Frid'Eh Update #39 Presented by Fly Racing
#39 RM Motorsports MX101 Yamaha rider Shawn Robinson.
Welcome to DMX Frid’Eh Update #39 presented by KTM Canada. This week goes out to Gatineau, PQ rider RM Motorsports MX101 Yamaha’s Shawn Robinson. Shawn has been slowly getting faster the past few years and seems to appear on just about everyone’s ‘dark horse’ list when writing about an upcoming season or sitting around a camp fire bench racing.
I got to know Shawn a lot better when I spent the winter down in Florida a few years ago. You could see right away that Shawn is a very talented and styling rider but needed to work on his fitness and mental toughness in order to be where he should be. He has worked hard since then and has improved in both of those most important areas.
Like many of our top racers, Shawn has caught the cycling bug and I even heard he beat Tyler Medaglia in a time trial race last summer in the Ottawa area –that says something about his fitness, right there!
There are a few riders on the circuit who it seems I can never take a bad photo of and Shawn is one of them. For whatever reason, he just pops off the screen whenever I go through my pictures from a weekend of racing. He’s always in perfect form and the colours he wears seem to focus nicely with my limited skills.
I fired Shawn a few questions. Here’s what he had to say:
Hello, Shawn. What have you been up to lately?
Hey, Billy. I have been doing the life of a non-motocross racer which is working (laughs) and not much more!
You've always appeared on my 'dark horse favourite' list. How do you feel your summer went last year? Were you happy with your results?
Well, my summer was not the best but it was a first to do them all and not have to miss any rounds because of broken bones. I am definitely not happy with my results .
What can you do to improve?
I think the big think for me is going to be to go to the races with a clear mind and not worry about anything else but me.
You guys had the coolest rig at the races last year. What are the plans for this winter and summer? Will we see that team in the pits again?
Yeah, the rig was really nice and good to have. For the winter or summer I have no plans as of now, so I can’t say what is going to happen. I have zero idea on that!
You always look good in my photos. Do you think about your body position when you ride or does it come naturally for you?
(Laughs) I guess it is natural because I don’t think of my body position just for Billy the camera man (laughs).
What do you do for work?
I am currently sandblasting with one of my friends.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
That is a hard question. I really don’t know what to answer for that - I go day by day.
What was your favourite memory from last summer?
Going on the roller coaster with Summer Knowles in the West Edmonton Mall.
Do you get to go watch your teammate, Jeremy Medaglia, race for Team Canada in Germany?
No, I don’t. I wish I did but I have to work on that weekend. I will be listening for him though.
You're an avid cyclist. Is it true you beat Tyler Medaglia in a time trial last summer? Will you do more racing in the future?
(Laughs) I wish you did not ask that question. Yes, I did, but don’t ask Tyler the same question because he won’t say the same (laughs). He is a very good cyclist. I really enjoy when we go together .Yeah, I will probably do more races like time trials. They are fun.
Somebody ask Tyler Medaglia who won the time trial and why! I think it has something to do with a helmet, if I'm not mistaken.
Thanks for the chat and stay healthy this winter. Who would you like to thank?
Thank you. I would like to thank all the people who supported me this summer: Fox, Shift, Dragon, MX101, my dad, and Kevin Tyler.
Thanks, Billy! This update is once again brought to you all by Fly Racing and Gamma Sales. Fly has launched their 2014 line of gear and one set that has caught our eye is the new Kinetic Shock Mesh race gear. The gear is fully vented with a vented jersey and mesh venting on the pants where the cool air is needed most to keep you cool while riding. It comes in 3 different colour ways and holds up as good as it looks! Make sure you take a look at it on www.flyracing.com and go down to your local gamma dealer to check it out.
|You can look and feel as cool as this guy with the new Fly Kinetic Shock Mesh Racewear.|
Now let’s get this one started with some MXON talk. Obviously, there is lots going on with the team and lots happening, so I figured I would go right to Carl Bastedo to the team manager and see what is going on. Carl was kind enough to answer a few questions:
Hey Carl, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for DMX. The MXON is just around the corner. What has the last couple weeks been like for you?
It's been great; everyone's worked together very well. André at OTSFF had the container shipped directly to Andy at KTM in Montreal and they loaded it and took all that responsibility off me. I was nervous for the container but it arrived at the Sarholz shop in Germany Wednesday morning. I went through Air Canada Groups for our flights this year - a little more money but they co-ordinated things so we are all together. Our hotel was booked a couple months ago. The FIM license and insurance is always a big deal because the riders need a medical and stuff but they all received their info from the CMA and got it all done and in. It's $350 for a one day Championship event FIM license and another $165 for each riders insurance, things you might not think about. We have a contact in Germany, Oskar Zehmer, who has been a great help. I've been dealing with Youthstream in Europe on our team's entry and they are very happy to have Canada back at the Nations.
So what do you do all year to prepare the team for this?
Well, this is the 8th time in the last 10 years we've sent a team and I've been the Team Manager. I actually outline the duties of the Team Manager on our website at www.teamcanadamx.com It's not rocket science but you really need to dot your i's and cross your t's, follow up and follow up some more. I try to think of it like it's a military operation, lol. I've always thought motocross was like war.
Sometimes, the industry isn't open to the idea of it or supporting a team. Why do you feel that happens and how do you go about handling it as the team manager?
I should premise this with my interest in International Motocross. It's always been important to me going back to the start of my career in the 60's. I think it's important for the riders as well. The industry refuses to recognize or help the CMA. I know all about the history and the infighting that goes on; I was there in the 80's and early 90's. What went on with the cancellation of the top riders going to represent Canada in 2002 really pissed me off. I decided right then that I was going to get a Canadian Team to the Nations. I knew what I had to do in terms of dealing with the CMA and I did what I had to do, rather than moan and groan about it. The CMA have actually been great to deal with, not at all demanding, but again, I know what needs to be done and do it. I can't imagine what it would be like if I had to deal with some of the other organizations.
What is the plan when you guys arrive in Germany? Where will you be staying and preparing?
All the guys have received an Itinerary. We head out to the Team KTM Sarholz shop which is about an hour from the airport. We have a room there for two nights. We arrive Tuesday morning, so Tuesday we go to the shop where the bikes are and just stay awake all day. The riders will do a work out. Wednesday the Sarholz people take us to a practice track where the guys can shake the bikes down and get some practice in. Thursday morning we head to our hotel in the area of the track. I have to pick up all our credentials at the welcome centre mid-morning and then we will go to the track and do a track walk, hang around, maybe help out a bit getting our pit set up. Friday is Tech Inspection Day and the riders will be there to check in. I have a managers' meeting to attend and we just meet old friends, do another track walk and hang around. Saturday and Sunday we go to war! It's serious business to all of us.Sure, you want the guys to have fun but reality is it's nail biting time.
What are your predictions and expectations for the team?
Well, when you look at the talent on some of the teams, it's pretty intimidating. I think this team is even better than Lierop in 2004 where we scored an 8th overall; Canada's best ever finish at the Nations. The Americans weren't there that year which puts a little asterisk on it in my mind. I'll be disappointed if we don't top 10. Without any bad luck, we could do that and if we get lucky while some bad luck befalls a couple other teams we could better our 2004 effort.
It seems like these 3 riders were chosen quickly and with great support behind them in the decison. Who else was in the running to represent Canada?
Well, I do think about it a lot and talk to people about it. Colton (Facciotti) and Dusty (Klatt) where certainly considered. Also, Kyle Keast and Kaven Benoit. I was also watching a couple other riders but they where the main guys. Besides injuries, there are other things to consider. 'YAGOTTAWANNA' That's a saying I've had since the 70's. The riders have to want to go. If they are hesitant or aren't sure, I'd rather not deal with them. Back in the day, you really didn't have to consider the manufacturer support too much. Now it's becoming more and more important and you can't ignore that part of it at all.
Thanks, Carl, and it looks like everything is in good hands. Now let’s put it in the hands of Cole, Tyler and Jeremy to make it all happen. KTM head wrench Stephan LeBlanc also sent over this photo of the KTM boys' MXON graphics.
The KTM bikes will be looking sharp in Germany.
Photo courtesy of Stephan LeBlanc and KTM Canada.
If you’re in Ontario this weekend and off road riding is your fancy then you better get yourself up to Gooderham for the Sherco Canada Corduroy Enduro which takes place today, Saturday and Sunday. I am going to go out on a limb here and say this is likely Eastern Canada’s toughest enduro race and it always attracts big names from all over the world to compete in it. Last year, KTM Canada brought in New Zealander Chris Birch to take the win. This year it looks like title sponsor Shercro has brought in Super bike and Trials bike champion Jordan Szoke to try his hand at the event as well as Jeff Melik to contest the event. I am sure Machine Racing Yamaha Canada rider Brian 'Wojo' Wojnarowski will have something to say about as he has finished 2nd in the event to some stiff competition the last three years. There are a variety of different check points you can go to see the race so make sure you stop into the fairgrounds in Gooderham first to see what is going at the main pits as well as the Friday and Saturday night Endurocross. Below is the full press release courtesy of Off Road Ontario.
Canadian National Enduro Championship
The Sherco Canada, Corduroy Enduro will make up rounds 5,6 and 7 of the National Enduro Series. September 20th , 21st, and 22nd will mark the 60th running of BEMC’s iconic Corduroy enduro which will once again be organized by the Haliburton Trail Riders with the start finish area in Gooderham Ont.
The “Cord” is one of the longest running off-road events in Canada and is considered by many as the toughest with a reputation for breaking bikes and bodies. With the support of sponsors SHERCO, LRP RACING, GP BIKES, MACHINE RACING, KTM and YAMAHA this year’s event is shaping up to be a classic battle between the riders and the terrain.
Multi-time Canadian Superbike champ, Jordan Szoke, who rides trials for Sherco will be contesting his first Corduroy Enduro aboard a 300cc Sherco enduro machine. In case all his talent on a superbike and a trials bike don’t equate to a Corduroy win, Sherco have hedged their bet by bringing up New England Enduro Champ Jeff Melik who rides for Sherco USA. 2013 could be the first time the Sherco brand goes on the historic Corduroy log trophy.
Yamaha/Machine Racing rider Brian Wojarnowski has other plans though. “Wojo”, who is the current Offroad Ontario number one plate holder, has finished second to some world class talent in his first three attempts to win the Cord. The riders who beat him were Robbie Jenks, Bob Procheau and Chris Birch respectfully. This year he plans on winning no matter who shows up.
KTM’s young guns Josh Long and Loic Leonard have shown they have the speed all season on the XC courses but are both Corduroy rookies and the question of whether they have the experience to stay upright and keep their bikes together for three days of racing is still to be answered. It is a big question since the bikes are impounded each night making preparation before the Cord and maintaining the bike at the checkpoints and gas stops during the event very important.
Long has already won the Eastern Canadian XC Championship that was staged earlier this year in cooperation with the FMSQ and Offroad Ontario and is currently leading the Offroad Ontario Enduro series and XC series in his quest to wrestle the #1 plate away from Wojarnowski. The Offroad Ontario Grand Championship is the total points earned in both XC and enduros during the season so the Cord with each day counting as a points paying round of the provincial series could swing the momentum of the whole series if Long doesn’t adapt to the rocky terrain.
Leonard finished second to Long in the Eastern Canadian XC Championship but is dominating the FMSQ series. The Corduroy will probably be the last time the two meet this season so Leonard would like nothing more than to turn the finishing order at the around at the Cord before they both start talking to KTM about support for next year. Neither of the KTM riders have contested any of the
first four rounds of the National Enduro series, instead they have concentrated on the XC’s, so their will be no team orders at the Corduroy.
The KTM rider who has been contesting the National Enduro series is Phillip Chaine. Phillip didn’t ride the first round but sits in second in the series with 2 firsts and a second so far. Chaine finished 3rd at the Cord last year. If he can duplicate that performance or better it he will have a real shot at the National title.
Alexandre Gougeon and his Husaberg are currently leading the National Enduro series with 2 firsts and 2 seconds he is the only Pro class rider to score points at all four rounds so far. With strong rides all three days of the Corduroy and at the Great Pine enduro, which is the last round of the series, he has a good chance of being crowned National Champ.
Corduroy title sponsor, Sherco Canada, will have their 2014 line up of enduro and trials bikes on display and available for test rides at the Gooderham Community Center on the Saturday and Sunday of the event. In addition to the Shercos there will be KTMs and Husabergs on display.
The Enduro is not the only riding being done in Gooderham on the weekend of the Cord. 2013 will be the first year for the Corduroy trial. It is also sponsored by Sherco and will be held on Saturday starting at noon. There will also be non-competitive riding at the Rally Connex trail ride and dualsport ride on Saturday and Sunday.
Even if you are not up to tackling the Cord yet there is lots to see and do like the endurocross on Friday and Saturday or the final MX test on Sunday. The Green’s mountain and tunnel of love extreme tests are always good spectator points along with the Burnt river crossing. There will be directions to all the spectator points at the start finish area which is located at the Community Center in Gooderham. One of the best things about coming to the Cord to spectate that every road that leads to Gooderham is a blast on a street bike.
In addition to bike racing there is the Motovan/Dunlop/Motoz tire changing race and the vintage bike display on Saturday. Saturday evening is also the GP BIKES sponsored dinner at the Community Center where we will have guest speakers Jordan Szoke and Patrick Beaule. Jordan will be fresh back from the Scotish Six day Trial and Patrick will fill us in on his adventures in the Dakar.
Offroad Ontario and the Corduroy would like to thank the sponsors of this event and the series. Sherco, LRP , GP Bikes, Machine Racing, Yamaha, KTM, Motovan, Dunlop, Motoz, Live Laps, Over Air, Tekvest, Monster Energy, LB Graphics, Inside Motorcycles, Foran’s Roofing, Hone Printing, Orange Motorsports, Asselstine Country, Apex Motorcycles, Woody’s Cycles, Free Flow MX Park, Bowie Contracting, Honda, Swampy’s Racing Supplies.
WEC Eastern Champ Nathan Bles has switched sports and will not be competiting in the Cord this weekend.
Justin Roney Photo
Have a great weekend, everyone. Now here's Jeff.
Thanks, Kyle. Hey guys, back again. This week is dedicated to the #39 of Shawn Robinson. I was able to get close with Shawn this season as we were both members of the RM Motorsports MX101 Factory Yamaha team. Once I was able to break through the language barrier, I was introduced to one of the funniest racers I have ever met. Shawn or aka "the go getter" is a beast in the sand and with a little more confidence he should be a regular top 10 guy. Shawn improved on his number from 2013, but I'm predicting more from the Gatineau, QC rider.
Not a whole lot of ‘silly season’ news to report. The biggest question mark is what colour will the #22 of Chad Reed be riding for 2014? Chad had a rough 2013, but you can never count out the ‘Thunder from Down Under!’ Reed just didn't gel with the ‘13 Honda and word is Reed will be riding white for ‘14. And if I were a betting man, I'd say either a KTM or Kawasaki. Deep down in my heart I would love to see Chad finish out his career aboard a blue Yamaha, but only time will tell. It is interesting to note that Chad did test an RCH Suzuki and was close to sealing the deal, but just couldn't give up on his TWO TWO Motorsports team. I respect Chad’s drive and determination and I'm sure we will see the #22 back up front where he belongs.
Where will Chad Reed land for 2014?
The silly season up here in the Great White North is always a little bit delayed and carries much less steam than our neighbors from the south. At the moment, I don't have any rumours that I can tell you about, but I will be sure to keep my eyes and ears open.
I'd like to remind anyone out on the east coast about the AX/SX race that Tyler Medaglia and recent senior citizen Mitch Cooke are putting on this weekend. I've seen a few short video clips of both Tyler and Mitch testing out the track and it looks great. If you are in the Pleasant Valley area, be sure to check it out, and if you are a racer be sure to give Adam Turner at Podium 1 Suspension a call and he will get you dialed in like Grandpa Cooke.
Well, that is it for me this week. I am off to Wasaga Beach to visit rep/national mechanic/good guy Greg Workman, to make the journey to Motopark for the world famous Todd Kuli's Moto Stag. Kuli is a great character, a national championship-winning mechanic and a good guy. It was shocking to hear he was stepping back and taking the plunge, but I would personally like to wish Todd and his Mrs. to be, Rachel, all the best.
Todd Kuli's 'Moto Stag' takes place Saturday at Motopark. Stay safe, you guys.
Have a safe weekend and I'll see you guys next week.
Thanks, guys. We seem to be talking about cross country racing a lot lately around here, but the grand-daddy of them all is about to take place over in Germany and Team Canada there with a couple familiar names from the world of Canadian motocross. The ISDE in Sardenia, Italy takes off next Saturday September 30th. I read that it’s the 88th but that it is exactly 100 years after it first started in Carlisle in the UK. You can read all about the event here.
#31 Jared Stock has headed over there to give this type of racing a go. Jared is always a good interview so watch for one with him this week and another after he gets through the grueling 6 days. He will get there nice and early to be able to prepare and acclimate to the whole scene. I know that racing enduro is difficult enough for one day and can’t even imagine looking down the barrel of a 6-day event!
I managed to get in touch with Jared via Facebook today as he sits in planes and airports making his way over to Italy. Here's what he had to say about this coming event:
So, right now I'm going through a handful of layovers to get to final destination of Italy. It did not hit me until packed into the early hours this morning. I have been really busy with school so I had to put the dirt bikes away for the last couple weeks. Although this sounds like a nightmare it actually made me really excited again to hop on an airplane, jet across the world, and throw a leg over my bike!
It’s all becoming real the closer I get, especially the fact that I am going as a part of Team Canada. I honestly have a small, small idea of what I am in for in these six days, but I can guarantee I will be having the time of my life.
The biggest difference between moto and XC is definitely the fact of slowing down, staying consistent, and being FAST!... all at the same time. To me, it’s still racing dirt bikes. There are frustrating times and amazing times. For instance, I ran out of fuel at my last XC and had to push my bike the last few kilometers to finish. It was super frustrating because I was racing well, but the self-victory of finishing felt amazing.
Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @jstock732 for constant updates!
Jared Stock is on his way to Italy for the ISDE that starts next Saturday, October 3rd.
Alberta rider (and motocross regular) Shelby Turner is also heading over to represent the maple leaf. Shelby has been to the X Games to compete in the enduro discipline and finished a solid 2nd behind Hailey Larson in the CMRC Women’s West Championships this past summer.
Shelby Turner will be right there beside him.
Best of luck to Team Canada. Just remember that when you finish Day 1 there are only 5 more days left!
And how about this? Young Casey Keast from Kelowna, BC just got the invite to head down to the Monster Energy Cup that takes place in Las Vegas October 19th. Casey took a championship this past summer at the Parts Canada Walton TransCan and so he gets the chance to line up against the best little bike riders in the world.
Casey Keast's title at the 2013 Parts Canada Watlon TransCan earned him an invitation to the 2013 Monster Energy Cup.
I grabbed a quick chat with Casey’s dad, Dean, while he was driving somewhere in BC. They sound completely humbled by the amount of attention and well-wishes they have been receiving since the word got out that they got the invite. Here’s what he had to say about the whole ordeal:
David Prater phoned me to tell me that he’d sent me an email that we were in and that we just had to fill out the registration and send it in. I was just driving when he phoned me. We filled out the form online and sent it in!
We had no hesitation. We never, ever, ever would have thought…since Walton, things are just getting out of control (laughs). Casey is excited, of course, but he’s really calm about it. I’m shocked, actually.
I was just talking to Ryan Lockhart on the phone and we’re trying to find a supercross track somewhere not too too far from Las Vegas that we can go practice at because he’s never really ridden a supercross track before.
He’s fine with it but when I look at the itinerary and see that he’s really only got 8 minutes to practice on the track. After that it’s timed practice to make the program. He needs like 10 laps to warm up to things so that’s not really enough for him. So we’re going to have to go down a little early and find a practice track to get used to the big stuff before we just head right into Vegas.
We’re just ending a really busy season of racing but when something like this comes along we’ll just figure it out as we go.
If anyone is reading this and has (or knows of someone who has) a supercross track out in BC or between Kelowna and Las Vegas these guys could get some time on before October 19th, please let us know and we will pass the information onto them. Best of luck, and don’t’ forget to have some fun while you’re at this prestigious event!
I went last year when Westen Wrozyna got the call and can say that it is a one-of-a-kind event that should be taken advantage of if given the chance. I will also say that Casey had better hit some pretty big doubles and triple so there isn’t too much of a learning curve. There are some absolutely huge jumps at this event! The finish line double last year made Westen look like a little ant on his Honda 150.
Build some big practice jumps, Casey!
While we’re out in BC, the Gente Bella FWP BC Motocross Fall Series heads to Kelowna this weekend. Click HERE for all you need to know about the weekend.
Have a great weekend out in Kelowna, BC, everyone.
Happy belated birthday to one of the original Racer X Canada members and now world traveler and action star, Jolene Van Vugt. Also, Nitro Circus Live is coming to Canada and you can be there in person January 3 at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, ON. Click here for more information.
Happy belated birthday, Jolen Van Vugt. Don't forget to think ahead and get your tickets to the Nitro Circus Live January 3rd 2014 in Hamilton, ON.
I had a very brief chat with injured Red Bull Royal Distributing Fox KTM rider Kaven Benoit today to find out how he’s been doing. If you remember, he broke his ankle in a practice incident and has been off the bike since. Well, he still isn’t back on a bike yet but started training “about two weeks ago.” He said he needs to have surgery on the ankle October 3rd to have a screw removed.
I asked what his plans are for the winter and he said, “For this winter, plans aren’t really set yet. I will go south to ride and hopefully race a little bit like the Winter Ams and stuff like that. That’s how much I know for now. I'll be making some plans in the next month. As for now, I am focusing on getting my ankle back to 100%.”
That’s good news. Good luck with your rehab, Kaven, and maybe we’ll see you lined up down in Florida this winter.
Red Bull Royal Distributing Fox KTM rider Kaven Benoit is training and almost ready to get back on the bike.
We mentioned the Pleasant Valley SX race under the lights the past couple weeks here in the Update and it is happening tomorrow night. Good luck out there, guys, and try to stay off the ground, Tyler! You have a rather big event taking place next weekend.
Have fun Saturday night at Pleasant Valley.
Speaking of next weekend, we are now just one week away from the MXoN in Germany and Team Canada is almost ready to head over. Cole Thompson, Jeremy Medaglia, and Tyler Medaglia will represent Team Canada this year and there is really no reason this group can’t make the A Final and maybe even challenge for one of our, if not the, best finishes in the event’s history.
As we mentioned last week, all three of these riders have ample international racing experience and should be able to keep their composure under the added pressure of wearing the maple leaf. It’s a pretty big deal and I hope they all have a great time, soak up the memories, and lay it out on the track.
In years past, there have been lingering questions about the team that we put together for the event, but you can’t argue that these three guys are our top choices for this year. There will be a record-breaking number of countries entered this year (41) so getting to the A Final will not be easy, but should be attainable if all goes as it should.
In the immortal words of Arsenio Hall circa 1993...It is time!
Tyler Medaglia Facebook photo
When I was doing some wallpapers from Kamloops yesterday, I came across this shot of Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha rider Richard Grey and couldn't resist using it again. Sorry, Richard. See you at the races...