Frid'Eh Update #1 Presented by Orange Motorsports
|This week's update goes out to Canada's #1 rider: Colton Facciotti.|
|Photo courtesy of Doriane Facciotti|
Welcome to Frid'eh Update #1 and welcome to a brand new year: 2012. There's something about a New Year that I really dig. There's a sense of promise... like even if you totally blew it last year, this is your chance to start over, to reinvent yourself, to chase the dreams that got set aside last year. That same sense of promise is upon us in the MX community with A1 kicking off the AMA Supercross season this Saturday down in California. After such an exciting season last year, there's a huge amount of hype around this race and with easily five super talented guys who can win in the Supercross class, it looks like this season is going to be epic as well. Our own James Lissimore flew into the Matthes media headquarters last night and the pair are making their way to Anaheim this afternooon. I am - like many of you - am pretty freaking jealous. I'd love to be there this weekend, taking it all in. Fortunately, with the way things have evolved in the sport, there are plenty of ways to keep track of what's happening minute by minute, whether it's via Twitter or Live TV. If you're down at the North American Motorcycle Supershow this weekend, the boss man Kyle Carruthers has reserved some space at Hooters near the airport (sounds uber classy...) to get folks together to watch the race. You'll find Kyle at the show involved with the MX Stars of Tomorrow program so stop by and ask him about his Hooters....
|Facciotti on orange: joined by his teammates Dusty Klatt and Jeremy Medaglia.|
|Felix Trepanier photo|
As always, this update is brought to you by the fine folks at Orange Motorsports. We appreciate their continued support and with the way the orange team has been snapping up top riders in this country, there's no doubt that business is booming over at Orange.
This week's update goes out to National #1 Colton Facciotti. Facciotti is hunkered down in St.Thomas taking a much needed breather before he prepares for his 2012 title assault with his new team and new bike. I had the pleasure of writing a pretty in-depth Facciotti feature in the inaugural issue of Direct Motocross Magazine which you can read right here. I have a ton of respect for Colt and I can't wait to see how his first season with KTM/Royal Distributing/Red Bull/Fox Racing plays out this year. He's definitely got nothing left to prove in Canada, but earning KTM their first MX1 championship is as good a goal as any, and who knows, maybe KTM's North American ties will land him in the U.S. eventually...
|Will he lay the same smack down in 2012 with the KTM Canada crew?|
|James Lissimore photo|
I had a chance to catch up with fan favourite Kyle Beaton this week, who is gearing up to race A1 this weekend with Patty O at his side. If there is one guy in Canadian moto who won't have any problems crossing things off his bucket list, it's Beaton. After another no-show injury ridden season here in Canada, Beaton went back to work, saving his bucks to head South again to chase his dream. Kyle had some impressive rides in 2011 and here's hoping he picks up where he left off. He does seem to be one rider who isn't phased by lining up with the best of the best. It will be fun to see him and Dean Wilson on the line together, so here's hoping he puts it in the main event right off the bat. You can read the full interview with Kyle right here.
"The 2012 MX for Children Toronto Sick Kids Hospital pledge site for ILE and Jackpot Challgen is up and running. You can register here. Those who raise $500 or more will see the Toronto Sx up close and personal." Continuing with the Supercross theme, Rex Backman of MX for Children sent over a quick update letting us know that it's time to start raising pledges for the charity and get a shot at an up close and personal Toronto SX experience.
I had a chance to photograph this event before and rub shoulders with Chad Reed and Tim Ferry at the event. This is a great cause that really does give you rider and track access that you can't get anywhere else. Get going! If you start now, the $500 goal by March is no problem.
That's all for me this week. GOOOOO BEEEEEEEEEETS! And now over to the ultra-chatty and uber-knowledgeable Billy Rainford:
Well, that brings us to the end of another year. Wait, is it pessimistic to call it the ‘end of a year’ and not ‘the beginning of a new one?’ You know, the whole half empty vs half full thing…Anyway, I hope 2011 was everything everyone had hoped for. I don’t know about you, but I don’t normally make New Year’s Resolutions. I believe life should be about constantly updating and evaluating your goals and decisions, not making bold statements and empty promises to yourself once a year. If you did happen to make a resolution or two, just make them realistic and attainable. I don’t suggest claiming you’re going to go to GPF for a long weekend this winter and expect to come home and beat Colton Facciotti for the MX1 title. That’s an obvious example of an unrealistic goal.
I’ve trained runners, cyclist, swimmers, and triathletes for many years and when one of them told me they made a resolution to run every day in the New Year, I was quick to tell them to change that plan. It’s great to say you’re going to try to run more in the New Year, but to make a statement about running every day just takes all the enjoyment out of your athletic goals and sets you up for failure. You will inevitably become obsessed with keeping your promise to yourself and, next thing you know, your life is revolving around this irritating vow you made. Like I said, keep your goals realistic and attainable.
Ok, let’s get right to it! This weekend, the Supercross Series finally starts. We had a fair amount to talk about this year during the off-season, but I think we’re all pretty happy that racing is about to start up again. We may only have Kyle Beaton racing as a Canadian this weekend, but there are lots of other riders we should also keep our eyes on. Here is a list of people we are familiar with and can call ‘friends of the Canadian racing scene’ for one reason or another:
Kyle Beaton #132Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki/Thor/Ogio/Smith KAW—Allison caught up with Kyle yesterday and I see that Pat O’Connor will be there wrenching for him too. Go team!
|Canadian fans will be cheering for Beaton this weekend.|
|James Lissimore photo|
Brad Nauditt #620Hyper X Racewear/Scott/Motoconcepts/FMF/C4mx HON
“Ya, I'm excited for the upcoming weekend! I’m ready to see how the cards play out! And thanks again for all the support from my Canadian friends!”
Austin Politelli -- Austin raced the Munich Supercross in December and appears on the entry list for the Dortmund round this weekend. His dad, Frank says Austin may do the East Coast as he gets ready for the outdoors.
Teddy Maier #312 HyperX/Scott/TilLube/FMF/Motoconcepts/Galfer/Motosport/ Sunstar/Renthal HON
Topher Ingalls #986 Experts Exchange Racing HON
Dean Wilson #15 Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Motors KAW – Pretty sure we’re all familiar with this guy.
Dylan Schmoke #670 Slaton Racing/Schmoke Motorsports/Motoworldracing.com/Factory Connection/Maxima/Dunlop/Thor/Budman Moto Training/Hinson/Renthal KAW
Scott Champion #67 C4MX/Nexis/JT USA/FMF/Dunlop/Sidi/Renegade Fuels/Red Seven/Twisted HON – Not Canadian, but rides for the Luc ‘Frenchie’ Caouette team.
Kevin Urquhart #546 Graphix/AXO/United Dist/FMF/Shoei/Sunstar/HotCams/Dunlop/CrazyMoney/Horizon Pet Supply KAW – Broke his navicular bone in his wrist and is out for a couple weeks.
Chris Blose # 47Pro/FOX/100%/Dunlop/Crankworks/Fusion/ARC/A60/Excel/SDGUSA/Sunstar/UFO/ODI/Brembo/Crower Power/Hart & Huntington/Podium Link KAW – Not Canadian, but our own Scott ‘Donk’ Donkersgoed is spinning the wrenches for him. Donk was working with Nick Wey, so I asked him what the story was. Here’s what he had to say on Thursday:
“It's my birthday and I'm starting this day off with a cookie! Hahha, and just so u know, I'm with Chris Blose now. Team manager wanted me with Blose, so I had no choice in the situation....We broke-in the race bike yesterday and it's sick! Bike’s ready, I'm ready, and Chris is ready. It's go time! Biggest day of my life. Been what I've been working for since I started this crap. And please make sure a thank you goes out to Jeff "Dutch" van Niekerk from D4 Performance.” Good luck this weekend, Donk.
|Happy Birthday Donk! Another Canadian wrench will be spinning wrenches|
in the big leagues this weekend.
|James Lissimore photo|
I thought Tyler Sjoberg might also be racing, but it turns out he just signed a deal with the Dragon Racing Fuels/AG Motorsports/Cernics KTM team out of Tennessee for the Eastcoast Lites SX and AMA Outdoor Nationals for next year. That’s the team that Jeremy Medaglia rode for at Southwick and that Kaven Benoit pitted out of. Congratulations, Tyler. And, to quote Mark Wahlberg, say hello to your folks for me.
James Lissimore is down there at the stadium this weekend, so watch for some great ‘pictorial infotainment’ [Yep, I just made that up] from him in the days to come. There are also a bunch of people who will be tweeting as the action unfolds, so be sure to stay glued to your phones as you smash through intersections in your home towns.
Rumours have been circulating that there may not be a women’s national series here in Canada, after all. In the end, I suppose it all comes down to dollars. Sure, all of us would like to see full gates of improving female professionals battling wheel-to-wheel every weekend this summer, but the harsh reality is that’s just not what we’re seeing. It seems like the numbers are increasing locally in the women’s classes, but, at this point, perhaps there hasn’t been enough time with weekly competition and improvement to warrant committing all the time and money it takes to run a coast-to-coast national series.
The question now is how do we keep developing this class so that, in the future, it makes sense to run it as a professional, national series? It’s kind of a catch 22 situation -- with no women’s pro nationals to strive for, how do you keep them motivated and improving? I don’t claim to have the answers, but, as a fan, I just want to see full gates each week with good battles deep into the field. We’ll have to stay tuned to see what develops for this coming season.
I spoke to Tyler Medaglia again this week to see if there was anything he could tell us about his plans for this coming season. All he could tell me ‘on the record’ was that things were moving in a good direction and we will see him lining up on a competitive bike in the MX1 class. He’s had phone calls from all the usual suspects but it’s looking like we’ll see him with a strong group of supporters that will make up his program this year. He also said that we should have an answer in the next week or so. You’ll know as soon as we do.
With the big hand at the twelve and the little hand at the six, it’s time for ‘Embarrassing Moments with Bigwave.’ This story goes back to 1985 when I made my first moto-related trip down to Florida with my dad and Dave Hanwell. We took our minivan and a borrowed three-rail trailer and were meeting a bunch of other Canadians down at Gatorback Cycle Park for Amateur Day before the Gatorback National [Everyone did this and then headed over to Daytona for the supercross].
During the week between, we all practiced at the sand track in Bithlo. It was really cool that year because non-other than Bob Hannah was there in his Team Honda box van and Factory 250.
|Go ahead, we’re now accepting witty comments about either my shorts, hair, or bulked-up chest muscles!|
|Rainford family archives|
To make a long story short, we were all crowded around Hannah’s pit after a full day of riding while they did some work on his bike. I was standing right by the tool box near Bob when his mechanic looked up from the exotic 250 and said, “Hey, Buckwheat, pass me the 12mm socket, would ya?” Well, I basically stepped in front of Hannah, probably grabbed a flathead screwdriver, and handed it to him while I proudly replied, “Ohhh-tayyy!” in my best Eddie Murphy from SNL voice. Um, guess who didn’t remember that one of Bob Hannah’s nicknames was ‘Buckwheat?’ Everyone just stood there looking at me like I was some sort of teenaged idiot -- which, of course, I was. Funny, how I’ll never forget that 15-second moment in time, but I bet Mr. Hannah wouldn’t even have a sniff of a clue what I was talking about.
There were also rumours that Leading Edge Kawasaki is trying to land either Billy Laninovich or Cole Thompson to compete in the MX1 class. As much as I want Cole to get a ride down south, how cool would this sound next summer, “And rounding the first corner it’s Colton Facciotti with Cole Thompson, Dusty Klatt, Tyler Medaglia, and Kyle Keast!”? It has a nice ring to it, for sure! Anyway, I spoke with the Thompson Camp on Thursday and I was informed that, although there have been some phone calls, Cole is content to keep preparing to race the Eastcoast Lites SX this winter and then prepare to hit the AMA Nationals as a privateer next summer. However, if he has the supercross season that we all know he’s capable of, I’m pretty sure he should be able to leap-frog the privateer rank.
As for Billy Laninovich, he definitely expressed an interest in coming up here to race next season whenever I spoke with him last summer at the Canadian Nationals. I thought it was funny that he would just wander around our tracks all summer unrecognized by most people. Whenever I’d ask someone, “Um, you know who that is, right?” they would be pretty shocked. He’ll be lining up in the Westcoast Lites SX this weekend, so it will be interesting to see where his speed and fitness are. He was flying last year when I watched him tear up the Sand Del Lee track on the DMX Ride Day and I think he would make things interesting next summer up here. Google Image some of his whip pics. Wow, he can sure throw a bike upside down!
The 2011 MXRanking National Ranking Champions were announced yesterday. You can see who won what here: http://mxranking.com/news/2011-national-ranking-championsIt looks like Cole Thompson was the big winner for 2011.
If you’re looking to waste an afternoon or perhaps more, click on this game link and thank, or hate, me later: http://www.madskillsmotocross.com/ This could be the best one yet! Actually, you can blame Cale Foster for showing this one to me.
I spoke with Mark Perrin from MPI who is in Anaheim this weekend and here’s what he had to say. “MPI Sport Management is working with Feld Motor Sports again this season. It’s been a busy winter and it’s exciting that the first round of the 2012 Monster Energy Supercross Series is finally here. In working together with Feld Motor Sports, one thing I look forward to is the Toronto Supercross which will take place March 24, 2012. For anyone looking to save some money on tickets, you can use MPI5 as a promotion code to Save $5 on Tickets through Ticketmaster or I can also be contacted directly and place a ticket order directly for Canadians to save up to $10 off select tickets.”
As for what he’s seen at A1 so far, “The track layout is one of the best I have seen, and I have been to a lot of races over the years now. The whoops are huge and there's talk of some possible quads and other line options in the rhythm sections which could separate the top 5 into a smaller group.” I say it separates James Stewart from the rest of the field! He added, “The biggest comments are the track isn’t divided in straight sections like normal. Instead, it’s almost more like a Daytona track that twists and turns a lot, making there be two totally different lines, one inside and one outside in most cases.”
“It’s pretty special to work at the opening round of the Supercross Series one weekend and then have the opening round of your own series the next weekend. All in all, I am trying to increase and grow the sport of Motocross in Canada. Already, the Ontario Arenacross Facility has over 150 members, in not even 3 weeks, and we have incorporated many changes into the facility. We want to have all riders come out and have a lot of fun next weekend.” Thanks, Mark.
And what’s Ryan Lockhart up to, you ask? Well, he’s racing again this weekend in an arenacross in Pasco, Washington. Both he and his brother, Brad, are heading down to meet up with Ryan’s old KTM mechanic and good buddy ‘Tommy C.’ He said it should be a good warm-up for Chilliwack in a couple weeks.
I caught up with Bobby Kiniry as he was in the airport getting ready to head to Germany for the Dortmund Supercross. He was kind enough to take the time to send me his Most Memorable Moment from 2011, along with many other of our top riders. Look for that article up on DMX as soon as I hear from the rest of the riders. If you’re a top ten pro from last year and haven’t sent me your answer, get on it! Good luck in Germany, Bobby.
The Arenacross Tour heads into Jackson, Mississippi this weekend for the third round of that series. So far, Canada’s Cole Thompson has been perfect in both the AX class and the ‘Clash for Cash.’ You can check out all the action here: http://arenacrosstour.com/AX/Home.html
Wait, I almost forgot to rant about something this week. How about this: I’ll tell you what really bugs me about the Christmas song, ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’…When they ask, “But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?” Ok, you know all the other ones the song spews off, but you can’t recall the supposed ‘most famous’ one?! Come on, talk about the ‘Californication’ of Christmas! Whew, I barely got that Christmas-related rant in there before the window closed.
Ok, that’s about it for me this week. If you’re at the Toronto Motorcycle Supershow, go watch A1 at Hooters where Kyle has reservations for a big group of enthusiastic supercross fans. I’ll be over at Steve Emery’s place with a few other ‘moto heads’ enjoying all the action. I’m sure there will be pockets of moto-junkies gathered all across Canada watching all the action live. Coverage starts at 10:00pm Eastern time on Speed TV. Be sure to head over to MX Forum where we’ll have an ‘A1 Schedule and Chat’ thread going. If you haven’t signed up there yet, get on it! DMX is where we post the news and The Forum is where we talk about it. I’m going with James Stewart and Dean Wilson for the wins. Like the old saying goes, “You can’t win the series at the first race, but you can definitely lose it!” Good luck to everyone this weekend.
|Nothing like watching Supercross with some solid moto buddies. I found this photo from the Montreal SX a few years ago.|
|Billy Rainford photo|
James here and I’m going to be making this brief this week. I’m down in sunny Las Vegas at DMX’s own Steve Matthes place and we’re just about to hop in his brand new, shiny Honda Ridgeline to make the drive to California.
That’s right, supercross is here already! I don’t know if it’s just me and how busy my year was but it seems like the off-season keeps getting shorter and shorter every year. After what seemed like a super quick holiday season, I had to pack my bags and prepare to head back out on the road for three weeks. I’ll be travelling to Anaheim, Phoenix and LA for the first three rounds of the season and if it’s anything like last year, it should be another exciting season.
It's time for another exciting season of supercross!
James Lissimore photo
Thankfully, we’ll have some Canadian flavor to cheer for this weekend as Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki’s Kyle Beaton will be on the line to take another stab at the West Coast Lites class and Scottish, by way of Canada, AMA National Champ, Dean Wilson, will also be suiting up for the West Coast series. Kevin Lepp is also back down here and he’s going to try riding some outdoors to test out his wrist and might try and line up down the road if everything goes well. Nice to see between Beaton, Lepp and Cole Thompson on the East Coast, some Canadian riders rolling the dice and racing SX. I think no matter what, the competition will help make them better riders.
Make sure to stay tuned here to Direct Motocross this weekend as I’ll be doing my best to bring you the Canadian oriented updates on the site and if I get a chance, on my twitter @lissimorephoto
We’ll be driving straight back to Vegas after the race and I can’t wait for Monday night’s PulpMX show here at the house because there’s going to be a ton to talk about. Also, make sure to check out Matthes’ new site, www.promototalk.com if you haven’t already. We’re doing something different with that one, and I think you’ll find it your one stop shop for what’s interesting in our sport.
Stay tuned to the PulpMX show on Monday night to find out all about what happened at Anaheim.
James Lissimore photo
Ok, the truck is getting loaded so it’s time for me to wrap this up and hit the road. Next stop, Anaheim!