulder.

Cole Thompson

We got our first look at the #4 KTM 250F of Cole Thompson.

Cole Thompson

Big changes to the team as they are now headed up by Parts Canada Thor race gear.

Kaven Benoit

2-time Canadian MX2 champion, Kaven Benoit, will be running the ‘double 1’ in 2016.

James Lissimore

The expertise of James Lissimore were enlisted to take the shots. Here he is contemplating his shot list.


JSR gets the #11 set up on the stand and prepped for the KTM Supercross test track.

Kaven Benoit

Kaven hadn’t been on a Supercross track in a couple years.


That’s KTM Canada temp, Max Messier, and JSR setting the sag.


Kaven and Cole about to hit the track.


Cole Thompson

Cole Thompson.


This was the only bit of shade on this 30+ C day.


Setting up some rider portraits.


JSR points something out in the distance.


These two will be difficult to miss in this Thor colour combo.


James sets up his custom 3-flash system.


“Stop, in the name of love?”


James checks his settings.


Front and back view.


Mafia Moto Crew plug.


If you’re ever working on a crossword, this is ‘arms akimbo.’


Max will have a cool ‘behind the scenes’ video edited soon.


Rear view.


KTM Canada’s Claudie Lapointe and Kaven.


There’s Chris Pomeroy staying hydrated.


Cole Thompson. Check out those sweet chairs.


Time for a set change.

Cole Thompson

Cole loved the power of his Factory Services 250F motor.


However, he could tell his tire pressure was down.


Kaven and JSR come see what’s up.


Better hit the triple on the way back to the pits…


He was right, they were both down a few PSI’s.


Kaven checks the speed on a couple sections.


It’s pretty much a postcard situation when you face this way.


Kaven takes flight.


The WP guys were out on the other track testing suspension with Ryan Morais.

Kaven Benoit


Cole Thompson


Kaven Benoit

I could have stood here and taken shots all afternoon!

Cole Thompson



James has some more powerful glass in his kit bag than me.


Roger Decoster was with the WP guys.


When I raced, tracks like this up the face of a jump meant something had gone terribly wrong!

Kaven Benoit

Kaven waits for the dust to settle before hitting a section.


This is the other Thor colour they ran that day.

Cole Thompson

One more…

Cole Thompson



Max chasing Cole along to get the shot.

Kaven Benoit

This corner was OK for getting the roost shot, but it was extremely slippery for the guys to negotiate.


James goes over what he’s looking for in the next shot.


Kaven getting loose.


Cole and Kaven line up to take runs at a section for James’s camera.

Cole Thompson

Cole thought he’d sneak in this little transfer. Check out the entire sequence in the other post.

Kaven Benoit

Max had Kaven do this little section a few times for the video.


A little holeshot vid segment.


The classic look-over shot. They held the stare until the first one flinched and looked away. Who do you think won?


JSR gets the bike put away in Cole’s van.


Max and Claudie working on the interview portion of the video with Cole.

Cole Thompson

Cole answering all the questions like a pro.

Kaven Benoit

Kaven ready to head out for the day.

A few pit shots…

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OK, that was an awful lot of photos to scroll through. I just had so much fun at the KTM practice track that I wanted to share it with you. Thanks for the opportunity to tag along and shoot some behind the scenes pics as James got down to serious work.