Frid’Eh Update #41 | Jeremy McKie | Presented by Fox Racing Canada

By Billy Rainford

Week #41 belongs to Jeremy McKie. | Bigwave photo

Welcome to Week #41 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by Fox Racing Canada. It’s another big week in moto because this weekend will wrap up the 2020 Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Championships at Fox Raceway in Southern California.

Here is Canada, racing is really winding down as we head into Thanksgiving Weekend. Yes, our Thanksgiving is earlier than in the USA simply because we are farther north and our harvest is therefore earlier.

I’m not sure about how things are looking at your place this year, but we won’t be celebrating with our family. We’re at the age where our parents are in the “risky” category for this whole COVID-19 thing.

There was someone who tested positive after our final Supercross races at Gopher Dunes. I was in close contact with them so they alerted me. Emily and I have since been to get tested and were both negative. If you haven’t been contacted, don’t worry, they must not have been close to you. They were diligent in letting people know.

Getting a COVID-19 test doesn’t take long but it sure is unpleasant! | Google image of some poor girl “enjoying” the procedure

Jeremy McKie is #41. It’s pretty good timing because he was recently notified that he’d won Parts Canada Rookie of the Year for the 2020 Rockstar Triple Crown Tour.

Jeremy finished 5th in the 250 series and is a rider who has the potential to go a long way in our sport. This kid simply hates to lose.

He’s a rider that even Jeff McConkey always had his eye on. He’s looked like a professional racer ever since he was a tiny kid on a 65. And Jeff so famously said, “Looking good is 4 quarters of the battle.” Man, I miss that guy.

We got in touch with the “Bullet from Beloeil” (that’s a French town that you really have to let go of your inhibitions to say properly. I’ll never be able to do it) to get his take on his season and find out what he’s got planned next:

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

Direct Motocross: Hello, Jeremy. This is your first time in the top 52 for a Frid’Eh Update Interview so let’s take it back to the beginning. How did you first get started in Motocross?

Jeremy McKie: I started motocross at age of 3 because of my dad. He was always a big motorcycle guy but never had a chance to race any type of racing. He bought me a PW50 when I was 3 and we just road under a bridge near my house, and I completely loved it. A year later, I was doing my first race!!

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

My first number was 20. It’s my birthday date and I just always race that number. As soon as I get a career number, I’m taking this one again!

Can you tell us a little about where you grew up and who you raced against in your amateur years?

I’m from Beloeil, Québec, and I’ve always raced against older racers, 1-2 years difference with me. When I was younger, I had nice battles with Thomas Rendall who is my age but when we got to bigger classes it was against older riders like Jake Tricco, Jacob Piccolo and Cameron Wrozyna.

When he was young, Jeremy chose the #20 simply because it’s his birthday date, and he’ll try for it when and if he earns a career number in the future. | Bigwave photo

What was your best memory from those amateur days?

That’s a hard question, but I think the best memory is my second Fox Bronze Boot last year at Walton, just because the award is amazing and no one ever won it twice or back-to-back, which I did.

You made the move to Pro this season. What was the biggest difference you noticed with the change?

The biggest difference is the start. It was a big factor for me this year. I’ve always been a good starter on amateur days but this year it wasn’t my thing. It had a lot of good guys that wanted to be first at the end of the first corner. 

You got your first moto podium in the mud at Walton but there were no interviews done. Did that bum you out a little?

Yeah, I was bummed. It was a mud race, but still. I crashed twice in that race and was still able to make my way to 3rd. I would have liked a little TV time, for sure!

Jeremy snagged his first-ever moto podium (3rd) in the mudder at Walton. | Bigwave photo

How do you think your MX portion of the series went? Were you happy with your results?

It was decent. I was happy until last round of Sand Del Lee. I showed good speed this year and showed that I was fit, especially at Gopher. So, to finish the last round that bad, just wasn’t were I should have finished. It wasn’t a good weekend and really affected my overall in the MX Tour.

I don’t think you have a lot of SX experience, do you? How did the Gopher Dunes SX rounds go for you?  

I don’t have much SX experience, but I do feel really comfortable on those tracks. I had a SX track at home and built bigger whoops before rounds 3 and 4 and felt good at those rounds. Overall, the SX series went good but I think with a good start I could of finish it off with a podium at that last round. Next year!!

A lot of riders are looking for rides for 2021. You seem like a young racer with a ton of potential who should be being looked at. What are your plans for 2021?

Yeah, for sure. I want to be on a team and I think I deserve a ride, but as of now nothing is happening and it’s looking like I will be privateer for one more year.

Jeremy on the top step at the 2013 Walton TransCan. (I couldn’t resist sneaking another old photo in here.) | Bigwave photo

I always like the intensity you bring to the races. You are definitely not happy not winning. What would you say is your biggest strength as a racer?

My biggest strength, I think, is my confidence. When I’m confident and I think I can win or do real good, I will. Whenever I’m confident on the track, it will be a good day!

How about your biggest weakness?

That, for sure, is my attitude. I’m working hard on it but when I’m mad I have a bad attitude towards the others racers. 

What are you doing for the rest of the season before the snow flies?

I’m working for my dad to make some money before race season!

What will you do over the winter?  

I’m working for my dad until the end of January and then I will head down south to train!!!

Jeremy looks comfortable on a Supercross track and would like to give the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series a go in 2022. | Bigwave photo

Is AMA Supercross on your radar?

Yes, for sure! My goal is to get more Supercross time next season and try some AMA Supercross next winter.

What is your schooling situation and how is it going?

I just graduated from high school since we don’t have grade 12 here. I was going to CEGEP (Collège d’Enseignement Général et Professionnel) but decided to take a year off to train more and really be ready for next year!!

OK, I’ve grilled you enough. Thanks for playing along this week. Who would you like to thank?

Thank you, Billy! I would like to thank: SMX_Motocross, Shift MX, Fox Racing Canada, Oakley, KTM Canada, Mathias Marine Sports, JM Training, Hoosier Off Road, Mika Metals, DT1 Filters USA, MD Distributions, E Sticky Graphics, VP Racing Fuels, Atlas Brace, CTi Knee Braces, Dirtcare, Team PRMX, Cam Designer, Twenty Six Suspension.

Presented by Fox Racing Canada

I’m trying to get as much of this week’s Update done before heading over to Gore Road MX for some last-minute “training” before the Vet and Vintage Race at Gopher Dunes tomorrow. (It’s a lot like how I studied for exams in University…)

— UPDATE: I have since been notified (Thanks, Todd Kuli) that the event is actually NEXT weekend. I need a full-time babysitter! —

This may not seem like a big deal to you but I’m meeting Mike McGill there this afternoon. Mike does some writing for MXP Magazine and we used to race together way back in the 1980’s.

He’s got a 2020 Yamaha YZ250 as well as a 1986 Honda CR250. I think he’s bringing them both today, so this should be fun. I’ll be on Jeff’s YZ250.

I think this is the last time I rode with Mike McGill. It was 1987! | Bigwave Senior photo
With all this amazing 2021 gear from LEATT, I just have to get out and ride!

Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Heads into Final Round

We’re heading into Round 9 of 9 this weekend at Fox Raceway in sunny southern California.

(Enjoy the classic guitar lick)

Sand Del Lee Wins Track of the Year

Marshal Weltin Wins Rider of the Year

Jess Pettis on the KTM 450

#15 Jess Pettis won his 2nd 250 MX title in 2020 and has now made the move up to the 450 class. When he first made the move to the big bikes a few years ago, I wouldn’t have thought he’d be a great 450 rider. However, once he grew a few inches overnight, I think he’s morphed into someone we should get used to seeing battle for podiums in the premiere class.

He’ll be heading in to get his knee scoped but it shouldn’t take him out of the saddle for long, if at all. With him, Dylan Wright and probably Marshal Weltin moving up, the 450 class should be a barn-burner in 2021!

OK, so I’m back from Gore Road MX a little earlier than I had planned. Emily and I got there before Mike and his brother did, so we got to talking with Steve Luyks, the owner of the property and track.

I remember Steve from his #170 on a Suzuki days at Hully Gully back in the early 1980’s. He was a couple years older than me and a remember both him and #80 Darryl Simpson wringing the the absolute snot out of their RM125’s until it seemed like they just couldn’t get enough air/gas through and out the pipe fast enough. I never would have recognized his face, but I pulled #170 out at the drop of a hat.

Anyway, Mike was there with his brother. Mike decided to bring his 1986 CR250 and Kevin, who is a total collector, had a Frankenstein 1973-1978 Bultaco 325.

As we all got dressed, Mike and I reminisced about the old days and about mutual moto friends we had and had since lost touch with – it was a pretty extensive list.

Mike was ready first and warmed the old girl up and then headed out to see if there was a dry line around the track. Steve had told me earlier that it was probably too wet to ride today. I knew the owner of the track would be right, but Mike headed out anyway.

We listened to him warm the bike up around the track and the strong breeze pushed the sweet-smelling oil/gas mixture across the field and into our nostrils. It was heaven.

I sat down and continued getting ready. I really started to have second thoughts about donning my brand new 2021 Leatt gear that I’d been pulling the tags off of, but it has to get muddy at some point, so I kept going.

Kevin lived on the big island of Hawaii for many years and had just moved back to Canada this past spring. We were shooting the breeze about Kona, where I’d been twice before and I couldn’t resist asking, “The Big island, eh. What or who were you hiding from?” I’m still not completely sure how it went over, but, then again, I never am.

Just then we heard the familiar and horrific sound of a big being revved to the moon, and not in a good way. We waited and then there it was, the crashing sound of a bike hitting the ground and slowly dying off.

Ah crap, Mike was down. I grabbed the camera from Emily as she began to run across the field to check on his condition and started snapping photos. Of course I did!

As Kevin and I walked our way toward him, I told him that if Mike was fine he’d appreciate that I took a few. Racers always are.

You run and help him, Em. I’ll shoot a few photos…

Mike worked his way to his feet but his right foot/ankle was definitely causing him some pain. Mind you, not enough pain that his brother and I didn’t go out and ride though!

Kevin and the Bultaco in action. | Emily photo
The 2021 Africa Tiger gear from Leatt at a distance. It’s never wise to approach a tiger. | Emily photo
Meanwhile, Mike sat and waited…
And so, our day came to an early end as we dropped Mike off at the ER. Hey Mike…”See you at the races…

Have a great Thanksgiving Weekend, everyone. Remember a year ago when we’d never even heard the term “social distancing?”