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Northern Notes: Let’s get serious

By Danny Brault

Switching things up a bit this week, I’m going to share something I’ve learned at the rip old age of 30.

Of course, we do have the big news  this week of Josh Hill filling in for Brett Metcalfe on the Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki. It’s a fact, and to be sure, I lazily texted Team Manager Jason Hughes to be sure. He said “Yes, it’s a done deal!” while making his way home to Kamloops from the team’s photo shoot in California and first impression ride with Monster Energy rider Hill who looks sweet as can be on that #175 Kawi four-fifty. Doing my best superfan prediction, I feel that Hill has the speed to win motos, and will, but 10 races, 20 motos? That’s a lot to put together for anyone, even in Canada, and I don’t see him outlasting Mike Alessi and hopefully a healthy Facciotti. We’ll see. It’s all pig poop until Walton but here’s to witnessing a dramatic outcome. Go Colt!

But to my point about switching things up for my first May edition of Northern Notes, May 31st is my birthday and I got to thinking this week about how much I want to go racing. Lord willing, that may be happening here soon. I don’t race as much as I used to. Up until I was 24, I was keeping a good pace of racing, at least every other weekend from April to August, but it’s tailored off since then. Lots of reasons or excuses I guess, but the truth of it is that I haven’t been disciplined with money so I can’t afford the luxury to race. But I’m getting my finances in order, finally, and look forward to one day soon hitting a local race.

Weston

Here’s one kid I hope doesn’t get too shook up racing in the Pro ranks, and on a major team in only his first year Pro. Weston Wrozyna was a great amateur in Canada, right there with Dylan Wright and Jessi Pettis. He has the speed and talent, but I think the key for him and the other youngsters will be to see who can keep calm and enjoy the moment. Photo by Dan Stenning

Now that I don’t get to ride or race very often, I really cherish the time that I do and it’s interesting how much fun racing has become. As a teenager, I remember thinking so hard about racing. Like really getting down on myself if I didn’t do well, or where I thought I should be finishing. I was at best a good Intermediate rider who slithered his way into a few Nationals. A back marker in the black and white number class. Like most of us dreamers, I had higher hopes than what reality delivered. I remember getting quite nervous at times and almost hoping something would come up where the race wouldn’t happen. I always got good starts, maybe it was that bit of jitters helping to get the jump … and then fade gracefully, of course.

Interesting how things change, and when do you grow a little older, your perspective is one thing that really changes. Because I’ve finally accepted the fact that I’m not going to be the next Chris Pomeroy on a bike, and I don’t get out on a bike very often, racing has a new energy to it. At the last few races I’ve been eligible to ride the ‘young’ Vet classes, like plus 25 and plus 30, and it’s been a blast. It’s like men’s league hockey; there may be a few extra pounds under the chest protector and your cooler has more beer in it than water , but there’s still that competitive spirit and guys are trying hard.

Like in men’s league hockey, I get to thinking while riding with a better appreciation and calmness, ‘Hey, if I could have had this mindset when I was younger and faster, maybe I could have …. ‘

engines crate

Colton Facciotti is a rider that has shown a relaxed demeanour on the track, not overly excited and stressed, and it’s led him to opportunities where you get a big crate full of race motors. Photo by Dan Stenning

Well, certainly I required a lot more than learning to ‘relax and have fun’ to propel me to motocross stardom, but I see a lot of racers out there who are really only missing that. If they could relax a little (along with their families), they would see further into their potential and have more fun doing it. Take it serious but don’t. And I want every rider reading to remember that. Put in the work and be honest about everything you do, but at the same time, remember that it is only dirt bikes and we still love ya, whether you win or lose … unless, of course, it costs us money. Just kidding!

Be thankful for every time that you get out on the track, say thanks to your folks every chance you get, and lay off that poor old track promoter. At the end of the day, if nobody puts on races, we wouldn’t be racing. Ride hard, be safe and make wise decisions (as my wife tells me before I head to Walton every August).

All you can do is get out there and give ‘er. Now have some fun on your dirt bike this summer!

 

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