Frid'Eh Update #27 Presented by Red-Line Powercraft
Week #27 belongs to South African (married to Canadian Pamela Blam), Liam O’Farrell. We’ve gotten to know the likeable Liam quite well over the last few years and this year looks like it could be the one where he really makes a statement at the front of the pack. He’s had too many other things to worry about besides motocross the past couple seasons and now it seems he’s ready to show up fit, fast, and ready at Gopher Dunes on July 14th.
O'Farrell is great at holeshots. Here he is grabbing one a few years ago at a Gopher Dunes race.
I got the chance to see him race 4 weekends in a row this spring. He was competing in the Open Pro class on a KTM 250 2-stroke and was able to keep himself at the front each time I saw him. Well, it looks like he’s going to be racing the big 450 at the eastern rounds of the Monster Energy CMRC Canadian Motocross Nationals, so watch for his speed to be even better. Liam sent this short update over to us this morning:
I've just been trying to race every weekend. Kyle Keast and I have been trying to go to the same races every weekend to challenge and push each other so that we are used to the intensity of nationals. It's also been helping to pick my speed and fitness up.
I've been really focused this year and I've been putting a lot of work in during the weeks both on and off the bike. I'm feeling really comfortable on my KTM450 and I'm hoping my speed and fitness will be good enough to challenge for top 5's every weekend and I would also really like to get a podium finish this year.
That's about it.
With a solid spring and early summer of riding and racing under his belt and moving up to the big 450, I wouldn’t bet against Liam getting a few good sniffs of the podium when things fire back up in a couple weeks! We know he’s a great starter and with solid fitness and lots of intense battles already under his belt, things may get a lot more interesting very soon. I hope so.
Sponsored by Red-Line Powercraft in Grande Prairie, AB.
This update is once again brought to you by Red-Line Powercraft in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Red-Line is one of the top YZ dealers in Canada and are huge supporters of the sport, backing the MXF racing team and Matt Davenport. If you're from that piece of the country and you're looking for a new bike give Jamey and the crew at Red-Line a call and let them help you out. Make sure to support those who support the sport! Check out www.red-linepowercraft.com for more details on this great dealership!
I just have a few quick notes for you guys this weekend. If you’re in Ontario and looking for a great place to race this Canada Day long weekend, make sure you check out the New Era Motocross Cup at Motopark. You know Iain Hayden and the crew along with CMX will put on a first-class event and this is one you won’t want to miss!
New Era Motocross Cup Rounds 3 & 4
June 29 & 30
Win from more than 500 prizes and giveaways $7000 in payback and $1200 in holeshot awards
Eat your Wheaties!!, $4400 up for grabs in the Pro/Am class, June 29 & 30. Pro/Am Payback $1000 per moto per day and $100 per moto per day holeshot award sponsored by Canadian Tire.
New Era, Canadian Tire, Rockstar and Core Motorsports stepping up this weekend to not only help out the pro's but help support all of our amateur classes. On Saturday, $50 all classes, first moto holeshot awards on the main track, and $25 first moto holeshots Saturday, and Rockstar backpacks on Sunday all mini track classes.
Top amateur Yamaha rider in the points who took part in all rounds will take home $1000 in Yamabucks. To be used at any Yamaha dealer.
New Era will be on site all weekend handing out hundreds of Motocross Cup cap giveaways.
Friday Practice, 9:00am - 4:00pm on the main track and 9:00am - 2pm on the mini track.
Early registration will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Race Day Services Trailer, located at the finish line in front of the restaurant area. Race day registration takes place 7 - 8:45 a.m. each day. No membership/license required to register.
Entry fees per day $30 for first class $25 second class, $20 for a third class. Sign in Sunday starts in the same area at 7 a.m. Admission and camping prices are below. All Motoparks serviced sites and Hotel rooms are booked this weekend.
Transponders are mandatory if you want to be scored. You're allowed to race without a transponder but will be considered a ghost rider to the computer. You will not be scored and will not win any prizes.
You can pre-register at www.motoregistry.ca
Also, for Pros looking for a place to park and train before heading to Gopher, Drew Roberts and his family have offered out an invitation to traveling Pros to stay at their home track called ‘Gully Mor.’
Gully Mor Moto invites travelling pros and intermediate pros a place to stay and ride for FREE!
Who: Gully Mor Moto and the Roberts family
When: July 9th – Gopher Dunes National
Where: Gully Mor Moto 3534 Gully Mor rd, Alvinston, Ont
* Free place to stay the week before Gopher National
* Lots of flat parking
* Bike wash water
* Multiple tracks to ride
* This is strictly for traveling pros, NO local riders
* This is NOT an open practice
* No power hookups, drinkable water, or dump stations available
* There is a Flying J truck stop on the 401 on the way to Gopher Dunes with dump stations
* There is a campground about 5 min away if you want power hookups ( and you could come ride at Gully Mor Moto during the day)
* Approximately 1 and a half hours to gopher dunes
* Small town about 10 min away with Shell gas station, liquor/beer, a couple small restaurants, and a small grocery store.
Contact information: Call – 519-847-5124
Text – 519-464-8078
Email – email@example.com
It’s awesome to see families like the Roberts and Allisons offer places like this up! Just shows how tight-knit our sport really is.
Also, DMX is looking for a photographer covering Raymond this weekend. There is a race happening, right?
Ok, over to Billy for all the latest news...
Ok, I’ve spent the past few days driving the GDR TLD Honda Canada truck home from the west – Edmonton, AB to be specific. What I’m trying to say is that I haven’t had a whole lot of time to sniff around for updates this week, but there are definitely some cool things going on. Let me start by talking about what I saw these past 4 weeks at the nationals.
Let's have a quick look at the Monster Energy CMRC Canadian Motocross Nationals up to now.
I don’t want to get too in depth with this here today because we want to do a separate article on the first four rounds, so I will sum things up like this:
Round One – Nanaimo
We got our first look at Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalfe. We knew he was just trying to get his feet wet and make it off the island alive (like the rest of us). Red Bull Royal Distributing Fox KTM’s Colton Facciotti was able to show Metcalfe that his romp of Canada was going to be anything but easy by taking both moto wins. The question was (like we said in our preview), who would take the up-for-grabs 3rd place?
In MX2, the same thing played out – we knew it was going to be up to Kaven Benoit to try to keep returning California hot shot, Austin Politelli, in check. Like the MX1 class, the biggest question seemed to be, who would take that final spot on the podium? Cycle North TLD Honda’s Brad Nauditt took the spot at round one and we knew we were in for a battle.
Round 2 – Kamloops
The biggest concern at Whispering Pines ‘in’ (I use that word very loosely, here) Kamloops was what the new track would be like for racing at this level? The track actually proved to be fine and we were treated to some good racing. Unfortunately, this is also the round where we said farewell to Facciotti for the summer. Wow, what a bummer! Now who was going to challenge Metcalfe – who looked to be getting a little too comfortable at the front of the field. Tyler Medaglia was the rider to impress and keep Metcalfe in sight.
MX2 was the same again except for the 3rd spot. In week two, it was RTR Performance Honda's Topher Ingalls who stepped into the 3rd spot. Would anyone be able to challenge Politelli for the top spot, though?
Round 3 – Calgary
We made it in and out of Calgary just in time! I actually stayed an extra day and left as things were about to get out of control for the flood-ravaged area. To all our friends in the area, we hope you are getting your lives back to normal and haven’t suffered too much damage.
Racing in Calgary heated up as the MX1 class showed exactly what we thought/hoped we’d see – Bobby Kiniry and Teddy Maier were able to show their wins last year were no flukes. The second moto finished with Metcalfe, Kiniry, and Maier all within about 4 seconds of each other. It was an amazing race!
Politelli won the MX2 class and Benoit faltered with a mechanical taking 9th overall and giving Politelli some wiggle room at the front that nobody wanted to see (except Austin, his team, and his parents, I guess). Second went to Ingalls and third went to the guy we figured would be getting stronger throughout the summer, #23 Devil's Lake MX rider, Josh Clark.
Round 4 - Edmonton
We just left Castrol Raceway this week and I seemed to be just ahead of the flood waters as I headed east in the truck. You could see the elevated levels of the rivers the entire time. In some places, flooding was already becoming a problem in a lot of areas.
Again, we were treated to an amazing day of racing in Edmonton. Metcalfe made me eat my words when I said he wouldn’t take the overall when I saw him well back in the second moto after finishing second to Maier in the first. Well, he proved me very wrong and methodically worked his way through the pack, eventually taking the moto win and the overall. Mmm, I just added salt to my words and they went down fine. We got to see Teddy Maier take his first MX1 moo win and Kiniry made it an all-foregn podium.
In MX2, we finally saw Politelly falter. He won the first moto but got out to a bad start in the second and had to work his way through the field. His progress slowed when he came up to GDR TLD Honda’s Blake Savage. The two of them battled for 3 or 4 laps. Finally, a rock took out Politelli’s goggle lens and he was forced to remain back in 6th. Up front, Benoit finally put a Canadian rider at the top of the MX2 box with the overall.
Ok, that is a very brief summary of what we saw up at the front of the field in the men’s racing so far. Things all seem to be playing out as we predicted it to, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. The racing has actually been very tight and there are battles taking place throughout the field making all of the racing great to watch. With a whole new crop of Intermediates and Pros about to join the series at Gopher Dunes July 14th, things should just keep getting better and better.
Now, let's have a look at the Women's West Series.
The Women’s West Series is now finished. There were really no surprises at the front of the field but a bunch of riders really improved behind the top 3. California’s Hailey Larson hit all 4 rounds of the men’s rounds with her boyfriend, David Gassin. She tried to qualify for MX2 but came up just short each time. She dominated all 3 rounds of the women’s rounds going undefeated. Behind her, Shelby Turner and Rachel Springman were the two who were left with the task of trying to keep her in sight. Turner managed to do so on a couple occasions, but the end result was never really in question – Larson was not going to be beaten.
Again, watch for a more in depth look at the series this coming week here on DMX as we break down what exactly happened in both gender’s races.
I saw over on MX Forum that Future West’s John Hellam has announced his retirement from motocross promotion. That’s a big loss to the sport as he was always one of the few who were always trying new things in Canadian moto. John’s son, Jamie, will take the reins and move forward with BC Motocross and Future West. It looks like Jamie is looking for someone to step into the role of partner with him in the coming years. Here’s what Jamie said:
Well boys looks like I'm coming to a fork in the road. My dear old dad is looking at retiring from the motorsport promotions business after 23 years and would like to sell off his share of Future West and all of the equipment after the final round of the BC Motocross Championship. I'm in my prime and want to take this sport higher. Looking for a partner to move this thing forward. This would include Arenacross, BC Motocross and the track at Heritage Park for this summer. Shoot me an email if you are interested. firstname.lastname@example.org
This looks like a pretty cool opportunity for a well-funded and motivated person to step in and see what they can do. Enjoy your retirement, John. Maybe you can move into the role of full-time bouncer at some of the events?
I spent a lot of time with my old friend, James Lissimore, at the first four rounds. He and his buddy, Sev, are traveling the series shooting videos for the KTM team as well as doing little videos from here and there along the way. Well, with the fancy equipment filling his car and the addition of the skill-set Sev brings to the game, they have been producing some really cool videos.
Check these ones out:
Nice work, guys, and nice getting to know you, Sev. Keep up the good work.
I heard a rumour about Team Canada for the MXoN in Germany this fall. If it’s true, the team will consist of Cole Thompson, Tyler Medaglia, and Jeremy Medaglia. How can you go wrong with that line up? I know there are a couple other riders who you could slide in there as viable options, but this team looks great. I sent team manager, Carl Bastedo, an email asking for a comment on this rumour and here is what he told me:
I heard the same rumour and it makes sense to me from what I know. - Carl Bastedo.
Good one, Carl. I know he plans on announcing the team on Canada Day like he usually does, but this rumour was just sitting there and I had to do something with it. All I know is…see you in Germany!
Most of my past few days have been spent sitting in the driver’s seat of the GDR truck. Every time I start doing one of these cross-country riders, it seems like a great idea that will be full of adventure and excitement. Well, that fades pretty quickly when you hit the prairies. Anyway, I still enjoy driving and the uncertainty that comes with heading out on the highway. Here are a few pictures from along the way home:
|When I left Edmonton, I figured I'd simply shoot over to Yorkton, SK and have lunch with Rick Bradshaw. I was shocked when he texted me that I was 8 hours away! I made it there in time to sleep in the shop parking lot and then went for breakfast with Rick in the morning. Thanks, Rick.|
I don't know why people leave Alberta out of the conversation when they mention the prairies. Once you get east of Calgary, it's prairies!
I joked over Twitter about whether I had looked at the wrong race schedule. Remember back in the day when that would happen all the time? Way before the internet, people went to the wrong track on the wrong day a lot...it wasn't just us, was it?
I stopped into a Tim Horton's in Winkler, MB to post some stuff on the site. I HAD to take a photo of this table beside me - besides the rebel without a hat, they all looked identical!!! I also thought of a T-shirt: "Winkler, Manitoba - Only Utah is weirder!"
I cut south through the US so I didn't have to spend an extra day trying to get over Lake Superior. Yes, it's beautiful up there, but if you've seen it once...
I was just ahead of the swollen rivers as they headed east. This sky didn't bode well for the area though.
Ok, I'll end this one with some news on a rumour that is circulating and seems to be gaining validity. Will we be seeing Cole Thompson lining up for the eastern rounds of the Canadian nationals? Well, here;s what I found out:
I heard the rumour and figured I'd give Cole's brother, Kyle, a call. I knew he wouldn't be able to say anything concrete so I was happy to get what I did from him. It sounds like the grind of living the privateer life down in the States is starting to wear a little thin on Cole. He hasn't been overly thrilled with the tediousness involved in trying to make it to all the eastern rounds of the AMA outdoor series on his own. Kyle said that they have decided to skip Southwick this week. They have been riding Colton Facciotti's practice bike down at the MXSchools.com tracks in Brigden, ON and will do a little more riding on it this week.
Apparently, Cole's times have been the same on the KTM as they are on his race Honda. They plan on heading to Red Bud next weekend and I guess the question is, What colour bike will Cole be on? Like I said, Kyle couldn't say either way, but, from the tone of his voice, I think we will be seeing another KTM on the track trying to steal victories from Brett Metcalfe in the MX1 class.
I joked that it will be a difficult test to show up for Cole's first round at Gopher Dunes to try to beat Metcalfe on a sand track and to that Kyle said, "Cole's ready."
Kyle also mentioned the MXoN team and the fact that KTM has a very strong presence in Europe. Again, I'm not reporting aything 'officially' here, just engaging in some rumour-mongering and speculation. Kyle knows I'm going to be mentioning this here, so I"m not selling anyone out. The summer may have just gotten a whole lot more interesting!
As i was typing this, a little bird just said they also heard a rumour that the Montreal SX may be making a return, but in the spring. That event has too much history to just disappear and I'm glad that if it does return it will not conflict with our MXoN efforts every year. Watch for more on this as we get information...if there is any.
I'll leave it this week with a video from over at Vital MX of a lap of the Southwick track with Brett Metcalfe. Best of luck to everyone competing this off-weekend for what will be the final time the series goes there. See you at the races...