For as long as I can remember the majority of Canadian Amateur parents or fans even, have had a similar thought, “The Canadian race scene doesn’t give enough back to amateurs for them to chase the dream.” Now, that’s not all of them but there’s always a solid chatter at every campfire that says or shares this opinion. There is no doubt it’s tough to make a living or a future in motocross, no matter the country, but to say it’s hopeless does not carry weight anymore.
I know it’s crazy hard for people to understand why our sport isn’t huge compared to the regular stick n ball sports. Some just can’t fathom this. The basics or dumbing it down as much as possible for you is this: dirt bikes are expensive, the sport is scary, and our attitudes by today’s standards don’t help. I can’t explain it any easier but it’s not all lost anymore. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The best part about this light I speak of, it’s right in front of your face. KTM Canada, GDR Honda, and MX101 Yamaha are shining this light so damn bright now and the new beginning of the Rockstar Triple Crown series and Amateur Opens Canadian grassroots racers now have legit chances to make this sport their future.
In 2018 two amateur stars from our country will be on Factory teams. Both Marco Cannella and Tanner Ward have come through the ranks for Canada and the US and now are both Factory racers for 2018. At some point, both these kids totally sucked at riding dirt bikes. There may even have been a point where the parents were like, “This is just fun for us and our family. He’s not going anywhere.” Then, at some point at some level, it all changed. A switch inside these young racers heads turned to confidence, aggression, positive, and goal oriented. Another HUGE similarity in both of these racers is they both chose Canadian training groups to help them get better. Marco Cannella spent many years at Motopark under the guidance of Zeb Dennis and the MPA. On the other side, Tanner Ward used the MX Schools Jay Thompson and Frankfit Kyle Thompson to elevate his career. Yes, they raced big US races but they have been born on Canadian soil and the biggest % of why they are so good is because their local scene has guided them. I know some of my readers (mainly Newf and Brad McLean) will give me the gears about this being an Ontario driven piece but I can share similar stuff on Casey Keast (whose not a factory kid but is not far off that team. I do believe his antics a few years ago set him back) who has raced solely in Canada other than the Monster Cup, and maybe World Mini’s in Vegas. How about Jacob Piccolo? This kid rides for factory KTM and is no doubt on the rise. He’s a little prone to crashing which will scare teams but once he matures past that I think this kid will take advantage of this light I’m talking about. Ryder McNabb just took the amateur spot that Tanner ward once filled and he hits the big Canadian races to showcase his stuff. There are others I can go on and on about but my purpose here is to share the light is bright for the future of Canadian moto.
I’m hard on Canadians racing in the US. I barked at Quinn Amyotte at the end of 2017 that a lot of people took the wrong way but I get why hair stands up when opinions are shared. I would like to see Preston Masciangelo race more in Canada (Ontario mainly) cause to me, him not racing creates this sort of “Canada doesn’t have what I need” type of feeling towards him. There is no disrespect to these guys but rather just opinions because I personally know what we have in our own country to help kids reach their ultimate goal. The chance of a Canadian making it down in the US if they win C class or A class is so small it’s basically non-existent. Only JSR, Darcy Lange, Doug Dehaan, and Cole Thompson have gotten US rides that carry them through a series and make a living in the history of Canadian moto. That is a small group for how many years it’s been. Now, with the Amateur Opens, The Rockstar Triple Crown, the re-birth of TransCan and proof that Canadian kids can make dreams come true and be factory racers like Marco Cannella and Tanner Ward among others, the tide is turning. In 2018 and beyond our own country can give you a better chance than ever to become a hero, a star, a factory racer, and a dream chaser. The MPA, MX Schools, MX101 all have proof they can make you a better racer. Don’t forget where you live, we have some good stuff for you right in your backyard.