We truly do have a good thing going in Canada for motocross. We have great grassroots programs across the country. We have a solid foundation for a professional series with worldwide TV coverage. There is an opportunity for racers to make money and have a decent living racing their bikes. In no way, shape, or form, at the financial level, do we rival or come near the MXGP or US scene, but we are damn close for everything else. For some reason, it’s very easy to take all this for granted in Canada. I’m personally guilty of this, and I can’t seem to understand why. It’s all there, yet I never truly embrace it to its fullest at times.
Yesterday, for the first time in the history of the sport in Canada (as far as I know or remember), a Canadian team had a media day and a team announcement. Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing invited all media and some industry insiders down to Gopher Dunes for a meet and greet type set-up and to also have some of us ride the team bikes. At first, my “take it for granted” attitude sparked a little, and I wondered why they were doing this? Like, what’s the goal for it? In the US or MXGP, they do these types of things all the time because it’s just part of their program. It’s a natural fit for the plan for the season. I’ve been to many before and have always liked the idea of it. Why we have never done it in Canada has never crossed my mind until yesterday. This setting for their team has me all hyped for the series, and I knew everything about the team. I knew the riders, I knew every person at the launch, and I knew just about everything about it all. But because of this plan’s simplicity and agenda, I’m more excited for the series to start at the beginning of June.
We get things easily in Canada when it comes to our series. When I say that, I mean access to teams, tracks, racers, sponsors, etc. Nothing is unattainable by any means necessary like you see in the BIG series worldwide. Canadian motocross is truly one big family, so you could find it hard to give it the respect it sometimes deserves because it’s so easy to be part of it. It’s s serious series and sport like the rest, but it’s more of an “open door” policy at times. Yesterday showed that when racers dress up in suits, you have an organized visit with a professional feel, and we embrace our top-level pro racers like it’s meant to be can be very cool. I would love to see this done by all teams, which I know would be challenging with the majority of the bases in all different locations and racers scattered across the country. What GDR did was cool, and sometimes we can all forget that these teams like them, or MX101 Yamaha, Thor Pro Circuit Kawasaki, KTM Canada, Team PRMX or Cobequid GasGas, Carlson, MVP, and others put a shit ton of work into going racing for very little or even no financial gain but rather just do it for the sheer love of the sport. We, or I for sure, can take that for granted at times, and yesterday kind of made me realize that we have some good shit going on in Canada, and we should be thankful and embrace it more.
Last weekend here in Ontario, the races ventured back to Auburn Hills. This is a new track for many racers here, but for some, the track was a staple from 1994 till about 2008. I raced it in the fall of 1994, and it was my first ever race as a pro. It was a perfect weekend, and the Auburn staff, who are new owners and also new to the track building/grooming on race day teams, here in Ontario. I have given them tons of love, and they should be very proud of the work they have put in, but this part of the FLOOD is not about the very positive race weekend. It’s about the racers (not all) that, for some reason, when the race doesn’t go their way, they blame something. This past weekend it was the track. The track Sunday AM was muddy. It had to be this way with super warm temperatures coming for the day and 700 plus entries racing. If the practice isn’t muddy, the track would get crazy dry, and watering it would make an ice rink instead of the beautiful multi-line cornered track we had. I get it; you don’t like getting dirty, your Instabanger photo doesn’t look clean, blah blah. But to complain about the mud because the track crew understands what’s needed to make a great race track is not a great practice track. Then blame the track because it’s hard to pass on. Then you are not a racer. You’re a rider. A racer makes good with what they have and makes passes when they are the faster racer. A rider just is in the same line for comfort and ease, then whines about not being able to pass after some slower rider beat them. Don’t blame the track. Blame yourself for not thinking outside the box. The track on the weekend had multiple lines to make passes.
Ask Liam O’Farrell, Tanner Ward, or Dylan Rempel. Don’t make excuses back in the pits. Take responsibility for the way you rode and be better next time. When you’re on the bike, it’s your chance to be the best you can be. Not mom’s, not dad’s, but you. Showcase who you are and make shit happen as a racer. If you want to be a rider, get a license plate on your bike and hit the trails. You’ll have fun for sure, but you will never get the feeling of being the best you when racing and pushing your limits. I can promise that!
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