Johnny Grant and Kevin Tyler are the two main faces behind the Sand Del Lee race facility. SDL has become one of the elite tracks in the country and boasts one of the best Pro Nationals in the country.
This weekend, riders from across Ontario and Quebec are headed to Sand Del Lee for their season opener. Busy as always, we caught up with Johnny to talk about the race, their great promotional contest and find out what is in store for this weekend.
MXP: Hey Johnny, how are things going at SDL? An early start to the season for you guys!
JG: Yeah, the weather cooperated nicely this year and we got our earliest start ever.
MXP: Once again, MX101 is teamed up with Yamaha for 2012. It is a great program that has had some fast kids come through the door there. We saw Tyler Duffy on the weekend and he was flying!
JG: We have been working with Yamaha for over 10 years now. The people at Yamaha are the absolute best! We use Yamaha bikes in our Summer Camps, in our Learn To Ride Program and during Private Lessons, and of course our team is blue for sure. MX101 and SDL is a big Yamaha area. Our riders, including Tyler Duffy, Dylan Wright, Anthony Spadaccini, and Brandon Gourlay are all great kids. Dylan and Tyler rode really well this past weekend and took home the accolades. With the first race of the year at SDL this weekend, Brandon and Anthony will get to show their stuff as well. We also have Shawn Robinson who is really riding well this year and I hope to see great things from him at the Nationals. There are a ton of fast riders at SDL, and I think that is due to having the best facility in Canada to practice at combined with our education and racing programs.
MXP: It is the first big race this weekend for your team. Talk about what is going on for racers who plan on attending the double header this weekend.
JG: This weekend should be awesome. Each day is an Amateur National Qualifier, and the racing should be some of the best in the country. We have some seriously fast riders from Eastern Ontario that are chomping at the bit to line up and have some fun. And of course, hopefully win the Factory Fan Experience!
MXP: The Factory Fan Experience is a great idea. Explain how riders get involved in it
and maybe win!
JG: Well, the key component is that you have to ride at least two classes every day you race with us. If you miss one day or only ride one class one day, you are not eligible. Some guys were talking the other day about entering two classes even on days they could not ride just to stay in it. Once you have done that, we will do a draw from all of the qualified riders during the last race of the year, and someone will be going to California with KT and I to Anaheim 1, 2013! It is going to be an awesome trip, and we have already talked to a lot of the teams. Everyone is excited. It includes your airfare and hotel for two people and all the fun we can shove into a behind-the-scenes trip to the biggest Supercross of the year! And there are more prizes as well. Second prize is a Free Membership at SDL for 2013, Third Prize is a 3 Day Summer Camp with MX101, Fourth Prize is set of Fox Gear, and Fifth prize is an EKS Brand prize package!
MXP: You think about it, the odds of winning are pretty good.
JG: For sure, they are fantastic! There is only a small group of hard core riders who double class every race, but anyone can step up and do it. I used to race three classes a day with a few of the guys like Gary Kavanagh and Dave Cherry at SDL back in the day, and that is where we came up with our IronMan Series that we have been running for all these years. This plays right into that participation concept, and hopefully we will get more people joining that core group of racers that come to SDL for every event.
MXP: I know MX101 does a lot of camps and schools. Are there still openings for those?
JG: It is filling up quickly. Our biggest program is our 7 weeks of Summer Camps; the second week is already sold out, so we encourage people to book early. The camps are amazingly fun, and I have never seen kids, and adults as well, improve their riding so much. We use a combination of teaching, demonstration, and practice that is really fun, but is also incredibly effective. We work with each person individually and everyone comes away super happy. We do some adult camps that get rave reviews as well.
MXP: Thanks for taking the time John. Any people you want to give a shout out to?
JG: Our staff is incredible, and we all have a great time while we run great quality, family oriented events. There are a lot of people, but they totally deserve any kudos you can give them: Ben, Samantha, Annette, Pete, Syd, Chris, Gus, Mike, Alison, Brittany, Onna, Rick, Etienne at the front gate, Devon and Devin, and Chris C. All these people make the whole thing go! And of course to all our members and the people who race with us, we cannot say enough. There are so many great people in our sport and at SDL. And Doug and Rick Argue deserve a special mention for all the great things they do.
MXP: Thanks John. Good luck this weekend. I know the guys here at MXP are pretty excited to be coming up!
JG: No Problem, anytime! If anyone needs information, go to our website www.mx101.ca or follow our twitter @MX101_SDL. I am looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend.