Frid’Eh’ Update #44 | Tallon Unger | Presented by Ryno Power Canada

By Billy Rainford

Presented by Ryno Power Canada
Week #44 belongs to Langdon, Alberta, racer Tallon Unger. | Bigwave photo

Welcome to Week #44 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by Ryno Power Canada. It was another long travel day to get over to Italy for the final 2 rounds of the 2021 MXGP season. Carl Bastedo and I made the trip over from Pearson Airport in Toronto just got back from dinner with #109 Dylan Wright.

The Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing rider is riding with the Honda 114 Motorsports team over here for the final 5 rounds and I didn’t want to miss the last two, so here we are.

Not only that, but these will be 9-time world champion Antonio Cairoli’s final MXGP races, officially. Having said that, we’re hearing some interesting rumours over here about Tony and the upcoming Triumph Motocross program! Cool.

Tallon is the Alberta rider with a ton of upside. He’s hard-working, young, disciplined, good with younger riders, and always heads out on the track first in practice. I really like that last one,.

He had an interesting summer. Here’s a look at his official results in the 2021 Canadian Triple Crown MX Series:

Here’s what he had to say when we spoke with him this week:

Here’s what Tallon had to say. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Tallon. I don’t think we’ve done one of these Frid’Eh Update interviews before, so we’re going to have to drag you through your bio. Can you tell us where you’re from, how old you are, and how you got into racing motocross in the first place?

Tallon Unger: Hey, Billy! Great to be on here! I’m from a small town called Langdon, which is located 20 minutes east of Calgary. I’m currently 19 years old and have been racing a dirt bike since 2006, alongside my brother Tyler (Unger) who is a few years older. My dad had raced pro level motocross until 18 and had moved on to road racing so the line of racing was deep. And he was the influence that got me into riding/racing.

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

My first ever ever race number was #44 on a KTM50. The number was chosen from my dad. It was one of his old race numbers.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I never actually played any other sports throughout school or even outside of school other than racing motocross. I never had an interest in most team sports and didn’t really like all the rules.

Tallon and his dad, Trevor Unger, have become staples at the races. | Bigwave photo

If you weren’t racing MX, what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t racing motocross, I would definitely be focusing more on investing my money. I’d like to get into real estate in the coming future.

Who did you come up through the ranks with?

Being from Calgary, there was always a large amount of really good riders to race against. The people that I had been racing back in the day would have been Josh Gedak, Spenser James, Josh Duerksen, Nick Dewitt, Brady Ginter, and Jesse Bury. There were so many more names I could have listed. Unfortunately, through hardship and injuries, most of them do not race anymore. I even got a notch against (Jake) Piccolo when I beat him for the title in the 50cc (4-6) class at the TransCan at Walton Raceway. He never hears the end of that! lol. 

You earned #44 for the 2021 season, but it wasn’t without its challenges. Can you take us through your 2021 season? 

Earning #44 as my first pro number was very special to me because it was my very first number that I started with when I was 4 years old. The 2021 race series was definitely a struggle for me this year. I had an ankle injury headed into round one that I had been working on with Jim Frederickson to get healed up. I also had another injury at Walton resulting in some rib damage, lung damage, and a concussion. The rest of the season was trying to ride through the injuries and salvage as many points as I could.

2021 definitely had its challenges for Tallon. | Bigwave photo

I had another crash off the start of Deschambault that left me pretty banged up after I had been run over. And to top everything off, I had an intake valve explode on my bike which locked up the motor on the face of a jump. Not at all what I was looking for but thankful to still be healthy and able to do what I love!

Were you wanting to race Supercross, originally?

Originally, yes, I was planning on racing Supercross. But with the bike malfunction and the lack of parts, it was the smarter decision to make for myself.

You’re pretty busy doing MX schools, too, right? How long have you been doing that and do you enjoy passing your knowledge on to younger riders?

Yes, I was very busy doing riding schools! I have been doing them for a couple years now and have done a few with Jared Stock. This year I had done a lot of riding schools in Manitoba at Madesa MX and had worked with a lot of great people! Working with the younger riders is awesome because they’re energetic, and overall just happy to be there and love to learn!

Tallon originally chose #44 because it was his dad’s old number. | Bigwave photo

What have you been doing since the Triple Crown season ended?

Since the Triple Crown series has ended I have been working full-time on a 21-5 rotation. 

What do you do for work? 

I work in the oil and gas industry as a roughneck for a well servicing rig out of Provost. Wicked job if you want to get in shape, and some serious money to be made.

What are your winter plans?

I definitely want to do some sledding up in the mountains this winter with some buddies. Other than that I’ll be working all winter, and assessing my options on heading down south to start riding closer towards the new year.

What are your racing plans for next season?

My racing plans for next year aren’t set in stone yet. If I can get a good program in place and everything falls into place, I’ll be back racing Triple Crown.

Tallon will work in the oil field making money and sort out his training and racing plans for 2022. | Bigwave photo

What are your goals for it?

My main goal out at the races is to have fun. So much that can be taken away with the blink of an eye that I think it’s important to enjoy it. As far as actual numbers, Top 10 would be a healthy spot I’d like to see myself.

OK, say hello to your dad, Trevor Unger from Ryno Power Canada, for us. Good luck, and who would you like to thank?

I’d like to thank Phil at Mountains edge for the support over the past years, Ryno Power Canada, BillsPipes for the awesome support, Dawn/Andy and everyone at FXR, Don at Proaction Canada for the amazing support, Sean at Kailani for helping me out tremendously this year, Paul at LRX Performance for building all my bikes, Ryan Lockhart for getting me setup with 100%, Williams motorworx for some awesome race parts, Rekluse clutch, and anyone I forgot, thank you for making it the best year of my life! Cheers.

There is a lot to talk about this week, but no time to do it. Jess Pettis is already down in Florida getting ready for another run at Supercross in 2022.

Jess Pettis is down in Florida getting ready for 2022 Supercross.

Jess showed that he has the pace of the top American SX riders in the 250 class and down south competing with the world’s best is where he belongs. We’ll be sure to get in touch with the Prince George, BC rider as soon as we can.

We have a solid group of riders at the World Vet Championships at Glen Helen. Check out this line-up:

Good luck, team.

OK, we’re heading over to the track on Saturday to check out some Amateur racing and see what’s up here in Mantova before the racing on Sunday. We headed back to the Mamu Café around the corner from our hotel here. The forecast is for 15 degrees Celsius and sunshine for race days, so we should see what everyone has to offer at the final two rounds.

See you at the races… | Bavo Swijgers photo