2020 AMO Special Awards AMO Racing October 6, 2020 Racing It’s been a crazy year for sure but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate a few riders that caught the eyes of the AMO brass. These names below gave us all a little extra at every gate drop of 2020. Rider of the Year – Dylan Rempel This was an easy choice for everyone I asked. I have been watching races since 1986 and witnessed the very best amateur racers from their time. Each racer turned heads in some shape or form and some even made a career out of this magical sport. Dylan is no doubt fitting all the criteria needed and maybe even more. What I see from Dylan outdoors is solid. The kid is smart, fast, and seems to love the sport (Most kids do but I see something even deeper with this kid) but what caught my eye was his skills at the end of the year at SX. Young Canadians are now getting spoiled with the opportunity to learn a new craft that most of us racers before, never had. THE smaller AX series has been going on for years, all over Canada and it’s where racers like Dusty Klatt, Darcy Lange, Colton Facciotti, Kyle Beaton, and many others cut their teeth but the next step type series to make the gap closer for Canadians wishing t chase the US SX dream is now becoming a reality, and in my mind, Dylan Rempel is at the top fo that list. He is leaps and bounds ahead of anyone in his age category in this discipline and what I also see from him in MX could make for the ultimate Canadian racer for all of us to watch in the coming years. Dylan, you were a pleasure to watch this summer and there was no doubt in my mind you were the Amateur Motocross Ontario RIDER OF THE YEAR!! Rising Star Big Bike – Josh Bryan Like I mentioned above I have watched a lot of races in my day. Josh Bryan reminds me of a modern-day Marco Dube. I would venture a guess Josh doesn’t know who that is but the confidence on the bike, his quiet way about doing business (Marco was very quiet as an amateur but seriously bad-ass), and his racecraft shines on every surface. A well-rounded racer is uber important to anyone’s career. I see Josh as a kid that is solid no matter what’s thrown at him and that always leads to a career racer, not just a moment racer. Next year is a big year for this speedster. He earned his way into the Intermediate class now after a podium at TransCan so the work gets harder, the class gets deeper, and the racers are faster. Can he survive? My guess is, Josh Bryan will become a name we all know in years to come if he continues to stay on the path he’s on right now. I’m sure he’s always a star in Mommy and Daddy’s eyes, but for 2020 he’s a RISING STAR with AMO!! Rising Star Small Bike – AJ Beth I was able to watch this young kid ride this year and I was pleasantly surprised at the aggressive need to be a top racer. When I watched at TransCan he was a fighter just off the pace of the top guys, but he showed great consistency which to me is something hard to find in a young kid. When watching a young racer I look for the ability to keep the wheels on the ground. I have taught a crap ton of kids that have balls out speed but silly crashes and mistakes hinder their way and steal from the positives of merely finishing a race strong. AJ looks to be a smart racer and seeing the big picture when the gate drops. There will be a time when he needs to shut off the smart and turn up the dumb but right now is not that time and I see that and I like it. There are a lot of years to come where the #521 will turn heads and shape his career. What I see now is good and for that, he earns the small bike RISING STAR!! Big Bike Hard Charger – Ben Leclair 2020 Walton TransCan Walton Raceway August 13, 2020 The very first time meeting Ben Leclair this year was in the AMO trailer when his transponder sued for his Superbike races wouldn’t work with the AMO system. It was weird but he was stressing until I just gave him one of mine. At this moment I knew who he was from his road race career and I could see the respect he gained at that moment where a guy he barely knew helped him out. Right then, at that moment, I knew the #54 would be a kid to watch and enjoy all summer long. So whether it was the 3 classes he raced each AMO event, the FXR Pre-Mix, or the outstanding efforts at TransCan I quickly learned that Ben is an all heart racer and ready no matter the walls put in front of him. His tenacity on the track rivals anyone of those heroes you look up to that never-give-up, always fighting for every inch, and never allowing anything negative to ruin his passion for the sport. Being a racer that shows up, and is ready when the gate drops no matter what, that’s a racer that everyone can be a fan of. That’s a racer that fights when there is nothing left. That’s a racer that’s a HARD CHARGER with AMO!! Small Bike Hard Charger Award – Cody Meatherall I spent a lot of time with the 50cc class this year. Some may even think more then I wish too but I enjoy watching the future of the sport and the relationship built between parent and racer. The bond I witnessed between James Weatherall and Son Cody was one I kept an eye on all year. The biggest reason was that Cody has some serious skills and with that comes pressure at times from a parent. It is sometimes good and sometimes bad. I was curious about how the direction would go in 20202. Watching Cody ride was an easy way to see this kid is tough and wants to win. The old man seems to have the same traits because eh’s running around chasing Cody whos wins in the 50 class and then another son Brayden who just seems to enjoy being at the track. Balancing all this as a parent with having a kid that never lets the little things bug hm is a cool part of racing. Cody has a future in racing and it all starts with good parents building a humble racer with an attitude to never give-up. I bleive Cody Meatherall will no doubt HARD CHARGE his way into the history of Canadian moto.