Friday, October 7, 2016

Privateer Twist on 2017 Numbers.

By now most fans of moto have checked in on what number their favorite rider will be sporting in 2017. The California tracks are starting to fill up with guys supercross testing and donning their new digits. The number talk might be around Cooper Webb taking number 2. A single digit with a rich history of dominance. While that's in the mainstream, we take a look at some privateers who made the top 100.

59-Noah McConahy
McConahy has to be one of the most improved riders of 2016. Racing 250 west he was a regular in the mains and outdoors was a constant top 15 threat in the 450 class. He got his first national number of 96 last year and made a huge jump for 2017.

Rider: Noah McConahy | Photo: Kyle Pesci

62-Jesse Wentland
A lot will change for Wentland in 2017. Although his number will be minimal. He has once again earned a double digit in the 60s. Going up the list one digit from 63 to 62. He has split with long time sponsor RSR and is still searching for solid support. This guy has proven to have top 5 speed and should be on some of the smaller teams lists.

Rider: Jesse Wentland | Photo: Kyle Pesci

68-Heath Harrison
Being a top privateer is a struggle in itself. Going out and putting yourself in the mix with the factory guys fighting for top 10 finishes week in and out is just next level. Harrison was able to do just that. Harrison would have weeks that were purely impressive. He'd also struggle at rounds like Spring Creek and Unadilla. This guy is just getting started! He found his pace this season and consistency will come.

Rider: Heath Harrison | Photo: Kyle Pesci

73-Marshal Weltin
After just a few outdoors in 2015, Weltin would earn number 89 for 2016. He'd get some help from friend Justin Barcia for the 250 east series but would be sidelined with injury. Outdoors he'd finish as high as 14th. We expect to see his number jump somewhere into the 50s with a healthy season.

Rider: Marshal Weltin | Photo: Kyle Pesci

75-Nick Schmidt 
Savage. Known as the Milestone Assassin, Schmidt is a supercross specialist. After missing the main at Anaheim 1 he'd go on to make every main on the season. 

Rider: Nick Schmidt | Photo: Diffysmooth

80-Cade Clason
Cade was a part of the BWR Engines/K1 Speed team last season and was a constant threat in 450 semi qualifiers. He'd spend the summer in Canada but will be back in the States for supercross.

Photo: Cade Clason | Photo: Kyle Pesci

91-Jacob Williamson
When Gannon Audette got the call to fill in at Pro Circuit, Williams would fill the spot left at Legends and Heroes. He earned all his points in racing 250 east supercross and will be a constant main event threat on 2017.

Rider: Jacob Williamson | Photo: Kyle Pesci

92-Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks is one of those true grit kind of guys. We went through a year that saw some sponsor changes and struggles but no matter what Brooks showed up to race. We even saw him at RedBud without a single sticker on his bike besides his 81. We are pumped to see him with another double digit.

Rider: Jason Brooks | Photo: Kyle Pesci

98-Matthew Babbitt
Babbitt will just drop the 7 off his 2016 number 987 as he earned his first double digit. Babbitt shows real grit outdoors and seems strong late in motos. Last year he was on the outside of that top 20 bubble and this year found the opposite side. 

Rider: Matthew Babbitt | Photo: Kyle Pesci

Here is a full list of 2017 numbers. Look good, you'll be questioning yourself come January.

*Career Numbers
**New Career Number for 2017

1 - 450SX - Ryan Dungey
1 - 450MX - Ken Roczen
1 - 250MX - Cooper Webb
1 - 250SX West - Cooper Webb
1 - 250SX East - Malcolm Stewart
2**      Cooper Webb
3*        Eli Tomac
4*        Blake Baggett
5*        Ryan Dungey
6*        Jeremy Martin
7*        James Stewart
10*      Justin Brayton
11*      Kyle Chisholm
12*      Jake Weimer
14*      Cole Seely
15*      Dean Wilson
16*      Zach Osborne
17**    Joey Savatgy
18*      David Millsaps
19*      Justin Bogle
20*      Broc Tickle
21*      Jason Anderson
22*      Chad Reed
23**    Aaron Plessinger
24        Austin Forkner
25*      Marvin Musquin
26**    Alex Martin
27*      Nicholas Wey
28        Mitchell Oldenburg
29*      Andrew Short
30        Martin Davalos
31        RJ Hampshire
32        Weston Peick
33*      Joshua Grant
34        Benny Bloss
35        Arnaud Tonus
36        Adam Cianciarulo
37        Phillip Nicoletti
38        Shane McElrath
39        Colt Nichols
40        Fredrik Noren
41*      Trey Canard 
42        Kyle Cunningham
43        Matt Bisceglia
44        Jordon Smith
45        Mitchell Harrison
46        Justin Hill
47        Malcolm Stewart
48        Christian Craig
49        Anthony Rodriguez
50        Luke Renzland
51*      Justin Barcia
52        Tyler Bowers
53        Cole Martinez
54        Gannon Audette
55        Jessy Nelson
56        Kyle Peters
57        James Decotis
58        Chris Alldredge
59        Noah McConahy
60        Tristan Charboneau
61        Vince Friese
62        Jesse Wentland
63        Alexander Frye
64        Hayden Mellross
65        Paul Coates
66        Michael Leib
67        Jimmy Albertson
68        Heath Harrison
69        Wil Hahn
70        Dakota Alix
71        Justin Starling
72        Cole Thompson
73        Marshal Weltin
74        Bradley Taft
75        Nick Schmidt
76        Scott Champion
77        Ben Lamay
78        Nick Gaines
79        Darryn Durham
80        Cade Clason
81        Henry Miller
82        Luke Clout
83        Jackson Richardson
84        Daniel Herrlein
85        Thomas Hahn
86        Trevor Reis
87        Chris Howell
88        John Short
89        Austin Howell
90        Dillan Epstein
91        Jacob Williamson
92        Jason Brooks
93        Josh Cartwright
94*      Ken Roczen
95        AJ Catanzaro
96        Vann Martin
97        Ryan Sipes
98        Matthew Babbitt
99        Chase Marquier
377*    Christophe Pourcel
800*    Mike Alessi

-Kyle Pesci

This article is brought to you by: Rockwell Watches. Visit and use code: KCMX for 20% off

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Passion...Cody Church

One last deep breath. Head down, eyes closed and taking one more second for yourself. Silence the crowd, pray for safety and tap the front number plate twice for luck. Then...eyes open to stadium lights and 60,000 screaming fans, 13,000 rpm and the gate drops. 

It's a routine that privateer Cody Church has become very familiar with, living out his dream as a professional supercross racer. That's just Saturday nights for the 21 year old from Grand Junction, Colorado. We as fans see all these guys as superheroes, making a living doing what we only dream of. Every kid with a dirt bike wants to be a pro when they grow up. There's more to it for a privateer. Long work weeks, being your own agent and mechanic. Long drives between rounds and the stress to perform up to your own expectations. Good results gain publicity and help obtain sponsors. A bad night can make you question the path you've chosen. 

Photo: Diffysmooth
The weekday grind for Church has him installing heating and air conditioning systems. "On occasion I do some plumbing." Mainly working on new construction units, he's grateful he hasn't had to call Mike Rowe for a Dirty Jobs interview yet. When it comes to relaxation he throws a little golf and mountain biking into his life although it's fishing that really makes him happy. "I could get lost in the woods with a fishing pole and be the happiest man on earth."
The journey as a privateer for Church began in 2012. "I was 17 and thrown to the wolves!" The Salt Lake City supercross would be a debut he still considers the highlight of his career. The number 284 would qualify 28th for his first ever professional event. Shortly after the 2012 season Cody would suffer a broken femur. He'd struggle to find confidence in 2013 as in his first full season he'd only make two night shows. Disappointed in himself, Cody described his dad as "pissed" as well. It was a hard pill to swallow. The man who got Cody involved in the sport at just two years old was about to pull the plug. A father and son relationship at an awkward stage. His dad quit watching him ride and avoided dirt bikes all together. "We would eat dinner in silence...just tension all the time." Unhappy with he and his fathers relationship, Cody worked to show his dad his dedication to the sport. "I feel as a privateer you have so much passion." His dad has seen that passion and their relationship is stronger than ever. 

Last season Cody made his first main event. "That one was real special for me." His dad was unable to attend many races but made a last minute decision to catch a flight to the Santa Clara, California round. It'd be a night they'd both remember and embrace together.

2017 is right around the corner and Cody looks to build on a decent 2016 season. He'd qualify for 6 of the 9 supercross events he attended and make the main gate at 3 outdoor nationals. He wants to be a regular in supercross main events. Precision and smoothness along with his hard work on corner speed makes Church a real threat for 250 main events. Supercross just fits his style.

Photo: Diffysmooth
Privateer...It's just a temporary position for a guy chasing a dream. Cody Church wants more. He's hard working and a self motivated individual. "I always strive to be the best I can."
Sponsored by: All-Terrain Motorsports, Team Green, Dirt Candy, Yoshimura, Proven Moto, Race Tech, Pirelli, Scott Goggles, Novik Gloves, Dubya, VP Fuels, 6D Helmets, Asterisk, Light Speed, SDG Seats, Golds Gym, Hays Precision Welding, Milestone MX and Risk Racing.

Surrounding himself with fellow racer Todd Bannister and friends like Justin Andres aka Larry, Scott Denison and Ziggy, Church will be heading into 2017 with a new found confidence. He'll also have a little motivation from his good buddy Jessy Nelson. "He took me under his wing a few years ago." Nelson was recently paralyzed as result of a crash at the Unadilla, New York national. Realizing that anything can happen at anytime, even to the best in the world, Cody has found a way to block the situation from his head while on the track and is inspired by the fight in his friend. 

Follow Cody Church on Instagram @CC284 or search "Cody Church" on Facebook.

It's not all glitz and glamour but it's guys like Cody Church who really show us a love for the sport and can make us really appreciate the privateers. 

#cheerprivateer for 284

-Kyle Pesci

This article is brought to you by: Dedicated Ride Co.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

On the Radar...Jesse Wentland.

We call it silly season. As the industry and fans look forward to who will be where in the 2017 season, focus goes to the big names like Ken Roczen, Cooper Webb and Jeremy Martin making big moves. As the factory spots fill up, we look at support teams that normally host more riders and what privateers deserve a shot at the next step of their career.

Earning points week in and week out leaves a rider wanting more. It can give that feeling of what will it take to get noticed? It's been referred to as privateer island. This season Jesse Wentland is one of those riders who is paddling his way towards a ride with more support. 

Photo: Diffysmooth
Wentland began his professional career in 2013 with support carrying over from a successful final amateur year. Without factory support and racing out of a box van he's been able to put himself towards the top of the results sheets on multiple occasions. Hoping that he's turned some heads, Wentland has parted ways with his team and is looking for something new in 2017. The national numbers were released today and the Elk River, Minnesota native has bettered his number by one spot and will run 62 next season.
This past season may not have shown us all of what Jesse is capable of, but he would show flashes of what he has to offer. In 2016 he'd put in impressive performances not only in supercross and motocross but in both the 250 and 450 classes. Racing the Monster Energy Supercross series in the 250 East Championship he'd finish 19th overall with 41 points. Cracking the top 10 is very impressive and Wentland would do it in back to back to back weeks with an 8th in Daytona, 5th in Toronto and 10th in Detroit. Jesse would battle injuries late in the season and be forced to miss a few rounds. Switching to the 450 class to race the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships he'd again see good days and injuries. Wentland would go on to score 48 points and finish 26th overall. His best result coming at his hometown race, Millville. He'd go 12-14 for 13th overall. Again he'd miss rounds at the end of the season with a broken collarbone.

Just wanting to catch the eye of teams like Geico Honda, Pro Circuit, Star Yamaha, Rock River and teams on the next level is something he knows can elevate him to consistently being a top 5 guy. Teams, Jesse is on the market! He's had flashes of what he can bring to the table and is a name we feel should be on everyone's list. 

Privateer Island is a tough place to be and even tougher to get off of. Some guys just deserve a chance.

Photo: Diffysmooth
Currently supported by: Fox Racing, Foxhead Inc, Scott Motorsports,  Motorex USA, Renthal, Pro Circuit 78, Black Diamond MX, Rekluse, Dunlop, Twin Air,  Motool MX, CTi Knee Braces, Osser, Rockwelltime, Bolt Hardware, Works Connection,, Nihilo Concepts, Enzo Suspension, Cycra, Wisconsin Kenworth, EDM Sales, Dylon Turner.

For more on Jesse, follow him on Instagram @jwentland_62

For any sponsorship opportunities contact Shawn Morris at

#cheerprivateer for Jesse Wentland

-Kyle Pesci

This article is brought to you by Rockwell Time. The dedication to commitment is at the heart of every Rockwell watch. The Rockwell emblem reveals a life of uncompromising style, action and confidence...confidence fueled by the weight on your wrist and the story you have to tell. Learn more at