Frid’Eh Update #23 Presented by RTR Performance
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Hello and welcome to Frid’Eh Update #23 Presented by RTR Performance in Kamloops. BC. #23 is a very special week this year as we are now all congregated in BC for round 1 of the 2016 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals in McClure, BC (you heard me!).
Week #23 belongs to the rider out of Temecula, California, who showed up last year at round 1 and did all 10 rounds. Dustin Creson‘s best overall finish was a 7th (7-8) at round 4 in Regina, SK. He ended up 11th overall for the MX 2 series.
Dustin has great style and always looks ‘Pro’ when he’s out on the track. We were unable to get in touch with him for this Update, so watch for a conversation with Dustin as soon as we can reach him.
Women’s West Nationals
Hey, guys. It’s finally here. Round 1 of the Rockstar Energy CMRC Pro Nationals is this Sunday. And just one day before the start of the Pro Nationals, the Canadian Women’s National West Series begins. The action last year was fantastic, and Kennedy Lutz asserted herself as the dominant female. She had the series in control until disaster struck in the week leading up to the 4th and final round. Kennedy was forced to sit out and give up her would be title. Cycle North Honda rider, Sara King, was there to pick up the pieces and secure her first National title. This year, expect no different. Kennedy will be the favourite and the current champion Sara will be right there with her. The women get 4 rounds this season to show their talents. Some girls are still bitching, wanting to do the entire series. It’s a bad idea. Close to full gates at 4 rounds are WAY better and more appealing than half full gates at 10 rounds. Here are my predictions for the Women at Kamloops:
1st Kennedy Lutz
2nd Sara King
3rd Brittany Danyluk
4th Jamie Munro
5th Dominique Daffé
Rockstar MX Nationals
And then the big show kicks off on Sunday. In MX2, we have a very nice group of talent. Cole Thompson and Jeremy Medaglia lead the way in my mind. Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki’s Jacob Hayes is still a huge question mark to me. Yes, his starts will be very strong and his aggressiveness will be top notch, but not racing outdoors much in the last few years will hurt him. Young Dylan Wright from MX101 will be out to prove that he is the next star of the class. If Dylan can keep calm and not let his emotions get too high, he will be right there with the top 3.
There will be a little bit of a surprise entrant in the MX2 class. Former MX1 National #8 Dylan Kaelin will make an appearance in the MX2 class aboard a 250 2-stroke KTM. The #324 KTM will be my pick for the first holeshot of the season. Dylan doesn’t have much seat time at all, but talent never goes away. I’m calling DK for a solid 8th overall. Here are the rest of my predictions for the MX2 class:
1st Jeremy Medaglia
2nd Cole Thompson
3rd Shawn Maffenbeier
4th Dylan Wright
5th Jess Pettis
The big boys will kick off their 2016 season next. We are entering Round 1 with the most stacked class ever. In the past, the class has fallen off pretty hard after the first 8 or 9, but not this year. Going in, top 10’s will be a dog fight and top 5’s will be even harder. There are 6 or 7 guys that could win a moto at any time, and that to me is just crazy. I really don’t think there is one standout favourite, as there is just way too much talent in the class. The racing should be the best yet, as there will be no easy motos. Here are my predictions for the first round:
1st Mike Alessi
2nd Matt Goerke
3rd Colton Facciotti
4th Brett Metcalfe
5th Davi Millsaps
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross
South of the border, the AMA Nationals head to Colorado for Round 3. The racing has been great in both classes. In the 450 class, Ken Roczen has kept the ball rolling after a very strong SX finish. You can never count out Ryan Dungey, as he has been the 2nd best so far. I’m still waiting for Eli Tomac to reveal the magic he had in the first 5 rounds last year.
In 250 action, we have had quite a few surprises. Round one was the pure dominance of Joey Savatgy, and round two was ‘The Martin Show.’ Yes, Jeremy was very good for 2nd o/a, but it was older brother Alex who stole the show and captured his first overall win. This is the most excited I have been for this class in a long time. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. Here are my predictions:
1st Austin Forkner
2nd Jeremy Martin
3rd Cooper Webb
4th Joey Savatgy
5th Aaron Plessinger
1st Ken Roczen
2nd Eli Tomac
3rd Ryan Dungey
4th Jason Anderson
5th Trey Canard
MMRS Muttco Mountain
Back here in Ontario, I will be making the very short ride East to MMRS’s Muttco Mountain. The MMRS gang has teamed up with the AMO and the crew at MX101 to create some great racing and vibes. This weekend will be the first ever Super Series Event in Ontario, combining the M.M.R.S 4-race National, MX101 Ironman, AMO Madskills and M.M.R.S Provincial Series race at one venue. I, myself, am very excited to check out the racing action on Sunday. As always, Saturday will be an all day practice day open to everyone.
That’s all for me this week. Good luck to everyone racing and riding this weekend. Stay safe, and always #smileforBC!
Thanks, Jeff. I have been running on the ragged edge this past week, driving from Ontario to BC and then hopping a flight to California and then back here to Kamloops, BC. We’ve finally arrived at round 1 here for the McClure National at Whispering Pines. Yes, I’m trying to be funny calling it that. You see, it’s a 35-40 minute drive out of Kamloops to get to the track. The little McClure Ferry takes you across the Fraser River and is much closer than Kamloops.
The drive to the track from the city is actually a lot of fun, but I don’t think the locals appreciate how much enjoyment we all seem to get from cutting to every apex on the winding road and scoffing at the marked speed limit. I’m really surprised we’re not pulling more rental cars from the ditch! It would be an amazing drive in a nice sports car with no other traffic. Yes, I’m doing it in a little minivan, but it’s still a lot of fun.
I’m also not sure what the flying beetles are that periodically slam into the windshield without splattering. They seem pretty big and very hard. What the heck could these flying hard-shelled bugs be?
I always find myself looking across the river at the gravel road that winds its way up to a weather station or something. Has anyone ever biked up it? I always picture some sort of mxers on MTB’s race or something. I may have to head over and see if I can make it to the top, just to see.
I headed over to the track this morning for a quick look at the track and watch some of the big rigs get parked. Daryl Murphy was on hand to keep it all organized and he seemed under the impression that either the grounds had shrunk or or the rigs were longer. Either way, it was going to be a tight fit getting everyone situated and happy.
I’m always interested to see who is going to step up and not only line up in the Pro Am MX2 class on Pro Sunday, but see who is going to actually make a splash when they do so. Recently, riders like Dylan Wright and Kyle Biro are two riders who come to mind. This year at Whispering Pines, there should be at least 3 riders who have you asking the person next to you who they are.
Out here in the west, most would put their money on Kelowna rider, #217 Casey Keast. That would be the obvious ‘safe money’ bet. Casey will be strong, as always. He will definitely need to get a great start in this field if he wants to run the pace of the top 5-8. Last year, Casey finished 23rd in Kamloops (27-21) but I think you’ll see those numbers improve this Sunday.
I spoke with Eric Dubé this morning at the track and he is sure #223 Jonah Brittons will be one of the riders people are talking about Sunday. Jonah is only 15 years old and comes from Prince George, BC. Apparently, he pulled the holeshot a couple weeks ago here in Kamloops and on a 350 managed to hold off Brad Nauditt and Graham Scott to the checkered flag! That’s pretty impressive.
I also saw the #177 of Carson McQueen sitting in the pits. Carson qualified one spot ahead of Jonah in 23rd.
#999 Hayden Wolf is another rider who is headed for good things as a Pro on the path he’s on. I spoke with hi and his family this morning and the humble rider obviously didn’t want to say much, but he definitely wants to be up at the front of the yellow-plated group. Hayden was 49th in 2015. Keep an eye out for the #999 on the Cycle North Honda.
Of course, I’m sure I missed a few, but these are definitely a few Intermediates to keep an eye on this summer. Good luck to all of you!
Jacqueline Ross’s GoFundMe Account
Remember back in 2008 how impressed you were with the riding of #734 Jacqueline Ross? Sure you do. She was fast! Well, she fell on some hard times over the past few years but she hasn’t given up on her dream to race our series again. She has started a GoFundMe account where you can help her get back here to Canada to try for the Women’s East Nationals title.
If you are so inclined, head over and give her a little bit of help to get her back at the races starting at Gopher Dunes in July. You can click HERE to be taken to her account.
Good luck, J-Ro. It would be great to see you racing again.
KTM Thor Racing Team – Photo Shoot Video|Featuring Kaven Benoit and Cole Thompson