Frid'Eh Update #5 Presented by Toronto Supercross
Hey DMX fans and welcome to update #4 here on directmotocross.com brought to you by our friends at the Toronto SX. Toronto is the only round of the Monster Energy Supercross series that hits Canadian soil, so even if you’re not from Ontario, it is a good one to add to your list to travel to. You can take in the action with your fellow countrymen and head over to the DMX after party at the Houston where the Canadian moto industry will be gathered. First make sure you get your tickets and punch in RIDERSX at the ticket master checkout to save $5.00 a ticket. We will see you at the Houston on March 22nd and 23rd!
The Houston is the place to be after the race!
Tyler Villopoto is back in Canada for 2013.
This week’s update goes out to #5 Tyler Villopoto. Tyler is a great guy when you get to know him and definitely lived up to his name after racing his first season in Canada and as a rookie on the 450. He took 5th overall and stayed consistent all year in the series. He also took his first Arenacross win last weekend in Tulsa, OK, on his Babbits Kawasaki so he is staying sharp all winter as he waits for the Canadian season to start. He will be in the MX2 class with Leading Edge again. It will for sure be interesting to see how he does in that class, but I am betting we will see him on the podium often.
Before I go any further with this I want to send my thoughts out to the Moore Family after Freestyle Snowmobiler and X-games Athlete, Caleb Moore passed away from his injuries during his crash at the event. It is never a good day when a member of our motorsports family passes away. God Speed.
On a more positive note, Canadian MX'er Tim Tremblay took home a bronze medal at the X-Games in the Snocross final. It is always cool to see our Candians do well. Unfortunately, OTSFF Polaris Rider and Motopark owner Iain Hayden had some mechanical issues and was forced to DNF. Congrats to both guys for making the main!
Rumours from down south are that Tyler Medaglia and Jeremy Medaglia are absolutely flying. Apparently Jeremy is feeling right at home on his new 450 Yamaha and looks to be sticking to his plan of racing the MX1 class on his MX101 Yamaha. Both the brothers are renting a house right now and are down there training getting ready for the Canadian series to start with GDR amatuer rider Konnor Long. There is still also a small chance we may see Tyler Medaglia line up at the Toronto SX, which would be awesome to see another Canuck on the line.
This is what the front room of the Medaglia house looks like!
Jeff McConkey photo
Speaking of East coast supercross, Billy caught up with Nicky Beatty who is down south in Florida training for the East coast series now. He is living the dream in a Wal-mart parking lot in his van trying to make it happen. There is a lot of things that have to fall into place for a Canadian pro to be able to do the supercross series. You need to apply for an AMA license through the CMA, insurance, funding and of course finding an affordable place to practice. Here’s hoping Nicky can keep the momentum going and make some night shows.
Ok over to Billy...
Thanks, Kyle. I'm on the road this week heading to the 2nd last weekend of racing in the KTM Canadian Arenacross Championships. I'm actually sitting in the Calgary airport waiting for my connection over the Rockies and into Abbotsford, BC. The only faser way to travel than flying is to sleep while flying. I just got here on the 5-minute flight form London to Calgary. It's a great flight if you can get a seat on it! There's a pretty good chance I'm going to be making a rather unorthodox entrance at the track, so if anyone happens to be there, please snap a few pics for me. Special thanks to Scott Delaplace for the 'red carpet' treatment...but I digress.
Let me start by saying that since it's actually Tyler Villopoto's week I get to run this short video of him from Riverglade last year...again. As you watch it, try to remember that this is on a 450 and that he will be on an 'easier to throw around' 250 next summer. You can see he has a difficult time with the bigger bike.
This weekend will be the last real chance for anyone to tke a run at GA Checkpoint Yamaha rider Spencer Knowles' lead in the points. He's starting to run away with the combined points total and it's looking like he may trade the #28 in for a big #1 for 2014. All the same talent should be there so his winning is definitely not a lock. There will be an all-new track for the riders to sort out and I hope to improve my indoor flash photography skills for this one. I usually just push that little button on the top of my camera but it seems indoor pics take a little more skill than that! Wish me luck.
Speaking of Davey Fraser, I had a quick chat with him this week to see what he's been up to and what his plans are for the 2013 season. He couldn't tell me a whole lot but the gist of it was this, "I'm still working things out. Hopefully, I'll know within a week or so, but I see some blue smoke in my future!" Now I know some people are getting sick and tired of us 'old folks' blathering on and on about the whole 2-stroke thing, but I don't think it can be argued that the re-proliferation of them would help the sport grow at the grass roots level. And I shouldn't have to tell you that if the roots are weak, the structure is weak. See what I did there? It used to be very easy to sell a used 125 or 250 back in the day but I can't even imagine searching for a used 250F to buy. I'd be terrified of what I would be getting myself into. Anyway, I look forward to seeing Davey on a 250 2-stroke in the MX2 class.
Davey Fraser is a total throwback and would look great on a 250 2-stroke in 2013!
While we're going with this east coast theme, I am excited to post this next bit. I gave injured pro rider Johnny Montes a call last night to check in with him. As you probably know, Johnny was seriously injured while driving his truck to work a couple months ago. I asked him to sum it all up for us. Here's what he had to say:
DMX: Johnny, great to get a chance to talk to you. We’ve all been following along with your progress on Facebook and I’m glad to hear you’re on the road to recovery. If you wouldn’t mind, could you take us back to the beginning and tell us just what the heck happened?
Johnny Montes: I was driving to work and I hit a piece of black ice and I lost control. Unfortunately, I was stupid and I didn’t have my seat belt on and I got thrown from my vehicle. I had a guy with me and he only had a couple scratches on his arm and he broke his arm but that’s it.
I don’t remember any of the crash. I don’t remember really anything for the last two months. I don’t remember Christmas or really anything. I’m starting to remember more and more now because my friend has really helped me through all of this.
I never parked in a wheelchair parking spot, I always follow the law, I never talk bad about anybody else or make fun of anybody because you never know if you’ll be in that same situation one day. I want to believe that because of those choices God decided that it wasn’t my time to go. It’s totally woken me up and opened my eyes. The world is completely new to me. I can’t even describe it. If I tried to describe it, people wouldn’t believe me.
I was never religious but I always believed in God. I always believed that ‘the man upstairs’ decides when it’s our time. On that day, God was looking down on me. He wanted to teach me a lesson and that’s why I am the way I am now.
My head was split wide open. I’m lucky that I’m even here today; I shouldn’t be! The doctors all said I shouldn’t be. I’m lucky to have survived I guess. I’m fortunate enough to be here and tell you that I’m living proof that miracles do happen.
I feel fine and I’m getting better every day. I’m at the major head trauma place for New Brunswick…basically, for Canada. They’re working their magic and I’ve come a long way.
People try to tell me where I’ve been but because I slept through it all I don’t even really believe it. I was in a coma for almost 30 days. It doesn’t even make sense.
I can’t really walk yet. I walk with a walker. This place is teaching me how to walk. I can sit here and I can move my feet, I can move my legs, I can move my hands and I can move my arms. I’m sitting here in front of my laptop right now just talking to people as I normally would. Other than sitting in a wheelchair, you would really think that I was fine.
Can you give us a list of your injuries?
I had 3 broken bones in my face—my eye socket, and my cheek, I had 3 broken bones in my hand, I had 3 broken vertebrae in my neck, my leg wasn’t broken but it wasn’t normal, my upper body was all damaged…I was a mess! And they had to put me in a coma for almost 30 days!
One of my best friends was one of the first-responders and he didn’t even recognise that it was me. He just recognised the truck. My head was so swollen and my body—my arms and my legs—were just…I was a mess!
A girl came to see me two weeks ago and she started crying. I asked why she was crying and she said, “You have cheek bones!” She couldn’t believe that I had no idea how bad I was. She said that my face and my cheeks were so swollen that she couldn’t even recognise it was me.
I didn’t have my seat belt on and I believe I went through the windshield but I don’t want to ask anybody because I don’t really want to remember it. I think it’s better left alone. I know that I was thrown from my vehicle and onto sharp rocks.
My friend had just dropped her husband off at work—who works with me—and she was one of the first ones there. She basically saved my life. If it wasn’t for her…let’s just say I’m lucky.
If I sit in a normal chair I feel like nothing has happened. I got my neck brace off today. I had to wear a full-blown neck brace…a ‘halo’ ever since the crash. I can move my neck all around. I got the wrist brace off. I’m just trying to get my leg back to normal so I can walk. I don’t have my motor skills so that’s what this place is trying to work on. I can move everything. If you looked at me now I don’t even look like I’ve been in a crash. All I can say is I’m lucky.
I want to thank all the people out there for having me in their prayers. A lot of people said a lot of nice things to me. I want to thank all the people who said anything to me!
So we’ll see you hanging out at Riverglade next summer.
I’ll hopefully be doing better than hanging out! The plan right now is just to walk but I will ride again. That’s all I’ve really ever done is race motocross so if I can walk then I will ride again. I’m almost back to where I was—I’m almost there.
Come to the Toronto SX and hang out.
I plan to. It just depends how rehab is going and how I’m feeling. No one can tell me how long I’m going to be here. It’s all on me right now. I got my halo off today so I’m one step closer. As soon as I can walk, a lot of things are going to start to happen. I just want to sit beside all my buddies and shake everybody’s hand and say, “It’s good to be here.”
Ok, so how awesome was that!? It was such a great feeling talking to Johnny. From everything I’d heard going into it I really wasn’t sure what to expect but I just want to let everyone know that Johnny sounds great and you could hear the optimism in his voice. Keep working hard, Johnny, and now that it’s on record you’d better show up in Toronto!
See you in Toronto, Johnny!
I'm in the middle of organizing all my digital photos with tags etc. In addition to being one of the most tedious tasks I've ever done, it's really bringing back some amazing memories! Look at this next one. Remember when Red Bull Royal Distributing Fox KTM rider Dusty Klatt raced the nationals on a Kawasaki KX450 with the big 'triple one?' Well, the year was 2008 and it looked a lot like this:
Dusty Klatt at the 2008 Gopher Dunes National.
A while back an Old School BC Motocross Facebook page was started and participation was instantly through the roof. Well, not to be outdone, Ontario has also jumped on board with a page of their own and it seems to be gathering speed quickly. This link should take you to it.
Back when some of those photos were taken, I was a snot-nosed little kid weighing in at a generous 80 pounds wearing cut-off jean shorts that may have even had the pockets hanging below the frazzled edge--not a pretty image, I’m sorry. I remember I used to cut my own hair because with my ill-fitting helmet/goggle combination my hair would hang into my eyes when I was racing.
The ill-fitting helmet/goggle combo with the self-cut bangs. Looking good...
Bigwave archive photo
It reminds me of a story…(picture blurry vision as scene flashes back to a much weirder and uglier time)
I was running this helmet/goggle combo at Hully Gully and probably singing to myself as I cruised around the rock-hard and dusty Varna, ON track. As I was heading toward the first apple tree, a yellow-jacket wasp managed to get itself inside my goggles. I defy anyone to remain calm when this happens—it’s impossible. I remember hearing Irv Ford on the PA yelling something about squirrelly whirly this, close the gate that, and what the hell is Billy Rainford doing out there???!!! I had now let go of the bars with both hands and was swatting at my head in complete panic as I slid off the back of the bike. Mind you, I wasn’t going very quickly so my fall wasn’t as bad as it might have been had I been a faster rider at the time.
Have you ever been stung in the eye region repeatedly? No? Well, trust me, it ain’t pretty! Luckily, I was using the ‘quick release’ system also known as ‘wearing a helmet that would be too big for my friend Pat who couldn’t play Jr. high school football because his head was too big.’ I had that sucker off in no time flat! Pretty sure I didn’t win that moto but I did make it out for the second after being stung in the foot by yet another wasp while putting on my boots. I hate wasps.
Man, just telling that story has unearthed a slew of other rather embarrassing moments in my racing past. Basically, I'm surprised I'm here to tell them! That's going to about do it for me this week. Stay tuned to DMX this weekend for all the action from the KTM Canadian Arenacross Championships. If you have any questions for the guys here at the races, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be sure to include your question (assuming it's appropriate) when I do the podcasts after the races.
Were you wondering what young Dylan Wright was up to lately?
I spoke briefly to MX101 Yamaha rider Dylan Wright's dad, Billy, today about what they are doing to get ready for next season. They are just getting ready to head down to Florida at the end of February to stay with the Medaglias. He said Tyler and Jeremy are going to work on Dylan's speed--they'd better not work too hard or they'll be chasing his rear fender before long!
Kourtney Lloyd from Cycle North Kawasaki has a pretty cool week planned for my visit to Prince George, BC next week. I'm really looking forward to checking out their shop and chasing young Jess Pettis around the mountain on a sled. Did I mention that my first words as a baby were 'Ski Doo?' True story. Pack a big shovel, Kourtney.
That is going to do it for me this week. They're calling my name on the PA for my short flight over the mountains and into Abbotsford. Have a great weekend and enjoy the live supercross on Speed and the Superbowl on Sunday.
Cycle North Kawasaki pro rider, Ryan Lockhart, says, "See you at the races..."