Frid’Eh Update #10 | Keylan Meston | Presented by Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada
By Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #10 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada. We’re in a big thaw here in Southwestern Ontario and we now have now snow! Seriously, we went from having over a foot on our lawn with huge snowbanks to green grass and moto weather over night! We broke weather records 2 or 3 days in a row and made it all the way up to 19C/66F yesterday.
The weather has been so nice the past few days that Gopher Dunes is actually opening for riding today, so that’s where I’m heading to see who else this nice, late-winter weather brings out of the woodwork.
Keylan Meston is the rider who holds onto the career #10. Keylan is the hard-working, fun-loving rider we’ve all gotten to know pretty well over his Pro racing career. He’s always easy to talk to and provides us with some of our favourite interviews around here.
As you’ll read, he got a bit of a late start riding motorcycles, but he is still improving every year we see him lining up at a race.
Here’s a look at his 2020 Canadian Triple Crown Series:
As you can see, he was always a podium threat and his consistency put him 4th overall in the series. We got in touch with him this week to see what he’s been up to and find out what he’s got planned for the approaching 2021 season:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Keylan. Let’s talk about the 2020 Canadian series for a moment. You finished 6th overall in the MX portion and had some great races. Is there one that stands out where you feel you had your best race?
Keylan Meston: I think it was a great season and there were a lot of memorable moments. There were definitely some great motos and had some great battles. I seemed to be glued to Tyler (Medaglia) for most of the series. I felt like I struggled to get my feet under me in 2020 a little bit. I have bounced back and forth from Yamaha to Husqvarna since 2017 and the bikes have changed quite a bit each year and I have not really had a chance to build a foundation on a brand. I am pretty picky with my setup and I find my performance really hinges on being comfortable. So pretty excited to be going into a second year on Husqvarna and building off of 2020.
And then in SX your best overall was again a 5th overall and you ended up 5th in points. How do you feel that part of the series went for you? Were you happy your riding?
That was actually probably my favourite part of the series! I had a blast riding out at Vision Built and felt like I progressed really quickly. Davey Fraser helped me a lot with my technique and approach to a Supercross style track. It’s a whole different thing trying to race it with the bigger rhythms, two weeks of prep, and a wide variety of talent (which kept you on your toes when someone would yard sale in front of you). I felt like I rode well, have lots to learn with strategy, but it will all come if I stick to it.
And then you went out to Chilliwack and raced the FWM AX series You were the guy to beat in the Open Pro class but didn’t end up with the title after it was cut short. How did you like that series? Is that one you’d do again?
Future West is always fun, I love being out there seeing the Carlsons and all my BC friends. Arenacross can be bittersweet – it’s the best thing in the world when it’s going good and in contrast, it sucks when it sucks. Everyone was riding really well, Casey (Keast) , (Brock) Hoyer, (Julien) Benek, (Jake) Piccolo, etc. and we all had some good battles. I made some mistakes and lost some points. It would have been pretty close at the end if the series ran right through. I’m excited to watch the 2020 Future West Arenacross Champion tear it up in Texas this weekend.
What have you been doing since the last time I saw you in November? Are you still driving big rigs for your family business?
Just been chilling in COVID Canada. Training and staying active, enjoying some much needed time at home. I’ve been working with my parents but currently not driving. I’m doing some more office work. My mother is hoping to retire/take less of a roll here later in the year and I need to step up and learn some other aspects of the business and the cattle industry.
How have things been going there in Calgary? Has the weather allowed you to get out riding?
Things are great, actually. The weather has been pretty nice during the day. I have been getting quite a bit of riding in, weather and work permitting. Not nearly as much if I were down south but enough to keep the muscle memory on par.
Let’s say the series stays like it appears right now with a round in Alberta and one in Manitoba, is your plan to race the series again?
I hope so. As of right now, don’t really have a concrete plan. I still need to hash some things out with the Carlsons and other sponsors to see how things will materialize and which direction the rig is going to go. I hope the series sticks, especially for the DORVA round. Ben Fooks and Brad Peake and the rest of the club are so devoted to the sport and thrilled to be finally having a national level event coming to their venue.
Have you almost got your support deal figured out for the 2021 season?
Things are coming together, not a 100% together but should hopefully have all the same great sponsors lined up for the season.
How many more years have you got left focussing on running an entire series, anyway?
I don’t know. Definitely on the tail end of living this young man’s life. I find what Tyler is doing pretty admirable. I have had that on my mind as well for a while now. Hitting the events I want to hit, maybe some Endurocross, Supercross, AMA Nationals, 6 Days? I still have some big goals and some things I want to achieve before I move to the next chapter in life. I feel like I am steadily progressing. I had a later start to riding and racing motorcycles than most and my “10,000 hours” is rolling right around the corner.
What else have you been doing for fun during these weird times?
Trying to hit the mountains as much as I can, touring and backcountry skiing.
How are things going over there at your podcast show with Jared Petruska, Bent Methods? What’s the plan?
It’s going pretty good. We are at a point where if we want to go to the next level we need to put much more time and effort into it but that’s pretty hard when we are trying to quantify our time as we are doing it on the side as a hobby. We did the Christmas Giveaway and had a lot of support from sponsors and raised some good money for charity but it was a ton of work with no return other than trying to do a good thing for our followers and community. We are also not really sure what we want it to entirely look like in the long run. We have been presented some of these questions recently from potential sponsors and we have come up with some really great ideas that we think could make some big change in our sport. So it will be really interesting to see where it goes.
You should really check out our latest episode with Jasiek Folga. It wasn’t my finest performance but man it was so inspiring listening to him and his mindset. He sustained a spinal injury after a crash off-road riding that has left him in a wheelchair but he hasn’t missed a beat since. He makes ya want to quit the whining, pull your head out of your ass and live your life.
Will you try to do any more AMA Nationals like you have in previous years, if the borders happen to open?
How do you think your teammate, Casey Keast, will do this weekend in Arlington for his first AMA Supercross?
Tough to say. He is in the top percentile of naturally talented Canadians but does not have a ton of recent high level experience due to injuries and not a ton of consistency in racing year to year. He will either get in no problem and be extremely competitive or take a round or two to build some momentum. I believe in him. We worked a lot this past summer on his mentality and self-belief.
OK, thanks for talking with us today, K-Mess. Do you have any words of wisdom to leave us with?
It all works out in the end, so chill out. I learn that firsthand everyday.
Hope to see you at Round 1. Who would you like to thank?
Carlson Racing, Husqvarna Canada, Direct Suspension, Blackfoot Direct, Hatt Automotive, Shoei, Matrix Concepts Canada, 100%, Bent Methods.
Casey Keast Racing First AMA Supercross in Arlington
Kelowna, BC rider Casey Keast will finally line up for his first-ever Monster Energy AMA Supercross Saturday in Arlington, Texas. Casey is a rider with endless natural talent and he excels in the confines of indoor racing. The Future West Moto Arenacross series has groomed many of our top indoor prospects and Casey is definitely on that long list.
I got in touch with Casey Thursday night to find out how the lead-up to the race has been going. Here’s what he had to say:
Casey Keast Update | Rolling with the Punches
Kelowna, BC racer #300 Casey Keast has spent the last month training with Kevin Urqhart at his Bulldog Training Facility in Menifee, California. Casey is down south in preparation for his first run at a few rounds of 2021 Monster Energy AMA Supercross.
Casey is the current Future West Moto Arenacross champion and has no shortage of natural talent that shines through on the tight indoor-style tracks.
We got in touch with Casey at around 9:00pm on Thursday night, assuming we would be talking to him from the comfort of his Carlson Racing Shift Husqvarna pick-up truck and 5th-wheel trailer. Unfortunately, that’s not where we found him.
Casey’s week took a strange turn when their almost-new truck broke down in Tucson, Arizona. They were forced to unhook the trailer and get the truck to a dealership where they were told the fuel sensor was the issue. That meant they would have to leave the truck with them for a couple days, which was a problem for obvious reasons.
When I spoke to Casey and Kevin, they were in a U Haul van and trailer about 13 hours from Arlington. They were now going to have to drive through the entire night in order to make it to the stadium in time for their 2:00pm COVID-19 tests.
I did my best to tell Casey how good this story will be when a few years pass and he’s recounting it in hindsight. If anyone can roll with the punches the road can throw at you, it’s Casey. He said he won’t let himself get too frustrated.
Now, they’ll have to get a hotel room instead of relaxing at the track in their own rig for the first part of their 3-race stay in Texas. Fortunately, Brent Carlson knows someone from Arizona who will drive the truck and trailer to them in Texas. The truck is supposed to be ready at noon on Friday, so the two shouldn’t be put out for too long.
No, it’s not ideal, but these are the cards they’ve been dealt and they have no choice but to jump through the hoops they have in front of them in order to have the best chance of doing as well as Casey has the potential to.
Casey said that he was off the pace when he first arrived at the practice tracks in California, but that after a couple weeks he had picked up the pace and was feeling comfortable.
He added that the process to get clearance from the CMA went very smoothly. He wasn’t able to get his traditional #217 but that he has no problem with the #300 that was available from the AMA.
We’ll be sure to check in with Casey after he makes his way through his first-ever AMA Supercross and we also appreciate him taking the time to talk with us, even through the obvious stress they were under when we did.
Spring-A-Ding This Weekend at Underground MX
The big US amateur racing schedule continues this weekend, after the RCSX last weekend at Daytona International Speedway. The Motoplayground Spring-A-Ding will be racing starting today.
I know we’ve got #164 Wyatt Kerr racing the B classes and we should have information and a few photos coming in over the course of the weekend, so watch for those.
Here’s the live timing link:
This Update is going to be a short one because I’ve finally been able to get to a track and check out some riding! I couldn’t be more pumped. Have a great weekend, and get ready to yell at your TV’s as Casey tries to make his first AMA Supercross.
OK, just got back from a day over at Gopher Dunes. It was great to walk into the Pro shop and catch up with Derek Schuster for a while. It was also great to see Dylan Kaelin helping out behind the counter and selling his Tear Off Gaskets. It was also nice to hang out with The Pomeroys and The Derrys from a safe distance.
I walked around and shot a bunch of photos and video. So many riders were wearing hoodies and no numbers that I didn’t even no who 90% of the people were…and there were a lot of people there today!
I’ll probably just load them up as a Photo Dump on our Facebook page and let people tag friends. Marco Cannella, Tanner Ward, Ryan Derry and a few other fast guys were there as well as a trackful of others who I just didn’t recognize.
Have a great weekend and enjoy Arlington #1 Saturday.