Frid’Eh Update #1 | Top Stories of 2023 | Brought to You by Race Tech

By Billy Rainford

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Welcome to the first DMX Frid’Eh Update of 2024 this week brought to you by Race Tech. As we head into a new season of moto, it’s always fun to look back over the year and talk about the things that happened in our sport. With both of our #1 riders in 250 and 450 choosing career numbers, we don’t have a #1 in Canada, per se. Ryder McNabb is #6 and Dylan Wright is #9.

If I were to choose one of them to feature this week, we’d have nothing for weeks 6 and 9, so we’re going to start the year off on a different foot. We’re going to look at what I think are a few of the #1 things/top stories that happened in 2023 in Canadian Moto. Hmm, where to start…

I found a cool photo of Devyn Smith from Edmonton to make it a little less negative.

I’m going to start with Round 1 of the series last season – RAD Torque Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta. Unfortunately, that also means this list is going to start out a wee bit on the negative side. I think we were all pretty happy to be going back to one of the bigger cities in Canada again after a long time away. And with our series being called the “Triple Crown,” the team obviously felt the need to try something that would fit the name – 3 motos on a hybrid track that was to mix Supercross and Motocross.

The plan was to have riders start out inside the car track and then head out onto part of the motocross track before coming back in. Of course, it would have been cool to hear the crowd roar each time the leaders blasted back into the “arena” but we just didn’t have a crowd to make that an exciting feature.

What we had instead was a bit of a goat path of a track in the circle that became difficult to move machines around. It also meant that watering the rock hard track would have made an ice rink, so we had to suffer the result, which was hard-packed dust. You can argue that a motocross series should see all different types of soil, and I agree with that, but when they had to cut Amateur Day short due to the conditions, you know there was a problem.

I will commend the gang for having the energy and imagination to try something a little different, but we simply fell short this time.

Also, I think a lot of riders who travelled from long distances away weren’t thrilled to find out that only the top 30 were making it into the motos. We’re racing motocross and that means a 40-rider gate.

Good news, we can only go up from here, or can we…

Defending 250 champion Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing’s Jake Piccolo didn’t make it past the first corner of the first moto of the first race. Ouch.

He slid out heading into the first left-hander and damaged his shoulder, taking him out for the rest of the western swing. In fact, team owner Derek Schuster said that Jake will likely miss the start of the 2024 season as he still needs to have repairs done.

Man, I’m really beating up on Edmonton here but we also had problems for our defending 250 Triple Crown champion, Mitchell Harrison.

Troubles for Mitchell Harrison at Round 1.

Bike problems left Mitchell digging a hole for himself in the MX portion of the series. Team owner Alex Parker took this one on the chin and they moved forward from there.

We also lost LT McDonell.

We also lost young, up-and-comer LT McDonell to a broken femur before the races even started. Subsequently, he has decided to step away from the sport. Man, this is a real bummer so far, isn’t it?! And we haven’t even made it past Round 1!

It’s going to get positive soon, I promise!

Enter WLTN Kawasaki. Whew, I knew we could do it.

Enter WLTN Kawasaki.

Walton Raceway owners Brett Lee and Mel Lee stepped in to run a team to fill the void left by the departure of Huber Motorsports. This story has to be one of, if not the, feel good story of the year!

As is the popular thing to do in Canada, a race track is now also a team, joining Gopher Dunes and Sand Del Lee.

They had a few hiccups along the way last season, but they will return in 2024 with Quinn Amyotte on the 250 and Tanner Ward on the 450.

Numbers were up at all of our Amateur National events.

Numbers were up at all 3 of our Amateur National events.

WCAN at Whispering Pines: It was great to see amateur motocross so strong in the west. There were full gates throughout the program and we’ve got a few riders to keep an eye on as they progress through the ranks.

ECAN at Motocross Deschambault: Gates were packed in Quebec this summer and the addition of Ryan Gauld and his AMO Reloaded team taking care of the technical side of it, it went smoothly and we didn’t have a 72-rider gate head into turn 1…

TransCan: The crown jewel of our sport did not disappoint in 2023. The track went above and beyond to make sure every family felt like they were in the right place and their decision to spend all that money and take vacation in the middle of a corn field was the right one. And we went backwards!

I’d like to see one more stop in the west to give the entire country a better chance to get out and support our sport. However, from what I’ve heard so far, when the 2024 schedule comes out on January 15th we may not even be making a stop in BC. We’ll see…

Eve Brodeur in Edmonton.

The WMX field had the addition of World GP competitor Avrie Berry back to challenge now 10-time champion Eve Brodeur and Jamie Astudillo.

As our series continues to put out such a strong series for Women, we’ll surely see it continue to grow. Also, the rejuvenated series down south doesn’t appear to have what riders are looking for, so we should see an influx of American riders heading north in the future, I hope.

Speaking of Avrie, she also brought her husband Andy “Tank” Truyts with her to race the 450 class and he was definitely a breath of fresh air. I always looked forward to interviewing him at the end of the day. Whether he’d had a good day or not, he was fun to chat with.

We had Jordan Jarvis show up at Walton Raceway to race Eve and I think we all know that Jordan is one of the fastest WMX racers in the world. She actually races Pro down south, but hopefully she decides to make a few more trips north in 2024.

Jimmy Decotis came back to Canada.

It was great to see Jimmy Decotis return to MX101 to race Sand Del Lee. He raced for Kevin Tyler back in the day, so this was a great place to see him make his return. No, his day didn’t go the way he planned (he blew up a bike and didn’t have a spare), but it was great to see him.

He also raced in Deschambault and thrilled everyone as he hit the massive jump on his little 2-stroke.

Lars Van Berkel from The Netherlands.

And how about #787 Lars Van Berkel showing up from The Netherlands to race Gopher Dunes and Sand Del Lee?! He showed he can ride the sand with the best of them and finished 3rd (4-2) and 4th (3-5) before heading home. He loved it here and it would be cool to see him return in the future.

AMO takes over Future West Moto Arenacross.

AMO stepped in and took control of the Arenacross series out in Chilliwack, BC and Quinn Amyotte went undefeated to take the title. AMO Arenacross will return in 2024 and hopefully the west and the rest of the country continue to support this indoor tradition. But I still think last year’s champion Parker Eales had every right to run the #1 and should have done so…

This is how Parker Eales should have looked at the AMO Arenacross this year. Boo, Parker, boo…

Possible Land Use Changes Threaten Wild Rose MX in Calgary

It’s been brought to our attention that postcards were mailed to businesses in the Wild Rose MX area in Calgary, Alberta, outlining possible land use changes that would see a roadway cut directly through the middle of the crown jewel of the Canadian Motocross industry.

Head over to the website HERE to read all the details and let your voice be heard!

Steve Simms lands on his feet but we have at least 2 teams leaving.

Unfortunately, we have a minimum of 2 teams leaving our series. Thor GasGas and TLD SSR GasGas will not be returning in 2024. That’s 2 teams on the same brand of motorcycle, so something will have to be done to keep the GasGas bikes at the races.

Fortunately, Steve Simms has landed on his feet and found a home at the WLTN Kawasaki team for the foreseeable future.

Kaven Benoit returns to racing. | Kowalchuk Photos photo

After leaving the series for 4 years, 2-time 250 champion Kaven Benoit returned to racing this past summer and gave the youngsters an early scare.

The plan was for him to ride the new KTM 250 SX 2-stroke but they decided it was best for him to ride the proven 250 SX-F and he came out swinging by winning Round 1 and ended up 3rd in the series. He’ll be back on the 250 with new teammate Josiah Natzke from New Zealand on the 450.

Noah Viney returned to Canada.

It was great to see Noah Viney get the fill-in ride for the injured Jake Piccolo at the GDR. The rider from Ottawa who now calls the moto paradise of Murrieta, California, home was planning to come up to race a couple rounds but ended up with the ride and finished out the season in 9th place overall with a best overall of 6th place.

Noah will now set his sights on the Supercross Futures series for the Smartops MotoConcepts Honda team, starting at A2, so be sure to keep an eye out for him this winter.

Ryder McNabb defends his title, and…

Ryder McNabb from Minnedosa, Manitoba, came back and defended his 250 title and looked great early, even though he was coming back from injury. He looked like he hadn’t missed a beat and showed that he is a young rider who deserves the opportunities that lay in front of him.

He will rider the Supercross Futures on the AEO Motorsports KTM team, starting at A1, and then look forward to a summer of AMA Pro Motocross.

What more can be said about Dylan Wright?!

It must be a pretty amazing feeling to know you’re shaping into one of the icons of our sport. Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing’s Dylan Wright is doing just that. The now 4-time 450 champion has not been beaten in an overall in over 2 years! That has never been done. Say what you want about the depth of the field compared to years past, but this roll Dylan is on is incredible no matter how you look at it. Can he make it 3 in a row? We’re going to find out!

Oh, and he’s also started a podcast with his two buddies Tanner Ward and Dario Zecca called Off the Gate.


And looking forward to our Nationals in 2024…

It looks like Partzilla PRMX may be coming into our 2024 Canadian Triple Crown Series with some firepower! What do you think will happen when they come in with Mitchell Harrison, Hunter Yoder, and Dylan Rempel in the 250 class, and Aaron Tanti in the 450 class, if that’s what happens?!

Canadians racing 2024 AMA Supercross. | photo

The 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series starts Saturday in Anaheim, California, and we’ve got a few reasons to pay even closer attention than usual.

We’ll have Cole Thompson, returning to the 250 West series on the Heartbeat Hot Sauce Solitaire team, Guillaume St Cyr, and Julien Benek. We’ll also have 2022 Canadian Triple Crown Series champion in the 250 class Mitchell Harrison (riding for the Canadian PRMX team). Mitchell didn’t score any points at Round 1 last year in Edmonton and ended up losing the title by only 6 points to Ryder McNabb in 2023.

And watch for Dylan Rempel and Noah Viney in Supercross Futures.

I heard a rumour that Julien has been sick, but hopefully that doesn’t affect his racing this weekend or in the future. We’ll have our answer soon enough!

There are, of course, many other stories that happened this season, but that’s some of what we were talking about this year.

The Press Conference just ended at A1. With that group of riders on the stage, it’s going to be even more difficult for anyone else to even get sniffs of the Mains this season!

I found a couple things funny:

  1. Larry Brooks pointing out that their Suzuki bike hasn’t changed this year so they are on top of all their settings heading into the new season.
  2. When Jason Thomas introduced himself as “Jason Thomas – NBC Sports” and then said, “Bear with me, I’ve always wanted to say that.”
  3. Not being there in person this season, I had YouTube going on the TV and the comment section scrolling on my phone. Wow, the internet can be a hostile place! Lol
  4. We’ve got Jessica Longname there but she chickened out at her first-ever AMA Supercross Press Conference and didn’t ask a question. That can be an intimidating group.

Here’s what’s going to happen Saturday:

Jorge Prado and Vince Friese will head into turn 2 first and second. They won’t finish there but that’s how the Main will start.

Eli Tomac and Jett Lawrence will take the win if it’s there, but I don’t think they’ll be the ones to do anything stupid at the first round. That will open the door for Justin Barcia, Jason Lawrence, and Ken Roczen. AC will get a good start and hopefully hold onto a top 8.

Malcolm Stewart is a question mark for me. There isn’t much pressure on him to do anything at A1, so that might be what he needs to sneak in there and drop in on the podium, but I don’t think so.

I never expect a lot from Aaron Plessinger and then he goes out and does well. I guarantee he’ll get a top 2 cheer during opening ceremonies for sure though! Only Eli’s ovation will be louder.

And what about Chase Sexton? You know, the defending champ! There’s talk about the bike not being set up just right for him yet, but I think he’ll be on the podium and maybe take the win at this one.

Dylan Ferrandis is also a question mark. If this were AMA Pro Motocross I’d have him higher up than I’m expecting him at A1, but we’ll see how he looks on that Firepower Honda.

After we’re all done bench racing, it’ll probably go Jett, Eli, Chase, but I guess that’s why we drop the gate!

It’s time to go racing!

Times are local (Pacific)

Have a great weekend, everyone.

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