Frid’Eh Update #12 | Cade Clason | Presented by Leatt
By Billy Rainford
As I sit here trying to type out the DMX Frid’EH Update #12 Presented by Leatt, I have to come clean and tell you that my back is out and I’m having a really hard time sitting in my chair. It’s actually my birthday today, so I think it’s just my body’s way of letting me know I just got older.
Tracks are all ready to open or about to open here in my neck of the woods that is Southwestern Ontario. We’ve suffered a bit of a regression as the temperature went from 22C yesterday to just 6C today. It’s only March and we do live in Canada, so we can’t be too upset about these fluctuations, I guess.
Emily took me out for a late breakfast this morning to a place I used to frequent back when I was in university. It reminded me of a funny story…
We were having breakfast on a Sunday morning “back in the day” after a very late night out on Saturday. My close buddy lived just down the road from this little diner, so that’s where we found ourselves on this particular day.
It must have been 11:30 because he decided the old “hair of the dog” method was appropriate and ordered himself a caesar with a beer chaser. The rest of us were drinking coffee and chugging water.
I hadn’t seen his parents in a couple years, but wouldn’t you know they’d happen to walk through the doors and see their beloved, upstanding son double-fisting at 11:30am on a Sunday. He back-pedalled as best he could, but it was, of course, no use. His squeaky clean image was blown. He was the only person in the entire restaurant with not one but two alcoholic drinks in front of his plate of over-easy eggs.
Anyway, I haven’t been to that diner in a few years and that memory popped into my head. But don’t worry, the details of this story won’t be on the test…
I first met #12 Cade Clason back in the winter of 2011 when I was living in the MX Ranking RV and spreading the word throughout the state of Florida. It was a fun 3 months and I met a lot of great people, and Cade was one of them.
He was training with a few other hotshots, like Zack Freeberg and Adam Cianciarulo, based out of Waldo MX. Ever been there? Do NOT speed through town, but the Mexican restaurant is really good.
Cade came across as a very serious cookie but we spoke whenever we’d see each other at Winter Ams up and down the peninsula of Florida. We’ve become buddies and he was even staying at our place when we got the devastating news that Jeff McConkey had taken his own life.
We also have a pretty funny story about our road cycling routes here in the London area that you’ll read about in our interview.
He came up to Canada in the summer of 2015 with the big #761. Since then, he’s been a staple in Canada and is a name we’ve added to the ever-growing list of ‘Honorary Canadians.’
He decided to sit out the 2020 Motocross season and so we didn’t see him up here last summer. He re-signed with the Team PRMX Wossner Deep South Kawasaki team for the 2021 Supercross season and has been looking good and keeps us yelling at our TV’s during LCQs most weeks.
We got in touch with him to see how things have been going. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Cade. I think this is the longest I’ve gone without seeing you since I met you back in 2011! You decided not to come race up here in Canada last season. I mean, conditions weren’t exactly ideal for international travel. Was that the reason you decided to stay south?
Cade Clason: Right? It’s been so long! I miss my Canadian family. I have so many friends up there that are like family to me that I haven’t seen since the SX races at the end of 2019. Honestly, I didn’t come because staying in Canada for a full summer without knowing if the series was going to make it, plus the lack of pay. Also, Julien (Perrier) said the team funding wasn’t all there so I would have had to fund more myself, so I decided it would be nice to stay at home for a summer with Sarah and do some coaching and MTB. Easy to say, it was a great summer.
What did you get up to during the racing season last summer?
Most of my time was taken up coaching different kids from around here. I have probably 10-12 kids I rotate between always coaching here and there. Some of them have another coach they work with full time, and they just work with me part time to get another perspective. I also started working as a MTB guide for a local company called Home Grown. I do so much pedalling and became great friends with the owners. It is an awesome side gig I am going to continue doing as long as I’m here.
You signed on with Julien Perrier and the PRMX team for Supercross this season. You’re definitely keeping us yelling at the screen almost every weekend. How has your season been going? Are you happy with your riding?
Much happier than last year, to say the least. I am super stoked with it. This is where I know I can be. I know the ceiling is still higher than we are at now and the goal is to just keep reaching for it.
You looked to be faster than the guys you were fighting with last week at Arlington #3. What happened there in the LCQ from your point of view?
Well, I feel I was faster than #28 and #34, but with the stuff that happened with 28 the race before I did not want to be overly aggressive when we were both in a qualifying spot, but then (Tyler) Bowers ended up catching us and passing me, then I had two people in front of me that I felt were holding me up. With A-Ray (Alex Ray) coming I knew I had to move, so I tried to pass Bowers back and it ended up slowing me down. Once he was right on me, at that point, it’s better to be in 5th than 4th for safety reasons. Everyone kind of knows what happened next.
And now we have a week off. What will you do and where will you be?
Well, I get to go home for the first time since Christmas, so I’m heading out there for the first week. Then back to Club MX to get back to work. I got a new van, so my mechanic Fred and I will be putting some work into it. Hoping to get it travel-able for the summer. I still have a lot to prove so the work won’t stop for now.
How’s the PRMX gang doing, anyway? Without being able to be at a race I have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes! Do you guys have a good vibe there in the pits?
I think we are loving life. Our new rig is amazing. Sponsors this year are way more involved and accessible and fun to work with. The residencies make it more fun for us, I think – less travel, more time to race prep, and just enjoy all these cool cities we go to. The team has been really good and and I love seeing the growth.
Where were you guys practicing in the Dallas area while you were there?
I didn’t practice. Some guys went to a few different places but we didn’t feel it was necessary.
How many more years do you have chasing the Supercross dream full-time?
That’s a good question and not one I have an answer for. I would do it forever if I could. I make decent money doing it. I don’t see a reason to quit something I love for the only reason to be to make more money doing something else. Of course, there are other factors that come into play but I love racing too much to leave it behind anytime soon.
What do you see yourself doing for work when it does ends?
I love coaching, I actually had a job offer before the season to go work full time somewhere and turned it down to keep racing. I also love the outdoors and have always wanted to work in a national park or something like that.
Oh, I don’t think I’ve mentioned this to you yet. So, after you left our place a couple seasons ago, I was going for a bike ride with Emily and asked her if she’d like to do a certain route. I kept trying to explain it and she just couldn’t picture it. I finally said, “The route we did with Cade!” Ever since then, every one of our routes is based on a variation of your name. We have the OG Cade Clason, the Cade P. Clason, the Reverse Clason, Cade’s Middle Finger, Cade’s Fist, Cade’s Thumbless Glove, An Extended Clason, the Cade Plus….etc.. I’m not sure what the question is here. Maybe, how does it make you feel knowing you’ve not been forgotten up here? LOL
I’m just glad that I can bring so much organization to your relationship! Lol
What will it take for you to call this season a success in your eyes?
I feel like I’m a measuring my success weekend to weekend more than a season-ending goal, when you’re not really in any type of points battle. I would love to battle for some top 15’s, just being around that number is a success for me at the moment. I have some summertime goals that I would like to achieve as well, but I don’t know if I can talk about them yet.
Oh no? How about this summer? I know Julien is considering the Canadian series but you may be a Supercross-only guy, right?
I’m not an SX only guy. I love outdoors and with the right prep I’m still plenty good enough to be good at it, don’t you worry.
How is Sarah doing? Any National secrets you can tell us here? How much Cantonese can you speak now?
Lol. She is good. She’s happy I’m home for once. She hasn’t been able to come to any races this year, so it’s been a rough couple months. But, no, not a word. I don’t even remember how she said to say “Cade!” It’s pretty pathetic how terrible I am at learning a second language.
Well, good luck with the rest of the series. Thanks for chatting with us and who would you like to thank?
Thanks, Billy. Really just Julien and the team, all the mechanics, Deep South Kawasaki and Wossner for making this season happen. There were plenty of stressful points when we didn’t think it would happen, so thank you to them!
I could have spent all day going through old photos looking for some good ones of Cade. I almost did!
Dr. Chris Leatt Podcast Interview
I had a great chat with the inventor of the Leatt brace, Dr. Chris Leatt, this week. I tried to keep things light at the start and we talked about all kinds of things related to South Africa. If you want to get straight to the business, fast forward to the 14-minute mark.
Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to the podcast provider of your choice.
Westerners Worried about Summer Series
All this uncertainty about the ability to even travel from province to province and the resulting questions about the viability of a cross-Canada series this summer have a few of the riders and teams in the western part of Canada unsure of what they’ll do this year.
After speaking with a couple riders and families from BC, the consensus appears to be that some of them won’t be trying to compete in the series if we aren’t able to make a go of the first couple rounds in Drumheller, AB and Brandon, MB.
Of course, in a perfect world, we’ll be visiting the dinosaur capital of Canada and the place the Tragically Hip made famous in their Wheat Kings song, but it may just be wishful thinking.
As COVID-19 restrictions continue to be a roller coaster ride, we’ll have to play the wait-and-see game again as the June 19th kickoff date nears. It wouldn’t hurt for you to start rubbing a rabbit’s foot or whatever else you feel may help the situation.
Phil Nicoletti Returns to AMA Pro Motocross Championship with Team ClubMX
Chesterfield, SC (March 26, 2021) – Phil Nicoletti, the 2019 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Champion and 450 Supercross Champion in Canada, will return to U.S. racing to compete in the upcoming 2021 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. The season begins May 29th at Fox Raceway in California. “Filthy Phil” will join the ClubMX Yamaha squad on a Yamaha YZ450F to compete in the 450 MX division, while the rest of the ClubMX team will remain Yamaha YZ250F mounted in the 250 MX class.
“I really enjoyed my two years racing in Canada but some of the teams and deals were no longer available,” said Nicoletti. “At the same time, I don’t feel like I’m done. I think I have some time left in me and Brandon [Haas] and everyone at ClubMX has been able to put together a competitive program so I can go racing back home. I still love the grind of the great outdoors and it’s been fun to get back into the swing of it over the last few weeks.”
While riding on the ClubMX Yamaha team, Nicoletti will enjoy support from Rockstar Energy Drink, Motosport, FXR, 6D, Scott and OTSFF.
“We’re excited to support Phil for the Pro Motocross Series because we know he still has a lot left in the tank,” says Brandon Haas of ClubMX. “We watch Phil ride every day here and he is still making progression. Last time I helped Phil with bikes was in 2012 when he decided to privateer it for the rest of the year. This go around the bikes are much better! Thank you to our team sponsors for making this happen, we are looking forward to this new chapter for the team and we’re happy to do it with one of the most popular characters around.”
“I can’t wait to see some of my old friends at the races this summer,” added Nicoletti. “It will be good to get back in front of the home fans. Don’t worry, I’ll still be ready to smash my old buddies on the track once we get out there. Should be a good time!”
In his previous U.S. season, Nicoletti took sixth in the 2018 450 MX standings, and scored an overall 450 podium at the Unadilla National. He scored fifth place in the 450MX Pro Motocross standings in 2016 and a moto podium at the Glen Helen national in 2015. Racing in Canada for the Rockstar Energy Drink OTSFF Yamaha team in 2019 and 2020, Nicoletti won the 2019 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown with the best combined results from the Arenacross, Supercross and Motocross campaigns, and also collected the Canadian 450 Supercross Championship. Nicoletti was in contention for the Canadian Motocross National Championship last year with four podiums in the first four races, but a hand injury ended his season early. Nicoletti will spend the spring preparing at the ClubMX facility in preparation for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross kickoff in California on May 29th.
Follow Phil on Instagram @phil_nicoletti and on twitter @filthyphil_ and follow the team @ClubMX
Photos by Mike Vizer/ClubMX
OK, Emily has been busy making cake and cooking a roast for dinner tonight, so I’m going to have to get going.
I’ll head over to Aylmer tomorrow to check out Kenzie Hennessy and Kyle Snelgrove as they run a motocross camp at a private track in the area. I would love to load up the YZ250 but my sore back will keep me off the pegs a while until it gets at least a little better.
Have a great weekend.