Frid'Eh Update #19 Presented by Mongoose Machine
Week #19 belongs to Keswick, Ontario's Richard Grey.
Hello and welcome to week #19 of the DMX Frid'Eh Update Presented by Mongoose Machine. It’s not often the Rider of the Week is one who has recently retired from motocross, but that’s exactly what we have this week. In 2014, #19 would have been Keswick, Ontario, rider Richard Grey’s. Richard was one of a number of amateur prodigies that came up through the ranks and made an immediate impact on the sport at the Pro level. Things didn’t always go his way but he and his family kept moving forward and gave this sport as much as anyone could ever ask. We got in touch with Richard this morning to find out how his life has changed and what it was that prompted the 20-year-old’s early departure from the sport:
Richard Grey: Things have changed quite a bit. I’ve just been working a lot. After Walton I went out west for a bit and my parents came up with a good plan for me to start my own business here in Ontario. That’s what I’ve been doing. For the most part, I’ve just been getting my feet wet in the work industry and just been doing that. I haven’t really thought about getting back on a bike or…it hasn’t even crossed my mind to get back on a bike. I haven’t had the jitters to do anything. I thought that come springtime I’d have those but I haven’t had that so it’s been quite the change.
What He’s Up to Now
There are some dealerships here in Uxbridge and we’re out in the country here and with the dirt roads my old man thought it would be a good idea. It’s a newer thing where you put like a clear coat on the front of vehicles so you don’t get stone chips and you can do it on door sills or pretty much do a whole vehicle so you don’t get any chips or rust. That’s what I’ve been doing.
I rented an office and a bay out of one of the dealerships. It’s been really busy now that the weather has gotten a little bit better. Most people know it as 3M tape but the actual stuff is called Stone Guard. I’m hoping to eventually open up a retail store and maybe doing some truck accessories and Line X possibly. It’s called RMG Automotive.
On Retirement from Racing
Honestly, the past 3 years have been such a struggle. I know that getting on a team was a pretty big move and for some reason I’d go to the spring races and I’d be really good but come Nationals time there was always something. I could never put it together like I was hoping to. Expectations were pretty high of me after my Intermediate year and turning Pro and I never ended up living up to that expectation. I kept searching and searching to try and find the missing piece of the puzzle and I just couldn’t do it.
After this past year with bikes breaking and me crashing I kind of just got really over it. It was like, “Why am I even doing this anymore?” I wasn’t getting a paycheque. I wasn’t enjoying it. I wasn’t having fun…It was beating the hell out of my family. It was beating the hell out of me. I think it’s just time I took a step back and re-evaluated everything.
There have been mixed feelings about it because a lot of people have been saying that I am still young and there’s still quite a bit of time ahead of me to get things on track. To just look at guys from the States…a perfect example of this is Ryan Villopoto. He won his 4th Supercross title this year but yet people are saying he had one of his worst Supercross seasons as far as looking-wise because he hasn’t won as much. And people are kind of shitting on him and I’m like, “Really?! The guy just went out and won a 4th title and you guys are saying he’s had kind of a bad year?” You can see that he’s not enjoying it. He wasn’t even pumped after he won his title. He was more stoked on getting the pick-up than he was on winning the title.
The sport of motocross introduces you to both the highs and lows of the sport on a weekly basis.
For the top guy in the sport to feel like that is kind of an eye-opener. Especially for the young kids to see a guy like Villopoto just being over it is like, “Wow, the top guy in the sport is over it?!” I know I’ll catch some huge smack for this but sure the teams up here…as badly as they want to win, the manufacturers are really killing the sport up here. It’s to do with the fact that they really want to win, and I think that’s good, but our sport isn’t growing in Canada just for the fact that we keep bringing all these American Pros up. I know they deserve rides and I know that they come up here and work their asses off, but at the same time there’s no light at the end of the tunnel for some of these amateur kids up here who are left thinking, “Even when I do turn Pro, they’ll just go and hire someone who has ten times the experience that I do and has more of a chance of winning.”
It’s tough for us because if you look in the States, every year they breed kids that just…like 4 kids that come out of the amateur program that have a chance of winning in the States. Let’s be honest, after I turned Pro as an Intermediate it took another 3 to 4 years for someone else to come through the amateur ranks that could put a dent in the Pro series here. We’re just not producing. I think it has to do with the sheer fact of lack of support from the manufacturers towards the amateurs.
It’s always going to be like that up here. We’re never going to be as big as the States is going to be but I definitely think the resources are there to start grooming kids and make this sport a little bit better up here. I just don’t see it changing because all the top level sponsors up here are so content with how things are and they don’t want to change anything.
On Changing Lifestyle
The other big adjustment has been to just becoming an average person now. I want to say that has probably been the hardest part—stepping away from a sport and just turning into an average person…an Average Joe that just goes to work every day. It sucks! You get to travel and do all these things and then all of a sudden you turn into a guy that just goes to work from 9-5 every day. As much as you do in the sport, you’re kind of forgotten just as fast as when you do something good. That has been the hardest adjustment.
Look at a guy like Kyle Beaton. After all that he did he’s just sort of forgotten about now. He was great for the sport, did a lot of good things, and unfortunately his injuries put him out, but he’s kind of forgotten about. Unless he keeps himself in the industry and people keep seeing him, no one really remembers him. A lot of sports are like that unless you’re one of the greats and re-written history books, that’s the only way they remember you. You go from having a great race to getting a 5th or 6th the next and people are writing your whole season off like you’re a wash-up.
On the Twitter War
Nobody really got in touch with me to find out why I quit or why I did what I did. (The Twitter war between him and Kourtney Lloyd) wasn’t supposed to turn into what it did. That was me just putting the fact that “Oh great…bring in another American up…awesome!” Then it turned into this huge war and a bunch of people got into it. I just ended up deleting Twitter. I was just kind of over that. I couldn’t believe I was getting into it with a person over Twitter. Something wasn’t right…something wasn’t adding up and I just didn’t need the headaches. I was trying to work and my phone was blowing up so I just deleted it.
It’s nice to get a steady paycheque every week and not have to rely on doing well every weekend. The other really terrible thing about our sport is that it’s not like hockey or baseball or anything like that where when you practice it’s at a different level than when it comes game time. When we practice, it’s at the same level as when we’re racing and the risk is always there. I just think we’re so under-paid. When we crash practicing, it’s going to be the same crash that happens during a race. There’s no forgiveness there.
Up here, to rely on a paycheque from a race every week after you put yourself out there during the week to get like 250 bucks at the end of the day is almost like a slap in the face, to be honest.
I’d like to thank everyone that helped me out over the years, especially my mom and dad. Everyone that stood behind me. Iain Hayden up at Motopark and pretty much just my whole family. They were the people who were there for me when things went sour in the sport and I can’t thank them enough.
Say what you will about Richard leaving the sport behind, but good for him having something to look forward to in his future. Thanks for the great heart-to-heart talk, Richard. Good luck with everything the future holds for you.
Good luck in the future, Richard.
Check out www.mongoosemachine.com for all your performance needs.
Thanks, Billy. We are fianlly into the month of May here. The rain will hopefully quit and we are less than a month away from the opening of the CMRC Rockstar Energy Motocross Nationals in Naniamo, BC. It’s going to be a barn burner (did I just say that?) I am telling you between Facciotti, Alessi, Kiniry, Chisolm, Hill or another fast rider with a Scottish accent possibly....
All I am saying is that you should likely plan on heading for the island if you’re a BC resident for that weekend as it may be the best racing we have seen since there since the Dusty Klatt and JSR battle from '04. Now let’s just hope the weather cooperates and everyone makes it through round one healthy.
Donk Gets a New Gig
I caught up with Canadian mechanic Scott Donkersgoed who will be heading over to the Factory Husqvarna team after a winter of wrenching for Tyler Bowers and the Babbits Kawasaki team in AX to spin the wrenches for the legendary Mike Brown. This is an awesome opportunity for Donk and once again it seems like Canadian’s really do find themselves in great positions south of the border. On the technical side, take a look at Dave Gowland, Steve Matthes, the Sorenson brothers, Allan Brown and more just to name a few. I had a quick chat with Donk and you can no doubt tell he is excited:
“Yeah, I just started with Husqvarna 3 days ago and we are heading to Vegas right now for the first round of the Endurocross series. I am working with Mike Brown which is pretty freakin cool if you ask me! He'll be doing a whole bunch of races all over the place. After this weekend, the next event will be X Games. Things are great and I couldn't be happier to help grow and develop a brand. Finally have something solid and structured and come the end of august I won't be job-searching like I've done since 2009. So it's great!”
Once again, congrats Donk and good luck this weekend.
Kerim Fitz-Gerald Ties the Knot this Weekend
I have to say a congrats to South African rider and honorary Canadian, Kerim Fitz-Gerald, as he prepares to get the married to his beautiful bride Chloe this weekend in South Africa. If you ever had the chance to meet Kerim, you would no doubt know he is one of the nicest guys to ever grace our motocross scene here in Canada.
Honda Canada TLD GDR Team Bikes
I came across this photo on the DMX instagram and had to start drooling as I saw the GDR Troy Lee Designs Honda's all lined up ready to go.
It is OK to be jealous... we know we are!
Now before Billy gets too deep into things at the Hard Rock and ends up going home with a super model, we better let him have his say with this week's breaking news.
I can't believe we are almost done. This Saturday night is the final AMA SX of the year. It seems like yesterday we were counting down the days to A1. Fast forward 16 rounds and we are preparing for the season finale in Las Vegas. Only one of the 3 titles are claimed already, but I honestly don't see any more shake ups to come. On the West Coast Jason Anderson has been the man all season. He has dealt with being docked positions from the AMA, and some dirty "team tactics" from championship rival Cole Seely’s teammates. On the East Coast, we lost the top 3 in points due to injury. Justin Bogle now sits atop the points standings and looks to win his first professional title. If anyone would have told me Bogle would be heading into Vegas up 17 points, I would have thought they were drunk. Coming into the season, Bogle’s health was a huge issue. So big that his Geico Honda team signed Blake Wharton in case Justin wasn't able to go for round one. Well, Bogle made round one and has steadily gotten better week in and week out. Would he be leading if Adam Cianciarulo and Martin Davalos didn't get hurt? No, I don't think so, but what counts is that Bogle is healthy and at the races. Speed is one thing you need to win, but you also need to be in the races to win. Congrats to everyone who participated in this great 2014 Monster Energy AMA SX.
The Rumour Mill
Now onto the hot rumors. Word on the street is that Monster Energy Kawasaki pilot Ryan Villopoto has a knee injury and won't be racing the outdoors. I've been hearing that reigning Canadian Champ Brett Metcalfe will be his replacement. If this is true, Metty will be sadly missed, but I'd imagine he is very happy to be back running the full AMA Outdoor series. The next rumor is that Monster is possibly bringing Josh Hill up to fill in for Brett. It has been a very long time since Hill has ran an outdoor season. Yes, he has the speed, but like many foreigners before him, he will struggle with the "different" style of tracks that we have up here. Let’s hope Hill can make it all 10 rounds and mix it up with Facciotti, Alessi, T Medaglia and the Rockstar riders to name a few.
The MX2 class will not disappoint either with the likes of Austin Politelli, Jeremy Medaglia, Topher Ingalls, and Jesse Wentland to name a few of the favourites. We can't forget the hot 3-some of rookies joining the ranks. MX101 Yamaha’s Dylan Wright, GDR Honda’s Westen Wrozyna, and Leading Edge's Jess Pettis. When was the last time we had 3 rookies this good? We will have to start some kind of a poll here on DMX to see which rookie the readers think will do the best. No matter what happens, we are in for one heck of a season.
That's all for me this week, let's hope the rain stops here in Southern Ontario so we can get out and enjoy some great club racing with the MMRS club. I hope you all have a great weekend and I will see you next week. Don't forget to #smileforBC!
Thanks, guys. Well, we finally made it to Las Vegas earlier this week. Contrary to what my ever-shortening memory tried to tell me, Nevada is not just a “simple drive” away. No matter which route you choose, it is still an almost two full days drive from Ontario. Thanks to Terry Doherty, Devon, and Sarah (That was tough because one is my ex-girlfriend’s name and the other is my ex-wife’s…) for making the trip as much fun as it possibly can be. We took I-80 to the far side of Nebraska and then headed southwest through the mountains west of Denver, through the bottom part of Utah, and finally into Nevada to Las Vegas. This route takes you through the heart of the Rocky Mountains and I’m sure burn a bit more fuel but anything is better than continuing west on I-80! Heading home, I think we’ll take the lower route through Arizona and New Mexico and up through the Ozarks. No, it’s not glamorous either, but when you’re talking about a 44-hour drive, a slight change of scenery does wonders for your ability to stare out the windshield for inhuman amounts of time.
We managed to stay just north of the terrible weather that crushed the southeast earlier in the week but we did manage to pass through a tornado watch area around Chicago. We’re staying at The South Point Hotel and Casino at the far south end of the strip. It’s the host hotel for the Amsoil AMA Amateur Arenacross Championships. This weekend will be run at full throttle starting as soon as I press the ‘submit’ button on this Update. Practice is going on right now, Round 1 of the Geico Endurocross Series is tonight featuring Canadian Jared Stock, the final round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series is Saturday, and then the Arenacross racing goes all day Sunday. What do we get to do when the final checkered flag waves, you ask? We will hop back into the van and head north east. Yippee! It’s not all limousines and champagne in the Moto Media game. Now where’d I set my champagne glass???
Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki
Interestingly, I saw on Racer X that they were 24 days away from the first round of the Lucas Oil Series down in the USA and that number belongs to someone named Brett Metcalfe. Well, it looks like the noise around the ‘will he or won’t he’ situation is finally settled and we will not be seeing the big #1 of Metcalfe up here in Canada this season. OK, we’ve all accepted that but what does it mean for the now-vacant MELEK MX1 bike???
I tried calling team owner, Jason Hughes, several times today but he obviously knows better than to pick up when he sees my name on the display…especially on a Friday. I figure he’s at home looking at his phone like Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off…”He’ll keep calling me and calling me…” He told me last week that the replacement rider is not set in stone yet so we’ll just have to wait and see what everybody else knows or the press release comes out. Actually, since I’m down here in Las Vegas, I’m going straight up to the names that have been thrown around to see what I can find out. Josh, Justin, Dean, Joe…I’m coming for you!
2014 will be another year that Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki won't get to run the #1 in MX1.
We've got 4 Canadians racing the Amateur Arenacross Championships here in Las Vegas. We caught up with Mitch Goheen earlier in the week and today I wanted to introduce you to another Canadian trying to live to moto dream, Kieran Doherty from Kingston, Ontario. We had just stepped off from walking the track here on Thursday when we had this chat:
Kieran Doherty is ready for action here in Las Vegas.
DMX: Hey, Kieran. For those out there who don’t know you, why don’t you introduce yourself to everyone?
Kieran Doherty: I’m Kieran, obviously. I’m 15 in grade 10 and I’ve been racing for 11 years. I started when I was 3. I’m excited to be here.
I got into motocross probably like everyone else—I saw it on TV and said, “I want a dirt bike!” My sister, Olivia, raced for a little bit but she’s done with it now.
We’re here at the 2014 Amsoil Amateur Arenacross Championships in Las Vegas. Tell us about your winter and how you got here.
I raced 5 out of the 6 eastern rounds and qualified through there. We had a pro team, BWR, take our bikes to the western rounds and I raced three of them out in California, Texas, and New Mexico. I ended up doing pretty well, so I was pumped.
We just walked the track here at the South Point Arena. What did you think of the track?
I thought the track looked awesome; definitely my favourite all year. It’s definitely technical with big jumps. It looks a little soft which will make it a little rough but it’s more fun when it’s like that. There’s a big triple on it…maybe I’ll hit it, maybe I won’t. I’m just going to go out there, ride hard and have fun. The whoops are massive! I don’t really know what to say. Hopefully I can go through them, but I’m definitely not blitzing them.
You’re one of a couple Canadians here who will be running the big #1 plate.
Ya, I have the #1 plate from the east and I have two #1 plates from the south and I actually won the whole thing for the Dominator Supermini class.
Are you going to run the #1s on your bikes? They probably want you to.
I honestly don’t know.
Do you feel any added pressure leading points? What are your goals for this weekend?
I don’t feel there’ a lot of pressure running the #1 plate. Whether I’m running #1 or #999, it’s all the same. There are definitely some fast kids here from the west and being able to ride with them is definitely an advantage. Hopefully I can get top 3 in the Dominator class and make it to the Monster Cup and through the rest of the weekend try to get top 5s.
What’s next for you guys after this?
Well, since I had to take so much time off school to race the west coast rounds, I’m taking summer school to advance some of my credits. I just got a 250F and may or may not race the Pro class in Arenacross next year. I’ll just ride all summer and race some New York stuff and get comfortable on the 250.
So no Walton TransCan or Loretta’s for you guys.
I don’t think so. I want to save up all my time and money and run the arenacross. It’s my favourite place in the world.
#664 will concentrate on getting better at the indoor side of the sport.
Is Supercross your end goal?
Ya. We just found out that the only way you can get your Pro license now is through arenacross and that’s where I want to be.
What have you been up to since you’ve been here and what else do you want to do?
I flew in Wednesday with my mom and we went and walked the strip. I got pretty sun burned. We went shopping; the usual sort of stuff. Today we went and did some more shopping. We’re going to ride tomorrow and watch the supercross on Saturday and then race Sunday. My mom and I are staying an extra couple days to hang out and go sight-seeing. We might go indoor sky-diving again and maybe go to an indoor trampoline park that I saw on the highway.
OK, well thanks for talking with us today. Good luck in your races and who would you like to thank?
Thanks. I’d like to thank Prodigy Racing, Monster Energy, Cernics Kawasaki, Pro Circuit, Dunlop, O’Neal, UFO plastics, Renthal, Eks Brand goggles, Pit Posse, Rockwell, Moto Concepts, Twin Air, Boyessen, Braden Ford, Leatt Brace, MCR, GPF, Globe shoes, Ride PG, SSI Decals, and Defiance.
Good luck this weekend, Kieran.
And what about the KTM Canada/Tyler Medaglia story? Well, let’s just say that without saying anything ‘official’ the eldest Medaglia will be riding orange on a 450 this summer. We all know he’s already riding one at home but until team manager Andy White has ‘all his ducks in a row’ nothing can be stated as fact. When these last-minute things happen (the Cole Thompson injury) it’s not quite as simple as just pointing to a new rider and saying “You’re our new guy!” Let’s just say that Tyler is 99.9% the MX1 rider for KTM.
Here’s what Tyler had to say about the situation from over on MX Forum:
Ya the deal is finally done! Back on the KTM, would have been cool to be on the Husky as its a nice lookin machine but i was really hoping i didnt have to change brands at all. There were a lot of good people ready to back me up if i needed to do my own deal which was really nice, still a little frustrating not knowing details until late April and i do apologize to the people who did wait around as things were changing day by day. Need to drop a couple more numbers, in order to have the right leverage you need to be #1.
Honda Canada TLD GDR Photo Shoot
I got the call to tag along with Dan Stenning while he did the team photos but since I'm out in Las Vegas I had to say no. Dan was nice enough to send these iPhone pics over for us to see. Like last time, I"m sure they will have some of the coolest team shots of any team. Thanks, Dan.
The team shoot.
Dan Stenning photo
The team rig with her new graphics.
The Arenacross practice is going on without me downstairs so I have to get back to it. Thanks for reading this week. There is so much going on here in Las Vegas that it's almost hard to know where to go or what to point your camera at! DMX will do its best to cover all the action going on here this weekend. I'll leave it here with a couple shots from practice earlier today. I had to leave before Tanner and Eve Brodeur actually got onto the track so watch for more on them as the weekend mvoes on. I'm also off to catch Donk wrenching for his new Husqvarna rider, Mike Brown, later today at the Endurocross. I spoke with Andy White and he said he will try to have the duo come up to Canada for a few races so keep an eye out for that.
Tanner Ward getting checked before he hits the track.
Mitch Goheen hit the track first in his Novice practice this morning.
The French Connection. Eve Brodeur is racing the Women's and Schoolboy classes.
Braydon from GP Bikes and Mitch Goheen keeping it light.
Unless you got there first, there was quite a long line and 90-degree heat to wait in for sign-in.
And here come the Canadians!
Sylvain Brodeur sorting out a slight oil leak...
I gotta get back down there! See you at the races...