I’ve been home for about 3 weeks now. The weather has been so wet and cold, it made me wish I had stayed in South Carolina just a little while longer. Well … I guess you have to make the best of what you’ve got. So … despite Mother Nature, I’ve managed to fit in quite a few great things.

My first weekend back, I got to help with motocross lessons at the Pytel Training Facility in Bourget. We topped the day off with some AMA supercross. As I watched the races, it made me wish I could have lined up too. It also made me wish the Canadian pro nationals were starting sooner.

When we did finally get some sunny, warm and windy weather to dry up the track, I got to pound some motos at Sand Del Lee. It was so nice to ride my home track again!! I can’t wait for next week’s races (May 24-25) when the whole MX101 Yamaha Race Team will be there and I’ll get to see the Sand Del Lee gang again.

Speaking of the race team, MX01 managed to get us all together for the first time last week. While I did get to ride with Jesse Wentland a little bit when I was in Florida, I finally got to meet him and chat during our first ever team dinner. (Thanks to MX101 for a great night out!) Jesse is a really cool guy. I also got to know Shawn Robinson a little better. There was a really friendly and excited atmosphere as the MX101 Yamaha Racing Team was together for the first time.

The very next day, the team was getting together for our photo shoot with popular MX photographer James Lissimore. How long could it possibly take to get a few pictures of the race team? Two whole days!!!! There’s a reason he’s one of the best sports photographers in the MX industry. He knows what is needed. He knows what he likes, and made us work hard so he could get it. Then again, we did share Sand Del Lee and the photographer with the KTM team who was there to get their team photos too. (Our pics are sure to be better!! LOL) I can’t wait to see some of the shots James got. It’s safe to say he couldn’t possibly have captured all the laughs we enjoyed during the day. You’ll have to check out some of the shots MX101 is sure to post to the website.

Being part of a pro race team also means I get to take part in some really cool product testing. I have to admit that, in addition to getting my own mechanic, this is one of the things I was really looking forward to. While I was at South of the Border, my mechanic Cale Foster and I did a bunch of testing to tweak my bikes and adapt to my riding style. Since I’ve been back in Ottawa, MX101 has taken it to whole new level.

This week, I got to meet famous engine tuner Allan Brown. What a great guy … but what a slave driver. I couldn’t believe how much time and effort goes into testing and fine-tuning an engine. Can you believe we spent 5 hours doing sprint after sprint after sprint so I could compare motor setups? We tested out the different mappings and possible tunings that could be made – one at a time – to then come down to the smallest adjustments to make the bike as perfect as it could be for me. I mean … how cool is that! I have to admit it was worth every minute. (Hopefully you’ll agree when you see me pounding motos at the track this summer!)

This week, I also get to work with Joe Skidd who will be in town to work with me on my suspension. (Thank God there is something to look forward to considering that I also have to wrap up what’s left of my grade 11 assignments and exams.) All I want to do is focus on motocross. I’m really looking forward to getting my SSS suspension dialed in with another of the industry’s best technicians. All that should be left for me to do after that is go out there and race!!!

MX101 is really going the extra mile to give me every opportunity to get the best results I can at this year’s pro nationals. Their support is unbelievable! With 2 weeks left to go until Nanaimo, there’s time for a little more training. Then, it’s time to line up at the gate! Oh yeah!!!!