Honda Motorcycle tests
Doug Dubach. King of the Vets and King of Glen Helen.
Doug Dubach remains the master of the World Vet Championships as he clinched his 20th World Vet title (between the Over-30 and Over-40 Pro classes). Terry Fowler and Billy Joe Mercier gave Doug a run for his money early in moto one, but once Dubach got to the front he steadily pulled away from his pursuers, which at the end of moto one were Mercier, Canadian Julian Cerny, Brit Kurt Nicoll, Terry Fowler and Canadian Justyn McCabe.
The second moto was more of the same as Dubach took about two laps to get to the front and then opened up a sizable gap to cruise to victory. Billy Mercier threw in a quick crash, which allowed Julian Cerny to get by (a pass that would result in Cerny getting to the second step on the podium). Mercier’s 2-3 got him third overall. Kurt Nicoll was steady at 4-4, but couldn’t get the start he needed to be at the front. Terry Fowler was the holeshot king in both motos, but put together a 6-5 got fifth.
IN THE OTHER CLASSES
Gary Jones begins Honda's celebration of the 40th anniversary of their first AMA National Motocross Championship, but winning day one of the World Vet Over-60 Expert class on Justin Barcia's works Honda CRF450.
There was a full slate of Novice, Intermediate and Expert races for 25-, 30-, 40-, 50-, 60- and 70-year old riders, but none of them counted towards winning the title. In fact, over 400 riders showed up to race on Saturday...and more will come on Sunday. All the titles, save for the Over-40 Pro crown, will be decided by Sunday’s results. But as warm-up races go there were some interesting outcomes.
Over-60 Experts: Team Honda showed up to provide Gary Jones with a full-on works Honda CRF450. It was actually Justin Barcia’s MXDN bike – set up for the four-time 250 National Champion. Why would a 60-year-old rider get a factory ride for the World Vet Championship? Honda is celebrating the 40th anniversary of their first -ever National Championship back in 1973...and Gary Jones was the rider that gave them that crown.
Gary Jones swept both moto with Lyle Sweeter second with a 3-2, Alan Kent third with a 4-3, Texan David Bibby fourth with a 6-4, Vic Curti fifth with a 7-7, Jody Weisel sixth with a 8-8, Edgar Perriton seventh with a 9-6, Larry Popp, who owns the sponsoring MTA distributing company, eighth with a 11-8, Glen McGovern ninth with a 10-9 and George Kohler tenth with a 2-20.
Steve Lawler, (4) Chuck Sun (93) and Isao Ida (130) duel in the Over-50 Expert race. Sun, the 1980 AMA 500 National Champion, took the victory.
Over-50 Expert: Although not all the big guns were in attendance for Saturday's warm-up festivities, Chuck Sun and Jon Ortner traded moto wins (both riding for MXA). Sun’s 2-1 took the victory from Ortner’s 1-2. Japanese rider Isao Ida was third, and may have been the fastest rider in the class, but the brutally rough Glen Helen track doesn’t reward speed as much as endurance and smart line choices. Steve Lawler was fourth, Ed Guajardo fifth, Doug Goodman sixth, Kurt Sofka seventh, Chandler Sato eighth, Mike Clement ninth and Dave Fontes tenth.
You can afford to be casual on the starting line when you have gone to it as many times as 71-year-old Lars Larsson. Lars is the man that Edison Dye hired away from the GP circuit to come to America and demonstrate the abilities of a strange two-stroke machine called a "Husqvarna" 45 years ago. It caught on.
Over-70 Experts: 2011 Over-70 World Champion Lars Larsson swept both motos over Paul Budaio and Curtis Johnson. Larsson was a pioneer of American motocross and the Swedish GP rider was one ot the first Euros to come to the USA to introduce the sport to American teenagers. Lars was also the 2001 Over-60 World Champion.
Racing resumes on Sunday with the Over-30 Pro battles.
There were riders from 20 countries at the opening day of the 2012 MTA World Vet. Here, Spanish rider Xavi Costa (92) tries to get far enough up Mt. Saint Helen to see if he can see his house in Barcelona.
OVER-40 WORLD VET CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
1. Doug Dubach (Yam)....1-1
2. Julian Cerny (Kaw)......3-2
3. Billy Mercier (Kaw).....2-3
4. Kurt Nicoll (KTM)...4-4
5. Terry Fowler (Yam).....6-5
6. Justyn McCabe (Hon).....7-7
7. Todd Mitchell (Kaw).......5-10
8. Shawn Wynne (Kaw).....8-9
9. Robby Clauss (Yam)..........12-6
10. Willy Musgrave (Yam)....11-8
11. Revelle Harrison (Hus)...9-11
12. Ed Foedish (Kaw).......14-12
13. Pete DeGraaf (Hon)......13-13
14. Kevin Williams (Kaw).....15-15
15. Jonathan Rhodes (Hon).....20-14
Other notables: 21. Don Bisceglia; 24. Kim Sunol; 27. Xavi Costa; 29. Tim Rutherford; 31. Pedro Gonzalez
Photo by Dan Alamangos and Ernie Becker