So, another season has passed; looking back at it, there were a lot of positives to take away from it, but there is also a whole lot I can learn from. At the end of the Canadian season, I finished off with second overall after the ten intense rounds. Second overall has been my best overall as a professional athlete. Moving forward into next year, I look forward to moving up another spot to #12, which is where I want to be and worked so hard to be. Each year I find myself improving as a professional athlete as well as an individual. For being only 19-years-old I still have a lot more to bring to the table.
After the season in Canada had concluded, I decided to make the trip down to the USA to try my hand against some of the fastest guys in the world. My first trip down was the weekend directly after Round 10, the final round of the Canadian Motocross Pro Nationals; we went to Budds Creek in Maryland for Round 11 of the AMA Pro Nationals. I was fortunate enough to have my team manager Derek Schuster, as well as my teammate Colton Facciotti, there to help me to act out different roles than they are used to. They did a great job working with me. Without them supporting me the entire weekend / season I wouldn’t have of been able to achieve the results I did. I seriously can’t thank them enough. On that weekend, I had very good starts in both motos and found myself inside the top 10 for most of the laps. I loved the fact that they have 30-minute motos as I always seem to get better and better as the motos go on. I also love the fact of how gnarly the tracks get in the states because I feel like I excel when the track gets rough and when the ruts are super deep. I ended the day with two very solid moto finishes of 13-13 for 13th overall on the day. I felt like I had the speed to finish inside the top ten but a couple mistakes cost me that top 10, but regardless I was happy with my performance. After the weekend was over, I was honored to receive the amateur award from Steve Matthes (Pulp MX) based on my results.
The following weekend, I made the trip down to the USA once again, which took place in Indiana. Last summer of 2016 I was fortunate to race Ironman and I loved it, so I decided to go back. I was also very fortunate to have my mechanic, Kyle Ward, tag along with me. I was really pumped to be racing another AMA Pro National because I feel like it helps me learn so much. With that being said, off the start in the first moto I was inside the top ten going into the second corner, but unfortunately, I got caught up in a second turn pile up, which put me pretty far back in the pack. I just put my head down and charged as hard as possible. While going through the pack I got caught up with another rider and went down once again. After passing the same guys 2-3 times that moto I ended up finishing the moto in 20th position, which didn’t show how well I was riding, because with a clear track, I was running laptimes that would’ve put me inside the top ten once again. Between the two motos, we had a fair share of bike work to do in order to get out there for the second moto. When my mechanic and I made it down to staging, we were 30 seconds late, so they made me pick my gate last which really sucked. Thanks to my mechanic Kyle and my girlfriend’s dad, I would never have been able to make it on time for the second moto at all. With dead last gate pick, I was lined up way on the outside of the first turn pointed towards the crowd (LOL). I ended up getting a really good jump out of the gate and found myself about mid pack around the first turn. But yet again, in the second turn another rider decided to make a hard left instead of a right and took me out along with many other riders. Again, I was 30 seconds back from dead last. I, for a second time that day, found myself playing catch up. At the end of the moto I made it all the way up to 18th. Although I felt like I rode way better the weekend prior at Budds, the results definitely didn’t show! At the end of the day I would have to settle with 20-18 moto scores for 19th overall on the day. Looking back at these two weekends I had spent south of the border, I learned a lot about myself and racing in general. Heading into the off-season, I know what I need to do to take the next step in my career. I will do everything possible to take that next step.
After both pro racing seasons were over, it was time to take a little break from the job and relax. Now, to be honest, that didn’t really last long, because once Gopher Dunes announced that they were hosting the sprint enduro, it totally gave me an excuse to get back out there and race! That day at the sprint enduro didn’t really go as planned because on the first lap in the morning I reinjured my ankle that I had injured in Indiana, which left me out for a bit of the day. After watching everybody ride for a couple hours, I couldn’t deal with watching any longer, so I stuffed my very swollen ankle into the boot and decided to do a few laps. Now that being said, it made me realize how much fun I have riding dirt bikes. It makes me take a step back and realize how lucky I am to be able to have a job doing what I love. Overall, I think that the event was awesome and definitely has some awesome potential. Gopher Dunes put on an awesome event that we will definitely see more of. I look forward to racing more of these events in the future.
After that weekend was over, it was time to face the fact that my body needed a little break because I wasn’t the easiest on my body this summer (LOL). For the remainder of the weekend, I went up to my girlfriend’s cottage. I do have to admit it felt really nice to just relax by the water and not have to worry about getting up early on Sunday morning and have to go racing. It has also been nice to spend some time with my girlfriend outside of the motocross scene and spend some time in her hometown for a while. I do have to admit that after pretty much living out of a suitcase for more or less the whole summer, you learn to appreciate this! With the nice weather we have been having lately in Ontario, I have enjoyed being out on the water and hanging out in the sunshine, because now it just feels like summer has just arrived! But this whole being off the dirt bike sure is getting old, and I am looking forward to heading to Gopher Dunes this weekend to partake in the Sandstorm event they are having. It sure looks like a lot of fun and will be my first time racing this event, so it should be good and I’m excited. See you all there!! And again, a huge thank you to everyone who supports me.