Kawasaki Motorcycle test
Hunter Falk won the 250 Pro class and looked stylish while he was at it.
SoCal has always held motocross on Saturday. Perhaps the most famous were the “Saddleback Saturday” races held by Jim Beltnick. Saturday races attracts two different kind of motocross racers: (1) Those who can’t get away from the family responsibilities on Sunday. (2) Those who want to race as much as possible—which means Saturday and Sunday. Either way the blueprint for Saturday races is to move fast, offer long motos and get done early... so that the Sunday racers have time to go home and work on their bikes for the next day.
This may look out of control, but was actually the hot line out the bowl turn. Randel Fout cranks his TM 250MX to the edge.
Frank Thomason was a hardcore SoCal racer and when he started promoting races, originally at Carlsbad Raceway, he decided to adopted the “Saddleback Saturday” approach to racing–no rules, multi-start gates, long motos, real motocross tracks and no waiting round until oh-dark-thirdy for your second moto. REM Saturday moves fast and is lots of fun.
Brian Burns drops in on his way to the 450 Pro win. Burns gets a good look at the riders in front of him from the lip of the dropoff.
So, it was a surprise when Frank announced that this week’s race would be held on Sunday instead of Saturday. It was the only Sunday race on his schedule and had only been put on the calendar two weeks earlier. It turns out that Glen Helen was hosting an enormous...and we mean enormous...mud run on Saturday. And, it was thought that some errant runner might wander over to the REM track. And with 7000 people in attendance for the Mud Run–Frank wisely chose to move his race to Sunday.
NESC star Austin Squires bought a beat-up 2003 Honda CR250 two-stroke and loves it. He did take off the black plastic from the guy who owned it before, but left the Metal Mullisha stickers on the swingarm for a laugh. Squires won two classes at REM.
When you have never held a race on Sunday, you don’t know if your Saturday crowd will show up...and you have no idea if you will attract enough newcomers to make up the difference. Frank needed worried. He got the regulars and a large group of newcomers at his one and only Sunday race.
Rich Taylor and Mic Rodgers go roost for roost out of a loamy corner. Taylor won the first moto of the Over-40 Pro class, but did not start the second moto.
THE BIG CLASSES OF THE DAY
The biggest class of the day was the Over-50 Intermediate class. It boiled own to a battle between Randy Skinner and former Indian Dunes' Pro Will Harper. They both traded moto wins, but Harper faltered to a sixth in moto one and was lucky to end up second overall with a 6-1 to Skinner’s 1-2.
Fresh off the boat, Swedish rider Martin Kaller went 3-1 in the 450 Pro class.
The second biggest class was a tie between the Over-50 Novice, 250 Novices and Over-40 Novices.
Over-50 Novice: Terry Varner used a 1-2 to win for the second week in a row. Second went to Mike Hillion with a 3-1, while Paul Dobereiner went 4-3 for third.
Over-40 Novice: Mike Daversa’s 1-2 was good enough to hold off Cory Clark’s 3-1 and Nick Nahas 2-3. Gary Ybarra was fourth and Bill Marshall fifth.
What? Another Swede? Kristoffer Palm won the 250 Intermediates.
250 Novice: Chris Nishimura took the win with a 1-2 over Jon Rice’s 4-1. Rice fell while leading the first moto and came from last to fourth, but that mistake cost him any chance at the win. Bryce Stroud was third, with Brandon Reid and Daniel Guillen rounding out the top five.
Dave Eropkin loves his Yamaha YZ450F.
IN THE EXPERT CLASSES
Pros: Hunter Falk won the 250 Pos, while Brian Burns took the 450 Pro win. Austin Squires, on a 2003 Honda CR250 two-stroke won the Vet Pro class and the Over-40 Pro class.
Greg Pierce (416), Randel Fout (77), Paul Krause (X) and Bob Weber (67) spread out across the track...well, only Pierce has spread out.
Over-50 Expert: Dave Eropkin switched to a Yamaha YZ450F and turned his results around. Eropkin, who had been struggling in this competitive class, is suddenly the fastest rider around. Dave took the win with a 1-1 over a top five of Bob Weber, Willie Amaradio, Mike Monaghan and Bam Simons.
Ernie Becker (64) races motocross when he isn't a driving instructor at the Mercedes-Benz AMG driving school. He's got some good lines, but complains that the air conditioning doesn't work.
Over-60 Expert: George Kohler swept both motos in front of Tom Holmes and Jody Weisel. Ray Pisarski was fourth and Lars Larsson fifth.
Dan Alamangos keeps the Husky flag flying in motocross and Supermoto.
Kent Reed (491) and Gary Scott (157) race over a small rise in the Over-50 Novice class. Reed was fourth and Scott was 11th.
REM doesn’t race next week because Glen Helen will be hosting the Day in the Dirt Grand Prix, but will be back on December 1....a Saturday. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com
Photos by Dan Alamangos and Mark Chilson