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Frid’Eh Update #23 Presented by Canadian Kawasaki

Date Added: 09/06/2018 05:42 by DirectMX
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Frid’Eh Update #23 Presented by Canadian Kawasaki

By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford

Week #23 belongs to Quebec rider, Jason Benny. | Bigwave photo

Welcome to week #23 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update Presented by Canadian Kawasaki. The traveling circus we call the Rockstar Triple Crown MX Tour has made it to the next round up in Prince George, BC. So far, we’ve been to Calgary and Popkum/Chilliwack and this week finds up 9 hours north of Vancouver in the small town of PG.

Last summer was the first time we made a stop at the Blackwater MX Track just outside the biggest city in the central BC area and by all accounts, riders really enjoyed the track. #23 Jason Benny has never been here before but I think he will find that he does quite well here. He likes sand (they’ve added a ton…more, actually) and the elevation changes may remind him a little of the track that landed him on the podium in 2017, Deschambault.

This is Jason’s first time heading all the way to the west coast for the nationals and he’s had a bit of an up and down series, so far.

We grabbed him for a quick conversation to get his thoughts, so check it out:

Here’s what Jason had to say about his season, so far. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hey, Jason. You seem to be on DMX a lot lately! Let’s get people caught up on how your first 2 rounds have gone. Can you take us through Calgary? I know it wasn’t a good one for you.

Jason Benny: Calgary was not a good one for me. I crashed in the first turn of first moto and got hit by someone while I was down. I hurt myself pretty bad but finished the moto. Then, in the second moto, I was taking it easier but still crashed twice and had a lot of trouble to get the bike running again after the second crash. Popkum was better, I liked the track a little more and did not get any bad luck. I scored 9th and 8th for an 8th overall.

What did you do between round 1 and 2?
We spent the week at Kamloops (Whispering Pines MX) to ride and camp in between the 2 races.
How did you like the Popkum Motor Park track?
Popkum was nice, a little dusty at the end of the day but still very fun with all the jumps.
How did your races go at Popkum?
Good, I had decent starts and kept my momentum the whole motos.

After a rough start at round 1 in Calgary, Jason had a solid top 10 at round 2 at Popkum Motor Park. | Bigwave photo

What did you get up to this past week?
This past week we stayed at Quesnel to practice and camp for the week. The track was very sandy and rough. We had a lot of fun!
What’s been your favourite part of the west so far?
Favourite part of the west is probably the scenery.
Have you checked out the PG track yet? What do you think?
Yes, I think it’s going to be a good one! There’s a little bit of sand and hills, so hopefully we can do good.
What will it take to get you up with that lead group of riders?
I think a track that I’m used to, a good start, a little more confidence and I can get up there.
What’s your goal for this weekend?
A top 10 again would be nice. I’m just trying to score the most points I can without taking any unnecessary risks until we get to the east coast.

Jason is looking forward to the tracks on the east where he knows he is more comfortable. | Bigwave photo

What will you do this coming week?
The coming week we’ll be heading to Minnedosa and maybe hit a track or 2 on our way there.
I bet you’re looking forward to the eastern tracks, right?
Yeaaaah! A lot! Tired of getting roosted by rocks! And I know I’m better on sand tracks.
OK, good luck this week. Who would you like to thank?
Team PR-MX, Hervieux sport mecanique, Addikt graffic, Strikt gear, VR medic, TCD suspensions, Arai helmets, Viral goggles, Fist gloves, Rekluse, Guts, Odi, Dunlop, Pelletier Kawasaki! Thank you.

Week #23 is presented by Canadian Kawasaki.


JEFF McCONKEY


Hey, guys, happy Friday.

Rockstar Triple Crown MX Tour

After the first 2 rounds of the Triple Crown MX Tour, we have a rider in each class that has been a standout. In the 250 class it is Jess Pettis. I feel like we are giving Jess the ‘Most Improved Rider Award’ every year. This guy just keeps getting better, over and over.  Going into the season, I had Jess pegged for 5th overall in 2018. I called him for a few wins here and there, along with a few mistakes and bad rounds. But, I also said that he would win the title come 2019.

Well, it’s looking like he may be a year early. Yes, we are only 2 rounds in, but Jess looks great. I don’t want to jump the gun and just hand the title to him, as there are two others that are very strong in this title chase.

Shawn Maffenbeier is our defending champion. He has the speed and fitness to win, for sure. But this year he’s added another element — he’s a smarter racer. He knows that sometimes a 2nd, 3rd, and even a 4th on certain tracks or days is just as good as a win. He hit the dirt a few times last season and he also suffered 4 DNFs. That can not happen this season if he wants to repeat as champion.  I feel that Shawn will be there every weekend and if he ends up winning the title, it will be his bad races that win it for him.

My 3rd title contender is Josh Osby. Josh looked to be on his way to winning last season until he had a season-ending crash in Nova Scotia. Leading up to the incident, Josh had stepped up his game and looked to be the guy to beat. This season, Josh knows most of the tracks, and has a year of Canadian racing under his belt. I think, just like last season, he will pick up steam as we go. He just has to make sure he doesn’t allow Pettis and Maff to get out of reach.

Joey Crown should be in this mix, but it looks like he’s riding himself back to 100%. It’s a bummer for Joey, as I really think he could be in this fight had he not been injured. As time goes on, Joey will get back to his winning ways, but for him I think the championship will be too far out of reach.

Heading into Prince George, you just can’t bet against Pettis. He will be the guy to beat and I think this is a round where Maff will take the smart 2nd and let Pettis race off to checkers or wreckers. Here are my round 3 predictions:

250 Class

1st Jess Pettis
2nd Shawn Maffenbeier
3rd Josh Osby
4th Joey Crown
5th Tanner Ward

Jess Pettis will raise the Rockstar can at his hometown race this weekend. | Bigwave photo

In the 450 class, it had been ‘The Colton Facciotti Show.’ Yes, others have been good, but Colton has been great. He and his bike are just looking like a match made on Christianmingle.com. As of right now, I don’t think anyone can straight up beat Colt without him crashing or having a mechanical. When you’re on, you’re on, and that’s Colton right now.

Behind Colt, guys are having good races, but, at the same time, they are struggling to put 2 motos back to back. The others are very talented and very capable of winning. Matt Goerke is a machine that doesn’t understand the word quit. This guy busts his ass no matter what, and he never gives up. He’s dug himself out of a points deficit in the past and there’s no reason why he can’t be up there beating Colt. He had a run in with Cole Thompson last week and I do t think it will bother him. Matt is racer and that is what he will continue doing right until the end.

With Cole Thompson, I was expecting him to be the guy to beat early on, to be honest. He just looked so damn good in AX. He’s had a few crashes and bad starts which are not his thing, but I expect a perfect Cole ride to go down soon. I think as soon as we get a super-technical track, we will get Cole’s smooth style and the #16 will amaze us. Come Prince George tomorrow, I am still on the Facciotti band wagon. I feel he will make the track look easy on his way to another 1-1.

Here are my predictions:

450 Class

1st Colton Facciotti
2nd Matt Goerke
3rd Tyler Medaglia
4th Cole Thompson
5th Mike Alessi

Colton Facciotti will win again in Prince George this weekend. | Bigwave photo

In Women’s West action, it really is the Kennedy Lutz and Brittany Gagne show. Yes, Tara Gieger came in and dominated, but that was a one-off appearance. For the remainder of the season, the top two will go at it, and the rest of the pack will have their individual battles. The women had a bit of a mud race in PG last year, so I really do hope they get a dry track to experience the fun, that 99% of the men said they had on this track last season.

Here are my PG predictions:

Women’s West

1st Brittany Gagne
2nd Kennedy Lutz
3rd Danika White
4th Dominique Daffé
5th Mariah Gautier

Brittany Gagne will trade this #2 from Calgary for a #1 this weekend. | Bigwave photo

Short for me this week. Have a great weekend and #smileforBC, #liftwithscott and  #4estrella.


BILLY RAINFORD


Hello, everyone. It’s completely my fault this Update is so late. I woke up this morning down near Kits Beach in Vancouver and then had to make the long drive north to Prince George. My plan was to pull over at a Tim Hortons or a Starbucks and post it up, but there weren’t any!

Not only that, someone managed to flip their camper trailer in the middle of the road and were lined up and stopped for what seemed like hours.

This did not help my overall time from Vancouver to Prince George today.

Of course, I assumed I was following Kourtney Lloyd. Too soon?

Anyway, this Update will mostly be the Jason Benny interview. Jason has been showing up an awful lot on DMX these days, hasn’t he?!

We’ve got Michael Earle working the camera for the race photos this weekend, so that will give me more time to get into the pits for some candid ‘Faces at the Races‘ photos. You’ve been warned!

Actually, while I was stop-and-starting my way to The Peege today, Micheal was here already and went headed over to the track to check things out. Here are some of his shots from this afternoon at Blackwater MX.


Jacob Piccolo Injury Update

Jake Piccolo undergoes successful surgery Friday morning. | Bigwave photo

So, young Jake Piccolo crashed down south at a Loretta Lynn’s Regional Qualifier at Horn Rapids and sustained a foot injury and tib/fib break on his right leg. Apparently, another rider decided not to jump a double and came over into Jake’s line and the two of them went down pretty hard. I spoke with his dad, Dan, today and they found a great surgeon in New Westminster who knew exactly what to do.

Jake is recovering now and will hopefully get the OK to go home either Saturday afternoon pr Sunday.

When I asked if this meant they were OUT for the TransCan, Dan only said that they will wait until Jake is 100% healed and ready before they make any decisions on his next race.

Great to hear surgery went well. Good luck with your recovery.


Sam Gaynor Enjoys His DMX Total Devotion Trip to Club MX

Sam Gaynor enjoys his DMX Total Devotion Award week at Club MX. | Bigwave photo

Enjoy your week down at Club MX, Sam Gaynor. You earned that one! Sam won our DMX Total Devotion Award at the MMRS Madoc National last summer. The prize was a free week down at Club MX in Chesterfield, SC.


Photos from McNabb Valley MX

They’ve been busy at work over in Minnedosa, MB where they’ll host round 4 of the Triple Crown MX Tour at McNabb Valley MX.

Brad McNabb sent over a few shots for us to see what they’ve been doing in preparation for this huge race. Check it out.


Motocross Track Strava Maps

So, I’ve talked about it for a couple years, but now I’m actually trying to do it. At the end of the racing day, I hop on my mountain bike and ride the track to get a sense of how tough it ended up being.

I start Strava at the starting gate and do a full lap up to the point where I’ve covered every inch. Here are the first two tracks: Wild Rose MX and Popkum Motor Park.

If anyone has the energy to join me, I’ll be walking my bike up and down the hill of the Blackwater MX track this Saturday…

Wild Rose MX – Calgary, AB

Popkum Motor Park – Chilliwack, BC


How to Watch Prince George LIVE

The live stream starts at 12:00pm PT/3:00pm ET Saturday afternoon. All you have to do is click HERE and you’ll be taken there.

While you’re on that page, scroll down to see the LIVE TIMING.


OK, again, sorry this is so late. Be sure to check into out Twitter and Instagram feeds for updates throughout the day. Have a great weekend.

I’ll leave you with this time lapse video of my drive from Vancouver to PG today. If only it were this fast!

See you at the races…