An MXP column By Danny Brault
Photos by James Lissimore
I learned hard a lesson on social media this week: don’t leave anybody out. I’ve never really been one to leave someone out, usually it’s the opposite and my wife is telling me to quite starting a party. Unfortunately, this past week on Twitter, I offended one too many GDR Troy Lee Designs Honda fans when I failed to include their race rig in a four-photo image that I shared using the MXP Instagram/ Twitter feed.
Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as the image – which featured the Rockstar Energy Drink OTSFF Yamaha, Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki, Smartop MotoConcepts and MX101 Yamaha race trucks and trailers – GDR fans responded back on Twitter with a big ?, wondering why the heck the current MX1 points leading team, GDR TLD Honda, wasn’t included in this ‘InstaCollage’ graphic MXP had shared.
I immediately took ownership of the mistake and admitted it was my (Danny Brault’s) fault for not including a GDR picture. The only reason was because I didn’t have one on my phone. I was about to relax for the night and decided to share one quick pic on Instagram with what factory race trailer photos that I had on me. A little moto content never hurt anyone … not so.
Anyways, long story short, everyone has moved onto the next Tweet but where social media hurts, is that people don’t take a second to read the whole story; they see one Tweet and immediately push back. Had some of them read a few Tweets below and saw my response (image right above) it may have saved them from pulling a few hairs out.
It had me laughing, since GDR team owner Derek Schuster and I are good buddies and we were texting each each other during the entire digital backlash. I suppose any press is good press, but this incident will have me thinking an extra second before I hit ‘share’ next time.
Btw – funny I failed not to take a picture of the GDR TLD Honda pit area with my phone, because their overall pit display and bikes are some of the finest in the pits. Kudos to young Schuster who isn’t even 30 yet, but by all accounts is doing a great job running a professional race team – with the fastest rider in the country finally healthy and where he belongs.
Only two more weeks until the best-of-the-best amateur racers duke it out at the 24th Annual Parts Canada Walton TransCan. Wow, 24 years – that’s a long time to be holding the same event every year. I’m not sure if it’s the longest running motocross race in Canada, but indoor wise, that would be the Montreal Supercross which ran from 1977 to 2012 (we missed one year due to structural damages to the stadium). At any rate, Walton has been hosting the ‘Grand National’ since 1991 when it was a two-day event and has since evolved into an entire week of Canadian moto-madness.
For a quick, interesting and funny rundown of Walton’s history, click on this link to access a ‘brief timeline’ of sorts from past TransCan events. Incredible some of the names who have railed a rut in Walton … Ross Pederson destroyed everyone during his farewell tour in 1993; Travis Pastrana tossed out heel clickers during a muddy Walton in 1997; Josh Woods made his pro debut in 1999, causing fans to scratch their heads wondering who the #126 is on a KX125 and 250 (now Josh manages and trains many riders who compete at Walton every August). There’s certainly no shortage of memories made during the week that’s Walton.
My memories at Walton, you ask? Well, even if you didn’t ask, I am still going to tell you. I have some REALLY good ones, but those are only shared with a select few, or unless you catch me around a campfire, overly hydrated and looking to generate more laughs.
Straight to it, the Walton memory of mine that sticks out the most was in 2005 when I nearly killed another rider and the medic crew. It sounds bad and it was, but it was purely a racing accident. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m quite passive but during an intermediate moto, I was trying to pass another rider and while going up the face of the natural-double, I didn’t see the Red Cross flag waving as I was focused on clearing this jump with another rider beside me. Well, low and behold there is a rider down on the face of the double, surrounded by medical staff. Awesome, I thought. Thank the Good Lord no one was hurt and I avoided everyone upon my landing. I rode off to the side of track and thought I was going to be sick. I’ve never been caught in such a terrifying incident before.
Something had to happen, and that something was me receiving a penalty and not being permitted to race any longer that week, as voted by a panel of event staff. That was fine with me and I could understand their reasoning, even though I knew in my head it was a complete accident. I really didn’t see myself going back out there anyways and being able to ride without running the whole scene through my head every time we came to the natural double.
As far as racing and results go, like most of my career, nothing exciting to share but some holeshots, a couple of OK motos, but I was far from the likes of a Peter Raymer, who played the hero in 2001 when he won everything there was to win in the Junior class. I played the holeshot-fade gracefully-into-the-mid-pack-junior rider that same year.
Being the social butterfly that I am, it’s not surprising my favourite times at Walton come later after the racing is finished up. I love watching motos, but when you’re somewhere for a full week, there has to be more than just dirt bikes to keep people together. Walton boasts an excellent atmosphere for people to enjoy some camaraderie, good food, cold drinks, and say our good-byes before another Canadian moto season comes to a close. That’s the cool thing about the TransCan; you don’t need to be racing to have a good time, which is better for me because my racing usually stinks anyways.
Best race I’ve seen at the Walton TransCan? There’s lots of them. I’ve attended every Walton since 1999, except 2007, and what my mind recalls first are unique things like Tyler Medaglia winning the Bronze Boot and then beating the pros in a qualifier on Sunday in 2003, Jason Lawrence battling against intermediates on a KX85, or some new name kid like Josh Woods using Walton and Canada to make a name for himself.
What or who is going to be the headline at Walton this year? It could be anyone from a racer or wild Walton attendee operating a bulldozer lat midnight in the forest … without permission. You just never know what could go down in the tiny motocross town of Walton. We’ll see you there when the TransCan begins on August 12th.
A few other cool things to note about Walton this year:
- There is a corporate high ropes course being built, and Brett Lee says they’re working to have it certified and ready to go for the TransCan. Includes a 50 foot tower!
- Mountain bike trails have been added (along with rental bikes) along with lighting at the bicycle park so your kids can burn off energy well into the evening and still see where they’re going.
- The Toyota Dealers Association has a viewing stand for riders, which includes two large Skyjacks to people high above the track for a spectacular view of the race action.
Not sure if you’ve caught these or not, but after each Canadian National, MX101 Yamaha’s Dylan Wright shares some insight into his weekend and results through his online column, ‘Right out of the Gate.‘ The 16-year-old is experiencing all of the highs and lows that come along with racing with the big boys. After a very rough weekend in Deschambault, Quebec, where he finished 18-DNF, with crashes and bike problems scatted between the motos, Wright is struggling to put pen to paper, so instead of trying to make everything sound rosey, he just went ahead and pureed out his heart. An incredible and well written read right here from one of Canada’s fastest rising stars.
We’re on to the East Coast this weekend, as the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals move into Moncton, New Brunswick for Round 8 of the series. We’re fortunate to all kinds of flavours along the circuit, and River Glade typically features a hearty, passionate crowd, with fans from Newfoundland making the 15+ hour trek down the coast to catch their nearest Canadian National. Like other events (Walton with the Walton sword, Sand Del Lee with the Dale Argue award), River Glade hands out a special honour, given to the top finishing Atlantic rider of the weekend. For the past few years, it’s been Davey Fraser taking home the coveted Brian House Memorial Award and odds are that won’t change this year. The East Coast is a little light on national contenders, whereas at one point we had Cooke, Lockhart, Montes, and Fraser chasing the entire series.
I’m sure Cooke and Montes will be taking in the action at Moncton, but not from the seat of a motocross bike. Mitch Cooke says he’ll never race another national again (I believe that like Lockhart saying he’s retired) and Johnny Montes suffered a car accident a year ago, which has slowed him down and doesn’t allow him to ride anymore. So it’s up to PR-MX’s Davey Fraser to keep the hometown crowd on its feet, which shouldn’t be a problem. Last year he caused a stir when he grabbed a holeshot in the MX2 class and threw out a fist-pump around the first corner! East Coasters, got to love them!
Before I tune out, I want to invite folks to follow MXPmag on Instagram. We launched into the wonderful world of griming a short time ago and really enjoy sharing cool images through this digital photo album sharing tool. Got a cool moto-photo to share? Include #mxpmag and you could be featured in a printed issue of MXP magazine! That’s right, every month we’ll nail down our favourite Instagram pics with #mxpmag and pick a few to feature in the glossy pages of MXP. Follow us today @mxpmag
Have a great weekend. See you at Walton!