Views from the Fishbowl #2 | Honda GDR Fox Media Day
By Greg Poisson
Photos by James Lissimore for GDR
As I sit here and write this we’re just a few weeks away from of the first “Truly North” Canadian Triple Crown Series we’ve had in 2 years. The team at Jetwerx have done the best they could in an ever-changing world, so I’m thankful we could all go racing as much as we could.
With Round 1 fast-approaching in the BC town of Kamloops I’m sure all the teams and especially the riders are getting excited to ride the track, one that some of them haven’t ridden before. It’s nice to see the schedule go across the country for this exact reason. I know some of us don’t like to admit it but the Ontario riders definitely have had an advantage the past 2 seasons racing tracks they’d ridden countless times in the past. Although, that being said, a kid from BC won the 250 class outdoors, so what do I know?
Last week I attended the Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing team press conference. It was held above the team race shop in the gym. Walking into the shop I was greeted by 6-time Canadian champion Colton Facciotti letting me know I was late. He offered to go in behind me so I wasn’t the last one. Not only is he fast, he’s a good guy too.
Sitting in the press conference I noticed how professional it was. There were staff from almost every major team sponsor in attendance, ready to tackle any questions the Canadian moto media might have. With Brett Lee as the MC, we got underway with Derek Schuster being the first one to take the mic/stage. It was at this moment I started thinking about where this all began, with Dig taking on a passion project as a race team to promote the already famous Gopher Dunes facility.
This team was mounted on Suzukis and had a rather new-to-the-scene Liam O’Farrell as their leader. Wearing Shift gear I remember Liam being his consistent self that season. The next few years the team was on Hondas and wearing Troy Lee Designs. I remember the bikes looking pretty cool with close attention to detail. After this stage of the team, Dig wanted to step up and got himself a rig.
Personally, I connected this with the Blackfoot Honda team, as the finished product was second to none. With the KTM Canada team having stepped up their overall fit/finish a couple years prior, it was nice to see another true manufacturer-supported effort.
Derek also stepped up with support of his sponsors and signed Colton Facciotti. Colton was still very capable of winning titles at this point in his career so this was a make-your-mark moment. Needless to say Colton went on to win for the team, along with Dylan Wright winning the 250 class in years following. This program was obviously on the right path to greatness.
I noticed the multiple championship bikes lined up downstairs to highlight this fact. After the domination of Blackfoot Racing in the 2000’s, it was clear to see there was someone ready to pick up the slack.
The press conference was great and informative. Jetwerx CEO Justin Thompson took the mic at one point and broke down their involvement in the new World Supercross rounds. Dylan mentioned to me the night before that this series was on his radar as he really enjoyed his time racing the MXGP series, which I feel this SX series would take some logistical inspiration from.
Kudos to Dig and the entire GDR team for taking the initiative, the time, and putting the effort into showcasing his team and letting us all in on the action. I have a feeling we will be seeing both Dylan Wright and Ryder McNabb up front this season. Could we see the overall domination we once saw in Blackfoot and the JSR/Dusty Klatt combo? We’ll see in a couple weeks when the first gate drop happens.
I love the direction this series has gone over the past few years, and I’m very excited to see what the new bikes and gear will be when we get to Kamloops. (PS You will be so excited to see the special gear and bikes at the Gopher Dunes round for 2022!)
That’s it for me this time around. Let me know if there are any topics or questions you’d like answered in this space going forward. Feedback is appreciated!