Frid'Eh Update #41 Presented by Factory Connection
Todd Sewell earned #33 for the 2014 season after competing in the western MX1 rounds.
Welcome to week #41 here at the DMX Frid’Eh Update presented by Factory Connection. This week it is dedicated to Alberta native Todd Sewell. Todd raced the four western rounds of the nationals this summer and they were enough to improve his number to 33 for 2014. His finishes in 2013 were 17th, 24th, 17th, and 25th. I asked Todd what he's been up to so here's a brief update on him:
"Last season I was not able to do the entire series due to lack of funds but was able to get my best moto finish in Calgary which I was pretty happy with. Just a few weeks ago I had a bad ankle injury at one of the local races and my 2014 season is quesitonalbe, but I am already planning for a GREAT year in 2015. I am looking forward to a healthy recovery and get back training and on a bike."
Get well soon, Todd.
Thanks, Billy, and what an awesome week it has been here in Canadian motocross. I was stoked last weekend to be able to follow our team in Germany at the MXON thanks to Billy’s efforts over there. There is no doubt it wasn’t the result we were hoping for but you cannot argue the amount of heart that went into that effort from Tyler, Jeremy and Cole and the effort that was organized by Carl Bastedo.
I think for us to hit the A mains and the top 15 finish we deserve is possible in the future but it is going to take a solid industry supporting and a little luck on our riders' side. I still have no doubt in my mind that if you asked any of our boys how it felt to represent Canada they would be pumped to tell you.
Last weekend Leanne and I headed down to the Parts Canada dealer showcase in London, Ontario. It was a great event put on by Parts Canada, so hats off to Laura Lang and her staff for putting on a great event. It was a great weekend with many great motocross industry people in attendance for some great bench racing sessions around the Black Jack table. Thanks to Walton TransCan crew member Barry Hethertrington, everyone around that Black Jack table seemed to come away pretty good with their Parts Canada money to be entered in to win some prizes. I am thinking a Walton Casino Night should be in store at the TransCan next year. Brett? Mark? Any takers?
Ben Milot and his team of riders from his tour were on hand doing shows.
Parts Canada-backed team Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawaski brought the whole show to the show case.
Jordan Szoke was also on hand doing a trials demo on his Sherco. It was pretty impressive.
I also caught up with KTM team manger Andy White today and I asked him about the 250SX we saw Kaven Benoit riding the past couple weeks. He said Kaven has been bugging him about that bike for a long time and is having a lot of fun riding it. Nothing is set yet for next summer but with KTM having such a competitive 2-stroke it is always a possibility that Kaven could take a run at the MX2 title on one. I am sure many people would like to see that happen.
Some other great news Andy reported is that Colton Facciotti is back on the bike riding locally, having fun and feeling good. The saying is true that you can’t knock a champ down forever and it is great to see Colton Back riding.
I stole this photo off Vital MX of the new Husky. Looks like KTM had some input...
If you’re in the GTA this weekend, take a tour out to Asselstine Country in Blackstock, ON for their first annual Fall Open House and Swap Meet. There are great deals all weekend as well as a SWAP meet for you to sell your bike and gear and a great BBQ thanks to Stracks Smoke Shack and Grill. If you're looking for a great deal on some 2013 moto gear, Asselstine's has lots in stock they are looking to move. www.asselstines.com
Now here's Billy.
Thanks, Kyle. I got to spend last weekend in Germany attending the 67th Monster Energy Motocross of Nations in Teutschenthal. The tiny hamlet sits just west of the larger city of Halle that made things interesting getting to and from the track each day. We stayed in the tiny town of Brehna about 35 minutes east of the track. I was surprised every time I made it out the other side of Halle each day.
I rented a Fiat 500 at the Berlin Airport and I will say that if I could do it all over again I would probably get something a little bigger. I could actually reach back and touch the rear window from the driver’s seat! I felt like Hightower from Police Academy (Google it, Bowker!). It also made things a little dangerous trying to get up to highway speed to merge back on. Let’s just say it wasn’t the fastest car I’ve ever driven. It did, however, run on bobbins and lint so I was happy with how little I had to spend on gas.
We sent over a great team this year. Like most, I was just happy that we were actually going but this team had a good chance of doing very well. The stage was set when we received 34th pick at the gate for the qualifying races on Saturday. I don’t know if you watched the races or looked at photos, but the start isn’t very fair to the riders on the outside. It drops away and to the left and then into a high speed left corner and then up the rather intimidating Monster Mountain. All our guys were forced way wide and were left playing catch up during their qualifiers. Not only that, but all of our guys either fell, went off the track, or got injured! It made it pretty tough to make it straight into the A Finals for Sunday.
We finished in 24th spot out of the 40 countries that were racing this year and that meant we were off to the B Final first thing Sunday morning. The winner of the B race would be given entry to the A Finals. On paper we looked pretty good and the team was pretty confident that we could make it happen. When RM Motorsports MX101 Yamaha rider Jeremy Medaglia went out for practice early Sunday, it became apparent that his leg was hurt a little more than he had hoped and he was forced to pull off the track. He knew he wouldn’t be able to race and Team Canada was left with only 2 riders for the B Main.
I tell you what, that was the most exciting race of the weekend, especially if you were cheering for either Canada, Latvia, or Puerto Rico! The race was Canada’s for most of it, but as the race wore on things started changing with every pass made on the track. As you all know by now, Canada came up a little short when the Latvian rider made a last-lap pass for the win. We wound up being scored in 23rd overall, tied with the Irish team and one point behind Puerto Rico. It was a great race but one that left us feeling a little empty.
Next year, Team Canada, next year.
I found it interesting that on stage at the press conference a Belgian rider said that every young rider grows up dreaming of one day winning the MXON. I’ll put this question out to young Canadian riders out there: What are you dreaming of winning when you get older? I’m guessing the answer to that is a little different over on this side of the Atlantic. I assume it has the word Supercross or AMA in it somewhere.
I remember way back in the day when you would see coverage of this once-a-year race and see a huge difference in the riding styles between the North American riders and the rest of the world. That isn’t the case anymore. Obviously, riders all around the world have studied all the old footage of James Stewart scrubbing the heck out of his 125 because every rider out there these days looks the exact same. Gone are the days when the Europeans were the ones riding around with their elbows in and backs straight. Yes, I know that hasn’t been the case for quite a few years now, but I wasn’t writing in the Frid’Eh Update back then. Anyway, it makes for much better racing.
Team Belgium won the MXON this year by 27 points to 30 of the American team and 33 from the Italians. Not to take anything away from the Belgians (Clemente DeSalle crashed in the first turn of the final moto and took a 40th) but had Eli Tomac not had that dramatic crash while chasing Ken Roczen for the lead and taking a 16th, the US would have won because they were forced to count Justin Barcia’s 11th place finish.
The scores that counted for Belgium were 2,3,7,7,8=27 and the Americans were 2,4,6,7,11=30. For the record, Italy’s scores were 1,1,8,10,13=33.
Next year, the race will be held in Latvia. If things play out the way they should, we are definitely capable of a top 10 finish.
The 2014 MXON will take place in Latvia and we have a score to settle with them!
Speaking of Team Canada, I got in touch with Jeremy Medaglia to find out if he knew what was wrong with his leg yet. He had just spoken to his doctor when we talked and he found out that he had a bone chip on the outside ankle bone that was causing all the pain and the swelling that didn’t allow his boot to fit his foot properly. He said that the good news is that it it’s feeling better every day and that it will only need a week more to heal up to the point where he can start riding again.
And speaking of the MX101 guys, it sounds like that great group is going to be the Yamaha 250F effort for the nationals next season. Does that mean we can look forward to watching Jeremy Medaglia and Dylan Wright all across the country in the MX2 class? I'm thinking it does! MX101's Kevin Tyler confirmed the first rumour but didn't touch on the second part of the equation...yet.
Jeremy Medaglia will be back on a bike in no time...and maybe with his teammate Dylan Wright in MX2???
While we’re talking about the MXON, how cool was it to see Australian and Canadian MX1 champ Brett Metcalfe win the qualifier on Saturday?! Trust me, it was really cool! He had American Ryan Dungey breathing down his neck the whole time and held him off all the way to the flag. It also gave the announcers a chance to mention the Canadian nationals a whole bunch of times during the race. They kept referring to him as the ‘Canadian National Champion, Brett Metcalfe.’
Australian Brett Metcalfe won the MX1 qualifier and helped his team to 4th overall.
I was really hoping for some more shenanigans going on in the crowd but because each morning started out near the freezing mark and on Sunday the winds picked up and it only got to around 16 degrees there wasn’t nearly enough nonsense to take pictures of as in years past. Probably the most memorable thing I saw was the guys with a barbecued chicken on a broom handle and the live rooster perched at the top of a stick. The pressure is on Latvia to pick up the game for next year.
Who thinks to bring a roasted chicken on a broom handle to a race???
I got the chance to drive into the beautiful city of Prague in the Czech Republic for a couple hours before heading back to Berlin for my flight home. I spoke to a bunch of different people asking them if I should check it out or spend some time in Berlin. Opinions varied but when one person told me that Prague’s notable tourist attractions were gathered in a smaller area than Berlin that sealed the deal for that city and I wasn’t disappointed.
I had no idea where I was going when I hit the outskirts of the city but somehow managed to make it to the city centre. As I was busy patting myself on the back I was pulled over by a cop and informed that I was driving in a pedestrian only section. Hmm, that explained all the dirty looks lack of other cars all of a sudden. I was told that the fine could have been 2000 Koruna but he knocked it down to 500. I had no idea what that even equated to and, of course, it had to be cash. I misheard him and walked over with 50 and he said, “Um, no, I said 500!” Fortunately, I just did the conversion and that’s still only $27 CDN. I wish I had more time to spend there and in Europe in general. I think it’s interesting that when you go over there it makes you realize that there is absolutely no way North America is the centre of the universe. It puts things into perspective, really.
Prague is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world so I jumped at the chance to check it out.
The Canadian Women’s Team (Lexi Pechout, Felicia Robichaud and Shelby Turner) is sitting in 4th place overall behind Australia, Sweden and France. The Canadian Junior Team is in 12th spot with Philippe Chaine, Tyler Murray, Jared Stock, and Ty McKenna. Keep up the great effort over there. It will be interesting to interview you guys when you get back. I’m guessing this will have been the toughest event any of them have ever attempted.
Jared Stock showing how tough the ISDE race is.
Stock Facebook photo
It’s time to reflect on the whole 2013 MXON experience and performance so I asked Team Canada Manager Carl Bastedo to give us his thoughts on it. Here is what he had to say:
So, my thoughts on this year’s MXON: I look at it from 2 points of view. The first is the logistics and arrangements. The flights, hotels, our contracted pit presence, the bike shipping, the licences and credentials, vehicle rentals, practice, food, timetable etc. No room for error, everything is arranged months ahead of time.
An example is, we already know the distance from the track to the airport in Latvia next year where we are staying and where we are practicing. We have our contact there working on who is providing our Pit Presence. Years of producing Consumer Shows and events like Supercross have taught me that you make most of your arrangements for the next event immediately following this year’s.
I've been very poor at fundraising and this year was no exception. After attending this year’s event, Kyle Thompson has said he will work with me on that aspect for next year which I'm most appreciative of. All this of course when I don't even know if I'll be the Team Manager next year. The CMA issues a request for Team Managers each November/December and the decision on who will be the Team Manager for 2014 is made at the annual board meeting, usually in late November early December.
Then we come to the fun part, or what’s supposed to be the fun part, the performance of the mechanics and riders. The Motocross of Nations is such a spectacular event. It is absolutely the pinnacle of our sport. The emotions that go through all of us range from elation to despair over the course of the two days. We all take it very seriously and I know the riders try their best. This year there where a couple countries that just wanted it more than we did. Their riders went above and beyond. I think we all learned a lesson this year and will be better for it in Latvia in 2014.
Thanks for that, Carl. I agree with what you said and think the difference lies somewhere in the overall perceived importance of what doing well at this event means to different countries. Success breeds success and I think that once we nail a great performance at this thing and see how that feels we will understand why the rest of the world treats this as the crown jewel of the motocross year. North America just sort of sits over here thinking it’s the centre of everything and going to this event when it’s held in Europe opens your eyes to the truth…it’s not. Motocross is a tough sport and everything has to come together if you want the results. Some riders just seem to be able to perform at that level over and over and over - I’m looking at you, Antonio Cairolli!
Tony Cairolli rules. Period.
Also, watch for Canadian MX2 champ Austin Politelli on a Factory KTM at the Monster Energy Cup in October. Good luck, Austin!
Outdoor racing is quickly coming to an end across Canada and I know that the Gente Bella BC Motocross Fall Classic Series will be in Kamloops this weekend to finish the season. Here in SW Ontario it’s time for the Gopher Dunes Sandstorm event once again. Good luck to everyone and remember, nobody ever says “one last lap” or “one last race!” Wow, did I ever used to be a superstitious racer back in my time. I remember the day I finally got rid of all of them, but that’s a story for another day…
See you at the races...