Frid’Eh Update #29 | Hayden Halstead Interview | Presented by Yamaha Motor Canada

By Billy Rainford

Presented by Yamaha Motor Canada
The Week #29 interview belongs to Hayden Halstead from Waterford, Ontario. | Bigwave photo

Welcome to Week #29 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by Yamaha Motor Canada. We’re on a weekend off in the 2021 Canadian Triple Crown Series MX Nationals but the Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Championships are headed to Washougal on Saturday. Man, I miss that yearly road trip down from Vancouver. Is the Double Deuce still there in town? Is my photo still behind the bar saying, “DO NOT SERVE THIS PERSON!”? (Actually, it would be my friend Kris whose photo it would be.)

Hayden Halstead is #29 this season and has raced the last couple weekends at Gopher Dunes and Sand Del Lee. Hayden and his parents have always been ‘Friends of DMX’ and their pits are always a first stop when we show up to the races.

Here’s a look at Hayden’s results so far this season:

The numbers don’t really tell the story here. Hayden has shown the speed to run up in the top 5 but issues have kept him from realizing his potential, so far.

We got in touch with him this week to find out how the season has been going and what he has planned for the future:

Direct Motocross: Hey, Hayden. It’s great to see you back at the races this summer. We spoke on a practice day at Gopher Dunes, but can you tell us again what you’ve been up to over the winter and spring, heading into the summer racing season?

Hayden Halstead: Hey, Billy! Its definitely nice to be back enjoying that racing vibe! Last season I rounded my season off with a nice 4th place at SDL but had to sit out of the last race to get married. Little unfortunate that the racing schedule got pushed later into the year than normal due to COVID considering how well I’d been riding. That being said, I definitely don’t have any regrets since we stuck to our original date for the wedding and ended up having a normal guest list of 85 people and had one hell of a good time!! There was a couple week window that allowed 100 people for an outdoor wedding. I think it was less then 2 weeks after our great day they cranked the restrictions back down.

This winter I trained a couple local kids in my personal gym and was steady with the same local trucking job I’d had for a few years now. This spring I got super busy with training riders on track skills. It was a great time and I really enjoy teaching these up and comers. 

Hayden at Red Bud in 2019. Even after a mechanical, he had a great time walking back to the pits and interacting with the crowd. | Bigwave photo

If things were normal, your plan was to race south of the border, though, right?

Yes! Last season my plan was to race the AMA east coast nationals. I bought two of my own YZ250f’s. Built a fully spec’d race bike and was planning on hitting up Club MX for as long as I could afford. Plan was to go straight from Club to WW Ranch for the first national. That got wrecked pretty quickly when the border closed.

After that we went into our first lock down and real life got a lot more serious. My dad was off work from Toyota and my work slowed down at least 75%. Things did turn around pretty quickly but last year was a strange one for racing with the schedule being changed weekly and no one really going south to train.

You showed up at Gopher Dunes for the National and finished 7th at Round 3 and then 8-16 for 13th at Round 4. Can you take us through how that weekend went there?

Nice Gopher and ROUGH Gopher! The Saturday was my first race. I skipped Walton 1 because we actually closed on a house that weekend. I wasn’t sure where I would stack up to the field with how busy I have been this spring teaching and not so much on my regular moto training grind myself. I was pleasantly surprised with a great start, almost getting the hole shot and settling into 5th for most of the race. Last few laps I got the short end of the stick twice with lappers and finished 7th. It was a little disappointing after putting the work in for 20+ minutes and then have that happen. But hey, it’s racing and that’s why it’s so much fun on the right day!!

Sunday was the same thing, decent start first moto, track was super rough and rode good for an 8th. The second moto I was looking forward to using my sand experience with the super rough track but the Gopher monster bit me in a fast corner a few laps in. I fought back to 16th but was down a long time so it was difficult to really get up there.

These two right here:

Michelle Halstead
Brent Halstead

And then Sand Del Lee was a bit of a rodeo for you. Had a mechanical on the race bike and 2nd moto on your practice bike? How did that day go?

Sand Del Lee was rough for me. It’s unfortunate because I felt awesome. I love that track, the prep was all time. As Kevin Tyler would say, it was “Amaze-Balls.” I had a decent start first moto and felt really good, but my bike had a mechanical issue that took me out of the race. Lucky enough after taking it apart this week it won’t need too much to get back going, thankfully.

Second moto I rode the stocker and ended up at the bottom of a first turn pile up. I picked up a bike off mine with a rider basically still on it, kind of funny! It took a while to get back on my bike but I definitely had fun playing catch up. I was throwing down some good lap times and made it back to 14th. Lots of times I wish the MX2 motos were 30 minutes long like MX1. Even with less training I am still down for even longer motos. I had some good times with my Sand Del Lee family that weekend before and after the races so the trip was definitely worth it. 

You have to be pretty happy with the way you’re riding though, don’t you?

For sure! It was nice to still have the confidence in my fitness and getting that feeling of flowing at a fast speed. There’s no better feeling than making passes all race and still feeling like there is more left in the tank, cardio-wise, at the checkered flag.

How are your parents liking being back at the races? They miss it as much as you, I bet!

Yep, it’s definitely a lifestyle after this many years of racing.

Hayden flying high at Sand Del Lee. | Bigwave photo

But now the word around the water cooler is you’ve made a recent purchase and may be changing directions? What’s all this 150 2-stroke talk?!

It might be true! I was throwing ideas around with my dad on Saturday at Sand Del Lee and thought it would be fun to ride a few GNCC’s in the MX3 pro class down there. With all the premix races happening up here I figured why not. I will be selling my race 250f and working on my house all fall so I figured it would be a fun bike to own in the meantime.

So, you’ll be lining up in the FXR PreMix class then?

Well, I definitely don’t have time to test and prepare to race the two-stroke for this year’s Premix. Like I said, it will be a fun bike to have with lots of options opening up to race it in the future.

What does the future hold for you? Are you still hoping to go south and race?

Yes, for sure, What I will be riding I’m not so sure. I feel like I’ll be having too much fun on the little two-strokes to go back. That being said, maybe I could pull a (Luke) Renzland and race some MX2 pro nationals in the AMA or up here. Next season Premix and MX2 on the smoker would be a lot of racing and fun!

What will you do on this off weekend?

This weekend….Work! Friday, Saturday and Sunday! If I was off I would for sure be hitting up the Gopher Dunes XC race.

Watch for Hayden on a 2-stroke somewhere, sometime in the near future. | Bigwave photo

Will you go to Deschambault?

No, sir. It will be all housework from here this year. If I have any free time it will be spent teaching and riding myself! I’m sure in the fall I could sneak out to a few AMO or at least the last Gopher race!

OK, I can’t wait to see you rip the little 2-stroke! See you soon, and who would you like to thank?

Thanks again, Billy! I can’t wait either, back to the roots! Always first, my family and wife for still enjoying going to the races. McKee Sport, almost going on 20 years dealing with them. FXR has been hooking me up since 2015! Newf at 100% and Atlas Brace. Joe Skidd SSS, Ken Hansame, Ride Engineering, Kevin Tyler and the Smeatons for being my official pit crew.

MX Nationals Point Standings

Place – Name
Number – Hometown
Total Points
#18 – , 
4th 2nd 1st 5th 1st 211
#30 – , 
3rd 3rd 2nd 1st 2nd 208 (-3)
#84 – , 
1st 1st 3rd 4th 4th 199 (-12)
#157 – , 
5th 4th 4th 3rd 3rd 191 (-20)
#46 – , 
2nd 8th   2nd 7th 147 (-64)
#50 – MISSION, 
6th 6th 10th 6th 6th 139 (-72)
#39 – TELKWA, 
9th 7th 9th 8th 11th 122 (-89)
#28 – ERIN, 
10th 9th 5th 7th 10th 121 (-90)
12th 5th 6th 9th 15th 108 (-103)
#11 – LANGLEY, 
13th 11th 12th 11th 13th 97 (-114)
15th 13th 18th 10th 9th 88 (-123)
#13 – BELOEIL, 
11th 10th 17th 17th 12th 84 (-127)
7th   8th 12th 8th 82 (-129)
#164 – , 
14th 12th 11th 14th 14th 81 (-130)
17th 14th   24th 16th 41 (-170)
#29 – , 
    7th 13th 18th 39 (-172)
#71 – , 
18th 15th   16th 23rd 38 (-173)
16th 17th 16th 20th   33 (-178)
#212 – , 
        5th 32 (-179)
#59 – HAMILTON, 
20th 18th 13th 18th 20th 30 (-181)
Place – Name
Number – Hometown
Total Points
#1 – , 
1st 3rd 2nd 1st 2nd 227
#15 – , 
2nd 1st 3rd 2nd 1st 226 (-1)
#2 – , 
3rd 4th 1st 3rd 3rd 203 (-24)
#16 – BRIGDEN, 
4th 2nd 4th 5th 4th 189 (-38)
#3 – , 
5th 7th 5th 4th 5th 155 (-72)
#777 – , 
6th 6th 9th 7th 6th 141 (-86)
7th 5th 6th 6th 14th 138 (-89)
#10 – CALGARY, 
8th 8th 7th 10th 8th 130 (-97)
#21 – BRANT, 
9th 9th 8th 8th 7th 124 (-103)
11th 10th 10th 11th 9th 106 (-121)
#26 – , 
13th 15th 12th 17th 10th 67 (-160)
#38 – HEARST, 
18th 20th 11th 9th 11th 65 (-162)
#55 – , 
15th 16th 17th 14th 16th 54 (-173)
#20 – , 
12th 12th 13th     54 (-173)
15th – TY SHEMKO
#107 – , 
10th 11th       53 (-174)
21st 18th 14th 13th 13th 49 (-178)
14th 17th   16th 15th 47 (-180)
#708 – , 
16th 19th 16th 15th   36 (-191)
#48 – , 
17th 14th 20th 21st 19th 36 (-191)
#66 – OTTAWA, 
19th 13th 15th     31 (-196)
Place – Name
Number – Hometown
Total Points
1st 1st 1st 150
#810 – , 
2nd 4th 5th 107 (-43)
#621 – , 
3rd 6th 4th 106 (-44)
#211 – PORT PERRY, 
4th 7th 2nd 101 (-49)
#147 – , 
5th 3rd 6th 97 (-53)
#549 – , 
9th 9th 9th 73 (-77)
8th 12th 8th 72 (-78)
#250 – , 
10th 14th 11th 60 (-90)
#138 – , 
  5th 7th 60 (-90)
#28 – , 
7th 10th   48 (-102)
#61 – , 
6th 11th   48 (-102)
11th 15th 15th 45 (-105)
#324 – TOFIELD, 
  2nd   42 (-108)
#433 – , 
12th 16th 18th 38 (-112)
    3rd 38 (-112)
#421 – , 
13th 17th 19th 31 (-119)
#120 – , 
  13th 16th 29 (-121)
#63 – UXBRIDGE, 
  8th   27 (-123)
#327 – , 
    10th 22 (-128)
#54 – , 
14th 18th 20th 20 (-130)
Place – Name
Number – Hometown
Total Points
#1 – LAVAL, 
1st 1st 1st 150
#241 – SAGUENAY, 
2nd 2nd 2nd 132 (-18)
#33 – BEAUMONT, 
3rd 5th 3rd 112 (-38)
#3 – , 
4th 3rd 5th 106 (-44)
5th 4th 6th 93 (-57)
8th 11th 7th 70 (-80)
#28 – , 
  6th 4th 67 (-83)
10th 7th 10th 66 (-84)
#27 – TORONTO, 
6th 13th 15th 58 (-92)
#110 – WINDSOR, 
  9th 8th 52 (-98)
#17 – , 
16th 10th 11th 50 (-100)
#92 – , 
13th 12th 14th 45 (-105)
7th 23rd 12th 44 (-106)
#25 – , 
9th 18th 13th 44 (-106)
#121 – BADEN, 
11th 16th 16th 38 (-112)
#425 – SARNIA, 
12th 15th 19th 35 (-115)
#714 – , 
20th 17th 9th 33 (-117)
#971 – , 
18th 14th 20th 27 (-123)
#323 – , 
  8th   26 (-124)
#610 – , 
14th   17th 21 (-129)

Next Stop – ECAN at Motocross Deschambault

Head over to for all the information you’ll need.

Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Standings

Kade Walker Racing World Enduro Championships in Sweden

Stage 1 results:

Championship standings:

Live timing:

Gopher Dunes XC Race – Saturday

Since I won’t be chasing the MX Nationals this weekend, I think I’ll head over to Gopher Dunes to check out the Off-Road Ontario Sandbox XC event on Saturday. An added motivation is the fact that this will be the first time I’ll see people riding on the new clay-based GP track.

Motopark AMO Races this Weekend

If you’re in Ontario for the Nationals and looking for a race this weekend, Motopark is an option for the AMO Provincial Championships.

Click the link below for all you need to know.

Faces at the Races | Sand Del Lee

Presented by Race Tech

Let’s have a look under the helmets and around the pits from Round 5 of the Canadian Triple Crown Series MX Nationals at Sand Del Lee.

A classic Canadian start to the morning at Sand Del Lee.
It was great to see #327 Brandon Gourlay back on the track in the FXR PreMix class. I also heard his dad, James Gourlay, was on the track, too, but I didn’t get to see it.
Sam Gaynor making sure the boss’s bike is spic and span.
Steve Beattie was busy on Saturday helping the amateur riders.
It was also great to see #114 Mikael Savard back at the races and in his first-ever Pro National.
#141 Sylvain Brodeur dominated one of his motos on Saturday and was also busy prepping gates.
If #613 Cole Pranger doesn’t look like a classic motocrosser, then neither did Ron Lechien.
Ty Shemko was hobbling around the track all weekend. But don’t lean on those crutches when you’re standing around, Ty! (Private joke.)
Kenzie Hennessy showing Payton Morningstar his reverse walk like an Egyptian.
We’ll post some photos from the PreMix races later, but you know we’re in for some action when both Wrozyna brothers are on the track!
This rock has seen its fair share of past, current, and future champions.
Young #130 Merrick Maguire doesn’t need a rock.
And Jeremy McKie doesn’t need any help setting the holeshot device on #27 Alek Guadagno’s bike.
A preposition is anything Colton Egli can do on a rock. I guess visualization counts?
You can add #92 Bella Morgan’s name to the rock list.
Mitch Amyotte had some fun on the track on Saturday.
Tim Lee was extremely busy on Saturday. If you had to talk with him, you were probably in trouble for something.
Josh Bryan and Ayrton Pomeroy scoping lines for their motos.
If Sunday was any indication, Sebastien Racine is sitting in the right spot.
Greg Poisson helped out Taylor Ciampichini with the Amateur Day live broadcast. Doesn’t look like he minded.
After a chaotic start to an Open Beginner moto that got red flagged, Ryan Gauld took the opportunity to make it a teaching moment. It was a good speech about not swerving all over the place off the starts.
It was hot but that didn’t stop this person from rocking their favourite….hooded cloak?
I’m not sure what exactly is going on here, but Oriana Fraser is on a YZ250 2-stroke, so they’re in here.
#818 Cindy Trudel keeping cool before a moto.
#22 Tyler Gibbs getting hooked up.
Eve Brodeur went undefeated, but it wasn’t easy.
If #241 Sarah-Kim Villeneuve keeps working at it, she’s sitting in the right place.
Wyatt and Andy Kerr feeling good on the gate.
Bennet Amyotte on the line with little bro Quinn Amyotte.
Julien Perrier wondering why the roof is open.
Hayden Halstead warming up.
#13 Jeremy McKie running back to the pits for his back-up bike during qualifying.
#53 Derek Hamm has been impressive this season and says he’s chasing a top 10.
Oliver Benek makes another Faces appearance.
It was great to see Michael Dasilva back at the races. Little brother Chris Dasilva was there, too, but still in a sling.
Joey Parkes was riding in pain and then a crash has left them headed home towards Nanaimo, BC. Safe travels, guys.
Sebastien Racine on the line for his first Pro gate drop.
Game face for #30 Jake Piccolo. He’s 3 points behind Ryder McNabb in the standings heading to Deschambault next weekend.
Sam and Jeff Gaynor ready for another moto.
Game face for Quinn Amyotte, too. He was 10th in moto 1 but then his bike didn’t make it past the first turn in moto 2.
I’m sure Marco Cannella is sick of hearing us say that his championship hopes are likely over, so I won’t mention it here. Let’s see if he can run out the season with wins, just to prove a point.
Will we see an oppo over the huge jump at Deschambault next week from #25 Guillaume St Cyr? I doubt it’s a great idea, but I can dream.
Davey Fraser before a moto with Josh Snider working the pit board fan for some reverse flow.
#44 Tallon Unger with a shameless Ryno Power Canada plug on the line.
Tanner Ward on the line. I’m looking forward to running the disc wheel, TT bars, aero helmet, and a skin suit for the charity event “Ride With Me” taking place August 13th at @waltonraceway I have to go after Marshal Weltin!
Ryder McNabb ready to go 2-1 for the win. He and Tanner have 2 overalls and Jake has the other.
#778 TJ Martin and #150 Brett Young made the drive from the maritimes to race Sand Del Lee. And yes, that Kibby helping out.
Chad Goodwin may not be riding, but he’s allowed to sit on the rock.
Unfortunate mechanical for Tyler Medaglia while running 2nd late in the 2nd moto. He’ll need to switch over to FIM ISDE mode soon.
#26 Ryan Derry had his best race on his new SSR TLD Gas Gas team ride.
Ryder McNabb showing the effects of a hard moto.
At only 15, let’s hope someone from down south comes calling.
#157 Darien Sanayei was 3rd on the day and sits 4th in the series.
Jess Pettis and Dylan Wright both have 2 overalls with Marshal Weltin taking the other. He’s now 1 point behind Dylan at the top.
Dylan and Justin Petker celebrate a tie at the top of the results in the 450 class (He traded wins with Jess). He had to come from way back and last in the motos.
Hard contact with #2 Marshal Weltin in moto 2 left Marshal showing his feelings after the checkered flag.

We’ve got a weekend off before we head to Deshambault for a Sunday/Monday race weekend after the 2021 ECAN.

Donny T says, “See you at the races…

Have a great weekend, everyone. Good luck, wherever you’re lining up across the country this week.

See you at the races… | Bigwave photo