Frid’Eh Update #3 Presented by Gamma Powersports
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #3 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by Gamma Powersports. For 2016, #3 in the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals will be Australian rider Brett Metcalfe’s number. Brett now calls California home and is our 2013 Champion. It could be argued that Brett was consistently the fastest 450 rider last summer, but some bad luck cost him his shot at the title.
Brett’s overall results from 2016:
1, 4, 8, 1 2, 1, 2, 14, 2, 3 = 482 points and 3rd overall.
Brett won 3 events which equaled Colton Facciotti‘s total and beat eventual winner Matt Goerke (2). It’s the 8th and 14th that cost him. We were able to catch up with the Lake Elsinore resident this week to find out his thoughts on last summer and what he’s been up to since.
Direct Motocross: Hello, Brett. We haven’t spoken with you in a while. Let’s first back up to last summer. That was probably one of the most competitive Mx1 battles we’ve ever seen. How was it from your perspective?
I think it was awesome for the series and all sponsors involved. It for sure helps create more interest when the championship builds hype and comes down to the last round. From my racing perspective, it’s always intense out there on the race track. After my 2nd DNF it kind of died for me right there, I felt like Colt really stepped up then but Matt had enough cushion already. It was good hard racing with 5 solid guys in the mix.
You were probably the fastest guy most weeks but had a couple issues. Can you take us through what set you back?
Engine component failures were the big ones. Both DNF were really not by anyone’s fault other than parts breaking. Than at Ulverton in Moto 1 the radiator breather hose blew off and dumped all the coolant, cooking the engine. Anything else was on me. Gopher was one of the toughest days I’ve had in a while. I got a stomach bug or something that night, I couldn’t eat all day and things were blowing out both ends from me. It didn’t effect riding other than energy levels were gone.
Did it feel like you were going into battle every week? It seemed any one of you top 4 guys could win (or explode) at any moment!
I never felt like I was on the verge of exploding. I’ve been in heated battles majority of my career, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary. I believed I could make the Championship happen up to the point of the 2nd DNF.
Is there a race that stands out for you from last summer?
There were some cool races along the way with some wins. If I think about importance, probably Sand Del Lee moto 2. I really had to answer the call and win.
We won’t be going to Sand Del Lee or Walton next year. Are you looking forward to the changes or will you miss those two tracks?
I’ll miss those 2 rounds. Sand Del Lee is a fun track and I loved riding the track and the dirt. Walton was pretty cool, reminded me a little of a US national prepped track.
Did you take some time off after the final round last year?
Yes, I didn’t ride for about 6-7 weeks. I went down to Australia for a supercross race in early November then didn’t ride for another month after that.
Are you missing SX this year? Who do you see taking this ultra-competitive 450 title?
Yes, I miss it. I see Dungey making it back to back titles. I think he looks better than ever from what I’ve seen so far but there is a real deep field!
I heard you’ve already been testing your new Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha. How has that been going?
I just got started this week with testing on the new 2016 Yamaha with Stu (Robinson) from Rockstar OTSFF and Mike Haist from Factory Connection. We put in a really good week for our first test ride with the bike and something all new for me to learn. For a base settings I’m very happy we’re I’m at this early.
How many more years of this do you have in you? Is it still fun or has it become like a 9-5?
It’s hard to foresee how many more years, I don’t think about it too much although I am starting to look at my exit strategy. I feel good, I have motivation, so I don’t really question anything just yet. I try and take care of my body which I think is a big help.
I think the whole fun mentality is a little overrated at times. For sure you need to enjoy what you do, if you can make it fun that’s great, but you gotta be able to buckle down and grind out the hard yards. Those yards aren’t much fun! It’s all hard work. There is an enjoyment I get from that which can be translated as fun. The fun side is getting to hang out with a good bunch of guys at the track.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Will you race at all before the Canadian series starts?
Still To be determined.
Who would you like to thank?
First off, my wife Sheena for the support and taking care of my boys while I go racing. I want to thank André (Laurin) and Stu at OTSFF, big thanks to Mike Kelso at Rockstar. Also, my agent David Evans and my mechanic Cam Armstrong.
It’s always great to talk with Brett. Good luck with all your prep work and we’ll see you out west in the spring.
Hey, guys. It’s finally Friday and Supercross is in full effect. We’ve had two really good rounds so far and I can’t see round 3 being any different. A2 goes off this Saturday and the track looks good.
Ryan Dungey has been super-consistent like always and leads the way in the 450 class. Sophomore Jason Anderson has surprised a few and sits in 2nd with fellow sophomore Cole Seely in 3rd. Look for Ken Roczen to finally get the start he needs. Some bad news out of the RCH camp, Broc Tickle broke his wrist in a practice crash and will miss some time.
In 250 West action, defending champion Cooper Webb looks unstoppable. It’s just amazing to see how he can basically just point his Yamaha anywhere on the track and it sticks. He may not go undefeated, but nobody is going to beat this guy straight up. Look for a podium out of Jimmy Decotis this weekend; he’s a great starter and now has the fitness to complete the package. Word on the street is that Jimmy D will indeed be back in Canada to compete for the 2016 MX2 crown. With all of this seat time and confidence, it looks like he will be a serious contender along with Cole Thompson and Jeremy Medaglia. Let’s have a look at my A2 predictions:
1st Cooper Webb
2nd Jimmy Decotis
3rd Joey Savatgy
4th Jordan Smith
5th Zach Osborne
Holeshot: Jimmy D
1st Ken Roczen
2nd Ryan Dungey
3rd Eli Tomac
4th Jason Anderson
5th Trey Canard
Holeshot: Ken Roczen
That’s it for me this week. Stay warm and have a good weekend, and don’t forget to #smileforBC!
Thanks, Jeff. It sounds weird hearing “stay warm” but it won’t be long now until we’re back in Canada and having to deal with the cold weather we’ve managed to avoid out here in California the past 10 days. It’s amazing to think that you can go to the local public practice tracks out here and see some of the very best Supercross and Motocross riders honing their skills. We hit up Lake Elsinore this week to shoot some photos and video of a very busy Supercross track.
While we were there, we shot some video of Canadian #127 Cole Thompson. Here’s a look at the Slaton Racing Nuclear Blast Fox KTM Canada rider at work this week.
Speaking of the Slaton Racing team, Nuclear Blast Records (Slayer) is a big part of their program and we posted an interview with the record label’s GM, Gerardo Martinez. You can check it out here:
Catching Up with…Nuclear Blast Records GM, Gerardo Martinez
By Chris Elliott
There definitely increased interest in the Slaton Racing team for 250 West Supercross this season. The KTM team is home for Canadian #127 Cole Thompson and #203 Zac Commans who is wearing Canadian FXR Racing gear. Canadian Chris Elliott sat down with one of the title sponsors’ main men, Nuclear Blast Records GM Gerardo Martinez to get his thoughts on their involvement. Here is what he had to say.
It’s nice to chat with you, Gerardo. We have been intrigued with the Nuclear Blast/Slaton Racing relationship since it was announced…how did your holidays go?
Thank you! Yes, I think this came out of left field for some that know about our company, but in reality this is something I’ve been trying to do for some time. Holidays were good, I had a little time off, but now we are in full race mode!
Let’s get a little back-story on you and your title at the record label as well as a little insight to your moto involvement in the past.
Well, I’ve been working for the company for 13 plus years. We are a record label that specializes in hard-hitting Heavy Metal/Hard Rock music (Slayer, Meshuggah, Machine Head, Exodus, Testament, Suicide Silence, etc). Moto is in my blood – my dad used to race motocross back in the 70s and early 80s. I have followed the sport religiously since I could remember. I have always seen the potential connection with both of our scenes and I’m here to make sure that connection happens. This is not the first time for our involvement, a few years ago I had the opportunity to meet Ryan Clark through a great friend of mine (Raymond Herrera, former drummer of the metal band Fear Factory). We became friends and I started helping his team (Team Solitaire) with promotional tools like posters, online videos etc..
So getting into 2016, how did this relationship come together with Slaton Racing and its partners?
Ryan Clark phoned me out of the blue a couple of months ago, I believe, and told me about the plans. I immediately felt the need to get back to the sport I love so much and also knowing that the music industry lacks that strong link to the motorcycle racing scene. I jumped at the opportunity right away! The label takes pride in doing lots of things outside the box and believes these are the things that can help both industries prosper. No one is coming here dumping millions of dollars left and right anymore so you have to be creative on how you hook up with sponsorships – other companies that could help your brand out there and still make sure you get your money’s worth.
In my opinion, one of the reasons why moto doesn’t get the “respect” NASCAR gets is because there still isn’t enough outside the box sponsorship with teams. It’s all about knowing how to link other industries that have nothing to do with motorcycles and be able to make it work. I feel the connection with hard-hitting music and moto has always been there, but maybe not in this specific style of music. We are here to try new things and looking at this long term. The team has two awesome young riders and a good set up to do well in 2016.
Being a part of the music industry and a major moto enthusiast for years, did you pay close attention to MotoXXX and its close ties with music when the team was in operation years back?
Absolutely. I actually talk to Jordan from time to time as I’m also friends with his Strung Out band-mate Chris. They’re fans of some of our bands and have met them at shows in the past. I think Jordan and Moto XXX opened the doors for music and moto. Unfortunately, I think some people weren’t ready as it seems they’ve always seen Punk, Metal, or Hard Rock as some sort of music to stay away from! Then again, all you hear when the gate is about to drop or even on some of the opening ceremonies is hard-hitting music, be it Metal, Punk, or Hard Rock…so it’s just a matter of teaching the public that we are an industry just like others and that it’s as professional as any other corporation sponsoring motorsports. Getting back to MotoXXX, I think what they did was extremely influential as they stuck to their guns and basically were the sore thumb it the pits. It was so badass!
What can fans look forward to seeing at the races on the team’s pits when we get the series started in a couple weeks?
Right now we are trying to go at it careful as possible as there might be some restrictions on what we can do. Like I said before, we are looking at this long term. One of the things I’d love to do is bring some bands to do signings like Slayer, Machine Head, Exodus, or any band that has a good following in the moto scene. Some of the artists are HUGE moto fans too, so this would make perfect sense. Of course, we also want to have a more lifestyle experience at the pits. We are thinking of ways to get some free music samplers to fans and other cool promotional items. Of course, there’s also ideas of after party live shows and so on. We’ll just have to wait and see what are the things we can do and can’t do!
We know your ties are with the 250 class, but let’s get your prediction for the top 3 in this year’s 450 class…
[Laughs] I think it’s going to be interesting and if both (Eli) Tomac and K-Roc (Ken Roczen) stay healthy I think that’s going to be the battle!
…of course you can never count (Chad) REED out; he will win some races!
Thanks, Gerardo! We look forward to seeing you at the races. How can people check out Nuclear Blasts Records and its roster online?
Thanks for the interview, see you at the races! Check us out online at www.nuclearblastusa.com, www.youtube.com/nuclearblasteurope , www.twitter.com/nuclearblastusa , www.facebook.com/nuclearblastusa , www.instagram.com/nuclearblastusa
Get Fox Sports 1 for All in Canada
Joel McDonald has been spearheading the campaign to get Fox Sports 1 to everyone in Canada so that we can all enjoy Supercross and Motocross on TV north of the border. Here is how you can get involved in this fight. Take a few minutes to follow these instructions and let’s see if there really is strength in numbers.
So, many of us loyal Canadian Supercross fans are left at the side lines for watching the sport we love. If you have Rogers, you are probably happy watching the Monster Energy Supercross on THE FOX SPORTS RACING CHANNEL. However, if your Cable/Satellite Provider is BELL or SHAW (the main Providers) you simply don’t get it.
I have been talking to the Executives at both BELL and SHAW (almost daily). Most people don’t know what to do. Well, throughout all my talks with the Executives I have found out that the only thing that they see form their customers is how many CHANNEL REQUESTs they receive. Right now THE FOX SPORTS RACING CHANNEL is the most requested channel at both Providers. We want to keep on with people sending in the CHANNEL REQUESTS. This is a critical time. There are still more fans that have not requested the channel with their providers than the ones that have. We need, more than ever, to saturate them with these very important CHANNEL REQUESTs.
This channel is expensive (not many commercials to pay for the channel). The more CHANNEL REQUESTs we get sent in, the quicker they will move on getting this channel back! We need to show them the real overwhelming numbers so they cannot hesitate any longer to bring back this channel.
I am working to get it to the Moto GP, Nascar, and all the other racing fans that need this channel back. Spread the word through you racing communities and tell them to visit Racer X and DMX. If everyone does their part we will get the FOX SPORTS RACING CHANNEL back!
HOW TO GET FOX SPORTS RACING BACK
If you are a SHAW CUSTOMER just simply copy and paste this template to this email: email@example.com and fill out your information:
START OF TEMPLATE
Subject Line: [Channel Request for: City]
Name: [First] [Last]
Account Number: [11 digit Shaw account number]
Channel(s) Requested: [channel information]
/END OF TEMPLATE
This will go right to the people that need to see it – the Channel Planning Department.
If you are a BELL CUSTOMER you will have to call their phone number (1-866-310-2355) and put in your CHANNEL REQUEST. I have told the Bell executives that everyone hates to call them and mention that SHAW is way easier. I am trying to make it as easy as possible, but taking the time is totally worth it to get the channel back!
For the customers from the smaller providers you may have to contact them directly.
Toronto Supercross Pre and After-Parties
It looks like we’re back on for the Toronto Supercross parties! These things ahve really taken on a life of their own over the past years and we’re happy to have them back again in 2016. With the help of David and Ben Toye, the Direct Motocross parties will be back and better than ever. It looks like we’ll be at The Houston again this March so get ready to get your bench racing hats on!
We will have all the details soon here on the site.
Tyler Medaglia Update
When a photo of Tyler Medaglia‘s #5 Husqvarna 350 showed up on Instagram, we all assumed Tyler’s 2016 deal was signed, sealed, and delivered. Yes, it was all but done, but in this sport we all know not to count our bores and strokes before they’re hatched. We gave him a call today to find out what the official word is.
Tyler confirmed that his Husky deal is about 90% done but that all the final sponsors are confirmed. He will head to his parents’ place near Ottawa on Monday, pick up his new bike, and then head down to Tallahassee, Florida, to begin preparing for his first GNCC race March 5th.
He’s been doing lots of cycling and feels he is still fit. He’ll head to his usual places down south, like GPF, Bell’s, and the trail system around Tallahassee. He hopes to do the AMA Nationals at Glen Helen before heading north to BC to start the 2016 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals.
Of course, I had to ask him if he planned to do the Toronto Supercross March 12th and he was quick to answer, “If Husky can line me up a 250F, I’ll do it.”
Tyler will, indeed, be on a 350 with Kibby as his mechanic. They will be pulling a trailer in their Husqvarna Sprinter to all the Canadian rounds.
Send Nathan Bles your Questions
We really want to start a ‘Mail In Questions’ section on the site, so send in your questions for Nathan Bles. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Obviously, motocross-related questions would be expected, but feel free to ask him anything you want. These things are always done in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, so send them in!
Kyle Chisholm Injured
Part-time Canadian racer, #11 Kyle Chisholm, crashed hard in San Diego last week with Cade Clason. Kyle has announced on Twitter that his shoulder will require surgery and he will be out of action for a while.
From his Twitter:
“UPDATE: We got some answers today and I just wanted to update everyone on my injury. Unfortunately I do need surgery to repair damage of dislocating my shoulder. I also have a fracture in the upper part of my humerus that doesn’t require surgery.
“My surgery is scheduled for Friday. This is never the plan and I’m super bummed as I have been busting my butt and loving my new bike & team.
“I’m shooting to be back for the second half of SX & all of outdoors & can’t wait to be back out there. I can’t thank all of u (enough) for the support.”
Good luck with the surgery, Kyle.
OK, going to have to cut it short this week, we have to go get into some LA traffic and pick Tyler Spikman up at LAX. He’ll be our guy on the track at A2 which means my night can be spent going behind the scenes and getting lots of ‘Faces at the Races’ shots. Make sure to follow us on Twitter (@Directmx) and Instagram (@Directmotocross) because I’ll have lots of time to get into the pits and in the nooks and crannies for photos and stories.
Have a great weekend. We’ve got this one last day to head back down to Venice Beach to get in the water and surf. I know they’re getting snow back home, so we’re going to enjoy this to the fullest.