For over 20 years, Future West Moto has been committed to promoting and providing a safe place for our riders and families to enjoy the sport of Motocross. Through our outdoor Motocross and Indoor Arenacross riding schools, we are bringing top athletes in the sport to share knowledge, riding tips and instruction to the younger levels and new riders. From the ‘New Kid Beginner’ class to top National level Pro’s, we strive to ensure that our track officials, first aid, and all Future West staff are knowledgeable, friendly and offer an all around good experience while maintaining a high standard of professionalism and competition. Future West Moto and its winning team are now partnered with MRC Racing as the main sanctioning body for Motocross in the province of British Columbia. With five rounds of a nine round provincial Championship now in the books, seeing well over 1,700 entries in total, 2019 is proving to be a breakthrough year for Future West Moto. This years MRC Racing, Western Canadian Amateur National June 27th-30th will also be hosted by Future West at the newly revamped Whispering Pines Motorsports Compound in Kamloops B.C. Future West Moto now has online sign up available prior to all racing events. All you need to know for the upcoming Western Canadian Amateur National and more can be found at www.futurewestmoto.ca
Hello again friends and race fans, welcome aboard another edition of the Friday Flight. With the table now set for this weekend’s final western round of MRC Racing’s 2019 MX-Tour at McNabb Valley MX, just outside of Minnedosa, Manitoba, there is certainly lots to talk about. Minnedosa is located 50 Kilometres north of Brandon on the Little Saskatchewan River. Minnedosa is also home to the host family of the McNabbs. If you have not yet heard of Ryder McNabb, you might want to put him on your radar as one of our own future bright lights. I first met Ryder a few years back at the WCAN in Raymond, Alberta. He is not only very well versed on the race track as a future racing prodigy but he can also rebuild his own motor. To me, this kind of dedication and commitment from both Ryder and his family is incredibly admirable. Good luck to the McNabbs this weekend.
Being only two rounds into the 2019 MX-Tour portion of the Rockstar Triple Crown series, we are already beginning to see some of the more serious title contenders separate themselves. Some of course getting it done the opening two weekends exactly as they had visualized. Others, well…we all know how deep those can be to try to climb out of when one is down on their racing luck. Fortunately for most of us in this sport, as the old saying goes, we are only ever as good as our last race.
To the Prince George Motocross Club, Future West Moto, MRC Racing and CDNWMX, even though I was unable to attend the PG event (due to the birth of my daughter’s baby), hats off to you all for providing an incredibly well run and exciting Round two for us fans that follow at home. Being where I am geographically located, it is impossible for me to get Fox Sports Racing. I do have the Two Wheels app on my phone and on Sunday it proved to be a great way to watch Round two. I know there were some technical issues building up to this event, however, I feel that even though the first 250cc Moto was not aired live, the balance of the racing day made up for it. Keep in mind these are just my opinions. No one is perfect and I am thankful that everyone working together to pull these streams off knows how important they are to our sport’s continued progress.
The past weekend was the home race of KTM rider Jess Pettis. Jess, who has been in damage control mode nursing his way back to health on the race track, certainly did his hometown connections proud. Pettis, a definite crowd favourite at the home cooked meal round, took a solid Moto one victory. A second moto of fifth placed Pettis on the third step of the podium for his day’s efforts. I know this is not really where last year’s outdoor 250cc Champ had hoped to be after the first two rounds, but given what he has overcome physically, 12 points off of Wright’s Red Plate pace is a pretty decent start. Dylan Wright, who continues to lead the 250cc Triple Crown’s points chase departing P.G., also had an eventful day. It was incredible to watch him ride like human duct tape in an effort to keep his broken sub-framed bike from completely imploding underneath him. Wright, who went on to win Moto 2 by almost 10 seconds, will take a one-point series lead to Manitoba over 4th overall on the Prince George day, Club Trades Redemption rider Josh Osby. Getting back to Wright, it put a huge smile on my face when I read Dylan’s dad’s comment on the Instagram post from Prince George. In the comment, Bill Wright made reference to all the days they did practice laps standing on the footpads only. The other rider who I mentioned last week, who I believed would be hard to keep off of this very podium, Marshall Weltin, left PG with his first overall victory. Weltin heads into this weekend’s Manitoba racing action just three points adrift of the Red Plate holder Wright. The points chase in this series, with six rounds remaining, still has much to be settled.
The series also still awaits its best from Kawasaki rider Tyler Medaglia. I am sure he and his connections are hopeful that we will see that this very weekend at McNabb Valley. Tyler has been dogged with a laundry list of bad luck through this series’ first four motos. Saturday’s Moto one gate drop will mark moto #5 for the rider who now wears the same series career number. I am likely going to take some heat for this, but this series has not seen a ‘mudder’ for a while now. Should the forecast come up on the soggy side for Saturday, Tyler, who is one of the best all around riders our country has ever seen, likely won’t mind at all. The good news, however, for those looking to stay on the dry side, is that the weekend’s forecast is pretty good. There are some thunder showers predicted for Friday, but you know how that can go on the prairies in the summer. If you’re keeping track at home, Calgary saw a few inches of snow just seven days after this series kicked off three weekends ago. It has been a crazy year weather-wise so far in 2019…continent wide!
The MXTour portion of this year’s 450 class is shaping after two rounds to be a war of will between a few completely different combatants. Heading into last weekend, the series co-red plate holders were Colton Facciotti and Cole Thompson. I ended up missing the start of Moto 1 last Sunday, but when I did get tuned in, Cole’s bike was laying on the ground sideways while he frantically hovered above trying to get the chain back on. The Brigden, Ontario native’s 11-3 moto scores for sixth overall in PG now has him with a little bit of ground to make up on the front runners. Last year at the Manitoba round, Cole had one of those moments that could have seriously impacted his $100,000 season charge. At the end of the day, much like in golf, thankfully there are no pictures on the score cards or results sheets. That was an incredible save, in my opinion, and like they say, “These guys are good.”
Unfortunately, Thompson was not the only 450 class contender to have a chain issue last weekend. Kawasaki rider Matt Goerke, who now sits third overall in the $100,000k Triple Crown chase, had a similar problem at the Blackwater track. Matt, who finished 8th overall in Prince George, coupled with his sixth in Calgary, now sits 7th in the 450 MX-Tour series. Matt Goerke is one rider who will likely be very excited to depart the West for the sands of Gopher Dunes. I do not believe that I can say that in earnest for everyone. The Schuster family-run circuit in Courtland, Ontario is the most physically demanding Motocross track that I have ever seen. It compares, for argument sake, to the old Austin, Manitoba track of my racing era. I know one up and coming young Alberta rider who is headed East that will practice at this very location before heading to the fabled Dunes for July 13th.
Getting back to our two current 450cc MX-Tour front runners, Facciotti and OTSFF Yamaha mounted Phil Nicoletti, what a show these two put on up in Prince George. Nicoletti won Moto 1 for his first Canadian premier class outdoor moto victory. In Moto 2, Facciotti got the win, fending off Phil’s relentless pursuit. The overall win gave Facciotti and very slim one-point lead over Nicoletti as the series heads into Round 3. Cole Thompson, now 17 points back of the leaders after two rounds of the MXTour, will look to duplicate Calgary’s winning performance. In regards to this year’s $100,000k top step Triple Crown pay cheque, Phil Nicoletti has a narrow five-point advantage over last year’s winner, Thompson. I really believe that this series will heat up even more this weekend regardless of how high the thermostat goes on Saturday. Keep your eyes as well on prairie boy, Saskatchewan’s own Shawn Maffenbeier this weekend. The Prince George round saw Maffenbeier achieve his first ever premier class podium finish. Shawn looked very strong and was full value, going 4-4 for third overall last weekend. Being a new homeowner in Kamloops now, I am sure the Bear will add a nice chapter to his trophy room.
With the Pro Women’s West series making its furthest Eastern stop this Saturday in Manitoba, the action here, too, has been stellar. Manluk Racing’s world traveller Avrie Berry, who managed to overcome a lapper setback in Moto one last weekend, holds top step point total honours heading into Manitoba. Berry thwarted the much-improved efforts from the opener in Calgary of KTM Canada’s Eve Brodeur last weekend in PG. Brodeur, who worked hard during the week, was the fastest qualifier by almost five seconds over her on-track rivals. A&E Racing KTM rider Shelby Turner will look to the colourful Manitoba soil in an effort to showcase a second top step performance of this series. Good luck to all lined up this weekend. I look forward to being trackside when champions are crowned at this year’s finale, which will be held in conjunction with MRC Racing and Future West Moto at the Western Canadian Amateur National in Kamloops, BC. Future West Moto is promising that this will be one of the best events the West has seen. Please note that the sign-up protocol is a little bit different for this one and the details can be found right here. https://secure.tracksideprereg.com/futurewest/index.asp?event=16&l=1#eventselect&fbclid=IwAR0-EN8abc6kvkj_lhQIc_Fh9OZC0PvaSYh2j2uJGPmtk1blW7pTcgRPWMI
I just finished up a phone call with Future West Moto race director and Atlas Brace Ambassador Ryan Lockhart. Ryan, who has been wearing a number of hats so far this season, was excited to speak on the year’s developments. There are a lot of things that call for Ryan’s attention on Pro racing days, and Prince George was no different. As he was in Calgary, Ryan was hard at it in Prince George with Derek Schuster’s GDR Honda crew. Fast forwarding to the Amateur Open events that were held on Sunday, under the Future West Moto / MRC Racing umbrella, Ryan spoke positively of the changes that have been made to unite a geographically challenged Motocross Province. There were 311 entries on Sunday and that is pretty much right on the mark for every round Future West Moto has had so far this season. Ryan is also very much anticipating this year’s Western Canadian Amateur National, now just 13 days away. The current vibe and feeling are this could be the biggest event of the summer here in the West. In our conversation, he pointed out that many that he has spoken with in his industry travels do in fact have their sites set on this year’s WCAN. That makes perfect sense to me as I know that anyone who is anybody in this industry usually puts top step-type stock in results accrued at these staple events. Yamaha Motor Canada is again back at the WCAN with its ‘Yamaha Factory Ride.’ This is a great opportunity for any rider of the ‘Blu Cru’ brand to get a leg up on the following year by winning a brand new completely blinged out Yamaha and more. Transponders are mandatory for this year’s WCAN, and Future West Moto does have a limited supply available. Get yours now!
There will be many fun events held over the course of the four days at the Sage Deverell maintained Whispering Pines Motorsports Compound. The fun begins on Thursday night with a kid’s sports day followed up by a live band on Friday night. As the weekend moves into Saturday night there will also be a ’Shift Racing’ Holeshot Challenge! These types of events, even in my non-racing years, have provided my wife and I with some of our fondest Motocross event memories. I plan to spend a full three days at this year’s WCAN. I do hope to see as many of you there as possible. If this event is not in your geographical wheelhouse, you are in luck. The Eastern Canadian Amateur National is July 31st – August 2nd, 2019 in Deschambault, Quebec promoted by Challenge Quebec and MRC Racing.
Also, the 27th running of Walton Raceway’s Grand National Championship (Trans Can) goes August 12th-17th in Huron County promoted by Walton Raceway and MRC Racing. Regional amateur national qualifiers are well underway and sign up is now open.
I should also mention that MRC Racing licenses are required for all Amateur Nationals mentioned. Wherever you are lining up, friends, have a great weekend while keeping safety one of your top step priorities.