DMX Frid’Eh Update #11 Presented by Mongoose Machine
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Week #11 always belongs to the winner of the MX2 class up here in Canada. The MX2 champion gets to run the #1 plate and then it goes 12, 13, and so on. Last summer, we had one of the fiercest battles for the title we’ve ever seen. It’s pretty safe to say that things got weird from time to time. In the end, Royal Distributing Fox KTM Canada rider, Kaven Benoit, came away with the title making it a clean sweep for Canada.
Every top rider we asked to tell us what they thought was the top story from the 2014 season said the same thing: the weekly battle between Kaven Benoit and Vince Friese. It got quite heated at times and you could tell Kaven wasn’t used to dealing with this type of aggression…none of us were! Kaven is currently preparing for the 2015 season down at the Georgia Practice Facility (GPF) in Cairo, Georgia. He’s with Intermediate rider #777 Cedric Moore and his trainer/mechanic/father. We grabbed the friendly French rider to talk about last season and 2015 as he was getting ready to ride with MX1 champion, Honda Canada TLD GDR rider Colton Facciotti. Here;s what he had to say:
I’m just working on the bike – getting some stuff done on it before going out to ride. I’ve done a couple motos with (Kyle) Keast but not that many with the other guys. We’ve been on different schedules, I think. I’ve been riding a bit with Kyle but I haven’t ridden much with Colton or any of the other guys. When I was riding, I think they were taking a break or vice versa. When I got here, he (Colton) was in Orlando on a vacation with his family and when he got back I was kind of taking a break, but today we’ll ride together. I just talked to him and he’s riding today.
I’ve got a 350 and a 2-stroke right now. I just started riding the 2-stroke two days ago. I was down in Florida in January and February a bit and I was riding the 350 only, just getting back into it and getting back into shape. Now I brought a 2-stroke down and I’m getting back into the regular program – getting used to it. The bike isn’t that much different (from 2014). We’ve got limited modifications on it so we’re testing a couple things to make it work well and that’s about it.
VS Vince Friese in 2014
Well, for sure. I was into it 100%. I lived the thing in a different perspective than most of the people. It was a tough summer for sure. The result at the end is what I was expecting and working for and I’m happy that I realized all my goals. If I would have had the power to change the rivalry a bit I would have done it. I did what I could do and what he was doing was out of my control and I tried to stay calm and not to worry about it too much, but, for sure, it was a bit too much. At the end I was kind of happy it was over. We’ll see if this year has to be the same and he’s coming down, we’ll have to figure out something to not make that last all year. It was not that fun! (Laughs)
My last race was the Geneva Supercross which didn’t go really well. I kind of got back luck over there. It wasn’t a super weekend. It was fun but my racing part was not what I was expecting. After that, I took a break until mid-January pretty much. I as just hitting the tracks in Florida and having fun and getting back into the program slowly. I was a first for me, coming down so early because I usually wait until March. So far it’s been good.
Any races down south?
No. I don’t have any insurance that covers racing. I’ve been looking around but what’s available at home is just for practice. I can’t hit races so I’m just focusing on practicing. I’ll try to hit some races back home in the spring just like usual.
How much longer down at GPF?
Maybe two more weeks. It will all depend on our photo shoot. I have to talk to JS (JSR) about that. I think we’re doing it somewhere down south, here. I don’t think it’s going to be at GPF so I’ll have to move somewhere just for the photos. After that – it’s supposed to be mid-April – I’ll probably just head back home and try to ride at home.
250 2-stroke or 250F in 2015?
250 2-stroke. I don’t know where to start on that. Some of the rules they made are kind of weird but again I’m taking it as a challenge and I’ll try to win with a stock bike. It’s the challenge for this year.
2016: Win this year or not, MX1?
Ya. I just re-signed the contract with KTM in the fall and it’s to ride the 250 this year and, whatever happens, I’m riding the 450 next year. That’s the plan.
Thanks for the chat, Kaven, and good luck with your training.
This week, the Update is presented by Mongoose Machine out in Port Coquitlam, BC. Kevin Kinrade and the gang are fast-becoming leaders in bike mods and quality parts distribution. Just today they announced they will be the Canadian distributors of InnTeck products as well. Here is the Press Release on that:
Be sure to check them out and all the products they distribute.
Hey, guys. The weather is getting nicer and nicer as the days go by. Unfortunately, we still have a few weeks before we can ride outside in Southern Ontario. The good news is, the Detroit SX is on this weekend. With Toronto off the schedule, Detroit is probably the closest SX race for most of us in Ontario. Yes, I am a little sad that Toronto isn’t on the schedule anymore, but I really do understand why. Although the attendance has been rising year after year, and it looked to be a success, it makes sense for the series not crossing the border.
Another big let down, is the end of the World Famous DMX Pre-Party and After Party. The long-running parties were definitely the place to be on the Friday before the race and the Saturday night after the race ended. It always attracted tons of fans, some serious industry people and, man, many great racers over the years. Racers such as Chad Reed, Dean Wilson, Malcolm Stewart, Josh Hill, and industry greats like Steve Lamson, Steve Matthes, Jeremy Albrecht, and Jason Weigandt all made appearances and reappearances over the years. It was a great time and I, for one, am very sad that it is gone.
I, myself, along with Bigwave Billy will be in Detroit this weekend. I am hoping to bump into as many Canadian moto fans as I can. Ford Field is a really nice stadium, too bad downtown Detroit has seen better years. As long as I can make it to and from the stadium without getting robbed and or beat, I will consider it a victory. As for the action on the track, I am afraid Marvin Musquin and Ryan Dungey will continue to lay a beating on the competitors and will steal more points towards the championships in their respective classes.
With the East 250 class getting very beat down, Vicki Golden has a real shot at making the night show. I agree with Steve Matthes when he said, “I’m still not a fan of her getting press days and plenty of track time to make sure she’s on point (the guys she’s qualifying around do not get the same courtesy).” There is no reason why she should be getting all of this special treatment. In my eyes, she should make it, because she is good enough to be in the top 40 with the same amount of track time as everyone else.
The 450 class is also missing at least 8 top guys which allows the hard-working privateers like #722 Adam Enticknap a real shot at the mains. Adam made his first main event of the season last week, and will no doubt be looking to put the ‘Seven-Deuce-Deuce’ in back to back mains.
Let’s hope, if the amazing KTM duo of Dungey and Musquin are going to win their 4th straight, that somebody at least steps up and makes it an exciting race. Here are my predictions for the Motor City:
1st Marvin Musquin: He is just that much better than everyone else on the starting gate.
2nd Justin Bogle: Justin is riding fantastic, but fantastic doesn’t beat Marvin Musquin in 2015.
3rd Joey Savatgy: Joey will be good, but not on the level of the top 2.
4th Jimmy Decotis: Jimmy D will be balls to the wall, and fighting for the 3rd spot on the box.
5th Jeremy Martin: I think Jeremy will be pushing a tad too hard for the win and will hit the dirt once.
1st Eli Tomac: Eli will stay on 2 wheels and edge out Dungey for the win.
2nd Ryan Dungey: Ryan will be very good as always, but will finish a bike length behind Eli in the main.
3rd Cole Seely: Cole will get a terrible start and fight all the way to 3rd.
4th Chad Reed: Reed will come from outside of the top 10 and be right on Seely at the end.
5th Trey Canard: Trey will be the fastest guy on the track once again, but an 18th place start will hold him back.
Well, that’s it for me this week. Before I go, I would like to send out a big congratulations to my friend Mary Bernatchez-Girard on her well-deserved championship. Mary captured the 2015 Course Sur Glace Eskape Quebec Championship. Good job, Mary!
In other good news, John Sparks continues to improve day by day from his Florida crash. John is a great guy and has a great family behind him, so let’s keep them all in our thoughts and prayers during this tough battle. Have a great weekend, and always remember to #smileforBC!
Thanks for that, Jeff. Like he said, we’re currently thawing out from one of the worst winters in recent history here in our neck of the woods. To our east, they just received another punch in the face with 2 feet of snow in Nova Scotia, and then out west, I just spoke with Jason Hughes from the Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki Team and he said they’ve been at or above 15 degrees C for the past month-and-a-half! It’s armageddon here in Canada…”Dogs and cats living together!” (Google it, Bowker!) Seriously though, check out this Instagram photo from Adam Turner (@turner247) from Podium 1 Suspension out in Lower Sackville, NS (Yes, I giggled too):
Monster Energy AMA Supercross Returning to Canada in 2016?
Jeff mentioned Detroit this weekend and the disappearance of the Toronto SX. Well, if you believe the rumours floating around, Monster Energy AMA Supercross may be back in ‘The Big Smoke’ as early as 2016, and Montreal too! I don’t know what to make of this just yet as the last conversation I had with Justin Thompson of Jetwerx and Motosport Arenacross Tour fame seemed to indicate that his outfit held the rights to the Montreal venue for Supercross.
Of course, nobody in the seats will care about that kind of stuff as long as there is great racing back in Canada. Stay tuned for more on this story as we are able to get to the bottom of it. I was unable to reach anyone today for a comment but won’t give up that easily.
In the meantime, we’ll head 2 hours west of London, Ontario, on the most boring drive in all of Canada (and I’ve driven them all!) to the Detroit SX tomorrow. Ford Field is a beautiful stadium in Greektown in the centre of the city. Whether anyone can touch Marvin Musquin or Ryan Dungey remains to be seen, but it will be great to get back to the races. If you see us wandering around, be sure to say hello – ‘Faces at the Races’ doesn’t just right itself, you know!
James Stewart Freestone Spring Championship
Four years ago, Freestone threw their hat in the ring in the very competitive Amateur National schedule. Since then, it has become one of the premiere events on the schedule. This year, the competition looks pretty strong in almost all classes. Although it looks like we only have two Canadians competing – Preston Masciangelo (65cc) and Estrella Cemovic (Girls) – our friend over at MXPTV, Matt Wozney, has been providing some great videos of some of the battles.
You can actually watch all the action LIVE (just don’t let the boss catch you) at the Freestone MX website HERE. If you can’t commit your day to the event, head over to MXPTV to catch some of their ‘Battle’ videos. Here’s one from yesterday with our old friend #35 Joey Crown in the B class. Check it out:
JC Bujold’s New Ride
Jean-Christophe Bujold is a rider who should be on everyone’s radar. He’s got speed and an aggressive riding style that should see him make a splash in Canadian motocross. He took a title at last year’s Parts Canada TransCan at Walton Raceway and looks to do the same in 2015 as well as qualify for a Rockstar Energy MX National or two. He has made the switch over to Honda for 2015. His dad, Eric, sent over this short blurb about the fast Quebec rider’s plans:
Big news for Jean-Christophe Bujold. “JCB”, the 2014 Transcan MX2 Intermediate champion is switching brands of bikes. Honda Canada and new Honda dealer Claude Ste-Marie Sport of St-Hubert, Quebec, have made a deal for JCB to ride the new 2015 Honda CRF 250 and CRF 450.
JCB is now training at the Climax Motorsports facility in Climax, Georgia, with the Club 57 MX crew. For a kid that had not ridden since October, he is doing very well at getting up to speed with the fast Americans. Getting used to his new Hondas was easy for JCB; they are great bikes that suit his aggressive and determined riding style.
After a successful 2014, and at only 15 years of age winning the TransCan and making a top 10 at Loretta Lynn’s, the 2015 season will be focused on the Quebec provincial series, the ECAN as an Intermediate rider, and his debut with the Pros for the eastern rounds of the Rockstar Canadian Nationals.
We would like to thank the following sponsors for their support: Honda Canada, Claude Ste-Marie Sport, Motovan, GUS Champigny, Oakley, KB5 Industries, X-Town, Gunk, Kutvek Amerika, Answer, TCX boots, and Zox.
Toronto International Motorcycle Spring Show
Peter Derry is at it again and this weekend is the Toronto International Motorcycle Spring Show. The show will run this Saturday and Sunday at the International Centre by the Toronto Airport:
Welcome to the Toronto International Motorcycle SPRINGSHOW
New Motorcycles – Buy your bike at the show!
The Motorcycle SPRINGSHOW is the place to be on March 21th & 22th where four huge halls of the International Centre are filled with all things “Motorcycle.”
This latest expansion means larger displays of the new latest model motorcycles including touring and cruising bikes, street bikes, sportbikes, offroad bikes, scooters, customs and more.
Huge Dealer Displays
Looking for your next motorcycle, there will be great deals on non-current models too
With riding season right around the corner, shopping for all the great bargains on helmets, boots, gloves and riding apparel is easy with the huge selection at the superstores.
Bikes of the Century display
The Vintage “Bikes of the Century” display will feature significant bikes from invited clubs & private owners as well as Vincent Motorcycles from the Bar Hodgson Collection.
The Showbike Builders Competition features top customs competing for over $20,000 in cash and awards.
Show goers can check out features such as Fashion Shows by Terez Leathers , racer autograph sessions and more
Meet special guests: racers, celebrities, authors, builders and other motorcycle personalities
Used Bike Market
There will be great deals on non-current models too: Sell your old bike, buy your new bike! The giant Used Bike Clearance Sale is bigger and better this year for those who are looking to upgrade or shopping for their first bike.
Rider Training and insurance exhibitors
Interested in becoming a new rider? The SPRINGSHOW offers attendees information on Rider Training programs, licensing and insurance. Wondering about the best bike for you and proper riding gear? Vendors will be offering great advice on getting started.
Great Food Choices
Check out the great food menus including the Route 66 Diner. Meet up with friends and dine right at the show.
Route 66 Diner
Tickets are $18 Adults, $5 for Youth (free for children under 6). Your entrance to the show includes a copy of Spring Motorcycle Magazine and Free Parking! There will be special VIP Motorcycle Parking at the front entrance of the International Centre.
Colton Facciotti at GPF Video
We were at GPF a couple weeks ago and managed to grab Honda Canada TLD GDR rider and 2014 Canadian MX1 champion, Colton Facciotti, for a few words. Check out this video as Colton talks about last season, his winter training, and the upcoming 2015 season:
Jeremy Medaglia at GPF Video
We didn’t get to speak with Honda Canada TLD GDR rider Jeremy Medaglia, but we shot this short video of him putting in a moto while we were there:
Walton Promo Code for Detroit SX
If you’re heading to Detroit for the Supercross this Saturday night and haven’t purchased your tickets yet, be sure to use the promo code ‘Walton5‘ to save yourself $5 per ticket.
$8500 Scott Foil 10 for $3000…WHAAAAT???!!!
New price. You can now make this 2013 Scott Foil 10 yours for the low price of $3000 Canadian. It was new out of the box last May and has very few kilometres on it. It is in brand new condition. It is a white XL full carbon SRAM Red rocket ship. If you’re looking for a new bike to get moto fit, look no further. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Actually, you now have all the information.
Monster Energy South African Motocross Nationals
Check out this recent video of the first round of the Monster Energy South African Motocross Nationals featuring our old friend Kerim Fitz-Gerald on the #108 Red Bull KTM:
Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki Team
I spoke with Team Owner Jason Hughes today to get the latest on the Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki team and its riders. He mentioned that everything is coming together nicely and that the newest team member, Cole Martinez, is currently out in California doing suspension testing with Graeme Brough and his technician. Of course, I just got off the phone with Cole a second ago and don’t have time to type out our conversation here before our 4pm deadline. I’ll type it out on its own and post it up later this afternoon. Here is the recent Press Release regarding the 2015 team:
Reining MX1 World Champion, Jordi Tixier, Suspended for Assaulting FIM Official
GRAND PRIX OF THAILAND – DECISION OF THE RACE DIRECTION
FUNCHAL (Portugal), 20 March 2015 – On Sunday 8 March 2015, at the end of the first MX2 race of the Thai Motocross Grand Prix, four riders were taken to the medical centre for examination.
Three of them, #1 Jordi Tixier, #91 Jeremy Seewer and #243 Tim Gajser, were suffering from heat stroke and dehydration. The three riders were declared unfit by the Chief Medical Officer and the FIM Medical Director and forbidden to take part in the second race in accordance with the FIM Medical Code.
While receiving his treatment, Jordi Tixier physically attacked the Chief Medical Officer FIM Medical Director. This is considered unacceptable behaviour and in breach of the FIM Motocross World Championship Regulations.
The Race Direction called for a hearing during which Jordi Tixier admitted the facts.
The decision of the Race Direction was to impose a fine of € 5,000.- as well as a suspension of one month starting from 8 March 2015 on Jordi Tixier, in accordance with the Motocross World Championship Regulations.
No appeal was lodged with the FIM Stewards. The decision of the Race direction is final.
How crazy is that?! I don’t know how many of you have suffered from heat stroke or heat exhaustion, but I can tell you from first-hand experience that it is one of the most confusing feelings you can ever go through. If it wasn’t so late in the day, I’d spin this yarn. Suffice it to say that it was during a short-course triathlon and I woke up in a canoe filled with ice water throwing up over the side onto the grass. That was confusing enough in itself! I thought my jaw, arms, and legs were broken and that I was going to spend the rest of my days in a mental institute (not exaggerating!). It was intense. It turns out I’d actually finished the race and it was all caught on video by my father. You come back around pretty quickly with IV but I doubt you would be in any condition to get back on a bike in the same conditions for a few days.
Nick Wey’s Last Detroit SX?
From The Detroit Free Press Website: http://www.freep.com/story/sports/motor/2015/03/19/nick-wey-supercross-ford-field/25058465/
Nick did it his Wey — all effort and all out.
DeWitt’s dirt-bike legend Nicholas Alexander Wey bucked the odds to become one of the best riders on the AMA Supercross and Motocross circuits in the past 15 years.
At 34, Wey heads to Ford Field on Saturday night for what may be his last Monster Energy Supercross race there.
His pro career began in 1998, a kid born in Lansing, who began competing on bikes at age 5 and would thrill fans at the Silverdome in Pontiac and other stadiums around America with his riding skills, daring and never-quit approach.
Now Wey believes it’s time to gear down and spend more time with his wife and three young children.
But not before giving it one last shot this season, and one heck of a ride at Ford Field, where he’ll go handle bar to handle bar with the likes of Chad Reed, Ryan Dungey, Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac, Cole Seely, Blake Baggett and David Millsaps in the 450SX class.
Despite being 21st in points, Wey, who joined the tour late this year, is looking for a top-10 finish in Detroit.
“This could be the last time I ride in the Motor City,” said Wey, who will be astride the No. 27 Kawasaki for Team Mafia Moto Crew, which he runs. “I’m totally committed to place inside the top 10. Detroit is making a comeback and Ford Field is my home track. The turnout of fans will be great as usual.”
Over the years, Wey, who recovered from serious back and hips injuries in 2012 to race competitively again, has ridden for factory and privateer teams, always near the front of the pack but never having the full financial support of some of his peers.
It hasn’t impacted his desire to win or his ability to run the best of the best close.
“Everybody strives to win, and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished,” said Wey, whose parents, Terry and Beth, were always in the pits for him. “I’ve stood on the podium with greats such as Ricky Carmichael and Bubba Stewart, and Stewart and Chad Reed. I take a certain amount of pride in that.”
This season, however, has been one of frustration for Wey, and a signal it may be time to hang up the helmet after a bone-bruising career.
“The way things are going, I think so,” Wey said when asked if he’d retire at the end of the year. “Finishing 15th and trying everything you’ve got — well, it saps you. I’m just getting older, although I still feel I have it on my day. You reach a certain age when you got to look in the mirror.”
In a sport dominated by riders from California and Florida, where practicing all year long is the norm, Wey has carried the banner high for a rider originally from the Midwest, where the winters curtail training.
“I love Michigan and the group of riders we have produced,” Wey said. “The Michigan Mafia — they are hard-core.”
While Carmichael is without doubt one of Wey’s heroes when it comes to dirt-bike racing, Michigan-born AMA Hall of Famer Jeff Stanton being another, Nick says Lions running back Barry Sanders was a favorite when he was a youngster.
“I’d watch Sanders at the Silverdome,” Wey said. “He was just awesome.”
Ndamukong Suh – what does Wey think about the ex-Lions defensive lineman who signed with Miami recently?
“He was offered a lot of money,” said Wey. “Here today, gone tomorrow. I’m guessing he’ll be better suited with the Dolphins and Detroit will get better without him.”
While Wey says he’ll ride the season out hard, which is his trademark, he is looking forward to a second career as a fulltime Supercross/Motocross team owner and/or dirt-bike racing ambassador and consultant.
“I’d like to help develop talent here,” said Wey of basing himself in Michigan and working with young riders. “That would be cool. It’s definitely a possibility.”
Thanks for reading again this week. Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@directmx) and Instagram (@directmotocross) for some behind-the-scenes stuff from this weekend in Detroit. Have a great weekend and enjoy the improving weather.