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 three rounds of a nine round provincial Championship now in the books, seeing well over 1,000 entries in total, 2019 looks 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’s Provincial Championship series resumes this weekend along the scenic, ‘Sea to sky highway’ at Pemberton B.C’s picturesque, Green River Motocross track. Future West Moto now has online sign up available prior to all racing events. All you need to know and more can be found at www.futurewestmoto.ca
With only one week remaining and the table now set for the outdoor portion of the 2019 Rockstar Triple Crown Series in Calgary, Alberta, who else is excited? To me this time of year in our sport is like no other. Between the culmination of this season’s hype, training and travel, along with the adrenaline-fuelled anticipation from riders, fans and industry supporters alike, it doesn’t really get much better than this. Last week we saw a couple of our own homebred racers, Jared Petruska and Keylon Meston, both try their hands at the first round of the AMA’s Lucas Oil Pro National just east of Sacramento, California at Hangtown Raceway. Kudos to you both. Even though both of these riders did not make the mains, I believe we will see their efforts paid forward on home turf in Calgary next weekend. With that being said, how cool was it to see both Ken Roczen and Adam Cianciarulo exercise some of their bad luck Demons that have hampered previous top step hopes. The other thing that was paramount at the AMA’s opener was how the day deteriorated in the weather department. Seeing that track develop the way it did, handling all of the second moto rain that came down, it went much better than I had expected. Will we see the same thing in Calgary next weekend? I certainly hope not. Whatever is forecasted, it is not going to change my plans of attending.
The outdoor portion of this series will mark the return to National level racing action of five-time premier class outdoor national champion, GDR / Honda Canada / Foxhead / Atlas Brace rider Colton Facciotti. In a move seldom seen, prior to the past weekend’s opening round action of the Moto Park Cup, Facciotti was in fact lined up at that event. Colton’s results have only ever done one thing in regards to those who have critiqued his program and preparation methods. That is, systematically silenced them with top step speeches. I do, however, believe that things are a bit different now with the three disciplines of racing in this series. Simply put, if the other guys are getting beneficial, top level racing and gate drops, the guys that are not may have some catching up to do. Let’s remember the outdoor series is one full round shorter. With Facciotti, though, had he not been lined up at Moto Park with the likes of his on-track nemesis Cole Thompson, his track record would not have had me questioning a thing heading into Calgary. I do believe it was a good move for Colton as it sends the message that he is in fact ready for a run at a sixth title. In the same manner that Colton tries almost every line imaginable on race days in practice and qualifying, I still believe this veteran magician-like Motocross visionary still has a few unseen tricks up the sleeves of his Fox Racing jersey. The opening round of action at all levels over the two days in Calgary should provide those making the pilgrimage to the Blackfoot hills with some incredible racing. For the record, if you have not heard by now, both Facciotti and Thompson swapped moto wins on the unseasonably cool day at Moto Park. This event, in my opinion, given the recent weather in Ontario, was a great litmus test of our sport’s health in the region. Based on the over 1,000 entries for the first weekend of this event over the Chatsworth circuit, I think it is safe to say that good things are continuing to happen in Canadian Motocross from coast to coast.
When I was going over some of the content for my book, I came across something that I thought was imperative to mention here prior to the Pro and Amateur Nationals. It’s about travel insurance for racing dirt bikes. Most of us, myself included, always got it and still do get it for travelling to races in the United States and abroad. But let me ask you this, have you ever bought it to race in your own country? I am not about talking disability insurance or anything like that, to be compensated for any type of specific injury, I am talking about simple basic medical insurance to cover you if something happens from province to province. Our Canadian Health Care is NOT universal from coast to shining coast. I found that out myself the hard way. After 8 months of hospitalization, I was confronted with $32,000 worth of medical bills that were not covered by my B.C. Medical Insurance. The whole time I was hospitalized and transported from here to there I was led to believe that everything was covered. Trust me, we asked many questions and voiced our concerns on everything. Fortunately, in my case, I kept a vital piece of evidence forwarded by one of the social workers, that in the end exonerated us from having to pay the outrageous bill. Without that we would have likely lost the home we had just bought that summer. The lesson I have learned from all of this is that Air Ambulance bills are not covered if you are from out of province. I would also like to add that I was billed for each time I flat-lined in that helicopter as well. I flat-lined four times and was charged $250 a piece for a total of $1,000. Again, with this bill, after some six months of fighting, it too was also retracted. We take enough chances in our sport and when things do go sideways, the last thing anybody needs is to be fighting stuff like this. I know that Kyle Beaton went through a similar daunting process in regards to traveling home when misfortune struck him at Riverglade in 2012. I reached out to Kyle this week and he agreed that it was not a very pleasant part of his recovery. I caught Beats’ hard at it, doing a job for his good friend Toby Knowles, Spencer’s dad. Our conversation of course very quickly turned to what we will all be focused on in just seven days time, the outdoor nationals. Kyle has also been a driving force out here with Future West Moto to help provide our racers with the best and safest race day tracks possible. His boss, Norm Svennson from PCE Construction, is also very helpful in the same regard. Thanks again Kyle for your time and continued perseverance to give back to our timeless passion!
On our way back home to Vernon last weekend after spending a couple of days with my father in Chilliwack, we took a detour over to the Kamloops Motocross track. The track is now called the Whispering Pines Motorsports Compound. The driving part of this detour equates to about five hours round trip for us. We arrived at the track at about 2:30 that afternoon and I could not believe how many riders were there. One of the most exciting parts of going to a race track for me is pulling in and seeing so many people with genuine smiles on their faces. We really lucked out on this day as I had no idea what to expect or who would be out there having some long weekend fun. Sage Deverell was hard at in his excavator and beamed with pride to be able to show me some of the ‘new’ things that are in the works for the track and this year’s WCAN. While situated below him in my chair, many of our friends gathered. When I say this sport is timeless and it defines me, I am always overwhelmed with emotion when re-connecting with Moto brothers and sisters that I have not seen for a long time. One of the riders that I reconnected with on this day, I had not seen in almost 40 years! Yes, that thought alone has me feeling every inch of my journey. When Al Clarke (whom was nicknamed ‘Coma Clarke’ by our old friend the late ‘Captain Marvel’ Marvin Cross, back in his racing heyday) put a bear hug on me. I did in fact have a tear in my eye. Al was one of the original riders that I remembered from the early ‘70s who hailed from South Okanagan. The story, though, in my opinion anyway, just gets better. Last week and the week before I wrote about riding the Calgary track as far back as 1977. The night of the Las Vegas Supercross, I had a moto buddy over and put on the old racing films that I have from the 1977 national held in Calgary. Making a long story short, there was a particular rider out there on a YZ-80 that day in 1977 that was pulling away from me heading up one of the long, gnarly uphills. I looked over at my friend and said that the rider was named Wendy Dyck. In 1977, there were very few girls that raced in our sport and Wendy was one of them. Wendy was very fast but we never really knew what races we would see her at. I cannot remember exactly when I stopped seeing her at the races but I assure you, it was over forty years ago. Wendy, who now resides in Williams Lake, B.C., is also the better half of my old long-lost friend, Alan Clarke. The reunion on this day was incredible. Not only were they out ripping it up but also in the company of BC Motocross Legends, my old friends Rob Parker (Rawhide), Nick King, Travis Acheson, Bob Thomson, Al Ashley-Pryce and many more. I am so thankful we made that detour.
There is just over a month away now until the MRC Racing Western Canadian Amateur National hosted in Kamloops by Future West Moto. FW Moto now has online sign up for all events including the WCAN https://futurewestmoto.ca/wcan/. The Yamaha Factory Ride is back and is a great opportunity for a rider of that brand to win a new motorcycle for the following season, and much more. Many I spoke to at the track on this day were very excited about the prospect of just how good this event will be. If you are not in the West and do not plan to travel out this way for the WCAN, 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.
I just finished a phone call with KTM Canada / Orange Brigade / Maple Ridge Motorsports / Foxhead rider Jacob Piccolo. Jacob, who is now 16-year-old, suffered a bad injury just around this time last year in Horn Rapids at a Loretta Lynn’s Qualifier. In that set-back, he broke his tibia and fibula along with quite a few bones in his foot. In our conversation he told me that he is almost back up to a hundred percent. He admitted that the mobility still had a little-ways to go. Even though I was not over at the Future West Moto race at Nanaimo’s Wastelands, I heard that Jake was on fire and won both motos of the Pro Open on his 250F. He cited that his primary focus was to get a good start off of the concrete pad to evade any potential 450 roost. He admitted that it was a great feeling to win that event. The email I received from Ken Parkes of Vancouver Island MX said in his own words that the Pro class on this day was “The Jacob Piccolo Show.” He went on to add that Piccolo bested the likes of Ryan Lalonde, Kyle Springman, Parker Eales and other very fast Pro riders. Nice work Jacob. When asked about his plans for the upcoming season, he told me that he is focused on getting his Orange Brigade / Race Ready KTM 125cc to the starting line at Loretta Lynn’s this summer in the Schoolboy 1 class. That means we will not see Jacob in Calgary as he will be headed to Hangtown that weekend, looking to add to his stack of qualifying chips. The Piccolos are also headed to another Loretta’s regional qualifier this weekend in Gray’s Harbour, Washington. After telling me that, he did hint that there was a good chance that we may see him at the Blackwater track in Prince George, B.C. on June 8th. Thanks for your time Jacob and good luck this summer. Wherever you are headed this weekend friends, good luck to you all while keeping safety one of your top step priorities.