Frid'Eh Update #31 Presented by Schrader's Motors
Photos by (you guessed it) James Lissimore
Hi, folks, and welcome to Frid'Eh Update #31, this week Presented by Schraders Motors out of Yorkton, SK. Rick Bradshaw and his crew are passionate bunch who do everything they can to support the sport, whether it's supporting up-and-coming Canadians like Shawn Maffenebeier and Denaye Giroux, or sponsoring columns here at DMX. If you can, return the favour and bring some business their way. And for those at River Glade this weekend, drop by the Schraders rig, say hi to the Maffenbeier family and wish Shawn luck this weekend. It's not cheap or easy making the long drive from SK to NB, and by having quality racers like that chasing the full series, it only makes the racing better.
On that note, this week's column is dedicated to Shawn Maffenbeier, as he earned #31 from a respectable debut in MX1 last season. The 17-year-old is well on his way to his most successful national season yet. He's been running in and around the 10th place mark at almost every round, and currently sits 12th in points. And, if it were a Canadian only series, he would be ranked 4th behind Klatt, Facciotti and Keast. Not too bad at all! Word has it that "The Moff" is to spend some time training with JSR during the Eastern rounds, trying to figure out the mental side of things and inch his way closer to the podium. Pay attention, Shawn, and you'll be dicing with the big boys soon enough.
|Flyin' Frenchman! KTM's Kaven Benoit is ready to take the torch from the Quebec alumni, after scoring his first moto win and overall at Ste-Julie.|
What in the heck is going at the Canadian nationals? Just a few little things happened in Ste-Julie last Sunday, like Facciotti crashing in moto 1 (and possible out of the series...); Kiniry taking the points lead and then losing it after a bike malfunction and scoring no points in moto 2; and Dusty Klatt absolutely killing the field in both motos and taking the points lead (22 points over Kiniry in second, 26 over Facciotti). That old that consistency is certainly playing true. Klatt may not have the speed of Facciotti, but he's keeping it on two wheels and now he's in full control of the points lead. Yes, he has received some gifts, but that's racing. That said, it's too bad Colton went down because Klatt was on it in Quebec and maybe we'd have finally seen a showdown between the two Yamaha racers. Even if Colton returns and wins every moto, all Dusty needs to do is finish second.
|The Heartbreak kid: Nobody has had more ups and downs in 2010 than this man, Colton Facciotti. If he doesn't win, he crashes hard. In Ste-Julie, Colton re-injured his shoulder from his Calgary and suffered a concussion. It's still not confirmed if he will race Moncton this weekend.|
And things were almost as wild in MX2. The Medaglia brothers suffered some bad luck, with Tyler seeing his points lead dropping from 40-something to 14 after DNFing the second moto (his bike broke), and Jeremy getting stuck in the gate in moto 1. Fortunately for them, they still remain 1st and 3rd in the series. The good news story of the day was KTM's Kaven Benoit recording his first ever national moto win and overall in front of his hometown crowd. He's fourth in points, and only a handful behind JM. Benoit's results seem to improve round to round, and surely team managers are keeping a close eye on him. The Quebec core has to be super pumped to one of their own in the mix, as they lost some flare with JSR, Marco Dube and Simon Homans no longer following the series. However, I did see that Homans snuck into the top-10 at Ste-Julie, and the long and lanky Tim Tremblay finished 5th overall in MX2 in his first national of 2010. Back to Benoit, he also finished second to Kyle Beaton in last year's MX2 main at the Montreal SX ... someone get this kid poutine, he deserves it!
Want to see more of what went down at Ste-Julie? Lissimore posted His Best Photos, Angie Parker detailed the Women's Action, and Palms Caught Up with Mike Brown. Oh, and find out what the Team Managers thought of Ste-Julie. (Sorry no laughed filled material from John Nelson this week :))
|Back to form? People are saying that Dusty Klatt was showing speed and the aggressive style similar to his dominant 2006 campaign. If that's the case, it's too bad Colton wasn't in the race. Hopefully we see these two give us the showdown we've been waiting for at one of the final rounds.|
Here's a simple and easy way to support Team Canada: buy a DMX Digital Tee and we'll take $10 of that sale and send to the Canadian racers. Did you read that? For $20 (plus shipping), you get a sweet ass t-shirt AND you are donating money to Team Canada. Come on guys ... do you want our boys eating steak or chicken mcnuggets? You have the power!!
Chris Pomeroy catches up with us this week while he is on the road.
Ciao everyone!! My contribution to Friday Update this week comes to you from a high speed train going from the East Coast of Italy to Rome to catch a flight home. No, I didn’t just misspell “sitting at Starbucks in Orangeville”, I actually flew to Italy Monday night for the media launch of the all new 2011 Husqvarna 450 motocross bike. About 6 other journalists (from MXA, Dirt Bike, and a few web sites) and myself spent all day Wednesday riding the brand new bike at a cool track that looked exactly like another Italian track where the 1986 MXoN was held. I think its called Maggorie, but I’m not sure.
Husqvarna is really serious about this bike and since BMW bought Husqvarna two years ago, a new 450 motocross has been a big goal of theirs. They even hired a number of USA guys to come over and help develop this bike so it will be accepted into the tough North American Market. Famous USA mechanic Wyatt Seals is the main guy over here helping out, Wyatt comes with a ton of experience having wrenched for riders such as Jeff Stanton, Jeremy Mcgrath and Damon Bradshaw. It was fun listening to his stories in between motos on Wednesday. I love Damon Bradshaw stories, he was one of my favourite riders. Anyway, the bike is pretty good. it might not be ready for the pro level, but it certainly will be great for any other level of rider.
I can’t believe how fast this train is going. It doesn’t seem right to be going so fast on just 2 rails. I’ll just keep typing. So Round #6 of the Monster Energy CMRC Nationals is in the books. It was quite a day of racing and strange goings on. Now I said in last week's Frid'Eh Update that I hated the Ste Julie track. Well, after seeing it on Sunday and thinking more about it, I will officially retract that statement. I made an mistake in saying that, in fact I have only rode on the track once in 1997 for the opening round of the Nationals that year. So, what do I really know about the track? I know in 1997 I did hate the ridiculous first turn they used then, which basically turned right, 120 degrees back up the hill. It was pretty stupid, and I hated getting my butt handed to me that day by Blair Morgan, and a lot of guys if my memory is correct. So I take it back, and thank you to Andy White for asking me why I hated the track.
The Ste Julie last Sunday was in great shape, although they seemed to have bought the same tiller that Walton got last year. It does make the track look like it’s ready to be seeded, but this new tiller doesn’t go deep enough and it doesn’t allow any moisture to stay in the ground. Then the track workers have to over water, then there are no bumps and no ruts. I guess it makes good, even racing for the crowd, but the riders don’t like it. These are National riders. Till it deep and let it get rough, and start watering the week before.
I guess there was one bump on the track and this was the one Colton Facciotti hit on lap 1 of the first MX1 moto. You have to feel bad for the #1 plate holder, he crashes hard in Calgary, loses the points lead, then comes back the next 2 rounds, wins and gets the points lead back, then crashes on Sunday, DNF’s both motos and loses the points lead again. I’m not sure how long he will be out this time, but I think he needs a good rest and time to heal. He’s just a kid still, I think because he rides with such maturity we forget his young age. He could win another 10 Championships in his career if he wants to up here. Anyway, I’m sure everyone agrees with me when I say “get well soon Colton”, of course, for all I know he could be on his way to Moncton.
However, it was good on Sunday to see Dusty Klatt ride as good as he did. I know everyone (including myself) always compares the Dusty of 2010 to the one in 2006, and we wonder where that Dusty is. Well, he was at Ste Julie on Sunday!! He looked great and seemed to be riding with some real swagger, his ride also got him the MX1 points lead, that has been awhile for sure. All of this drama has sure made the 2010 Nationals exciting, and we still have 3 rounds to go. It was also good to see Mike Brown up in Canada riding for Andy White and the KTM Team on the brand new KTM 350. At 38 years old, Brown still looks great on a bike and although his results weren’t what he‘d hoped for, his speed was great and he really seemed to enjoy his time here. Hopefully he will be back soon!
So it’s Round #7 hits the East Coast this weekend, the homeland of Anne Murray and Ryan Lockhart. Do you know that Newf was almost part of Anne’s family, he was destined to marry her niece (he has even golfed with Anne)? But, after years of possibility, in the end it just wasn’t meant to be. If Anne ever releases a new song called “Newf’s Song”, I think we all know where she got her inspiration. Everyone loves going to Moncton, the track is good, the people are great and the fans love when motocross comes to town. Who will win MX1? Can Tyler Medaglia get back on track after his bike induced DNF on Sunday? Will Newf sign more autographs than any rider? All of these questions will be answered on Sunday in NB. Ok, my train ride is almost over as we are closed to Rome. I hope everyone has a great weekend!
Thanks Chris. Enjoy the ride.
The circus moves to River Glade MX Park in Moncton, NB this weekend, and I can only imagine how hungry those Maritimers are to get their fill. Man they love motocross. I was fortunate enough to attend last year's event and witnessed first hand that moto is very alive and well out East. While the racing was okay, my most memorable moments came off the track, like when I hitched a ride from Moncton to the track, and when I shared dinner with Mitch Cooke on Sunday night, and he told me all about his dad's pet squirrel, Joby. Seriously, his dad has a pet squirrel that sleeps in a shoebox next to his bed and and follows him around like a dog. I want one now, but I fear my hounds might swallow him up with one drooly bite. Yep, that's remember most about River Glade, a truck ride and a nutty squirrel....
Ha, in all seriousness, I had a great time. After talking to a few people this week, searching through old Racer X Canada articles, and recalling my experience, I put together a short list of my 5 favourite things about Atlantic MX and its people. If you have anything to add, or a good story to share, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please add pics also.
5. Location, Location, Location
It's important, no doubt. The closer to a major city centre, the easier it is for the rockstars, er, I mean racers, team staff, journalists, race officials, and anyone else who feels like a big shot to get to the track. Sure the air is better, but it's never fun driving 14 hours into the boonies. Thankfully, that's not the case with Moncton. You can see the track from the highway, it's easy to find and it's close to the Moncton airport. Not to mention it's a fun little town (with a Boston Pizza). Often weekend warriors treat themselves to fresh lobster and seafood, or sneak over to PEI for a few pics.
4. The Dirty Red Dirt
When it comes to the Riverglade track itself -- the layout, dirt, jumps, corners, rougness,etc -- I wouldn't say it is the best "national" track. It's a little tighter than most (minus the 5-mile, 5th gear pinned straightaway parallel to the highway) and has the shortest lap times of the series. That being said, riders never say a bad thing about it and seem to enjoy the fun layout, jumps and overall package. It's certainly a standout when it comes to asthetics, with its white picket fences (littered with fans), lush green grass and evergreen trees, and moisture-rich red dirt, which develops nice berms and ruts in the corners. It's also great for spectating, featuring a large bleacher section in front of a whip-filled tabletop, allowing fans to line the entire circuit, or close to. As a rider, there's no better feeling than hearing fans chant your name in the final laps. It makes you feel so special :)
3. The Facility
River Glade's owners and track workers deserve applause for keeping the place spick and span. It's features one of Canada's cleanest, most professional pit areas, for sure. The grass is cut, things are organized, vendors row looks good, parking is adequate, and the porta-johns aren't too too bad either. Just entering the main gates gets you excited! People are camped out all over the place, and everyone looks like they had waayy too good of time the night before. It feels like a big event, because it's treated like one ... kinda like a cute little mini AMA national.
|Go Newf Go! Ryan Lockhart leads JSR at the Moncton national circa 2006. This was the first year of the Brian House Memorial award, and Lockhart took it home for his top Atlantic rider finish and amazing starting ability. Who will take home the coveted honour this weekend?|
2. Local Heroes
No matter where you go, no matter what the track is like or where it's located--or the quality of port-johns--you'll find local heroes. The guys who can do no wrong in front of their hometown crowd. Atlantic motocross is no stranger to legends, such as former Honda rider and top-10 guy, Glen Hoar. In the last 10 years, the Maritime faithful have been holding strong for riders like Ryan "The Newf" Lockhart, Mitch Cooke, Johnny Montes, Davey Fraser, Charlie Smith, Nathan Slater, and Zack Heydeman. Lockhart and Cooke have been fighting for the top East Coast slot almost every year since they turned pro in the late 90's. Montes, meanwhile, has showed some speed and scored some solid results for over 15 years, especially in front of his friends and family at the Glade. This time around, however, it's time for new faces, younger faces, to step into the spotlight. Lockhart and Cooke won't be on the line this year, as the Newf is wrenching for good friend Eric Nye on KTM and Cooke was forced to pull out of the series after round one, due to arm pump issues. Oops, sorry--Cooke is racing this weekend! Freedom Cycle Kawasaki who helped him last year, is giving him a KX450F to finish the last 3 rounds. Good luck, Mitch! This means we'll see a new name etched into the Brian House Memorial award for top Atlantic rider. Lockhart has had his name on it three times, and Cooke earned the honour last year. Who is going to be next?
1. The Fans
Let's be honest: nowhere else in Canada will you find more loyal, enthusiastic and downright friendly fans than River Glade. Not that the rest of you are doing something wrong, they just go that extra mile. At the track, Maritimers line the fences, put up signs for their favourite racers, scream loudly every lap, drink beer, laugh, and have fun. They would do anything for anyone and always stick up for their riders, whether it's at the track, the bar or online chat forum. It's all for one, one for all. Hopefully this weekend they are treated to something special because they deserve it.
There you have it, a small taste of why you should be at River Glade MX Park in Moncton, NB this weekend! Go to cmrcracing.com or atlanticmx.com for any info you may need. Or just call Ryan Lockhart.
We got word that privateer Kevin Urquhart has been loaned a Royal Distributing KTM for this weekend's national. It's cool that the guys in orange are helping out the little people.
Some good quotes also from the Maritimes' best in this RXC article by DanBro.
The biggest headline (and saddest one if you're Canadian), is that Dean Wilson will not be representing Canada at this year's MXoN in Colorado. He admits it was the most difficult decision he's made in his young career, but he's going to forego the controversy surrounding Team Canada and ride for Great Britain instead. Before you go slamming Deano, remember, he was born in Scotland, lived there for most of life and most of his family lives there. With that, it will now be interesting to see whether Blackfoot says yay or nay. Wilson shares his thoughts on the whole deal here.
|Tug of heart: Dean Wilson couldn't decide who he wanted to ride for at this year's Des Nations. In the end, he's chosen to represent his birthplace, Scotland (Great Britain).|
Let's say that BF doesn't send their guys, who should then represent Canada --if it still happens? I guess Keast, Maffenbeier and Jeremy Medaglia would be the next top guys.... not sure if Machine Racing, Orange Motorsports or Schraders have the funds and resources for an event of this magnitude, but ya never know.... If you're a loyal fan who will suport any rider who represents Canada at Des Nations, please visit teamcanadamx.com and send in your loonies.
Andre Roy of 66Graphx forwarded along a heart warming note to us this week, reflecting on the good old days when RXC was the voice of Canadian MX ....
"I threw out some mags yesterday, looked at all of them before .... I miss Racer X Canada! With RXC we can almost feel the moment! Everybody was having fun; I think RacerX crew was the spirit of canadian MX...." Now my Racer X Canadas are in a safe box for my old days!"
I agree with ya, Andre, I miss RXC too, as I'm sure many others do as well. Sure this digital thing is going well, but who doesn't miss flipping open a crisp RXC full of meaty stories, sweet pics and wicked design?! I know I do.
The Western Canadian Amateur National kicked off a month ago, and Martin Hansen was there racing and snapping pics. What an ironman. A little late (better late than never) but you'll find results and pics here.
Now let's hear it from our roving photographer James Lissimore.
After all of last week's excitement on the road, it was a quick trip home this week to take care of stuff around the house and get things in order before I head back out to Moncton today and stay on the road for the final three rounds. I had a chance to make a quick day trip to Vancouver Island on Wednesday to visit a friend and I have to say that, though the Nanaimo track wasn't the best, I sure miss coming to the Island for the Nationals. Everything else about coming over there was always a highlight of the summer.
Now I'm sitting in the Vancouver airport typing this out and I'm excited to stay on the road for the next 3 weeks as we wrap up the 2010 National season. I can't believe how quick time is flying and we're down to only three rounds left and we're done. How crazy was last weekend at Ste Julie? Who would have thought that two seemingly decided championships would be shaken up as much as they were? I know that if you told Dusty Klatt after his two moto DNF's at Edmonton that he'd be leading the championship by 22 points I'm not sure he would have believed you but he hung in there and all of a sudden he's in the drivers seat to take his second MX1 Championship. And how about that first moto? He laid wood to everyone, stretching out a massive lead in only a few laps. That was a vintage Klatt performance right there, I'm sure he's chomping at the bit coming into River Glade and his signature, “Klatt-a-pult” jump. Too bad for the once seemingly infallible Colton Facciotti, unfortunately with the speed he possesses, when he goes down it's usually pretty bad. I hope he can get healed up and come back strong.
Here's how I spent my day yesterday. In Socal at a Transworld MX bike test of a FactionMX/C4MX/Fox Suspension YZ450. Oh yeah, I got Tim Ferry out to ride around for a little bit. Look for the complete test in an upcoming issue.
Tyler Medaglia didn't have the best day at Ste Julie. After a solid third place ride in the first moto, his bike died in moto two and now his points lead is down to 14 over Teddy Maier. I guess after Teddy's flat tire at Kamloops they're now even in the luck department. Fourteen points is pretty comfortable and my money is still on Medaglia to take the title, especially as we head out to his new adopted East Coast this weekend and then head to his home track of Sand Del Lee next weekend. He's still looking good to take his first Canadian Championship.
And even though Tyler may have faltered at Ste Julie, it was a day of celebration for homegrown Canadian talent as two privateers made the podium with Kaven Benoit putting in the ride of his life to win the second moto and the overall, holding off a hard charging Teddy Maier. The local Quebec fans were going nuts and it's great that they've got a new hero to cheer for now that JSR has retired. Between his Gopher ride and now this win, things are looking great for Benoit.
It was also awesome to see Jared Allison grab his first podium. I spent a lot of the previous week with the Allison's and they are one of the greatest families you will meet, it was so good to see all their hard work and sacrifice finally pay off. The sad thing about our sport in Canada though is that Jared's mom, Laurie, was telling me that if Jared and Parker can't find a ride for next year then they will probably not be racing. Could you imagine a rider finishing on the podium at a AMA National and then not being able to find a ride? I hope someone picks Jared up for next season and we can see more good things from him.
I've always been a big fan of the Ste Julie track but they changed up the prep this year and it wasn't so good. They didn't till it very deep and the big ruts and multiple lines that usually form never materialized. Plus, they went out every moto and re-tilled everything and ripped up any ruts that did form. It's too bad, I thought that in 2008 it was the best National of the season but this year not so much. Still, it's a scenic location and I love shooting there. I put together some of my favorite shots for this week's Troy Lee Designs Thursday Wallpapers which you can check out here:http://www.directmotocross.com/news/features/2010/07/tld-thursday-wallpapers-2010-ste-julie-national
Ok, that's it for me this week. Next stop Moncton!
These two are actual real live business owners...
Thanks for reading, see you next week and good luck in the 'Glade!