COLE THOMPSON JAM ES
L IS SI M OR E
OUR SUPERCROSS ROCKSTAR INSIDE THIS ISSUE
+ DANNY BRAULT TELLS YOU How To Make Money By Going Slow + THE TORONTO SUPERCROSS Ten Years On + RICKIE FOWLER From The Greens To The Dirt 2 0 14
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COLE THOMPSON JAM ES
LIS S IM ORE
OUR SUPERCROSS ROCKSTAR INSIDE THIS ISSUE
+ DANNY BRAULT TELLS YOU How To Make Money By Going Slow + THE TORONTO SUPERCROSS Ten Years On + RICKIE FOWLER From The Greens To The Dirt M AY
2 0 14
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C ON T EN T S // VOL UME 1 4 - IS S UE 1
F E AT U R E S
2014-03-20 4:15 PM
42 OUR SUPERCROSS ROCKSTAR The Cole Thompson Story 50 HOW TO MAKE MONEY BY GOING SLOW Danny Brault Tells You How to Make It in This Industry 56 MXP MOTO HALL OF FAME Mike McGill Looks Back 64 ROOKIES Jumping In With Both Feet 76 WINTER MX IN CANADA Ignoring the Cold 84 A DECADE LATER Ten Years of the New Toronto Supercross 90 FROM THE GREENS TO THE DIRT Palms Sits Down with Rickie Fowler 96 KAWASAKI CANADIAN ARENACROSS CHAMPIONSHIP WRAP-UP 104 AMATEUR PROFILE Jamie Baskerville COLUMNS
28 FAMOUS LAST WORDS WITH CHRIS POMEROY The Hands of Time 30 GUEST COLUMNIST WITH COLTON FACCIOTTI Redemption 32 UP-SHIFT WITH BRIAN KOSTER 34 TRANSPARENCY WITH DANNY BRAULT 108 HIGH OCTANE WITH CRAIG STEVENSON Fueling Up 110 EVOLVED NUTRITION WITH DREW ROBERTSON Recharging Your Batteries 112 ON THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR WITH MARC TRAVERS The Longest Winter SPECIALS
16 EXPOSED 26 CAUGHT ON CAMERA 36 BEHIND THE GATE 114 THE CLOSER
2014-03-21 4:57 PM
2014-03-21 4:58 PM
2014-03-06 3:33 PM
2014-03-06 3:33 PM
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Check out FXRRACING.COM to find our DEALER LOCATOR and product information. Image credit: Carson Wiebe
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16 MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM
2014-03-21 4:43 PM
EXPOSED THE NEW JAMES STEWART You really get a sense in Supercross this season that James Stewart is enjoying everything the sport has to offer.
2014-03-21 4:43 PM
18 MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM
2014-03-21 4:43 PM
ORANGE HORSEPOWER Ryan Dungey shows the rest of the field that the path o the fi st turn is paved orange.
2014-03-21 4:43 PM
PRIMED AND READY After taking the winter off o rest and recharge, Bobby Kiniry is ready to win his fi st MX1 Championship in 2014.
20 MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM
2014-03-21 4:43 PM
2014-03-21 4:43 PM
READY TO GET IZZI WITH IT With an abundance of talent and speed, Nico Izzi joins the list of riders who could potentially dethrone Brett Metcalfe this season.
22 MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM
2014-03-21 4:43 PM
2014-03-21 4:43 PM
VOLUME 14 ISSUE 1
MXP has the exclusive rights to the CMRCâ€™s mailing list of racing license holders. Every CMRC license holder from coast to coast receives and reads each issue of MXP. In addition to this exclusive list of readers, we are partnered with several motocross and off-road enthusiast organizations across the country including the FMSQ.
Photo: James Lissimore
SPROCKETS. CHAINS. CHAIN LUBE.
BRETT METCALFE I #123
QUALITY. DURABILITY. PRICE. SINCE 1946.
MXP MAGAZINE FOR SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES CALL: SUBSCRIPTIONS: 416-635-MXP1 PUBLISHER: Charles Stancer/Mark Stallybrass V.P. OF SALES AND MARKETING: Charles Stancer EDITOR: Chris Pomeroy MARKETING MANAGER: Cory Mountain SALES MANAGER: Al Jaggard SENIOR WRITERS: Brian Koster, Marc Travers, Danny Brault
STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER: James Lissimore CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Mike McGill, Brent Worrall, James Lissimore, Craig Stevenson, Drew Robertson, Marc Travers, Brian Koster, Colton Facciotti, Virgil Knapp CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Virgil Knapp, Kyle Sheppard, Randy Wiebe, David Pinkman, Clayton Racicot, James Lissimore, Marc Landry, Steve Dutcheshen, John Basher, Marc Travers, Frank Hoppen, Bill Petro, Matt Wellumson, Jean Guy Rollin COVER PHOTO: James Lissimore
TEL: 416-633-1202 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Online: www.mxpmag.com
NEW! SUNSTAR OFF-ROAD CHAIN LUBE I 500ml Full Size & 56ml Refillable Cans
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WORKS TRIPLESTAR SPROCKET ALUMINUM REAR SPROCKET, POWERDERIVE COUNTERSHAFT SPROCKET & MXR1 WORKS CHAIN Leading Edge Monster Kawasaki uses Sunstar Sprockets
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MX PERFORMANCE IS PRINTED IN CANADA
DESIGN AND PRODUCTION BY: GROUP PUBLISHER & CEO: Tim Rutledge CREATIVE: Mike Chan GRAPHIC DESIGNERS: Patrick Beltijar, Patrick Dinglasan, Queue Gonzalez, Edward Shitani PRODUCTION: Justin Hasan
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2014-03-14 11:20 AM
Below: As you can see Cole Thompson is in very good hands in Supercross.
Below: Kawasaki Canada’s Tim Chandler is relatively new to motocross, but so far he’s loving every minute of it.
Bottom Left: The new power couple in Canadian Motocross.
Above Middle: The Dirt Shark can get everyone to make funny faces, even Miss Supercross.
PHOTOS BY MXP STAFF
Above: Former top Canadian pro rider Shane Drew has been a fixture in the USA for two decades now. He’s definitely come along way from Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Below: Dean Wilson and his mechanic do everything they can to ignore the camera as they head to practice at Anaheim 3.
C AUGHT ON C AMERA
Above: You know 2014 is going to be a good year when Colton Facciotti and Derek Schuster are already working this well together.
Left: At the 2014 Toronto Motorcycle Show Brett Metcalfe’s championship winning Kawasaki sits perfectly on some Matrix Products at the Parts Canada TransCan booth.
Above: You can tell that Brad Mclean is enjoying the Anaheim sunshine 100%.
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Below: Molly Lang and her Mama Bear Laura affectionately pass the time at the bike show.
Right: This might be a future rider/ boss relationship in the making.
Right: Like the Travelocity Gnome, this kid keeps popping up everywhere. Here JSR and Florian Burguet keep Ayrton company in Anaheim.
We want YOUR photos ! Send your pictures via Facebook or hashtag your photos on Twitter or Instagram with #MXPCaughtonCamera and you could see your photos in an upcoming issue!
Left: Before he got injured in San Diego Chad Reed was a man on a mission. In this photo heâ€™s doing his best Adam Lambert impression. Below: This stable of KTMs are awaiting their young pilots.
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FAMOUS LAST WORDS
TH E H ANDS OF TI M E
hose of you who know me well, know that I’m very aware of time. I’m not quite obsessed with it the way Tom Hanks’ character was in the movie Castaway, but I do seem to pay special attention to it. The concept of time obviously plays a big part in our everyday lives. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, at some point in your day you have to be aware of time. Of course on the other hand, all of us have that friend who has zero awareness of time. This person is always late and always playing catchup. Last summer I was trying to catch an early flight and I was put on stand-by. While I was waiting, the gate agent was repeatedly calling two passengers for the flight as they were trying to take off on time. She ept paging and paging them. Just when it seemed as if they weren’t anywhere to be found and I was going to get one of their seats, the two passengers came running up with Starbucks in hand wondering what all the fuss was about. Needless to say I didn’t get on that flight. These people could ne er work in the magazine industry! In this fi st issue of 2014 I think we’ve done an outstanding job of covering a vast array of time in the sport that we all love so much. As you will read in the following pages, our esteemed writing team will take you on a journey through Canadian motocross that covers decades. If it’s history you’re looking for, you’re going to enjoy Mike McGill’s Hall Of Fame story as he takes us back to what Canadian motocross was like in the 1970’s and the 1980’s. If you’re more of a futurist, you will enjoy reading about young star riders like Dylan
“In this first issue of 2014 I think we’ve done an outstanding job of covering a vast array of time in the sport that we all love so much. As you will read in the following pages, our esteemed writing team will take you on a journey through Canadian motocross that covers decades”
WITH CHRIS POMEROY PHOTO BY JAMES LISSIMORE
Wright and Jamie Baskerville, riders who have their entire careers ahead of them. In this issue we cover the then, the now, and the future We certainly hope you enjoy this journey through time. As well as dealing with time, the lucky individuals who work in this motorcycle industry have to work around an ever changing landscape. Just like a hockey team that wins the Stanley Cup in June, only to show up the next fall at training camp with a different group of players looking for the same success, the MXP team has gone through some changes as we roll into the 2014 racing season. Our former players will be missed and our current team will defini ely have to work hard to continue the success we were able to achieve last year. But this is motocross, and just like a track changing with each lap, we have to be ready to adapt to anything. Finally, even with my awareness of time, the most important skill that I’ve had to learn in the last few years is how to master the art of time management. When you’re in the magazine business it’s an ever evolving test of how well you can manage time and keep things organized. To sum up, I’ve learned that I’d much rather be waiting at the gate than running through the terminal trying not to miss my flight. It’s about time: This fi st MXP of 2014 includes motorcross’ journey through history as well as reflecting our heightened awareness of organization and attention to detail. (And know that as you read this article, the clock is ticking on the next issue.
IF IT’S HISTORY YOU’RE LOOKING FOR, YOU’RE GOING TO ENJOY MIKE MCGILL’S HALL OF FAME STORY AS HE TAKES US BACK TO WHAT CANADIAN MOTOCROSS WAS LIKE IN THE 1970’S AND THE 1980’S.
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THE FIRST EVER BACK-TO-BACK WINNER IN HISTORY
For 2014, Ram 1500 has gone where no other truck has gone before – achieving the first ever back-to-back win of Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year.® Its available new 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 engine also lets it go where other trucks can’t by achieving fuel economy as good as 7.1 L/100 KM (40 MPG)* highway. Ram 1500 is now not only Canada’s Most Fuel-Efficient Pickup, it’s also the country’s only light-duty diesel pickup. With all these class-exclusives, including an 8-speed automatic transmission± and available Active-LevelTM Four-Corner Air Suspension±, it looks like g p p≠ will continue to be the talk of the truck world for years to come. Canada’s longest-lasting pickup
ramtruck.ca *Based on 2014 EnerGuide highway fuel consumption ratings. Government of Canada test methods used. Your actual fuel consumption will vary based on driving habits and other factors. 10.2 L/100 km (28 MPG) city and 7.1 L/100 km (40 MPG) highway on Ram 1500 4x2 model with 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 and 8-speed automatic. Ask your retailer for EnerGuide information. ≠Based on longevity of entire Ram large pickup segment compared to all competitive large pickups on the road since 1988. Longevity based on IIHS Automotive: Polk Canadian Vehicles In Operation data as of July 1, 2013, for model years 1988-2013 for all large pickups sold and available in Canada over the last 26 years. ± Based on Automotive News Full-Size Pickup segmentation.
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GU E ST COLUMN IST
RED E M PTI ON
hile recently attending the Motorcycle Show in Toronto, I ran into Chris Pomeroy from MXP Magazine and he came up with the crazy idea of having me write an article for an upcoming issue. I immediately thought to myself, “No way, I’m a terrible writer”, but I told Chris I would think about it. After a little consideration and persuasion from my wife, I decided to give it a shot. I’m always up for a new challenge and I figured this ould be a great opportunity to give the fans my personal perspective on the recent injuries that I’ve suffered and changes I’ve made for 2014. It’s no secret that the past couple years have been crazy for me, to say the least. As a racer you would think every year would get easier by developing new techniques on the bike, learning how to train better, and getting stronger both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for me. Sure, I have learned a lot from the mistakes I’ve made, but the ultimate goal is to be consistent and win races, which is something I have failed to do these past two years. So how do you look back and call what I have done the last few seasons a success? That’s where being a racer is so mentally draining. As easy as it may be to think about what could have been, you have to focus on the future, learn from what happened and forget about all the rest. Throughout my racing career I’ve had a ton of injuries, in fact too many to count. It still amazes me, though, how a person’s mind can easily forget something so painful that is embedded in their brain. After my crash in Kamloops, as I was laying on the track with my ankle touching my knee, my initial thought (after a few choice words) was “I’m done! I’m never getting back on a bike again!” Sure enough, a day or two after the injury I was already asking the doctor how long these injuries would take to heal, then subtracting a few weeks off of that and planning the da e I was going to be back on a bike. Most people would probably think I’m crazy for that and I probably am, but when you love something so much and it’s all you’ve ever known, it just seems normal. The pain quickly seems to fade as each week passes and you do what needs to be done to get back on the bike. After all the craziness that happened during the summer, I was finally able o start riding again in September. On the other hand, September also meant it was contract season, a thing that can be rather complicated and stressful. In this small industry, you have to make tough decisions and think about what’s best for your future. After two disappointing seasons, I was worried that I might have a difficult time finding team that was willing to take a chance on me. Luckily there were still a few teams interested, which relieved a lot of the stress.
“At this stage in my career, it seemed like the perfect fit and I felt confident that they would be able to provide me with all of the equipment and resources to compete for a fourth MX1 title.”
WITH COLTON FACCIOTTI PHOTO BY JAMES LISSIMORE
After talking with the different teams and evaluating my options, I really liked the direction that the Honda Canada GDR team was headed. When I met with Honda Canada I was really impressed by their level of commitment to returning to professional racing and competing for the championship. Another thing that drew me towards the team was the long-term opportunities beyond racing and their dedication to growing the sport by supporting up and coming Canadian riders like Westen Wrozyna. At this stage in my career it seemed like the perfect fit, and I elt confident that they would be able to provide me with all of the equipment and resources to compete for a fourth MX1 title. In December, we made the deal official and nounced the big news to the industry. It was an exciting time for everyone involved and we were all eager to get started. Shortly after Christmas I loaded up my truck and trailer and headed down south to begin my winter training. Typically I wouldn’t start training until the end of February, but due to my injuries and being on a new team I wanted to get a head start. I now have a solid two months of riding in and things are going really well. The bike is awesome and we are continuously making changes to keep improving it. We have a couple test dates lined up throughout March and April so I’m excited at the progress we are already making. Other than that, everything else has been routine. I’m sticking to my usual training, which has proven to work in the past, and I’m trying to get 100% prepared for round one. I know there is a lot of talk about many new riders coming up from the US, and although it will be one of the most competitive seasons yet, I’m looking forward to the challenge. I think all of the changes to the series, the teams, and the competition this year will only help the sport grow and bring in more spectators to the races. I can’t wait to be a part of it! To wrap things up, I would like to give a big shout out to Honda Canada, GDR, Troy Lee Designs, Oakley, Atlas, Proven Moto, Dunlop, Yoshimura, SSS, Hinson, Renthal, Cycra, EBC, Wiseco, Works Connection, DT1, LimeNine, Adidas, Motoseat, Rad Manufacturing, Hammerhead, Matrix Concepts, Toronto Digital Imaging, Xtrig, Dyco Tool, Macnab Transit, Snap-On, New Era, my family, and all of the fans who continue to support me. I appreciate you sticking behind me and hope I can give you guys something to cheer for this summer. #Colt45
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U P SHIFT
CH AN GI NG TI M E S
ith the Arenacross series in Western Canada keeping some of our Pro riders sharp and local spectators entertained, it’s the US Supercross series that’s been stealing most of the attention nationally. And what an amazing series it has been to date with multiple winners and close racing action. Speaking of Supercross, the only Canadian stop on the tour is coming to Toronto soon so whatever you do, be sure not to miss it. The Winter Olympic Games have been a nice diversion from this brutal winter (in the east anyway), and it’s nice to see the poorly funded Canadian athletes perform admirably well against the world’s best. Of course it’s also the silly season with rumours flying i all directions as we head into a new era of the CMRC Canadian Motocross Nationals. To help me quell the winter blahs, I invested in a new home entertainment center (with the help of Kijiji) and what a good investment it proved to be. At fi st I had the usual buyer’s remorse but after watching round one of the Supercross series, I was pumped on the purchase. A big screen with big sound elevates the experience and keeps the Saturday night racing parties rockin’! I know I seem to say it every year but the action this year has been just phenomenal. Even though a few heavy hitters were out from the onset, there has been an ample amount of top dogs on the gate week in and week out. For me, a big hole on the gate is the absence of Davi Milsaps. I was pretty stoked on his performance last year and was amped to see if he could back it up on the Rockstar KTM. Also, I miss the likeable Trey Canard but it looks like his God has him on the sidelines yet again. It’s not that I am adverse to a higher power but perhaps it’s time for Trey to start thanking himself and his team a little more for all the hard work they have put in and thank God a little less. It’s funny because I have been a Formula 1 fan before I could even ride a bicycle and never once have I heard a driver thank the lord or any type of God on the podium. If it’s anyone that should be thanking God it is Formula 1 drivers since the speeds and risk of death are considerably higher. Obviously, modern F1 cars are much safer but back a few decades the risk of death was an all too common reality. I don’t know if it’s just more of an American thing or an American Motocross thing because you rarely hear so much religiousness from other sports stars. Maybe I will be dammed to hell for this observation, and for certain my religious mother will be rolling over in her grave, so sorry ma. Anyway, I hate to see any rider on the sidelines, and these two guys are full of talent, so it’s a shame we don’t get to see them mix it up with the rest of the guys. Ken Roczen has to be the breakout rider of the year so far and has generated a huge fan base in a relatively short time. Chad Reed has been a huge inspiration for millions of fans after nailing down two well-deserved wins and proving he can still run toe to toe with anyone, especially in the whoops. Chad’s desire and will to win was the talk of the town so it
“As usual at this time of year the rumour mill is running wild with possible new riders and teams joining the National circus for 2014.”
WITH BRIAN KOSTER PHOTO BY JAMES LISSIMORE
was a huge blow when he tagged the back wheel of Roczen’s bike and crashed. He crashed really hard in that whoop section while on a last lap charge for the podium, effectively ending his season. About the only good thing to come out of this situation is the fact that Dean Wilson has been given the green light from Pro Circuit’s Mitch Peyton and Team 22 to race Chad’s bike for the rest of the year…very cool. As far as RV2 and JS7, they are as good as expected and have been able to keep Ryan Dungy at bay. I have heard some rumours about the future of the Toronto round but hopefully rumours are all they are considering the growth of the event over the last few years. While the winter has been brutal in most of Canada, it’s arguable if it’s just a natural phenomenon. In the old days we could just blame Russia for manipulating the weather but nowadays it’s hard to know what direction to point. It seems strange after so many years of mild winters to get bombarded like we have this year, never mind the super late spring we got last year. The industry needs an early spring so let’s hope by the time you read this you are already riding a sand pit near you under warm and sunny skies…oh, and bike sales are brisk to give a nice boost to the industry. As usual at this time of year the rumour mill is running wild with possible new riders and teams joining the National circus for 2014. Names like Alessi, Osbourne and Izzy keep popping up along with some other teams that have been traditionally competing in the States. With an unfortunate decline in the US economy, it’s getting harder and harder for “A” calibre riders to get a decent ride down south. I know when you travel in the good ol’ USA things look and seem just fine in the tourist hot spots, but when you talk to people from lesser travelled parts of mid-America, they paint a much different picture. It can also be very sobering chatting with long haul truck drivers who see all points of North America and can vouch for the visible economic setbacks. At any rate, let’s hope things turn around for the better, but in the meantime, this year’s Canadian series looks to be a very competitive one. With Rockstar Energy Drink as title sponsor of the Nationals we are in the midst of a new era. It’s an exciting prospect entering a new season with the addition of Rock ‘n’ Roll bands at four of ten rounds. These widely recognized bands will be playing right after the last moto of the day and will jam well into the night creating a festival-type atmosphere. The hope is to attract people to the track, who would not normally go out of their way to attend a Motocross race, and get them hooked on the sport. Seeing some of the best riders in the world compete at break neck speeds during the day combined with wild evening Rock shows and overnight camping, it sounds pretty intoxicating to me! Not only does this sound addictive and exciting, but hopefully it will also spell good business for the growth of our great sport. I know you and I will be there but maybe the addition of a music festival will help sway fair weather fans to take the plunge and join the party, which is the 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals.
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DA NNY B R AULT
TR ANS PA RE NCY
or me, when it comes to building articles, the most difficult part is coming up with a catchy title that both fits the topic and drives curiosity in the reader for them to keep reading. I have been fortunate to share many stories regarding racers and newsworthy events surrounding Canadian motocross, but I haven’t really had a place where it was all centered on my thoughts of a particular matter. I find it nerve wracking writing opinion columns because you’re putting yourself out there; some will agree, some won’t and others may even punch you in the face the next time they see you. That said, the last time I was a regular voice in Canadian motocross coverage, I was in my early 20s and didn’t feel I had the experience, knowledge or maturity to really offer an educated opinion. Now I’m 30 years old and know everything…Ha! I don’t think so, but I do believe that with age, experience, trials and tribulations, our minds grow and we begin to see a bigger picture in life. Motocross is an expensive sport compared to more traditional sports like basketball or hockey, but do we need to absolutely break the bank to go racing? We don’t. Growing up, our family didn’t have a motor home capable of accommodating a small city or a separate bike for each class, plus a designated practice bike for riding during the week. But my brother and I were spoiled nonetheless. Every year, we felt we needed a little more; we went from a pick-up truck, to truck and trailer, and then we expanded to a bigger truck and trailer, two more sets of gear each (“Come on, Dad, we need at least one set of gear for each class!”), anodized triple clamps and more goggles and tear-offs that you can shake a stick at. And of course, as though our truck-driving father didn’t put in enough miles from Monday to Friday, we made sure every weekend from April to August was booked solid with races from Ottawa to Windsor. Looking back, we were spoiled; we didn’t have nearly as much as others on the line but we had more than enough to win races (which I never really did, but my brother Corey won a few). I remember one time we were complaining about not having an aftermarket exhaust when our Dad replied with, “Once you guys can hold it wide open around the entire track, then we’ll make your bike faster.” Certainly a little out of reason, as no one can truly hold it wide open everywhere, but we understood his core message so we shut up and kept racing. That’s not to say one shouldn’t buy performance parts or cool gear, but don’t fool yourself into thinking these things will make you a better or faster rider. It really does all come down to the person on the bike; you can have the fastest bike at the track but if you can’t ride it then it’s just one expensive paperweight. Be careful not to extend yourself in the pits either. At one time, seeing a guy rolling through the gates with a cube van and a big Honda Red Riders ‘Wing’ logo was equivalent to seeing a factory semi entering. ‘Wow, who is that?!’ everyone would say as the van drove in. Nowadays, a person needs to
“In looking at the bigger picture, it’s really sporting activities and life in general. Many are being led to believe they need everything, right then and now, to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve. We’re a consumer driven culture and we can’t imagine having to wear the same gear for two years in a row. I’m no different; I was living in the same state of mind until it was time for me to step up and pay the bills.
WITH DANNY BR AULT PHOTO BY MXP STAFF
enter with a space shuttle to create a stir since most everyone at the track has a big motor coach and trailer attached. While working in Yamaha Motor Canada’s Marketing Department, I remember this top ATV Pro racer calling me to rant about how there is no support from the OEMs and how expensive racing has become. I agree that bikes aren’t getting any cheaper, but I didn’t agree with him when he told me how he spent more than $500 in fuel to drive his motor home to a local club race. He didn’t know it at the time, but I was more than familiar with the race and location of the track. I started laughing and asking why in the heck he felt the need to cart a huge motor home and trailer down to this bush-league race where a pick-up truck, canopy, and lawn chair would more than suffice. He didn’t know how to respond, so I reminded him, don’t kill yourself and your budget every time you go racing. Yamaha, nor anyone else, was forcing him or others to drive the biggest gas-guzzling rig he could find. Be reasonable, folks. The examples are many of racers who have made it to the top without going into mega-debt and over-extending themselves. Take a look at many of your heroes in the Pro classes; most of them only ever show up to regional races in a pick-up and enclosed small bike trailer. They only bring the basics but they bring more important things: will, speed, determination and fitness. The only time you really see some Pros ‘living it up,’ is when someone else is footing the bill during national events. Save your money for when you’ll really need it; an 85cc racer doesn’t need a complete parts inventory, but if they make it far enough they will be destroying bikes left and right so save that money for those times. In looking at the bigger picture, it’s really sporting activities and life in general. Many are being led to believe they need everything, right then and now, to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve. We’re a consumer driven culture and we can’t imagine having to wear the same gear for two years in a row. I’m no different; I was living in the same state of mind until it was time for me to step up and pay the bills. The truth is, racing is expensive and always will be—all you need to do is look at prices at the pump these days to see that. However, with a little planning, budgeting and realism, it’s more than possible to go racing without breaking the bank. Whether that’s reusing gear from the year before; not riding every chance you get because ultimately that puts more wear and tear on the bike and parts (go for a run or bicycle ride instead); attending key races instead of trying to hit everyone that you can; spend a productive two weeks in Florida instead of a two month vacation; sell the motor home and sleep in your trailer. The list goes on. If folks learn to cut out the unnecessary comforts, you’ll see that success and fulfillment in racing doesn’t change—in fact, it might even improve (and boy it feels good to have some money left in the bank!).
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NITRO CIRCUS LIVE TOUR MAKES A CRASH LANDING AT COPPS COLISEUM STORY AND PHOTOS BY: VIRGIL KNAPP After performing for sellout crowds on just about every other continent on the planet, the Nitro Circus Live finally brought the show home with a long awaited North American tour. Things kicked off n Hamilton, ON January 3rd at Copps Coliseum before a packed crowd of die-hard action sports fans for the opening event of what would be a whirlwind 13-city tour wrapping up in less than one month’s time. Seeing as I hadn’t attended a freestyle show since the 2010 Montreal Supercross, I had no expectations of what I’d see that night from the current crop of elite jumpers that Travis Pastrana (Co-organizer of Nitro Circus Live) had on the payroll. What I did know is when I stopped keeping up on the sport regularly the trick progression seemed to be tapering off. After all, there are only so many things that can be done on a dirt bike with less than three seconds of hang time, right? Apparently the athletes in Nitro Circus didn’t get the memo and proceeded to completely blow me away. In just 2.5 hours (a show’s average length) my whole perception of this sport changed yet again. Of the hundreds of live events I’ve covered as an action sports journalist and photographer, The Nitro Circus Live tour was hands down the coolest thing I’d ever seen. In no particular order of importance, here’s a list of the more memorable things I witnessed that night. A
double back flip (landed successfully), a double front flip attempted by Canadian Bruce Cook (culminating with a horrific crash as he came up short on rotation), a three man backflip where the two passengers were supposedly selected from the crowd at random (although with liability I’m not sure how they would have pulled that one off), a two man front flip (with Pastrana as the one at the controls), a variation of 360 flips with a combination trick and finally a hometown hero by the name of Jolene Van Vaught pulling off a uccessful back flip (which I believe she holds a record for as the only women to attempt this). What else makes this all so hard to believe? This was just the motorized portion of the night! In addition to all the moto, there was also a full range of action sports athletes jumping everything you could imagine, ranging from BMX bikes, roller blades, skateboards, skis, snowboards, and scooters to some more ridiculous contraptions like a bathtub, toy horse (complete with Canadian Mounty in tow), all variations of odd tricycles and bicycles, a toy car and anything else they could find to take down the 50’ ‘Gigantic-A-Ramp’ as they call it. One of the craziest things I saw all night was Aaron Fotheringham, a paraplegic jumper, hitting the same ramp all the able bodied athletes were in his neon green wheel chair! He even landed a backflip.
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Left: After a lot of hype, the Nitro Circus Show rolled into Hamilton, ON with an awesome stage show that had everyone on the edge of their seat Above: This show had it all: dirt bikes, BMX, and even a Barbie Car jumping and doing incredible tricks. The three hour show was a non-stop train of entertainment.
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Despite Nitro Circus’s chaotic reputation, it was obvious they put a lot of emphasis into safety. If you looked past the screaming announcer, sound effects and pyro techniques, you would see a carefully choreographed show. Sure this doesn’t sell tickets, but it does keep 40 of the best athletes in the world healthy and able to perform on the scheduled tour stop. Although Bruce Cook broke several bones on his double front flip attempt, he was the only injury of the night. When you look at what else was attempted that evening, it’s a minor miracle that’s all that happened. For example, on any of the bigger trick attempts (the double back and front flip, Jolene’s back flip, the triple rider back flip or Travis’s double front flip) the crew laid a layer of six inch black foam on the landing ramp. This would help minimize the impact on the otherwise hardwood decking of the ramp. I bet Cook is thankful for the extra cushion as he landed from 50’ in the air directly on his feet. The landing ramp for the BMXers (and other jumpers) appeared to be made of rubber resin. This material is known well in skate and BMX circles as it’s used at many training facilities where riders often try new tricks before taking it to unforgiving dirt. Finally, when riders would land a trick so little room was given in the small hockey stadium to stop. A gigantic air bag was placed at the end of the arena and riders would fly into it, sometimes at full speed. Although this looked like a brutal experience, each rider would calmly free themselves from the bag and walk away like nothing happened. With worldwide ticket sales surpassing 750,000 (equating to the tune of $70+ Million US Dollars) and 46 Million viewers of the TV show (in just the US alone), it would seem the wonderboy from Maryland known as Travis Pastrana is not only one of the most popular riders in the history of action sports but might also be one of the most successful. Numbers like that don’t lie and it’s clear Nitro Circus and Pastrana have a massive following. If opening night in Hamilton was any indication, I’m guessing this tour will be around for years to come.
Top Right: The FMX boys stole the show with huge tricks like these Middle: With 750,000 worldwide ticket sales, you bet these guys know how to put on a show Right: This was the first three man tandem flip I’d ever seen. Yes they landed it!
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OUR SUPERCROSS ROCKSTAR Cole Thompson isnâ€™t much different from a lot of Canadian kids who love to race dirt bikes. Not only did he begin riding at a very young age but he also found himself instantly addicted to throwing his leg over a two wheeled machine. In this FIrst issue of 2014, we decided to feature Cole on the cover to celebrate not only his successful return to Canadian racing last summer but also to recognize the fact that Coleâ€™s road to success is a route that many young Canadian riders are capable of.
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ole’s love affair with riding began in the small oil town of Brigden, Ontario. Even though he was barely able to walk, Cole was bombing around the Thompson family home on a toy four wheeler, sliding from room to room with a huge grin on his face. As he reached his third birthday, Cole threw away half those wheels and his illustrious two wheeled career began. In the blink of an eye, Cole went from riding around his home to racing his new Yamaha PW-50 across the Sarnia, Ontario border in Michigan. Soon the state of Michigan wasn’t big enough to hold Cole’s talents : The Thompson family set out on the highways and bi-ways of the USA in search of motocross glory. In a sport where it can take young riders years of plugging away before they see any results, Cole would find success early in his career. In the state
“For the next two months Cole rode the wheels off his new KTM, winning three moto’s and two overalls in the hotly contested MX1 class” of Florida, where most kids dreams are made at Disneyworld in Orlando, Cole’s young dreams came true on a Thanksgiving weekend two hours northwest of Orlando in Gainesville. That area of north Florida is where the famous track, affectionately known as “Gatorback Cycle Park,” is located, venue for the late fall event called the Mini Olympics. It was here that the Thompson family decided Cole was ready to compete against the sports elite. During the multi -day event Cole would battle against the likes of Eli Tomac, Justin Barcia and Jason Anderson, ironically the same riders he lines up against today. Although Cole didn’t win a championship that week in Florida, he did serve notice that he was one of the top upcoming riders in North America. From there it was on to every top amateur event in the USA. Races like Lake Whitney, Ponca City and Loretta Lynn’s were marked on the Thompson family calendar for the
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“Even though he was barely able to walk, Cole was bombing around the Thompson family home on a toy four wheeler, sliding from room to room with a huge grin on his face.”
next half decade. By the time Cole’s experience as an amateur was over, he had garnered an amazing 28 titles, including three very prestigious moto wins and the 2011 250B Stock Championship at the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Championships in Hurricane Mills, TN. In addition, during Cole’s illustrious amateur career, he was able to secure multiple Parts Canada TransCan National Championships at annual events in Walton, Ontario. After Cole’s two seasons of mixed results in Supercross and the USA Outdoor Nationals, the call finally came to provide him with some really good support north of the border. Last July, with Colton Facciotti on injured reserve, KTM Canada needed a substitute rider Tired and needing a break from years of travelling across the USA, Cole was also looking for another option. Within a week the deal between KTM and Cole Thompson was inked to paper and Canadian fans would get their wish to see him race the pro
class on Canadian soil. For the next two months Cole rode the wheels off is new KTM, winning three moto’s and two overalls in the hotly contested MX1 class. Battling against the likes of ironman Bobby Kiniry and eventual champion, Brett Metcalfe, Cole had to call upon all of the skills he’d been learning since those early days in Bridgen. Cole’s summer ended in spectacular fashion as he hoisted the iconic Walton Sword above his head at the series finale in Walton, Ontario. Throughout his career Cole has had the reputation as a down- to- earth, hard -working kid. On the bike, his style is picture perfect as he always seems to put his machine exactly where he wants it. Off he bike, he is very approachable, “one of guys,” All of these assets made Dave Gowland’s decision to hire Cole as one of his riders for the East Coast Lites Championship on his Rockstar Energy Drink KTM Team: “ When our team had a rider go down with
injuries we needed a rider who could come in and fit with our program. Being part of a large team in the USA brings with it a lot of pressure and adjustment for a young rider. So far Cole has handled it well and has adapted well to the process. I think this experience will give him a lot of confidence heading into the Canadian Nationals this summer.” With all of Cole’s success it’s easy to forget that he’s still just 20 years old. With a large part of his career still ahead, Cole and his family remain very focused, not just on the here and now, but on the future. With this summer marking his first full season of racing in Canada, look for Cole to spend even more time in the Winner’s Circle, a fan favourite at each stop of the 2014 Rockstar Energy Motocross Nationals. Congratulations to Cole Thompson for being this month’s Cover Boy!
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MONEY G O IN G S L O W By Danny Brault ery few will make a living racing a motorcycle but there’s no shortage of opportunities to stay involved in the industry. We take you through the steps of ‘how to’ make money in motocross without the pressure of winning a national championship. Let’s face it, the reality is that motocross, especially in Canada, is a very small sport and only a select few ever earn a reasonable income competing in it. Of course it’s only natural to get caught up in the glamour of it all; the big rigs, the shiny factory race bikes and collared pit shirts. Don’t be fooled, however, things aren’t always as they appear. Some guys on the factory teams don’t get paid a salary and some even pay for a spot under the big tent. Every racing career must come to an end no matter how many motos or championships are won. This isn’t to deter anyone from chasing their racing dreams, but rather, we want to encourage more enthusiasts, especially the youth, to expand their horizons and realize that they can still be part of the sport they love without risking it all. By risking it all, we don’t mean going for that big double or holding it on while others are letting off. Instead, we are suggesting kids and parents don’t throw education out the window and leave it all on the table in hopes of one day making a dollar playing in the dirt. It’s important to have a Plan B in case little Johnny or Jill doesn’t make the cut on the track. I’m just one example of many who grew up racing motocross; didn’t have the speed like others on the starting gate, but still built up a career in the sport I love. As a moderately talented racer, I put in respectable results from the mini cycle to Intermediate ranks and even qualified for a handful
of Pro events (Gauldy would use the term ‘gate filler’ I believe). Like most kids, I would walk through pit row dreaming of one day being planted under a factory tent, complete with a perfectly tuned bike and surrounded by a team dedicated to my every whim. I refused to accept reality at times, but deep down I knew that I didn’t have what it took to become a top Pro. I just didn’t “have it,” but I believed that no matter what I would remain as close as possible to my two-wheel passion, in some shape or form. To be honest, and not that I’d ever lie to you, I didn’t have a game plan on how I would achieve a career in the motocross industry, but as I’ve come to learn, things have a way of working themselves out if you keep on it. At the end of high school I had no idea what I was going to do. I filled out forms to attend Ottawa University, but chickened out at the last minute and decided to take a year off. My friends thought I was nuts telling me if I didn’t go to school now I never would and I’d be left slugging concrete the rest of my life. I didn’t listen to them because I’m a firm believer that a person can do whatever they want in this life and I was going to do something that didn’t feel like a job, something that kept me around the sights and smells of motocross. During my year off, I was surfing the web one day and came across a posting on insidemotorcycles. com, a Canadian publication focused on all things two-wheel. They were seeking contributing writers and photographers. I had never written a word about motocross but my best marks came in English class; I enjoyed telling a good story or what I thought was a good story. I sent them my resume and low and behold, I received a phone call letting me know that IMX was interested in seeing what I could do.
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To start, I supplied race reports from the Pontiac Supercross, Southwick AMA National and CMRC Southwestern Provincials. My ‘big break’ came when I was given an opportunity from then editor, Brett Dailey, to organize a feature story on rising star, Kyle Keast. This was perfect; Kyle and I had recently become friends and both of us were just starting to realize our role in Canadian racing; me as the writer and Kyle as the racer. During this time (2003 to 2005), I was working on my diploma in Journalism-Print at Durham College. During the day, I would be sharpening my grammar, spelling and writing skills, and at night practicing them while writing about my favourite topic: motocross. Coming to the end of college, our class had to find an intern position in the journalism field. I was excited because this was my chance to learn the ropes, full-time, working for Inside Motocross (IMX). I thought for sure they would have a spot available since I had been supplying them content regularly and they seemed to like my stuff. Unfortunately, I was wrong; they didn’t have room for me on the bench and I was left looking for another option. As they say, “It’s not what you know but who you know,” and I knew Brett Dailey, who, along with Allison Kennedy and Jason Griffiths, left IMX to start a new publication called Racer X Canada. I called up Dailey, explained the situation and as luck would have it, they were looking for a young mind to groom into an editorial position. Over the next three years, I managed online content for RXC, submitted stories and photos for print, and experienced all angles of the publication industry. The best part, however, were the stories! And with a 20 year-old traveling across Canada with other 20-something motocrossers, there were more than a few ‘stories’ made as you could guess. I didn’t make a million dollars but the experience itself was worth more than that. I got to meet many interesting folk at different levels of the sport, my childhood heroes, travel all over Canada and the US, and for the most part, not ever really feel like I was ‘working.’ At one point I was even given the chance to live my childhood dream of racing and being supported by a factory team when Monster Energy/ Cernic’s Kawasaki’s Billy Whitley invited me to race Tucker Hibbert’s KX250F during the Sand Del Lee National in 2008. (No need to talk about my results but it was a good day nonetheless.) I was “living the dream.” At times it did feel like a dream for this redneck from Peterborough, Ontario. Part of the fantasy even included me being indirectly introduced to my wife through motocross and RXC (who says you need to wear a shirt to be a gentleman?) Unexpectedly, after the final round at Walton in 2008, RXC would shut its doors. Content-wise we were killing it, but a magazine needs advertising dollars to survive and we weren’t bringing in what was required to keep the project going at the level we desired. I really didn’t know what I was going to do; all I knew was motocross. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I left good impressions with a variety of people and companies in the industry. That benefited me first when I, along
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One of the most important lessons a young rider must learn is how to meet people. A person’s first impression can sometimes last a lifetime so it’s important to always be professional and courteous.
with Martin Anderson-Clutz and Dawn McClintock, launched the website DirectMotocross.com in January 2009. Looking to fill the gap that RXC had left, DMX was to become the daily, online stop for all things Canadian. Even after gaining great advertising support, I pulled the chute earlier than expected when I accepted a marketing position with Yamaha Motor Canada only three months in. Luckily, my DMX colleagues kept the site moving forward while I went on to the next step in my motocross career. For the next two and half years, I coordinated public relations, advertising, and social media for Yamaha and also learned the inner workings of the powersports business and corporate life. As I said earlier, I really didn’t (and still don’t) know much, but I knew people and if there is one thing I put effort into, it’s building and maintaining relationships. This again led me to another opportunity in Canadian moto. KTM Canada was looking for a new national marketing rep and inquired if I was interested. I couldn’t turn it down. Even though Yamaha had been an excellent company to work for, KTM sold me on the fact that they were a pure racing company. I’m happy to say I left Yamaha on good terms, and to this day, remain in touch with many of the good men and
women from that company. The new job with KTM did require me to spend every other week working five hours away from home in Montreal, and a lot of weekends were spent on the road or in the air, but again, I got to meet some amazing personalities and see what goes into building a factory racing program like KTM’s. I had planned to ride Orange for much longer than I did, but a little after a year, I realized that I needed a certain balance in life and just couldn’t commit the time away from home to grow the brand in Canada. (My wife was really thrilled that I quit my job with absolutely no back-up plan. Not!) After leaving KTM, I made a half-assed attempt to start my own marketing agency, but two months in I received a call from Justin Moore at 636 Distributing Inc, also known as Ignition Products, asking if I was interested in building up the brand of his new action sport camera line, WASPcam. I said yes, as Justin offers a less-than-corporate atmosphere, which suites my personality and it would be a great learning experience building a brand from the ground up. Plus, I would still get to work alongside extreme sports, like motocrosss, and write the odd story for motocross pubs when I can find the time. Okay, enough about me. My intention wasn’t to
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Meeting someone new can be as simple as giving them a firm handshake, looking that person in the eye and giving them a nice smile. Practice in the mirror to see how you look.
brag about all the cool stuff ’ve done, but instead present one example of someone who loves motocross, and even though slow on the track, still found a way to remain connected to their passion and make a living doing it. For sure there is a certain amount of luck involved in my story, but like in racing, luck is usually born out of good preparation. There are holes in the motorcycle industry right now; we need young, creative and eager minds to fill them. We need a succession plan. After reflecting back on my tenure in in the motorcycle industry and gathering advice from others in the field, we’ve come up with the following steps on how to make a living around motocross without going fast.
STEP #1: LEARN TO WORK HARD I say “learn” because not everyone is born with a strong work ethic. My first real kick in the butt came, technically, when my younger brother, Corey, and I used to get regular kicks in the butt from Dad (steel toed boots hurt!) for causing all kinds of trouble,
back-talking and not listening. In all seriousness, I believe my first wakeup call came during my second year of Bantam hockey. I had some skill and speed on the ice, but a terrible habit of not back checking and keeping my feet moving. My Dad never really critiqued me too much, but one night during dinner, he had enough and told me straight up, “Danny, you’re a good hockey player, but you’re small and lazy. Until you learn to skate hard every stride, every shift, you’re not going anywhere!” I didn’t snap back or even try to defend myself, I only reflected and thought honestly about the effort I was putting in. Dad was right—I was dragging my butt and not pushing it like I could have. From that night on, I gave it everything I had every time I hit the ice. Yamaha Motor Canada’s National Marketing Manager, Bryan Hudgin, agrees; there isn’t a way around hard work. In fact, this corporate chief suffered through the duties of driving in stakes and sleeping in the CMRC hauler before stepping into his swank corporate gig. “I worked two summers as a track rat for the CMRC Nationals,” says Hudgin. “They were long, hard hours, as anyone who has worked for Stally knows [laughs]. But at the end of the day, it worked out and the contacts made and experience gained helped me
land a position with Yamaha. It’s always important to put your best foot forward, on and off he track. Kids these days need to understand they can’t just get things handed to them.” If you’re looking for a litmus test to determine how good your work ethic is, I highly recommend spending a week living and working with Kyle Keast, or spend a few days with your local dealer. You will find the answer.
STEP #2: DETERMINE WHAT YOUR SKILLS ARE I have a terrible habit of this but do your best not to compare yourselves to others. That said, do observe and learn from people, but don’t let yourself get all depressed if someone seems to do something better than you. We are all blessed with specific skills and strengths. Some are creative thinkers, some are problem solvers, and when it’s time to begin thinking seriously about what you’re going to do when mom and dad stop feeding you, stop and analyze what it is that you’re good at it and what it is that you want to do.
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Above: OTSFF Team Manager and the man behind RG3 Canada Adam Robinson started off as a die hard racer in the late 1990s. After some injuries forced him into an early retirement, Adam turned his efforts to working on bikes instead of riding them. Since then he’s put in endless hours of hard work and now helps run one of the biggest race teams in Canada.
STEP #3: EDUCATE YOURSELF We’re all the same—we hate going to school, and anyone says they enjoy it is full of poop. However, it is a necessary evil, and as MX Sports AMA National Promoter, Davey Coombs, once said, “Kids learn more in the hallways than they do in the classroom.” Of course school benefits us by learning how to count, read and write, but there’s also a strong social aspect to it is as well. It’s difficult to become successful in life without knowing how to speak, listen and interact with people. Go to school, real school, and please don’t use the excuse that you need more time to train and ride to ‘make it’ as a racer. The list is long of proven champions who completed high school, or college and university. A couple names that come to mind are Brad Hagseth, who won the 2001 MX2 West Canadian National Championship and graduated from university. Oh, and some guy named Ricky Carmichael who won a bunch of races and titles still finished high school. So it can be done, no excuses.
STEP #4: SAY HELLO These days, most would prefer sending a text, Tweet or email, but nothing makes a better and lasting impression than speaking directly to a person (and if you can’t talk to them physically, pick up the phone!). I was recently speaking to a top Canadian Pro who asked me if he should email a manufacturer to inquire about sponsorship support. I was actually surprised by this racer’s question because he’s definitely not a shy person from my experience being
around him. I suppose it’s like asking a girl out on a date; the worst they can say is no, even though rejection hurts. I’m actually a shy person deep down inside, but to compensate for it, I’ve learned to just say hi, shake someone’s hand and get on with it. A certain amount of work ethic and skill are required, but it really does come down to who you know, more than what you know, to land an opportunity anywhere in life. If people don’t trust you or enjoy your company, it’s going to be difficult to find a job, sponsor or that ‘special someone.’ Don’t hide out in your motor home—talk to people. Talk to the track owner, promoter, your dealer, or fellow competitors at the starting gate because you never know where that conversation might lead. A few tips when you do decide to open your mouth: be genuine, approachable and don’t act like you know everything.
STEP #5: GO FOR IT! Now you’ve got all the pieces of the puzzle: you aren’t afraid to break a sweat, wake up when it’s still dark out and you can count to 100. Good for you. However, just like that monster double jump or endless whoop section, you’ve got to make it happen and pin it. The more you think about it the harder it gets. Some racers rely on hard work, some on talent, but the best thing to rely on is a bit of both. Take those two ingredients and mix them with good relationships, and odds are you’ll be rewarded with a rewarding career in the motorcycle industry—or any industry for that matter. We can’t all be the fastest rider on the track, but that doesn’t mean we can’t contribute or make a living in motocross. Just give’er in everything you do.
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IN THIS TWO PART STORY, MIKE MCGILL TAKES A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE AND REFLECTS ON SOME OF OUR PAST CANADIAN MX CHAMPIONS. RIDERS THAT PAVED THE WAY FOR TODAY’S GENERATION.
ll the big time sports have their own Hall of Fame. Baseball has perhaps the most revered or prestigious hall, but football and hockey have their versions as well. Heck, even Rock ‘n’ Roll has a Hall of Fame. This got me thinking…why not a Canadian Motocross Hall of Fame? I mean, there’s not going to be any fancy building or anything like that involved and there is going to be absolutely nothing official abou this thing, but for those of you out there who have read my articles in the past, you know that I fancy myself a bit of a moto historian, so I’ve decided to take the task upon myself to create the Canadian Motocross Hall of Fame. On second thought, perhaps I should refer to this thing as Mike’s Canadian MX Hall of Fame as I am going to be the one making all the tough decisions in regards to induction and non-inclusion; basically who makes it and who doesn’t. First of all, let’s set a couple of ground rules (See how I just snuck a little bit of baseball terminology in there): My Hall of Fame will not consider riders/racers that were ripping it up prior to 1970. I know that some of the real old timers out there are going to get a little bit upset about this and I’m sorry. I’m fully aware that motocross did exist in Canada prior to 1970, although I think it was more commonly referred to as Scrambles back in those days. The reason I am choosing 1970 as the starting point is quite simple, really. That’s the year my Dad took me to see my fi st motocross race. It was actually a National, believe it or not, and it took place at a long gone and I’m sure mostly forgotten track near Barrie, Ontario that I remember thinking was totally awesome. It was probably just a cow pasture with some tires and stakes thrown down, but I was young and impressionable. So that’s when my experience with the sport began. The 1970s is really when the sport began,
in earnest anyways. The “Golden Era”, as I like to refer to it. That’s when the lightweight two-stroke racing machine really came into its own, and that’s when the Japanese manufacturers really got into the game and started challenging the established European marques by offering technically comparable, affordable MX-specific machines o the North American public. Needless to say, thrill seeking kids all over Canada and the USA bought them up practically faster than they could make them, and the racing scene in both countries really took off. Let’s really begin this process then by establishing the qualifications needed in order o gain entry into my Hall of Fame. Obviously, you have to have been a big time race winner. That goes without saying. The more wins the better and National Championship titles, of course, would be an excellent indication of this. Longevity in the sport would be another factor. There have been many instances in the past of foreign riders coming into the Canadian Series for a year or two and cleaning up, then going back to wherever they came from, never to be heard from in these parts again. Guys like this won’t be making it in my Hall. No sir. I’m thinking three seasons would be the absolute minimum. That might not even be enough. We’ll see once the actual induction process begins. I’m just flying by the seat of my pants here so you never know how this thing might play out. Speaking of foreign riders, nationality makes no difference in Mike’s Canadian MX Hall of Fame. I don’t care where a rider is from; I just care about what said rider contributed to the history of Canadian moto. Americans, Swedes, Finns, Czechs and even Japanese riders have all played a big part in our series over the years along with our own homegrown talent and for this reason they are all eligible. Lastly, I’m going to break this thing up by the decade, starting with the ‘70s. I’ll nominate several deserving riders in my head from each decade and then, after much careful consideration, I’ll induct one, two or possibly even three lucky individuals to grace my hallowed halls. So without any further ado, let’s get to it. I introduce to you the fi st ballot inductees into Mike’s Canadian Motocross Hall of Fame.
Above: Feeling the heat. Jan-Eric gave it his all on an extremely hot day at the Canadian 500cc GP in 1975. He scored a top 10 overall for Canadian Kawasaki and paid for it afterwards. Left: Jan-Eric Salqvist demonstrates some classic ‘70s style. For you kids out there, this move was known as the “Cross-up.”
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McLean was always known, however, as a totally focused and truly professional rider. In ’74, motocross in BC was ripe with other talented riders such as the MacKenzie Brothers, Larry and Dan, Bob and Wally Levy, Rick Sheren and Can-Am rider Jim Small to name a few, but Bill always stood out a little above the rest. In 1974, McLean had another great season winning the BC Provincial Championship, and finishing second verall and fi st Canadian in the National Championships. Bill suffered a badly broken leg the following season, which knocked him out of racing for almost two years. When he finally rec vered from the break, he made a bold move and decided to head to Europe for the 1977 season and test himself against the competition across the pond. Bill learned a lot on his European foray and actually carded numerous top ten finishes. His uropean experience paid off or him after his return to Canada the following season as he was virtually unbeatable in B.C., and won the 500 Canadian National Championship as well. Bill retired from racing the following year but his motocross story defini ely did not end there. In the years that followed, he managed Yamaha’s racing team, taught numerous schools and eventually opened his own shop. While operating the Pacific amaha dealership in Richmond, B.C., racing was always close to his heart. Through his dealership, Bill actually sponsored Brad Hagseth who won two 125 CMRC National Championships for the Pacific amaha team in 2001 and again in ‘02. Bill’s induction into my Hall of Fame is unfortunately a posthumous one as he passed away at the age of 50 in 2008.
HONOURABLE MENTION In the ‘close but no cigar’ category, there were a few other great riders from the ‘70s that I feel deserve an honourable mention: AL LOGUE Hamilton, Ontario rider Al Logue battled the US and European imports valiantly throughout the ‘70s. Al started his career on a CZ and would eventually win the 125 National Championship for Yamaha in 1977. Injuries cut his career short, but he stayed in moto after his career as a riding coach and even wrenched for ‘The Rollerball’ for a while. Those two must have been quite the team out together on the road. I’ll never forget watching Al jump the gate at the Copetown National one year, which gave him a ridiculously large holeshot in the fi st moto of the day. I mean, he was a good thirty to forty feet in front of everyone when the gate actually fell, and the official never black flagged him or s opped the race. I couldn’t believe it and I’m sure he couldn’t either. Afterwards, he must have had quite the chuckle out of that one as he was defini ely a character. JIM TURNER Jim Turner was a hot shoe from SoCal that Suzuki brought in to challenge Jan-Eric Salqvist back in the mid-seventies. Hot shoe, by the way, was a term used to describe fast guys back in the day. Its origin comes from flat track racing, I believe, because
those guys wore a metal shoe on their inside sliding foot. The faster they went the hotter the metal shoe got. You’re welcome. Jim was a great rider and actually won three National titles for Suzuki between 1976 and ‘78. Unfortunately for Jim, he wasn’t here long enough, in my opinion, to be considered for the Hall. Maybe if he had stayed one more year he would have made it in. I bet he regrets that decision now.
ROSS PEDERSON If there ever was a correct time for the use of the phrase “no brainer” it would be here. The Rollerball’s entry into my Hall of Fame is of course a forgone conclusion. In fact, if my Hall had existed at the time of Ross’ retirement he would not have had to wait the usual fi e year period prior to induction. Just as it had been for Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux in hockey, the waiting period would have been waived for Ross. He could have ridden right off the track af er his final mo o and into HOF immortality. For over a decade, Pederson was virtually unbeatable in Canadian motocross. He racked up an incredible thirty outdoor National Championship titles and was the only Canadian to actually win the Toronto and Montreal Supercrosses during their heydays. Perhaps the most impressive thing
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“HE BASICALLY MANHANDLED HIS MACHINE AROUND THE TRACK BUT WHAT A STUD THIS GUY WAS.”
Left: Bill McLean was the fastest of a bunch of BC riders in the ‘70s. Centre: Ron Keys looking confident sporting the number 1 plate for Yamaha in 1973. Right: Doug Hoover was a cool guy who raced in a cool era.
about Ross was the excellent results he compiled while competing south of the border. Ross was a regular in the States, and his best finishes occurred during the ‘87 season when he finished rd overall at the Hangtown National in the 250 class. He backed that up with a 5th at Southwick on the 250 and scored another 3rd overall at Red Bud on the YZ490. He even finished op 10, 9th to be precise, that year in AMA Supercross. His style was certainly nothing to get too excited about. He basically manhandled his machine around the track but what a stud this guy was. The stories of his training regime are stuff of legend. erhaps my favourite is the story of how he would get his training in while on the road with his mechanic in their box van. He would instruct his mechanic to drive ten miles up the road to park and then he would run along the highway in the middle of nowhere until he caught back up. Sometimes in his jeans, sometimes shorts, it didn’t really matter to Rollerball as long as he got his run in. That was the main thing. I was lucky enough to get to see Ross race on many occasions during his prime. Perhaps the coolest thing I ever saw him do was when he schooled virtually all of the European superstars at the Canadian 500 GP back in 1984 at Motopark, located just south of Owen Sound, Ontario. The fact that Ross was riding an outdated production RM500 made this feat even that much more impressive. And when I say outdated I don’t use that term loosely. What I mean is that Suzuki had ceased production on the 500cc machine a couple of years prior. All of the
top Euros were in attendance. Names like Malherbe, Thorpe, Geboers, Carlqvist, Jobe and Vromans to name a few. As the story goes, the European stars all had a few good chuckles when they spied Ross’ antiquated machine sitting in the pits, and I do actually believe this to be true because I think we were all laughing at the bike as well. No matter, Ross went out an opened up a can of whup-ass on most of the foreign stars and their exotic factory machinery. He finished th in the fi st moto, passing former multi-time World Champion Malherbe in the process. He actually ran as high as 2nd at one point but the old RM was basically starting to fall to pieces around him so he backed it off a bit. He followed his fi st moto heroics with a solid 5th in the second moto for 4th overall. I seem to remember him holding off another orld Champion, Gorges Jobe, for a good part of that second moto. The sheer magnitude of this achievement was a little lost on me at the time. I just remember saying to myself, “Boy that Rollerball is good.” But thinking back on it now, what a truly unbelievable accomplishment that was. Ross had plenty of other impressive international results as well. In ’83, he finished th overall at the 250 USGP at Unadilla against a stacked field of American and uropean stars. But hey, it was all just another day at the offic for Canada’s greatest all-time motocross racer. DOUG HOOVER Doug “The Sweeper” Hoover. He makes it into my Hall of Fame based on his results but there could have been so much more for this Mount Albert, Ontario native if it just hadn’t been for Ross Pederson always winning everything. Actually, Pederson did not win everything. In fact, “The Sweeper” scored himself a couple of National titles during the ‘80s: The 125 championship in 1985 and 500 title in ‘88, but you just wonder what could have been for Hoover if not for the ever present Rollerball. While he did not possess the steely intensity and incredible physical conditioning of Pederson, Hoover made up for it with his buttery smooth, precise style. Always stylish, Hoover made riding fast look easy and dominated the highly competitive Ontario racing scene during the mid-‘80s and actually won the 125, 250 and 500 Provincial titles in 1988. He had factory rides in Canada with both Honda and Yamaha and made a bit of a splash when he secured the Esso Easy Mix sponsor. It was not unusual to see the always-approachable Hoover handing out cases of Easy Mix from the back of his cube van at the track. Although he did not con-
centrate on it, he was a natural at Supercross and used those skills to help him secure four AMA National numbers over the course of his career; his highest placing being number 72 in 1987. Doug Hoover was the epitome of cool in 1980s Canadian motocross. He didn’t really seem to race that often but when he did show up at a local event, his gear and style were always perfect. He would generally arrive at the track separately from his cube van, usually driving a Porsche with a hot chick or two in tow. Obviously, this elevated his status immensely, in my eyes, but there was no denying he was an awesome rider as well. The Rollerball himself has even gone on record stating that he considered Hoover to be his toughest competition in the ‘80s and the biggest threat to his dominance of the sport in this country. Doug Hoover retired from motocross after the 1988 season at the relatively young age of 24. He stated at the time that he had accomplished everything he had wanted to in motocross and left the sport to work in the family trucking business. Although his career was not that long, he defini ely left an indelible mark in Canadian Moto. AL DYCK Completing the mighty triumvirate of ‘80s Canadian moto legends is none other than Abbotsford, B.C. native Al “Too Trick” Dyck. On a side note, the ‘80s were also blessed with the best nicknames of any of the decades of Canadian moto. Al did not ascend to the upper reaches of Canadian stardom the same way as many of his peers did. He didn’t start riding until he was a little older than most and he didn’t have the backing of his family like almost every other top rider in the history of the sport had. He did it on his own and it stayed that way for Al throughout his career. In fact, he dropped out of high school with the sole purpose of working so that he could afford to go racing. And race he did. The thing that almost everyone who watched Al race saw that he was a complete natural. He never trained like Pederson but he rode a lot, and his bike handling and throttle control skills were masterful. He sharpened his skills racing on a weekly basis against other B.C. hot shoes like Darrel Martens, Steve Friesen and Rick Hamer-Jackson. Al was known as quite the perfectionist during his career because his bike and gear were always in pristine condition. While he was at the races he was all business and pretty much kept to himself, preferring, instead, to let his riding do his talking for him. Al had factory rides with both Yamaha and Honda during his career, and while he had many runner up finishes during the Nationals, it all came ogether for him in the late ‘80s. In 1988, he won the 125 National Championship and actually garnered enough points in the other classes to be declared the Grand National Champion. Then in 1989 he had a monster season, beating the Rollerball straight up en route to winning the 125, 250 and 500cc National Championships and becoming the Grand National Champion for the second year in a row. Perhaps the most impressive win of Al’s career came in 1988 when he completely waxed a field of op U.S. talent that contained names like Jeff ard, Ron Lechien and Rick Johnson at a Golden State Series race in California. In those days, the calibre of riders attending the Golden State Series race was akin to that of a National, but Dyck utilized M O T O C R O S S P E R F O R M A N C E 61
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Left: Style check. In 1986, Ross was at the height of his formidable powers. For those of you out there that thought the Rollerball didn’t have any style, check out this rare Bill Petro photo. Above: Ron airs out the all-new YZ back in 1973. Note the YZ still had dual rear shocks at the time.
of ways. He was a sought after suspension guru, he worked for Blair Morgan as his wrench for a couple of seasons and even promoted his own Too Trick Arenacross Series in B.C. for a few winters. Heck, he even came out of retirement in 1997 to race the one day CMA National Championships, and wouldn’t you know it, he won the 125 class. He was one of the greatest Canadian motocrossers of all time and a fi st ballot inductee into my Canadian Motocross Hall of Fame.
his throttle control prowess and mastery of the muddy conditions to lay a bonnafied butt whooping on some of the top names in the sport that day. Al also won the Montreal Supercross in 1986. At the time, that was the biggest race in Canada so he may consider that to be the biggest win of his illustrious career. Many who followed Dyck’s career closely lament the fact that he didn’t race more south of the border as his supporters felt that he would have been a solid top ten guy down there. Al was always more concerned with his finances, h wever, and would never skip a good payday at a local race to chase the US dream. With Al Dyck, it was his way or the highway. He was his own man and ran his program the way he thought it should be run. This attitude may have alienated some potential sponsors over the years but his results spoke for themselves. After his racing career was over, Al stayed involved with the sport in a variety
HONOURABLE MENTION MIKE HARNDEN Although the ‘80s were pretty much dominated by the three riders listed above, I would be remiss if I did not mention Mike Harnden at this point. Mike was workmanlike in his approach to racing, and while he may have not been the most talented rider of his era, he may have been the most determined. All the hard work that he put in finally paid off or the Oshawa, Ontario native when the Honda mounted Harnden won the 500 National Championship in 1984. Mike’s other big claim to fame came as the rider who scored the highest result ever by a Canadian at a Motocross of Nations when he placed 5th in a moto at Gaildorf, Germany after he was called in as a last minute replacement for an injured Ross Pederson back in 1986. All right, I think I’m going to wind it up here for this issue. Of course we still have the ‘90s and the fi st decade of this century to go but I don’t want to bombard you with too much information right now so let’s save that for the next issue shall we. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank a few of my fellow Canadian moto historians who helped me out by providing some great info and enjoyable bench racing conversations while researching this article. In no particular order I would like to thank: Chris Pomeroy, Brent “Airmail” Worrall, Rick Hamer-Jackson, Carl Bastedo and especially Bill Petro. Bill’s the Godfather of Canadian moto photographers and his wonderful collection of photos truly does provide us with a comprehensive history of the sport in this country. In fact, Bill is currently working on archiving his vast collection of what he believes to be somewhere between 20-30 thousand photos into an accessible database that he refers to as NAMIA, The North American Motorcycle Image Archive. I for one can’t wait to spend hours of my time, when I should really be doing something else, combing through these archives looking at all the fantastic old photos. Yes I know, I’m a moto-geek, but I also know there are plenty more of you out there that are just like me. The doors of Mike’s Canadian Motocross Hall of Fame are now closed, until the next issue of MXP at least. In the meantime, if any of you out there have any thoughts in regards to the Hall of Fame that you would like to share with me, please do not hesitate to drop me a line via the MXP website. I would love to hear from you.
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JUMPINGIN WITH BOTH BY CHRIS POMEROY
FOR 2014 THREE VERY TALENTED YOUNG RIDERS HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME. DYLAN WRIGHT, JESS PETTIS AND WESTEN WROZYNA WILL ALL BE UNDER THE TENT OF A FACTORY TEAM FOR THEIR FIRST YEAR AS PRO RIDERS.
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otocross is not unlike most other sports in the world when it comes to young riders graduating through the ranks from amateur to Pro. Motocross riders usually begin at a young age racing various events in their local area. At some point a rider may travel outside their province to compete against some new faces. As a rider gets older and moves up from class to class, they gain valuable experience each step of the way. Eventually an elite group of Intermediate riders are ready to take the big step to the Pro class, which is when the fun continues but the business of racing motocross becomes more of a factor. In the past few decades in Canadian motocross, it has been very rare for one of these fast Intermediate riders to have a factory ride waiting for them when they receive their Pro racing license. However, heading into the 2014 season, three young Canadian riders have been given the opportunity to start off heir Pro career racing under the tent of three teams that are among the biggest in the country. For Dylan Wright, Jess Pettis and Westen Wrozyna, this summer is going to be a mixture of intense learning and competing under the umbrella of some newfound pressure. There are a lot of reasons, though, for following the lead of our motocross friends to the south and throwing these young, talented kids to the fire. The first, and perhaps biggest, reason is that the powers to be think that they can handle it. In an
For Dylan Wright, Jess Pettis and Westen Wrozyna, this summer is going to be a mixture of intense learning and competing under the umbrella of some newfound pressure M O T O C R O S S P E R F O R M A N C E â€ƒ 65
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With Wright, Pettis and Wrozyna all winning motos in the hotly contested Intermediate class at the 2013 Walton TransCan, these three speedsters have all proven that they are capable of spending time at the front of the pack.
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individual sport like motocross, its participants are taught to handle pressure right from the first time they throw their leg over a dirt bike. With Wright, Pettis and Wrozyna all winning motos in the hotly contested Intermediate class at the 2013 Walton TransCan, these three speedsters have all proven that they’re capable of spending time at the front of the pack. The big question heading into this summer is, can they handle the added pressure of being part of a large, well supported race team where the expectations can sometimes outweigh a young rider’s anticipation. To have a look at these three kids, we begin with the likeable rider from Richmond, Ontario, Dylan Wright. Dylan is coming off a ery successful ending as an amateur after winning multiple TransCan titles as well as finishing on the podium at his very first Pro National last summer at Gopher Dunes (Intermediate riders are allowed to ride the MX2 class at Pro Nationals in Canada). Dylan’s remarkable summer showcased all of his skills both on and off he track. Even though his results gave him every reason to retreat from the public eye a little to stay focused, Dylan wouldn’t allow this to happen. He actually made more time for his adoring fans. This grounded attitude (along with his results) is what attracted the MX101 Yamaha Team to sign Dylan for 2014. Team Manager Kevin Tyler has been around a long time and has seen a lot of young riders hit and miss. Where Dylan is concerned, Kevin sees a huge potential. “I believe that Dylan has the work ethic, natural ability and a definite charisma that has made him an asset to the MX101 brand. He is a true representation of our total program from his 50cc days to his current professional status. We have been there every step of the way along his journey.” Moving on to Prince George, BC’s Jess Pettis, we have another young kid who possesses all the pedigree needed to become a National Champion. The Monster Energy Leading Edge Thor Kawasaki Team certainly thinks so and has invested heavily in Pettis. Like Wright and Wrozyna, Pettis isn’t too far beyond his 16th birthday so he’s certainly lacking a little bit of experience that many of his fellow MX2 competitors will bring to the track this summer. But what Jess lacks in experience he definitely makes up for in talent and drive, although untimely injuries have taken their toll on him in the last twelve months. Jess continues to train hard to make himself ready for his debut this summer under the Leading Edge tent. Jess’ Team Manager, Pat O’Connor, feels that he’s ready to make the jump to the Pro class. “We’re really excited for 2014 with Jess. We know he’s been through some injuries recently, but as a young athlete I think you learn best from facing adversity. Jess is an extremely hard worker so we know he’ll do everything it takes to get himself ready for round one in Nanaimo and we’ll give him whatever he needs to be successful this summer.”
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The final rider of the big three that is headed to a big team is another Ontario rider, Westen Wrozyna. After being a huge thorn in the side of Dylan Wright at the 2013 Parts Canada TransCan, and also winning an Intermediate title himself, Weston figured that he would contest the 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals on his own. Having been a Honda rider for his entire career, Weston bleeds red and wanted to continue to stay on a Honda. Fortunately for Weston and his family, GDR Honda Canada Team Owner, Derek Schuster, attended the 2013 TransCan and loved the fight he saw from Westen. “After witnessing some of his rides last summer at Walton, I think Westen has proven that he’s ready for the Pro class. He has always been at the top of his class and will be a good fit with our team. He will also have a great veteran like Colton Facciotti to look to for support and guidance. We are excited to help Westen grow as a professional.” Since Westen has spent most of the winter down in Florida training, he should be fit and ready to go when the MX2 Series begins this summer. As you can see, all three of these young riders are in for a very exciting year on the National circuit. With all of them being very hard workers, there’s no reason to think that they won’t come into the season well prepared. Dylan, Jess and Westen are all in very good hands as all of their Team Managers have the word “Patience” on the tip of their tongues. They know that with rookies in any sport, you’re going to see mistakes created by good old fashioned, youthful exuberance. As long as the effort is there these three newbies are going to get a long leash. The biggest obstacle they will have to overcome will be the internal pressure every young rider in their rare position feels: the need to push that little extra to try and keep the people happy who gave them this opportunity. However, these three kids are special and that is why they’ve been given this special chance to be part of the big teams. Once they get their feet wet, everything should be copasetic and we just might see them on the podium. With a long list of veteran riders lining up in both classes this year, these first-timers will no doubt be in tough, but as we’ve seen in many other sports, these days rookies have never been better prepared than now to face pressure. It should be a very exciting 2014 season for everyone.
The biggest obstacle they will have to overcome will be the internal pressure every young rider in their rare position feels: the need to push that little extra to try and keep the people happy who gave them this opportunity.
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H T I Y N N
CAN HAPPEN 2 0 1 4 : T H E Y E A R O F T H E R O C K S TA R With Rockstar Energy Drink taking over as the title sponsor and a growing list of top riders, 2014 may be the most exciting year ever in Canadian Motocross. B Y D A N N Y B R A U LT PHOTOS BY JAMES LISSIMORE
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t’s a common cliché in the world of racing, but when examining the fast approaching 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals, it rings truer than ever—especially now that Mike Alessi may be joining the fray! Who doesn’t enjoy a good surprise? For me, my biggest moto-related shocker happened on Christmas morning when I was 6 years-old. Like every youngster still believing in the fat guy in a red suit, I was up before the sun, tossed off he covers and ran anxiously into the living room to see what was under the tree. To my delight, Santa had honoured my good deeds (he must have only checked his list once that year) with a brand new Honda Z50! That memory still brings a smile to my face and a good chuckle to my wife because I had a habit of spending Christmas mornings in my ‘birthday suit’; mom kept the photos. Embarrassing, yes. Fast forward 24 years and a ‘surprised’ feeling blankets the Canadian motocross community, sans folks skipping around in their birthday suits. Every August as the final checkered flag waves at Walton, it signals the eminent end to another season of racing. The temperature drops, snow covers the ruts and berms, and racers park their bikes until spring. It becomes a four month long ‘Christmas Eve’ to Canuck moto junkies; tomorrow seems so far away and we’re unsure of what sits under the tree.
Even with Izzi and Chisholm joining the team, OTSFF Rockstar Energy Drink Team Owner, Andre Laurin, says that Bobby Kiniry (2) remains his number one rider in 2014. Kiniry enters his sixth season racing in Canada.
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Above: Starfilled summer: Rockstar Energy Drink becomes title sponsor of the Canadian Nationals in 2014. The company is excited about the new marketing opportunity, which has them investing in post-race musical entertainment at four of the ten national events.
Our uncertainty grew increasingly thicker this off-season. First when a rumour started circulating that there could be a second, competing national pro championship in the works. Secondly, was the fact that Monster Energy’s contract as title sponsor of the CMRC National Series had come to an end. Monster had been the saving grace since 2007, supporting not only the series but also Kawasaki’s factory race effort, which saw them winning the MX1 Championships with Paul Carpenter, Matt Goerke, Brett Metcalfe, and MX2 titles with Teddy Maier (x 2) and Austin Politelli. As we know, energy drinks carry an incredible amount of brand equity these days, tempting fans with a simple flash of their logo. It’s never an easy chore to find an outside-the-industry corporate sponsor to get involved with motocross. Who would replace the Big Green Claw? Fortunately, that questioning came to an abrupt and happy halt and the Canadian moto community awakened to one of our biggest gifts yet. Almost to the second that Monster’s contract ended, another Vitamin B rich
beverage company stepped up to the plate: Rockstar Energy Drink. Distributed by PepsiCo (Monster is distributed by Coca Cola in case you’re wondering), Rockstar sees great value in Canadian motocross, and with a new shot of ‘energy’ and creativity, they believe there is untapped potential to dramatically increase fan awareness and attendance at the 2014 Nationals and beyond. Once Monster released their claws, Rockstar gladly inherited the marketing opportunity as the series’ title sponsor. In fact, their hefty investment into this year’s National series involves the addition of many high profile musical acts to take the stage following four of the 10 National rounds. As for any talk of a competing national series to be launched, that chatter was silenced after CMRC’s National Promoter and President, Mark Stallybrass, and the newly formed Allied Promoters Group (APG) came together in an agreement to continue improving motocross racing and facilities across Canada. The deal would see a more long term plan put in
Above: Past Regina Motocross Club President and current CMRC Event Manager, Daryl Murphy, believes that when considering the province’s population boom and with the addition of a post-race rock concert, the return to Regina will see a substantial boost in fan attendance at his local national.
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place, stronger engagement between the CMRC and national track owners, and further collaboration between all parties involved. With everyone ready to make beautiful music together, literally in some cases, Canadian motocross takes another leap forward. Then, as if things couldn’t get any better, more good news unraveled with the series growing from 9 to 10 rounds, and new teams and racers committed to chasing gold in Canada.
ENERGY FILLED NEW YEAR The Canadian pits and tracks have been lined with ‘Monsters’ since 2007, but in 2014, they will be replaced by ‘Rockstars’ with the new sponsor looking to decorate tracks, pits, musicians, and most importantly to hardcore fans— racers—in their colours. While 2014 is the first year that Rockstar takes position as title
sponsor of the series, the company is already well rooted in Canadian racing. They have been indirectly backing the series since 2006 when they signed on with Andre Laurin’s OTSFF Suzuki factory race team, composed of MX1 riders Keith Johnson, Ryan Lockhart, Gavin Gracyk, and MX2 riders Pierce Chamberlain and Jeff Northrop. Ever since then, OTSFF’s team owner, Laurin, has maintained a strong and loyal business partnership with Rockstar, and Rockstar continues sponsoring the OTSFF motocross and snocross programs. In 2012, Laurin’s team switched to blue with support from Yamaha Motor Canada and Rockstar stuck by their side. The Rockstar OTSFF Team has always been a force in the pits with a full-on factory race display. Results wise, they’ve been equally impressive, earning wins and regular podium finishes.
This year, however, Rockstar isn’t holding back. Tired of playing second fiddle in branding and results, they’ve helped Laurin’s team secure top US racers Kyle Chisholm and Nico Izzi. Longtime competitor in the MX1 Series, New York’s Bobby Kiniry, returns along with Saskatchewan’s Shawn Maffenbeier, who proved he’s one of Canada’s next best things by topping the MX2 class at Walton last year. “We’re fired up on this new partnership with the premiere motocross racing championship in Canada,” says Dave Giancoulos, Vice-President, Canada, Rockstar Inc. “We are determined to create more enthusiasm to expand the fan base with new, exciting attractions that will benefit teams, riders, industry and most importantly, the spectators.” Attractions that Giancoulos speaks of come in the form of high profile musical acts, scheduled at four of the 10 national events.
Below: It didn’t take long for eventual champ, Brett Metcalfe, to find his comfort zone in the pits with fans and on the Canadian tracks. He noted that Deschambault (pictured here) was his favourite stop of the tour.
“The concerts will take place in conjunction with the Nanaimo, Regina, Tillsonburg, and Moncton Nationals,” says CMRC’s Stallybrass. “It’s looking like the Arkells will be headlining all four events, with two more notable rock bands, either Yukon Blonde or USS, plus Library Voices and The Glorious Sons, as opening acts”, he adds. Rockstar is well known for producing impressive rock festivals all over North America. There’s no doubt this second helping of entertainment will attract new fans to the sport and tracks. Oh, and don’t worry about staying up late after the races or feeling rough come Monday morning: rounds featuring post-race entertainment are being held on Saturdays (with the exception of Moncton on Sunday). Rock ‘n’ Roll is cool but of course dirt bike racing remains the cornerstone of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals. Fans can expect one of the most competitive years yet, with a long line of talent preparing to storm into Canada come June.
THE ROCKSTARS COMETH There’s never any sense in dumping a pile of money into a sport only to watch another brand ride off nto the sunset with all of the glory. When Monster Energy first signed on with the Canadian Nationals they complemented their series sponsorship by investing into Billy Whitley’s Kawasaki team and hiring eventual MX1 Champ Paul Carpenter and contender, Jeff ibson. Not surprisingly, Rockstar is heading down the same path. With defending MX1 Champ, Brett Metcalfe, returning to the series, Rockstar and OTSFF knew that they needed more ammo to take down the Australian. After coordinating with Laurin, it was decided to hire Americans Kyle Chisholm and Nico Izzi. Both have been near the top of the AMA Supercross and Motocross leaderboard. Chisholm has already spent two seasons racing in Canada, winning the MX2 East Championship in 2006, so he’s more than comfortable racing and living up north. For Izzi, it will be his first time racing in Canada but he brings with him youth, raw speed, and a chance to inject new life into his racing career like it‘s done for Metcalfe, Goerke, Carpenter and other imports before them. “Izzi is already a Rockstar athlete and they really wanted to have him race up here (in Canada),” replies OTSFF’s
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Andre Laurin when asked on how the decision came about to secure Izzi. “As for Chisholm, I keep my eye on all Yamaha riders, north and south of the border, to see who could be a good fit for our team. I’ve kept in touch with Kyle since he raced in Canada years ago and things have worked out where he could ride for us this summer.” Izzi and Chisholm bring a good deal of speed, notoriety and experience to Canada. Both are expected to challenge Metcalfe, but Laurin is quick to point out that Bobby Kiniry, who has raced for OTSFF since 2011, remains his number one guy. “He’s our main rider, for sure, and Bobby will also help in grooming and building up the younger guys in our program.” In the MX2 class, Saskatchewan’s Shawn Maffenbeier returns to the Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha Team looking to build upon his first ever National win in Walton last year. An injury at the first round in Nanaimo kept Maffenbeier on the sidelines for most of the series, but in the second half, he landed on the podium in motos at Sand Del Lee and Deschambault (which is interesting because Maffenbeier grew up on the hard packed tracks of Saskatchewan and used to struggle with sand tracks) and took the overall win at Walton with 2-1 moto scores. He also won the hearts of old school motocross fans every time he cracked the throttle on his YZ250 two-stroke. Even though Monster Energy steps down as title sponsor, they refuse to step down from the top step of the podium. Once again they are supporting the Kawasaki Leading Edge Team with defending MX1 and MX2 Champs Brett Metcalfe and Austin Politelli, and Iowa’s Teddy Maier, who finished 5th overall in MX1 last year.
P H OTO B Y J EA N G UY R O L L I N
Below: OTSFF owner, Andre Laurin, has received additional support from his sponsors and Rockstar to hire top US riders Nico Izzi and Kyle Chisholm who will fight to take down defending champ, Brett Metcalfe.
Above: It’s great to see Ulverton back on the National schedule for 2014. All of the riders are going to love the sandy soil and the huge elevation changes that this storied track has to offer.
Considering his speed, consistency and smarts shown during his first summer in Canada last year, Metcalfe is arguably the favourite going into 2014. But it’s going to be a battle. We should see (fingers crossed) a healthy Colton Facciotti back on the line. Facciotti defeated Metcalfe in both motos of the opening round in Nanaimo, BC last season. Sadly, at the next race, Facciotti hit the ground hard in Kamloops while chasing Metcalfe thus ending his entire 2013 campaign. The three-time champ is now riding for Gopher Dunes/Troy Lee Designs/Honda Canada and is anxious to make it through an entire season in one piece, which hasn’t happened since 2011. At press time, the latest and hottest rumour is that the infamous Mike Alessi is traveling north along with fellow statesman Kyle Cunningham. These two will be competing in the MX1 class aboard a MotoConcepts Racing Suzuki, with Jeremy Medaglia
Right: At press time, it doesn’t look like Tyler Medaglia is racing a KTM this summer, but Cole Thompson is racing MX1 for the factory team. The early word is that Medaglia is going to be riding a Husqvarna (which is essentially a KTM) while retaining support from Fox Canada and Red Bull.
as their lone MX2 entrant. Regardless if he wins or not, you know Alessi will bring excitement and drama to the series … and if he doesn’t, his Dad will … or maybe his brother? With Dusty Klatt retiring and Facciotti switching to Honda, KTM Canada finds their new MX1 Championship hope in Cole Thompson. The Sarnia, Ontario native ran their colours during the Eastern MX1 rounds last season picking up wins at Sand Del Lee and Walton. The latest Canadian to make waves south of the border, Thompson has remained on KTM since Walton, competing in AMA Supercross and Supercross Lites events on a Rockstar Energy KTM. Teaming up with Thompson, but in the MX2 class, is Quebec’s Kaven Benoit who enters his final year of a two year deal with KTM Canada. Benoit kept Politelli in check in the first half of last year’s series, but right after taking his first win in Edmonton, Benoit was sent to the sidelines for the remainder of
the series after injuring his ankle while practicing at home. The likable Frenchman has the speed, fitness and confidence to go after Politelli, and aside from Jeremy Medaglia, is Canada’s best hope in keeping the MX2 plate in Canadian hands. Keeping the ‘big guns’ honest, we have the Devil’s Lake Team returning with Josh Clark in MX2, plus they’ve signed on Dylan Kaelin, David Gassin, and Women’s West Champion Hailey Larson. Manitoba’s Ryan Millar and 2013 ‘Privateer of the Year’ Kyle Swanson have partnered as PHRMX; Redemption Racing is bringing back Gavin Gracyk, and then we have usual suspects like Brock Hoyer, Kyle Keast, the Allison brothers, and more filling the gate. Hard to believe, but despite finishing as top Canadian and third overall in the MX1 series, Tyler Medaglia is left without a bike deal for 2014 (as of press time).
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“Fox Canada and Red Bull have continued to support my program but I’m lacking solid support from a bike manufacturer”, said Medaglia. “I feel better than ever, and if some of these guys could see how well I’m riding and racing right now, there shouldn’t be any problems finding a ride.” My prediction is that we see Tyler competing in the MX1 class either on a Kawasaki or Yamaha with support from his local dealer, Freedom Cycle.
MORE IS BETTER “Less is more” may work in some situations but not when it comes to motocross and energy drinks. When Rockstar first hit stores they made an instant impact with customers due to the size of their cans, almost doubling that of other drinks in the cooler. I mean, who doesn’t like to get more bang for their buck? Canadian race fans get more in the can as well when it comes to seeing their favourite racers in 2014 with the series expanding from 9 to 10 events. Moto Valley Raceway in Regina replaces Edmonton in the west, and Ulverton, Quebec returns for the first time since 2001. Some teams aren’t overly enthusiastic about an extra round. KTM’s Race Manager Andy White says it does put additional stress on the budget, which never gets any bigger. OTSFF’s Andre Laurin, meanwhile, says 10 rounds are nothing compared to the demands of 30 snocross races that his crew endures every winter. For the athletes, it provides more opportunity to make
up for bad motos (or have more bad ones) and enjoy one of Quebec’s—and Canada’s—best tracks. For fans, it offers more bench racing fodder. “Last October, Stallybrass let me know that they would be expanding the series to 10 rounds with either an extra round in Quebec or Atlantic Canada”, recalls Ulverton track promoter and AMXQ President, Stéphane Theroux, on how it came to be that Ulverton would return. “A month later, we made the deal and we are very excited to have more National motocross in Quebec!” In some ways, Ulverton could be considered the ‘Unadilla of Canada,’ because the track is only open for one week every year due to noise complaints and town by-laws. “We’ll keep some sections covered in grass until bikes hit the track for Tuesday’s Pro practice before the event; other sections we are bringing in more sand to make sure the track gets nice and rough”, says Theroux. Did you hear that Pros? You have permission to sneak in a few laps before the gate drops. Take advantage of it because this hilly sand track won’t be kind to your body. “(Carl) Vaillancourt always says how hard and how physically demanding Ulverton is”, adds Theroux. “It’s not technical but it’s definitely not easy. We hope to see many US riders from the east coast come as well.” Moto Valley Raceway in Regina, Saskatchewan last held a National in 2008, and racers can expect the exact opposite conditions of Ulverton.
Kaven Benoit kept Politelli honest for the first half of the MX2 series last summer, but a leg injury while practicing at home sent him to the sidelines before the series traveled east. Once again, KTM Canada’s lone soldier in the MX2 class, Benoit remains Canada’s best chance at keeping the title in homegrown hands (along with Jeremy Medaglia, who is rumoured to be dropping back down to MX2).
Instead of deep, rolling sand whoops, Moto Valley poses different challenges. Its landscape offers excellent elevation changes, out of character for the ‘flat lands’ really, with some jumpy technical sections and a mix of slick, blue groove clay and long deep ruts. In the past, Regina’s only downfall was low spectator attendance. However, by placing its National on a Saturday, hiring three rocking bands to perform afterwards and Saskatchewan enjoying a population boom, both the CMRC and Regina Club are expecting a very busy Moto Valley Raceway in 2014. “In the past, we didn’t branch out to other major regions in Saskatchewan”, begins CMRC’s National Event Manager and past Regina Motocross Club President, Daryl Murphy. “That’s our main focus this year, and already we’re noticing a good vibe is moving through our community. Conversation exploded on social media when it was announced that Regina was back. The addition of a rock concert will definitely increase fan support, but we also have a great
group of people working together, locally, to ensure Regina remains on the National schedule for years to come.” Fans need a hero to cheer for, and with Swift Current, Saskatchewan’s Shawn Maffenbeier rising to the top of Canadian motocross stardom, Murphy believes that encourages more fan interest as well. “Shawn is a great rider and ambassador for Saskatchewan motocross,” says Murphy. “We expect him to draw in fans and we’re going to feature him promptly in promotional materials related to the National.” There you have it; anything can happen, and it certainly is happening right now leading up to the 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals. We have one of the world’s most energetic brands (pun intended) investing into our sport, new teams and riders, off-track entertainment, and the most robust schedule yet with 10 weekends of racing kicking off etween June and August. Here’s hoping the racers keep the surprises coming and paint being swapped in every moto!
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BY BRENT WORRALL
2014-03-21 4:29 PM
A PASSION LIKE NONE OTHER
2014-03-21 4:29 PM
s a passionate motocross fan living on the north side of the 49th parallel, I often take time as the seasons change to reflect on how my fellow moto countrymen cope with the adversity of Canadian winters. I have not officially ever done this but I am betting, if surveyed, the majority of those who love sport when quizzed upon what their least favourite time of the year is would cast their ballot somewhere between New Year’s Day and the annual motorcycle shows or the Toronto Supercross. Those two annual events seem to be the light at the end of the Motocross hibernation tunnel. Motocross, which is unique in its many ways, mainly accommodates those of us afflicted with a way to release endorphins like nothing else known to our being. Many soldier on through the off eason with other disciplines of physical activity and regimented gym commitments. In my era, few were lucky enough to participate south of the border in a series such as the Florida Winter AM Series, the CMC Golden State Series in California or AMA Supercross. Without today’s luxury of internet and competitive cable TV packages, if you were not one of the very few lined up for one of these events you didn’t get a sniff f moto. You relied on, at best, a weekly newspaper called Cycle News, which at best, in my
neck of the woods, showed up three weeks after the checkered flag was waved reporting on an event you were anxiously awaiting the results. If you lived in the GTA you had the Pontiac Supercross in the Silverdome to trek to, or in my case in Vancouver it was the Seattle Supercross to cheer on the likes of Hannah, Croft, Smith, Ward, Glover, etc. Fortunately on the west coast, our winters are a fraction of what they are west of the Canadian Rockies. I spent many of my younger years riding year round on the river banks of the Fraser River railing berms and bottoming out the most modern suspension of that era. Putting hour after hour on equipment that had been given the white flag many a day before, thoughts of new equipment and the upcoming season kept me twisting the throttle. As a youngster, I fondly remember getting a Yamaha Canada ride at 14 years-old and vividly remember picking up that bike one frigid February morning and heading out to the Iona Peninsula by the airport to ride. I would pull into a sandy, rough, blown apart circuit that was being ridden that particular day by many of Canada’s top 10 of that year. Now fast forward to the present to see what has changed from those good old days of Canadian Motocross to now. Yes, over and above the obvious on and off rack changes, there has been one change in
“MOTOCROSS, WHICH IS UNIQUE IN ITS MANY WAYS, MAINLY ACCOMMODATES THOSE OF US AFFLICTED WITH A WAY TO RELEASE ENDORPHINS LIKE NOTHING ELSE KNOWN TO OUR BEING.”
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“WE ALL KNOW HOW TOUGH IT IS TO MAKE A GO OF MOTOCROSS FINANCIALLY, AND ONCE ONE HAS REACHED THE PRO LEVEL THERE COMES A TIME WHEN A RIDER HAS TO MAKE A DECISION THAT MAKES MOST FINANCIAL SENSE.”
our racing scene that has required our riders to stay race ready year round. That one significant change is a better overall on-track product improved by the number of riders who have lined up in our series and at our big amateur events with southern addresses. We all know how tough it is to make a go of motocross financially, and once one has reached the Pro level there comes a time when a rider has to make a decision that makes most financial sense. We have seen more and more American riders lined up in our National series, year in and year out over the last decade, and it looks like this season will be no different. We have already heard of confirmation of names like Kyle Chisholm, Nicco Izzy, Brett Metcalfe, Bobby Kiniry, Teddy Maier, Gavin Gracyk and possibly the addition of Mike Alessi by gate drop at round one. Not to mention the MX2 class with riders like Jesse Wentland, Josh Clark, Kyle Swanson, Brad Nauditt, Topher Ingalls, Austin Politelli, etc., and I guarantee you, as we check days off ur calendar as we countdown to round one, this list of contenders will increase.
So what does this mean in the scheme of where a Canadian racer sits? Lots! Most who are afflicted with moto in the blood are anxiously awaiting their season to begin, whether it is a 6 year-old youngster, a 17 year-old who has just received his first Pro license, or a Vet planning to target the Walton Trans Can as his racing goal for the season. It does not matter what sport it is, as soon as the bar is raised at the top it sets a precedence for all others following in their footsteps to aspire to. Fact! We as motocrossers are of the most competitive sports breed on the planet, bar none, and our bar has been raised substantially. How is this bad? It’s not! Our sport, on and off he track, is the benefactor! Our spectators and fans are getting the best racing in Canadian Motocross history to view from the sidelines as well as the ability to sit at home and watch the national television coverage. Our homegrown heroes and up and coming youngsters are preparing and riding with the focus needed to be able to compete at the levels they are preparing to
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“WHEN I SEE THE LIKES OF COLTON FACCIOTTI, TYLER AND JEREMY MEDAGLIA OR BROCK HOYER DOING WHAT THEY ARE DOING ON A NATIONAL LEVEL, IT GIVES ME A GREAT SENSE OF PRIDE TO BE A CANADIAN MOTOCROSS FAN.”
challenge. Not an easy task for any Canadian given the types of climates many have to endure or geography they must cover to get to that place where they can keep their lap counters spinning. When I see the likes of Colton Facciotti, Tyler and Jeremy Medaglia or Brock Hoyer doing what they are doing on a National level, it gives me a great sense of pride to be a Canadian Motocross fan. I know many youngsters are, as I write this, following in their footsteps putting in the time at the gym and the miles on the road. On the west coast we have the great arenacross series and better weather, yes. But to see Jeremy and Tyler travel between race weekends back and forth to Georgia, coupled with stops at their permanent residence in between to stay connected to family and loved ones, speaks dedication and commitment in volumes. Their end reward is the ability to line up at a National and know they gave themselves the best shot possible to try to give us Canadian race fans the opportunity to see one of our own bring the title home. Whether their efforts materialize or not, I think the positive efforts
they are making and the role models they have become to those who look up to them makes the sport better. The number of riders whose names will be the future of this sport that we all love are currently spread across the continent spinning laps in preparation for their season ahead. Had each and every one of our American colleagues decided to stay home or had the CMRC legislated a silly rule that kept them away, I think that would have been a grave error, an error which would have stagnated the growth and evolution of Canadian motocross as we now know it. We as Canadian motocrossers and motocross fans that endure the winters that we do and put in the work round the calendar through adversity, both financial and physical to get us to that first event of the new race season, will always have a little extra appreciation for it. Will it get us a title? Who knows? But one thing I do know for sure is it will always get us the respect of our fellow Canadian brothers, sisters and race fans who brim with a radiating pride when they say ‘I’m proud to be a Canadian and Motocross is my sport!”
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DECADE OF DECADENCE With this year being the tenth anniversary of the Monster Energy Supercross visiting Toronto, we take a look back at that very first race in 2004. BY CHRIS POMEROY PHOTOS BY VIRGIL KNAPP
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hen you rewind ten years and look back to what the world was like, it was a very interesting place. On the big screen we all enjoyed hit movies like Shrek 2, Harry Potter and Ocean’s Eleven. In sports, the Toronto Maple Leafs were relying on the goaltending services of Hall of Famer Eddie Belfour and the New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers by just three points to win Superbowl XXXVIII. In motocross, Ricky Carmichael surprisingly left Honda to ride for Suzuki and in Canada, our hometown “Goat”, Jean Sebastien Roy, wrapped up his fourth Cana dian Championship in a row. With the economy booming on both sides of the border, it seemed like a perfect time for the then THQ AMA Supercross Series to make the bold move and expand their popular product into the Canadian market. Although there had been a few Arenacrosses at Rogers Centre in the early part of the decade, the unique building had not seen a high profile Supercross since May of 2001, when Pierre Corbeil and Mark Stallybrass put on an event. Although the racing was great and the legendary Damon Bradshaw made an appearance, without a major sponsor, putting on an event of this magnitude was next to impossible. So for a few years the Toronto Supercross sat in limbo and the only major indoor event in Canada was the long standing and successful Montreal Supercross. Just when it seemed like we would never see another Supercross at the Rogers Centre, the THQ World
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DECADE OF DECADENCE
Supercross Series needed an international venue to satisfy FIMâ€™s requirements for the series to be designated as a world championship. It also had to be both conveniently located and in a city that was known for its love of motorsports. Toronto, Ontario fit the bill and the 2004 Toronto Supercross was reborn. In early December, the dirt was laid out, the track was built and for the first time in history, the largest city in Canada would serve as host to the opening round of the 2004 THQ World Supercross Championship. As it turned out, some of the top teams opted to sit out the first round in Toronto. These teams felt like they might be better off taying home and testing on their own tracks. However, one top rider who went by the name of Ricky Carmichael had just switched from Honda to Suzuki. Without any SX experience on the yellow brand, the Carmichael camp needed some real testing ground before the US based rounds of the series kicked off a onth later in Anaheim. For the inaugural Toronto round, Carmichael travelled north from his Florida home to compete. The fans could not have been happier when they saw the greatest rider of all time take to the track on December 4th, 2004. Also competing that night in the Supercross class was another popular rider, Mike LaRocco, who felt that racing would be much better training than just practicing at home. To complete the list of big bike riders was Tim Ferry, Heath Voss, Nick Wey and Damon Huffman, all of which were very excited to be getting a head start on the season. With Canadian Champion Jean Sebastien Roy nursing an injury, he decided to sit out the event, so the lone Canadian big bike rider was Supercross specialist Doug Dehaan. With the Supercross class being limited to a certain criteria of riders, the
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G OWIN FOLL THE ARE FROM LT S E R SU NIGHT IN T A TH NTO TORO
SUPERCROSS CLASS: 1. Ricky Carmichael 2. Mike LaRocco 3. Tim Ferry 4. Heath Voss 5. Nick Wey 6. Tyler Evans 7. Keith Johnson 8. Jason Thomas 9. Damon Huffman 10. Doug Dehaan
With the economy booming on both sides of the border, it seemed like a perfect time for the then THQ AMA Supercross Series to make the bold move and expand their popular product into the Canadian market.” Lites class was run more like a support class where riders would not score any points towards a series. This format allowed the event to remain open to anyone who wanted to race. This was music to the ears of many Canadian riders as they lined up in droves for a chance to race a real Supercross. That list consisted of names like Ryan Lockhart, Kyle Keast, Simon Homans, Pierce Chamberlain and Ryan Gauld, all of which were eager to give their hometown fans a great show. Although the racing that night in Toronto was okay at best, the 25,000 fans who showed up were just happy to see world class racing back on the
Rogers Centre floor. The fans loved watching Ricky Carmichael ride away to victory in the Supercross class, and they cheered as Doug Dehaan soldiered his way to tenth on his Honda CRF450. In the Lites class, which was made up of mostly Canadian riders, fans were on the edge of their seats as Springhill, Nova Scotia’s Ryan Lockhart chased American’s Nathan Ramsey and Bobby Kiniry to take the final spot on the podium. That third place finish was one of the most memorable results of Lockhart’s career, one in which he remembers vividly. “I was still very young in 2004 and hadn’t ridden much SX before that night. I was very ner-
LITES CLASS: 1. Nate Ramsey 2. Bobby Kiniry 3. Ryan Lockhart 4. Matt Maximoff 5. Simon Homans 6. Ryan Gauld 7. Kaven Gregoire 8. Pierce Chamberlain 9. Brian White 10. Kyle Keast
vous but also excited at the same time to be racing on a real SX track, and also to be competing against riders like Nathan Ramsey and Bobby Kiniry. I rode so well that night, I felt great and I remember just being really smooth on that track. I was so pumped to get on the podium. The entire crowd cheered really loud when they announced my name. It was a really cool experience. Actually, the confidence I took from that night made me want to race more SX, and that’s one reason why I raced the series in 2006 and 2007.” As the years moved on after that first event, the Toronto Supercross changed from an early December date
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DECADE OF DECADENCE
to a March spot on the calendar and became part of the AMA Series for both classes. Since then fans have been treated to some great racing from the sport’s biggest stars. We’ve seen wins from James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto, Chad Reed and Ryan Dungey, all using the Toronto round to either set themselves up for a big final push in the series or to regain the confidence they had lost in the first half of the series. In last year’s race, who could forget all of the top riders starting up front and battling for the entire 20 lap main event? It was an incredible race in front of a crowd that now boasts 40,000 plus fans. With Supercross now being such a global sport, almost every country in the world would love to host a round of the Monster Energy Supercross Series. In Canada, we’re very lucky to get the nod, and judging by the growing crowd each year, the fans who make the trek
to Toronto aren’t in any hurry to see the round disappear. While there has been some whispers of moving the Toronto round back down south, as of now those are just whispers. The biggest drawback for racing out of the USA is the logistical nightmare that it is for the teams when they cross the USA/ Canada border. Everything in their team trucks has to be inventoried for border services. As you can imagine, this isn’t an easy thing to do and everyone wishes it could be avoided. Another puzzling thing about this Canadian round is the lack of Canadian entries since those early years. In recent years, top Canadian riders like Colton Facciotti, Tyler Medaglia and Dusty Klatt have all shied away from this event due to their preparation schedule for the summer’s Canadian Nationals. Hopefully this will change soon as a good group of fast Canadian riders is all this event is missing.
So after ten years, the “New” Toronto Supercross is going strong. The fans love it, the riders love coming to a cosmopolitan city like Toronto, and with the Montreal SX now history this is the only Supercross we have. Since those early days in 2004 a lot has changed. The two original winners are now retired from the sport and Nick Wey and Bobby Kiniry are the only riders still racing at this level. With large crowds expected again this year and the championship battle in both classes in full effect, the Toronto Supercross should once again be a roaring success. Let’s hope for all of our sakes that the event will still be around for another ten years. With a very talented crop of young Canadian riders currently coming up through the ranks, the Toronto Supercross could be their breakthrough race, just as it was for Ryan Lockhart a decade ago.
This was music to the ears of many Canadian riders as they lined up in droves for a chance to race a real Supercross. That list consisted of names like Ryan Lockhart, Kyle Keast, Simon Homans, Pierce Chamberlain and Ryan Gauld, all of which were eager to give their hometown fans a great show”
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8/16/13 10:09:17 AM 2014-03-11 9:41 AM
GREENS TO THE
DIRT In this in-depth inter view, Palms sits down with golf’s golden boy to find out if motocross just might be his first love. BY CHRIS POMEROY
ickie Fowler spent his youth focusing on two things: motocross and golf. Raised in Murrieta, California, the home of many of America’s top motocross riders, Fowler’s childhood hero wasn’t Jack Nicklaus or Nick Faldo, it was none other than Jeremy McGrath. As a boy, Rickie spent more time riding in the desert with his Dad than he did swinging a golf club. However, as he became older, golf began to take over Rickie’s life and motocross had to take a back seat. Considering he is now one of the world’s top professional golfers, few could argue with Rickie’s decision. Although he doesn’t have a lot of time to ride these days, Rickie still stays close to the sport that he loves, and he even attended a number of the west coast SX rounds. With his bright future in golf ahead of him and his love for motocross, we decided Rickie Fowler would be a perfect guy to talk to for our first issue of 2014.
Hey Rickie, thank you for taking the time to speak with MXP Magazine. You’re currently still out in California finishing up the west coast swing of the 2014 PGA Tour. How’s the season been going so far? So far it’s been a little frustrating as I haven’t been getting the results I would like. At the end of last season I started to rework my swing with Butch Harmon, so it’s going to take a little time to get everything in sync. But we’re on track and sometimes you have to make changes in your program that are going to benefit you in the future.
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GREENS TO THE
...nothing can compare to the start of a motocross or supercross race. It is just such a nerve wracking, intense situation to be in; it’s crazy!”
When a golfer decides to make changes with their swing, do they just anticipate their results are going to be inconsistent for a while? Yes, I think so. When you get focused on changing a certain part of your swing, naturally other parts of your game begin to suffer because all you’re doing is working on certain things. For instance, if you’re reworking your swing then your short obviously is going to suffer simply because you don’t practice it as much. Golf, at this level, is not any different than motocross; there is such a fine line between winning and finishing tenth. You have to be spot on all the time because the competition is so good.
Is the off eason of a professional golfer similar to that of a professional motocross rider; you work on things that need improving, take a little time off nd then train to get in shape for the new season? A little bit I guess. When you’re on the PGA Tour there isn’t much of an off eason anymore. We finish up one season in October and then we’re right into the next without much of a break. The top riders in motocross pretty much go all year also. They finish up the outdoor season, then they’re into the Monster Cup and then it’s time to start testing for the next season. We obviously find time to relax and recharge during the winter but our bodies aren’t near as beat up as the guys racing motocross.
Although motocross is a little behind other sports like golf, we’re seeing almost all the top riders have coaches now as well as trainers. Do you think this is a must in both sports if you want to make it to the top? For sure. Golf is a little behind as far as guys having trainers, but these days all the top golfers have trainers and they are in much better condition now. As far as coaches, you’re right, we’ve had them in golf for a long time and now you’re seeing them in motocross everywhere. I think having that extra set of eyes is so important now. All the top riders have a coach now and you’re seeing the level being raised even more in 2014. Also, a coach isn’t always there to point out what you’re doing wrong. Sometimes they just reinforce what you’re doing right and that gives an athlete confidence. The top athletes in any sport are so good now that you need every advantage you can get.
For a motocross rider who has never golfed before, would it be fair to compare the mechanics of a golf swing to the mechanics of doing a start in a race? What I mean is where both are concerned, so many things have to go right in a short period of time to hit a golf ball straight or get the holeshot. I think the two sports are very hard to compare because they are so different, but yes I would say those two aspects of golf and motocross are very similar. I can tell you, though, that since I’ve done both, nothing can compare to the start of a motocross or supercross race. It is just such a nerve wracking, intense situation to be in; it’s crazy! Now having said that, trying to make a good swing when you have a golf tournament on the line is also intense, but it’s different, for sure. The hard part of racing supercross is doing things well but at a very fast pace, so a racer’s mind is going a mile a minute. In golf,
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GREENS the trick is to do things well at a slow pace when you have a lot of time in between shots. These minutes between shots can easily allow doubt to enter your mind so you have to work hard to stay focused. I would bet that if you were to ask Chad Reed or James Stewart about a 20 lap Supercross main event that they’ve won, they would say they maybe rode two or three near perfect laps. I’m curious as to how many perfect golf shots you hit in a great round of golf? Not enough (laughs). It’s a lot like what you just said about Stewart or Reed; in a great round of golf we hit very few shots that I’d consider to be perfect. I would say, though, that a round of golf is a lot like a motocross race: you start out good but there is always going to be that middle part of a round or race when you feel like it could slip away and you have to battle to finish strong. That is where your experience and training come into play. You just have to trust what you’re doing. If one of my great rounds is in the low 60s with 25 of those shots being putts, I would say I might hit four or five shots that might be close to perfect.
Do you have a particular shot that you consider to be the best shot you’ve ever hit? That’s a good question. There’s a handful of shots that I can look back on that definitely bring a smile to my face. During the 2010 Ryder Cup I was three shots down with three holes to play and I was forced to try to make some birdies. I hit some great shots and made some tough putts to win that match. That experience sticks out in my mind, for sure. Also, when I was in a playoff t Quail Hollow in 2012 I hit a wedge to a really tough pin location and made birdie to win my very first PGA Tournament. That was really special. Definitely, those two times stick out in my mind.
That’s awesome. I actually remember watching that Quail Hollow playoff n television and that was a great shot. What is your favourite track and also, what would you consider to be your favourite golf course?
I haven’t done as much travelling around to different tracks but from those I’ve been to I would say that Cahuilla Creek near Murrieta is one of my favourites. Mammoth Mountain was always fun because the dirt is so good up there. As far as golf courses go, I’d say Royal County Downs in Northern Ireland is right up there as one of my favourites. Also, I have to say that I love the Augusta National. The Masters is a tournament I grew up dreaming about and whenever I go there I‘m just blown away.
I have a friend who is a corporate pilot who flew some clients into Augusta a few years ago and he got to walk around the course for a day. He said that television does nothing for that course. It’s amazing and also really hilly. For sure, I would compare it to watching a SX as opposed to being there or even being on the floor. I’ve been lucky enough to watch a few races from the floor and the jumps are so big, the whoops are big, everything looks much harder close up. Augusta is the same. It’s hilly, you never get a flat lie or straight putt, it’s just a special place, and like I said, I love going there.
How did a kid growing up in the mecca of motocross end up being a professional golfer? I always kind of did both golf and moto when I was young. My Dad and I rode all the time together and we had a blast. I was one of those kids that was ripping around at three years of age on a PW 50 and having fun. My Dad actually won the 1986 Baja 1000 for Yamaha so that was cool. It was actually my Grandpa that introduced me to the game of golf when I was three and I loved it right from the start. So growing up I loved both sports but obviously golf won over in the end.
Have you been to many west coast rounds of Supercross in 2014? What do you think of the series so far? So far it’s been great. I love seeing Reed do so well. It’s too bad that he got injured though. As usual, the racing has been so good and all the top riders are going so fast. It was great to see my fellow Red Bull athlete James Stewart win in San Diego and again in Dallas. I was in the pits with him at San Diego and I was telling him that it was time to win because it had been so long since he last won. Well, he went out and won. On the Monday after when we were out golfing, he was bugging me that it was time for me to win (laughs). James is a great guy, obviously a great athlete, and we get along pretty good. I would say that the championship is going to come down to either Stewart or Villopoto. Those two guys seem a little ahead of everyone.
Do you still get to ride very often? Not that much, really. I don’t have a lot of time to ride and also I can’t afford to get injured so unfortunately I have to stay off he bikes. I’d love to ride more but golf is my main focus right now. I really want to get that first win at a major soon.
Well Rickie, thanks again for speaking with MXP. We really respect what you guys do on the PGA Tour. Best of luck in 2014 and we hope you get that elusive first major championship win soon. Thanks for calling, I always love to talk to people about motocross. I have a lot friends in the motocross industry and they’re all really good people.
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CYCLE NORTH WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL OF ITS SPONSORS
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his past weekend marked the final round of what will go down as one of the most successful indoor motocross series in our county’s history. I was fortunate enough to experience every lap of action of all of the well supported classes of the 2013/2014 Future West Canadian Kawasaki Arenacross Series as the trackside announcer. As I approached the confines of Cloverdale’s Agri-Plex on Friday afternoon the reality of the fact that this series was winding down and had to come to an inevitable end was starting to sink in. I can honestly say this series gave me, one of the biggest fans of this country’s sport, a constructive way to deal with the doldrums of winter. The only part of this series ending that is good news is that we will in short
course be making the move from indoors to outdoors. Yes this series had it all: the good, the bad and even the ugly made a brief appearance. But upon circumnavigating the series closing pit party on Saturday night, every single individual I came in contact with or spoke to were never short of praise for what the series offered to every member participating whether they were on the track, an employee or of a fan of our common affliction. The series had great support from beginning to end both on the track and off he track. Round in and round out the gates were stacked with some of the best riders this country has ever seen compete at this discipline of the sport. The fact that riders had a chance to give it their all and be rewarded nicely
financially ensured the compete level and fields would entertain as they did right to the bitter end. Over and above the dollars that made good sense to most, there were a lot of other great series prize packages put by some of the industries finest name brands and services. Future West did a great job of providing engaging family entertainment for all that passed through the gates at each round, and an opportunity to be a part the broad and all inclusive motocross community. For the racing, I would first like to say that the developmental classes and the new seeds being planted at the Beginner levels, which will in the years to come be the future of this sport, were amazing to watch progress from round one to this weekend’s
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finale. The points battles in each class became an on-track chess match in the sense that consistency is much easier to talk about in arenacross than the variables of the discipline dictate. Our Pro classes were of the truest in every sense of the word when you consider four of our country’s top National riders in the 450 class lined up week in and week out. Added to that mix the experience of a defending arenacross champion, Spencer Knowles, the likes of a savvy veteran like ‘The Peoples Favourite’ Ryan Lockhart and a solid core of Washington State riders like Nauditt and Supercross Main Event qualifier Chris Howell, the talent meter was redlined each weekend. Every rider I talked to about their results reiterated the fact that this was the most talent they have seen
in Canadian Arenacros to date. Nice work. Future West did as does my buddy Chad Mabberly ‘The Paperboy’ ‘delivered’...! Chad, along with The Kelowna Dirt Bike Clubs Stu McQueen, did an amazing job of building and maintaining great, safe competitive race tracks every round, kudos! So by now you’re wondering what happened this weekend, who managed to abscond with all that Future West Arenacross Glory and Gold? Cycle North Honda’s Jeremy Medaglia would enter the weekend with a somewhat comfortable margin over his stable-mate, Ross Johnson. Johnson entered the weekend with a 9 point lead in the class that he excels in, the Open class. With four Pro motos in total to solve who would wear the prestigious 2014
overall crown, there was still lots of racing to decide the outcome. Friday Night got off o a horrible start for Maple Ridge Motorsports Tyler Medaglia as he had a couple of hard crashes. I can honestly say I was shocked to see him line up in the Lites main event. But being the competitor that he is and not knowing what giving up means, Tyler would line up and after a bad start end up 4th in the first Pro main of the weekend. The race was highlighted by an epic battle between GA Checkpoint Yamaha’s Spencer Knowles and Jeremy Medaglia. Medaglia put an inside move on Knowles, which would see them both on the ground with Spencer’s wheel getting the last dig in as it abraded Jeremy. Jeremy, on the better end of the result, would finish the moto in 3rd behind his
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Above: Spencer Knowles’ #1 plate from last year’s series gives clear indication that he knows how to lead the pack.
Below: 2014 Arenacross Champion Jeremy Medaglia (4), runner up Brock Hoyer (8), and fourth overall Tyler Medaglia (3) entertained the crowd at each and every round.
teammate and race winner Ross Johnson and second place finisher, RMR’s Brock Hoyer. The Maple Ridge Motorsport KTM of Dylan Schmoke would have his best series finish with a 5th. The Pro Open Friday night would go to Cycle North’s Jeremy. Ross Johnson would finish a solid second and the Maple Ridge Kawasaki of Ryan Lockhart would achieve his ultimate series goal and finish in the top three and earn a podium opportunity to tell us how special it was. I was happy for Ryan, not just as friend but as someone who respects how hard he has worked within the industry to better the sport, and share his experience and passion with the young and the old. Ryan was also in a battle for the KalGard Lubricants Dash for Cash title and would take Friday’s episode of the clash with a great head to head score over Spencer Knowles. This left him in a deadlock with Cycle North’s Ross Johnson who would elect not to line up in the dash Friday, remaining focussed on his goal of the Open Championship. Saturday Night would see the Agri-Plex packed to capacity and the Chris Buck Band had everybody tuned and ready come gate drop. The event was also attended by my friend Bruce Cook and his team that were allowing his friends, fans & supporters purchase those awesome #smileforbc fundraiser items that will help Bruce overcome the financial burdens of a non-insured spinal cord injury.
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When the gate dropped Saturday on the Pro Am Lites Main, the two-stroke nation lovers were treated to music to their ears and nostrils as Tyler Medaglia led from gate to checkers, putting to rest any questions about bringing a knife to a gun fight, bringing with him to the winners circle the smile back on his face and that of his supporter Maple Ridge Motorsports Troy Smith. Ross Johnson on the Cycle North Honda would better stable-mate Jeremy Medaglia by a position to fill the vacancies on the podium. Honourable mention in the form of fourth and fifth place finishes would go to Fly Racing Devol KTM rider Jake Anstett from Port Angeles, Washington and Yamaha Canada, Spectra Power Sports, RMR Suspension, Maskall Collisions rider Brock Hoyer. The Pro Lites top three for the series in order were Jeremy Medaglia, Brock Hoyer & Ross Johnson. The Pro Open would decide the overall for this championship and even though not a lot would change in the top three positions, the entertainment level was top notch. I was happy to see Spencer Knowles complete his up and down series with an exclamation mark victory, which would leave the likeable GA Checkpoint rider with something positive to take outside in 2014. Cycle North’s Ross Johnson’s second place moto score would allow him to capture what he so highly coveted - the Pro Open Championship. Tyler would get around his brother Jeremy for third to round out the final podium positions of the series. I would like to add that Jeremy in this final moto would secure the overall championship while having to finish up with his second flat tire of the night making his mechanic Fox Head Canada’s Chris Buckrell’s Red Bull taste a little better at the after party. Cycle North’s Ross Johnson would tally the second highest Pro point total for the series followed by RMR, Spectra’s Brock Hoyer. The Kal-Gard Lubricants Dash for Cash Friday night came down to a classic “it’s not over until the checkered flag is waved” battle between the previous night’s combatants, Lockhart and Knowles. Spencer crossed the finish line first and shocked pretty much everyone in the building but his mechanic the mild mannered Greg Bell. The People’s Favourite Lockhart would, as a result of being the last winner of a Dash, take home the season series title and an extra bag of Gold compliments of Kal-Gard Lubricants. The evening culminated in the pits with a special awards ceremony, which rewarded those who achieved the honours and hardware they worked for as well as some of those who were recognized for things like their volunteer work, good character and undisputed passion for making this sport the best it can be. Future West Productions, you can be proud of your accomplishments and good luck outdoors starting March 23 in Victoria. Brent ‘Airmail’ Worrall
Above: Tyler Medaglia elected to ride the KTM 250 two-stroke, passing on the four-stroke. It seems to have worked!
Below: A good start isn’t just important in Arenacross, it’s critical. Jeremy Medaglia gets a good jump, which explains why he often led the pack.
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Meaford is a beautiful area, for sure. How old are you and how long have you been riding? Right now I’m 13 but I will be turning 14 this year. I’ve been riding for nine years.
MXP SITS DOWN WITH JAMIE BASKERVILLE BY MXP STAFF For a young kid that will be turning just 14 this year, Jamie Baskerville has done more travelling than most adults. Having grown up in Alberta, Jamie spent a lot of time commuting the long distances from race to race, and it was slowly wearing out him and his family. Then, two years ago, the Baskervilles decided to move east so they could be closer to the hotly contested race scene that Ontario offers. After racing motocross for many years, Jamie has now found a home in the tough conditions that the WEC Series has to offer. So far Jamie has proven to be very good at this type of racing and for 2014 he’s picked up some support to head to the USA to race some GNCC events. We caught up with this well-spoken kid as he was getting ready to head to Florida to begin training.
Hey Jamie, thank you for giving MXP a few moments of your time. How has your winter been? It’s been good thanks. I attended the MX Stars of Tomorrow program for the 5th year, which is always a great opportunity to represent my sponsors and thank them for all their support. I’ve been training hard to keep my fitness up for the upcoming GNCC series starting this March. Also, I’ve managed to get a ride for the full championship from KTM Canada and KR4 Performance. I’ve been itching to ride since November when the snow came so I’m very happy to say I’m leaving for Florida on March 5th. Well, congratulations on getting so much support to be part of the Orange Brigade. Let’s begin with you telling us a little about yourself. Where are you from and where do you call home? My parents, along with my brother and sister, emigrated to Canada from England in September 1999 and I was born in March 2000. So I guess you could say I’m half British and half Canadian! I’m originally from Alberta but a few years ago we moved east; now we live in Meaford, Ontario. The move was big for my family but it was 100% worth it. My riding has progressed tremendously due to the fact that the level of competition is deeper as there are more riders. With living in the country now I also got the chance to have some land with a moto track and some trails. I love where we live right now.
So you’ve been riding most of your life, that’s awesome. In those nine years of riding, what are some of your racing accomplishments? I’ve won a WEC National and Provincial X-Country Championship, I’ve won two CMRC Provincial Championships and I got second at the Ironman GNCC. A few years ago I also travelled to Italy to represent Canada at the FIM JR. World Championships. That was a very cool trip and I learned a lot competing against the best riders in the World. I also have a few more top three overalls in Provincial Championships, that’s about it. That is a pretty cool resume you have so far. Recently you moved from racing motocross to racing Enduros. What made you make that bold move? Ever since I was nine years old, my close friend Zach Roth took me trail riding. I’ve absolutely loved the trails. Since then I’d always wanted to try racing them. A few years later I was scrolling through the internet when I discovered the World Enduro Canada Series. My Mom and I saw there was a race that weekend so we packed up the car that night and left the next morning. I got there and loved the technical trails; it suited my style perfectly. Everybody there was really supportive and were pumped to see a new moto rider join. I guess since then something just clicked and I started loving enduro and cross-country! What are some of the things you like about enduro racing? I like everything about it! I like that at GNCC races you really have to get aggressive to pass due to the fact the trails are so tight and you’re constantly battling with someone. I also enjoy the endurance aspect. A lot of people can race for 15 minutes but I really think you have to be a bit crazy to keep that speed for almost two hours with little room for error. In the long, hot races, hydration packs are your best friend.
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2014-03-21 2:32 PM
AMATEUR SPOTLIGHT That sounds like a long time to spend on the bike, you must have to be in great shape. Other than heading south in March, what are your racing plans for 2014? I’ve recently signed with KR4 Performance to race every round of the 2014 Grand National Cross Country Championships in the USA and I’m looking to clinch the 85 12-13 title aboard my KTM. I’m also going to do a few cross country and motocross races in Canada so I think it’s going to be a fairly busy summer. Where would like your racing to go in the next, say, five years? I’d love to see myself with a XC2 Pro Lites Championship in the GNCC series and an AMA Enduro-X Championship. It won’t be easy but that’s what I’m going for! For now though, I’m going to focus on the GNCC and hopefully make a good name for myself to get me prepared for the professional ranks. It sounds as though you’re very focused; that’s obviously very important. We all know how important school is, what are your favourite subjects in school? Probably math if I had to choose one. The graphing paper makes some good track designs. (laughs) That’s true, I bet all moto kids draw tracks in school when they have time. What things do you like to do outside of racing? I do a lot of BMX and downhill mountain biking with my brother. I also skateboard, snowboard, build a lot of trails to train on, and find as many transfers as I can on my track. Who are some of your favourite riders? For motocross I’d have to go with Andrew Short. He’s a good guy off he bike and has an amazing style that nobody could copy even if they tried. For Enduro, I’d say Russell Bobbitt. He has a wide-open style and still rides a two-stroke, so I like that. Do you have a favourite track? I love Red Bud because of the elevation changes, the soil and the fact that I won a Lorreta Lynn Qualifier there. I also really enjoy Starwest in California because of the supercross style track. There is always a big name Pro riding there so it’s always cool to watch someone like that. Well Jamie, good luck in 2014. Finally, who would you like to thank for helping you realize this dream of racing dirt bikes? First, I would like to thank my Mom and Dad, also my sister Charlotte and my brother Ryan; they’re by far my biggest fans. I’d also like to thank Kr4 Performance, KTM Canada, Scott, Fly Racing, Matrix Concepts, Atlas, Forma Boots, LB Graphics, 6D Helmets, Enduro Engineering, SSS Suspension, Maxxis, Kermaxx, MX Stars of Tomorrow, MXP for this opportunity, and everyone who has made my racing career come this far. Thanks to everyone and I’ll see you at the track…if this snow ever melts. 106 M O T O C R O S S P E R F O R M A N C E
2014-03-21 10:29 AM
MDDISTRIBUTIONS.COM • 418-925-8024
2014-03-21 10:50 AM
H I GH OCTA N E HUMA N PE RFO RMANCE
F U ELING UP
BY: CR AIG STEVENSON, B.P.E. (HON), FOUNDER ACTIONETIX
n the last few issues I’ve been focusing on how much protein and carbohydrates you should be eating. I’ve also listed exactly when these foods should be eaten for maximum performance. With the outdoor season closing in quickly, most of you will be headed to the tracks in the RV, and I’m sure it will be loaded with goodies and snacks to wolf down around the campfire. If ou’ve been one of the dedicated riders during the off season, ou’ve hit the gym to work on strength, body composition, and cardiovascular fitnes -- you’ve been eating enough protein to fuel your functional muscle mass and supplying the right amount of carbohydrates to keep your energy peaked without gaining extra fat.
The challenge now becomes transferring this discipline over to the important race season component of the year. What you do at the track for nutrition is as important as what you have done the days, weeks and months leading up to races. Consistency and preparation are the keys to finishing the race day as stron as you started. Below I’m going to profile the race da nutrition from one of my Intermediate level riders that races in two classes, and weighs approximately 160 pounds. I’ll break it down into important sections so you can see exactly what this athlete is eating. Each athlete I work with does have specific needs, h wever this will give you an idea of how our performance nutrition plans are constructed.
STRENGTH, RECOVERY AND MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE Meal #1
“What you do at the track for nutrition is as important as what you have done the days, weeks and months leading up to races. Consistency and preparation are the keys to finishing the race day as strong as you started.”
3 hard-boiled eggs salt and/or ketchup 1 multigrain bagel with butter/bread 8oz. orange juice 8 oz. water Swiss Total One Men – two per day 1000mg Vitamin C HemoFlo – 3 Capsules Meal #2: Immediately After Practice Ensure High Protein Banana 1 Regular Gatorade Meal #3: Pre-Race 8oz. chicken breast 2 cups cooked pasta or rice (does not need to be whole grain) Apple 16oz. water Meal #4: Post-Race Ensure High Protein Banana 1 Regular Gatorade Meal #5: Ride Home Usually a pasta and salad to help replenish glycogen stores and accelerate the recovery process. Totals
231 300 116 0 0 0 0
15 7 0 0 0 0 0
0 40 26 0 0 0 0
15 7 0 0 0 0 0
Vit K (mcg) 0.3 NA 0.2 0 0 0 0
210 90 150
25 1 0
23 23 38
2.5 0 0
20 0.5 0
280 1 250
Carbs (g) Fats (g)
Sodium (mg) 1000 180 2 0 0 0 0
Potassium (mg) 189 1.2 496 0 0 0 0 440 358 65
210 90 150
25 1 0
23 23 38
2.5 0 0
20 0.5 0
280 1 250
440 358 65
Beyond making sure our athletes have enough protein, carbohydrates and fats to effectively manage their energy levels and recovery between and after motos, we also key in on factors that allow muscles to fire e ectively and blood to fl w properly without being pooled up, particularly in the forearms. Salt and potassium need to be in the correct ratio to enhance muscular contraction and help prevent cramping and dehydration. Vitamin K levels need to be low enough to prevent blood thickening so arm pump is minimized or eliminated. Of course, depending on the weather conditions, we will adjust each of our athlete’s nutrition the week before the race to ensure it is appropriate for the conditions. Racing in the dead center of summer vs. late in the fall requires significant modifications As far as supplements are concerned, we take a three layered approach. First and foremost, we focus on allowing proper blood fl w to happen throughout the race. HemoFlo is used to counteract poor blood fl w that can cause fatigue and of course the condition known as arm pump. HemoFlo is taken daily to prevent
arm pump and improve oxygen delivery to your muscles. The second area of focus is recovery after motos and at the end of the day. Many of my athletes use whey protein isolate as a shake after they race, however in this case, our athlete uses Boost High Protein due to its convenience and portability (it comes as a readyto-drink beverage that does not need mixing). Finally, we look at the acute pre-race preparation in order to maximize focus, drive and a feeling of well-being. We are in the early stages of development of our second product that will help every racer compete with mental clarity and tunnel vision. And the best part is, the ingredients that we will be using will not cause arm pump! So, for those who are interested in learning more about this, simply go to ACTIONETIX.com and sign up for our newsletter to get to the 411 on when the product will come out and how it can help you become a better athlete and racer. Until next time, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
108 M O T O C R O S S P E R F O R M A N C E
2014-03-24 10:35 AM
2013-11-08 10:42 AM
E VO LVED N UT RIT ION
RECH ARG I NG YOUR BATTE RI E S
WITH DRE W ROBERTSON PHOTO BY JAMES LISSIMORE
ith the start of a new year and everyone gung ho on training and whipping their arse into shape, I wanted to touch and discuss some recovery techniques. Remember that “training = work + rest”. There has been an ever increasing shift in training to extreme workouts and being ‘hardcore’. I applaud the change, however we need to remember that our bodies are very similar to machines; they need ‘maintenance’, and in terms of our bodies, rest is a form of this maintenance. There are other ways we can help our body recover; nutrition is a very important one. I have talked about nutrition in the past and the use of supplements to help speed up the recovery process. Today, I want to discuss five tools that you can add to your routine that will facilitate better recovery.
“There has been an ever increasing shift in training to extreme workouts and being ‘hardcore’. I applaud the change, however we need to remember that our bodies are very similar to machines; they need ‘maintenance...”
1) Cool Down: Post workout recovery is second only to sleep in the recovery hierarchy. A post workout cool down speeds short term and long term recovery (defined as a return o a pre-training state) compared to not cooling down. Moving is preferable to static stretching because it supports circulatory activity (limb movement assists circulation so the heart doesn’t have to do it all on its own). Use a low-impact method like cycling, rowing, or walking. In order to flush the muscles, move easily for 4-5 minutes and then “sprint” for 5-10 seconds. Do 3-4 cycles totaling 20 minutes. The cool down should be done after riding, not just workouts. If you’re riding and taking a break for more than an hour or so, go through the cool down as described. If you’re only taking small breaks throughout the day, then wait until the day is done and perform the cool down. 2) Recovery Shower: A properly executed recovery shower stimulates circulation. Great benefi s are scientifically recogni ed, however, the mechanism of action is not clearly understood. First, cook for 3-5 minutes under a hot shower, relax, and massage the muscles. The blood vessels will dilate. Then slowly turn off the hot wa er until it’s unbearably cold. Deal with it, suck it up and remain under the cold water for fi e minutes. This will cause the blood vessels to constrict. Once well cooled, switch the hot water back on…slowly. You’re cold so don’t pin the heat and burn yourself. The hot water will cause the blood vessels to dilate and the in-rushing blood will flush the muscles. epeat at least two cycles, finishing with cold wa er. To recap: 3-5 minutes hot + 5 (full, no cheating) minutes of cold, repeat 3 times. This may be done immediately following the workout. If you are working out at night you should end with warm-hot as I have found that ending with the cold leaves us in a heightened state. If you’re planning on going to bed within the hour you might find it difficult o fall asleep. There is no penalty for doing it more often than once a day. Try it, you’ll be amazed at how you feel!!
add water to waist height and get in. Do this for 4-5 minutes and hop out, put a towel over yourself, then move around and stay active for 2-3 minutes. Repeat this cycle 3-4 times for maximum effectiveness. The Ice Bath option I usually use with clients and athletes after a hard workout lasts more than an hour, or as mentioned above, after a hot and hard race day. 4) Recovery Walk: Several hours (3-4 minimum) after training, take a 20-30 minute walk. Take your dog out or spin on the bike at an easy pace (heart rate no more than 65%) to boost circulation. Flush the muscles again and create demand for more glucose. Afterwards, eat a light snack. If it’s later in the day and you’re heading off o bed soon, the snack should be heavier in protein. 5) Foam Roller: an essential self-massage tool, which should be used daily. Rolling muscle and fascia under pressure stretches, separates and reorganizes them. Yes, it can be painful at fi st. This pain is indicative of bound up tissue or different muscles adhering to each other. When muscles are bound up or adhered to each other, it makes them inefficient. Another a antage to frequent use of the foam roller is that it increases the effectiveness of normal deep tissue massage. The reason for this is that the practitioner won’t waste time releasing knots and tension, but instead can work on deeper, structural issues. Areas to emphasize are the IT bands, quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. If you like, I have an illustrated guide on foam rolling so shoot me an email and I will send you a copy. Make sure to add these recovery techniques to your routine. Remember: recovery is the ‘maintenance’ for the body. You wouldn’t ride your bike for months on end without changing the fil er and oil, would you? If you have any questions, please contact me: drew@ evolvednutrition.com and make sure to check out our new website: www.evolvedconditioning.com.
3) Ice Bath: Following an intense workout or race, during which the muscles have been overheated, there is no reason to cook them more in a hot tub or simple hot shower. If an ice cold stream (mountain streams are the best or worst depending on how you look at it) is not available, put 40-70lbs of ice in a bathtub,
110 M O T O C R O S S P E R F O R M A N C E
2014-03-21 4:54 PM
2014-03-07 12:14 PM
O N THE CUT TING ROOM FLO O R
TH E LONG E ST WI NTE R
WITH MARC TR AVERS PHOTO BY JAMES LISSIMORE
BASKING IN A GOLDEN HUE… Isn’t it incredible how microscopic the media coverage is of news, sports, and just about everything these days? Never have we seen this to a greater degree than we did during the past two weeks with the Canadian Men’s Olympic hockey team. Every move, pass, shift, shot, and save was so over analyzed, it is amazing the players were actually able to get out on the ice. So many concerns, so many questions, so many options. But in the end all of the speculation was fun and interesting, but irrelevant. The players just went out and played the game. I was never too worried about them losing. Their offense was not as potent as we all would have liked to have seen, but their defense and goaltending were excellent, and we all know what wins championships: good defense. Just ask the Seattle Seahawks. There was not a team at the Olympic tournament that was going to beat Canada. No way, no how. They were just too strong. It feels good to have our team win. Satisfying, proud. But now, with the Olympics over with and the gold medals safely around our country’s neck, I find myself asking “What about the Leafs, can they win the Stanley Cup?” Ah, and the over analysis begins again.
“NOT SINCE 2001 HAVE WE SEEN A TOP TEN LINE UP WHERE A RIDER COULD WIN ONE WEEKEND AND FINISH TENTH THE NEXT.”
COME ON COLE… I, like most Canadian MX fans, have been following every lap of Cole Thompson’s 2014 SX foray. I know he has not gotten the results he has expected so far, but he has shown a lot of grit and consistency. What he needs now is the confidence o go faster. You know his bike is capable, just ask JA17. Cole seems to be riding with a certain smoothness, which is characteristic of his style, but as much as Supercross is about fluidit , it is also about confidence and aggression. ou have to have the confidence o go fast around extremely difficult tra s and the aggression to make moves when the iron is hot. Cole has the speed. He just needs to be more aggressive off the line and hold his speed for 15 laps. Easy for me to say, but CT52 has the whole country behind him for motivation. I see a top fi e coming very soon. Cole, looks for me in the stands at the Rogers’ Centre, I’ll be cheering you on! JUST SAYIN’… There has been a lot of news lately about what the team / rider line up is going to be for this summer’s CMRC Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals, and yes, this does look to be the most competitive line up in professional Canadian motocross history. Not since 2001 have we seen a top ten line up where a rider could win one weekend and finish enth the next. Brett Metcalfe, Mike Alessi, Kyle Chisholm, Kyle Cunningham, Nicco Izzi, Bobby K, Maier, and Michael Byrne? You have got to be kidding me. Ridiculous. Barring any injuries, it could be one of the most exciting seasons to date. You noticed I did not put any Canucks on my laundry list; of course the staples will be there. Colt, Tyler and Cole will have to up their game for sure, but I feel confident they will. At this point we are not sure what Jeremy’s plans are but I get the feeling he will be riding a 250F somewhere. I hope he can put a competitive program
together because the tiddler class is going to need him. I for one can’t wait. There is a lot of work to get done from now until the fi st gate drop, but let’s be honest, if you are a fan of the sport and are reading this rag you probably are, there is a level of excitement brewing like never before. Get your travel plans ready. Get your buddies to ink their calendars. Come out in droves and let’s watch in person how this season unfolds. Man I am super pumped MIKE ALESSI…REALLY? I was watching the Atlanta round of the SX series this past Saturday night and could not believe what I saw Mike Alessi do. If he is coming to Canada this summer then look out, it is going to be a hoot. His T-Bone on B-Tickles was one of legend, and the way he was able to blow it off on camera be ore the semi was awesome. He is going to be full value this summer, especially because he is a really good motocross rider. Brett Metcalfe (et al) is going to have his hands full, there is no doubt, because MA800 is an outdoor specialist. He is just going to rip. I have been watching Mike ride since he, Villopoto and Brady Sheren were banging bars in the mini class, and he has been a staple in the top fi e in the AMA outdoors. Man, are we going to be in for a treat; the racing, the circus, awesome. TSX I am really looking forward to the Toronto round of the SX series. It is amazing how Toronto has become one of the series’ regular rounds. Lucky for us, or maybe it is because of us as fans. If we had not gone out and supported the race, they wouldn’t have come back. But we did, and they do, year after year, and the crowds keep getting bigger and bigger. Watching the series either live or off of the PVR on TV each eek is really the key. I’m sure there are a quite a few fans that just attend the TSX as a one-off, but there is a greater number who know what is going on, that have been following week to week, and are looking forward to seeing the race live in their home town. When you think about it, this is good for everybody. The more people know about the sport, the more popular it is, the more likely they are to go see a race live, either in the Roger’s Centre or out at Gopher Dunes in the summer. Plus, the more people want to get into the sport, which translates to bike sales, gear, parts and service, the real meal ticket items. Let’s be honest, right now the sport has some real strong roots. It may never be easy in this business, but as far as everyday recognition, the sport has never been more in focus. I am looking forward to seeing you at the Rogers Centre. OK, enough from this mouthpiece. I will leave you with one quick one. If you have yet to watch “True Detectives”, the newest HBO mini-series starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, then you are missing out on some really good TV. Dark and nasty. Just the way I like it! Travers OUT!
112 M O T O C R O S S P E R F O R M A N C E
2014-03-21 4:30 PM
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Valvoline 25.06 (BG2014).indd 1
11/20/2013 11:09 AM
2014-03-21 5:21 PM
2014-03-05 5:28 PM
THE NEW R1200GS ADVENTURE. UNSTOPPABLE ENDURO.
The Ultimate Riding Experience.®
14-03-04 4:16 PM
Prices are manufacturer’s suggested retail prices for base models only. Applicable taxes, license, insurance, freight, retailer preparation and administration charges are extra. Freight and PDI are $750. Retailers are free to set individual prices. All prices and specifications including standard features, accessories, equipment, options and colours are based on product information available at the time of printing. BMW reserves the right to revise price and specifications at any time, without notice. Further information can be obtained from your authorized BMW Motorrad Retailer or www.bmw-motorrad.ca. ©2014 BMW Canada Inc. Not to be reproduced wholly or in part without prior written permission of BMW Canada Inc. “BMW”, the BMW logo, “The Ultimate Riding Experience” and all other BMW related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and/or trademarks of BMW AG, used under licence.
Wherever you are, whatever the terrain, feel more at home than ever before with the new R1200GS Adventure from BMW Motorrad. It doesn’t just look great, it delivers a great performance in any riding discipline – highly sensitive and flexible throttle response provides better control on loose surfaces, while a tough, high-precision chassis gets you exactly where you want to go. For maximum grip on the road at all times, you can switch between two riding modes – Road and Rain – with the touch of a button. And because it may be a long way to the next gas station, there’s a 30-litre fuel tank, which means you can relax and enjoy the adventure. The R1200GS Adventure – ready when you are. Find out more at bmw-motorrad.ca.