Frid’Eh Update #21 | Liam O’Farrell Interview | Presented by Atlas Brace

By Billy Rainford

Presented by Atlas Brace
Week #21 belongs to South African native, Liam O’Farrell. | Bigwave photo

Welcome to Week #21 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by Atlas Brace. Running the #21 this year will be the South African native we got to know when he first came to Canada back in 2008, Liam O’Farrell.

I remember getting to know him while I was driving around in a 1989 Buick Electra Estate Wagon broadcasting the Canadian MX Nationals live over Pirate Radio for MX Forum. I remember we went for a run together at Ryan Millar‘s farm in Manitoba. Liam is a friendly, hard-working rider who has the respect of his competitors and the industry.

He’s also the rider who can still run consistently inside the top 10 in this very tough field of 450 riders, much to the chagrin of many of his much younger rivals.

Here’s a look at his 2020 Canadian Motocross season:

We always joked that, late in a race, if you were starting to tire the last guy you wanted to look over your shoulder to see was Liam. He was not going to be slowing down in the latter stages of a moto. He would just keep marching forward until the checkered flag waved and smile as he rode passed other riders.

We got in touch with Liam at his home in Brantford, Ontario, to catch up with him.

Here’s what Liam had to say when we got in touch with him this week. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Liam. You’ve been a fixture on the Canadian scene for a long time now, but I bet there are younger readers out there who don’t know your story. Could you sum up your coming here from South Africa? Why did you originally come here and what made you stay?

Liam O’Farrell: Since I was young it had been a dream to go race overseas.  The original goal was to go race in Europe but I was unable to get anything going there and to do it on my own would be too expensive. An opportunity came up in Canada with the help of some expats, the Momberg’s. They had moved to Canada and their son raced. They had also helped Kerim (Fitz-Gerald) the year before (2007). They helped hook me up with a test ride with Andy White when he was still at KTM. The ride went well and Andy helped me out with a bike and support from Orange Motorsports. 

Liam on the big #8 at Gopher Dunes. | Bigwave photo

What did you think of the Canadian MX scene that first year?

The first year was an eye opener for me.  Racing in South Africa,  we would have 15-20 guys racing pro and most of us would ride both classes, otherwise there wouldn’t be enough riders and hardly anyone camped at the tracks. Going to a local ANQ and seeing hundreds of motorhomes and qualifiers for Junior classes,  it was just mind blowing.  Even the payout was 3 or 4 times anything I was getting at our local races.  I also found the people very friendly and helpful, even to somebody that no one really knew. 

I don’t think I’ve ever asked you how you got your start riding motocross as a kid. How did all this start for you?

My dad got me a bike when I was 5. He used to race Enduro before I was born and his love for bikes and racing got passed on to me.

Liam at Whispering Pines in Kamloops, BC back in 2009. | Bigwave photo

What was your first race number and why did you choose it?

Wow, this is going back almost 30 years.  I had to ask my parents to dig through some of photo albums.  My first number was 42 and I don’t think there was a reason for that number. 

But I don’t believe there isn’t a story about why he chose 42 as his first number. | Bigwave 2009 photo

There’s no way that’s true. Haha What has been your best season to date and why?

In South Africa my best season was 2007 when I won both the 250 and 450 championship.  In Canada it’s tough to choose. 2009 traveling the whole series with my countryman Kerim was an awesome year. We both ended the year off with some good results and it was a fun year all round. 2014 on the 250 2-stroke was a memorable year as well. I only did the East coast but I got to drive out with Pam and got my first and only overall podium.  

Liam’s 2009 travel rig. It rained that year at River Glade… | Bigwave photo

You are a full-time working man. Can you tells where you work and what it is that you do from Monday to Friday?

I work for Priority Mechanical. That’s who I have been racing for the last 3 years and they are currently sponsoring the AMO provincial series. I am a gas tech and air conditioning mechanic. I work 7-5 most days, mainly in residential new construction installing AC’s, gas lines, fireplaces and furnaces. 

Everyone is always amazed at how solid you are still…for someone of your advanced age. Lol. What’s your secret? How do you keep fit and ready to race?

Haha, nice way to tell me I’m getting old. I still try keep up my training during the week to be able to hang with some of these youngsters for 30 minutes. My job is also pretty physical with all the lifting so I think that’s what keeps me solid. 

#26 Liam leaving a trail of destruction behind him at Ulverton in 2014. | Bigwave photo

You were 8th overall in the MX portion last summer and always seemed to be in a dogfight. Looking back, how do you feel about your performances?

Well, I never thought I’d get to race a full series again. There was a group of us that always seemed to find each other on the track and it kept it exciting. I never felt like I had an easy race except the third moto at Gopher,  I was all alone trying to hang on to the bike.  I was really happy with how my year went.  8th felt really good considering everything going on in my life now. 

Is there a race that stands out for you from last year?

Second weekend at Sand Del Lee I went down on the start and made my way back to 9th.

What did you get up to over this past winter?

I tried to learn how to skate. I figured if I really want to be Canadian I need to know how to skate and play hockey. I may have to stick to dirt bikes…

The 202 season race that stands out for Liam is Sand Del Lee #2 where he came back to 9th after crashing in the first turn. | Bigwave photo

What are your racing plans for this season?

I’ll be racing all the AMO Provincials and the plan is to do the full Jetwerx MX series, but I won’t be racing Supercross. 

When is the last time you were in Africa? What do you miss most about it?

I haven’t been back to visit for 4 years.  My parents were supposed to come visit last summer and meet my son but COVID stopped that.  I obviously miss my family and friends that I grew up with, but I also miss not having to deal with winter weather. 

It looks like we’ll be seeing Liam again in 2021 as he plans to race the full MX Nationals series again. | Bigwave photo

Thanks, Liam. Let’s get out for a cycle sometime soon. Good luck this summer. Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

Yeah, we should go for a mountain bike ride at Turkey Point soon.  I’d like to thank Priority Mechanical, FXR, Apex Cycle, KTM Canada, Dialed MX, Scott Sports, Mica Sport Canada, MD Distributions, Forma Boots, and MP1 Suspension.



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Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships

We’re just one sleep away from Round 1 of the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships! Sure, Supercross is neat and tidy, but it’s in the great outdoors where our sport takes its roots and keeps the adrenaline flowing.

We’ve got 3 Canadians lining up to take a shot at Fox Raceway out in Pala, California, this weekend.

#888 Burg Giliomee – 250

#179 Cole Thompson – 450

#515 Tyler Medaglia – 450

We’ve got Ulf Viney wandering the pits for us on Saturday. He’s there with young #43 Noah Viney who is there racing Amateur Day today. I just heard from Ulf and it sounds like moto #1 was pretty entertaining between Noah and #38 Haiden Deagan. I think some plastic was traded and Noah came away with the win.

We should have some good interviews with the guys to watch as Ulf brings us some content throughout the day. No pressure, Ulf…or “Scoops” as we call him.

To watch the racing in Canada, make sure you’re signed up for the NBC Sports Gold Pass.

Live Timing HERE.



6 Jeremy Martin Millville, MN 250 Yamaha YZ 250F Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha
18 Jett Lawrence Australia 250 Honda CRF250R Team Honda HRC
24 RJ Hampshire Hudson, FL 250 Husqvarna FC250 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
26 Alex Martin Millville, MN 250 Yamaha YZ 250F Manluk/RockRiverYamaha/MergeRacing
30 Jo Shimoda Japan 250 Kawasaki KX 250 Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki
31 Cameron McAdoo Sioux City, IA 250 Kawasaki KX 250 Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki
32 Justin Cooper Cold Spring Harbor, NY 250 Yamaha YZ 250F Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha
33 Derek Drake San Luis Obispo, CA 250 Suzuki RMZ 250 Bar X Suzuki
38 Austin Forkner Richards, MO 250 Kawasaki KX 250 MONSTER ENERGY | PRO CIRCUIT | KAWASAKI
39 Carson Mumford Simi Valley, CA 250 Honda CRF250R FXR Chaparral Honda
41 Hunter Lawrence Australia 250 Honda CRF250R Team Honda HRC
42 Michael Mosiman Sebastopol, CA 250 GASGAS MC250F Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
45 Pierce Brown Sandy, UT 250 GASGAS MC250F Troy Lee Designs Red Bull KTM
47 Jalek Swoll Beleview, FL 250 Husqvarna FC250 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
48 Garrett Marchbanks Coalville, UT 250 Yamaha YZ 250F Club MX
59 Jarrett Frye Mechanicsville, MD 250 Yamaha YZ 250F Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha
64 Colt Nichols Muskogee, OK 250 Yamaha YZ 250F Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha
67 Stilez Robertson Bakersfield, CA 250 Husqvarna FC250 Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing
73 Derek Kelley Riverside, CA 250 GASGAS MC250F TPJ Racing Fly Racing Pirelli Lucas Oil
75 Ty Masterpool Paradise, TX 250 GASGAS MC250F Monster Energy Yamalube Star Yamaha Racing
77 Jerry Robin Hamel, MN 250 GASGAS MC250F FCC Motosports Canvas MX
90 Dilan Schwartz Alpine, CA 250 Suzuki RMZ 250 Barx Chaparral Ecstar Suzuki
91 Nathanael Thrasher Livingston, CA 250 Yamaha YZ 250F Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha
112 Xylian Ramella Switzerland 250 KTM 250 SX-F
115 Maximus Vohland Granite Bay 250 KTM 250 SX-F FE
124 Lane Shaw Alvin, TX 250 KTM 250 SX-F Tech Services Racing / K&R Racing
127 Jacob Bork Fort Collins, CO 250 Yamaha YZ 250F BC Granite and Marble Motor Medic Racing FXR
150 Seth Hammaker Bainbridge, PA 250 Kawasaki KX 250 Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
158 Tre Fierro El Paso, TX 250 KTM 250 SX-F Factory KTM of Mexico
159 Tyson Johnson Ripon, CA 250 KTM 250 SX-F EMTRacing
162 Maxwell Sanford Pasadena, MD 250 Honda CRF250R TiLUBE Honda
165 Jorge Rubalcava Paradise, TX 250 Husqvarna FC250 Rubas Racing
168 Cale Kuchnicki Alanson, MI 250 GASGAS MC250F Highland Trails Racing
182 Mason Olson Sparks, NV 250 GASGAS MC250F Fly Racing Carson Motorsports Flow Vision
195 Blake Ashley Conyers, GA 250 Yamaha YZ 250F Backyard Designs A1 Racing Fasthouse
198 Cole Bailey Paso Robles, CA 250 KTM 250 SX
212 Daniel Ramirez Costa Rica 250 Kawasaki KX 250 Ramirez Racing
220 Ramyller Alves Coconut Creek, FL 250 GASGAS MC250F JMC Motorsports FLY Racing GasGas
286 Brandon Sussman San Diego, CA 250 Yamaha YZ 250F
299 Konnor Visger Bellevue, MI 250 Honda CRF250R BWR Engines Fly Racing Pro Circuit
310 Kai Aiello Temecula, CA 250 Husqvarna FC250 AEO Husqvarna
387 Joshua Varize Perris, CA 250 KTM 250 SX-F KTM Orangebrigade
402 Samuel Greenawalt Jacksonville, FL 250 Yamaha YZ 250F Pure Outlaw Racing
458 Brent Burkhart Elk Grove, CA 250 Yamaha YZ 250F
554 Wade Brommel Indianola, IA 250 Kawasaki KX 250 Riding on the Edge Real Ink Graphics Cox Concrete
604 Max Miller Springfield 250 KTM 250 SX-F KTM Orange Brigade
610 Nicolas Gonzales Hemet, CA 250 KTM 250 SX-F Grindstone
622 Zac Maley Laotto, IN 250 Yamaha YZ 250F Wolfworx Yamaha
667 Jesse Flock Claremore, OK 250 Husqvarna FC250 Fox Racing Shift MX Dunlop Tires
671 Tyler Ducray Galt, CA 250 KTM 250 SX-F Nor-Cal Motorsports Crew
718 Grant Taylor Tomball, TX 250 Kawasaki KX 250 Grant Taylor Mx training/Vlogs
726 Gared Steinke Woodland, CA 250 Kawasaki KX 250 Lonesome Camel Farms
742 TJ Uselman Willow Park, TX 250 GASGAS MC250F Race Trailer Parts Tru Contracting Peer Brothers Racing
778 James Harrington Hanover, MA 250 Yamaha YZ 250F Newcomb Racing
811 Christopher Williams Ortonville, MI 250 Suzuki RMZ 250 Williams Racing
819 Blake Hoag Kennard, NE 250 Yamaha YZ 250F Corrosion Specialties RaceTech Shift
888 Burg Gillomee Canada 250 KTM 250 SX-F
901 Brayden Lessler Ramona, CA 250 KTM 250 SX-F
924 Gage Hulsey Park Hills, MO 250 Yamaha YZ 250F Hulsey Racing
934 Brian Medeiros Koloa, HI 250 KTM 250 SX-F Motocross Action Mag | Kauai Energy | KTM
959 Max Groom Redlands, CA 250 KTM 250 SX-F Chrysler-Works
995 Christopher Prebula Petersburg, MI 250 KTM 250 SX-F Team Imperial


1 Zachary Osborne Abingdon, VA 450 Husqvarna FC450 RE Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
2 Cooper Webb Newport, NC 450 KTM 450 SX-F FE Red Bull KTM
3 Eli Tomac Cortez, CO 450 Kawasaki KX450 Monster Energy Kawasaki
7 Aaron Plessinger Hamilton, OH 450 Yamaha YZ 450F Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha
9 Adam Cianciarulo Montverde, FL 450 Kawasaki KX450 Monster Energy Kawasaki
14 Dylan Ferrandis France 450 Yamaha YZ 450F Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha
15 Dean Wilson United Kingdom 450 Husqvarna FC450 RE Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
17 Joseph Savatgy Tallahassee, FL 450 KTM 450 SX-F FE Rocky Mountain ATV/MC- WPS-KTM
19 Justin Bogle Cushing, OK 450 KTM 450 SX-F FE Team Rocky Mountain ATV/MC – WPS – KTM
21 Jason Anderson Rio Rancho, NM 450 Husqvarna FC450 RE Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
23 Chase Sexton La Moille, IL 450 Honda CRF450R WE Team Honda HRC
25 Marvin Musquin France 450 KTM 450 SX-F FE Red Bull KTM
28 Brandon Hartranft Brick, NJ 450 Suzuki RMZ 450 Twisted Tea Suzuki
29 Christian Craig Temecula, CA 450 Yamaha YZ 450F Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha
34 Max Anstie United Kingdom 450 Suzuki RMZ 450 Twisted Tea Suzuki
43 Fredrik Noren Sweden 450 KTM 450 SX-F Cole Racing Ikthus CBD KTM
51 Justin Barcia Greenville, FL 450 GASGAS MC450F Troy Lee Designs/ Red Bull/ GASGAS Factory Racing
57 Justin Rodbell Prince Frederick, MD 450 Kawasaki KX450 SGB Racing Maxxis Babbitt’s Kawasaki
58 Jacob Hayes Greensboro,NC 450 KTM 450 SX-F Hayes Racing
70 Henry Miller Rochester, MN 450 KTM 450 SX-F Auto owners / JMeyers / K&R Racing
72 Coty Schock Dover, DE 450 Honda CRF450R FXR Chaparral Honda
74 Mitchell Falk Costa Mesa, CA 450 GASGAS MC450F MFalk60 Racing
83 Alex Ray Atwood, TN 450 Kawasaki KX450 SGB_Racing
94 Ken Roczen Germany 450 Honda CRF450R WE Team Honda HRC
97 Ben LaMay Anchorage, AK 450 KTM 450 SX-F Sun Enterprise Thunder Trucking Plum Creek Funding
135 Robert Fitch, Jr. Watkins, CO 450 Husqvarna FC450 RMCP
169 Dylan Kappeler Redwood City, CA 450 KTM 450 SX-F Kappeler Construction, Inc. Chilton Auto Body Webcor Builders
177 Alessandro Lupino Italy 450 KTM 450 SX-F MRT RACING TEAM KTM
178 Clayton Tucker El Dorado Hills, CA 450 Yamaha YZ 450F Gold N Pawn Sweet Aroma CBD Dialed Health
179 Cole Thompson Canada 450 KTM 450 SX-F KTM Canada / Red Bull / Thor
193 Hunter Schlosser El Paso, TX 450 Yamaha YZ 450F Slushienation
225 Brett Stralo Valley Center, CA 450 GASGAS MC450F Altitude Racing MX
245 Andrew Barros Lincoln, CA 450 KTM 450 SX-F FE
250 Brandon Kallberg Olympia, WA 450 KTM 450 SX-F Wenatchee Powersports KTM
254 Cody Briner Sierra Vista, AZ 450 GASGAS MC450F Briner Racing
259 Corbin Hayes Folsom, CA 450 GASGAS MC450F Blue Iron Foundations & Shoring
267 Robert Nalezny Brentwood, CA 450 Honda CRF450R
274 Jared Struebing Federal Way, WA 450 Husqvarna FC450 Aektiv / JMC Husqvarna
284 Dennis Stapleton Lake Elsinore, CA 450 KTM 450 SX-F StapoMX
309 Jeremy Smith Marmora, NJ 450 Kawasaki KX450 SGB Racing Maxxis Babbitt’s Kawasaki
314 Tyler Stepek Mount Airy, MD 450 Kawasaki KX450 Tomahawk MX
319 Devon Bates Las Vegas, NV 450 KTM 450 SX-F
326 Rafael Chao Mexico 450 Yamaha YZ 450F AvoOlio
354 Jason Lutton Warren, OH 450 Kawasaki KX450 Fasthouse Viral Brand
427 Deegan Vonlossberg Palmdale, CA 450 Yamaha YZ 450F Grindstone Compound Fasthouse 100%
441 Scott Meshey Zephyrhills, FL 450 Husqvarna FC450 RE JMC Motorsports Husqvarna
446 Blaine Silveira Lemoore, CA 450 Honda CRF450R AP3 Racing
447 Deven Raper Mesa, AZ 450 Kawasaki KX450 RJC Racing Kelly’s Kawasaki
450 Brad Burkhart Elk Grove, CA 450 Yamaha YZ 450F Forever Two Wheels Pacific Coast Construction Redneck Rippers
515 Tyler Medaglia Canada 450 GASGAS MC450F Cobequid Mountain Sports GASGAS
538 Addison Emory IV Owasso, OK 450 Yamaha YZ 450F VPE Yamaha
559 Dylan Merriam Corona, CA 450 Yamaha YZ 450F RJC Racing
565 Dominic DeSimone Las Vegas, NV 450 Honda CRF450R we1 Racing
600 Connor Olson Littleton, CO 450 KTM 450 SX-F Moto Spot Show Racing
645 Colby Copp Los Banos, CA 450 GASGAS MC450F Powerhouse Farms NCM Concrete Combs1 Equipment
647 Matthew Hubert Riverside, CA 450 Kawasaki KX450 TPJ Racing
672 Brandon Pederson Los Fresnos, TX 450 Husqvarna FC450 RE
715 Phillip Nicoletti Cohocton, NY 450 Yamaha YZ 450F Club MX
774 Bradley Denton Simi Valley, CA 450 Yamaha YZ 450F The Racers Edge Pasha Racing Fasthouse
845 Bryan O’Neil Port Angeles, WA 450 Yamaha YZ 450F O’Neil Racing
951 Ryan Surratt Corona, CA 450 Husqvarna FC450 AllSouth


Fox Raceway National | Weekend Schedule
May 28-29, 2021
Subject to network schedule changes

9:00am Registered Team Parking
9:00am – 5:00pm Will Call
9:30am Privateer Parking
2:00pm – 4:00pm Technical Control

7:00am – 2:00pm Rider Services / Will Call Opens
7:30am – 7:45am Chapel Service at MX Sports Semi
8:00am – 8:15am 250 Class Practice Grp B- 15 minutes 5 Free/10 Timed
8:20am – 8:35am 250 Class Practice Grp A- 15 minutes 5 Free/10 Timed
8:35am – 8:50am Track Maintenance
8:50am – 9:05am 450 Class Practice Grp A- 15 minutes 5 Free/10 Timed
9:10am – 9:25am 450 Class Practice Grp B- 15 minutes 5 Free/10 Timed
9:40am – 9:55am Track Maintenance
9:50am – 9:55am 250 Class Grp B Start Practice 5 minutes
9:55am – 10:10am 250 Class Practice Grp B- 15 minutes – Timed
10:15am – 10:20am 250 Class Grp A Start Practice 5 minutes
10:20am – 10:35am 250 Class Practice Grp A- 15 minutes – Timed
10:35am – 10:50am Track Maintenance
10:45am – 10:50am 450 Class Grp A Start Practice 5 minutes
10:50am – 11:05am 450 Class Practice Grp A- 15 minutes – Timed
11:10am – 11:15am 450 Class Grp B Start Practice 5 minutes
11:15am- 11:30am 450 Class Practice Grp B- 15 minutes – Timed
11:30am – 11:45am Track Maintenance
11:45am – 11:55am 250 Consolation Race
12:00pm – 12:10pm 450 Consolation Race
12:30pm – 1:00pm OPENING CEREMONIES
1:00pm – 1:10pm 250 Class Sight Lap
1:15pm – 1:50pm 250 Class Moto #1
1:50pm – 2:00pm Podium Interviews
2:00pm – 2:10pm 450 Class Sight Lap
2:15pm – 2:50pm 450 Class Moto #1
2:50pm -3:00pm Podium Interviews
3:00pm – 3:10pm 250 Class Sight Lap
3:15pm – 3:50pm 250 Class Moto #2
3:50pm – 4:00pm 250 Winners Circle
4:00pm – 4:10pm 450 Class Sight Lap
4:15pm – 4:50pm 450 Class Moto #2
4:50pm – 5:00pm 450 Winners Circle
5:15pm – 5:45pm Press Conference
4:11pm – 4:46pm 450 Class Moto #2
4:45pm – 5:00pm 450 Winners Circle
8:00pm Zoom Press Conference Call

Get all the information you need HERE.

Jake Piccolo Clip from Club MX

The guys over at Club MX in South Carolina look like they’re taking really good care of our Canadians. This latest clip from Mike Vizer and the guys over there makes us think you’re really going to have #30 Jake Piccolo in your picks for the 250 season.

Check it out:

Jake has never ben short of speed and flash. We’d like to see him show consistency this summer and see if that doesn’t put him up at or near the top in the standings. All this time under the tutelage of Ben Graves, Brandon Haas and the guys should really help in that area. I know it’s something Ben said they’d be working on over the off season. Stay tuned…

2021 Gas Gas MC 450

We’ve got our hands on the 2021 Gas Gas MC450 media bike for the next little while. Greg Poisson and I intend to give it some good rides to see how it performs. We’ve got some ideas for different ways to show you what the bike can do, so watch for that in the near future here on DMX and on all our social media platforms.

I just hope Greg is good at applying graphics…

Have a great weekend, everyone. Enjoy riding and enjoy Round 1!

Kyle Keast: “Well, would you look at that, Liam’s still racing.” See you at the races… | Bigwave 2013 photo