Frid'Eh Update #13 Presented by SIXSIXONE Canada
Hello, folks, and welcome to the Frid’Eh Update sponsored by SIXSIXONE Canada. It’s finally here … tomorrow night in Toronto, ON, the board goes sideways as Canadians celebrate “Supercross Night in Canada.” It seemed to take forever for the event to get here, but it’s really snuck up on us in the last two weeks. For instance, I’ve been going around, telling everyone DMX has a ton of great prizes to giveaway at The Loose Moose tonight, but truth to be told, I didn’t have anything ready until this morning.
I think my last minute preparation is going better than Travis Pastrana’s week worth of training for his one and only supercross last weekend in St. Louis (which he also designed). I do have a black-eye but no concussion … yet. We have plenty of cool stuff taking place tonight at our Pre-Race Social; DMX Web Ninja, Martin Anderson, has organized James Lissimore’s best photos going back all the way to 2005 into a trick slideshow, TLD, Roost Clothing, Ignition Racing, KTM, Podium Grafix, and DMX are giving away swag all night, and Canadian riders Tyler Medaglia, Brady Sheren and Kyle Keast dug through their gear bags and offered up autographed jerseys to add into the mix.
The good times begin around 9 PM, and we invite everyone to come out and celebrate the birth of a new race season. The Loose Moose is located across from the Rogers Centre on Front St. You can find complete party details here.
|Canadians Kyle Keast and Tyler Medaglia kissed babies and signed autographs at Press Day on Thursday at the Rogers Centre.|
|photo: Billy Rainford|
Onto the racing…. The Supercross title chase really is going down to the wire, as Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed took advantage of a mis-shift by James Stewart in last weekend’s final to extend his points’ lead to 11 over Stewart. Stewart can’t afford to grab a little too much front brake or miss a shift in these final five races, as the ever-consistent Reed only needs to win one more race and finish second in every other one—if Stewart were to win those races—to clinch his third and second consecutive Supercross championship.
It was confirmed at Press Day yesterday that the dirt is going to be sticky, rutty and utterly disgusting just like last year’s race. That means riding a mistake free race is going to be even more crucial, and as history shows, the one who usually makes the most mistakes is the guy on the #7 Yamaha….
Of course, the biggest news story of the weekend is who will be the top finishing Canadian in the Lites class? Considering their past SX experiences, Brady Sheren and Tyler Medaglia are who most pundits are picking for that top Canadian honour. Sheren qualified for almost every night show in the Western rounds, and made a final in San Francisco, while Medaglia earned himself an AMA Western Region Lites crown on his GPF Kawasaki and laid down some impressive lap times at Daytona. The third and final Canadian to watch for is OTSFF Suzuki’s Kyle Keast. I know he’s not the most talented indoor rider, but my guys says that he’s feeling more confident this year. “I’ve been drinking, like, 7-8 double-double’s everyday, and my dad ported my RM-Z250—oh, and I put a new black Sunline clutch lever on—so I think I’m ready.”
Whatever the outcome, I hope that all of our guys stay safe, make the night show, and that at least one of them makes the main. If you’re unable to attend TO, stay tuned to directmotocross.com for updates, results and photos all weekend long. You can also listen to SupercrossLIVE! with hosts Jason Weigandt and Jim Holley.
|Oh, I can't wait! Are you ready for Supercross?!?|
|photo: James Lissimore|
You can catch TV coverage from Toronto on Sunday, beginning with the 450 class at noon EST on CBS, and the Lites action kicks off at 3 PM EST on SPEED.
For those of you that still don’t know, there is no pit access or pit party tomorrow in Toronto. Unfortunately, riders, bikes and team personnel hibernate inside the Rogers Centre and away from the cool weather, so there isn’t much to look at anyways. You never know, though, maybe Chad Reed will let the Hart and Huntington gogo dancers borrow his Uggs to keep warm and they’ll dance the night away under the CN Tower.
Steve Matthes just landed in Toronto, and before heading to the Hall of Fame to beg and plead for them to let Wendel in, he sent us this update:
Thanks, DanBro. As everyone here at DMX has been letting you guys know, the supercross tour comes up to the motherland this weekend, and, I for one, am excited. I hope to see some dudes at The Loose Moose tonight and maybe all you Leaf fans can meet me at the Hall of Fame later today and we can try to steal the cup from upstairs. That might be the only way we can rightfully claim it back as the NHL doesn’t seem to want to award it to us for the on-ice play.
Okay, enough dreaming. I spoke to a Dirt Wurx guy last week and asked him about the dirt in Toronto as that is what really made things crappy or exciting last year, depending on your perspective. I said something to the effect that he better not be bringing that same wet and sloppy dirt into the dome again but, unfortunately, they are. Look for a rutty mess again this year.
The thing is that it was pretty exciting really, the technicality of the track made some of the world’s top racers look like amateurs, as things that were supposed to be jumped, weren’t, and the whole thing had an “endurocross” feel to it. There’s nothing wrong with that and in the most clichéd sports saying out there right now: it is what it is.
|Don't forget, even though the night show doesn't begin until 6:30 PM tomorrow night, fans can start piling into the Rogers Centre at 12:30 for practice.|
What’s the over/under on Tim Hortons coffee for Keast and his dad? I believe there is one right across the street from the dome and if you see the CMA holding up the start on Saturday, it’s because Jamey took the RM-Z across the street.
In my wildly popular (ha) SX fans guide earlier this week, I mentioned that I thought Brady Sheren was going to do the best out of all the Canadians. After much deliberating, I have changed my pick to T-Dags. Sorry, Brady. Does it really matter though? I’m just pumped that some Canucks are going to be lacing up the boots and heading out there. Serious. I wish Beets, Colton and Klatt were there as well but I don’t have the money to pay to get them out to Toronto so two of the best SX guys we have will not be there.
Thanks, Steve. See you tonight at the Moose! (I hope you brought an extra shirt.)
What is wrong with us Ontarioians? Why do we hate arenacross so much? I don’t know either, but last Sunday, I felt terrible for MPI Sports Management’s Mark Perrin who is the man behind the Ontario Indoor Championships. It was Round 4 of the five round series, and while every other race featured less than 100 riders, this one saw only (maybe) 25 riders show up. After leaving Millbrook at three o’clock on Sunday morning, Kyle Keast and I drove for what seemed like forever, (but was really five hours) to the Wallaceburg Indoor MX track. When we finally arrived around 8 AM (after making THREE Tim Horton’s stops), we were shocked to see only two other vehicles parked outside, one of which belonged to Jason Burke and his mechanic, Mike Beaudin.
As we made our way into the building, it seemed like business as usual; the track was feshly groomed and bannered, guys were throwing down some water, and Perrin and friends were manning the sign-up booth in the warm room. We hung out and chatted with Dylan Kaelin, who had just returned from Florida, and tried to solve this Ontario AX mystery. Unfortunately, we couldn’t figure out the direct reason why, as a few loyal riders slowly made their way inside to sign-up. With less than 25 riders, Perrin was forced to turn the race into a practice day.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Perrin on Monday. “Maybe it was the warmer weather and people went riding outside, but I heard that Gopher only had 100 riders. I don’t know if it’s tough times or what.”
One problem could be that the series was held too late in the winter, and was only announced two weeks prior to the first event. So riders didn’t really have anytime to prepare. Perrin has heard the same things. “I’ve also been thinking about trying to do events next year near Kitchener or outside of Toronto. There are some ideas I’m going to throw around this summer. I would like to keep trying and believe that’s it something good to provide.”
And Perrin is still going ahead with the final Wallaceburg round on Saturday April 11, he says. “At this last round, Monster Energy is going to come up and set up a display and do some giveaways. I think that will help draw some more interest.”
If you want to see indoor racing gain more momentum in Ontario, do your best to race or visit the final Wallaceburg round. Check out supercrosscanada.com for all your info.
Cole Siebler is the latest American looking for a home in Canada this summer. The tall guy from Idaho rode the Gopher Dunes national back in 2006, but crushed a helmet peak early on and never got to strut his off. Thanks to some kind recommendations from Doug DeHaan, however, he might have a chance to try again.
“I just wanted to put the word out for my friend, Cole Siebler,” emailed DeHaan. “He would like to come up to Canada and ride the 250F class this season. He had very strong results in the AMA SX’s that he rode this year and would be a championship contender up north. If anyone knows of any opportunities for a great rider, please email me at email@example.com.”
John Nelson didn’t know what to do this summer. Who would he hire to represent his Machine Racing Team after losing Kyle Keast to OTSFF Suzuki? Or would he just call it quits, like he tells us every fall?
“It was a long, drawn out decision,” says Nelson. “I just started watching some of my favourite movies for inspiration, and then it came me after watching Back to the Future. I’m Marty McFly and Bill [Phillip] is Doc Brown, and we need to get things back in order to fix the future! But rather than save my parents love, we need to bring back our old team.”
Nelson then jumped into his Delorean, punched in 1998, and brought back Honda riders, Chuck Mesley and Chris Pomeroy, and Yamaha’s Ryan Gauld and Kenny Clark.
Before “The Mez” fires up his Honda, however, he needs to finish up his playoff run with the Shelburne Muskies. Check out an article on the Muskies here, which also features a nice pic of The Mez in action. Lovin’ the playoff beard, Chuck, that’s team spirit!
|Mitch Cooke is getting a little upside down in Florida. He must have learned that from me.|
|photo courtesy of Cooke|
In talking with Mitch Cooke this week, he was a little upset that I didn’t mention him in my MX1 contenders last Friday. Sorry, Mitch, I definitely didn’t to do that on purpose, and actually believe the Freedom Cycle Kawasaki rider has what it takes to podium—but does he have it every race? “I’m not saying anything,” says Cooke. “We’ll just wait and see what happens.” I’ve heard from a few sources now that Cooke is really looking comfortable on his KX450F. As you can see from the pics that Cooke sent along, he definitely wins best style.
I bugged Cooke to come race an Ontario Provincial or two this spring, but he just can’t afford it he says. “Man, I would love to come race Auburn Hills, but it’s just too much driving. I’m planning to drive across the country this summer, so I need to save some money and energy.”
DMX is now on Twitter! Stay informed with breaking news, features, photos and race results by subscribing to http://twitter.com/directmx. Neat, eh?
Colton Facciotti is supposed to be in Toronto this weekend, but, unfortunately, he’ll be watching instead of racing. Maybe one of these years if we bug the Blackfoot guys enough, we can persuade them into building the Toronto SX into their budget. When you think about it, there will be more people watching this race than half of the Canadian Nationals or more combined, and Klatt, Facciotti and Beaton all have supercross experience.
Anyhoo … I caught up with Colton’s mom, Doriane, for her “Best Races” on Monday. She certainly is a proud mother, and rightfully so; her son has matured into a great champion, and it sounds like he’s only going to be stronger heading into this year’s nationals.
While she shared some interesting memories and photos, Doriane also offered her opinion on Canadians being into the pro class at such a young age. “It takes a while for these kids to learn,” she says. “They expect that because they started when they’re so young, to have all of this experience and win, but it’s totally different racing in the pro class.”
Even though Colton began achieving success quickly compared to others, it has taken half a decade before he came into his own. “I don’t think anyone should turn pro at 14,” she admits. “We are lucky that our kid made it through alive, but he’s the exception. Even living through it, he shouldn’t have gone through that. He just wasn’t mentally prepared. We were lucky, I think.”
Facciotti’s BF teammate, and BC neighbor, Kyle Beaton, is also maturing in only his first few months with the team. “I think I have learned more from JSR and Colt in the first few weeks that I have been down here than I have in the last few years.” Could this be the “Year of Beets?”
Looking for details on the upcoming 2009 Canadian Enduro Championships? You’ll find them here.
Okay, that’s all I have for you guys and girls this week. See you in Toronto!
|Brady Sheren was the top Canadian in Toronto last year, with a fourth-place in the Lites final.|
|Chad Reed has won 2 out of the 3 Toronto SX rounds that he's attended. Can he make it number 3 this weekend?|
|Proud moto dads, Derek Medaglia and Rick Sheren, will have their race faces on this weekend.|