Frid'Eh Update #25 Presented by Scott
Happy Friday, folks, and welcome to another edition of the DMX Frid’eh Update brought to you by Scott Sports and Mica Sport Canada. The series rolls into Calgary this weekend to the Wild Rose MX Park which is always one of the coolest weekends of the summer. As many of you know, this track is right in the middle of Calgary surrounded by sky scrapers and other industrial complexes and is the last place you would ever guess to see a motocross track. Either way, the Wild Rose track crew and CMRC will surely do a bang-up job this weekend and help the track provide some great racing.
As I mentioned, this Update is brought to you by Mica Sport Canada and Scott-Sports. Mica is the Canadian distributor for Scott products and are one of the top supporters of our sport. They help support a number of amateur kids, pro riders like Topher Ingalls and Brad Nauditt, and are a huge supporter of the Walton TransCan. I stopped in at Mica on my way home this week from the Yamaha dealer conference and got the chance to take a tour of their new bicycle warehouse, thanks to Aaron Barsanti and Davis Brode.
There were a lot of bikes at Mica and they also mentioned this is thier lowest inventory point in the year.
This new facilty is huge and even has a VIP showroom in it which is still a work in progress for dealer meetings and other events. It’s pretty cool to see Mica and Scott-Sports expanding and growing, while other companies are getting smaller in Canada. Remember, if you’re looking for a biycle to do some cross-training on, please consider a Scott one. Check out the full line-up here and just ask Billy how good these bikes are!
This showroom will soon be set up and full of bikes for special VIP events.
Week #25 means we’re only a week away from being halfway through 2013. Wow. It also means it belongs to Cycle North TLD Honda’s Ross Johnson from Washington State. Ross has dabbled in Canadian moto for a while now, as well as his brother, but this year he will compete in the entire series with his teammate #16 Brad Nauditt. We had a chat with Ross and here’s what he had to say:
#25 is Cycle North Honda's Ross Johnson.
Hello, Ross, how did the deal come up with Cycle North?
I actually first started emailing and talking with Kourtney (Lloyd from Cycle North) after the west rounds ended last year and I didn’t make it back east. Then, a couple months before the season started we emailed a little bit but nothing serious. Then, we actually made the deal when I was traveling from Salt Lake Supercross to the Las Vegas Supecross in a motor home with a couple other riders. I was on the phone the whole time and got something worked out to go racing for them this summer.
What were you expecting heading into the summer?
To be honest, I was not sure what to expect. It was the team’s first year and my first year ever running the 450 class in Canada, so I just kind of kept an open mind about everything. I kept hearing the MX1 class was going to be stacked and I have never ridden the east coast rounds before, so I tried to prepare the best I could and adjust as the season goes a long.
How the first two rounds have gone?
The first two rounds for me have been very disappointing, as far as my results - definitely have not been happy with how my finishes have been. I think my speed is close to where I want it to be, I just have put it together for a full 35 minutes. We got a couple big things figured out this week with my bike and me, so I’m really looking forward to Calgary and plan on turning things around.
What you hope to achieve by the end of the summer?
I want to be around that top 5 in points and a consistent top 5 guy every weekend fighting for podiums by the end of the season (a ride for the following season would be nice too haha).
How is the atmosphere in the Cycle North pit, overall?
Everyone at Cycle North has been awesome, so far. Kourtney, for her first year running a team, has done a very good job. Between me and Brad, our Auzzie driver, John (super good guy and very hard worker), my mechanic, Chris, and Brad’s mechanic, Jay, she definttely has her hands full, but has done an excellent job keeping us all in line. We all have a good time together and all have fun, but at the end of the day all want to be successful as a team and work hard to get there. There are definitely good things to come in the years ahead for the team.
Are you looking forward to heading east into the heat and humidity?
Yes, I can’t wait. I like riding new tracks and have never seen that part of the country, so I’m really looking forward to it.
Well, thanks for the chat, Ross, and good luck this weekend and the rest of the summer.
Thanks, and I’d like to thank our sponsors: Cycle North, TLD, 100%, Matrix, Atlas, FMF, and Cougar Fuels.
As I mentioned, I was at the 2014 Yamaha dealer conference this week in Huntsville, ON. It was great to see many familiar faces and catch up with many people from the moto world. Schrader's owner, Rick Bradshaw, was there taking in the event and, as always, it was great to catch up with him. It was a 70’s themed banquet Saturday night and Rick quickly made a joke that he could just wear his white CMA suit as they have not changed since then. He certainly got a laugh out of a few people.
This was my first dealer conference I have attended and like many I was most anxious to see the new 2014 Yamaha 450 up close and in person.
Yamaha Canada's Service Manager, Rick Lewis, riding the 2014 YZ450F up on stage.
Please excuse my horrible photo skills.
The bike is exactly what Yamaha needed, especially the EFI in the MX2 category. It looks like we will get a chance to test these bikes in the coming weeks, so look for a full report on that in the near future.
Thanks, Kyle. We are now heading into the second of three rounds of the Women’s West title chase. It’s always cool to get a feel for what it takes to travel to these races and women’s west defending champ, Hailey Larson from California, has been documenting her experiences in video. She is travelling with #48 David Gassin in a pretty impressive rig that I think belongs to the Southwick family. Hailey has also been trying to qualify for the MX2 class, but has yet to make the gate drops. Anyway, check out their first two installments:
A couple riders who are out with injury from round one in Nanaimo are Red Line MXF Yamaha rider, #62 Matt Davenport, and Big Steel Box rider, #482 Brayden Stuart. Both riders are out with damaged collarbones. We don’t always like to show crash photos (unless the riders weren’t badly hurt or they are just hilarious), but Garry Radford caught both of their falls and I’m sure both these guys would get a kick out of seeing these. Well, let’s just assume that they would and press on, shall we? Heal quickly, guys.
Matt Davenport's crash in Nanaimo.
Garry Radford photo
Brayden Stuart's crash in Nanaimo.
Garry Radford photo
The weird thing about going to all of the Canadian rounds is that I lose touch with what’s going on in the AMA outdoor series to the south. Worse yet, I lose touch with how our Canadians who are competing in them are doing…and I HATE that! I haven’t spoken to #961 Nicky Beatty in a while so watch for a chat with him soon here on DMX, but I spoke very briefly with #48 Cole Thompson’s brother, Kyle, on Thursday. He had this to say about how things have been going so far for Cole:
We’ve been up to the same old thing - training and riding every day. We had a rough weekend at High Point. Cole rode well, but a fuel pump issue and a sickness held him back from good finishes. Now we are just gearing up for a three-week swing of Budd’s Creek, Southwick and Red Bud. Have fun out west and we will talk soon.
Cole qualified in 19th place (just one spot behind Chad Reed – now that’s a tough field!) 34-22 moto scores put him in 29th for the day. You know he’s not happy with that! Good luck this weekend, guys.
Ok, the elephant in this Canadian motocross room is Red Bull Royal Distributing Fox KTM’s Colton Facciotti’s fall and subsequent injury after being hit by other riders. There are a couple interesting threads going on the subject over at MX Forum so you can get involved in the discussion here or here. I was watching the race, but didn’t see Colton’s crash. He and Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalfe were pulling away from the field on lap 6 when his fall happened.
I texted Colton today and all he could say was that it sucks. We have to wait for the official press release from the team.
I got there one lap after the fall and was pretty disappointed, to say the least, with the disrespect shown to a fellow rider who was down and getting treatment. A red cross flag means “wheels on the ground” as Head Referee, Paul Kingsley, clearly stated at the riders’ meeting in the morning. One official on a quad looked at me and asked if it was safe to cross the track. There was no way I was going to make that call! Riders weren’t slowing down enough for me to feel the least bit comfortable telling his to “Go now!”
I’m simply a photographer / journalist (ya, I said it) trying to capture the racing and pay attention to the action, but I wanted to jump out into the oncoming bikes and force them to slow down. I do that all the time at smaller Provincial races, but I wasn’t going to do that at a Pro race. Anyway, I got in touch with Safety Marshal, Daryl Murphy, to get his take on the whole situation. I spoke with him at the track and it made me curious enough to get in touch with him this week. Here are his answers to a few of my questions:
CMRC's Daryl Murphy.
Hi, Daryl, thanks for chatting with us today. The Monster Energy CMRC Canadian Motocross Championships took a hard blow last week at Whispering Pines in Kamloops, BC. Colton Facciotti was on the his 6th lap of the race, and in a heated battle chasing Brett Metcalfe out front, when he crashed after a blind single. I was hoping you could answer a few questions regarding the whole thing.
Were you there when Colton fell?
I, unfortunately, was not there when Colton fell. I was located at the triple-double-single section.
What exactly happened?
To be honest, I am not sure as to the exact events of what happened. What I had seen from the section I was in, was a red cross out on the track, however, I did not know when the flag came out exactly and/or which rider was down at that moment. It was not until I reached the area that I found it to be Colton.
How did he get hit?
I cannot speculate as to exactly what happened. At the time, I was unaware of how Colton was injured. I had been made aware that Colton had been hit twice, but that is all I got at the time.
Why did he get hit?
Unfortunately, I cannot speculate on that either. It could have been a number of different things or a chain of events that lead to an unfortunate accident.
As I did not see the whole thing start to finish, it would be hard for me to come up with an answer or an explanation as to how or why.
I know that certain jumps go straight to a red cross flag. Was that the case here?
This was not the case for this spot as it was considered a single. We had not seen any major issues in practice to consider this a red cross only area.
To paint a clearer picture, the triple-double-single section was a Red Cross only section in which I placed myself during the motos to position myself for an immediate reaction in that area due to the higher difficulty and how close together the triple-double-single section was.
In your opinion, how could this incident have been avoided?
It is hard to say exactly, but I can assure you we are looking into this incident and we will be discussing this during our on-site meetings this weekend.
I know I spoke to you at the scene and you were pretty heated about riders not appearing to honour the flag properly. Can you explain what you saw?
I probably do look heated at times, however, I assure you that it is more of a passion for what we do as officials to ensure we are making the right calls, and that we are doing our jobs on the track properly.
When I reached the scene, I did not assess the downed rider due to the amount of people and medics with him at that time. Therefore, I took charge of the red cross to ensure I was protecting everyone behind me.
I did not have any specific issues from the time I took charge to the time I called out track was clear of the incident.
We also spoke about possible penalties being handed out. Why was that decided against?
I remember my answer to you was "not at this time."
To answer your question, I did not witness any infraction from the time I saw the flag to the time I was on the scene to the time the track was clear. If I had witnessed a rule infraction, I would not hesitate to make the ruling and stand by my decision.
There also were no protests made at any time to the officials.
Do you feel the flaggers are properly instructed going into these races?
Well, I am sure everyone will have an opinion of this, however, I believe they are, as they are instructed by yours truly and I take it very seriously.
For example, the last 2 weekends we have started late in the mornings partly due to the fact flaggers do not go out until I feel confident they have learned everything I have instructed and will be able to use that knowledge flagging.
Moving forward, what can we do to ensure this is less likely to happen again in the future?
Well, moving forward so far, I have requested more time at each round with each flagging group assigned to me.
Furthermore, I believe if we keep working together at each round with all the teams, racers, race officials, clubs, and promoters that we can make a difference for every aspect of racing including safety.
Thanks for talking with us today, Daryl. It was an awful situation that I hope we never see again.
My pleasure. Although I could not paint a clearer picture as to what happened, it is definitely worth taking the time to answer questions to be able help the review process along and keep everyone informed.
As Kyle Carruthers would say, “Well, there you have it.” Of course, he sounded a little bit like he was running for office, but what else could he say? They decided not to make any further calls and he’s sticking to that. The fact that there were no protests supports his statements. I respect and appreciate Daryl taking the time to answer those questions for us. Let’s just hope that riders take this incident into consideration next time something like this happens. If there’s little to no respect on the track, we’re screwed.
On a more positive note for the KTM team, I saw on Facebook that #3 Dusty Klatt is out east and back on a bike! He’s staying out there while he prepares for his return to the series. By the sounds of it, his Gopher Dunes return date is still in the plans. Best of luck, Dusty, see you in the sand in a few weeks! But wait, won’t this cut into your artwork time? Keep those things coming too.
#3 Dusty Klatt is back on a bike and preparing to get back to the races.
Dusty Klatt Facebook photo
While we’re on the subject of safety, I spoke with one of the most respected Medical First Responders in the business – Ron Cameron. We have been talking about doing an in depth article on DMX regarding safety, but it ended up as a question-answer deal. I think it’s extremely important to listen to what he has to say. In case you missed it, you can click here and give it a read.
Medical First Responder, Ron Cameron, and his turtle story...
Ron was at the Parts Canada Walton TransCan qualifier at the Walton track this past weekend. He told me a rather bizarre story about the ‘killer turtle’ that kept causing problems. It sounds like the big snapping turtle first appeared on the track Saturday and actually caused at least 6 riders to fall! Ron said that a snapper of this size could easily nip your finger off like a guillotine. The way to remove it is to let it chomp onto s stick and then carry it off the track.
Well, it sounds like the thing made a return appearance Sunday and even forced a delay. I guess someone took it by the tail and let it go far enough away as that was the last they saw of it. Add that one to your list of ‘strange but true’ moto stories.
Well, I’m about to hop on an early-morning flight out to Calgary for round 2 of the Women’s West Championships and then round 3 of the Men’s championship. Who will step up to challenge the two Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki riders, #102 Austin Polielli and #123 Brett Metcalfe? Red bull Royal Distributing Fox KTM rider Kaven Benoit was close and RTR Performance Honda’s Topher Ingalls and Cycle North TLD Honda’s Brad Nauditt were close in MX2. In MX1, it was Benoit’s KTM teammate, #7 Tyler Medaglia, that kept Metcalfe in sight. The Calgary track is quite different from Kamloops, so it will be interesting to see what happens. Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry swapped moto wins with Matt Goerke for the overall last year, so we know he’s fast there. Let’s just hope they are all great battles.
Current Standings after Two Rounds (Top 10)
1. Austin Politelli 97
2. Kaven Benoit 87
3. Brad Nauditt 76
4. Topher Ingalls 72
5. Josh Clark 67
6. Richard Grey 57
7. Jared Allison 54
8. Blake Savage 44
9. Nathan Bles 42
10. Parker Allison 42
1. Brett Metcalfe 94
2. Tyler Medaglia 78
3. Teddy Maier 72
4. Bobby Kiniry 65
5. Gavin Gracyk 59
6. Morgan Burger 59
7. Colton Facciotti 50
8. Brock Hoyer 49
9. Jeremy Medaglia 49
10. Dylan Kaelin 48
1. Hailey Larson 50
2. Rachel Springman 42
3. Shelby Turner 40
4. Larissa McGlynn 38
5. Sara King 31
6. Brittany Danyluk 31
7. Courtney Stetler 27
8. Bailey Pozdnekoff 25
9. Jackie Schott 21
10. Meagan Hunt 21
Richard Grey says, "Grmmmpfff..." Translation: See you at the races...