Frid'Eh Update #6 Presented by Troy Lee Designs Canada
This New Year is flying by! I can’t believe it is already almost the middle of February. We have five supercross races in the books and that means we are another race closer to the Toronto SX, the lone Canadian stop for the series and of course the highlight of the weekend the DMX after party! Once again, I am writing this update from the road as I am on assignment for our friends at On Snow Magazine as I take off into the mountains of Quebec for another snowmobile tour. It might not be moto but it is holding me over until the snow and frost melts out of the Gopher Dunes sand and we go there for the first ride of the year. I can’t wait!
This week’s update is brought to you by Troy Lee Designs Canada. Troy Lee has once again introduced some of the hottest gear on the market for 2012 and will be backing riders like Jared Allison, Parker Allison, Kyle Keast, Shawn Maffenbeier, Shawn Robinson, Denaye Giroux and Bryton Allison, to name a few. Make sure you go to www.troyleedesigns.ca and hit up your local Troy Lee dealer so you can look as cool as the pros that wear it. Also, check out the amazing line of lifestyle clothing the TLD crew offers as it is all top shelf quality and design from the famous TLD artists in California.
Troy Lee Designs can make anyone look good! Even this character!
Allison Kennedy photo
Speaking of Troy Lee riders, this week’s update is dedicated to #6 Shawn Maffenbeier. Shawn was no doubt the most improved rider in 2011, taking his #23 all the way to a #6! Shawn and his family embarked on a mission in 2011 and it showed with the support they received. SMX Racing was quickly formed with the support of Schrader's Yamaha, Yamaha Canada and Yamalube as well as many other great sponsors and they took home their first championship with Denaye Giroux when she clinched the Ladies Western title. SMX racing will be back with Shawn, Denaye and now Shawn Robison out of Quebec when the series starts up. In the meantime you young riders should think about going down to Todd Schmulick's and Shawn's Perform-X training camps in California and get an inside look at the program that helped take Shawn to the top! You can also check out Billy’s interview he did with Shawn last week here. It is DMX Hall of Fame material! I also can't thank the Maffenbeier family enough along with many other great families who offered the DMX team a tremendous amount of support while we were on the road for the summer. Thanks guys!
The SMX Racing team in 2011.
James Lissimore photo
Shawn tearing it up at Sand Del Lee.
James Lissimore photo
Lots of OEMs are gearing up for another season of motocross and racing. I caught up with Yamaha Canada’s Bryan Hudgin and he sounds pretty excited about the amount of blue that will be on the line this summer. Also, Yamaha Canada has some great prices on new bikes right now. Their pricing has dropped the price of a YZ85 by $800, a YZ125 by $1000 and a YZ250 by $400. This is a great deal for a young rider and another reason for you guys to buy in Canada!
Once again at Raymond, Deschambault and Walton, Yamaha will be offering the Factory Ride Award. RJ Marnoch won this last year and got the use of a new Yamaha YZ, so keep this in mind if you’re thinking about buying Blue for 2012. Also, the top 3 Yamahas in each class for each event get 75, 50 and 25 worth of Yamabucks! Pretty cool to get an OEM offering up some great awards for some great amateur events! Yamaha is also sponsoring the Toronto SX again so look for their booth on the concourse.
RJ Marnoch had a fantasic 2011 and even took home the Yamaha Factory Rider Award. Check out his ad with Yamaha in Volume 1 of our DMX Digital Magazine!
Kim Pearce photo
The guys are staying busy at the Orange camp as well. I caught up with the newest member there, Danny Brault, as he is now back from his sun- filled, beach lounging, motoless vacation. KTM is finalizing their 2012 Amateur and Pro Contigency Programs. If you remember from last year, KTM put up a very impressive program and here's hoping we see something similar to that this year. Details will be posted on www.ktm.com on or before March 1st so make sure you keep checking it. If I gather the news right, KTM is not done signing support riders for both MX and Off-road. Before the month is over we should hear of a few more guys lining up on a KTM backed dealer support ride.
The KTM Ride Orange Moto Tour is coming back also. Dates and locations will be available on March 1st and there will be events in BC, AB, ON, and QC. Even cooler is that MX and Off-road bikes will be available and some with some pretty tricked out KTM Hard Parts and accessories. To top it off they will be using the KTM race semi at all the Moto Tour events!
Andy White was kind enough to let us know Jeremy Medaglia is down at GPF and his training program is in full swing and he will be joined by Colton Facciotti in a week or so as Facciotti starts to prepare himself to make another title run aboard a new bike. A new motivated Dusty Klatt is also ready to head down to California and get ready to try and bump that big number 2 to a 1. By the way, Happy Birthday Dusty!
Dusty is officially old enough to "rock" the stash!
James Lissimore photo
Looks like Kaven Benoit`s knee has been operated on and he is working on it with his personal trainer. Look to see Kaven back on the track come early April and hopefully we might even see him out west for a national or two!
Also got this note from our friends at RTR Performance in Kamloops - Don't forget to mark Saturday, Feb 11th on your Calander - We are hosting a Sled Sale/Start to Bike Season Open House at RTR Performance. Come in and take advantage of limited time only sales and specials between 10AM and 2PM. Prizes, free refreshments and unbelievable savings!
Keep in mind RTR stocks lots of Troy Lee gear as well as many other brands. Make sure to say hi to Craig and Heidi from the DMX crew if any of you make it over there.
Now over to Leanne as she sums up some news on the ladies …
Thanks Kyle and I am happy to report that the full schedule for the 2012 CMRC Womens nationals was released this week and it looks like we officially have the full Saturday series scheduled in. You can check out the full PR with all the details right here.
2012 Women’s National Schedule
Sunday, June 10 Whispering Pines Raceway, Kamloops, British Columbia
Saturday, June 16 Wild Rose MX Park, Calgary, Alberta
Saturday, June 23 Castrol Raceway, Edmonton, Alberta
Sunday, July 15 Gopher Dunes, Courtland, Ontario
Saturday, July 21 Circuit de Ste-Julie, Ste-Julie, Quebec
Saturday, August 11 Sand Del Lee, Richmond, Ontario
Yes, it is true there are some mixed emotions on it with a few girls saying they refuse to race on Saturday and not support it. At this rate, I think many of us are happy to see another Women's national series come to life and a big thanks goes out to Mark Stallybrass, Denaye Giroux, and Camille Baker for helping pull it together. Make sure you keep checking DMX for our upcoming “Out of the Blue” columns as we get deeper into the lives of all the Canadian girls racing!
The Women will once again compete for a West and East title in 2012.
James Lissimore photo
Thanks, Kyle. Have fun on the sleds. There are quite a few things to talk about this week, so I’ll get right to it.
I always like to give people coverage if they are taking the initiative to help themselves and our sport. Kassie Boone will be at the World of Motorcycles Expo (www.womex.ca) in London, ON, displaying her new ride for the 2012 racing season. In my opinion, she probably has the best women’s class style in Canada and the most potential. If she doesn’t, show me who does! She’s doing the eastern nationals this summer and I pick her to be at or near the front of the pack. I know she’s open to more support, so, if you’re interested in helping out a rider this year, get in touch with them.
I spoke with her to get the details on the MC Show and her plans:
“For the 2012 season, I plan on racing the Canadian women`s national series and also race the ANQ`s (Amateur National Qualifiers) and the Walton TransCan. I plan on racing local events with my local Clubs, CMRC and TVR. I believe it is within my reach to not only qualify for the TransCan and the women’s national series, but to potentially win.
This weekend, I am taking part in the World of Motorcycle Expo from Friday the 10th until Sunday the 12th. I will have a booth set up to support myself and my sponsors, showing my past achievements and my new 2012 Kx250f…and meeting lots of new people.
My sponsors are Fibrenew London, Inglis Cycle Center, What’s Up Clothing CO., and De-Cal Works.”
Thanks, Kassie, and good on you for taking some initiative with your racing. If you don’t believe me about Kassie’s style, check out this photo I stole from her Facebook page:
See what I'm saying?!
The big news of the week is the signing of two-time MX2 national champion, Tyler Medaglia to the Viral Oils, Troy Lee Designs, Powersports Honda, Gopher Dunes Racing Team. He has the backing of some of the most knowledgeable people in Canadian moto, so you know he’s going to have the best possible chance to take a run at the MX1 title this summer. He’s got Joe Skidd, Andrew McClean, and Ken Thiessen helping him out! As you probably know, I’ve been pestering poor Tyler—and more recently, Derek Schuster—every week for the past two months and we now have the answer we were looking for. I spoke with Gopher Dunes Racing’s Derek Schuster last night and he had this to say:
“Back in the fall, Tyler and I began talking about the potential of forming this team, but, honestly, we really didn't get the ball rolling until late November. From there, it has been pretty hectic to get to where we are at right now. Tyler has just over a week of riding under his belt on our new (Honda) CRF450 practice bikes at GPF and is really happy with everything so far. The chaos continues though, because he's heading out next week to race in Dubai which he is really excited for!”
Ok, so now the question is…Dubai??? You can’t just throw that in there without giving us more details, Derek! He mentioned that Tyler will be doing some filming over there as well, so we’ll keep an eye out for that. This is the only link I could find on the racing scene over there:
Wait, did I say THAT was the big news of the week? Sorry, THIS is the big news of the week:
Happy Birthday to everyone’s favourite, red-headed, trophy/spokes model, Julie. It was her birthday on Thursday.
Happy Birthday, Julie.
It looks like young Mitch Goheen has been enjoying some success in the amateur classes at the AMA Arenacross races south of the border. I took a look at the results and saw that several Canadians did well in Lexington, Kentucky last week.
Edge Performance, Tonelli Powersports rider, Mitch Goheen, from Oshawa, ON, finished 2nd in the 85cc 9-15 class on Saturday night and won the Supermini class on Sunday.
Dunlop Tires, Scott USA rider, Paul Plewa, from Stoney Creek, ON, won the Lites Intermediate class on Sunday.
I saw a bunch of Canadian names in the results, so if you are curious as to how they all did, here’s the link.
If you’re going to be at the Montreal Motorcycle Show or in the Montreal area on February 25, check out the KTM After Party and Atlanta SX viewing party.
Etre la ou etre de forme carrée.
KTM Canada photo.
The Canadian Arenacross Championships finished up last weekend in Chilliwack, BC, and Spectra Powersports Kawasaki rider, Brock Hoyer, from William’s Lake, BC, took both the AX Pro/Am and AX Open Pro titles this year. It’s always cool when moto makes it into a mainstream publication, so here’s a link to an article in the William’s Lake Tribune. Brock hopes that this victory will help him attract enough sponsorship support that he is able to compete in the entire outdoor championship series this summer.
The Hellams are now over in England where they are preparing for the Birmingham round of the British Supercross Series next weekend. I will say that when I got to go over there and do a version of Pirate Radio in 2009 that it was one of my favourite motocross trips to date. If you ever get the chance to experience one of those races, you should jump at the opportunity.
I dug up another old ‘back in the day’ picture to share this week. Let’s have a look and a laugh, shall we. Observe the ‘poser’ in full swing: automatic white Jeep with city-only bush bar, rolled up soft top, freshly Armor All-ed tires, Psychedelic Furs oversized concert shirt, dress mullet with the side-part, Diadora tennis shoes, and the ‘first in Canada’ (according to Chuckie Collins from Hully Gully when he sold them to us) Oakley Shields. Wow, this guy had it going on! I remember how upset I was when someone stole those glasses from my glove box at high school one day. I think people had already moved on to Ray-Ban Aviators by that time, anyway. Like I always say, ‘Take lots of pictures today because they will be priceless someday!’ Well, maybe not priceless, but I wouldn’t take anything less than a grandé at Starbucks for it. I actually have ‘Poser’ stickers on my cycling helmet and road bike…I’m going to have to get my buddy from Grubwear to make up some more of those things.
Yes, I actually have some 'POSER' stickers.
Rainford Archive photo
Last weekend was also the Lethbridge Arenacross out in Alberta where American riders Ryan Abrigo and Kevin Urquhart look to have taken the most points over the two nights. I was unable to get in touch with Abrigo this week, but will try to talk to him in the next few days as well as see what Urquhart thought of the experience. We spoke with Jared Allison about the weekend and, in case you missed it, you can check it out here.
I emailed the Treasurer of the Lethbridge Motorcycle Club, Heather Nelson, to see how the event went, overall, and here’s what she had to say:
“After a two-year hiatus, I feel the event went very well. The Club was thrilled to have Hi-Tech Bracing Ltd (Robin Murphy) come on board as the Title Sponsor. She and her Company have always been a huge support to the sport in Southern Alberta and for our Clubs. The Clubs (Lethbridge Motorcycle Club and the Over the Bars Club) had to do a lot of changes adjusting to format, pitting area, displays etc because of the renovations done over the last two years at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge. One of the biggest changes was not being able to pit the bikes in the lower concourse of the building as we have always done in the past. The Clubs rented a huge tent and with thanks to Prime Rentals and Lo-Cost Propane we were able to provide heated pitting for the riders that did not have their own trailers/RV's on site.
Our spectator turnout (tickets sold) was up over the last event we did (2009) and with those tickets, riders, their mechanics, their families, Club members, and sponsors, we were at around 5000 over the two days. A great turnout!”
I asked her about Ryan Abrigo and Kevin Urquhart coming up to the event: “Ryan and Kevin were sponsored by Lethbridge Honda.”
“We have a 10-spot starting gate and allow 5 more riders to start behind. Most all of the classes had to run qualifiers. We had 340 entries over the two days, a slightly above average number of entries and, considering the economy, it was great. Riders from BC, AB, SK, MB, WA, MT, CA showed up in little old Lethbridge for a great event!
The feedback has been excellent from the riders, and our sponsors. The Clubs do an awesome job and make the event very professional, with intense competition yet still allowing everyone to have fun. The introduction of the new video scoreboard was a great addition to the event for advertising options for our sponsors, instant replays and fun stuff.”
Finally, I asked her if the event will be back for 2013: “That's the plan. The event is very expensive to put on in the Enmax but the Club members go the extra mile in volunteering, raising sponsorship, and running the event. We have a lot of new Club members that have been phenominal in assisting the Clubs and their help is greatly appreciated. The event is the biggest and most professional arenacross held in Western Canada and the Lethbridge Motorcycle Club and the Over the Bars Club are very proud to be the hosts.”
It sounds like the gang out there works their butts off because she also mentioned that there was hockey played in the arena on the following Monday! Thank you for taking the time to fill us in on how the event went and we wish you the best of luck next year.
For those of you interested in hitting some of the big amateur nationals in the US this spring, it looks like they’ve sorted out the schedule so you can hit all three. There were some conflicting dates last year and the schedule made for some hectic driving. Here’s how the schedule looks this year:
Freestone Texas Spring Championship Feb 28-Mar 3
Oak Hill Texas International GNC Mar 3-9
Millcreek Alabama Spring Classic Mar 13-17
I saw that there is a new motocross game coming out called MUD: FIM Motocross of Nations. The game will be out in April of 2012. Here is a link to it with a short video trailer.
This weekend, the supercross series makes its way to San Diego for round 6. This will be Kyle Beaton’s last chance for a while to put himself into the main and we wish him luck. If he does make it in, MX Forum is going to turn itself green for the week, so that means two things: 1) Kyle has to ride like we all know he can and 2) I’d better learn how to actually change the colours!
Kyle had this to say about it: “That would be awesome! I’m doing everything I can to make that happen.”
I also noticed that both Ryan Villopoto and Chad Reed got surprise visits from the World Anti-Doping Organization (WADO) this week. It’s not something we often think about, but I guess this is professional sports and we need to keep the riders safe and the competition as level as we can. I just hope we don’t see any Alberto Contador-type controversies in our sport. (Google it, Bowker.)
Speaking of San Diego, it’s looking like Eli Tomac has become ‘The Man to Beat’ in the West Coast Lites series. It amazes me that only a few short years ago we were thinking, “Wow, isn’t it cool that John Tomac’s son is getting into motocross.” Crazy how things change. Let’s hope Dean Wilson has a good race in him to make a run at this thing!
Cole Thompson is ready to hit the pro ranks full-time, starting next weekend in Dallas, Texas.
James Lissimore photo
And finally, we are now just one week away from the start of the East Coast Lites series and the US Pro debut of Canada’s own, Cole Thompson. Cole has taken the week off from the Arenacross Tour down in the deep south to concentrate on getting ready for Dallas next Saturday. I know that both Tyler and Jeremy Medaglia were just with Cole training at County Line in Florida, too. He’s been training hard on his 250 at a practice track in Alabama built by Mark Barnett and maintained by Cole’s brothers Justin and Kyle. I spoke to Cole Thursday to find out how he’s feeling as we get closer and closer to his big night:
DMX: Hey, Cole, how are things?
Cole Thompson: Good. I’ve just been riding and trying to get as ready as I can. Doing those arenacross races helps me get ready for being indoors with the tight racing.
Tell us a little about how that arenacross series went for you.
It’s been good. I did six rounds of it. It started back in December and continued into the New Year. I was able to go 18 for 18, so I was pretty excited about that. It’s been good racing and good practice for starts. Now I’m just trying to get ready for supercross. I’ve taken the last two weekends off so I had a little break in between. I’m mainly trying to get as comfortable as I can riding the 250 and getting it set-up to where I can do well on it. I haven’t got my race bike yet and it’s supposed to be a lot faster. I’ve been just running the bike I ran at the Monster Cup. I’m feeling really good on it. I’m actually starting to prefer the 250 because it’s a little bit lighter and a little easier to ride on the tighter tracks. It’s one of the bikes I had stolen, so I’m glad to have it back so I can keep riding it.
Do you feel racing the Montreal Supercross helped in your preparations too?
Before Montreal, I hadn’t even really thought about it. JSR contacted us and wanted us to come up there and race. I didn’t want to do the 250 because I didn’t have a 250 set up yet so I hopped on a 450 and felt pretty good play-riding at our track.
So, what are your thoughts going into Dallas?
I don’t know. I don’t know really what to expect. I’m used to just getting ready for the Texas Amateur nationals, so it’s been different. I think, mainly, it’s just being able to go in there and zone everything out. A lot of people get in there and it just overwhelms them, so it’s mainly adapting really quickly, learning the track, and being able to get good starts.
Well, best of luck! James (Lissimore) will be at Dallas, so we’ll be able to see lots of pictures and hear how it goes. Who would you like to thank?
Thanks. Mainly, all the same sponsors from past years. It’s pretty much the same as my amateur set-up: Thor, Monster, Alpinestars, Lime Nine Graphics, my mom and dad, my brothers, and BPM is doing my motors.
I think I speak for all of Canada when I say, ‘Go realize your dream, Cole!’ We’ll all be on the edges of our seats February 18th. Watch for an interview shortly after the Dallas round.
Ok, that’s all I have for this week. Now over to James...
Ok, it’s going to be a real brief one for me this week. I just drove back from shooting some photos with Kevin Lepp and Kris Keefer at Racetown 395 up in Adelanto and now Kevin’s yelling at me to get ready to leave to head to San Diego.
That’s right, I’m back down in California as I flew to Los Angeles yesterday to cover this weekend’s San Diego Supercross. Originally, Lepp was going to make his SX debut there but after retweaking his recently broken wrist he decided he was better off to push his Supercross plans to next season. He’s still working hard down here to improve his skills for the summer and you can already see the progress as he was putting in some fast laps out at Racetown. Not quite as fast as wunderkid Adam Cianciarulo who was absolutely flying on a KX125. Kevin’s also planning on racing the first two rounds of the AMA Motocross series so that should be a great experience for him and no doubt will help him come summer time in Canada.
|Shot a quick portrait session with Kevin Lepp last night in Hesperia...|
|...and shot some action today at Racetown 395. Lepp looks good with his AMA number 380.|
|James Lissimore photos|
It’s cool to see how Kris Keefer and the entire Keefer family have taken Kevin under their wing. I went out with them yesterday as Kris and Kevin put in a hard bike ride in the mountains above Hesperia and I’ve seen them go through some pretty intense gym workouts. Kris is also giving Kevin a lot of relationship and life advice, the back and forth is highly entertaining. Much of this will going into an upcoming feature in our second issue of DMX Digital Magazine.
Kris Keefer styles it out at Racetown.
James Lissimore photo
The future of motocross.
James Lissimore photo
So, now it’s time to drive down the hill to San Diego for another round Supercross and I’ve got my fingers crossed that Kyle Beaton can get a great start and make his first main event of the year. He’s been close a few times now and with a little luck, things should finally go his way. Then, next week I’m heading to Dallas to see our latest Canadian phenom, Cole Thompson, make his SX debut and I can’t wait to see that. And, the crazy Dallas stadium.
Ok, I’ve got to drive to San Diego now so I’m going to wrap this up early. Hope everyone has a good weekend!