__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

C A N A D A’ S S O U R C E F O R M O T O C R O S S A N D O F F - R O A D

SAM GAYNOR ON THE

JUNE 2021 $4.95

MXP2021_21.02_Cover.indd 1

2021-05-13 5:37 PM


MXP_2021_21.02 THOR_PartsCanada.indd 1

2021-05-13 3:37 PM


AVAILABLE SOON FROM YOUR LOCAL PARTS CANADA DEALER

MXP_2021_21.02 THOR_PartsCanada.indd 2

2021-05-13 3:38 PM


2021 ALPINE TR AIL E2 PROFILE, SILVER/BLACK

MXP_2021_21.01_Marin.indd 1

2021-05-13 3:52 PM


ALL THE GAIN WITHOUT THE PAIN

DISCOVER THE BENEFITS OF E-LECTRIC PEDAL ASSIST

OFFICIAL BICYCLE OF THE ROCKSTAR TRIPLE CROWN SERIES

2021 ALPINE TR AIL E PROFILE, GLOSS RED/BLACK

VISIT WWW.MARINBIKES.COM FOR THE FULL RANGE OF BICYCLES

MXP_2021_21.01_Marin.indd 2

@MA RI NB I K ES CA NA DA

2021-05-13 3:53 PM


MXP21_21.02_FXR.indd 1

2021-05-13 3:33 PM


M O T O C R O S S P E R F O R M A N C E · M X P M A G . C O M // 0 0 0

MXP21_21.02_FXR.indd 2

2021-05-13 3:33 PM


RiDEAU

SA

ALL SEASON FAT TIRE

ALL S

Foldable Alloy Frame. Available in Metallic Red, White, Black or Army Green.

Avail Also

EXPLORE YOUR W COLUMBUS

AURORA

ALL SEASON FAT TIRE

MAG-WHEELED CRUISER

Foldable Alloy Frame. Available in Black or Metallic Red.

Foldable Alloy Frame. Available in Metallic Red, Orange or White.

SLANE E-BIKES, PARTS & SERVICE AVAILABLE AT THESE FINE DEALERS: G. BOURQUE Dieppe, N.B. gbourque.com

CYCLE DUBUC Beauharnois, QC cycledubuc.com

MOTO PRO GRANBY Granby, QC motoprogranby.com

OFF ROAD 227 Venice-En-Québec, QC offroad227.com

RM MOTOSPORT Victoriaville, QC rmmotosport.com

ZONE JOLIETTE RÉCRÉATIF Lourdes-de-Joliette, QC jolietterecreatif.ca

ELECTR Hamilto eaebik

LES FRERES G&G Neguac, NB ggbrothers.com

DUROY MOTOSPORT Mercier, QC duroymotosport.ca

MOTO-RIVE SUD Lévis (Pitendre), QC motorivesud.com

PRO CYCLE CHARNY Lévis, QC procyclecharny.com

SPORTS AUX PUCES Beloeil, QC sportsauxpucesbeloeil.com

BIKEFACE CYCLING Owen Sound, ON bikeface.com

EPRID Etobicok epride

MACLEANS SPORTS Fredericton, NB macleanssports.com

MANIAC MOTO Montmagny, QC maniacmoto.ca

MOTOSPORT MAURICE-BOIS-FRANCS Trois-Rivieres, QC motosportmbf.com

RE-CYCLO SPORTS PERRON Mont-Laurier, QC recyclosportsperron.sitew.com

SPORTS AUX PUCES Sherbrooke, QC sportsauxpucessherbrooke.com

DERAND MOTORSPORT Ottawa, ON derand.com

GEOR Wasaga gbrecr

MXP21_21.02_02Ride.indd 1

2021-05-13 3:34 PM


SANTiAGO FAT

AJAX FAT

ALL SEASON FAT TIRE

ALL SEASON FAT TIRE

Available in Black or Silver. Also available with 3.0” tires.

Available in Silver or Black.

AJAX MOUNTAIN BIKE

Available in Black or Silver.

R WORLD WITH E-ASE! Visit o2ride.ca for further details & Slane e-bike pricing

ViCTORiA

UISER

CRUISER

All Steel. Available in Dark Metallic Grey, Silver, Green or White.

d,

RÉATIF

ORT

CALEDON CRUISER

All Aluminum. Available in Dark Metallic Grey, Metallic Red or Silver.

ELECTRIC AVENUE EBIKES Hamilton, ON eaebikes.com

GEORGIAN BAY TRAILERS Brampton, Parry Sound, ON georgianbaytrailers.com

KINGSVILLE CYCLE WORKS Kingsville, ON kingsvillecycleworks.com

SUDBURY E BIKE Sudbury, ON sudburyebikes.com

EPRIDER Etobicoke, ON eprider.com

GOLECTRIC Dundas, ON golectric.com

RIDEHOUSE CYCLES Toronto, ON ridehouse.ca

WATERLOO BIKE SHOP Waterloo, ON waterloobikeshop.com

GEORGIAN BAY RECREATION Wasaga, ON gbrecreation.com

i-CYCLE ELECTRIC BIKE CO. Gananoque, ON icycleebikes.com

ROYAL DISTRIBUTING Guelph, Innisfil, Whitby, Sudbury, ON royaldistributing.com

WINDSOR ELECTRIC BICYCLES Windsor, ON windsorelectricbicycles.ca

Distributors of bicycles & e-bikes

For Fun & Fitness ©

DISTRIBUTOR OF SLANE E-BIKES DEALER INQUIRIES WELCOME!

o2ride.ca

info@o2ride.ca

M O T O C R O S S P E R F O R M A N C E · M X P M A G . C O M // 0 0 0

MXP21_21.02_02Ride.indd 2

2021-05-13 3:34 PM


M O T O C R O S S

P E R F O R M A N C E

V O L U M E

2 1

/

I S S U E

2

FOR SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES CALL:

416-633-1202

PUBLISHER: Charles Stancer V.P. OF SALES AND MARKETING: Charles Stancer

FEATURES 24 COVER STORY- SAM GAYNOR On the GASGAS 28 DOWN TO THE WIRE A look back at the 2021 Supercross Series

24

34 WITHOUT REMORSE Andy White talks to Phil Nicoletti

COVER STORY

38 THOSE CANADIAN ANNOUNCERS Mike McGill tells the story of Marc Travers

Sam Gaynor On the GASGAS

42 TRAINING STORY Palms undergoes some serious fitness testing 48 INDUSTRY PROFILE WITH JC SEITZ

28 52

52 CHRIS ELLIS: A LIFE WELL LIVED Lawrence Hacking writes this touching tribute to his friend 56 BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE PARTS CANADA INSIDEX SHOW 60 A TRIBUTE BY THE NUMBERS Allan Jaggard restores Marty Smith’s Honda

SPECIALS

12 EXPOSED 14 CAUGHT ON CAMERA

48

COLUMNS

EDITOR: Chris Pomeroy SALES MANAGER: Al Jaggard SENIOR WRITERS: Andy White, Mike McGill SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR: Shelby Mahon STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER: James Lissimore CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: James Lissimore, Drew Robertson, Leticia Cline, Andy White, Matt Wellumson, Sean Poitras, Lawrence Hacking, Kate McKerroll CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Virgil Knapp, Clayton Racicot, Bill Petro, Matt Wellumson, Frank Hoppen, Summer Denzler, Mike Vizer COVER PHOTO: Jamie Baskerville MXP has the exclusive rights to the MRC’s mailing list of racing license holders. Every MRC 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. FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES CONTACT: Charles Stancer 416-633-1202 charles@mxpmag.com mxpmag.com Canadian Publications Mail Products Sales Agreement# 41831514 MX PERFORMANCE is published 7 times per year CANADIAN POSTMASTER: Send address corrections to: PO Box 171 Stouffville, Ontario L4A 7Z5 SUBSCRIPTION RATES: 1 year - Canada $20.00 Cdn., U.S.A. $40.00 US, 416-633-1202

DESIGN AND PRODUCTION GROUP PUBLISHER & CEO: Tim Rutledge SENIOR ART DIRECTORS: Patrick Beltijar, Patrick Dinglasan, Queue Gonzalez, Edward Shintani PRODUCTION: Richard Robles

18 

56

FAMOUS LAST WORDS by Chris Pomeroy

20

GUEST COLUMN by Dylan Wright

22

FEMALE PERSPECTIVE with Melody Hodgson

66

INSIDE LINE with Andy White

MX PERFORMANCE IS PRINTED IN CANADA

10 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP_2021_21.02_TOC-Masthead.indd 1

2021-05-13 3:31 PM


OFF-ROAD

2021 RECREATION LINEUP Get Offline. Get Off-Road. Low Maintenance I Lightweight I Proven Performance

Discover More Yamaha – Genuine Parts & Accessories, Service and Finance

MXP21_21.02_Yamaha.indd 1

2021-05-13 3:47 PM


CAUGHT ON CAMERA

A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNAL FROM RACES AND EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.

S We’re sure going to miss this scene.

S Japan’s pride and joy sure was focused this year.  

S These two are friends first and competitors second.

S Who doesn’t love when Mookie gets on the podium?

S Mookie points out his famous brother in SLC.

S We can understand no neck brace Marvin, but no

S The Star Racing Yamaha boys are tight.

S Staging for the main event is over there.

S Hopefully, this is the last year for mask wearing

S Where is Andy White when I need him?

S The award for the toughest rider in SX goes to...

S You can talk to the bike, but the bike rarely talks

S The Atlanta residency was tough on everyone.

S Everyone should be this excited to race SX.

S Whatever Jett is drinking, we’ll take a double.

S Honda won a lot of battles in 2021, but they didn’t

S Have you heard the one where a German and an

S The Iceman was as cool as a cucumber this season.

S You don’t need an umbrella when you walk between

S Well, those whites aren’t going to come clean.

at a SX.

Australian go to a SX?

helmet either.

the raindrops.

back.

win the war.

12 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Caught-On-Camera.indd 12

2021-05-13 3:54 PM


MXP21.01_Fox.indd 1

2021-05-13 3:55 PM


14 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Exposed_v2.indd 14

2021-05-13 4:18 PM


P H O T O B Y M AT T W E L L U M S O N

FULL SEND Chase Sexton holds his Honda wide open through an Atlanta SX corner.

MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 15

MXP21_21.02_Exposed_v2.indd 15

2021-05-13 4:19 PM


PHOTO BY JAM E S LISSIMOR E

SPRINGTIME IN BC Davey Fraser knows that April showers bring May flowers in BC.

16 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Exposed_v2.indd 16

2021-05-13 4:20 PM


MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 17

MXP21_21.02_Exposed_v2.indd 17

2021-05-13 4:21 PM


FAMOUS LAST WORDS WITH CHRIS POMEROY

BUILDING RESILIENCE BEFORE I GET INTO THE MEAT OF THIS COLUMN, I FIRST HAVE TO SAY THAT IN MY SIX YEARS AS EDITOR OF MXP MAGAZINE THIS WAS ONE OF THE MORE CHALLENGING ISSUES I’VE HAD TO PUT TOGETHER. WITHOUT ANY RACING GOING ON OUTSIDE OF THE MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS SERIES, FINDING STORIES TO TELL WAS TOUGH. BUT THANKFULLY I HAVE SOME GREAT CONTRIBUTORS WORKING WITH ME AND TOGETHER I BELIEVE WE CAME UP WITH SOME SOLID CONTENT FOR THIS SECOND ISSUE OF 2021.

S

o not only was generating content difficult for this issue but so was remaining positive throughout the timeconsuming process of building an issue of MXP Magazine. As I mentioned above, as I write this there is still no racing allowed in Canada and no real time frame for when any gates will drop. Last year in Ontario the opening race of the season was in mid-June, so I think by now everyone is hoping for the same. With this pandemic going on now for over a year, everyone is tired, frustrated, and in need of some good news. We all remember back to the beginning of this mess when we had to lockdown and stay home for two weeks to flatten the curve. At the time those were the instructions, and we were told to be good little citizens and obey. Well, here we are more than a year later and two weeks to flatten the curve has turned into multiple waves, kids going to school and being allowed to play sports, to having all of these seemingly normal activi-

ties taken away from them. At times, we’ve been told that if we just keep following these rules then we’ll soon see a light at the end of the tunnel. Then, just as that light began to flicker it was quickly extinguished with another set of orders from government officials. After months of back and forth, it became clear that battling this virus was going to take not just a physical toll on us, but also a severe mental toll on us as well. If you’ve been one of the fortunate ones who have managed to avoid testing positive for this terrible virus, my guess is that in one way or another you haven’t been able to avoid the mental strain from this past year of uncertainty. Apart from the constant barrage of bad news about new restrictions or extended lockdowns, the frustrating to see that south of the border things are slowly returning to normal. Now, there are many reasons for why the U.S. is on the path back to normal with a green light for sporting events and a limited number of fans now allowed to attend games in person. It’s been hard to turn on the televi-

sion and see races and other sporting events taking place while we’re still being told to stay home. This frustrating sentiment is summed up well with a quote from a newspaper article I read recently which stated, “The USA has found reasons to open up while we in Canada are looking for reasons not to open up.” Yes, there are obviously still people testing positive in the U.S. for Covid-19 and sadly people are still dying everyday, but the infection rates are heading in the right direction which means the U.S. is also winning back the battle for everyone’s mental health! Meanwhile in Canada, as I write this my family and I aren’t supposed to leave our home unless we’re going to groceries or a walk around the block. It’s a sad state of affairs and one that doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon. I can’t even imagine being a track owner or a sanctioning body in Canada right now trying to plan racing events. At least a record number of individuals are getting vaccinated and, whether you like it or not, it’s the only way the pandemic ends.

“THE USA HAS FOUND REASONS TO OPEN UP WHILE WE IN CANADA ARE LOOKING FOR REASONS NOT TO OPEN UP.” Okay, that’s enough of a rant for one column. Let’s get back to this issue and the incredible work that was put into it. First, you can’t have a magazine without a really cool cover and, for the first time, we’re featuring Sam Gaynor as well as a new GASGAS motorcycle on the cover of MXP. This Jamie Baskerville photo was shot at my home track, so in another historic moment, this is the first cover to be shot at my house. It’s great to see Sam and his new TLD/GASGAS/SSR Team entering the fray of Canadian Pro Motocross and we’re more than happy to celebrate that by featuring them on the cover. Also contained in this issue is a recap of the final rounds of Supercross with more great photos from Matt Wellumson. Matt did a great job this year covering the SX Series for us and his work from each round on social media was outstanding. With our race season hopefully around the corner, we also included a Training Story in this issue where I met up with Steve Neal and went through some challenging fitness testing. Elsewhere, our resident historian Mike McGill looks back at Marc Travers during his entertaining run as the voice of Canadian motocross. It’s a great story and I’m sure I speak for many when I say that Travs is missed. Finally, Lawrence Hacking and Allan Jaggard provide touching tributes for Chris Ellis and Marty Smith, while Andy White tracked down Phil Nicoletti to chat about his new deal for 2021. There’s a plethora of great stories in this issue and, as I mentioned at the beginning, it wasn’t easy, but I think we did a good job. Hopefully, as you sit down to read this issue, Covid-19 restrictions in your province have started to ease up and there are races on the horizon. As the old saying goes, what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger. Well, if that is indeed true, then we’re going to be the strongest and most resilient humans since the early 1940s. So, stay strong and healthy and if all goes as planned, I will see everyone at the racetrack very soon. Thank you for reading!

18 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Column-Editor.indd 18

2021-05-13 3:52 PM


GET OUT AND PLAY

The street-legal KLX300 extends the playing field with high-grade dual-sport performance. Learn more at Kawasaki.ca. 2020 Canadian Kawasaki Motors Inc. Always ride responsibly. Always ride within the limits of your skills, your experience and your machine. Wear an approved helmet and protective clothing. The actions depicted here took place under controlled conditions with professional riders. Accessorized model shown.

MXP_2021_21.01 Kawasaki.indd 1

2021-03-04 11:43 AM


GUEST COLUMN WITH DYLAN WRIGHT

PHOTOS BY JAM E S LISSIMOR E

CLUBBING WITH PHIL LIVING WITH THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS BEEN TOUGH FOR CANADIANS OVER THE PAST YEAR. WITH MANY PLACES ACROSS THE COUNTRY BEING IN AND OUT OF LOCKDOWN, LIFE HAS BEEN TRICKY FOR A LOT OF US. MANY HAVE ADAPTED THEIR EVERYDAY LIVES, WHETHER IT’S WORKING FROM HOME OR BUSINESSES COMING UP WITH CLEVER WAYS OF COMPLYING WITH CHANGING REGULATIONS, AND IT HAS BEEN NO DIFFERENT FOR US MOTOCROSS ATHLETES.

I

n a normal year, I would be heading down south to train in mid-January. But because of Covid, this year I had to head down a little later than normal. Many might think this would affect me for the start of the season but, in fact, we already knew the season was going to have a later start than normal. So, for me this didn’t change the amount of prep time I had prior to the season. It did, however, mean that I had a little bit of extra time off the bike, but I can assure you that my trainer and I were working hard in the gym to make sure that when I got back on the bike my body would be as ready to go as possible. A few weeks before heading down south I was contemplating which spot would be best for me this winter. Obviously, I was looking forward to heading back to the Carmichael farm after having such a great time there last winter. But, near the end of December, Jeannie contacted me saying she had received an offer for the farm and that I most likely wouldn’t be able to go there this off-season. That news left the door wide open for me to pick a place to train. Every year for the past five years I have gone down to stay with a team-

mate to train together to push each other to improve on and off the bike. This year my plan was no different. That was until I got the call from Tanner saying that he was scheduled to get his knee scoped the same week I was planning to head down south. He then decided that the weather in southwestern Ontario would be good enough to ride. That news left me searching for someone to ride and train with that wouldn’t also be training for supercross at the time. I had heard Phil was going to be racing the outdoor series in the U.S. Right then I thought to myself, what a great opportunity that might be to go down and ride with Phil at Club MX as we would both be prepping for outdoors. We talked about it and thought it would be good for both of us. He then talked with the guys at Club MX to see if we could make it happen. It all fell into place pretty quickly. I was soon off to the small town of Chesterfield, South Carolina. On my way, I stopped to load up my truck and camper at the GDR shop, grabbed a couple of fresh 2021 Honda CRF450R bikes and some parts, and headed south. The border crossing, I must say, was a bit of a pain in the butt but

luckily, I had the right paperwork the agents needed. I guess they thought racing dirt bikes was a necessity for me, and they aren’t wrong! Upon my arrival at Club, I was greeted very well by Brandon and Ben who got helped me get my camper set up. I will admit that my first couple of days back on the bike, I felt a little rusty. I hadn’t ridden since my injury in the Fall, but dang what a good feeling it was to get back on the bike. The first couple of days I did my own thing because I know it takes some time to get back up to speed and I wanted to take my time for the first couple of days to make sure I didn’t do anything dumb and push my limits too much. After that, I felt ready to go and jumped in on some sprints and motos with the boys at Club. I was a little lucky because Phil was just getting back on the bike as well, so our mentality was about the same. After about a week of getting back into the swing of things, Phil and I started to bring up the pace and neither of us wanted to be the slower one on any day. Let me tell you, there were a few times where rubbing was racing during some motos. It was all in good fun though as we are good buddies, but we like to practice like we race, minus me landing on him!    Although I was doing on-bike training with Ben and Brandon, I did my own off-bike training in the gym. My

fitness is always something I have been proud of and I wasn’t going to change that aspect. The Club Facility is a really cool place, and they have a track for pretty much everything. Everyone training there was super cool, and I was able to make some new friends and new connections which is always cool in our line of work. After being there for about five weeks, it was time to head home for some testing with the team. I needed to get my setup dialed in on the new bike, and there are no better people to help me with that than Justin and Colton. Now that I have the bike set up the way I want it, I can’t wait to get to the track and go racing!    

“THE CLUB FACILITY IS A REALLY COOL PLACE, AND THEY HAVE A TRACK FOR PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING.”

20 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Column-Guest.indd 20

2021-05-13 3:51 PM


MXP21_21.02_Matrix.indd 1

2021-05-13 3:39 PM


FEMALE PERSPECTIVE WITH CLAUDIE LISSIMORE

PHOTOS BY JAM E S LISSIMOR E

MAKE IT YOUR JOB

HAVE YOU EVER DREAMED ABOUT MAKING MOTORCYCLING MORE THAN JUST YOUR PASSION? WHAT ABOUT WAKING UP EVERY DAY AND HEADING TO WORK AND TALKING ABOUT BIKES? IF YOU WANT IT, YOU CAN HAVE IT! THIS IS MY STORY ABOUT HOW I WENT FROM A VERY PASSIONATE LOCAL RIDER TO TEAM LEAD DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS IN THE GLOBAL MARKETING DEPARTMENT OF ONE OF THE WORLD’S BIGGEST MOTORCYCLE COMPANIES. IF IT INSPIRES ANY OF YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN THE MOTO INDUSTRY, THEN I HAVE DONE MY JOB! ARE YOU READY TO TURN YOUR MOTO ADDICTION INTO A CAREER?

T

STEP 1 – GET EXPOSED

echnically, it started in July 2014, but we all know it started way before that. Thanks to my dad, I have been around dirt bikes for most of my life. To be honest, it took a decade and more for my dad to finally sit me down on a “real bike”, but the second he did, there was no going back. At this point, I was 15 and nothing else in the world mattered more than finding a way to get to every single local race. Racing or not, I wanted to be around dirt bikes. At some point, I finally got a license and from that moment on, my parents never ever saw me again during summer weekends. “Where is she?” they would wonder, meanwhile I’d be racing somewhere in Quebec with my friends. I’m pretty sure I missed half of my last two years of high school, daydreaming about motorcycles. I think this is when it really started. Sitting in my math class, asking myself, “how can I make my future job about moto? How can I make sure I will never have to stop going to races, or better yet maybe even get paid for it?”

STEP 2 – GET INVOLVED

Around the summer of 2010, I started getting involved with my local racing association. For the next few years, I worked at the registration booth, took some photos for my friends, wrote some race recaps for sponsors, organized end-of-season banquets and basically inserted myself into every aspect. I had a lot of fun being a part of the moto world, but I would still go back to my ‘normal’ life every week and continue my physical therapy studies. I thought maybe if I could get a physio degree, I could somehow link that career with

motocross. With school going on full time, it was also the first winter I spent in Quebec since I had started riding more seriously. Every winter after that was tougher than the last. I didn’t have moto to distract me anymore and with all my friends down south riding, the only thing still linking me to moto was some occasional SX nights. It was now clear, that without more exposure to moto, I was heading straight towards perpetual winter depression.

STEP 3 – MAKE CONNECTIONS

During the next few years, I took every opportunity to become more involved. One of these occasions came about when the CMRC decided to drop WMX completely. I heard that some girls on the west coast had decided to create their own series and I reached out to see if I could be their eastern copycat. I was so proud! That was my first step towards a more national project, as the others were all in Quebec. This is also when I started my relationships with those in the industry media (Palms, Billy and Gauldy, among others). For a 19-year-old female who could barely speak English at the time, I was determined to make a good impression in this very male-dominated industry and, judging by the current status of my relationship with these three gentlemen, I think I did a good job. I spent as much time as I could helping and asking questions, trying to understand how things worked and how I could find more ways to get involved. This experience also taught me a lot about planning, advertising and gathering sponsorship, which are skill sets that would become important in my near future. I made sure I connected with all of the right people and always reminded them I was there and ready to help.

STEP 4 – GRAB EVERY OPPORTUNITY

At that point, I still didn’t know how I was going to make moto part of my life full-time, but I had accumulated some experience, some connections and a better understanding of the Canadian moto industry. I was now 21, but still didn’t know much about jobs available in the industry and was completely clueless about how to land one of them. Physio wasn’t making me happy anymore. By this point I had switched to university and was in a program to become a physics teacher – clearly, I was confused. Then, in May 2014, the stars aligned when one of my dad’s long-time friends, who knew I was involved in moto and had heard about my photography hobby, thought about me for a project that KTM Canada needed help with. He called me when I was in the middle of a physics class, but I got up, left the class and took the call. I didn’t know it back then, but I would never ever go back to school. I was on my way to what I had been working towards to for years. I should mention that, at this point, all they asked from me was to take like five photos of their newly renovated building, but in my mind, it was a sign, and I knew I needed to focus back on my moto dream!

STEP 5 – TRUST THE PROCESS

And then the magic happened. I still can’t believe how perfect the timing was! As I was taking my five very bad photos of the building, I heard the staff talking about the admin lady leaving in the next two days, and they had no replacement lined up. “I CAN DO IT!” I had no idea what the job entailed or what I had just gotten myself into, but I knew I was at KTM and I wanted

to stay! They agreed to hire me as a short-term replacement to answer the phone and forward emails but made it clear that it was just until they found a full-time replacement. But I knew there was no way anyone would answer the phone better than me, and I was determined to prove that my 21-year-old self was the best admin agent they had ever seen. Just a quick reminder that, at this point, I didn’t really speak English, I still thought wearing leggings to work was acceptable and I have no administration skills. Well, it took a few weeks and some long hours on my part, but I was able to show them how much I cared about the position and finally, in July 2014, I signed my first contract to become an employee in the motorcycle industry.

STEP 6 – ENJOY THE RIDE

From there, I grabbed every opportunity possible, from helping at the races, to begging for the open marketing positions. With no education, but a hell of a lot of motivation and determination, I went from signing up people for my local races, to leading the digital communication team in the global marketing department of the KTM group in Austria. Fast-forward seven years, and I can say without hesitation that if I ever had to do it again, I would do it the same exact way. Through the years I was able to work with the racing department, build my own little amateur team, develop my marketing skills, work for a moto distributor, write press releases for some of the best teams in Canada, move across the world and grow my digital skills to the next level and so much more. And all while staying connected to moto throughout.

STEP 7 – DON’T STOP THERE

With that being said, I am now ready to come home and take on another challenge, which is why I have accepted a new position in the bicycle industry in B.C. Why leave the moto industry? Because this is the next step for me. But don’t you worry, I am not even close to being done with riding and showing up at the races. With the recent growth that both the motorcycle and bicycle industry have experienced, I am happy to be able to broaden my horizons and apply my skills somewhere new. I can’t wait to be back in Canada and see you all at the races again! This industry has given me amazing friends, an incredible husband and some of my best memories ever! If any of the young minds out there are thinking about a job in the moto industry, go for it! It might end up being the best ride of your life!

22 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Column-Female.indd 1

2021-05-13 3:55 PM


Photo: Align Media

TWO FOR2

The championship-winning KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition’s fierce intensity and tactical performance is the force behind the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team and two-time champion Cooper Webb. Congratulations to the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team for staying ahead of the pack to take home the 2021 AMA 450SX Supercross Championship. Again!

Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scene. Always wear protective safety gear and ride in a responsible manner. The illustrated vehicle may vary in selected details from the production models and may feature optional equipment available at additional cost.

KTM_21_0116 2021 SX Championship Print Ads_MXP_SinglePage.indd 1 MXP21_21.02_KTM.indd 1

4/30/21 3:23 PM 2021-05-13 3:42 PM


24 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP_2021_21.02_Cover Story.indd 24

2021-05-13 4:02 PM


Sam Gaynor: On the

B Y C H R I S P O M E R OY / P H O T O S B Y J A M I E B A S K E R V I L L E A N D J A M E S L I S S I M O R E

F

or the past two seasons Sam Gaynor has been competing in the 450 class aboard a OTSFF Yamaha. Even though he was a rookie to the pro class in 2019, Sam was a consistent top 10 rider as he battled against the more experienced members of the 450 class. For 2021, a lot has changed, and Sam will now be not only racing in the 250 class, but he will also be part of the newly formed TLD/GASGAS/SSR Racing Team. To celebrate this new and exciting brand being a part of Canadian racing for the first time ever, as well as this new race team, we decided to put Sam Gaynor on the cover of this issue.

FIRST OFF SAM, CONGRATULATIONS  ON YOUR FIRST MXP MAGAZINE COVER. IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME COMING BUT IT MUST BE WORTH THE WAIT.

SG: It’s always been a dream of mine for sure! I’m very excited to be represented on the front of such an established magazine!

BEFORE WE TALK ABOUT YOUR NEW TLD GASGAS DEAL, LET’S CHAT ABOUT THE PAST. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU START RIDING? I first started riding when I was three years old. My neighbour two doors down had a little PW50, and they offered it to me to try out. So, I did, and I went wide open into a wood fence and crashed. The rest is history!

THAT’S QUITE A START TO YOUR RIDING CAREER [LAUGHS]. THANKFULLY, THINGS IMPROVE AND WE’RE ASSUMING IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG TO FALL IN LOVE WITH RIDING. Yes, I was hooked quickly. My dad used to road race professionally way back when, but I used to watch his races and it always amused me but once I got on a bike myself it was immediate love!

DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST RACE? HOW DID IT GO?

I somewhat remember it. I know it was at an indoor track in Ohio. It was my sister’s first and only race. We did the first moto and packed up to leave as my dad didn’t know there was more than one race. Then the people beside us told us there was two so we stayed and I’m pretty sure I won the overall.

ONTARIO HAS A RICH HISTORY OF PRODUCING SOME GREAT RIDERS. GROWING UP WHO WERE SOME OF THE RIDERS YOU ADMIRED?

When I was really young, I remember going to Motopark and watching Kerim Fitz-Gerald and Kyle Stephens. I used to also look up to Bobby Kiniry as he always treated fans amazing but was an absolute bulldog on the track. As for U.S. riders, I have always admired Ken Roczen for his ‘never give up’ attitude.

AS YOU PROGRESSED THROUGH THE RANKS, THERE WERE TIMES WHEN YOU WERE A SECOND OR EVEN A THIRD-PLACE RIDER. DID THOSE YEARS MAKE YOU EVEN MORE HUNGRY TO BE BETTER? For sure they did. I don’t think I was ever looked at as the next up and comer or part of the ‘Fab 3’ but that always made me hungrier. I learned early on that it was going to take a lot of hard work to get to where I wanted to be.

AT WHAT POINT DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE MOTOPARK ACADEMY AND HOW DID THAT TRAINING HELP YOU?

I think around 2014 I went there just for a week during the summer and then after that I was there every summer to date. Motopark and Iain Hayden have been a massive help with not just my riding but also teaching me how to be a good person. I wouldn’t be where I am in my career without Motopark crew and Iain Hayden.

MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 25

MXP_2021_21.02_Cover Story.indd 25

2021-05-13 4:02 PM


“I definitely wouldn’t be where I am in my career without Motopark or Iain Hayden.” THAT WAS A GREAT ROOKIE YEAR. YOU WERE ALSO FORTUNATE TO HAVE PHIL NICOLETTI AND SHAWN MAFFENBEIER AS TEAMMATES. WHAT TYPE OF THINGS DID THOSE TWO VETERAN RIDERS TEACH YOU?

They indirectly taught me that hard work will get you a long way in this sport. They taught me what to eat between motos, after motos, and they were a big help with telling me what lines on the track work for them. That was one of the areas I needed to work on was my line selection, so Phil and Shawn were a big help.

IT’S ALWAYS GREAT TO HAVE SOME EXPERIENCED RIDERS AROUND WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG AND TRYING TO LEARN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. WE’VE SEEN A LOT OF FAST AMATEUR RIDERS NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE THE TRANSITION TO THE PRO CLASS. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS AND WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE?

My dad and I have had many conversations about this. I feel it’s because once they get a car, a girlfriend, and a job, they see the kind of money they can earn from an everyday job and they know that to make money in Canada from moto takes time and

LOOKING BACK AT YOUR AMATEUR CAREER WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR BEST FINISH OR FINISHES?

Obviously, winning three Walton Championships was pretty cool as it was in front of all of my family and friends. However, my best finish that stands out, to me, has to be Loretta Lynn’s in 2018. I went there with the intention of just having fun and ended up on the podium in one moto and a fourth overall and a sixth O/A. It was great week and one that I will never forget.

THAT’S AMAZING! I HAD FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOUR LL RESULTS. OKAY, SO YOU TURN PRO, AND INSTEAD OF RACING IN THE 250 CLASS LIKE MOST ROOKIE RIDERS DO YOU GO STRAIGHT TO THE 450 CLASS. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT WAS BEHIND THAT DECISION? It was a decision that took some time to make, but honestly, it was really our only choice at the time. The costs of

a lot of hard work. I personally love racing. I work in the off-season to store some money away for the summer, but I love motocross and I plan to race for as long as I can.

WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS YOUR BEST FINISH IN THE PAST TWO YEARS AS A PRO?

That’s a hard question, Palms! I think finishing sixth overall in my first year in the SX Tour was great! I had a couple of rides here and there that have also stood out, like the first round of the 2020 season where I was fifth in a moto, but last year at Sand Del Lee was a big one. I broke my toes and dislocated them in a bad crash. I wanted to race the next moto so I used Phil’s boot as it was two sizes bigger, and I could get my foot in it. I raced until the very last lap of that race and was all over Josh Cartwright. That race day will always be one to remember in my eyes.

YOU MOST CERTAINLY HAVE SOME HEART, SAM! SO, YOU HAD A GOOD YEAR IN 2020 AND EVERYTHING LOOKED GOOD FOR THIS YEAR. HOWEVER, IN A SURPRISE MOVE, YOUR TEAM DECIDES TO CLOSE ITS DOORS AND END ITS RACING PROGRAM. WERE YOU WORRIED AT ALL OR DID YOU HAVE A BACKUP PLAN?

I was very worried! I didn’t have any outstanding rides, so I assumed that I’d have to find something. I pretty much contacted every team letting them know I was available, but I didn’t really hear anything. At one point, I didn’t know what I was going to do.

running a 250 compared to a 450 are immense. It was more affordable to go straight to the 450 class and my dad and I felt like I could be just as competitive on a 450. Looking back, I believe it was a good decision as I had some good results, and I learned a lot racing against those guys. It’s a different type of racing in the 450 class and the riders are experienced and very smart.

YOU MOST CERTAINLY HELD YOUR OWN IN THE 450 CLASS THAT FIRST YEAR. WERE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR RESULTS? I was for sure! My goal was top 15, and I did a little better than that. I finished 10th in the outdoors and sixth in Supercross and then ended up ninth overall in the Triple Crown Series. I also won the rookie of the year award so it was everything I could have asked for in my first year as a pro rider.

26 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP_2021_21.02_Cover Story.indd 26

2021-05-13 4:02 PM


Sam Gaynor: On the

WELL, THANKFULLY YOU WEREN’T WITHOUT A TEAM FOR VERY LONG AS STEVE SIMMS DECIDED TO START UP THE NEW TLD/ SSR/GASGAS TEAM. I ASSUME YOU WERE HAPPY TO HEAR FROM HIM.

Yes, I was a pest and contacted Steve almost every day, so I somewhat knew what was going on. Once his side of it was finalized, he called me right away and asked if I was interested in a 250 spot which is something I have always wanted to go back and try. I was excited for a new opportunity in a new class and on a new bike!

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER INTERMEDIATE RIDES WHO ARE THINKING ABOUT TURNING PRO IN 2022? WHAT THINGS CAN THEY DO TO HELP MAKE THE TRANSITION A LITTLE EASIER?

HAVING BEEN A YAMAHA RIDER FOR MANY YEARS, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF THE GASGAS BIKE?

I have ridden Yamahas since 2012, so the change was nerve-wracking at first, but since the first day on the new GASGAS I felt right at home. It feels like a brand-new start and a breath of fresh air. It makes me excited for when the 2021 season gets underway!

SO, THE PLAN IS TO MOVE TO THE 250 CLASS FOR 2021. WHAT WAS THE THINKING BEHIND THAT MOVE AND HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT IT?

It’s something I have always wanted to do but never had the opportunity. I feel like I will be a contender at the front so when Steve gave me the opportunity, I jumped on it. I know that the team will build me the best bike possible, so I am very excited to get racing.

THE 250 CLASS WILL BE STACKED WITH TALENT THIS SUMMER, IT ALWAYS IS. HOWEVER, I DON’T THINK THERE IS ONE RIDER WHO IS THE FAVOURITE TO WIN THE TITLE. THESE MOTOS ARE MOST CERTAINLY GOING TO BE EXCITING. ARE YOU READY TO BATTLE WITH THE KIDS [LAUGHS]?

Yes, I am [laughs]! I’m not that old myself, but I do feel like I bring some good experience to the 250 class. This year, the 250 class will be super stacked but the fittest, smartest, and whomever makes the least number of mistakes will be there at the end for the championship. I’m super excited to get battling and banging bars with some of the riders I raced against as an amateur.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE ABOUT YOU IS THE STRONG CONNECTION YOU AND YOUR FAMILY STILL HAVE. DURING THIS TRANSITION TO THE PRO CLASS, YOU AND YOUR DAD JEFF ARE STILL A TEAM AT THE TRACK. HOW HAVE YOU TWO MANAGED TO MAKE THE FATHER-SON AND RIDER-MECHANIC DYNAMIC WORK SO WELL? Yes, my dad and I are very close both on and off of the track. At the track, we both know the task that needs to be completed and that’s to be the best we can be each day. As a father and son, we both just have a lot of the same passions for the outdoors, for building things, and we both love to fish. I think it’s very cool that we’re able to do this journey together and I look forward to some more success.

EVERY ATHLETE NEEDS GOOD PEOPLE AROUND THEM IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE QUALITY PEOPLE LIKE STEVE SIMMS AND YOUR DAD IN YOUR CORNER? It’s definitely very comforting to know I have people in my corner that want the same success as I do. I look at Steve Simms and myself as a little Roger Decoster-Ryan Dungey type of deal. We have come a long way from where we started and still have a long way to go!

I GUESS THE GOLDEN QUESTION IS WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS THIS SUMMER IN THE 250 CLASS?

I want to be a title contender right from the opening moto of the series. I have gotten hurt every year since 2012, so I would also like to stay healthy all season long. This is the first year for this team and if we can battle for a title then that would be great. Steve has put a lot of work into making this happen and I want to reward him with a solid season.

Work hard! Be respectful! Yes, our sport is a very alpha, but respect and hard work goes a long way. Be grateful for every opportunity and listen to everyone, as you never know who is going to give you some good advice. Also, figure your training and nutrition routines out, as those are two things that most rookie pro riders struggle with. It’s like, you think you know but you really have no idea. So, work hard, take advice, and try and not get caught up with your race-to-race results. If you do all of the off-bike things right, then your results will eventually come.

THAT IS SOME GREAT ADVICE SAM. WHEN YOU’RE NOT RACING OR TRAINING WHAT THINGS DO YOU ENJOY DOING?

I love just building things, fishing, hiking, being outside mainly. During the winter I frame houses with Ross Malley, so he has taught me a lot about framing, and I find it to be more of a passion than a job during the off season.

WELL SAM, ONCE AGAIN, CONGRATULATIONS  ON YOUR FIRST-EVER MXP MAGAZINE COVER AND GOOD LUCK THIS SUMMER! 

Thank you so much, Palms! It’s something I have always dreamed of! I would like to send a quick thank you to the entire TLD/GASGAS/SSR Team, Steve Simms, GASGAS Canada, Oakley, Atlas, GUTS Seats, ProTaper, FMF, Motul, Sunoco, Bn3thapparel, Journey Plumbing, Trains Custom Carpentry, Alpinestars, Ride Engineering, Raptor Titanium, Twenty-Six Suspension, WP, Throttle Syndicate, Tear off Gaskets, Mypitboard, Arthur’s Fuels, and, of course, my entire family! as myself. Justin and I couldn’t do it without them.

MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 27

MXP_2021_21.02_Cover Story.indd 27

2021-05-13 4:02 PM


2021 SUPERCROSS SERIES

DOWN TO THE WIRE B Y C H R I S P O M E R OY / P H O T O S B Y M AT T W E L L U M S O N

WELL, IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT THE 2021 MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS SERIES CAME AND WENT SO QUICKLY. IT SEEMS LIKE JUST LAST WEEKEND THAT MY FAMILY AND I WERE GATHERED IN FRONT OF OUR TELEVISION WITH EAGER ANTICIPATION TO WATCH THE OPENING ROUND IN HOUSTON.

A

lmost four months later, the series headed to Salt Lake City to crown all three of its prestigious championships. The 2021 SX Series provided us with everything and anything we could ever want from a 17-round series. There were numerous battles in all three classes, multiple main event winners, great tracks, happy fans, and for the most part, all top riders remained healthy for the entire series. Of the riders who finished inside the top 10 at the opening round in Houston, only Adam Cianciarulo, Justin Brayton, and Zach Osborne were missing on Saturday night in Salt Lake City. And for a little extra drama, all three Championships came down to the final main events of the series. Sadly, it doesn’t always happen this way, but considering the hoops that Feld Entertainment had to jump through to pull the season off, it seemed fitting that the final round was Championship night in beautiful SLC. Overall, I think the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross Series was unique as well as entertaining. From the racing on the track to the ‘Residency’ races in Houston, Indianapolis, Dallas, and Atlanta, to the back and forth battles each weekend, each round delivered numerous

28 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_SupercrossRecap.indd 28

2021-05-13 3:58 PM


MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 29

MXP21_21.02_SupercrossRecap.indd 29

2021-05-13 3:58 PM


“WHETHER YOU’RE A FAN OF WEBB OR NOT, I THINK YOU HAVE TO ADMIRE HIS ABILITY TO BLOCK OUT THE PRESSURE, ALONG WITH HIS DESIRE TO WIN RACES.”

surprises. In the end, Cooper Webb, Colt Nichols, and Justin Cooper were crowned champions and no one can say they each didn’t earn every bit of their success. For Webb, it was his second 450SX title and, like his 2019 championship, this one all came down to the final main event, unlike 2019, when he settled for a safe third place at the final round. At the final round in SLC, Webb charged to the front of the pack in the 450SX main event and never looked back. Whether you’re a fan of Webb or not, I think you have to admire his ability to block out the pressure, along with his desire to win races. When you compare Webb to past SX Champions in our sport, I feel like he most resembles Ryan Villopoto and Ricky Carmichael. All three riders, regardless of their situations, showed up each weekend with the sole purpose of winning. I know, you could argue that every top rider feels the same way when they enter a race. However, there’s something different about Cooper Webb as he appears to hate losing as much as he loves winning. Again, even though he didn’t have to do so, Webb charged to the front to take the win, proving once and for all that he was the best 450SX rider in 2021! Let’s take a look at a few of the top riders and how their Supercross Series went.

COOPER WEBB

I said it before, and I will say it again: this guy is just an unbelievable racer. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a rider who races purely to win the way Cooper Webb does. As he did on numerous occasions this season, Webb doesn’t stop trying to get to the front until the checkered flag falls. Even if the first half of the main event didn’t go as planned, Webb still manages to turn it around and make his way to the front. His ability to adapt mid-race to the track, figure out how his bike is working and get stronger in the closing laps are, I think, his best attributes and the biggest advantages he has over the competition. He’s able to do it for a couple of reasons. One, Webb’s mental toughness is incredible, and he never appears to think that he’s out of it. Two, with his neutral riding position I don’t think he needs his KTM to be handling perfectly in order to go fast. Factor those in, along with his high level of fitness, and that is why Cooper Webb is our 2021 Monster Energy Supercross Champion!

30 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_SupercrossRecap.indd 30

2021-05-13 3:58 PM


“THIS SEASON WAS A GOOD ONE FOR ROCZEN AS HE LED A TON OF LAPS, WON A FEW MAIN EVENTS, AND REMAINED IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT UNTIL THE FINAL ROUND.”

KEN ROCZEN

If you were cheering for Ken Roczen this season, it had to be a frustrating series for you at times. Given his backstory, his new family, as well as his ‘nice guy’ personality, it’s easy to like Ken and even without a 2021 SX title, his comeback story is one of the greatest in sport. To even be riding a motorcycle at his level is incredible and I, for one, would love to see him win a Supercross title before he retires. This season was a good one for Roczen as he led a ton of laps, won a few main events, and remained in the championship hunt until the final round. Had anything serious happened to Webb in SLC, Roczen would’ve been the 450SX Champ! Roczen even mentioned after the final round that he was happy with how his 2021 season unfolded and considered it to be a big improvement from the year before. This is great news for Roczen fans as it means that if this trend continues then he will be even better in 2022. In my opinion, the only area Roczen needs to work on if he wants to beat Webb is his racecraft. We saw on more than one occasion this season that Webb simply outsmarted Roczen late in the race to make a pass and take the win. Looking back on the 17 main events of the 2021 450SX Series, I could count three or four races where Webb got the better of Roczen during the final five laps of the race. If you add those lost points up, the two riders go into the final round virtually tied. Anyway, even though he came up short for the 2021 championship, Ken Roczen had a great season, and he should be proud!

ELI TOMAC

After winning the 450SX Championship last year, many wondered just how motivated Eli Tomac would be in 2021. I think at this point in his career Tomac races on feel and opportunity. Meaning, when his bike has the proper set-up and he’s able to get a flow on the track, Tomac is as good or better than anyone on the track. Unfortunately, the downside is that when things are a bit off Tomac struggles to find the pace needed to win main events. We witnessed on a few occasions this year that when the stars aligned Tomac rode off to convincing wins. However, in a few other main events, Tomac was well off the pace and those bad races cost him any chance at the 2021 title. As I write this, news has begun to filter out that Tomac might be switching teams and could be headed to the Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha Team where he could finish out his career. If it happens, then perhaps this Tomac realizes that he’s in a rut and that needs a change in order to win at least one more 450SX Championship. Regardless of what brand of motorcycle Tomac races in 2022, he will be a title favourite along with Webb, Roczen, and perhaps a few others.

MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 31

MXP21_21.02_SupercrossRecap.indd 31

2021-05-13 3:58 PM


250SX CLASS

All I can say is wow, the 250SX classes were exciting in 2021! Between multiple race winners, numerous battles, and all sorts of unpredictable entertainment each week, you just never knew what you were going to get when the gate dropped for a 250SX main event. Both the East and the West 250SX classes were exciting and, in the end, it was great to see the Star Racing Yamaha Team take both titles. When we think back to both 250SX Series and the incredible moments they produced, I think it’s safe to say that it was the most exciting 250SX we’ve ever witnessed. With Colt Nichols, Jett Lawrence, and Christian Craig in the East, and Justin Cooper, Cameron McAdoo, Hunter Lawrence, and Nate Thrasher in the West, there was never a dull moment. I mean, who will forget both Lawrence brothers getting their first-ever 250SX main event wins in 2021? Or Christian Craig crying on the podium in Houston after winning the opening round? Or Cameron McAdoo’s week in Atlanta when he refused to let multiple hard crashes keep him out of the main events? It was an amazing four months of racing and all 250SX riders deserve a ton of credit! Finally, congratulations go to Colt Nichols and Justin Cooper for their 250SX championship wins. Both riders rode solid all season and are deserving first-time champions. With a solid group of veteran riders along with as a talented group of young phenoms, we might be in for even more excitement in 2022. So that is the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross Series in a nutshell. A series that produced exciting racing as well as high drama every time the gate dropped. All while having to deal with strict Covid-19 health protocols at each round. Between wearing masks, socially distancing, and Covid testing each week, everyone involved in the series had many rules to follow. So, with this season being such a massive success both on the track as well as off of the track, what will the 2022 SX Series look like? I can see somewhat of a return to normal, such as races being held in California and Las Vegas, but I can also imagine some things remaining the same, such as three rounds in one city. Perhaps we won’t see as many residency events as we did in 2021, but I can foresee one or two of these cool events happening next year. After all, they made for some great racing this season, especially the Tuesday night races on a few occasions. Also, for Feld Entertainment, it must be so much more cost-effective to remain at one venue for three straight races. Anyway, we’ll see what happens, but I know I speak for every SX fan when I say I can’t wait for Supercross in 2022!

32 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_SupercrossRecap.indd 32

2021-05-13 3:58 PM


husqvarna-motorcycles.com

New Brembo hydraulic clutch Fully adjustable WP XACT suspension

Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scene. Always wear protective safety gear and ride in a responsible manner. The illustrated vehicle may vary in selected details from the production models and may feature optional equipment available at additional cost.

Photo: R. Schedl, KISKA GmbH

Selectable engine maps and traction control

F C

450

The speed of lightweight.

MXP21_21.02_Husqvarna.indd 1

laying it over in a sandy berm or turning down off the face of a jump is key to maintaining good speed. defined by a balanced mix of power and agility, the 2022 fc 450 lets you get out there and find your flow, fast.

2021-05-13 3:41 PM


PHIL NICOLETTI Without Remorse

34 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Feature-Phil Nicoletti Story.indd 34

2021-05-13 4:14 PM


B Y A N DY W H I T E / P H O T O S B Y A M E S L I S S I M O R E A N D M I K E V I Z E R

L

ooking ahead to the 2021 Canadian  Triple Crown MX national series, one rider we always love to cheer for will not be present. Phil Nicoletti has announced that he will be competing in the AMA outdoor national series in the U.S. this year. It is very unfortunate that due to budget cuts and teams shutting their doors, Nicoletti has been forced to find a ride down south. I really enjoyed watching Phil compete in the Canadian series; OTSFF Yamaha won a podium with its program. These past two years have been very entertaining. Phil’s heated battle with Mike Alessi at Sand Dee Lee, where both riders pushed the limits was epic, but last year the series was shortened due to the pandemic which made every point even more important. Phil had some great races with Dylan Wright until Sand Dee Lee where Dylan accidentally landed on Phil. Sadly, that was it for the Canadian champ and the season was over as Phil needed stitches and time for his hand to heal. I sat down with Phil to ask him about his future. I will go on record by saying the Canadian series will never be the same with out him. Not only can Phil ride a bike well, but his sense of humour and intensity will be missed. I am excited to see how he will fair against factory riders. All I can say is look out Cooper Webb!

ANDY WHITE: HOW’S THE PREPARATION GOING FOR THE 2021 OUTDOOR SERIES? I SEE YOU’RE BACK AT CLUBMX. PHIL NICOLETTI: My preparation for 2021 has been going well. After my hand injury, I had taken some time off. I had  to heal up and gather my thoughts on what I was going to do for the upcoming season. I was a bit unsure at  first, but I had talk to Brandon Haas at Club, and we came up with some ideas. It took a little while to make  everything a reality. Now that I’ve been back on the bike for a little over two months, everything is coming  back together. It had taken me a little while to find

my speed again and there was a tipping point where I thought I lost it for a bit [laughs]. Now I am five weeks out from Pala, and I feel I’m in a good spot.   

AW: CLUBMX HAS EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO PREPARE FOR THE SEASON, THEY HAVE A SAND TRACK PLUS A PRETTY SICK OUTDOOR TRACK WITH PRETTY BIG JUMPS. PN:  I’ve been at Club for nine years. Over the past nine years it’s crazy to even think of what it once was. Not just  as far as tracks, because they have always been next level, but the rate at which it has expanded and 

grown with supercross tracks, buildings, people, watering systems, etc., is mind blowing! For me personally it’s the best for outdoor training, with the heat and humidity tracks it is second to none.   

AW: THE LAST TWO YEARS YOU WERE UP IN CANADA COMPETING FOR THE 450 CHAMPIONSHIP, I THINK YOU WERE LOOKING AT FINISHING YOUR CAREER IN CANADA. PN:  I was looking at finishing my career up in Canada. I was a little bit skeptical about going up there at first  because I was giving up the American dream, but after meeting all the people and riding for the team that I  did, I really, really enjoyed it. I had such a fun time in Canada in 2019! With things that happened with the  Rockstar Energy OTSFF team, it made sense for me to come back to the States. I tried talking to some  teams up there to see if I could stay, but it just wasn’t possible. Who is to say that I won’t be back up there  again at some time! Time will tell.  

AW: I AM GUESSING IF THINGS HAD GONE IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION WITH OTSFF YOU WOULD HAVE CONTINUED WITH THE CANADIAN SERIES?

PN: If things did go in a different direction with OTSFF, I would still be there, but I understand the  money situation and title sponsors is difficult. Rockstar Energy had been purchased

MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 35

MXP21_21.02_Feature-Phil Nicoletti Story.indd 35

2021-05-13 4:14 PM


PHIL NICOLETTI Without Remorse

I was a little bit skeptical about going up there at first because I was giving up the American dream, but after meeting all the people and riding for the team that I  did, I really, really enjoyed it.”

I figure I could use his speed to get up and going, and vice versa. It was good for a month and he went back to Canada. Would be awesome if he could stay longer and we could utilize each  other but Canadians [are having a tough time dealing with the pandemic right now].  

AW: HOW IS YOUR YAMAHA FOR 2021? IS IT SIMILAR TO YOUR 2020 FROM CANADA? PN: My Yamaha is around about the same. There really isn’t much that is super special about it they come pretty  bulletproof. I’m trying to keep it as much as I can like my Canadian set up as far as power and chassis.   

AW: THE COMPETITION IN THE U.S. IS OBVIOUSLY MUCH TOUGHER. WAY MORE TEAMS AND TOP-LEVEL RIDERS. WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU FIT IN?

PN: It’s always hard to tell where you will fit in. Deep down I’d obviously like to be between 5th-12th for the first  two or three. Just to shake out some of the cobwebs and see where I’m at. Like I said before, I haven’t  raced since the last Sand Del Lee round at the end of August, so this will ultimately be like getting thrown to the  wolves. I’m really excited and of course a bit nervous. At the same time, it’s not like I haven’t raced these  guys a million times before!  

by Pepsi and it made everything a bit more difficult as far as money being allocated. Andre and his wife Monique treated  me very well and I’m very thankful. I still talk to Steve Simms once a week and when OTSFF folded we  were talking about trying to put our own program together but obviously that takes a lot of funding and logistics  to make happen. Maybe one day in a year or two, the gang can link back up. You never know.   

AW: YOU HAVE RACED MOST OR ALL THE U.S. OUTDOOR TRACKS IN THE PAST. WHAT TRACKS ARE YOUR FAVOURITE AND NOT SO  MUCH?

AW: YOU HAVE RACED BOTH SERIES FOR SOME TIME, WHAT DID YOU LIKE ABOUT THE CANADIAN SERIES?

PN: I really enjoyed the camaraderie in the pits at the Canadian nationals. Even when Covid hit in 2020, I  enjoyed camping at the tracks on race weekends, grilling and chilling with everyone. Felt like I was back in  the amateur days enjoying racing.   

AW: WAS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT THE CANADIAN SERIES YOU NOT ENJOY?

PN: I didn’t like the way some of the things were run. Just from a professional standpoint and being from the  States. It felt like things could be a bit more structured. Also, I did not like Moncton [laughs].   

AW: MOST RIDERS AT YOUR LEVEL ARE REALLY SURPRISED AT THE SPEED OF THE CANADIANS ON THEIR OWN TURF. PN:  Every country has their guys that are badass on their home soil. I experienced it while I was in Australia as  well against Matt Moss. I knew that would be the case with Facciotti as well. I knew that would be the case  with Wright. Shit just didn’t work out [laughs]. That’s the best part about racing – you never know. The funny  thing is, Dylan Wright would have probably beaten all of us [in 2020]. That’s just facts.   

AW: I HEAR YOU’RE TRAINING AND RIDING WITH DYLAN WRIGHT. THAT’S PRETTY COOL. HE HAS THE SPEED AND I GUESS HE NEEDS SOME ONE TO TRAIN WITH TOO. AS YOU TWO WILL NOT COMPETE AGAINST EACH OTHER THIS YEAR WHY NOT  WORK TOGETHER RIGHT? PN:  Dylan had hit me up about possibly riding together in the pre-season. A lot of people thought there would be  some friction between us with what had happened. But in the grand scheme of things, it was just a racing  incident, in my opinion.

PN: I have a few favourite tracks that I’m really looking forward to getting back to! Red Bud, Millville, Ironman, and  Unadilla. Those tracks are next level as far as layouts and facilities. I’m NOT looking forward to Pala,  Thunder Valley, and Hangtown. I’ve never ever gelled well with those tracks, so for me it’ll just be about  collecting as many points as possible.   

AW: WHAT TYPE OF TRAINING DO YOU DO TO PREPARE FOR THE OUTDOORS? 

PN: There’s a lot that goes into it as far as training, but first and foremost, having quality days of practice on my 

36 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Feature-Phil Nicoletti Story.indd 36

2021-05-13 4:15 PM


dirtbike are most important. Anything outside of that is just a bonus to help get better on the dirtbike. There’s still a lot of cycling and a lot of gym that goes into it. It all depends on what sort of training block I  am in and that determines what weight program I’m doing. That stuff always changes every four weeks.   

how I was going to fit. Worried about signing with a team and people I’ve never met. Now it’s switched and I’m gonna miss those people. Weird how it works.   

AW: WE SEE YOUR FEATURE ON  RACERX  EACH FRIDAY. ARE YOU ENJOYING READING THE LETTERS AND REPLYING?

AW: YOU HANG OUT WITH QUITE A FEW TOP RIDERS, SO YOU KNOW THEIR TRAINING PROGRAMS AND THEIR WEAKNESSES. DOES IT MOTIVATE YOU? PN:  It does help motivate me in some ways but with training it’s not, ‘one size fits all’. Everybody has different  strengths and weaknesses on and off the bike. There are a lot of guys that I can smash on a bicycle and in  the gym but riding a dirtbike for 35 minutes is a completely different beast. You do have to be unbelievably fit  to race a dirtbike but at the same time it is still a skill-based sport.   

AW: HOW OLD ARE YOU NOW? HOW MANY MORE YEARS DO YOU HAVE LEFT IN YOU?

PN: I don’t like to think how old I am! I get nauseous every year on my birthday [laughs]. I am currently 32 years old. I’m not really sure how many years I have left in me. I guess

PN: I enjoy answering the questions people send in and giving my opinion. I have zero problem given my  opinion on certain things. The only issue is that the paycheque Weege sends to me isn’t enough! [laughs].   when it comes to the point where I don’t  feel competitive or feel like I don’t want to put the time into it anymore. But I still enjoy riding in training. And  that’s a good thing about ClubMX because I’m around younger kids all the time so it makes me feel young  as well.   

enjoy Supercross, I really do. I get this rap where I don’t like it because I call it deathcross. I’ve had some good success with it, and I can still ride it fairly well. All I’m saying is if it makes  sense, I’d entertain it. I’m not totally kicking the idea to the curb. 

AW: IF CLUBMX SAYS, ‘HEY WE WANT YOU TO RIDE SX’, ARE YOU IN FOR 2022?

AW: BACK TO THE CANADIAN PROGRAM. WHAT WILL YOU MISS ABOUT CANADIAN SERIES?

PN: I would definitely entertain the idea. As a racer, there’s always a piece of you that wants to still accomplish  more and do more things. I do

PN: I’m just going to miss some of the people. It’s weird, you know, at the end of 2018 when I signed to go to  Canada for 2019, I was worried on

AW: WHAT RIDER ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO COMPETING AGAINST OUTDOORS THIS SUMMER?

PN: I’m going to enjoy racing and lining up with Cooper Webb. I’m not sure how much racing I will actually do  with him though [laughs]. I’ll at least be able to heckle him in staging. It’ll be good to see the Amart? on the  weekends and have dinner like we used to.   

AW: THANKS FOR YOUR TIME. BEST OF LUCK THIS SEASON.

PN: Thank you very much! I appreciate the time!

MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 37

MXP21_21.02_Feature-Phil Nicoletti Story.indd 37

2021-05-13 4:17 PM


THOSE CANADIAN ANNOUNCERS THE MARC TRAVERS STORY BY M I KE MCG I LL / PHOTOS BY JAM E S LI SSI MOR E

When MXP Editor Chris Pomeroy asked me to do a piece on Marc Travers and his role in producing the television broadcast for the old CMRC Nationals for this issue, of course, the first thing I did was log onto YouTube and started watching old videos of the series. You can find almost all of them there and let me issue you a warning in advance: if you don’t have a lot of time to kill, don’t do it because if you’re any sort of outdoor motocross fan, you’ll get sucked down that rabbit hole and before you know it your day will be gone.

T

he television broadcast team for the CMRC Nationals of Marc Travers and Brian Koster called their last Canadian Motocross race at the end of the 2017 season. That day, and that race, marked the end of a twenty-year association for Travers and his involvement with the television broadcast. Koster came on board in in 2001 and together the pair developed what was seen by most moto fans as a highly entertaining, original and professional broadcast that attracted a large following of viewers throughout the world of motocross. Travers had no background in the sport of motocross when he

became involved with the sport back in 1997. Dating back to 1994 Travers, a commercial scuba diver by trade had been working as a host and in production, on the Canadian Sportfishing Television Program. “I was the guy who jumped into the water after the host hooked a fish and filmed the underwater sequences,” laughs Travers. Eventually he worked his way onto a program on TSN called the Great Outdoorsman which led to a hosting job on another program called Compete which aired on TSN as well. “Compete was a six-episode series of one-hour long programs that dealt with extreme sports in Canada. Extreme sports certainly were not in

your face as much then as they are now and we did shows dealing with things like waterskiing, wakeboarding, skateboarding and even freestyle motocross,” Travers explains. As mentioned, Travers had no real background in motocross other than the standard situation of having a few friends who raced when they were kids. “But he was a fast learner and great at faking it. A real pro,” says his former boss Mark Stallybrass, referring to Travers at the time. One of the episodes of the Compete show just happened to be centered on an Arenacross event Stallybrass was promoting in Niagara Falls, Ontario back in ’97, and that’s where the two met for the first time. “Yeah,

38 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP_21.02_MarcTravers_V02.indd 38

2021-05-14 11:11 AM


“Marc Travers and his partner in crime Brian Koster were never at a loss for words when the cameras were rolling.” we pretty much hit it off right off the bat,” remembers Travers. “I think Stally appreciated the way I took care of business and the way I handled myself, and the rest is, as they say, history.” Travers worked as colour commentator in his first year on the series with announcer Eric Hollow and while he was admittedly new to the sport he immediately took to the thrilling excitement of motocross. “It didn’t take long for me to become very attached to it,” he recalls. In 1999, Travers moved into the play-by-play role, a position he would maintain until the end of the run in 2017. His colour man for the next two seasons would be non other than the “Rollerball” himself, Ross Pederson. Canada’s greatest all-time motocross racer proved to be invaluable in sharing his wealth of knowledge and teaching Travers what the sport was all about. “Who better than Ross?” remarks Travers. “When you have someone with that amount of knowledge that’s willing to share it how can you help but learn,” comments Travers. “I just listened to Ross and soaked it all in.” Travers also mentions how impressed he was with Pederson’s work ethic and good nature during their time together in the announce booth and the

two maintain a friendship to this day. “2001 was somewhat of a turning point for the television broadcast,” recalls Travers. “Ross, who had been doing the colour with me for a couple of years, left due to other commitments and Brian, who had been the trackside reporter up until that point came into the colour role on a permanent basis. That’s basically the set-up we went with right to the end.” Travers adds that Hills Production Services came on-board in 2001 as well. “They had a lot of experience doing sporting events such as Junior A hockey, so the production levels were really stepped-up after that.” There is little doubt the broadcasts of the Canadian National Series always had a unique feel and flavour to them. It was different than any other racing series on television and the broadcast of the CMRC Nationals continued to be a cornerstone of the Series success, not only Canada but across North America as well. Travers is only too happy to explain their secret. It’s something he refers to as, “the science of what we were seeing on the track. As the years went on, it really became more about polishing and perfecting.” “Editing is what made it,” Travers explains. “We were tasked with squeezing four thirty-minute motos into a one-hour program. The viewers had to feel like Brian, and I were in the booth and actually calling the race live.” That wasn’t the way it worked, however. “The editing is what gave it its progressive flow. Here’s how we did it. Mark would be in the tower and would call the race. It was a three-way conversation between Mark, Brian and me. I was in the production bus during the race and based on Stally’s call I would direct the five cameras that we had on site as to where to

shoot the action while Brian would circulate the track with a cameraman and would direct him on what to shoot based on the battles that were going on out on the track. There was actually a lot of science involved,” Travers explains. He also points to the skill and expertise of the crew from Hills Production Services, which was another huge factor in developing such a unique product. “The crew, run by Rob Hill was fantastic. Things really came together once they came on board. Their experience and expertise assisted him in creating a cut-down yet seamless broadcast that really flowed. That was the key,” Travers emphasizes. Once the footage from the event had been collected it was back to the studio, where the hours of video would be cut down to a suitable length and the actual call of the race was added by Marc and Brian. “We even had audio techs pump in recorded bike noise while we were making the calls to make it seem all that more realistic,” explains Travers. The result was what the fans witnessed on television and it was a hit with the moto crowd. Not only in Canada, but in the U.S. as well, which came with its own set of logistical challenges. There were times when the crew had to cut two totally different openings and broadcasts for the two different cable networks that aired the CMRC Series: Speedvision, later known as SPEED, in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada. “We would do one version, then change clothes and do another completely different version for the other network,” Travers recalls. CMRC National Motocross played regularly on Speedvision for ten years between 1998 and 2008 and was immensely popular with American moto fans. And what does Travers attribute to the popularity of the television broadcast, specifically in the U.S.? “We were just doing our thing,” chuckles Travers. “Having fun, making up goofy nicknames and catch phrases, going off the rails occasionally. Who doesn’t want to have fun?” Of course, the quote above relates, not everyone was a fan, “but that’s to be expected,” says Travers. “For the most part, I think people really enjoyed it and the impression that they left on the American viewers was never more apparent than when Travers and Koster were invited to attend the MX of Nations at Budds Creek, Maryland in 2007. It was at this point that they finally realized just

MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 39

MXP_21.02_MarcTravers_V02.indd 39

2021-05-14 11:11 AM


“It seems like a long time ago now, but back in the day when fans were permitted to attend races they would surround the podium after each moto and wait for Travers to yell just one famous word! And that word was ‘hooolllleeessshhoooottt!!”

how popular they were with the hardcore moto fans in the U.S. “We had very good tickets,” recalls Travers, “VIP as a matter of fact, and everywhere we went down there, people would be coming up and saying hello. Saying how much they enjoyed the show or just yelling one of our signature calls at us.” While they were being bombarded with, “who’s going to get the Royal Distributing hooooleshooot,” by the American fans, they had to admit It was prettywild. “Brian and I joked that we were way more popular down in the States than we were at home,” he says. The popularity of the television broadcast can even be credited with luring some top teams and big-name riders to the Canadian Series. Dave Gowland was one of those proponents of the television broadcast. Gowland, currently a top executive at Monster Energy in the U.S., of course had a long history of involvement with the sport in Canada, having raced as a youngster while growing up around Mississauga, Ontario. Dave would later transition to the mechanical side and wrenched for Canadian motocross legends Ross Pederson and Carl Vaillancourt before packing up his toolbox and moving Stateside in 1995. In 1999, Gowland was working for an IndyCar team, but when the deal he was working on for the PPI Racing team fell through, he immediately began looking for an opportunity to get his foot in the door in the CMRC Series with the goal of starting a team. “I was living in the States at the time, and they aired the CMRC races in the fall on Speedvision after the U.S. season was over. Everybody I knew was watching them and really enjoying them. People loved it. The way Travers and Koster called the races was really unique and based on the Speedvision coverage, a lot of riders in the States were really thinking of Canada as a potential option after watching the series on U.S. television,” recalls Gowland.

Travers humbly agrees that the television coverage helped to make the series into something special. “All of the sudden you had guys lining up to come to Canada to race. Teams had their choice of riders and it brought the whole series to another level. It wasn’t just a hobby anymore. It was big business,” he says. The Series certainly evolved over the years and Travers had a front seat for the entire transformation. “Stally was always working to make it better,” says Travers. “He was an extremely hard worker, and it was an exhausting environment. He grinded it out big time. Especially in the first few years.” Some of the major improvements to the series that Travers cites as a reason for its success were the buy-in from both manufacturers and track owners as well as the acquisition of a huge title sponsor in the form of Monster Energy. Stallybrass reflected on this exact topic during an interview with me a few years back. “We had a major sponsor in place, more and more top named riders were racing the series, the manufacturers and teams were both making a huge effort to win a Championship, we had worldwide television coverage, the attendance at each round was growing each year. We were on a roll,” he says. Regarding the television broadcast, Travers agrees that the amount of work required and commitment to excellence was huge, but the

results were really starting to show in the broadcast. “We got it to the point where the show looked just dynamite. The track dressing, the camera placement, the Rockstar Girls, everything. We got it down to a science and especially in the last few years, although Travers claims that 2001 was his favorite year. “That’s the year Brian moved into the booth, and Gauldy went trackside, Hills Production Services came on board and JSR (Jean Sebastien Roy), my favorite rider, came back to Canada from the U.S. Nationals and won,” he says. While 2001 may have been his favorite season, in his eyes, 2015 through 2017 was the highwater mark period for the broadcast. “That was the peak. Guys like Millsaps, Pourcel, Alessi, Georke. The racing was fantastic, and I think we had perfected our thing. We did our due diligence. The banners were crisp, our people were in the right place, it was great.” he says. Travers goes on to state that, in his informed opinion, only the AMA Nationals and the GPs in Europe were superior to the CMRC Nationals at the time. “I know Australia has an excellent Series as well, but I think we were definitely the third in the world at the time,” he states. While JSR may have been Travers favorite rider, he certainly developed a soft spot for many others over the years and considers most to be good friends. Before we finished our call, I

decided to play a little word association with Travs and just get his opinion on a few of the great competitors who took part in the CMRC National Series over the years. Blair Morgan: I’ve got a special place in my heart for Blair. He was the best during his time in the late 90s. I was at the Montreal Supercross the day that he got hurt and let me tell you that was a tough day. He’s Superman. Not the most outgoing guy, but a great guy and a fabulous rider. JSR: He was my favorite racer. I loved his style, his tenacity, he wrote the book on how to win in Canada. The thing about JSR was his dedication. He was so dedicated. And always generous with his time and great to talk to. Colton Facciotti: Colt’s always been a bit of an enigma. He was so good at such a young age but for the longest time he just couldn’t seem to find the right mix. It was great to see him eventually win and go on to have such a great career and win multiple championships. It doesn’t really come across on the outside, but he’s got a lot of inner strength. He had to have it in order to come back from so many injuries. Bobby Kiniry: Well, he’s a fisherman like me so we always had that in common. Always pleasant to talk to and tough. A tough competitor and a tough guy. I would have really liked to have seen him win it at least once. Really good guy.

40 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP_21.02_MarcTravers_V02.indd 40

2021-05-14 11:12 AM


Mike Alessi: He was always very good to me. He just loves racing that guy, He loves it, and it consumes him, I think. You hear all kinds of things said about him and his family, but as I said I always found him to be great and talk about a work ethic. He’s got that and an extremely tenacious rider as well. He would never give up. Sometimes I think that made him a bit hard to work with. Davi Millsaps: He was a quiet guy. Not overly gregarious or anything. Funny though, but with a very dry sense of humour. I just loved watching him ride, and he brought that U.S. mentality to Canadian moto. He raised the bar for sure. He was as advertised. Christophe Pourcel: It seemed like he couldn’t have cared any less. He was very talented and had a great style, but he was hard to like. Tyler Medaglia: I’m glad you asked me about him. Tyler and Jeremy are like family to me, like brothers. Tyler was my son’s favourite rider, and he was fabulous to my son. At the track while I was working, Tyler would take Jonathan into the rigs and on the lifts with him. Jonathan still has his Blackfoot jersey. I watched both Tyler and Jeremy race and win right from intermediate up. I loved the determination and the heart. Just a great family. It was sad to see Jeremy never win a Lites Championship. He was so fast. I still chat with them today. After a truly great run for “Travs and Fabs”, it all ended rather abruptly after the 2017 season. The CMRC National Series was sold to the Jetwerx group and even though Travers held out some hope that his role as the voice of the series would continue, deep down he knew it probably wouldn’t happen. “It was a bit of a surprise, but I can understand it I guess,” Travers admits. “They said they wanted to start fresh and try something new. I get that, although what I really think it boils down to is they just didn’t want to pay for the quality that we would produce.” Always one to take the high road, the worst criticism of the new regime Travers can muster is that he feels there are, “a few things they could be doing better.” In the end, Travers remains a fan of the sport and the series. “I really do wish them the best. I still follow it and I want it to succeed because I honestly care about the sport and the riders,” he says. For those of you unaware, you can still watch Travers and Koster doing their thing, as only they can, on TSN’s coverage of Snocross and

Fan Mail “BRING IN THOSE CANADIAN ANNOUNCERS. THEY CAN SOMETIMES BE MORE ENTERTAINING THAN THE RACING.” J O E _ S P R O C K E T – WA S H I N G T O N , PA

“I’VE BEEN SAYING THIS FOR YEARS! GET FIRED UP ABOUT THE RACING FOR GOD’S SAKE THESE GUYS ARE GOING AT IT AND THE CANADIAN ANNOUNCERS CAPTURE THE ENERGY OF THE RACE AND TRANSLATE IT TO THE FANS. THEIR ANALYSIS OF THE RACE, THE ROCKSTAR GIRLS, THE BATTLES, ETC. ARE ALL ON POINT AND ADD A HUGE AMOUNT OF ENTERTAINMENT TO THE RACES.” B O OZ E 4 5 - E LK G R OV E , CA

“MAN, I JUST WANT TO LISTEN TO THE RACE, BUT THAT ONE ANNOUNCER IS WAYYYYYY TOO FIRED UP AND HARD TO LISTEN TO! DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH MORE I CAN TAKE!” CH RIS_ON EAL - E SSEX , CT

“CAN WE TRADE ANNOUNCERS AND GET THOSE CANUCKS? THOSE GUYS ARE A HOOT!” O L D S C O O L - C L A R E M O N T, N C

the Canadian Flat Track Series. “Sure, it’s great,” says Travers. “We’re still working with Hills and it’s a lot of fun. Our old bus finally died and has been replaced by a Sprinter Van but it’s still the same successful formula we used with motocross and, pandemic permitting, we will hopefully be back out on the Flat Track circuit calling the action again this coming summer,” he states.

Apart from those commitments, Travers now spends his days in the construction industry building homes and doing renovations in the Burlington, Ontario area. Looking back on his time with the Series, he has no regrets. “I enjoyed it all,” he says. “We had a great run. I met so many great people, and we had a helluva lot of fun doing it. What more can you ask for?”

“I’M A FAN OF ART ECKMAN AND DAVID BAILEY, SO I WISH THEY WOULD COME BACK, BUT THAT’S TOO MUCH TO DREAM SO THE NEXT BEST THING WOULD BE THE GUYS FROM THE CANADIAN NATIONALS. MAN, THOSE GUYS GET EXCITED FOR THE BATTLE FOR 14TH PLACE!!!!” J AV I S S U P E R C R O S S - M I A M I , F L

“MAN, I SO DIG WATCHING THAT CANADIAN MOTOCROSS. I CAN’T EVEN REALLY PUT MY FINGER ON WHY, MAYBE BECAUSE MANY OF THE TRACKS RESEMBLE THE KIND OF TRACKS WE RUN AND RACE LOCALLY, OR MAYBE IT’S THE PASSIONATE, FRANTIC ANNOUNCING ON THE INCREDIBLE BATTLES FOR FIRST – OR SEVENTH.” R U P E R T X - N E WA R K , O H

“I DIG THE CANADIAN ANNOUNCERS. I NEED TO START WATCHING THAT SERIES AGAIN. OH, AND THE CANADIAN 30 SECOND BOARD GIRLS ARE WAYYYYYY HOTTER THAN WHAT WE GET HERE AT THE NATIONALS....... SIGH....” F U L L F L OAT E R – S A N D I E G O , C A

“CANADIAN NATIONALS ARE GREAT. AWESOME, FUN LOOKING TRACKS AND THE ANNOUNCERS ARE A LEVEL UP FOR EXCITEMENT!” Z YC K I 1 1 – A U S T I N , T X

“THE COMMENTATORS I LIKE THE BEST ARE THE CANADIAN BOYS ON THE CANADIAN MOTOCROSS I USE TO GET TO WATCH. (I DON’T SEE IT OR CAN’T FIND IT ON TV THE LAST FEW YEARS). THEY WERE SO ANIMATED AND EXCITED. THEY HAD SO MUCH ENTHUSIASM ABOUT THE SPORT, IT TOTALLY RUBBED OFF ON THE AUDIENCE. THEY ARE THE BEST.” CA R LO S M AC H O – L A S V E GA S , N V

MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 41

MXP_21.02_MarcTravers_V02.indd 41

2021-05-14 12:30 PM


TRAINING STORY PART 1:

FUELING YOUR BODY FOR PERFORMANCE BY C H R I S P O M E R OY A N D S T E V E N E A L / P H OTO S BY JA M I E B A S K E RV I L L E

When it comes to riding a dirt bike, everyone who has ever attempted it knows how physically demanding the sport is. Regardless of your age and or skill level, from the moment you let the clutch out and twist the throttle, your muscles, cardiovascular system, as well as your brain are put to the ultimate test. As we all know, if one of those systems isn’t working properly, fatigue can set in quickly and the joy of riding diminishes greatly.

B

y the time you read this, I will be close to my 48th birthday and two months into my 43rd year of riding motorcycles. Without going into too much detail about my life on two wheels, it basically began like so many others. My dad, who grew up riding himself, made sure I started riding at an early age. From there, I graduated to racing and now here I am with my own son, still riding and enjoying it as much as I ever have. In my four decades of riding, I’ve been fortunate to experience many different things and witness multiple changes in our sport. Technology has obviously altered how we ride, as have technique and education. Gear and protective wear have also evolved greatly much since the first time I put an open face helmet on my head that was two sizes too big at the time. Where we ride our bikes has also changed twofold since I was a young throttle-twisting kid. During my first few years of riding my dad and I would ride just about anywhere: trails, farmer’s fields, gravel pits and, of course, the odd track. In some ways, the sport is barely recognizable compared to how it was in the late 1970s. However, we all still love it and us old school riders have succeeded in adapting to riding in the modern age. As I said at the top, riding dirt bikes is the ultimate test of mind and body. How we train our bodies is also a

subject that has been discussed and debated for a long time. What can we do away from the bike to help us ride our bikes more efficiently and in the end, much safer? That is the question, as we all know that most mistakes happen on the bike when we start to feel tired. For pro riders who earn a living racing dirt bikes, training is part of their daily routine. It is their chosen profession, and they spend years trying to perfect it. For others, especially older riders, finding time to fit in off-the-bike training can be extremely difficult with work and important family duties also taking up most of their waking hours. However, take it from someone who has now realized that being in good shape off the bike has not only has helped me perform better on the bike but has also helped with injury prevention and just feeling better in life generally. But how do we get in shape and what things can the average busy rider do to improve their conditioning? That is also a complicated question and one that needs a professional trainer to answer. I can only talk about my experiences and what I’ve done. And since every rider is different, I’m going to pass this story over to Steve Neal of www.stevenealperformance.com. Steve has been training endurance athletes for a long time and, as an avid off-road rider himself, he’s well aware of what our bodies go through while riding.

STEVE NEAL:

Although I may not be as skilled on my enduro bike as many reading this article, I love to be on my motorcycle. I have been training endurance athletes, primarily mountain bike athletes for more than 30 years, from beginners to national champions. There are some differences between moto and mountain biking, but there are also a lot of similarities. When starting out training someone, the first thing I like to do is physiological testing, I don’t like to guess, and each athlete is unique. There are many different testing methods that I use, but today we will discuss metabolic testing. Many might see the equipment used and think this is a vo2 max test, and yes this is the same equipment used for that type of testing, but there is so much more to improving fitness than knowing one’s vo2 max. Let’s start to call this vo2 peak which is actually what it is. When you get tested like this, the machine can measure your heart rate, your fat and carb utilization at all different levels from easy to maximal as well as how much air you are moving every minute and how fast of a breathing rate you use to move this air.

42 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Training Story.indd 42

2021-05-14 10:01 AM


CARB AND FAT UTILIZATION Let’s start with fat and carb utilization. We all assume that when we exercise easy, we always burn fat, this isn’t the case. Here are two different riders. One is burning 75 percent carbs at lower intensity, while the other is closer to 50 percent. This information will be useful in looking at the nutrition for each rider during regular meals as well as the type of fueling that will have to do during

training and before races. I like to try and push the 50-50 mix of fuel as close to the threshold as possible. This is done by modifying nutrition (70 percent) and training (30 percent). The more fat is utilized at lower intensity, the more carbohydrate can be spared at higher intensity.  This is very useful in longer motos and in multiple motos throughout the day. We need the

carbohydrate for high intensity energy, but we can only store so much of it. In sports like cycling, you can replenish while on the bike racing, in moto that isn’t the case. There isn’t really a need to replenish for one moto, however there may not be enough time between motos to fully replenish. Therefore, the more you can spare by having a better carb sparing makeup, the better.

TRAINING ZONES The next piece of the puzzle is applying to training; energy zone distribution (training zones) as well as what type of training we provide for an athlete. First, I like to identify fat maximum, which is the highest fat with the least contribution from carbohydrate. This will be the intensity for long endurance sessions, and recovery between intervals. Two different athletes are shown below. Fat is the purple line. Notice the first athlete starts burning carbohydrates right near the beginning of the test. The second athlete burns fat a lot longer, sparing carbohydrate. This would be the ideal intensity for an athlete to burn the most amount of fat while also moving this point to a higher level.

“STEVE HAS BEEN TRAINING ENDURANCE ATHLETES FOR A LONG TIME AND, AS AN AVID OFF-ROAD RIDER HIMSELF, HE’S WELL AWARE OF WHAT OUR BODIES GO THROUGH WHILE RIDING.” MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 43

MXP21_21.02_Training Story.indd 43

2021-05-14 10:01 AM


FAT AND CARB CROSSOVER Next up is the fat and carb crossover point. This is looking at fat and carb as a percentage of total energy. I am looking for the point at which fat crosses over carbohydrate for the first time. The first athlete crosses over near the beginning, and comes back to 50-50 a little later, but this doesn’t count. The second athlete doesn’t crossover until much, much later in the test. This is ideally what we want for moto, a crossover point that is a little to the right, relative to the halfway point in the test.   So, the second athlete could run at a much higher percent of maximum heart rate and performance while utilizing fat for fuel, sparing carbs for an end of race push and better recovery between motos.

“THE MORE FAT IS UTILIZED AT LOWER INTENSITY, THE MORE CARBOHYDRATE CAN BE SPARED AT HIGHER INTENSITY. THIS IS VERY USEFUL IN LONGER MOTOS AND IN MULTIPLE MOTOS THROUGHOUT THE DAY.” 44 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Training Story.indd 44

2021-05-14 10:01 AM


NEW MX HELMET

AVA I L A B L E AT M O TO VA N . C O M

MXP21_21.02_Motovan Zox.indd 1

2021-05-13 3:45 PM


RESPIRATORY SYSTEM One other main takeaway for me is to dig into a person’s respiratory system. Before doing the test, we perform a medical vital capacity test on a different machine. This allows me to determine how much lung volume an athlete has, but more importantly, what can they breathe out forcefully in one second (FEV1). Many think that lung volume is all that matters, but if you can’t breathe out forcefully a good volume in one second, how can you expect to breathe back in fresh air? When you are performing above 85 percent of maximum heart rate, you are breathing very fast, usually 40 breaths per minute and over. So being able to breathe out forcefully, a lot of lung volume is important. If we look at the two athletes below, the first athlete can move well over 100 percent of the volume for the entire test, and always remain above 100 percent, which is ideal. It’s a better respiration system than the sport requires. The second athlete, you will notice, peaks out around 85 percent. This is my minimum that I like to see across the entire test! This is a perfect candidate for respiration training that could greatly improve performance.

  The same muscles we use to breathe are also the same muscles that give us core stability, something extremely important in moto.  If our respiratory system isn’t at 100 percent, it means our core stability isn’t as good as it should be. This is something often overlooked and not included in training off the bike. How often are you really breathing at race levels while doing your core work? More detailed information can come from this test and other different types of physiological testing, but this is a great place to start figuring out what’s under the hood.

46 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Training Story.indd 46

2021-05-14 10:01 AM


MXP21_21.02_Motovan Shot.indd 1

2021-05-13 3:44 PM


MXP: HEY JC! HOW ARE THINGS GOING IN CALGARY? I ASSUME SPRING HAS ARRIVED, THERE?

JC Seitz Industry Profile:

MORE HOTOS BY JAM E S LI SSI B Y C H R I S P O M E R OY / P

t of motocross is that it’s such ne of the great things about the spor s and their families have been a great family sport. For years, rider track to ride and spend some a to ing head of in love with the idea love for motocross started his , quality time together. For JC Seitz nd the countryside on arou g ridin kid g youn a as age at an early t, JC has a family of adul an as Now AB. ry, the outskirts of Calga top up and coming the of one is his own and his young son Dexter and currently he is also elf hims ride to loves still JC da. amateur riders in Cana g Canada. To say that his plate is full the National Sales Director at Fox Racin ever, JC loves every minute of his busy would be a grave understatement. How th’s Industry Profile. mon this for him life and we caught up with

O

JC: Hey Palms, good to hear from you. Things are great here in Calgary and, yes, spring is here. We were fortunate to have an early spring this year that allowed us to enjoy the outdoors and have tracks open up earlier than normal. MXP: YOU AND THE FAMILY DON’T LIVE TOO FAR FROM THE CITY OF CALGARY. IT’S COOL THAT YOU HAVE SOME LAND AND SPACE TO PRETTY MUCH DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.

JC: Yes, that is correct. We live 10 minutes east of Calgary in the heart of farm country. We do have some land that we really enjoy and have a lot of fun on! Dexter makes the best of it as there are not too many days spent inside on video games unless the weather is terrible out. We have an SX track built in the yard along with a turn track for drills, pit bike jumps and we also have a lake across from us that we spend a lot of time on in the summer months. There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for and appreciate where we live.

48 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Feature-Industry Profile JC Seitz.indd 48

2021-05-13 4:05 PM


Western Canada and they would race some of our local provincials. It was always special when they would show up to a local race and one of the memories I will never forget. Like every kid at that time, I was also a big Jeremy McGrath fan who was dominating SX. MXP: WE’LL GET TO YOUR CURRENT POSITION AS THE NATIONAL SALES DIRECTOR FOR MOTOCROSS AT FOX RACING CANADA, BUT LET’S TALK ABOUT WHEN YOU WERE RUNNING YOUR OWN DEALERSHIP.

MXP: ARE YOU A BORN AND BRED ALBERTAN? WHAT THINGS HAVE CHANGED THERE SINCE YOU WERE A KID?

JC: I was born and raised not too far from where we live now. I went to the same school that Dexter is attending now. It’s a small little country school of around 170 students from grades K-9 that’s just a few kilometres from us. The biggest change we see is how close the city is getting to us. I remember as a kid farming lots of the land that is now part of the city and fully developed. Where our home is located, we are still far enough out that not much has changed, just a few more acreages have gone up but it’s mostly farmland where we live so they try to keep developments to a minimum. I watch Dexter playing outside and it brings back so many memories as it’s the exact things I did when I was his age growing up. MXP: HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTRODUCED TO MOTOCROSS AND RIDING DIRT BIKES?

JC: It’s a long story that I will try to make quick. We were your typical country-living hockey family. I used to ride my dirt bike every day and I had natural jumps set up down the ditches that I always

rode. A gentleman that raced dirt bikes at the time saw me jumping driveways and pulled me over. I thought I was getting in trouble with him until I saw he had a dirt bike in the back of his truck, so I stopped and talked. He asked me if I race or been to the Wild Rose track and I told him I had never heard of it. He then said, “Take me to your house so I can ask your parents if I can take you to the track with me now.” It is crazy how times have changed, as my mom let me go with a stranger to the track for the first time. He introduced me to racing and I was hooked ever since! MXP: WAS IT A LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT THING OR DID THE SPORT GROW ON YOU OVER TIME?

JC: Right away I was hooked! This sport does that to you! When you’re hooked, you’re  hooked. I was older than most when I started as I was  14 at my  first race, but I caught on quickly and never looked back. MXP: WHO WERE SOME OF YOUR MOTOCROSS HEROES GROWING UP?

JC: When I started racing, I really looked up to Blair Morgan and Jason Frenette, as they were both crazy fast here in

JC: I started working in the industry at 15 years old for a local dealer at the time that we purchased my bikes from, and never left the industry. When I was 23, we wanted to start a dealership in the Okotoks area (south of Calgary), and with my dad and brother’s support, we made it happen. My wife Jaclyn and I also got married that same year and to  look back now it’s  hard to believe we pulled everything off. We had  Seitzco  Motorsports for 10 years,  then we had an opportunity to sell to a group called Cycle Works that had multiple locations across Alberta  that really wanted to be in the Okotoks area. Part of the offer with us selling to the Cycle Works group was for me to run  the dealership and have some ownership shares. Everything Cycle Works wanted to do at the time with a new building and add more OEM lines is what I wanted, so it was a great opportunity for my family to make a few  dollars and for myself to continue growing  with CWF (Cycle Works Foothills) for five great years with some great employees and memories! MXP: HOW DID YOU GO FROM OWNING THE DEALERSHIP TO TAKING ON YOUR POSITION AT FOX RACING CANADA?

JC: Then the opportunity came with Fox Canada to be their National Sales Director. The current  National Sales Director  at the time, who is still a great friend, was moving to the U.S. to work out of the California Fox head office and he  put the bug in my ear that they needed to fill his position. It  was a tough decision to make, but I really wanted to try something totally different and  learning the distribution  side of the industry, and what a better company to do it with than Fox! MX is my true passion and to work with a brand that’s so MX-focused makes it awesome! MXP: NATIONAL SALES DIRECTOR SOUNDS LIKE A VERY IMPORTANT POSITION. WHAT EXACTLY DOES THAT ENTAIL?

JC: Day-to-day entails a lot of different things but my main focus is leading my sales team across Canada that services  our many great Fox dealers. I also do things like help provide feedback to the design team on future gear changes

with technology and innovation as we are always trying to improve. Being part of our  buying process for inventory, I also work closely with marketing and supporting our dealers at different events across the country and, of course, our many athletes and teams. The list goes on, but you can get the idea as it always keeps me on my toes. MXP: FOX RACING IS ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC BRANDS IN MOTOCROSS. I’M ASSUMING GROWING UP YOU WANTED TO WEAR FOX GEAR – I THINK EVERYONE DID AT ONE POINT. IT’S VERY COOL THAT YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE FOX BRAND.

JC: Ha-ha, funny you say that! I was lucky enough to be sponsored by Fox (Shift at the time) for many years of my racing career when I was intermediate and pro. There was only a short year or two during my many years of racing that I didn’t wear Fox or Shift, so it’s always had a special feel to me. Now to be working for the brand is very cool!

MXP: PRIOR TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC YOU USED TO HAVE TO TRAVEL TO CALIFORNIA TO THE FOX RACING HEAD OFFICE. DO YOU HAVE ANY COOL STORIES FROM YOUR TIME THERE? HAVE YOU EVER BUMPED INTO ANY FAMOUS FOX RACING ATHLETES?

JC: Before Covid and all the travel restrictions I would spend quite a bit of time traveling back and forth to headquarters in Irvine, California. I know you got the experience of visiting our HQ a few years ago when we took you for a tour, but there is always a special feeling walking into HQ that I am sure you felt too, and  it never goes away – so much heritage and culture that it’s hard to explain unless you have experienced it. We are always bumping into famous athletes and you never know when you will run into them. It could just be a normal weekday and an athlete could be visiting for different reasons as they are very hands-on with different projects. Before Covid, we also had our sales meetings for all of our North American staff twice a year, and those  meetings I always looked forward to as Fox makes sure it’s a fun time! Pro athletes always joined us at the meetings and would hang out like they are just another employee. It’s always fun to talk with them and hear their stories. MXP: ONE MORE FOX RACING QUESTION. THIS SEASON IN THE MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS SERIES WE’VE SEEN RIDERS LIKE KEN ROCZEN AND ADAM CIANCIARULO DEBUTING THE 2021 FOX RACING GEAR LINE. DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL FAVOURITE KIT? OR DO YOU JUST LIKE THEM ALL?

JC: That’s a great question and I have to say I love them all! [laughs] Truthfully,

MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 49

MXP21_21.02_Feature-Industry Profile JC Seitz.indd 49

2021-05-13 4:06 PM


JC Seitz Industry Profile:

I would have to say my two favorite kits this season are the new Airline Reepz we just released a few weeks ago for spring and the FlexAir Pyre LE kit that Kenny wore at the last SX round of the season in Salt Lake. With my job I look at a lot of gear that’s past, present and future and we are always trying to design gear for many different needs and age groups, so when I see a gear set that has a different pattern or look that hasn’t been done before that really pops, it’s always cool! Sometimes, it’s so different it takes a bunch of times looking at a gear set for it to really grow on you, and the Pyre LE is a perfect example. When the design team first showed it to me well over a year ago, I was unsure, then over time it grew on me, and now has become one of my favourite kits. MXP: OKAY, LET’S TALK ABOUT FAMILY. YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL WIFE AND A PRETTY DARN COOL SON AT HOME. BOTH RIDE AND LOVE THE SPORT AS WELL. HOW COOL HAS IT BEEN SEEING YOUR SON DEXTER GROWING UP AND PROGRESSING THROUGH THE RANKS?

JC: Thanks, Palms! I am fortunate and blessed to have the family I  do! My wife Jaclyn has always been competitive growing up competing at a high-level waterskiing,  wakeboarding, and riding/racing dirt bikes for fun. So, she is an important part of Dexter’s racing, helping him grow through the sport with learning what it takes to try and succeed. Then to see our son Dexter having the passion that  he does for MX is so cool! It’s definitely a family adventure for us and we make the best of it! It’s been a lot of fun watching Dex progress as it is for all MX families watching their children grow through the sport. I just wish I could slow it all down as time is flying by way too fast! Feels like a year ago Dexter was on 50s, but what’s that saying? Time flies  when you’re having fun!

MXP: I KNOW IT’S A LITTLE TOUGH RIGHT NOW WITH THE CANADA – U.S. BORDER CLOSED. HOWEVER, BEFORE IT CLOSED YOU MADE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO GET DEXTER DOWN TO THE U.S. TO RACE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR RACE ADVENTURES IN AMERICA?

JC: Yeah, we would try and get Dexter down to the U.S. as much as possible to ride and race to give him every experience we could. It was really sad that we were not able to travel last year to the U.S. with Dexter finishing off his last year on 65s. It would have been great to see him try and compete at Loretta’s. I would have to say our biggest highlights and success would be racing the Futures SX at many different stadiums. They are always a good time and Dex really has a passion for riding SX that gave him some great results we are proud of.

MXP: FOR THE PAST FEW YEARS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HAVE MADE THE LONG TREK EAST TO WALTON RACEWAY FOR THE ANNUAL WALTON TRANSCAN. IN 2018, YOU WON A TRANSCAN TITLE IN THE 40A CLASS AND THEN LAST YEAR DEXTER WON MULTIPLE TITLES. OVER THE YEARS, THERE HAVEN’T BEEN MANY FATHER AND SON CHAMPIONS AT THE TRANSCAN. YOU AND DEXTER MUST FEEL PROUD.

JC: We look forward every year to travel across Canada to race Walton TransCan! Not only is it the best race of the year, but to travel across Canada spending a few weeks on the road with your family are special times that we will never forget! For the past couple of years, that is our family vacation, and we look forward to it – it’s not only the racing that makes it so fun. It’s pretty cool that both myself and my son  have brought home championships and I am really not sure how many fathers and sons can say they have done that. For me, I was twice as happy and proud seeing my son win then I was when I won a champion-

ship. I do feel it was good for my son to see me win the first year we attended as I am sure that helped him make it a personal goal of his to win a championship at Walton too. MXP: FOX RACING CANADA IS ALSO A PROUD PARTNER AND SPONSOR OF THE WALTON TRANSCAN. OVERALL, WHAT DOES THIS ICONIC EVENT MEAN TO YOU AS WELL AS TO THE FOX RACING BRAND?

JC: Yes, Fox is a proud Sponsor for Walton TransCan! A few years ago, Walton went through some changes and Brett approached us at Fox and asked about partnering for years to come. He laid out his game plan, vision, and goals for the future and we were all over it! Walton has always been a special place for Canadian MX and as brand, and we are happy we can be a part of it and support this great event. That is another reason I look forward to attending Walton each year as I see all the behind-the-scenes hard work that Brett, Mel, and their staff put in each year to make this event so great, so to see it all come together that week is very cool! MXP: WILL THE SEITZ  FAMILY BE HEADING TO WALTON RACEWAY AGAIN THIS SUMMER?

JC: Yep, that is the plan. Dexter would be so upset if he can’t go and hang with all his East buddies. Plus, we want to keep our family adventures going. MXP: BETWEEN NOW AND THE WALTON TRANSCAN IN AUGUST, WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR RACING?

JC: As of right now, all our racing is at a standstill in Western Canada until things open back up, so it’s looking like we might not have any racing locally until Walton. I am really hoping we can get at least a couple of gate drops in as Dexter is moving up a bike size so it would be great for him to have some race seat time, but if we can’t, we will continue riding and training and be as ready as we can.

MXP: OKAY JC, I KNOW YOU’RE A BUSY MAN, SO I ONLY HAVE TWO MORE QUESTIONS FOR YOU. YOUR JOURNEY THROUGH THE SPORT HAS BEEN INCREDIBLE SO FAR, WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN SAY FIVE YEARS?

JC: Five years, eh? I really don’t know. Right now, I am just enjoying the journey and we will see where it leads.

MXP: FINAL QUESTION, IF A YOUNG RIDER IN CANADA IS DREAMING OF ONE DAY RIDING FOR FOX RACING CANADA. WHAT ARE SOME ITEMS THAT YOU LOOK FOR AS FAR AS WHO YOU DECIDE TO SUPPORT?

JC: We have a few different levels of support with Fox, from local support through a Fox partnered dealership right up to the GDR team of some of the top pros in Canada. So, we look at different things from race results, who will help with brand awareness and it’s important that they have a positive look and attitude at the track. It’s not only the top racer that we are always looking for as we have many great ambassadors who don’t even race at a high level that really help our brand. I personally like it when a rider/racer shows appreciation as it goes a long way. One thing that a lot of people wouldn’t know is that I would love for all MX kids to learn from the GDR Honda team. Derek, the team owner, is very appreciative of everything we do together, and when riders Dylan Wright, Tanner Ward and Ryder McNabb ask for or receive product, they are still very appreciative, never greedy, and always sending me a thank you text. In my eyes, that’s very cool! MXP: THANKS FOR YOUR TIME  JC. ALL THE BEST AND STAY HEALTHY MY FRIEND.

JC: Thank you Palms – always appreciate you reaching out to me. It’s fun to catch up and I’m looking forward to lining up beside you in a few months at Walton.

50 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Feature-Industry Profile JC Seitz.indd 50

2021-05-13 4:07 PM


MXP21_21.02_FMF-PartsCanada.indd 1

2021-05-13 3:40 PM


Chris Ellis

A Life Well Lived It’s not easy summarizing the life story of one of your best and oldest friends in roughly 1,000 words, but I’ll give it my best shot: Chris Ellis was a force of nature. He seemed to have his own solar system— Chris at the centre and a collection of small planets orbiting around him. The planets were the rest of us, his friends. Each of us considered Chris to be our best friend; looking back, it seems like he had hundreds of best friends. That’s just the way he was.

B Y L AW R E N C E H A C K I N G / P H O T O S B Y B I L L P E T R O

C

hris recently retired from Triumph Motorcycles, where he worked for more than 25 years. He was largely responsible for building the brand into the success story it is here in Canada. During that time, he wore many different hats, including hosting media launches for the Canadian journalist troupe. Chris also sat on the Board of Directors of the Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council (MMIC) and served on many committees dedicated to the betterment of the sport. He was a fixture at nearly every motorcycle show across Canada for decades. His contact with his dealers was more than just business; his dealers were his close friends. Many people believe that Chris’ relationship with his dealers was the secret to Triumph’s success in this country. Some of Chris’ closest friends in business were Bruce Parker (Joe Rocket), Mike Inglis (Inglis Cycle London) and Danny Baldwin (Baldwin Cycle in Dunnville). They were all Yamaha dealers who met each other in 1982 on a trip to Japan. Each dealer needed to order 16 Yamaha XS 400 Heritage Special street

52 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Chris Ellis Tribute.indd 52

2021-05-13 3:56 PM


“Chris raced bikes in the 1970s, starting in motocross and enduros before gravitating to flat track and eventually road racing, He had a solid racing career, making it to the expert level in dirt track competing against Canada’s best at the time.”

MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 53

MXP21_21.02_Chris Ellis Tribute.indd 53

2021-05-13 3:56 PM


“Even if you just met him for the first time, Chris drew you in. He took a sincere interest in who you were, what you did and sought out a common thread.” bikes to be invited on the trip. Without incriminating anyone with sordid details, I believe the trip cemented lifelong friendships while leaving their Japanese hosts shaking their heads in disbelief. Going back even further, Chris raced bikes in the 1970s, starting in motocross and enduros before gravitating to flat track and eventually road racing, He had a solid racing career, making it to the expert level in dirt track competing against Canada’s best at the time. In 1987, he was awarded the Billy Mathews Memorial trophy, given to the racer who accumulated the most wins in a season. (Side note: Billy Mathews was the first Canadian to win the Daytona 200 back in the 1950s.)  In 2003, Chris and I decided to go handlebar-tohandlebar once again, signing up for the fledgling supermoto series that started here in Ontario. Our race strategy was simple; the old, out-of-shape, exracers would relive a tiny shred of their past glory by outsmarting the young lions. Of course, our plot didn’t work out, but we still had fun. Riding bikes with Chris was always a blast. We may have on occasion, exceeded posted speed limits and our front wheels may have turned fewer rotations than the rear wheels. There wasn’t a more enthusiastic race fan than Chris. He followed almost every motorcycle racing series in existence. I’ll miss his texts just prior to every supercross race that often read something like this: “Race day— game on boys!” Chris also worked in bike shops in Southern Ontario before starting Central Ontario Cycle (COC) in Waterloo, Ontario. COC supported a flock of upand-coming racers, including multi-time national flat track and road race champion Jon Cornwell. Upon hearing the news that Chris passed away on April 12, a good number of people reported that he gave them their first sponsored ride. One such person, my buddy Tim Murdock, had a set of dirt track leathers with the COC logo on them. Until recently, I didn’t know how far-reaching Chris’ influence was. Here, again, the solar system metaphor suits him perfectly. Chris began attending Daytona Speed Weeks in the early 1980s and went every year since, up until last year. From 1998 on, his regular companion on this annual pilgrimage was his wife, Kristine. Sometimes, we would join them in Florida and ride around on Triumphs enjoying the roads, good weather and better vibes. Chris loved music and playing in bands. His music buddies often crossed over from motorcycling and vice versa. He and Kris hosted many people

over the years, including many “Barnarolas” which were held in their outbuilding. Summer weekends were a lot of fun in recent years. Nearly every Friday evening, we would get another text: “Drinks on the dock at 5!” A group of us would bring over something to throw on the BBQ and sit around the fire until the “mozzies” drove us home. Even if you just met him for the first time, Chris drew you in. He took a sincere interest in who you were, what you did and sought out a common thread. In the motorcycling industry, there’s no one I know who had been around longer or knew more people. After the initial shock and subsequent sadness of Chris’ passing, I’m comforted when I look back at his life because he packed a lot of living into his 70 years on this planet. In fact, he probably extracted more out of his time with us than most

people would in two lifetimes. Bearing that in mind, like most of us who raced motorcycles, past and present, Chris was not cut out to spend his twilight years stuck in a retirement home, fading away. Better to go quickly and leave volumes of good memories for the next generation to read about. Chris loved big horsepower the old school way. For him it was go big or go home. He loved lake life and I can well remember his big block, twin-engine power boat with the exhaust burbling across the water. When the coast was clear and the water was smooth, Chris pushed both throttles forward and we just took off. At 100-plus km/h, it felt like we were flying. Filling that boat with fuel was always an expensive treat; we threw hundred dollars bills into the gas tank like they were pieces of kindling. One of Chris’ well-used and oft-repeated quotes was, “fun costs money”. Indeed, it does – but man, we had fun.

54 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Chris Ellis Tribute.indd 54

2021-05-13 3:56 PM


MADE FOR MOTO

4.5 MOTO BOOTS Crush the track in robust comfort with the 4.5 Boot with SlideLock system for an air-tight seal and flat grippy inside for epic connection and bike feel. From the DualZone hardness of the sole, to the reinforced steel shank and robust low-profile toe-box for easy gear shifting, it’s clear that this certified pair of protective equipment is the armor your lower limbs deserve to take your performance to the next step.

THE SCIENCE OF THRILL

MXP21_21.02_Kimpex.indd 1

DISTRIBUTED BY:

www.kimpex.com

2021-05-13 3:42 PM


The Parts Canada InsideX Show: Making Canadian Moto Mainstream B Y M X P S TA F F / P H O T O S B Y I S A I A H R E I D

56 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Feature-Behind the Scenes-Inside X BTS.indd 56

2021-05-13 4:08 PM


T

The start of InsideX TV show: The world went into a complete lockdown, Canada issued a stay-at-home order, and what seemed to be such a promising year for Jetwerx and the Triple Crown Series, all went up in smoke in a matter of days. Much like many businesses in Canada, so many questions stood in the way of getting back to normal life and a normal Racing series. No longer than a week after the lockdown was announced in Canada, Justin Thompson, Jetwerx CEO, made some phone calls regarding a potential motorsport TV show that would broadcast on a Network like MAVTV (now known as REVTV). It was a show that was on the back burner, but always something that Justin wanted to take on, but he didn’t have the time to launch the project. A few days later, however, he was able to secure a national broadcast time slot and a 20-plus episode deal for a new motorsport show. Now came time for hiring the talent, along with filming and editing, a couple of hosts and, most importantly, a name for the show. Justin’s brother Kyle was an easy fit for the host job, especially during the pandemic when work environments were being limited to a small number of people. The co-host was another easy pick. Ryan Gauld, a long-time

AFTER MANY DISCUSSIONS REGARDING NAMES, INSIDEX WAS FINALLY CHOSEN. THE NAME CAME FROM THE SHOW’S AIM TO TAKE A DEEPER LOOK INSIDE MOTORSPORTS ACROSS CANADA.” voice of Canadian moto, was more than happy to join the show. Kyle and Ryan also have had a few seasons of broadcasting Triple Crown racing as a commentary team. On the video editing side, Jetwerx hired an up-andcoming talent in Isaiah Reid, known for his iMoto Films edits on many social platforms. Isaiah started working with Jetwerx on a part-time basis during the 2019 Triple Crown season, and after leaving a job with Toys for Big Boys in Moncton, New Brunswick, Isaiah is ready to follow his dream of being the leader for moto content in Canada. The small team was assembled, and the guys came together and sorted out the name for the show. After many discussions regarding names, InsideX was finally chosen. The name came from the show’s aim to take a deeper look inside motorsports across

MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 57

MXP21_21.02_Feature-Behind the Scenes-Inside X BTS.indd 57

2021-05-13 4:09 PM


The Parts Canada InsideX Show: Making Canadian Moto Mainstream

NOW THAT WE ARE ON OUR SECOND SEASON OF THE SHOW, WE HAVE THE KEY PLAYERS IN PLACE, AND A NETWORK LIKE FOX SPORTS BACKING US.” Canada, and not to be a Motocrossonly program. After a few weeks of planning, InsideX was launched and ready for episode one on April 8, 2020. Considering that it was made during a pandemic, Kyle was solo on camera and invited guests on via Zoom, with a few episodes later in the year where he and Ryan were in the same room. After 22 episodes, the show had some serious legs in the broadcast world, and caught the attention of Fox Sports, and many other industry partners such as Parts Canada, ARMA, Royal Distributing and more. InsideX is now deep into season two, and Fox Sports is thrilled with the outcome of the show, as well as some fresh new segments including ARMA Rewind, Parts Canada Dream Bike, The Farm, and more. The show looks to have a place in the industry as well as the broadcast world.

Kyle Thompson’s thoughts on InsideX:

For me, the show gave me an opportunity to better my skills at being in front of a camera. Unlike Gauldy, I am new to this world. I stumbled into my first commentating role after flights for the two announcers we had scheduled to cover one of our races were canceled. I instantly fell in love with it, being on the mic and calling the race gave me similar excitement

Justin Thompson’s thoughts InsideX:

and adrenaline of being on the line of the race myself. InsideX is definitely Justin’s brainchild, but he has thousands of ideas, so it might have been one of those things where I would just go along with his idea saying things like, “that’d be cool” or, “man, we need to do that”. After 10 years of working on Justin’s projects with him, I am starting to realize all his crazy ideas have potential in his world. Now that we are on our second season of the show, we have the key players in place, and a network like Fox Sports backing us, this could be something that lives on for a long time, and I am proud to be on the ground floor when it first started.

InsideX for me was just another pipe dream. I get crazy ideas sometimes, but InsideX just made sense right out of the gate. We needed something to showcase our sport and the level of exposure you would see on a global level. The show just checks a lot of the boxes for the activations for partners, shows off Canada’s motorsport talent and brings together our motorsports community to share our passion for racing. Season one was dipping a toe in the pool, now on season two we are looking to get knee-deep in the pool. Progression is key for any project. “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting old.” – J.T.

Isaiah Reid path to InsideX / Jetwerx:

It’s crazy how small of a world we live in when you stop to think about it. In 2019, I was working for a local dealership by the name of Toys for Big Boys in Moncton, N.B. Larry Northrup, the owner of Toys also owns the famous Riverglade Motocross Track. At the time, I was heavily involved in the local Atlantic motocross community. Running the biggest team in the Atlantic, we had 32 riders riding for us that year. Kyle came to our store with his crew to set up a booth, handed out cans of Rockstar Energy, and tickets

for the National to generate some awareness for the event. Little did we know that meeting was going to turn into what it has now with us producing a show that is becoming familiar across Canada, InsideX on Fox Sports. My journey into production has been one that started many years ago. As a kid making videos for fun with friends, I found a passion for capturing moments. Attaching this passion to motocross was the next natural step. I started to get involved with moto when I was just six years old when I stumbled across the street to my neighbour Caleb’s track he had set up in the back yard. I have been hooked ever since. Years later I find myself putting together videos in the Atlantic motocross community and working hard to make a name for myself. The videos are better known as iMoto Films. When the opportunity to work with Kyle and the Triple Crown Series came up, I had a hard choice to make with leaving a job I loved at Toys for Big Boys and pursuing a career all on my own in the film and video industry. The decision led me to start my next business with a very talented fellow creator in Austin Watling, known as Interlaced. But life is about risk and I encourage all my friends to do just that. Jump in with both feet and see where life takes you. Find your passion and never let it die. In my time working with Jetwerx we have put together 30 episodes of InsideX and we’re now into our second season. We have hundreds of videos across social platforms, we’re directing broadcast shows for Arenacross in the U.S., and making content for our broadcast here in Canada. This journey has been a blast and we are just getting started.

58 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Feature-Behind the Scenes-Inside X BTS.indd 58

2021-05-13 4:10 PM


THIS IS INTENSE TH E

A L L

NE W

I NTE NSE

TAZER

The fir st MX inspir ed E - M o u n t Backed by four tim e SX C h a mp and other MX & SX gr eats, M i t Car son Mum for d, Hunter Yo der

M X

a i n bi ke. i o n , Ry a n Du n g ey ch Ol den bu r g , a n d Jeff E mi g .

Look for the INTENSE TazerMX at select Parts Canada retailers. Ask your retailer about our all new Bicycle Catalogue.

MXP21_21.02_Parts Canada - Intense.indd 1

2021-05-13 3:45 PM


MARTY SMITH BY THE NUMBERS - ALLAN JAGGARD’S TRIBUTE TO

(1956-2020) I N T R O B Y C H R I S P O M E R OY / P H O T O S B Y M I K AY L A C O L E M A N

A

s the editor of MXP Magazine and a longtime fan of motocross, I thought I’d help compose the intro to Allan Jaggard’s very cool Marty Smith bike pictorial. Even though most of Marty Smith’s success came while I was quite young, I was still astutely aware of his march towards the top of American motocross. You see, back in those days there was another motocross magazine called Motocross Action and thankfully my dad bought a subscription at one of the Toronto motorcycle shows. Every few months an issue would arrive in the mail and my dad and I would sit down together and read it cover to cover. Well, to be perfectly honest, he would read, and I would listen intently while gazing at all the cool photos. In those days, there were names like Bob ‘Hurricane’ Hannah, Roger DeCoster, Marty Tripes, Broc Glover and, of course, Marty Smith from San Diego, California. With long blond hair and surfer good looks, Marty was a ‘California kid’ if there ever was one. He was one of the few riders of that era who had as much swagger and charisma off the bike as he did on it. At the time, Honda wasn’t the dominant brand it would become in later years, but that didn’t stop Marty Smith from bursting on the AMA motocross scene as a teenager and winning the 1974 and 1975 125 National Championship. With success on the track came popularity away from it, and Marty would often be in the mainstream news in his home state. In 1976, he did the unthinkable by competing in both the 125 AMA Championship Series as well as the 125 World Grand Prix Series. Although he didn’t win either title, flying back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean only in-

60 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Jaggs-Marty Smith.indd 60

creased his God-like status among fans and peers. Marty would win his final AMA title in 1977 when he won the ultra-competitive 500cc Championship. Of course, my dad and I followed the series closely through the pages of MXA – with him reading to me while I sat on his knee and wondered if one day I would be lined up behind a gate. As many know, Marty Smith was more than just a three-time AMA Champion and Hall of Fame member, he was an icon of 1970s Americana. Like Route 66 or Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, when you think of Marty Smith you don’t just think about the man, but also about the purity and innocence of the sport he represented at that time. When Marty and his wife Nancy passed away last year in a tragic accident, the sport of motocross lost an icon and the world lost someone that everyone wished they could be. Marty and Nancy had been together since they were teenagers and through their journey through life together, they appeared to transition perfectly from world travelers to becoming parents and then grandparents. Yes, April 27, 2020 was an incredibly sad day in our industry and one that brought many of us to tears. It was an unfortunate end to two incredible lives. When Allan Jaggard informed us that he was building a Marty Smith replica Honda we thought it would be a great idea to feature it in this issue as a tribute to Marty. Obviously, Allan put a ton of time and effort into getting these replica bikes right and for the open-minded reader an extensive story can be found on his personal website at www.route448.ca. Yes, Marty Smith is gone but he will never be forgotten. Marty will live on in the pages of this magazine and I couldn’t be prouder.

M 2021-05-14 11:44 AM


MART 448

MARTY SM MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 61

MXP21_21.02_Jaggs-Marty Smith.indd 61

2021-05-14 10:14 AM


“As many know, Marty Smith was more than just a threetime AMA Champion and Hall of Fame member, he was an icon of 1970s Americana.”

MARTY SMIT

This unique display can be found at the Royal Distributing Store in Guelph, ON.

SMITH 448

62 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Jaggs-Marty Smith.indd 62

2021-05-14 11:45 AM


MAXIMA AD PP10W40 MXP May2021.qxp_Layout 1 4/13/21 10:39 AM Page 1

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

PEAC MAXIMA’S EXCLUSIVE ADDITIVE SYSTEM

PEAC additive system was developed by Maxima and tested with factory teams like Monster Energy Kawasaki, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki and Geico Factory Connection Honda. PEAC was designed to significantly improve performance in several critical areas: engine cleanliness, clutch performance, power & acceleration. This unique additive system is exclusive to the Maxima 4-stroke engine oil line-up. OEM Approved & Guaranteed by Maxima Racing Oils / Made in the USA / MaximaUSA.com

MXP21_21.02_Maxima.indd 1

2021-05-13 3:43 PM


MAR

RTY SMIT 448

64 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Jaggs-Marty Smith.indd 64

2021-05-14 10:14 AM


M

X

P

M

A

G

.

C

O

M

CANADA’S SOURCE FOR MOTOCROSS AND OFF ROAD NEWS FOR THE PAST 22 YEARS @MXPMAGAZINE

MXP2021_21.01_House-Ad.indd 1

@MXPMAGAZINE

@MXPMAG

2021-05-13 3:51 PM


THE INSIDE LINE

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

WITH ANDY WHITE

LIFE IS A TEST

WELL, THAT’S A WRAP FOR THE 2021 SUPERCROSS SEASON AND I HAVE TO SAY THAT WAS ONE OF THE BETTER INDOOR SERIES HELD OUTDOORS I HAVE WATCHED IN A LONG TIME. IT WAS PRETTY COOL KNOWING THAT THERE WERE FIVE OR SIX FACTORY RIDERS THAT COULD POTENTIALLY TAKE THE WIN. THIS MADE IT INTERESTING FOR MY THREE SUPERCROSS FANTASY LEAGUES I WAS ENTERED IN. AFTER ABOUT ROUND THREE, I FIGURED OUT THAT I SUCKED AT PICKING THE TOP FIVE. EACH WEEKEND DIFFERENT RIDERS STEPPED UP AND MADE ME LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT. MY WIFE SAID, “LET ME PICK FOR YOU.” I SAID,  “YOU KNOW WHAT, THAT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA BECAUSE I OBVIOUSLY HAVE NO CLUE!” IN A BIG PICTURE SENSE, THIS SHOWED THAT THERE WERE A BUNCH OF RIDERS THAT HAVE THE SKILL TO WIN! THE QUESTION IS WHICH RIDER CAN BE CONSISTENT ENOUGH TO WIN THE 2021 SUPERCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP?

A

s we know now, Cooper Webb was the rider best able to adapt to different tracks. It was amazing how at the Atlanta rounds Cooper was not even close to winning round one or two. That’s when the team loaded up the next morning at 3 a.m. and headed to Florida to start figuring out how to make his KTM 450 work better at the third round at Atlanta. They tested for two full days and came back for the third round at Atlanta. As we witnessed, the team did one heck of a job figuring out what they had to do. That’s what you call teamwork. The team realized that if they didn’t make changes, they

we’re going to finish off the podium at the next round. The series was down to Honda factory rider Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb. Both teams worked tirelessly to find that magic set up. I guess the KTM team did what they needed to because  they were the ones that left Salt Lake with the win! Back in the day when I was manag-

ing the factory Red Bull Canadian MX team in 2011, we were struggling with a rider’s results. The team was working with a U.S. suspension company, and we tested with them in California and New England. The bikes were all set up and the riders seemed happy with their three months of testing. After round three, the rider (who will remain nameless) requested a meeting after he fell off his 450 three times in one moto. “I just can’t figure it out. I can’t ride that bike at the speed needed to win the race,” he said. “What are you thinking?”, I said. He asked if we could compare his past suspension sponsors product to the current one. I agreed to at least give it a shot, and if it’s not the suspension we can look at other ideas. On day one of the test, he went out on a test track he was quite familiar with.  He put down a 15-minute moto to get a baseline and to set the track up. We then removed the current suspension and installed the suspension from the company that had supported him for more than 10 years. He went out and tested the new product, but the lap timer does not lie. Right away, his lap times were three seconds faster without touching a clicker or anything. After a few clicks here and there, we went from two-minute lap times to 1:56. That’s four seconds a lap faster. And what would four seconds per lap difference would equal at the last national? Well, my rider would have won both motos. That’s all the feedback I needed. I said to the rider at the end of the day, “okay, I will support you on this.” The very next weekend that rider, who was finishing between fourth and sixth overall, won the next national round. That, my friends, is

called confidence. In my opinion, the most important piece to the puzzle is to make sure your rider is confident while sitting on the starting line, because if not, what’s the point of racing for the win? The key to success is all riding on those test days at the track. If you ask your rider, “do you get arm pump out on the track?” If they say “yes!”, that’s the cue to start testing to get your rider more comfortable on their race bike. Have you ever had arm pump after winning a race? I don’t think that’s possible, when you’re out front, you can ride smoothly and effortlessly. The easier it is and the less effort it takes translates into using less energy to hang on at the end. If you can relax and ride at that level, you will have plenty of energy at the end of motos. Imagine having the same energy level in your body as on the last lap of the race? I personally don’t know what that feels like, but I can imagine it’s an awesome feeling. I do know what it feels like sitting at the start waiting for the gate to drop on moto four and thinking, “man, I am so tired I already have arm pump and I am not even moving yet!” Do yourself a favour and do a personal fitness ramp up. With the pandemic in full lockdown, this is the perfect time to get your body into shape. Don’t sit around and talk crap about why we are not racing. There’s nothing you can do right? Wrong! You can get motivated and figure out a way to better yourself for the first race. Imagine showing up for the first race in shape! I’ll bet the other riders will comment on your results and want to know what you did differently. See you at the races.  

“IN MY OPINION, THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE TO THE PUZZLE IS TO MAKE SURE YOUR RIDER IS CONFIDENT WHILE SITTING ON THE STARTING LINE, BECAUSE IF NOT, WHAT’S THE POINT OF RACING FOR THE WIN.”

66 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP21_21.02_Column-Andy White.indd 66

2021-05-13 3:59 PM


Sailun_19.04_Revised_ad.indd 1

2019-09-04 4:42 PM


S P 21 R E F L E X C A S T H E L M E T

LEADING T H E WAY For top level athletes like Max Anstie, there is no compromise when it comes to helmet choice. Available with a carbon fiber or fiberglass composite shell, the Reflex offers leading helmet technology with the Koroyd ® Damage Control System integrated into a premium dual density EPS liner in conjunction with MIPS® Brain Protection System.

FEATURING

+

TECHNOLOGIES

LEARN MORE AT THORMX.COM/REFLEXHELMET

SP21_REFLEX_CAST_ANSTIE_1PG_MXP.indd 1 MXP21_21.02_Thor.indd 1

4/20/21 12:31 PM 2021-05-13 3:46 PM

Profile for Motocross Performance Magazine

MXP Motocross 21.02  

MXP Motocross 21.02  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded