Frid'Eh Update #8 Presented by Fly Racing
It’s the end of February and right when I thought winter was coming to an end after a slew of warm days I woke up to a blanket of fluffy white stuff. At least I know it’s close to coming to an end because the Toronto Supercross is one month away and stuff gets a little crazy in Toronto especially at the Loose Moose! Make sure you join us for our DMX social Friday night as well as our after the race party Saturday night. It is sure to be a good time!
Now this week’s update is, once again, brought to you by Fly Racing and Gamma Sales. For all your Fly Racing Products in Canada make sure you go and visit your local Gamma dealer and they will certainly be able to hook you up. Especially with one of these new Zenith Neck Braces. I know there is some speculation on neck braces but I took this quote right from www.flyracing.com .
The design of the Zenith Brace prevents the helmet/head from projecting over the brace and therefore prevents a fulcrum action, which has been documented in literature pertaining to the use of collar devices. The Fly Racing Zenith Brace works with most types of body armor and chest protectors. It is also suitable for use by Superbike riders. Over long distances, the Zenith Brace will also offer some relief from neck fatigue. Only leathers with a hump require minor modification.
The all new FLY Zenith Brace.
Fly Racing photo
When you’re looking into a neck brace this summer, make sure you consider the Fly Zenith Brace and also check out the awesome line of Fly Helmets and gear they make too!
This Update is dedicated to our New Zealand friend Mason Phillips. Mason is practically Canadian when it comes summer time and being such a familiar face on the tour it is almost like Mason can call Canada his second home. Mason put together a cool program this past summer where he raced a KTM 350SX-F alongside his team mate and fellow Kiwi Kieran Leigh who rode MX2. He had some great finishes and showed us the 350 could be competitive against the 450 guys. I wasn’t able to catch up with Mason but I will make sure we mention him in next week’s update and give you readers the scoop.
Hopefully, Mason will be back in Canada this year to turn that #8 into a top 5.
James Lissimore photo
I have to say last weekend was a great weekend in Indy. Altough it was short for me, I had a chance to catch up with some of Canada's finest and meet a lot of new people as well. The show was definitely down in attendance and displays this year but there were a lot of cool products on-hand to see up close and in person.
Our friends over at the International Motorcycle Spring Show in Toronto (March 17th and 18th) wanted us to let all racers know that they are offering spots for any racer who wants to come and exhibit and promote their sponsors in the racing hall. Machine Racing Yamaha Rider Kyle Keast will be there signing autographs as well. If you’re interested you can contact Peter Derry at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will be happy to help you out. For more information you can check out their facebook page here!
It was a bummer about Chad Reed this past weekend and let’s hope either Dungey or Stewart can pick it up and run with RV. Who do you think is going to win? The first 3 people to email me with the correct winner before Saturday at 6PM will each get two free tickets to the International Motorcycle Spring Show. Good Luck!
Also, make sure you check out our Facebook photo page over on the Directmx Facebook page. Lot's of cool photos have been posted and it is only open for another week before we declare the winners. Get over there, 'like' your favourite photos, and make sure your friends are 'like'-ing the DMX page to make them count!
Now before I pass this off to James I have to say a big congrats to Cole Thompson! Good Job, Cole, and we hope you can do it again this weekend as Canada cheers you on. Ok, everyone have a good weekend and here's Lissimore.
It’s another Friday, which means it’s time for another Frid'Eh Update and another early morning trip to the airport. I’m typing out this week’s contribution at another ungodly hour as I await my flight to Houston, where I’ll meet up with Matthes and head over to Atlanta.
What was shaping up to be a crazy battle between Ryan Villopoto and Chad Reed quickly and abruptly ended when Reed augured himself hard into the dirt, ending his season with a blown out knee, broken tib/fib, broken back, etc. I didn’t see it in person but the replays sure looked ugly. With the way those two were gapping the field hopefully Dungey or Stewart can step up this weekend and keep this series from turning into a RV runaway.
Reed's season ended with an ugly crash at Dallas.
James Lissimore photo
One rider who had a better night than Reed was our own Cole Thompson who finished a solid 9th in his first career Supercross race. He looked strong all day and if he wouldn’t have tightened up during the main he no doubt would have finished higher up. He started going backwards near the end of the race but it’s a lot of pressure being up at the front of the pack in front of over 50, 000 people in your first race. To start with a finish like that means things should only get better. I’m excited to see this weekend if he can elevate his game even higher. One thing's for sure, it’s looking like he made the right choice by deciding to move up to pro this year and not spend one last season in the amateur ranks.
Cole Thompson did Canada proud with a 9th in his first career SX.
James Lissimore photo
Ok, I’m going to have to keep this real short today as my flight is getting ready to board already. Stay tuned to DMX tomorrow for all your Canadian updates! Now here's Billy to close this thing out.
Thanks guys. Have a great time in Atlanta, James.
“I just got down to GPF (Georgia Practice Facility) last Sunday and rode quite a bit already, except my hands are just destroyed from riding so much. Other than that, it’s been great. I’ve just been putting in laps and getting used to this orange rocket!
It seems good so far. I love working on it and everyone is jealous of the electric start, but ya that’s about it here. I’m just excited to be riding and training again.”
Thanks for the update, Colton. I hope to be down there fairly shortly and will be sure to post lots of photos and videos of our guys preparing in Georgia and Florida.
Round 2 of the Ontario Arencross Championship goes off this weekend in Wallaceburg, Ontario. Promoter, Mark Perrin, says they have lots of fun things going on with prizes and autographed supercross items. Perrin mentioned there will also be a new track design for this weekend. I also assume they will be gathering somewhere to watch the Atlanta SX live too. Be sure to check out their Facebook page for all the necessary information.
Yamalube Schrader's SMX Racing Yamaha rider Shawn Maffenbeier is going through the necessary steps that will see him lined up at the Toronto Supercross on March 24th. He is waiting to hear back from the AMA. He could still use some financial help with flights, so, if interested, please get in touch with the SMX Racing Team.Hopefully, this news will start the ball rolling and we'll see more Canadians lining up next month.
How about young Cole Thompson’s ride last week! It sure made things more interesting to watch. We were all screaming at the tv—necessary due to an equal part of excitement and having to be heard over Sean Bowker’s non-stop chatter—and I don’t see this weekend being much different. His 9th place in his first AMA pro supercross has got to rank up there pretty far on the Canadian rookie charts (something we will look into). We spoke with Cole early this week and he is looking forward to being a little more relaxed this weekend and mentioned that he feels it’s his breathing that he needs to be most focused on this weekend in Atlanta. If you didn’t see it already, you can read the interview here.
Fellow Canadian (now living in Houston, Texas), John John Pauk, also lined up for his pro supercross debut and it sounds like he took a fall in one of his practices and was feeling pretty sore. I tried to call him for a short update but there was no answer and his mailbox was full. Kids these days…
I managed to get in touch with the Hansen Racing Team rider later in the evening in Houston as he was packing for his Friday morning flight to Atlanta. It sounds like he was suffering from opening night jitters and I believe the technical term he used was, “brain fart.” Am I saying that right? He said he would learn from his mistakes and do better this weekend. Getting a fast lap in early is what he said he failed to do in Dallas, so watch for that to change this weekend. It was cold and wet outside and he managed to get moisture under his clutch-side grip so it felt like he was riding with two throttles. Not good. We get to watch it all go down live again this Saturday on Speed TV. Best of luck to both John John and Cole.
A quick Happy Birthday goes out to Walton co-owner Chris Lee.
Things appear to be getting a little weird in Quebec as spring approaches. An official letter was sent out from the CMRC on the topic and you can read it here.
Redemption Racing rider Josh Snider's plans have changed for this season and Happy Birthday to Ken Thiessen.
James Lissimore photo
I can’t even remember where I heard the news/rumour last week, but it is true: Josh Snider will be taking this season off from racing…maybe. I spoke with him Thursday to find out if what I’d heard was based in any sort of reality. Josh confirmed that due to a couple factors he will be taking on a new role with the Redemption Racing team this coming summer.
He usually works hard all winter long in the oil fields banking money to be able to fund his motocross obsession during the summer. Well, this past year Josh’s back started hurting badly around the Gopher Dunes round of the nationals. He tried to fight through the pain and continued racing, but it was determined that he had a bulging disc which was impinging on his sciatic nerve and sending sharp pains down his leg. It not only affected his riding, he was unable to earn his usual money this winter which made the difficult decision to take the year off racing easier but none less disappointing. Josh will take on the role of, team rider, Eric Jeffery’s mechanic and will continue to perform his ministry work for those interested.
I asked him if there’s a chance we’d see him on the line at any point in 2012 and he was pretty quick to say that, if it was sunny for the Edmonton round, we could see him out there. He also mentioned they are doing what they can to bring American rider Kelly Smith up for the season.
Josh wanted to thank all of the team’s sponsors for sticking by them: New Way Motorsports, Jeffery Homes, Mainland Sand & Gravel, Boot Trucking, Wild West Fencing, Fly Racing, Hot Cams, Vertex, Pivot Works, K&N air filters, Factory Tech Racing, Friesen Plastic Products, Renegade race fuel, Bel-Ray, Dunlop, Scott goggles, Trans-Can Imports, Hinson, Pro Circuit, Matrix, Ontario Solar Power and Superior Suspension Settings. It’s also Josh’s birthday today...Happy birthday, Josh.
I also noticed on Facebook that TM has another fast rider on their blue bikes. Davey Fraser was apparently ripping up his driveway on the new four-stroke out east in anticipation of the coming season. I couldn’t get in touch with him as of this update to find out what his racing plans are for 2012, but that now makes the count ‘three’ for fast riders on TMs this coming year.
You can add young ripper Dylan Wright’s name to the list of fast riders on Yamahas for 2012. He has made the switch, but, don’t worry, he’ll still be on a 2-stroke. I spoke with his dad, Bill, and he said they were happy to be working with MX101 again for this coming year. Watching Dylan’s manic style on the 2-stroke almost brings tears to my eyes. Sand Del Lee’s Kevin Tyler had this to say, “He will be killing it on his YZ125 back home where he belongs…until we pass him off to a factory ride in a couple years.” 2012 just got a little bit better!
It’s that time of year when all the new race schedules are being finalized and released. As we mentioned last week, the many clubs are working together to make the season as harmonious as they can, and that’s a good thing to see happening. I also heard that, with the merging of two transponder companies, there may be continuity throughout the different clubs. Anything to make racing easier and less expensive is a step in the right direction. Be sure to keep checking DMX as new schedules are being posted daily.
Just when you thought the MX1 pro class was going to be the Colton, Dusty, Tyler, and Kyle Show, you might be able to add another name to the list. Apparently, the name Julien Bill is being tossed around again. After watching him tear up the Walton track at the TransCan last summer, his addition to the series would make betting on a winner that much more difficult. We’ll have to wait and see what develops from this, but adding a world champion to the series can only be good for it.
If things work out, we may see World MX3 Champ Julien Bill here for the entire 2012 season.
James Lissimore photo
I heard briefly from women's competitor Kirsten MacDonald this week and she is one of the many Canadian riders trying to get faster for this coming season. She said she is busy hitting all the tracks she can with her limited time in the warm sunshine. If she can go into this year in good shape and with an aggressive attitude, I pick both her and local London, Ontario, rider, Kassie Boone, as threats for the title this summer. Kirsten wanted to thank her sponsors for the opportunity: Maguires Motocross Racing Series, Fitzpatrick Electric, First Place Trailers, and D.O.T Express.
Thanks and good luck, Kirsten. If people are willing to take the time to update us on what they're up to this winter, I have no problem giving props to their sponsors. These sponsors are the ones that make this whole thing possible for many of our riders, so it's a no-brainer for me. If you're off somewhere training for this coming season (and I haven't already been pestering you constantly), please feel free to drop me a note at email@example.com.
With the way things are changing in the world of sports' reporting these days, I started a poll over at MX Forum asking people to give their input as to how they prefer to see interviews done. If you have a moment, please check it out here.
Ok, that's about it for me this week. I'm about to get picked up to go play hockey with Motovan rep, Jamie Ruddock. I hope doesn't think I can play this sport very well because, to use a term from the racing world, I'm simply going as 'gate filler.' Until next week, have a great weekend, everyone, and go get 'em in Atlanta, Canadians!