Future West Moto Presents The Friday Flight With Brent Worrall

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 four rounds of a nine round provincial Championship now in the books, seeing well over 1,300 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’s Provincial Championship series resumes this weekend at the Blackwater track in Prince George B.C. in conjunction with the Prince George club and the MRC Nationals, Amateur Open. Future West Moto now has online sign up available prior to all racing events. All you need to know for this weekends action, the WCAN and more can be found at www.futurewestmoto.ca

Once again, it is the weekend and we are set for lift off with the ‘Friday Flight’ here at MXP Magazine. With the MX Tour portion of the 2019 Rockstar Triple Crown Series now underway, I look forward to sharing some of my thoughts on what I saw in Calgary last weekend and beyond. Due to circumstances out of my control, up until this past weekend, I had not had the benefit of seeing a Pro National in person in over a year. I am certainly happy that drought is now over. Everything building up to the opener and most of what happened in Calgary by now has been pretty well documented by members of our faithful Canadian Moto media. I even ran into Pulp MX’s Steve Matthes on Saturday, who was raised in Manitoba. Luckily, I just happened to be wearing the Pulp MX hat he gave me when I sat in on his show in 2016. Between the good people here at MXP, the folks at Wild Rose MX and the Triple Crown’s MRC Racing team, I felt that my wife and I were very well taken care of. For that and all of the birthday wishes I was extended, on one of the best weekends we have both had in a long time, I thank you all very much. Some things in life we just can not control. As motocrossers, that is something we all understand and deal with as best we can.

It was great to see Steve Matthes taking in Round 1 in Calgary. Photo by James Lissimore

I am not sure if it is because I am now another year older but things seemed to move along very quickly in Calgary. Hats off to the MRC Racing gang. I know there were some issues at the opener but by day’s end there were smiles all around. The day got started with all eyes on the FXR Racing two-stroke Pre-Mix Challenge along with the Pro Women’s West series opening moto. Calgary shaped up nicely to be a full belly smorgasbord for my famished, live racing appetite. The track seemed to flow better than I remember from recent years. One rider even told me that he really liked the GP feel that the track had. To me that was more of a compliment than a comment. I have to say that this two-stroke challenge is very cool for so many reasons. To see the attentive look on race fans’ faces when local Charlie Johnston broke loose with an early Moto 1 holeshot was super cool. Adding to all of this hyped up, high pitched action was having the likes of Mike Brown, Nathan Bles, Jared Stock and many other Canadian Motocross household names out laying it all on the line. I also really like that this class gives younger riders, who might not get a chance to ride the track until Sunday, a chance to do so on a Pro National race day. I spoke with a few parents of some of these such racers and they agreed one hundred percent. These events, albeit as serious as you want them to be, have so much value to racers, fans, the sport and our industry. Some may argue that last one but I certainly never will. Congratulations to FXR Racing / Blackfoot Direct rider Mike Brown on the day’s overall victory at 48-years-young. Mike, on the very hot, dry, windy Calgary day, raced a total of four motos, which included going 10-9 for 9th overall in the 450 Pro class. I am pretty sure that I was looking at a mirrored image of my own smile when FXR Racing’s Andy White directed one my way while gathering after final moto. To me it was just that cool. To Nathan Bles, sorry I missed you on the day. It sure looked like you had fun out there on the KTM Racing bike, finishing second overall ahead of Husqvarna mounted Johnston. Up and coming Intermediate sensation, Julien Benek from Mission B.C., gets a shout out nod from my vantage point for his solid 5th overall on the Blu Cru Yamaha.

The racing in the WMX class was excellent in Calgary.

The Pro Women’s West series also kicked off last weekend and saw race fans treated to two solid motos of furious racing action. Of the 35 riders signed up at the opener, there were some fast, new faces to be seen for 2019. Some of this series’ quickest new comers likely need no introduction. The day’s overall winner, Avrie Berry, who hails from Washougal Washington, has also competed in this series’ Arenacross portion earlier in the year. Berry is also currently juggling the World Women’s Pro Motocross Championships with this series and the top Pro Women’s series in her home country of the United States. She has two top 20 World stage results to her credit this year including a 16th overall on March 31st in the Netherlands. That was followed up by a 20th just three weeks ago in Portugal. To me this is an incredible story of a racer who is set and already getting top level results on more than one continent. Berry, whose Moto scores of 2-1 on the day in Calgary, captured this series’ first overall victory. I found a very interesting read on the Pro Women’s World Motocross traveller that is Avrie Berry. Check it out right here after you’re finished reading, it’s worth it, in my opinion. http://www.mxlink.co.nz/avrie-berry-speaks-on-racing-in-between-wmx-rounds-europe-and-usa-triple-crown-womens-arena-cross/?fbclid=IwAR3lSgG-XuFoM_EK2_AhtoD-_EKtiuQoNJ-zE0WfxvEvvYZJOrNQ76BOkwc

Berry would best Barons, Alberta’s own A&E KTM Racing / FXR Racing rider, the very well decorated, Shelby Turner. Turner, who won the first moto, had to settle for third in the day’s final moto, solidifying an opening round result of second overall. She did have a mishap in the final moto that she stated, “cost her a position.” The other newcomer of note in the results column is none other than four-time Pro Women’s East National Champion, Eve Brodeur. Brodeur, who went 3-2 on the day for 3rd overall, claimed on her Facebook page that she struggled with the very hard packed track in both motos. She also added that she will work hard this week in an effort to turn the tables on her competitors at Round 2 in Prince George.

If you were not in Calgary but are headed to this weekend’s round in Prince George, I can tell you that you are all in for a real treat. This series is going to be incredibly competitive right down to the finale in Kamloops. The girls I mentioned above, along with almost every other, seemed to get faster and faster with every lap last weekend. Nice work by all who hit their marks in Calgary. It is important to note that this year’s West series concludes at the Western Canadian Amateur National in Kamloops, BC. on June 29th. The sign up protocol is a little bit different for this one; details can be found right here; https://secure.tracksideprereg.com/futurewest/index.asp?event=16&l=1#eventselect&fbclid=IwAR2yLztgCIfQunD_BeaV2bRs7s0fZZxueYnmeF7Z_fzXYaV39p3buJh3wGw

The 250cc class this year is one of the best we have ever seen. It is a great mix of fresh talent with some seasoned veterans blended in. When the gate dropped on Moto 1, it did not surprise me to see Red Bull Thor Racing KTM rider Jess Pettis get to the front early. Most knew heading into the opener that the defending Champ had been recently banged up. How bad? Well, those answers are usually only found in earnest under racing conditions. Jess somehow managed to gut out a fifth in Moto one, followed by a 7th in the second moto. He gave up some very valuable championship points at the opener, but I am sure that he and his connections are happy with that kind of damage control heading into this weekend’s home race of Prince George, B.C.’s Blackwater MX. Pettis’ stablemate at the KTM Racing rig, #14 Tanner Ward, managed to get himself out front in Moto one and looked very good in the lead. When we spoke back at Hotel Blackfoot, I could tell he was a little bummed that his solid day did not land him a spot on the podium. He did tell me that he felt great out there in the lead. Tanner Ward’s day of 3-5 moto scores saw him finish 5th. In my opinion, he will be hard to keep off the podium as the series moves along. The opening moto was won in almost (but not quite) a going away fashion by GDR Honda Canada / Foxhead / Atlas Brace rider Dylan Wright. Dylan looked very comfortable and authoritative, fending off the hard charges of Club Traders / Redemption Motorsports rider Josh Osby to take the victory. At one point in Moto one with about four laps left, I thought that Osby would catch Wright. Dylan must have caught an eyeful of Osby out of his peripheral as he pulled out a bit of a gap on the last two laps. There was more than one title contender on this day in the 250 class who showed some of the speed cards we expected to see but came up well short in the consistency department. Even with the shortened series, I still believe that one bad moto is not a championship curse this year, but this year that bad moto may have to be something like we saw out of 2nd overall on the day, Royal Distributing / FXR / MX-101 Yamaha’s Luke Renzland, who went 6-1 for second overall, or even Wright’s day of 1-6 for third overall. I know it is ridiculous to call the kind of charges both of these racers put on in opposite motos bad ones. With that being said, I truly believe that consistency will win this class this season, not speed. Even though he did not win a moto on the day, Josh Osby on the Club Traders / Redemption bike took the overall win with 2nd place finishes in both motos. He looked quick and confident everywhere on the race track. If there was a weakness, I certainly missed it. Wright left Calgary with third overall purse money, but more importantly, he is still the 2019 Rockstar Triple Crown 250cc overall leader. A nice little leg up on a Fall nest egg of 10K. Huge props to Dylan Kaelin for lining up and humbling a few of his old friends and future fast guys. How? Well, in case you missed it, the pride of Grand Bend, Ontario went 9-11 for 10th overall. One of the first people I ran into on race day was my old friend Derek Medaglia. When he told me that he was wrenching for Dylan, it brought huge smiles to both of our faces. That is Canadian moto right there in a nutshell. A kid that cut his motocross racing molars with Derek’s own boys, now lined up against one of his sons with him on the wrenches. It was not the opener, I am sure, that Tyler Medaglia, on the Monster Energy Kawasaki, had hoped for. His 7-3 moto scores gave him a day’s end sixth overall. Before I move onto the 450 class, Sky Racing Husky rider Marshall Weltin is also a serious contender in this series. His 4-4 on the day for fourth overall validates that as well as his consistency. I believe this is Weltin’s first trip out west, and we all know how that can go. I have seen him ride in the East at Walton and Gopher Dunes. The kid flat out rips on a dirt bike. He too will be very tough to keep off the podium moving forward. Al Dyck has done a great job with this whole team that includes Christopher Fortier and 450cc rider Cade Clason.

It was great to see Mike Alessi and his beautiful family hanging out at the Hotel Blackfoot.

When we arrived at the Hotel Blackfoot on Friday afternoon, the first racer to approach my passenger side window was Mike Alessi – not alone either. At his side, as she has been most of his Pro racing career, was his wife and now new mother Danielle. Mike beamed with pride as he walked up with his wife and their newest pride and joy in life, daughter Rayna Lane. Danielle was quick to point out that the Canadian t-shirt their daughter was wearing was the one that my wife and I had sent them. I love seeing the new era family vibe in our sport. I also sensed in Mike a confidence that he believes he can win this title. When the gated dropped on the first 450 Moto on Saturday, he did what he does often and got an early lead with the holeshot. Mike looked really good on the GDR Honda/ Foxhead / Smart Top Spa Cover bike, and at one point it appeared he would surely sustain his Moto one bid, finishing well up into the top 3. The day, in fact, would write 4-4 for Mike and leave him nine points off of the red plate pace heading into Prince George. Five-time Champ Colton Facciotti sat fourth early on but methodically pressed his way forward, taking the statement like Moto one victory. Colton did not quite have as good of luck in Moto two making his way to the front. The third-place finish in Moto 2 would see his point totals equal those of Cole Thompson’s. However, the second moto trump card would belong to Red Bull Thor KTM Racing rider Thompson. Second overall, along with being a co-red plate holder heading to PG, for the under the weather Facciotti is a great start towards a sixth outdoor 450cc title. Thompson would secure the overall win with his silky, smooth victory in Moto 2. 3-1 on the day had last years $100,000 Rockstar Triple Crown winner and KTM Racing smiling on the top step of the podium. Rockstar OTSFF rider Phil Nicoletti also made up a lot of ground in the first 450 Moto. It was very impressive as not many riders made up the kind of ground on the front runners all day in this class that Nicoletti did. He took second in Moto one while showing some of his serious top level speed. Nicoletti had a mishap in Moto 2 while catching Thompson and stalled his bike. 2-2 on the day for third overall would be Phil’s Calgary fate. Will we see Matt Goerke in the mix up front this weekend in Prince George? It was certainly not the exclamation mark type of ride that we saw from Goerke at the final AX-tour race of this series at the Calgary opener. For any rider who excels on the softer going surfaces, the Calgary track last weekend likely felt like they were racing on the surface of the moon. Being trackside, I can tell you that it was just that next level gnarly in Calgary. I know Matt knows what I am talking about when I say he made more than one great save on the day. Goerke now a three-time Champion of this series will be a factor as soon as this weekend in Prince George, as that’s just how winners roll.

Thank-you for this cherished gift Sawyer!

I managed to take in some of the Amateur Open on Sunday in Calgary, however, not quite as much as I would have liked and there is good back story as to why. On Saturday just after the first 250 Pro moto of the season, one of the young Alberta rider’s Mom, Eden Schell, told me that her son, Sawyer, had something that he wanted to give me. Nine-year-old Sawyer Schell, who races out of the Calgary area on the #100 bike, has a new endeavour. I first met Sawyer and his family a few years back at the WCAN in Raymond, Alberta where I announced his races. He and his family have also ventured out to some of our Future West Moto events in Kamloops where this year’s WCAN will be. So, after the moto when I did head up to vendors row to meet up with Sawyer, I was absolutely overwhelmingly astounded with his kind and thoughtful gesture. He gave me the coolest white t-shirt with my last name and racing number across the back, Worrall 114. The shirt also included my number on the sleeves with a checkered flag that is part of the ‘Bit Sketchy’ look that Sawyer has created through his own visualizations. The front of the shirt pocket-type logo holds proudly the symbol for his new project called ‘Bit Sketchy.’

The idea came to Sawyer while brainstorming ideas as to how he could help people involving dirt bikes. He has showcased some of the shirts he has made in recent months for riders on his Instagram Storyline called ‘Merch.’ I have checked it out and it is incredibly cool what this 9-year-old is doing to help others and our sport. Have a look @schellboymx is his Instagram and check out the storyline ‘Merch.’ Each shirt is done by hand, no fancy printers used at all. Each shirt takes Sawyer approximately two hours to complete. He says in his own words that he only has one font and it is called ‘Nine-Year-Old.’ His eleven-year-old sister sometimes does help, too. This kind of family unity to promote our sport’s awesomeness while paying it forward is not only touching but also goes miles beyond, in my opinion. Things like this go beyond the race track and into our communities via schools and other sports. Sawyer sells the short-sleeved shirts for $15 all blinged out with your name and number. He draws them free-hand with special fabric markers, usually while listening to music or watching Motocross on you-tube. If you provide your own shirt, he will only charge $5. Part and parcel of all of this initiative is that he plans to donate one dollar from every single shirt he sells to benefit some kind of a cause to help out in Motocross. His mom said that he was open to ideas on this part of the project moving forward. Another very cool vision Sawyer has had is to get kids involved in Moto globally, doing the same type of thing for the same reasons of helping our sport and its people in a time of need. Who knows, maybe we will see Sawyer Schell on Dragon’s Den one day putting our sport in the spotlight. Thanks again for everything Sawyer, and I am so sorry I could not hook up with you on Sunday!

 

As you can see I had a great time in Calgary. It was so good to see all of my motocross family at the opening round.

The very last person I spoke with before leaving Calgary was Kourtney Lloyd. It was part of a fitting gathering and departure of some of those who will be in the spotlight this weekend up in Prince George at the Blackwater Motocross track, which included the Pettis family. Kourtney and her foot soldiers boast a track that most race fans can see in its entirety from a single vantage point. Being a West Coaster, I am a little bit biased on this one as I love that track’s typical west coast soil. That coupled with is its super fun elevation changes, including the uphill start. I was fortunate enough to put 30 year bookends on Provincial Championships with a wining weekend at this track lastly in 2010. At press time, it is still uncertain if I will be able to make the northern trek. I will be back in hospital on June 20th and then back again to Vancouver hospital July 9th for some heavier modifications. So good luck to all this weekend in beautiful Prince George, B.C. while keeping safety one of your top step priorities! Here is all you need to know for the MRC Racing festivities this weekend in Prince George:http://mrcracing.com/?p=2117&fbclid=IwAR2W5xXEIQUyyIUQyBPQ5rU51NFSpGGBLsn5QRFs0qwqvRJxDyhHoH1dvxY