Frid’Eh Update #48 | Hayden Halstead | Brought to You by Yamaha Motor Canada

By Billy Rainford

Brought to you by Yamaha Motor Canada
Week #48 belongs to Hayden Halstead from Waterford, Ontario. | Bigwave photo

Welcome to Week #48 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week brought to you by Yamaha Motor Canada. I’m home now fresh off one of the busiest weeks of the year. I’ve been going to the Thor Mini O’s Presented by Pro Circuit regularly since I moved back to Ontario in 2007. There were a couple blips on the radar when in took a step backwards but, on average, it’s been growing steadily every year.

They set another participation record in 2022 and I don’t see any sign of that stopping. Like they say, a crowd attracts a crowd and people just want to see what all the hype is about. More on the Mini O’s later.

Hayden Halstead was #48 in 2022 but we never got to see him run the number. When you hear the year he’s had it will all make sense – he’s been pretty busy to say the least.

We’ve all known Hayden for many many years. Along with his parents, Michelle and Brent, this family has probably been one that I’ve become closest with over my tenure covering this sport in Canada and abroad.

When Hayden rode for the MX101 team, theirs was always the first pit I stopped in during my pit wanderings. I’ve shared many lunches and coffees with these guys and I consider them all friends.

Hayden has always been one of the best interviews and he always seemed to be having fun at the races, regardless of the results. He was always able to put it all into perspective and realize the time they were having together as a team and a family.

I could be totally wrong on all this, but, if I am, he sure hid it well!

Anyway, he never lined up with the #48 this summer and I’m not sure when we’ll see him again at the races. His life has taken a few turns this past year, as you’ll read.

Let’s get to that interview, shall we?

Here’s what Hayden had to say this week. | Bigwave 2020 photo

Direct Motocross: OK, Hayden, it’s been a really long time since we’ve seen you or spoken with you. I’m going to have to ask you all these questions one at a time because there are a lot of grown up things going on in your life right now. But first, let me just ask you how much you missed racing this past summer?

Hayden Halstead: Billy!! I can tell you that my life’s been moving so fast lately that it has not seemed like it has been that long. I have been thinking about that question a bit by myself lately. Trying to figure out which I enjoyed more, all the good days training or the good days racing. It started when I told my wife Meg that I could go down to Club MX right now and grind my ass off even if I wasn’t allowed to race after all of it. That sent me into a deep dive of thinking I’m some weird dude but came to realize after a big offseason of working (trucking in the snow) there was nothing better than going south, getting in the heat, finding your flow on the track, and just training as hard as possible. But then again, holeshotting a moto or getting a last lap pass in a race makes you miss that side too!  

I thought we’d see you show up for an FXR Pre Mix race or two but we didn’t even see that. How come?

Well, I knew I probably wouldn’t have enough time or funds to race properly this year after taking on the house project.  Even being super busy this spring I managed to race the first couple AMO races on the little 2-stroke!! What a blast that was! We did an amazing family trip this summer to Newfoundland where my grandma is from and she toured us around all the local spots! We also spectated Red Bud Des Nations. That was one heck of a time. My dad wanted to be at the track the day before…the day before the first race!! I would have loved to race more but it was a struggle just finding time to get out to ride, let alone race with everything on the go. 

So, let’s get to what’s been going on lately for you. First off, you got married. How was all that? 

Yep, managed to be one of the few couples to get married in the summer of 2020. Wildly, we didn’t even break any “laws.” We just kept our date the same and stayed very hopeful that all that COVID stuff was going to pass sooner than later. People thought we were insane, and then maybe 2 weeks before the date they allowed 100 person weddings outside. BINGO! Married my high school sweetheart and a week later the wedding attendance got cut back down again I think to 50 outside…meant to be?? I have to say yes after the beautiful ceremony and the level of enthusiasm on the dance floor all night. You could tell everyone was over the rounds of lockdowns and ready to get back to normal starting that night!

Always one of the most inviting pits at the races. | Bigwave 2019 Red Bud photo

And you’ve been working on your house, too, right? Where are you living and what all have you been doing there?

It’s all done now. We bought a little 1.5 storey wartime house in Simcoe in the summer of 2021, right in the height of the housing bubble. Still somehow got a deal under asking. Married in 2020, getting a deal on a house in 2021, I promise I’m not exaggerating. Complete gut, new everything, a pile of work was done. My dad helped me out huge, neither of us have tackled much of this reno stuff before. We got along great and excited for the next project or task on the list every time! Took 14 months of weekends and hours after work days but I knew if everything wasn’t perfect or at least 100% effort it would eat me alive seeing something I rushed when I eventually lived there. I definitely want to shout out my family and friends for helping and my wife for making it look so beautiful.

And now you’ve gone and had a baby! How has that been going? Are you and Meg getting any sleep?    

Yes, we have! A month early, but very healthy. Arie Gray William Halstead. He is the happiest little guy. Between grandmas fighting over him and having tons of support, it’s been honestly very enjoyable. I’m so grateful that it hasn’t been that hard and have my fingers crossed everyone stays happy and healthy. It’s 8:06pm and I can hear Megan snoring from the couch as I write this though. Haha!!

Have all these changes made you miss racing more or less? 

These changes haven’t affected me that much. I still feel the need to go race and train often. I also have been enjoying the days a lot that are not moto related, just exciting times right now. So it keeps the urge to start training hardcore again at bay… for now. 😉 

Married, new home, renovations, new baby…things are busy in Hayden’s life. | Bigwave photo

What are you doing for work these days?  

Trucking and Landscaping with my wife. She is a landscape designer and she landed some awesome jobs this summer, so that was just another aspect this year.  I still have the same trucking job for the little family I’ve been working for 5 years now. They are great, they have come to watch nationals in the past and let me take spring and summers off in the past also. I haul gasoline to local gas stations around southern Ontario, it’s actually very enjoyable….when the sun is shining. 

Are you going to be able to find time to get back on a bike in the spring? Will you do some racing again? What does your riding future look like? 

Well, like I was saying, I raced a few AMO’s this past spring, My plan at minimum is to race a bunch of Pre-Mix races and as many AMO races as I can in 2023. I feel great every time I have ridden this year. The little two-stroke will do that to you. There is always lots of talk with my wife about doing a couple more AMA Nationals. I know we just had a baby but having the house done is a huge relief and has given us back the ability to live a more normal, structured life. Things already seem so much more manageable and I’m so excited to get back into the swing of things and see where we end up again!

At this point, what sporting goods are you going to put in your kid’s hands? Are you going to be a moto dad or a hockey dad or both?  

Everything! He is definitely destined for moto with how into it my family still is. Even Megan’s family are avid Supercross watchers! I grew up playing hockey and riding moto when I was a kid. So much fun playing a sport with the kids in your grade. Megan was also extremely involved in playing hockey; she learned to skate when she was 2. I fantasize sometimes about Arie being in a rock band too. I have this idea in my head that most kids don’t work as hard as moto kids and that’s especially powerful if directed to another avenue. I also realize that most of us that work really hard in moto just love all angles that go into moto so the hard becomes easy! That has to be the key and I have to thank my parents for never pushing me too hard and letting me find the love in training, racing and all things maintenance by just giving me the opportunity to work hard.  

See you somewhere soon, Hayden! | Bigwave photo

What about them? What are they doing without going to the races? The MX101 pits isn’t the same without all you guys. 

Well, they are new grandparents and empty nesters. They definitely are enjoying all of that. Once my house got finished up my dad started working on the ultimate Supercross-watching  basement. Ping pong, old school pinball machine (which he rebuilt), stand up arcade, badass bar he built with all our newfound carpentry skills and of course a giant TV. My mom is all things Arie, but we have been enjoying that extra since it’s been helping us sleep! They definitely miss being at the races but I think everyone is all right with the last year or two because we all know it’s just temporary. Maybe the MX101 pits can get back to normal again. I sure miss everyone up in Ottawa!

Well, thanks for filling us in on everything. And let me add that I like that you threw “William” in there for me… Before we let you get back to diaper duty, do you want to thank anyone?

William goes way back in my dad’s family for middle names. It would seem weird if William wasn’t with Halstead! I want to thank my wife for being one tough mom, my parents for being unbelievably supportive in every aspect of my life, the entire moto community from MX101 to everyone that cheered me on or smiled and waved in the pits. Thank you and see you soon.

You could just sense the energy and excitement in his answers, couldn’t you? As busy as their lives have become, it sounds like they are having a great time, as always. Hmm, maybe we’ll have to make our way to Simcoe for any Supercrosses we’re not physically at! Ping pong, you say???

Preston Masciangelo Injury Update

Preston Masciangelo in action in 2022. | Bigwave photo

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about 16-year-old #40 Preston Masciangelo from Waterford, Ontario’s crash while training for Supercross at SOBMX. If not, here’s what happened.

Preston was in South Carolina to train with his Partzilla PRMX teammates to get himself ready to race a couple AMA Arenacross races and then the 3 Supercross Futures rounds to get his points for the 250 East series. Unfortunately, he hit a bump in the road along the way.

He frame-cased a triple in slippery conditions just 5 minutes into a training session. As he described it to me, his hands stuck to the handlebars and he whiskey-throttled after he landed and managed to go into the pond with his hands still glued to the bars.

Devin Simonson was the first one on the scene once he came to a stop to see if he was OK. It didn’t look like much and so there was no real sense of urgency up to this point. However, once it was obvious the wrists were broken, they swung into action.

Preston drove with his mom to the hospital 10 minutes down the road in Dillon, SC where they were able to see him right away and perform surgery on his 2 wrists.

Fortunately, they were such clean radius/ulna breaks that they just required 2 pins each after being set in place and he was out of the OR in 45 minutes time.

Fellow Canadian teammate Julien Benek was also in the hospital and they were released at the same time and walked out the doors together.

Preston was in splints up until just yesterday when he had some new x-rays done and he was told they could barely see where the breaks were. Great news. He was then set in hard casts that are scheduled to come off on December 22nd.

He plans to be back on the bike around January 10th to 15th where he’ll ride in removable braces for a few weeks.

They are still hoping to head west for the first Futures round at Anaheim 2 where he wants to get his 3 rounds in and get enough points to race the 250 East SX series.

Until then, he’ll sit on the bicycle trainer and try to keep himself as fit as he can until he can get back to the races.

Good luck with your rehab, Preston.

Final Round of Fox Australian Supercross this Weekend

#6 Cole Thompson heads into the final weekend of racing at the Fox Australian SX Series this week in…Wagga Wagga.


3Rhys BUDD51
4Nathan CRAWFORD51
6Wilson TODD44
7Kaleb BARHAM42
9Jayce COSFORD34
10Jaxon HADLOW30


1Justin BRAYTON67
2Matt MOSS59
3Aaron TANTI55
4Dylan WILLS52
6Dylan WOOD39
7Josh HILL38
8Hayden MELLROSS32
10Jackson RICHARDSON26

Future West Moto Arenacross | Final Weekend Coming Up

Champions will be decided this weekend out at Chilliwack Heritage Park for the 2022 Future West Moto Canadian Arenacross Championships. Rounds 7 and 8 take place this Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s a look at the Pro standings heading in:

Pro Am Open POINTS
Place – Name
Number – Hometown
Total Points
4th 1st 7th 6th 2nd 2nd 234
5th 4th 6th 4th 3rd 3rd 202 (-32)
3rd 2nd 3rd 2nd 7th   186 (-48)
1st   2nd 1st     141 (-93)
8th 6th 9th 7th 6th   140 (-94)
#510 – 150 MILE HOUSE, BC
6th 3rd 4th 3rd     139 (-95)
7th 8th 10th 8th 5th   133 (-101)
#30 – DUNCAN, BC
    5th 5th 4th 5th 121 (-113)
        1st 1st 95 (-139)
#212 – LANGLEY, BC
10th 5th 12th 9th     91 (-143)
#476 – MONROE, WA
    1st     4th 75 (-159)
Can Parker Eales hang on and win this title? | Bigwave photo

Will Parker Eales be able to hang on and claim his first Pro title? Looking at the numbers, it’s very likely! 4 motos remain and he’s got a 32-point lead!

Full points can be found HERE.

Video Interviews with PRMX Riders from SOBMX

I dropped in at SOBMX to check in with the Partzilla PRMX team and riders on my way home from Florida. Here are the interviews from my day there:

Here is a little photo report I did while I was there, too:

Training Day at SOBMX with Partzilla PRMX

Julien Benek is a 250 rider for the team but he crashed and tore his liver and gave himself a concussion in a practice crash a couple weeks ago. He still wants to be ready to do the 250 West series but they will have to assess his health as the season closes in.

He’s staying with the team in South Carolina and working out off the bike as much as he can to keep himself in the best possible shape and readiness. You can watch our interview HERE.

New to the team is #508 Hunter Yoder. Hunter brings a ton of skill and excitement to the team. He came up through the amateur ranks as a rider to watch and should be able to keep improving his SX game heading into the new 250 West season. That’s team mechanic and racer himself, Joe Kremkow, with him.

We’re all very familiar with the skill and speed of New Zealand rider #86 Josiah Natzke from his success in Canada this past summer. He’ll head into his first Supercross season when the 250 East starts. He’s new to the indoor game but should pick it up quickly and already looks solid. We talked about it all and you can watch it HERE.

Joe watching Josiah put in a session.

Of course, everything is under the watchful eye of this guy, team owner Julien Perrier.

A familiar name to Canadians joining the team is #219 Chase Marquier. Chase road up here for the Manluk Racing team. He’ll ride. the full 450 series for the first time.

If you listened to our Tailgating interview, you’ll know that Hunter said he took most of the summer off the bike so he’s riding himself back into race shape.

#976 Josh Greco was also there preparing to race the 450 class on a 450. He said he did it all on a 250 last year. He really likes talking about guns! Lol

#170 Devin Simonson is returning to the team. It’s good see him back on the bike. Hopefully, he can pick up where he left off.

Bench racing out in front of the shop at SOBMX.

Here’s your introduction to the newest mechanic on the team, Cole Smith from Oregon. The girl at the front counter talked him into trying this bag of hot, cheese popcorn. He liked it.

These are the guys who were riding while I was there. Preston Masciangelo shorted a triple and broke both his wrists, and you saw what Julien Benek was doing at the top. #68 Cade Clason was ill so he didn’t make the trip from North Carolina while I was there. Coincidence?

Josiah thinking about another rin through the whoops, perhaps?

Over on the MX track was Quebec rider #237 Nathan Germain. I spoke with him after the Mini O’s, too, and you can watch that here:

Joe stylin.

As Cole would say, the numbers don’t lie! I’m assuming that’s something he’d say…

Chase starting the watch for another session.

You may not remember his face but that’s Kraig Riese on the left. He came down from Alaska to race our series a few years ago. #96 is Tristan Moffitt also from Alaska who is racing Arenacross and getting some SX prep in.

Hunter having some fun to start his session.

Jyire Mitchell is still calling SOBMX home and is planning to race again real soon – as soon as Julien has his bike up and running for him…

Justin Rodbell didn’t want any photos taken of his lower body while I was there. He hadn’t told his sponsors about his ruptured achilles tendon yet. He’ll head in to get that thing hooked up and begin the long rehab that comes with it.

There’s a better look at Tristan and Kraig.

Thanks for letting me hang out for a day and night, guys, and it was nice to meet the new guys. Good luck with the rest of your prep and we’ll see you at the races…

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, everyone.

I also stopped in to see our friends at Club MX, so I guess we’ll let Bernie say it this week: “See you at the races...” | Bigwave photo