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FXR Racing Presents the Mid-Week Report with Andy White

Summer is finally here and of course the timing couldn’t be any better with the break in the Canadian national schedule so I will be making my way down for the Southwick national. I hear it’s going to be 35°C and incredibly humid, which is not my most favourite weather but I will take what I get. I always look forward to the 5 hour drive through picturesque Vermont and seeing my old friends at the Wick! Keith Johnson is the main man at Southwick these days. Some of you may remember him from his days north of the border. Keith raced here in Canada between 2000 and 2009 I believe. He rode the Diablo Honda team that I managed and his team mate was Mike Treadwell. Keith then moved on to the OTSFF Suzuki team. I will always remember Keith telling me about his deal as a test rider/racer for Cannondale Motorcycles. He said the deal was too good to turn down with solid salary and all his travel paid to ride a dirt bike. It sounded good until it was time to race the unproven 450 reversed engine. Here is what Keith told us about one race weekend at Budds Creek, “The Cannondale 450 was way ahead of its time. It handled pretty good and the power was good as well. The issue as a test rider was, you never really knew when the engine would let go. I remember racing the first moto at Budds Creek and the race went well. The mechanics went over the bike between races and prepared it for the second moto. Just before I started to get ready for the next race I overheard the mechanics talking about a crack in the engine cases. I walked over and asked what’s up? They simply replied with, ‘It should be ok! Just be careful if you hear or feel something while racing out there ok.’ I was like wait a minute, you want me to go race this prototype motorcycle against the very best but while hitting the up hill triple or the one of the many drop offs you want me to keep an eye on the engine?” I remember Keith saying “I think that’s the time I started seeing my hair turn grey or it just fell out” I believe Keith did seize the engine on the parade lap and quit the RD program a few days later.

It was great to see Jimmy Decotis back racing last weekend at Muddy Creek. It would be even better to see him podium this weekend at Southwick. Photo by James Lissimore

 

John Dowd also has a big hand in the building of the famed Southwick track. It’s pretty cool to see the New England legions still involved with moto these days. FXR is now the official clothing sponsor of the Southwick 338 MX facility. I am pretty excited to be able to support a cool track like that. Watch for Jimmy Decotis this weekend as well as he will be the crowd favourite in New England. It would be great to see ‘The Rippah’ up on the podium at Southwick.

If you’re in the Ontario/Toronto area and your looking to race, head up to Moto Park. It’s the MP Cup this weekend with plenty of classes to compete in. Iain Hayden and his team have done a great job of putting on races at that track for a number of years. If you’re a pro rider and you are on your way to the east for the Rockstar Triple Crown MX Tour, make sure you turn left at Toronto and head north. If you need a place to crash out give Chris Pomeroy a call. He lives just down the road.

We’re now just ten days away from the gate dropping at Sand Del Lee for Round 5 of the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MXTour Series. Photo by James Lissimore

The next round of the Triple Crown series is back at Sand Del Lee MX track just outside of Ottawa. I have heard Johnny and Kevin have put in a ton of hours getting the track and the park set up. Make sure to pack yourself a paddle tire too. That start area is pretty sandy. The east series is much different to the west. These tracks are much softer and will get way rougher. The weather will be hot and humid. If you are a western rider I would head to the east as soon as possible so you can adjust to the conditions. Make sure you drink double the amount of water please. You will need it! I heard a great interview on Shane McElrath on the PulpMX show yesterday. He was talking about how the Baker Factory has helped him this past year prepare for the outdoors. You need the listen to what the track conditions are like when they train in the deep sand in Florida. It only makes sense. Ok if you don’t have time here is what he said, “Aldon has us riding the roughest track I have ever ridden on. It’s hotter than hell and we put in our 35 minute motos like we were at a national weekend! Does it work? I would say yes. When we go north to a track like High Point the weather is much cooler and the track doesn’t get as rough as the tracks we ride daily! It’s much easier and way less work. I am a believer of that program.” I have to agree with that statement. I have heard the same thing from guys like Mike Brown and Chad Reed. Have a safe week. See you at the races.

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