Amateur Spotlight | Dakota Yaskow

October 24, 2017

by Dawn McClintock

Photos by Mao Ouyang

Name: Dakota Yaskow
Age: 17
Instagram:  rocketman_786
Hometown: Newcastle
Bikes: 2017 KTM 250sx-f, and 2017 KTM 350sx-f
Classes racing: Open intermediate, 250 intermediate, youth 14- 24 INT/ PRO. (B class).
School Grade: 12

Hey Dakota how did your season end up going for you?
Honestly, I am proud of the season that I had.

You came off some pretty serious injuries last season. Tell us what happened and when were you given the green light to start riding again?
I had just recovered from a severe injury that happened September 28th, 2016. I hit a set of rollers and before I knew it I was on the ground. I broke my femur, collarbone, and some ribs. Had surgery the following morning and now have a rod in my femur from my hip to knee with screws. I got the green light to ride mid January but still wasn’t quite ready to get back into it. MXschools and Frankfit Canada put together an amazing program for me! They brought me back to being confident and comfortable on my bike. Jay and Kyle are positive people who know how to work. They are grinders.

You made the big leap to the yellow plate the end of this season. Tell us about making that decision to move up to Intermediate.
I had a couple factors in moving up to Intermediate before the season ended. My trainer Jay, my family and close friends agreed it would be beneficial for me to race the last couple events in the next class up to gain valuable racing experience that I would not have obtained racing Junior. Like many others have said before, the Intermediate classes this year are running pro pace and has been proven by the “fab three” TW184, AW424, & MC46 this year at Canadian pro nationals. The longer motos, way faster competition and more aggressive racing has brought my racing to the next level.

What sort of off-season training do you do?
There is no off season! To be the man you must beat the man! Frankfit kicks my butt daily. Working with MXschools building good habits and techniques. That way when we get to pro we are ready. We have an amazing crew and a fast group of riders that will be heading down south in the new year. Its good to have riders like, Steven Anderson, Seth McDowall, Nick Cryer, Tyler Hulley, and the rest of the crew that continuously push one another on and off the track to be better.

Did you have a highlight of this past season?
My first Race race back after my injury was a LLAQ in Ohio at Malvern MX I won 3 out of 4 motos in the 250C limited class, and 250C (12-17) taking both overalls. This has probably been the most memorable summer of my life. I had good luck at Dechambault. Even in the torrential down pour!! I podiumed in all three Junior classes MX 1-2-3, and I jumped that 120 foot gap on my 250F then my 350F. I also won a Collegeboy title at the Area 51 Can/Am event this year.

What is your favourite track?
My favourite track would have to be Gopher Dunes. I love the way sand tracks change every lap. I probably won’t say that after my first pro national there though! I won my first race of the season there this year.

Who would you say is your main competition?
My biggest competition is myself! Fighting myself mentally. The riders are fast, the classes are stacked. But the real competition is within the rider themselves.

What sort of training do you do during the week?
I do a lot of cycling, short circuit workouts, cardio workouts, swimming, yoga and crossfit.

What fun outdoor activities do you do in the off-season?
I like to play video games, go pit biking, hangout with my friends, and a new recent one is golf. I’m the opposite of Tiger Woods. In fact I hit the ball in the woods a lot! Over the summer time we went bridge jumping which was cool. There was a quarry at Dechambault with some cliffs that we sent.

Do you have an all-time favourite rider you look up to?
Cole Thompson and Colten Facciotti. They work really hard on and off the track. They are great role models for us racers. For an American rider it would have to be Jason Anderson! His aggression, and style is something that I admire. He is super good with the fans! And let’s face it they are why we do what we do.

What’s your favourite track snack/food?
Favourite food is my Mom’s spaghetti & Mucho burrito, but my pre-race snack would be All-Max nutrition amino’s and Carbon with banana.

What is your plan for the off-season?
My plan for the off season is to train as much as possible in Canada until the snow falls. Why do we even have snow? [laughs]. In the new year head down south with Jay and get to work for 2018.

Is there one particular event you look forward to racing the most?
I’m also super hyped to race the Jetwerx Arenacross tour this spring. There is a possibility I might race Mini O’s but its still up in the air.  Maybe do a few spring nationals in B class.

Who is in your regular pit crew?
Kavaner, Renouf, Ness, Rae and Hulley families and the rest of my close friends group is my usual pit crew. I have an unbelievable group of people around me.

Where do you see yourself in another 5 years?
2022, I see myself racing MX2 or MX1 under a tent in Canada. Still working hard training with Jay and being involved with all my close friends. My ultimate goal is to try and get a supercross licence. I really enjoy rhythm sections and whoops. After watching Team Canada race at Matterley Basin MXON, that would be an experience of a lifetime.

If you could give a younger rider who is just starting out one piece of advice, what would that be?
If I could give any young racer advice it would be that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard!

What are your goals for next season?
My goals for next season are to be dominant. Straight up, I just want to win. I am going to work hard, learn fast and adapt.

Do you plan on hitting any high profile races in the states?
I want to do every race possible. However reality hits and so does the budget. We will work that out. I want to do Mini O’s. Fingers crossed.

Ok, thanks for catching up with us Dakota. Do you have a list of sponsors you would like to give a shout out to?
First off I would like to thank Dawn McClintock at FXR for this opportunity. Don, Colten and Jody at Orange Motorsports I couldn’t do what I do without this crew, Jay at MXschools, Kyle at Frankfit Canada, DCRracing, Marco & Isabelle at MD Distributions, Mike at MP1 Suspension, Ryan at Atlas Brace, 100% Goggles, Mobius, Mika Metals, DT1 Air Filters, Forma Boots, Kevin at ALLMAX Nutrition, Shelbourne Fuels, Dave atShinko Tires, AMSoil, Shorai Batteries, Ryan at 6D Helmets, Team LTD, Dr. Sharda at Spine Wise Bowmanville.

I would like to give a shout out to My Mom, Dave Phillips, Sierra my friends for always encouraging me to do better. All the other people that have helped me over the past season getting to me where I am now. Clody and Braydon and KTM Canada for their help at Dechambault when I needed parts! Very much appreciated. And to my BIGGEST FAN my Poppa.