By Billy Rainford
Victoria Day is a federal Canadian public holiday celebrated on the last Monday preceding May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday. As such, it is the Monday between the 18th to the 24th inclusive, and thus is always the penultimate Monday of May.
Official name: Victoria Day, French: Fête de la Reine
Also called: May Long Weekend, May Long, May Two-Four, May Run
Observed by: Canadians
Yep, we made it – the first official holiday of the “summer” season. Of course, it’s still spring, but today ushers in another summer here in Canada. I’ve always had a hard time calling it, “The Two-Four,” but can remember many a weekend back in the day of having our “Two-Four” taken away by the local police as we entered the beach town of Grand Bend on the eastern shore of Lake Huron in Ontario.
If you’re a racer in your late teens, this weekend is the first test of your commitment to the sport. Seriously, go with me here…
Every racer faces this choice in his or her career. When you were younger, all you wanted to do was be on your dirt bike. You woke up in the morning, put on your jersey and went to school. You came home and waited until your parents came home from work so you could head out to the practice track to ride until dusk. You woke up the next morning and did that again for 5 days straight until you finally made it to the weekend when you’d load up and head off to the races.
Well, fast forward a few years and you’re being bombarded with more teenaged decisions.
For most, the Canadian winter means time off the bike and into either hockey skates or ski and snowboard boots. It’ a time away from moto and the rigors of the weekly grind. Whether that helps or hinders a Canadian racer’s career in the sport is an argument for another day. The answer to that lies in where you see you racing career going, is all I’ll say at this point.
But now the spring is here, the snow is gone, and the racing schedule is as busy as it gets. Unfortunately, it’s also that time of year when your friends who aren’t into MX are going to parties, hitting the beach, going camping, or generally just hanging out with each other. When you’re young, all four of those choices are extremely important; to miss a day at the beach is a big deal!
This is where your commitment to the sport comes in. What will you do? What do you want from the sport? Can you bear to miss a few “Jimmy’s parents are away and everyone is going there Friday night!” to stay focused on racing?
Now that I’m older, the decision seems like a compete no-brainer. The same things happen every time at those parties and you really aren’t missing anything, but when you’re young, it’s the end of the world and a huge hit to your social standing to not be there.
So, here we are on the May Long Weekend. Did you go to the races or did you decide you needed to hang out and do nothing with your friends? If you answered B, my crystal ball tells me you’re not going to make it to the top of the sport. Having said that, you may continue riding for fun longer than the ones who gave up their young social lives and focused solely on Moto. See what I’m saying?
Goofing off with friends has claimed many a Canadian motocrosser. The sport is littered with stories guys who had all the potential in the world only to get caught up in the trappings of “hanging out with friends.”
When you’re 17, you think you’re old. You don’t realize you have the rest of your life to goof around with buddies. I remember feeling the oldest I ever felt when I was 26. Again, that’s another story.
If you’re a moto parent, you may have just dealt with your teen racer who you know is battling this dilemma. You may have had to actually talk them into going to a long weekend double-header when they really wanted to go camping with friends. It’s a serious part in the development of a racer.
I bet, if we spoke with a bunch of the top racers, they’d tell us what it was like when they made the choice between getting serious and turning into a “weekend Pro.” In fact, if I remember, I’m going to work that question into the next interview I do with one of them.
My point? Go race. You’re not missing anything from those parties and there’s a ton of time you don’t realize is coming to hang around with friends. And believe me, 26 is not old.
Shelby Turner Injured and OUT for Women’s West MX Nationals
I spoke with one of her sponsors late Sunday night and they told me about the injury to multi-time and defending Women’s West MX National champion, Shelby Turner. Shelby has had a busy winter of racing all over the place. She made it through unscathed but then just managed to compound fracture her tib/fib in an incident out in Raymond, Alberta, Sunday. Here’s here Instagram post from this morning:
Extremely sad to announce that I will not be lining up round 1 of the Western Canadian Nationals @triplecrownseries. I was racing in Raymond yesterday and compound fractured my tib fib . I managed not to crash, but when I looked down my foot was facing the wrong way. 😣😣 Huge thanks to everyone who helped me yesterday, I greatly appreciate it. @casseequantz335 @terryhansen @mo_boot. Surgery went well and I can’t wait to get back out on the bike for Endurocross 💪 #roadtorecovery #firstbonein19years #madatmyself #stupidmistake #illbeback
Get well soon, Shelby. It looks like that west championship is wide open for a first-time champ.
Club MX Redemption Racing is Coming!
If you’re a racer in the 250 class this outdoor season, you should be very concerned with the fire power the Club MX Redemption Racing team is coming in with. Josh Snider and the gang have a tandem of riders who are proven “fast guys” and should be in your consideration for the title in any conversation.
#18 Josh Osby (it still looks like Brad Nauditt) and #335 Joey Crown are coming and they are going to make this a dogfight up at the front.
Josh has just proven to himself and everyone else that he has the speed to race at the top level in 250 Supercross. That confidence he’s bringing is going to be something the rest of the field will have to deal with on a weekly basis. Josh isn’t coming into this season for second place.
Joey has had a string of really flukey injuries. After a vehicle crash and then a snowboarding accident took him out of his final amateur year, he’s ready to get back to winning and realizing his career-long potential.
If Joey is strong and fit, look out. If he’s racing himself into shape, look out…later in the summer.
The 250 class is going to be crowded up at the front, and one of these two youngsters could be standing on the top spot when the dust settles.
MXGP of Germany | Teutschenthal
MX2 – World Championship Classification
MXGP – World Championship Classification
Next Round: June 3 – MXGP of Great Britain – Matterley Basin
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross | Hangtown Round 1
The 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship got underway at the 50th running of the Hangtown MX Classic. When I was a kid, “Hangtown” was a mysterious and magical-sounding place that I always dreamed of seeing. To be honest, the track doesn’t look like it’s all that much fun to race, but it gets the outdoor season started and so it’s a really big deal.
With defending champions Zach Osborne and Eli Tomac taking the wins, I guess there weren’t any real surprises at the front, but there were some very impressive rides by the rookies and younger riders in both classes.
Connor Stevenson Killing it in Colorado!
it’s fun keeping a watch on what young 13-year-old #11 Connor Stevenson is doing out in Colorado. At such a young age, he’s really racing beyond his years.
He raced over the weekend at Thunder Valley getting ready Loretta Lynn’s regional and did very well. In fact, he made it to the next round in 3 of his classes. You can only race 2 at Loretta’s but he’s putting himself in a great spot.
Unfortunately, you need to be 16 to race the All Star races. Too bad.
From MX Sports Pro Racing:
MX Sports Pro Racing has created the 125 All Star Series to bring 125cc 2-Stroke racing back to seven Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Nationals in 2018! Hangtown, Thunder Valley and Washougal in the west, plus High Point, The Wick and Budds Creek in the east, will all host rounds with a showdown at the Ironman finale.
The 125 All Star Series is open to current production-based 125cc 2-stroke machines, as well as non-current production models from the final three years of production for manufacturers that no longer produce 125cc models. To be eligible to compete riders must be a minimum 16 years of age, with an AMA skill classification of “B” or higher. Current and former AMA Pro Motocross-licensed riders are eligible to compete, so long as they are not participating in the professional classes at that event.
- Machine Eligibility: 125cc 2-Stroke
- Rider Eligibility: 16+ years of age and minimum “B” classification
- AMA Membership required
- Entry Fee: $50
- Class: Limited to 30 riders – no qualifiers
- Race Format: (1) practice/(1) 5-lap moto format on National Day
- Moto will be immediately before Opening Ceremonies
- This is not a purse-paying event
An epic weekend getting ready for @lorettalynnmx regionals. @c.dawg_11 grabbed 3 more spots finishing second in the 450 class and 3rd in the 250 class and 4th in 250 12 to 17 all on his @actionetix @vickerymotorsportscolorado @defygraphics yz125. #### On to Texas to train next week to see if he can get to the ranch in August and on team Canada for the #mxonyouthrider @teamcanadamxon #### #13yearsold #grinding #motocross #Colorado #canada #motocrosslifestyle. #motolife #### PC: THE @ripping_warrior_productions
Good luck, Connor. Keep doing Canada proud down there!
OK, I hope that got you through another nice cup of coffee on this Monday Morning. I’m hopping in the #DMXVan tomorrow to head west for the first 4 rounds. There’s a lot to be done before I’m ready, so let’s call this one here.
Emily is fresh off surgery so I will be vying for the title of “Worst Guy on the Planet” when I leave her with family tomorrow. In my defense, it was scheduled for April and the plan was for her to actually come west with me on what would have been a really great trip, so I blame the doctor who changed it up at the last minute.
We’re scheduled to do our Preseason Podcast tonight with Jeff McConkey in Saskatchewan, Hammertime in BC, and me in Ontario. It should be good, so watch for that to be posted up on the site later tonight.
Also, we should be talking with Josh Snider, too, so watch for that one, as well.
Have a great weekend, everyone. Things are about to get crazy busy, so enjoy the calm before the storm.