Brad Ewen is not only the Marketing Director for the Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha Team, but he is also a die-hard race fan and an all around great guy. Brad is one of the main reasons that the OTSFF Team has existed for ten years at the Canadian Nationals. Over the years Brad has looked after riders such as Jake Weimer, Keith Johnson, Mike Treadwell, Ryan Lockhart and Bobby Kiniry. For 2014, Brad has helped the OTSFF Team secure the services of Kyle Chisholm to ride the MX1 class. Kyle will join Bobby Kiniry and Shawn Maffenbeier as this team goes for both the MX1 and MX2 Championships. Always a great conversationalist, we caught up with Brad at his home in beautiful Kamloops, BC.
Q: Hey Brad, how are things?
A: Things are great, how are you doing?
Q: I’m good. I’m freezing right now because it’s so cold outside but other than that I’m good. Is it winter out there?
A: Yes, it’s cold and snowy but we haven’t felt the wrath from Mother Nature like you guys have. I was talking to Andre yesterday and he’s been at his farm up north using a snow cat to build Iain Hayden a snocross track. I guess they’ve been ripping things up with Hayden’s race sled and having fun. Although he did say that he’s had to clean the neighbours’ driveways with the snow cat to keep them happy because the noise from the race sled is so loud. Whatever works I guess.
Q: Yes, it’s been an old fashioned winter out here for sure, but it might as well snow so the ski resorts and sled heads are happy. So let’s move on – you’ve signed Kyle Chisholm for 2014. That’s awesome news Brad. How did this deal happen?
A: Well, it took a little while to get the deal done but it’s done and we’re extremely happy to have Kyle onboard for 2014. We think he’s going to fit in great with the team, and we think he’s going to be capable of winning motos.
Q: So you had your sights on him for a while?
A: We had looked at a few guys but in the end Kyle was the best fit. He’s an extremely down to earth guy and that’s important to us. We’re a laid back team and you have to have a certain personality to fit in. Kyle seems like that type of guy so I think he’ll be great. We feel that with the addition of Kyle, our team of Bobby Kiniry and Shawn Maffenbeier will be very strong this year.
Q: Kyle has some experience up here having won an MX2 Championship a few years ago, so he knows how things work in Canada.
A: Exactly! Although that championship was a long time ago, Kyle remembers what it was like here and he is really excited. He also has a lot of time on the new 2014 Yamaha YZ450 so he’ll be ready by round one in Nanaimo.
Q: This is great news Brad as he adds to an already strong line up in the MX1 class for 2014. Another positive thing for you guys is that since Bobby isn’t racing supercross this year, he’s going to come into the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals healthy, fresh and ready to go.
A: You hit the nail on the head Palms. During this off season Bobby has had the chance to get his knee fixed and just relax really. He’s been non-stop for a number of years now and he really needed a break. Right now, his knee is feeling good, he’s in the gym training hard and he’s excited to get back riding. I think coming into this summer, you’re going to see the best Bobby Kiniry that you’ve even seen. I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see that.
Q: For sure, Bobby is such a competitor. It’s going to be great to see him start the series healthy. Also, you guys have a new 2014 YZF450 to race this year. I know Stu and Iain have been testing it already and it works great.
A: We’ve been working closely with Pro Circuit to get the engine just right for everyone. The boys down in California are coming up with some crazy, gnarly stuff as they always do. We’ve been very fortunate over the years to have some great sponsors that have provided us with unbelievable support. This year is no different and I know we’re going to have some really cool stuff.
Q: Your riders will also be wearing some new gear as you’ve signed Alias as a sponsor.
A: Yes, we’re really happy about this deal. We were talking to Jeff Surwall for a while about this and he is really excited about it. As you know, he’s a former racer himself who spent a lot of time up here racing so he can’t wait to get rolling. Alias is going to make some one-off gear for our team so it’s going to be just amazing.
Q: The OTSFF Team has been around for ten years now, and although you’ve been successful you haven’t won the amount of championships that say a Blackfoot or Leading Edge has. How have you stayed so motivated for so long?
A: Honestly, we just love to burn gas!! We love it! That’s it Palms. We’re twelve months a year here, there’s no break for this team. Once Moto is done for the year we’re straight into snocross. Once snocross ends it’s back into moto. There is no end so we have to love it. I think that is one of the things our sponsors love about us is that at the end of the day they know we love to burn gas!
Q: You should put that motto on the rig (laughs). Over the years you’ve been involved with a lot of different athletes. Out of them all, who was the biggest character?
A: Omg! There has been a few good ones, that’s for sure. I would have to say that Mike Treadwell was a beauty. He was always doing stuff to make us laugh and he always had a smile on his face. He was just a great guy to work with and we had a lot of fun.
Q: Well Brad, great talking to you and good luck this year. Also, congratulations on the signing of Kyle Chisholm. He should be a great addition to the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals.
A: Thanks Palms, it’s going to be fun year. We’re also super stoked that Rockstar is now the title sponsor of the series. I know those guys are really excited and I think the series is going to be taken to a new level. All the best to you guys.