ICYMI | Catching Up with Ryder McNabb | Fox Racing Canada

By Billy Rainford

In case you missed it, we caught up with #18 Ryder Mcnabb.

Presented by Fox Racing Canada
Catching Up with #18 Ryder McNabb. | Jim Edgar photo

Ryder McNabb is the young Manitoba rider who makes his move to the Pro ranks official for 2021. It was easy to forget he was an Intermediate last season because of his graphics kit, but he was only 14 and a yellow-plater at heart underneath those white-on-black numbers.

Ryder’s family also owns the McNabb Valley MX track in Minnedosa, MB and they actually hosted a national a couple years back. Every rider we ever talk to about the place has nothing but good things to say about the track. Unfortunately, Mother Nature did a number on us and turned it into a muddy mess.

Ryder was easily the fastest Intermediate of the field and ended up 6th overall in the 250 Triple Crown points. Here’s a quick summary of his 2020 season:

He turned Pro and headed south to race and train in the US over the winter months. We got in touch with him this week to talk about it all.

Here’s what the 15-year-old Manitoba rider had to say. | Jim Edgar photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Ryder. I haven’t seen you for a little while but it looks like you’ve been keeping busy. First, let’s back up to last season. You were an Intermediate rider in the 250 Pro/Am class and had some great rides. How would you sum up your first experiences in the “big league?”

Ryder McNabb: Overall, I think my first season was pretty successful. I struggled a bit with starts. I’m not going to lie, it was a bit intimidating coming off 85s and lining up with the big boys.

What was the highlight of your summer?

The highlight of my summer was just being a part of the whole GDR team. Being able to learn from some of the best guys in the business. I had some top-five moto finishes and showed that my speed was there.

What did you learn last year that you’ll put into practice for the 2021 season?

I definitely learned a lot last year. I know starts will be key for me this year as well as my sprint speed on the first few laps. I was always coming from the back of the pack last year.

Although he had white on black plates, Ryder was an Intermediate in 2020. | Bigwave photo

Then you raced down south in some pretty big races. How did your races go?

I actually only did Mini O’s in Daytona. I hadn’t ridden for a couple months before Mini O’s, and I got hurt in the second heat at Daytona.

You’ve raced a lot of big amateur nationals down there, but were you expecting the classes to be that deep? 

I knew there would be lots of fast guys. I wasn’t expecting the chaos. Racing five lap motos with 40 fast guys it’s pretty intense.

Where did you spend the rest of the winter and who were you training with?

I spent a few months training with Tyla Rattray at his new facility. Then I went to compound 83 and trained with Jett Lawrence for a month.

He was part of a solid group of Intermediate riders at the TransCan that included the other #164 Wyatt Kerr. | Bigwave photo

And now you’re going to have to explain this whole Derek Schuster haircut thing for us. Is that a team-ordered do?

To be honest, I just needed a haircut because the barber shops are closed Derek made it happen. LOL. I am glad I didn’t end up with Tanner’s (Tanner Ward) cul-de-sac, and Dylan’s (Dylan Wright) mullet. Haha.

Where will you spend the rest of the spring?

As of right now, we plan on staying in Ontario and continue working with Colton (Facciotti). With all the quarantine rules it’s easier to just stay put.

Will you do any local races before the series starts in July?

I hope to race some AMO races, providing things open up and we are able to do so.

What are your goals for this coming season? 

My goals for this season are to be consistent and to keep building off of last season. I’m only 15 so I want to just keep progressing and stay healthy.

Still only 15, it will be fun to watch his progression in the Pro ranks here and in AMA Supercross over the next few years. | Bigwave photo

Is AMA Supercross in your future?

I actually spent two full months on Supercross this winter at Rattray’s. Supercross is definitely something I have on my radar.

What kind of music does a youngster from Minnedosa, MB listen to, anyway?

I grew up listening to country music because my grandpa, uncle, and aunt all playing country bands.

OK, thanks for taking some time with us today. Good luck with this coming season. Who would you like to thank?

Thank you, Billy. I’d like to thank the whole Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing team and staff: Derek and Kerri, Justin, Colton, Braden, and the Newf.