MXP: Hey Newf! It was great that you could attend the Toronto Motorcycle Show last weekend. The Strider Balance Bike booth looked to be busy all weekend long. How was the show for you?
RL: First of all, it was great seeing you and Ayrton on Friday. It was good to be back at the Motorcycle show, and this was the first one since pre-Covid. The face-to-face interaction with consumers and industry people is something that can’t be replaced. The show was busy all weekend, and of course, that was exciting to see. We had around 350 kids come and go through the Strider Adventure Zone from Friday to Sunday, which was positive. We here at Matrix Concepts Canada were very pleased with that; it was a success.
Talk to us about the Oakland SX on Saturday night. Over the years, Oakland seems like a round that no one likes going to, but it always produces great racing for whatever reason. This year the track was tough, but overall it was exciting. Once again, Sexton made a big mistake while leading and crashed. Tomac was better this weekend, and Webb was on fire again in the closing laps. You must be excited to watch these guys live this weekend in Arlington?
No one likes going to that Stadium as it’s in a really sketchy part of Oakland. I have been to that race 3 or 4 times, and honestly, for whatever reason, Oakland always has one of the best tracks. Oakland has good dirt and they always seem to come up with a solid track design. At this point of the season, it’s safe to say this is a three-person battle for the championship. It’s crazy that Sexton made another big mistake that cost him a win. No one is beating Chase in the speed department, as he’s clearly the fastest rider in the 450SX class, but these mistakes must stop. Arlington is using the Triple Crown format this weekend so that will be exciting and plays more into Sexton’s favour. Eli is just doing his thing out there and making it work, but for Webb, he needs more speed. He’s a closer for sure, but he needs a little more pace early in the race.
Finally, after many months, the Canadian team rosters are now set for the 2023 race season. What are your thoughts on Justin Bogle racing a 250 for the WLTN/Canadian Kawasaki/Seven MX Team and Daniel Elmore getting a great opportunity with the TLD/GASGAS/SSR Team?
It was a busy week in Canadian moto. All teams are secured now, and it’s full steam ahead to June. The Bogle thing has been talked about for months, but I didn’t think he would end up on a small bike. This 250 class will be wild to watch with 5-6 guys that can win. We haven’t seen this kind of depth in the 250 class for some time. Bogle will bring that outside attention to our series, which we have been missing since the days of Millsaps, etc. As far as Elmore goes, I think this is awesome. He’s a good kid who works extremely hard, so hats off to Steve Simms for making this happen. Daniel’s results are super sneaky, and I think having a program like SSR will be able to get Elmore to the next level.