Frid'Eh Update #11 Presented by Toronto Supercross
Week #11 belongs to MX2 champ, Austin Politelli who will run the big #1 in 2014.
Welcome to Week #11 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update Presented by the Toronto Supercross. This week belongs to the 19-year-old living in Menifee, Californian, Austin Politelli. Austin won the MX2 class in 2013 and will return to the class to run the big #1 plate in 2014. It’s been a couple years since we’ve seen the #1 in MX2. Tyler Medaglia last ran it a couple years ago before moving up to the MX1 class and Teddy Maier would have been #1 last season but also moved up to the premier class, so it will be nice to see both #1s on the track this summer.
As most of you already know, Austin suffered an ugly femur break when his engine let go on the face of a triple (Wow, isn’t that every rider’s nightmare?!) while practicing for the West Coast Lites SX. Austin has re-signed for another year with the Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki team out of Kamloops, BC and says he will be ready when the gate drops in Nanaimo. DMX grabbed Austin for a chat on Thursday night to get caught up with how his rehab is coming along. He’s such a nice guy that he was the one who started asking questions first! Here’s what the friendly American had to say:
DMX: Hey, Austin, you started off the season racing Supercross. Who were you riding for?
Austin Politelli: It was Larry Brooks. He had a deal with Blake Wharton but he got that ride with Geico so Larry called me and we ended up working a deal out for west coast. The team was called Barrett HeritageRacing and everything was going good until I got hurt.
I’d talked to Larry before but my mechanic. Hoodie, was friends before and worked with Larry back when they were at Factory KTM and he told him about me. We did a test and it worked out for doing west coast.
What exactly happened in that crash?
It was Tuesday after A1 and we were working on sprints and with 3 laps to go in a 15-lapper the rod went through the front of the motor and it just locked up on the face of the triple. I had to jump off the front and landed on my feet and ended up breaking my femur. It wasn‘t good. It was probably the most scared I’ve ever been, flying through the air like that. You don’t really know what to do and it was on the biggest jump there too. It definitely wasn’t fun. It was at the end of the day too so the landing was like concrete.
This is the worst injury I’ve ever had. The pain wasn’t too bad I think because I was just so mad. I mean, I love doing supercross—that stuff is my favourite and I was bummed that I wasn’t going to get to race. We had just worked on stuff and knocked a second off my lap time too. It seems like stuff goes wrong when you’re feeling your best.
Like at Walton at the last race—I just tipped over in a corner and messed something up in my knee. It swelled up pretty big and I didn’t race the second moto. I won the championship the first moto and I could barely walk so I decided to sit it out.
So, when can you get back on a bike?
I think by the end of April into May. I’ll have plenty of time to get ready for Nanaimo. I’ve got my fuel all loaded and ready to go! When you get hurt, you realize how much you miss riding. It sucks too because we just got a bunch of rain so all the tracks in the hills would be really good.
Have you been able to keep your fitness level up?
Ya, but the first two weeks I couldn’t really do anything. I was just on the couch because it was hard to get up to do anything. I go to physiotherapy three times a week. I’ve just started working out a couple weeks ago so I can’t do everything yet, but I’ve been doing mainly cardio on the spin bike and stuff like that. I’m not nervous, I know I’ll be good for Nanaimo as long as I can start riding soon.
I wanted to do Glen Helen but I probably won’t end up doing it. I think Brett (Metcalfe) is going to race it. I might do some local races if I can to get some gate time. I think the team is coming down here to do some testing so I’ll just be riding as much as I can.
Is there anything you hope if changed or fixed with our series for this summer?
No, I think everything was pretty good. I do hope that some of the gates get fixed. There were a couple that were really low. And Gopher Dunes fixing the start so you can’t see into the dog house because there were a couple riders who did that next to it and just watched the guy. I like going up to Canada; I like it more than racing here, actually. It’s a lot more laid back and everyone is friendly so I have fun. I think it’s just that the people are friendlier than what we have here. It just seems like there’s more drama in the States. I think the competition is good too. When I had (Kaven) Benoit in the class I was giving it my all every race. I heard he’s going to be on a 2-stroke so that’s going to be even tougher now.
I’m just curious, what did you do for schooling?
I went to regular public school until 6th grade and then I started getting more serious into racing and I tried to stay in school but it got too tough with traveling and we lived in our motorhome for a little bit. So I was home schooled and then did a private school where you go two times a week and then do the rest at home. I finished high school being home schooled.
What track are you most looking forward to hitting next year?
I’m excited for the two new ones. I also want to do better at Deschambault because I had strep throat last year and was throwing up and I really liked the track but I could barely hang on. Kamloops is probably my favourite because I like how it gets so rough and it rained the day before so it made the track perfect.
Well, thanks for the chat and good luck with your rehab, Austin. That was much longer than I intended (I cut out a ton!) and see you at the end of May.
Ya, you too. See you at Nanaimo.
Austin has got to be one of the nicest Pro riders at the track. He's polite, well-spoken, and really easy to chat with. Coming back from breaking the biggest bone in your body is always a rather tenuous situation but he seems to have a great attitude towards it and his future. Watch for the #1 this summer at a Rockstar Energy Motocross National near you. Go up to Austin and say hello, you 'll be pleasantly surprised.
Thanks, Billy, and it’s good to see that Austin hopes to make a return to Canada again to defend his #1 plate. I know it has been a hot topic of discussion lately but I do like seeing these guys come up and add more depth to our series and according to the news were getting we can also add Jesse Wentland and Topher Ingalls to the list of Americans making a return to the great white (or shall we say sandy?) north this summer to the 2014 series. But more on that later as we have other topics on the horizon
Toronto Supercross and Industry Contests
This update is brought to you by Toronto Supercross once again where the best of the best come to Canada for what is one of the largest motorsports gatherings our country sees. Last year we had over 60,000 people in the stands and we hear that it is supposed to be even bigger this year. This is good for the sport and I hope we see this carry over to our national series in the summer.
If you haven’t had a chance to get your Toronto tickets yet make sure you enter our Parts Canada contest as DMX and Parts Canada are giving away 3 sets of tickets to the big show. We have had a great response so far but there is still time to enter for your chance to win. Click here for the details.
Atlas Brace also has a facebook contest happening where you can win yourself a new Atlas Brace. Support a great Canadian company and benefit yourself by using an amazing safety product.
The Houston is the place to be!
The Houston Bar and Grill is where all the action will be happening next Friday and Saturday night. Friday is a great night and a little less packed to have the chance to rub shoulders with some of the industry’s top dogs and do a little bench racing. Saturday is the big party and you will have a chance to win tons of great prizes thanks to our party sponsors as well as a chance to see the go-go girls dancing on the bar again. Always a great time, right? We will even be giving away a WASP Camera so stay tuned to DMX for more details on that.
The Houston will be the place to be for moto fans!
Machine Racing and Keast ready to go!
I caught up with Machine Racing’s John Nelson this week. He gave me a call to see where I have been lately and it was good to catch up with one of the guys in this industry who truly loves the sport. He told me he and Kyle Keast are going racing on the east--except they will not be doing Moncton. The Machine Racing team will put their focus on the sand tracks of Gopher Dunes, Sand Del Lee, Deschambault and Ulverton. Kyle showed us he is no fluke when he hit the podium at Gopher Dunes last year after taking a year off to recover from a broken femur he suffered in Kamloops in 2012 and hopes to repeat that success this summer, I am sure. John said they are just waiting on some suspension and then Keast will head down to Florida to get some time in on his new 2014 Yamaha YZ450F and stretch out his new 2014 TLD gear.
Keast will stick to the sand for 2014.
Dawn McClintock photo
Topher Ingalls is back!
You can count on seeing Topher Ingalls back in Canada this summer. The California native who got his start in Canada with Gopher Dunes Racing will once again join forces with RTR Performance out of Kamloops, BC and pilot a new KTM in hopes of achieving a championship. I caught up with Topher today and he simply had this to say: “I am pumped! The RTR crew is full of great people,” There you have it. KTM has a great contingency program in place and there is no doubt that Topher intends to use some of that to help the team fund their racing efforts. I would expect to see another Orange bike competing for an MX2 title.
The likeable rider, Topher Ingalls, will be back and gunning for an MX2 title after finishing 3rd two years in a row.
KTM is ready to race!
Speaking of KTM, I had a great chat with Canadian race manager Andy White today. He is super-busy right now launching a new amateur support race program with dealers but they do have a lot of irons in the fire as they get ready to make their assault on the 2014 National series. Andy was pretty tight-lipped about the factory team but he assures me everything is on schedule and more details will be released soon.
Kaven Benoit is one of the confirmed riders for the KTM team for 2014.
News from the DMX stable
I also just want to apologize to everyone about our server crashing earlier in the week. It was a stressful few days for us as we tried to work with a company that could not handle our traffic needs to get us up and running again. We got it all sorted out and will take this growing pain as a good thing. We will definitely make up those couple days of no new content to you this summer! We also have a big annoucment coming in the next couple weeks.
Also, if you’re looking for a great place to watch the Detroit Supercross this weekend make sure you join the MMRS crew at the “Corners Grill and Tap.” You can even get your full membership and transponder as well. Check out the full details here.
Now over to Jeff for more news on Jeremy Medaglia...
Hey, guys, it's Friday again and I'm stoked! First off, I want to give a huge congratulation to the whole crew behind the Future West Kawasaki Canadian Arenacross Championships series! They did a great job and put up a lot of money for the Pros. Next, I would like to thank the Pros that made the effort to participate this season. Without a great Pro turnout, you have nothing. This series had one heck of a group of pro racers show up and do battle.
Congrats to AX Champs
Let’s talk about our champs: I will start first with the Kal-Gard Dash for Cash Champ...The Newf, Ryan Lockhart. Even though he has retired ump-teen times and un- retired just as many, Ryan got it done. Ryan has always had speed, and always had style, and he's just one of those guys that can make you smile. No series would be complete without the Newf, and I'm super-pumped on his podium the last weekend. Congrats buddy, all of us Vet Racers are smiling after your great series. P.S. Your Shift/Fox kits were on point all season long as well.
MRM Shift 100% Atlas Kawasaki rider Ryan Lockhart won the Kal-Gard Dash for Cash title.
Next is the Open Champ Ross Johnson. Although I don't know Ross real well, I hear he is a great guy and great addition to any of our series. In my opinion, if he stepped up his fitness, he'd be bad news for the competition.
Last but not least, the 250 Champ, and Overall Series Champ, Jeremy Medaglia. I may be biased, but I knew from day one that the Stevie Janowski look-alike was going to come away with the #1 plate. From the first day in Cairo, Georgia, shaking down his new Cycle North Honda, I knew I was watching the new champ. This guy busts his ass day in and day out, and just plain old gets the job done! Thank you, Jeremy, for allowing me to be a small part of your program yet again. Not to be forgotten is how good Fox Canada's Jay Moore had ‘Jer-Bear’ looking head to toe all season long. Congrats to everyone on a great season!
Cycle North Red Bull Oakley Fox Honda's Jeremy Medaglia is the 2014 Kawasaki Canadian AX Championships champion.
Detroit and Toronto SXs
Now let’s talk about the other reason I am stoked. This weekend I will be heading west to meet up with the one and only "Uncle Touchy" Todd Kuli to attend the Detroit SX. If I'm able to pry Kuli's lips off of the product reps’ asses long enough to watch the racing, we should have a great time. And after last weekend’s super tough rut fest, I am looking forward to some fantastic racing in the Motor City. And you all know what comes after Detroit.... Toronto SX is next on the schedule. But before the actual race at the Rogers Center, you cannot forget the social get together at The Houston on Friday night! Last year we were blessed to have Chad Reed in the house Friday night, and I've heard rumours of some other HUGE stars possibly attending. So make an entire weekend out of it, you won't be disappointed!
Keep an eye out for the Dynamic Duo in Detroit this weekend.
Before I go, I'd like to send some positive thoughts to former ladies champ, Jacqueline Ross and her grandfather. He had a brief stint in the hospital, but thankfully he has been released. They say you can't keep a good man down, and I hear he's one of the best. Get well soon!
That is it for me, see you next week and don't forget to #smileforBC!
Thanks, guys. I know we’ve talked about it a lot already, but I have to mention the AX series. I would really like to thank the Future West Moto gang, Cycle North, Atlas Brace, and Mongoose Machine for making it possible for us to get out west and cover what I think was the best indoor series Canada has seen. Well, the best one I’ve been able to see, anyway.
I know they injected a lot of enthusiasm and money into the series and it really paid off with great racing on the track and good crowds in the seats. Like I’ve said many times before, there were at least 6 riders on the gate in every main event that could have won. That doesn’t happen very often…in any series!
In the end, it came down to the Cycle North Honda teammates who had a very interesting series, to say the least. If you know anything about Jeremy Medaglia or Ross Johnson, you know they are professionals who are at the races to do a job and take that job very seriously. When it looked like it was down to the two of them for the title, things started to heat up in their pit. There were times when I was a little too afraid to go in for a chat or a photo! There was one race in particular where I thought they were actually going to come to blows but it’s times like these when their professionalism shined through and they left it all on the track. The same can’t be said for Greg Crater and his girlfriend as they took matters into their own hands for some reason and got up in Jeremy’s face. He handled it well and nothing more came of it…that I saw, anyway.
It made things a little intense for team manager and Cycle North co-owner Kourtney Lloyd, but I think after the dust settles on this one she will be able to appreciate it as one of the most positive experiences of her life so far. It’s one of those problems that every team owner/manager would love to have—both your riders are battling for the championship. It’s also one of those things that you can’t appreciate until the healing power of time works its magic on the things you once thought were negatives. Enjoy it, team, it was a long winter but one that you will all remember forever.
What a great way for the Cycle North TLD Honda team to go out...for now.
2015 CANADIAN ARENACROSS PRO NUMBERS (both classes combined)
*1 JEREMY MEDAGLIA - Pro Lights and Combined Champion
*2 ROSS JOHNSON - Pro Open Champion
3 BROCK HOYER
4 TYLER MEDAGLIA
5 JAKE ANSTETT
6 SPENCER KNOWLES
7 ETHAN LADD
8 GREG CRATER
9 DYLAN SCHMOKE
10 RYAN ABRIGO
11 RYAN LOCKHART
12 BRAD NAUDITT
13 KYLE SPRINGMAN
14 KEVIN LEPP
15 CHRIS HOWELL
16 DEX KOELEMAN
17 GRAHAM SCOTT
18 TREVOR CARLSON
19 KIRK HAWS
20 COLLIN JURIN
21 DYLAN DELAPLACE
22 RYAN LALONDE
23 TODD MINNIE
24 RORY SULLIVAN
25 BRANDON KALLBERG
26 ZACK RUFF
27 BRAYDON STUART
28 JOSH JACKSON
29 JESS PETTIS
30 THOMAS CRANSTON
31 AUSTIN BREDA
32 BRAD LUDWIGSON
33 BRAYDEN METHOT
34 JOSH EDWARDS
George DeGraaf Retires
I saw on Facebook that George Degraaf has decided to hang up the boots. Here is the blurb from his FB page:
Officially retired from racing. Had a good run. On to bigger an better things. Thanks for all the good times fellow racers. And thanks to everyone that supported me all these years.
I grabbed George for a more in depth explanation and here’s what he said:
Well, my winter has been crazy busy with work and I'm not getting nor finding the time to train or ride anymore which really sucks. I made the decision to get off my feet and buy a house and put my efforts towards working hard for a while. I had a deal said and done with my local Honda dealership for 2014, but I've never wanted to commit to something I can’t put 100% of my efforts into, and they supported my decision. So I'll take a year to rebuild, save up some money and be back for 2015. But, man, was it a hard decision—I love riding my dirt bike so much. It just runs in the blood. Anyway, gotta run here, Billy. Cheers.
Good luck and glad to hear he will eventually be back in the saddle.
Support the Women’s East National Series
Kristi Moore has started a web page that will allow people to get involved and help improve the Women’s East Nationals series. You can click HERE to check it out and make a donation.
Our Mission: "The Women’s National Motocross Series is a family oriented event committed to promoting organized Women’s Motocross in Canada. This is accomplished by providing women athletes of all skill levels a safe environment to enjoy the sport of motocross with some exciting competition and spend some time with family and friends."
Something’s Brewing over at MX Ranking
I’ve started to see new things popping up about MX Ranking over the past little while so I got in touch with the creator and owner of the site, Steve Dool, to see what’s going on and what new direction he’s taking the site. Steve sent this update over:
Wow, I hardly know where to begin.. .so much has changed over the last few months!
I guess, first off, we've pretty much completely re-written the app to make it super-easy to use. There are 5 new Race Promoter apps now to help athletes, clubs, promoters, and brands, connect and promote all of their racing. All users now have completely new profiles with promotion blocks for upcoming events, race results, the fans that are following them, their rivals and competitors, the tracks they've ridden, favorite tracks, images/video, and more all on a single page.
Group Racing is now a reality! Athletes can create or join a group and race as a group. Promoters can send event invites and offer incentives for groups of racers to attend their events. This is a powerful new feature for both athletes and promoters. It will be especially good for professionals.
A much needed new Server and Hosting Platform is coming this weekend. Not only will it speed the application up significantly, but will enable a host of new features including:
User Email @mxranking.com
Chat - Live private chat between users.
Race Room - Live chatter on anything racing.
Status Updates - Similar to FB status.
Invitations - Enabling clubs and promoters to send out invites and special offers to athletes and groups.
The National Ranking System has also been completely re-vamped. Now there are only three competition levels. Regional/Club Events (3X Points), AM National Events (8X Points), and Professional Events (12X Points). Practically every event in North America will be Ranked 3. Only select events like the TransCan, Loretta Lynn’s National and Region Qualifiers, The ECAN, WCAN and the 11 US Amateur Nationals are ranked at 8. Athletes are ranked in one or all of these 3 levels against everyone else in their country or overall.
Finally, we have something to prove! So we are importing every rider and every race result from all 63 2014 Loretta Lynn's area, regional and national events into the ranking system. That's 29,000 athletes according to MXSports and over 100,000 race results.
I think everybody that has raced or been involved in the sport for a while realizes that practically everything about motocross currently BEGINS and ENDS at each club or promoter’s race series. RACE RESULTS END, SERIES RESULTS END, and so do the ATHLETES and the SPORT’S EXPOSURE. We don't think it should be that way for the athletes, their sponsors, or the enthusiasts.
For just one example, take one athlete that's trying out for Loretta Lynn’s, who also races at their local series, maybe hits a few other favourite events, and takes in an amateur national or two. That’s four or five different standings, four or five websites to visit, and minimal exposure for both the athlete and the sport.
Now apply that to the number of athletes that compete each and every year and, well, you get the picture. With the National Ranking System that same athlete has one score in one place for every race they did. Even more important that same athlete can be compared to every other athlete in North America!
When all 29,000 Athletes and 100,000+ race results over the 63 events that make up the Loretta Lynn’s National Rankings and the 1000’s of regional and national level events across North America are all compiled into the National Ranking System in 2014, we believe the sport just might look a little bigger!
Man, that looks like a pretty lofty undertaking! I worked with Steve back in the winter of 2011 and took the MX Ranking RV to a bunch of races in Florida and the around south east. The idea was widely accepted as a great thing but somewhere along the way Steve seemed to lose sight of where he wanted the idea to go and it got swept under the rug. Focussing on the actual ranking system and with a new business model, I think this site could really develop into something great. Keep pushing forward and don’t try to take the sport over, Steve. Simply integrate this system and it has the potential to become a very useful tool for everyone involved in moto.
MXPTV Highlights from RC Daytona Amateur SX
Oak Hill GNC
The Oak Hill GNC is taking place right now down in Decatur, Texas. I haven’t made it out to this event in a couple years and I really hope to remedy that in 2015. My favourite part of this sport is getting a look at the next big names in moto before they are just that. It’s fun to look at the little bike classes and try to pick which riders have the potential to become future Ricky Carmichaels. It’s funny because it’s not always the little kid who wins the race you’re watching. Sometimes you can go by style, corner speed, and off-track attitude. Racing finishes Sunday and you can follow along with live timing HERE.
MXGP of Thailand Highlights
The MXGP series takes a couple weeks off as it makes its way across the Atlantic to the Beto Carrero course in Brazil March 30th. They were in Thailand last weekend and you can check out the highlights here:
Amsoil AX Series
The Amsoil AX Series makes its way into Hidalgo, Texas, this weekend for the second-to-last round of the championships. Hidalgo is only a couple hours south of Austin, so I hope our good friend (and series leader Tyler Bowers’ mechanic) Donk gets a chance to take in some of the great music and barbecue going on at the South by Southwest Festival up on Austin!
PR-MX Signs Alexandre Morin
We got word this week that the PR-MX Team out of Quebec has grabbed Alexandre Morin for the team for 2014. Along with Davey Fraser and Cassandra Belanger, the team will compete in the east coast nationals as well as the Quebec Provincial series. You can check out the official PR HERE.
Jesse Wentland Signs with MX101 Yamaha
We caught wind of this earlier in the week but the official Press Release came out today that MX101 Yamaha has signed American rider Jesse Wentland for the 2014 MX2 series. We knew there was a ot of interest in Jesse’s services after he came up and raced last year and made a very good impression on people. The friendly rider would be a great addition to any team and it could be said that MX101 Yamaha has pulled off a bit of a coup in getting him inked.
Most of the attention has been directed towards the MX1 class so far this off-season but with the addition of Wentland, Topher Ingalls, Kaven Benoit on a 2-stroke (?) and now Gavin Gracyk (also rumoured to be on a 250 2-stroke) to the class, we will have an even more exciting MX2 class to watch as well. You can check out the Press Release HERE.
OK, it’s about time to wrap this thing up for another week. I will be hopping in a car with all-round good guy, Sean Bowker, in the morning to head down the 401 to attend the Detroit SX. Watch for a photo report and stories here on DMX early next week. This will be my first chance to see Canadian Cole Thompson on his Rockstar Energy KTM and I’m looking forward to catching up with the family. Ready the cooler, Kevin!
It also means we are just one week away from the Toronto SX where we will also have PR-MX Kawasaki rider Davey Fraser to cheer for. And don’t forget about the parties DMX is hosting at The Houston Bar and Grill on Yonge Street Friday and Saturday nights! These things are always a blast and Dave Toye and his gang will have lots of great things for us again this year.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend. Oh, and don't forget to get yer green on Monday!
Carmen a few years ago at Lake Whitney in Texas. See you at the races...