Frid’Eh Update #26 Presented by Mongoose Machine

By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford


Week #26 belongs to Quebec rider Michael Da Silva. – Bigwave photo

Welcome to the 26th week of the DMX Frid’Eh Update Presented by Mongoose Machine. #26 means we are directly in the middle of the year. It’s hard to believe but that means we are already halfway to Christmas! We’ll go through the Sears catalog and circle what we’d like you to get for us…

#26 belongs to our old friend Michael Da Silva from ‘La Belle Province’ of Quebec. Michael has been a friend of Direct Motocross for years and is always open to helping us out whenever we ask him for an interview. He’s always very good at giving heart-felt and honest answers. He comes from a close-knit family of motocross junkies that I got to spend a week with down at Loretta Lynn’s back in 2010. Two quick Da Silva stories:

If Jay Da Silva (Michael’s dad) isn’t happy with what he’s seeing during a race, when either Michael or younger brother Chris come around past the mechanics’ area again, he simply yawns and looks away as they ride by. It gets the point across pretty succinctly.

I remember at Ste. Julie when Michael was racing the MX2 National as an Intermediate. He came around on the second lap and his dad wrote “26th” on the pit board. I looked at him and said, “I think he’s in the top 15!” Jay looked back and quickly replied, “Motivation.” Perfect.

Now you may think these kids are being treated pretty roughly, but that simply isn’t the case. Sit down with them for a family meal at a race and you’ll see one of the closest groups of 4 you’ll ever see – the food and love flow freely and fully.

These days, Michael is traveling the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals and competing in the premiere class, MX1. He hasn’t had the greatest results yet, and has suffered a couple DNFs, but he should be looking to improve as we head east to the softer, more familiar tracks.

Michael DaSilva

We’ve known Michael Da Silva quite a while now. Here he is at Oak Hill back in 2010 on a Supermini. – Bigwave photo

We fired a few questions at him for this intro and here’s what he had to say:

Direct Motocross: How has your season been going so far?

Michael Da Silva: My season has been very up and down so far. As you can see by looking at the results I have two DNF’S so far and made more points in Regina than the past three rounds before it combined (laughs)! Although it was a rough start I’m just glad to have ended it on a good note.

You moved up to the MX1 class this summer. What would you say is the biggest difference?

Moving up to the MX1 class was a big change, however, I love it and continue to even after racing the first four rounds. I feel as if the biggest difference would be how the race is ridden. Many more mistakes are made by riders in the MX1 class and I feel as if managing your race is key.

What will it take for you to keep moving up the rankings?

Consistency will be key. I just gotta keep getting the good starts and keep my focus. We are back out east now and the speed is there, so I believe I just need to be more consistent

Are you excited about racing back in the east? Which do you prefer?

I’m definitely excited about racing in the east again! I love all the eastern tracks on the circuit and definitely prefer them. We simply do not have practice tracks like they do in the west.

What was the highlight of the Western swing for you? Racing? Travel?

The highlight of the western swing was definitely the awesome battles I had with Josh Allen in Regina! We banged bars and fought the whole moto and when we came off we probably had bigger smiles on than the guy who one that moto! We were pumped. As far as traveling goes, I believe that the highlight of the whole traveling trip was the trip itself. You just simply couldn’t top it. Scenery was beautiful as usual and I got to meet some great people who helped us out along the way!

How has it been, traveling with someone (Hayden Halstead) you’re competing against every week? What did you guys do for fun?

Traveling with Hayden was definitely a fun experience. We got along and didn’t rip each others’ heads off so that’s good (laughs)! Racing him didn’t change and we both knew that on the track anything goes. We wouldn’t be mad at each other for passing one another on the track. And for fun we did some road biking, mountain climbing and pretty much anything that we thought could take us on an adventure for that day!


Michael Da Silva traveled west with fellow MX1 competitor Hayden Halstead (right). Ask him to see the mushy watermelon next week at Gopher Dunes. – Bigwave photo

What track are you looking forward to?

I’m definitely looking forward to Deschambault. I love the track and I’m always fast at. If I can stay on two wheels I definitely will be looking to get some good results there.

Where do you hope to finish when we get through Walton?

Once Walton comes around, I’m hoping to have done good enough through the 6 eastern rounds to make a rebound and comeback to be inside the top 15.

What have you been doing on this break?

During the break, I’ve been practicing and racing. I raced this past weekend at Franklin Motorsports and went 1-1 in MX2 as well as 1-1 in MX3. It was a great day of racing and I had lots of fun in the mud (laughs). [Michael loves a mud race.] Other than that, I’ve been working on the bikes and helping my brother and father get his bikes ready and dialed for Gopher Dunes! [Younger brother, Christopher, will try to qualify for MX2 at Gopher Dunes.]

Thanks for talking with us, Michael. Who would you like to thank?

I’d like to thank Duroy Racing, KTM Canada, Motovan, Oakley, Zox, Answer, TCX Boots, Leatt Brace, Goldentyre, EVO Suspensions, Odi grips and bars, Kutvek Amerika, SMX Sanair Motocross, v.r. Steve driver, White Motorsports, Yoshimura, my mom, dad and little brother. Thanks.


This week, the Frid’Eh Update is brought to you by Mongoose Machine out in Abbotsford, BC. Give them a click to see what products they distribute and how they can help you with your racing.

The Update is presented by Kevin Kinrade and the gang out at Mongoose Machine in Abbotsford, BC.


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Jeff McConkey

Hey, guys. It’s a beautiful Friday here in Southern Ontario and I am impatiently waiting for next weekend! The reason being the Eastern leg of the 2015 CMRC Rockstar Energy MX Nationals fire up July 12 at the always dangerous Gopher Dunes in Courtland, Ontario. But wait…that’s not all. The 2015 Women’s East National Series kicks off the day before on July 11th. The riders have had a few weeks off to prepare and heal up for the East. But let’s be honest, as prepared one may think they are, you are never fully prepared for the Dunes and the humidity. You can ride your local sand pits until you are blue in the face, but you will never emulate the Gopher National. It is a different beast. What starts out as a beautiful smooth circuit quickly turns into a battle scene from Saving Private Ryan except it’s sand. There will be bomb holes in corners deep enough to lose your mother’s Chevy Colbalt, ruts that will scare your old man’s 4×4 to death, and bodies and bikes hitting the sand everywhere.

Eve Brodeur

Will anyone be able to stop 2014 Women’s East National champion, Eve Brodeur, this year? – Bigwave photo

Gopher Dunes National Next Week

In 450 action, will have some serious sand riders. The obvious favourite has got to be current points leader and 2012 Gopher Dunes O/A winner Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke. Matt is a former Southwick winner and a serious sand guy. He absolutely put the wood to the field at the Dunes in ’12, and it honestly looked like his throttle may have been stuck wide open. Goerke is getting better and better each week and will no doubt like to extend his points lead leaving Gopher.

Matt Goerke

This is #101 Matt Goerke after he made Gopher Dunes his ‘female dog’ in 2012. – Bigwave photo

Next up is our 2013 champ Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalfe. Brett is also a former Southwick winner and fan of the sand. Watch for Brett to be up front fighting for the win.  In 2014 Smartops MotoConcepts rider Mike Alessi didn’t win the overall, but he sure was impressive. After running away from the field in moto 1, Mikes MCR bike ran out of fuel before he could cross the finish line. Most riders would be so rattled, moto 2 would be a throwaway – not Alessi. He regrouped and totally spanked everyone. He was so far ahead, he even pulled in for a fuel stop before taking the moto win. If healthy, Mike will be looking for the win that the Dunes robbed him of in ’14 [Alessi will NOT be at Gopher Dunes this year. More on that later.].

Mike Alessi

#800 Mike Alessi will NOT be at Gopher Dunes this year. – Bigwave photo

Royal Distributing Fox Racing KTM Canada’s Cole Thompson wasn’t known as much of a sand rider growing up. There were even rumours of him skipping the Dunes on purpose due to his lack of skill in the sand. Those rumours led me not to give much thought to Cole doing well in 2013. Boy was that dumb! You really can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Cole showed up at Gopher and checked out. He was long gone before crashing big-time all alone. For 2015, I will definitely be keeping an eye on the 148 KTM of Thompson.

Wait, I’m not done. Reigning champion Honda Canada TLD GDR’s Colton Facciotti hauls the mail in the sand and should be getting closer to 100%, and we have former MX1 Gopher O/A winner Parts Canada Thor Husqvarna’s Tyler Medaglia. Tyler is always a threat in the sand and will be looking to get back on the box. We also have to keep an eye on former MX2 Gopher O/A winner Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki’s Teddy Maier. Teddy has had the worst luck in the West, so he is surely due for some good luck. After naming all of theses sand superstars, there’s not much of a chance for any super rides for a podium like years past. Either way, its going to be a battle.

Tyler Medaglia

With or without eye protection, Tyler Medaglia is a threat at Gopher Dunes. – Bigwave photo

In MX2, Canada’s Motorcycle FXR Yamaha’s Jimmy Decotis is a sand specialist. He loves the sand and rides it better than most human beings. That has to gt to make ‘Jimmy D’  the favourite. Not necessarily…just like the MX1 class, the MX2 class has some serious sand masters. Royal Distributing Fox Racing KTM Canada’s Kaven Benoit and his trusty 250 2-stroke can’t be counted out anywhere. Benoit will get great starts on the 2-stroke and will always have fitness for days. It is never safe to bet against Kaven.

2nd in points, and also a beast in sand, is Honda Canada TLD GDR’s Jeremy Medaglia. ‘J-Dags,’ like Benoit, has fantastic fitness, and with this being Jeremy’s team’s home race, they will no doubt be wanting a win. Watch for the red #21 to be up front all day Sunday.

MX2 doesn’t have the list of former Gopher Dunes overall winners like the MX1 class, but hold on a second. Word on the street is that a former Gopher MX2 O/A winner will be joining the series in Round 5 aboard a 250 2-stroke Yamaha. Any guesses? I’m terrible at keeping secrets, so here it is…Tim Tremblay will be lining up and will instantly become a podium threat. In my opinion, Tim would be 5-6 no problem in MX1 and will be a serious threat in MX2. Since we are talking about 2-strokes, why not mention a few more? Orange Motorsports Scott-Sports KTM rider Liam O’Farrell will be joining the series. Liam has been riding the wheels off of his 250 2-stroke and will be itching for the gate to drop. Keep an eye open for Redemption Racing Fly Dragon KTM’s Seth Rarick. Seth had a not-so-good west coast and will be ready to totally redeem himself at the Dunes. Seth loves the sand and it will show on the 12th. If all of this doesn’t get you excited, there is something wrong with you.

Tim Tremblay

Quebec’s Tim Tremblay will line up in MX2 on a 250 2-stroke and become an instant top-5 threat at Gopher Dunes. – Bigwave photo

Calling All Women’s East Racers!

The Women’s East National Series begins Saturday July 11th. I have personally seen how hard the co-organizers Sylvain Brodeur, Leah Clarke, and others have been working to make this a great series for the girls.  I have been trying to spread the word to new and old girls to get a fantastic turnout. I have talked to a few young racers and their families trying to encourage them to try it, and I have noticed a few misconceptions along the way. No, this is not a ‘Pro series,’ and it never has been. It is a National series that allows anyone on an 80cc bike and up to compete. Yes, there are some very fast lady racers competing, but there is a spot for everyone. You will never know where you stand until you get out there and try it. I doubt any lady racer in Canada is going to make a living racing dirtbikes, so get out there and have the best possible time you can racing the best ladies from the east coast. Maybe you think you ‘suck’ in the sand? Who cares?! The co-organizers have gathered up some serious swag and are trying to make this a memorable weekend for all. I really do hope we see as many new and old faces as possible. You won’t be disappointed with the effort put in.

Just some important reminders for the girls:

– Sign in will be Friday night at 7-ish-8pm. If you can’t make it, please let Leah or Sylvain know so that they can get your information.
– All lady riders need to be present for the amateur riders meeting and there will be a short lady riders meeting after it
– You need a transponder to race. There are some available to rent.
– All participants number plates should have white numbers on a blue background. Riders name and number must be visible on the back of their jersey/chest protector.
– This event is an OPEN class for all female participants riding bikes 85cc or larger. This is not a “Pro”series. This is a National series, but all girls with different skill levels are welcome and encouraged to race.
– After the second moto there will be a podium presentation for the top 5 overall, holeshot winners from both motos, and a chosen Hard Charger for the day.
– At 4 pm we will have a draw table set up for everyone who signed up for the day to win some prizes.
– Please check out the Women’s National package on the CMRC site and contact Leah Clarke or Sylvain Brodeur if you have any questions.

MMRS Racing

In local action this weekend, the MMRS gang and the fantastic crew from MX101 are once again working together to give you an amazing weekend of racing. This weekend’s race will be held at Sand Del Lee in Richmond, Ontario. SDL is on of the most fun tracks in Canada, not many flow better. Do yourself a favour and head towards Ottawa for this great event. That’s it for me this week. Be sure to check out my ‘Catching Up with…‘ feature with Women’s East Co-organizer Leah Clarke and my ‘Out of the Blue‘ with up-and-comer, Emma Saarela. Have a great week everyone and always remember to #smileforBC!

Billy Rainford

Thanks for that, Jeff. Yep, we’re a week away from what is surely circled by all Canadian moto fans as a ‘must attend’ event. How can you not be at the track that is known throughout the industry (worldwide, in fact!) as one of the toughest events on the motocross calendar?! There’s just something about the heat and humidity teaming up with the bottomless sand in an attempt to keep riders from reaching the checkered flag that gets your blood pumping faster. It sort of harkens back to the early days of the sport when it was just a feat to make it to the end of a race.

Bobby Kiniry

Just crossing the finish line is a feat in the heat and humidity of an angry Gopher Dunes. Just ask 2014 Bobby Kiniry! – Bigwave photo

We’ve had a bit of a cooler than normal spring/early summer here in the Southwestern Ontario region, but it’s supposed to reach 28 degrees Celsius today and the humidity is sure to be on the temperature’s tail! This should add up to yet another test of man and machine next Saturday and Sunday when the gate drops at Gopher Dunes.

How come nobody feels sorry for us photogs who are out there for 9+ hours in the heat and humidity?! It’s a test of photog and machine out there! Yes, I’m kidding.

Ben Toye

Remember when #180 Ben Toye went out and grabbed both MX2 holeshots on his rocket ship of Yamaha 250 2-stroke with yellow plates? It was cool! – Bigwave photo

Mike Alessi OUT, John Dowd IN for Gopher Dunes

The bad news is that we won’t be seeing the Smartops MotoConcepts crew at Gopher Dunes this year. #2 Mike Alessi struggled through the Calgary round with a painful chest that made it near impossible for him to breathe. Well, it turns out he was suffering from a broken sternum that will keep him away from what should have been an epic battle at Gopher Dunes. The team will be at the final round at Walton Raceway for the season finale.

But wait…the good news is that we have a sand specialist replacement and legend of the sport showing up to take his spot on the line. John ‘Junk Yard Dog’ Dowd will line up next week to put his elevated age but other-worldly sand skills to the test. This will make 3 past Southwick winners on the line at one time! I think I’ll show up!

Also, watch for John’s son, Ryan Dowd, to line up in MX2 the same day. That can’t happen very often!

Josh Snider at Gopher Dunes

Speaking of Gopher Dunes, ex-Pro series rider and Redemption Racing head man, Josh Snider, will be riding in the sand today in Courtland, Ontario. He’ll be testing out the jetting etc. on team rider, Seth Rarick’s, race bike. He also wants to do a 35-minute moto to see if the tank will hold enough fuel for the motos. Hey, Josh, you’d better do 50 minutes at your new pace to equal what Seth will be doing next week. Wink, wink.


Josh Snider will be riding Gopher Dunes today to make sure their race bikes have enough fuel in the tanks to go the distance next week. Someone post some pics! – Bigwave photo

Red Buuud!

And speaking of Josh Snider, we’ll be loading up the #dmxvan and heading to Buchanan, Michigan, tomorrow at the unthinkable hour of 4am! You have to be a little crazy to be a moto fan. I do this every year: I look forward to the break after the western rounds of our series end and think I’ll want 2 weekends away from the sport to recharge my batteries. Then, a couple days before Red Bud, someone will call or I’ll just decide it’s time to get back to a big race, and off I’ll go to Red Bud. I also ask Davey Coombs and the gang at MX Sports to do me the yearly favour of extending me photo credentials at the last possible minute. Thank you very much for always having our backs here at DMX, guys. Hey, Nathan Bles, are we reserving your seat too?

Red Bud Nat Logo Sml

Once again, I’ll be heading to Red Bud for the 4th of July moto extravaganza.

OCMC Pro Race Night between Gopher Dunes and the Ottawa National

Tuesday, July 14th after the Gopher Dunes National, the Oshawa Competition Motorcycle Club (OCMC) is hosting an Invitational Pro Race Night! The track is located on Brock Road just 10 minutes north of the 401 at Pickering, Ontario. This is an open invitation to every Pro rider traveling the Rockstar series. We will have an official Press Release for the event soon here on DMX.

Check out this video of what looks like a pretty fun track:

Team Canada and the MXON – Are We or Aren’t We?

logo_1stThe usual Canada Day announcement of Team Canada MX has come and gone so I picked up the phone and spoke with a very friendly woman at the CMA today in an attempt to get the final word on whether or not Team Canada will be participating at the 2015 Monster Energy MXON September 27th. Of course, I knew the person to speak with was Chief Executive Officer of the CMA, Marilynn Bastedo, but I was directed to simply send her an email and wait for a response Monday. That wasn’t going to do it for this Update, so I asked her point blank if we were going to France. She basically told me that she couldn’t say we weren’t going and she couldn’t say we were going. Square one.

The information we have on the subject from a few months ago was that they weren’t going to have 2014 manager Ryan Gauld at the helm this year and that the people they had in mind for the job were only interested in the manager position if there were a committee formed that would take the lead in fundraising. Basically, the person wearing the ‘Team Manager’ hat probably shouldn’t be the one walking around the races selling 50/50 tickets and doing silent auctions, is the argument. Like we said before, you probably won’t see Roger DeCoster at Red Bud this weekend doing a wine raffle.

Unfortunately, I think we all know this probably means we will not be heading to Ernée in September, so I hope you got cancellation insurance. An email has been sent to Marilynn so watch for the response here on DMX in the coming days.

Team Canada ISDE

ISDE logoIn related news, I saw this on the CMA website today regarding Team Canada and the 2015 ISDE:


June 26, 2015 Due to the withdrawal of Julian Cerny who was nominated as a member of the Team Canada #2, we are pleased to announce that we have successfully recruited an American rider who will participate with the blessing of the American Motorcyclist Association.
The ISDE rules permit a club team to be made up of riders of different nationalities, provided they are from countries who are members of the same FIM Continental Union and have the permission of their home federation.

Welcome to Mickey Silger of St. Louis, Mo who will campaign on a 250 KTM / 2 stroke alongside teammates Philippe Chaine and Jared Stock under the new club team name of FIM North America.

Also from the CMA website:

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 3.00.29 PM

Thundertruck 14 Snowmobile Teaser

I saw this trailer for the the new sled movie that features Canada’s own Brock Hoyer from Williams Lake, BC. He doesn’t show up all that often in this trailer but he’s the one on the Timbersled-equipped Yamaha in the FXR gear. Check it out:

Sylvain Le Gad Injury Update

I spoke with Quebec Pro motocross racer, #18 Sylvain Le Gad, this week to see how his recovery was coming along after a pre-season knee injury. It would have been great to see him lined up in the east for some of his more familiar tracks but it looks like we’ll have to wait until 2016 to see that.

From Sylvain:

“It’s going good, thanks, but I won’t line up for any races this year. I had my ACL and meniscus fixed and it’s 6 months to recover now so no races until next year, unfortunately.”

That’s terrible news for Sylvain as he dedicated a lot of time down south at Club MX over the winter and was really expecting to do well in MX1 this summer. Take care of your rehab and we’ll see you down the road, Sylvain.


Sylvain Le Gad is out of competition until the 2016 season after undergoing successful knee surgery. – Bigwave photo

OK, that is going to have to do it for this week. I need to get to bed so I can drive to RED BUUUD! Good luck to everyone at the WCAN out in Alberta this weekend. Racing is already underway and to nobody’s surprise it looks like #81 Jacob Piccolo and #56 Kyle Biro are taking care of business in their small bike and Intermediate classes respectively. Have a great weekend and watch for some photos and a road trip story from Red Bud in the next few days here on the site.


See you at the races…