Well, after a busy summer of racing and travelling, we finally tracked down Ryan Lockhart to ask him some more important and entertaining questions. As most of you know, Ryan has been in this industry for over twenty years and during that time he’s been a rider, a mechanic, a riding coach, and most recently the Brand Manager over at Matrix Concepts Canada. Ryan knows a lot about a lot of things and he’s always a great guy to talk to. Here are this week’s 3 Q’s with Ryan Lockhart presented by Matrix Concepts Canada.
MXP: The big news this weekend is the opening round of the Future West AX Championships in Chilliwack. With everything still going on with Covid-19, how challenging has it been to make this series happen in 2021?
RL: Like everything these days there are so many hoops to jump through and a ton of grey areas of what you can and cannot do. Things seem to be coming together and rider registration is high. There is a lot of added stress with running events during Covid times but as long as the riders and families are willing to work together and follow the rules that are put in place it will be a success.
MXP: Last week it was announced that Tanner Ward is coming out to race and to teach a riding school with you. This is great news as Tanner will be a great addition to the event this weekend. I’m going to put you on the spot. Who wins the Pro Class this weekend?
I’m excited for Tanner to come out as he will be a good fit for the event. Hosting the riding schools is a big part of the weekend as it gives the kids some much-needed tips and confidence to tackle the tight confines of AX racing. Tanner came to mind as he has experience coaching at Gopher Dunes and he is very likable with the kids and families.
As far as who wins? That’s a tough one! Piccolo, Gibbs, Beneck, Ward, Keast, Fraser, Eales, Hoyer, as well as a few more that I’m sure I’m missing. It’s a solid line up but I have to think Piccolo, Gibbs, and Ward are the favourites, especially coming off their SXTour results last month.
MXP: With the recent announcement of Haiden Deegan going to Star Racing Yamaha, what are your thoughts on the amount of hype surrounding this news?
There is a lot of hype that’s for sure. I mean, I guess the move isn’t surprising to me and there is no question that the program is in place for him to succeed. However, I have to think there is a ton of pressure on his shoulders. The way these amateurs are brought into the Pro ranks now is so much different than it used to be. It works for some but also could backfire at the same time with the pressure of having to have good results as soon as the gate drops. In Deegan’s position, there is no flying under the radar as they have been creating hype since he was in the 50cc class. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out as it certainly could go either way.