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 two rounds of a nine round provincial Championship now in the books, seeing well over 700 hundred entries in total, 2019 looks 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 in picturesque Nanaimo B.C. All you need to know and more can be found at www.futurewestmoto.ca
Hello again friends and race fans, I welcome you all aboard another edition of the Friday Flight. With the past weekend seeing Monster Energy Supercross Series Champions crowned, along with our own Rockstar Triple Crown Arenacross AX-Tour Series Champs, there is certainly that to talk about (more on those events momentarily). Adding to that, all of our own regional grassroots racing from coast to coast is building up to our country’s three pinnacle Amateur Nationals. These Amateur National events are a must attend for all racers and their families looking to create Moto memories to last a lifetime.
I call these races ‘events’ as that is exactly what they are. Yes, we go to races, soccer games, hockey games etc., but what constitutes an ‘event?’ Good question. I in that regard many things come to mind. I will start with this; I asked myself a while back, what is it that is so different and cutting edge about our sport that separates it from all of the others that I have actively participated in throughout my life. Don’t get me wrong, I played, loved and enjoyed hockey and soccer as long as I possibly could. Those sports and their special moments are etched on my soul and always will be forever. They are just as much a part of me as Motocross. However, they will never be a fraction of what Motocross means and does for me.
With those sports, most often the goal was to win the upcoming game, tournament or even season championship. There were many early morning practices and many long-regimented trips on the bus. Sacrifice and commitment are the common denominators for success in any sport. Yes, there were many periods to bond on the bus, in the locker room or even at school. But to me, it was and never will be the same as Motocross. I guess growing up, it was all just part of being a kid who always had wide eyes on the bigger prize. When I was younger all I could think about was being a National and World Motocross Champion. Most of my friends at school did not know much about Moto at all. In fact, most of my teachers thought I was a madman of sorts. How could they not? It seemed that at least twice a year in my school years I wore plaster casts, as well as many days finding it impossible to put my wrist to elbow with ‘road rash’ arms down on my own desk. It never fazed me at all. I was never proud nor ashamed, it was just part of who I was, and visualizing what I believed in – becoming a Motocross Champion.
From Monday to Friday I counted down the days to the race weekends. Once our motorhome was packed, loaded and we exited our driveway and headed to the races, I was as happy as I can ever remember being in life. Going to a race to compete with the goal of winning, of course, was what it was all about. Looking back now, these events and memories are literally some of the best of my life. Being able to win a National title, along with provincial championships that bookend a 30-year timeline, are certainly cool but not really what I remember the most. The biggest trophies I own today are each and every one of the memories accrued along the way.
Through spending countless hours in a safe environment at the motocross track, many valuable life lessons and eternal friendships have been solidified. It has shaped, moulded and characterized the traits that I value the most about myself today. I do not doubt for a second that the hours bonding with like minded people through thick and thin at Amateur National-type events like the ones we will see this summer are why. That is why, I believe so deeply in my heart, that these types of events have exponential value beyond points, trophies, Instagram likes and/or podium speeches. Hey, don’t get me wrong, those last four, if you are lucky enough, are the icing on the cake. Just ask your supporters. I assure you that whatever you do at an event like this, it will be noticed. Trust me, someone is always watching and everyone loves a winner both on and off the race track. The idol of my heyday, Bob “Hurricane” Hannah, taught me that through example. He always took the time to endear himself to his fans when others in his era were quick to get back and hunker down at a hotel. I finally caught up with him one night in 1978, three hours after the Seattle Supercross ended, still there signing autographs! Special moments like those in this sport for me will be with me forever.
If you have not already made plans to give yourself the opportunity to experience one of this year’s three amateur Nationals, now is the time. The Western Canadian Amateur National goes June 27th – 30th, 2019 in Kamloops, B.C. at the Whispering Pines Motocross Compound. The event is being promoted by Future West Moto with MRC Racing sanctioning. There are only 47 days left until this year’s WCAN.
The Eastern Canadian Amateur National is July 31st – August 2nd, 2019 in Deschambault, Quebec promoted by Challenge Quebec and MRC Racing.
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 now underway and pre-entry is now open.
I should also mention that MRC Racing licenses are required for ANQs at all Amateur Nationals mentioned.
Saturday afternoon I tuned in and watched the final round of the AXTour portion of the Rockstar Triple Crown Series from Barrie Ontario’s Molson Centre. The first thing that I would like to comment on is how professional and well done this whole production has been so far. Adding into the ambience on Saturday night was the fact that there were so many voracious race fans in the seats. I should also mention that those race fans were likely seated as comfortably as they will ever be at a motorcycle race. Keeping in mind that this may be the first impression of our sport and of our people that any one of them has ever had. Short of judging a book by its cover, we all know how important first impressions can be. Again, whether we realize it or not, each and every one of us are brand ambassadors for ourselves and our sport!
I could write a best seller short story on what I saw in Barrie on Saturday night. Before I attempt to do that in a condensed version, I will add that I do hope that somehow this series’ evolution does include more Arenacross racing action. In the West with Future West Moto as well as parts of Quebec it has become viable annually, and very good for our sport and a rider’s race craft. Riding a dirt bike may not be anything like swinging a golf club, but the muscle memories of twisting the throttle are always a little more familiar when competing through more calendar months.
The Barrie track was the best of the series, in my opinion. I know that is a strong statement as Calgary’s Agrium will get a close second, at least from this race fan’s perspective anyway. The dirt was good in Barrie but it still had enough variables once set to require every racer to be ready for the unexpected. That to me is Arenacross racing in a nutshell, expanding on the Boy Scout’s motto of ‘Be Prepared.’ Arenacross is more like, ‘Be Prepared for the Unexpected’ of how quickly things happen with indoor racing. With both GDR Honda Canada’s Dylan Wright and KTM Red Bull Thor Racing’s Cole Thompson heading into the final weekend as respective ‘Conch’ holders, it was almost a given that they would leave the venue one third closer to the 2019 Rockstar Triple Crown overall title. Or was it?
As the night unfolded in the 250 class, series leader Dylan Wright had some misfortune in his qualifier when he came together with up and comer Tyler Gibbs. I have observed both of these riders very closely over the last five or more racing seasons. To see Gibbs, who cut his Arenacross racing teeth with Future West Moto here in the West, lead his 250 qualifier was insanely cool. Just as they said on the broadcast, “He was full value for the lead.” Tyler looked great out there until he came into a tight left hander heavy. It ended up bouncing him right into the path of the oncoming and hard charging Dylan Wright.
With Wright having no choice but to be launched over the berm, we now had a new race leader in the night’s eventual 250cc main event race winner, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tyler Medaglia. The questions that surrounded the 250cc title that night when Wright did not line up for the Clash for Cash only increased. Adding to that, if he was in fact okay, Wright would have to start the final main event of this series behind rear fenders in the back row. Fortunately for Dylan when the gate was repaired, there was a spot up front for him on the far outside. After getting bounced wide off the hop, he had his work cut out for himself. Tyler Medaglia rode with the lead but was hunted by Royal Distributing MX-101’s Luke Renzland like a school bully coming for his hockey cards the whole main event. On the podium, Renzland stated that short of trying to pull off something “catastrophic” he would have to set his sites on the upcoming outdoor nationals for another top step performance. I was certainly impressed with Luke Renzland. He looks poised, ready and capable of making MX-101 Yamaha consecutive three-time national outdoor champions. Wright would round out the podium in third for the night. The points more than enough for the sick, slick looking Fox Head kit wearing Wright to take home the 2019 AXTour title. When Dylan was presented his Red Plate on the grand stage, it was almost as if he was reaching out to hold something that was already his but had been misplaced. Nice work Dylan.
It was also good to see Rockstar OTSFF’s Phil Nicoletti in the spotlight by winning the Clash for Cash. I, like most, have followed Phil’s progress in the U.S.A. but do not know a whole lot about him. This was a great opportunity to hear him endear himself to fans new and old in the booth. The dude is real and makes no bones about wearing his heart on his sleeve. I also liked his response when asked about training for the discipline of Arenacross that is relatively new to him. When asked about putting in the time and the laps, Phil claimed that most of the focus and testing in regards to quality laps etc. was geared towards where the meat and potatoes portion of this series will play out in just over three weeks time, the great outdoors.
The 2018 Rockstar Triple Crown Champion and overall $100,000 winner Cole Thompson came into the night with a little bit of breathing room. After the performance of just a week ago, coupled with a season of domination in the 450 class, Thompson would take the 450 Arenacross Championship crown home. It was an adventurous evening which saw him finish off of the podium in fourth place in the evening’s main event. The 450cc main event was won in brilliant front-end scoring fashion by a very confident and rejuvenated looking Matt Goerke on his Monster Energy Kawasaki. When a rider can wheel tap and throw a 450cc motorcycle around in the tight confines of a hockey arena the way Goerke did on this night, you know his confidence level is extremely high. To me that signifies that he is ready for another solid title run. Nicoletti would finish out the night second in the 450 class ahead of third overall finisher Dakota Alix. Congratulations again Justin Thompson to you and your winning team on another great Arenacross Series. I am very excited to have already booked my rooms for Calgary, have you?
How about the Monster Energy Supercross Series, are you glad it’s over? I certainly cannot say that I am. Tuning in each and every Saturday is usually the best way for any race fan to cope with a Canadian winter. What an incredible season this one was from beginning to end. From the anticipation and hype, all the way through each and every one of the series’ high highs, low lows and everything in between, 2019 delivered big time. Being a stickler for detail, I am always curious to get a read on the number of people in attendance. Much like our own series here in Canada, our sport south of the border is experiencing a growth in the number of spectators. That is great news for this race fan as again, if we value something, we need to show it through our support.
The East West Showdown in the 250cc class in the Las Vegas sun, depending who you were cheering for, was an incredible race! As a racer, all you ever want is a chance to be at the final round in a position to use your head and win. With that being said, what happened to Austin Forkner a couple of weeks prior and on this evening to West Red Plate holder, Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo was absurdly gutting. If you did not see it, the only thing I can say is that it was just one of those racing moments that can go sideways in a heartbeat. In my estimation, AC did everything he possibly could to prevent his crash. He rode as smart as I have seen anyone in that position ride up to that point. The bottom line is when he rode his badly twisted bike back into the jam-packed stadium, the painful silence resembled more of a lost Nevada Ghost Town than it did Sam Boyd Stadium. Congratulations to the 2019 250cc East Beast, Geico Honda’s Chase Sexton, and Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis on showing us all how the East and West was won. Special shout out to his major supporter David Vuillemin for treating us all to the Motocross of Nations-type celebration trackside.
In the premier class, congratulations to Red Bull KTM Racing’s Cooper Webb. In my eyes, Webb is full value for this title. If I said I saw it coming, my nose would likely grow. Webb cited the complete one hundred and eighty degree turn around in almost every single aspect of his previous regiment to his success. I can only imagine how daunting it was to venture out into this series with everything being so new and different. Congratulations Cooper Webb, you are a warrior and now a premier class champion. As for the words in the Championship Press Conference, a few of Webb’s responses did surprise me. I also believe that the press conference gave the two guys sitting beside him a little added fuel for Hangtown. Have a great weekend friends, making safety one of your top step priorities.