Eeli Takatalo jumps out of a berm in front of Brian Burns (231) and Kris Palm (33), while Broc Armbruster (73) and Marcus Ovegaard (864) go around them.
Because of a National hillclimb that was using the REM motocross track’s starting line as a staging area, the REM races moved down the hill to the Glen Helen USGP track for the day. This has been a regular occurrence this year, as REM spent three weeks on the USGP track during the buildup to the Red Bull X-Fighters event in May. As with any switch in tracks, some riders rise to the occasion when they get to different terrain.
Broc Armbruster (73) floats a KTM 250SX two-stroke over a Glen Helen hump.
And the two Glen Helen racetracks are quite different. The USGP track has the longest widest start in the sport, with it’s banked 45-degree first turn, while the REM track has a short Supercross-style start. The USGP circuit is a high-speed track with lots of chances to use every gear in the box, while the REM track is much more intense with lots of tight corner, off cambers and technical sections. The USGP track has the massive Mt. Saint Helen uphill. It is a 10-story climb with a long fast downhill. REM has the steeper Mt. Whitney climb, but its not as long as Mt. Saint Helen. The USGP track has many more jumps than the REM track, but REM has sharper and harsher square-edge bumps.
THE PROS AND EXPERTS
Jake Canada (23) won both 450 Pro motos.
SoCal motocross has an odd mix of Pro and Experts classes. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two divisions. As a rule of thumb, the Pro classes are for riders still hoping to make their name, while the Expert classes are for riders who have grown in years and girth (and no longer want to feed the fires of a Pro career).
450 Pro: Jake Canada, riding for DR.D, easily swept both motos of the 450 Pro class. His toughest competition came from offroad star Colton Udall who went 2-2. The other Colton, Colton Aeck, was third with a 3-3. Finnish rider Eeli Takatalo was fourth in front of Swede Marcus Ovegaard.
Thomas Covington went 1-1 in the 250 Pro class.
250 Pro: The top five in the 250 Pro class was Thomas Covington (1-1), Brandon Leith (2-2), Mat Inda (6-3), Broc Armbruster (5-4) and Kristoffer Palm (4-5). Dakota Tedder was third in moto one, but did not start the second moto.
Vet Pro: One of the veterans of the REM Pro classes, Tony Amaradio, easily won the Over-30 Pro class, even though he threw in a crash or two.
Over-40 Pro/Expert: Former Grand Prix star Kurt Nicoll went 1-1 in front of Jason Field (3-2), Randel Fout (4-3) and Kevin Barda. Meanwhile, the almost identical Over-40 Expert class was won by Greg Pierce over Rick Aldrich, Kevin Foley and Alan Julien.
Kevin Foley (14) and Mark Hall (55) jockey for position in a Glen Helen sweeper.
Over-50 Expert: Kevin Foley, 1985 AMA Rookie of the Year, focused his attentions on the Over-50 Expert class, where he faced off against former AMA National Pro Jon Ortner. Foley and Ortner raced against each other in the 1985 500 Nationals. The first moto was determined by six inches at the checkered flag. Ortner took the win with Foley right next to him. LightSpeed Carbon Fiber owner Willie Amaradio was third, with Dave Eropkin, on a borrowed Suzuki, fourth and former Saddleback Maico hero Val Tamietti fifth. In the second moto, Foley got into the lead early and although Orter would yo-yo up to him, he would also yo-you away from Kevin. The final tally was Kevin Foley 2-1, Jon Orther 1-2, Willie Amaradio 3-3, Dave Eropkin 4-4 and Val Tamietti 5-5.
Over-60 Expert: To race this class you have to have been born in 1953 and half the field would be overjoyed if you thought they were born as late as 1953. The race went to Lyle Sweeter with a 1-1, George Kohler got second with a 2-2 and Jody Weisel had a 3-3. Behind them were some serious battles for the final spots in the top five. Tony Parson’s 5-4 got fourth and John Huegel’s 4-6 ended up fifth. Earl Shuler, in his first race back after some medical issues, was close to notching a top five when he went 6-5.
THE BIGGEST CLASSES OF THE DAY
Trevor Stewart two-stroked it to the front of the 250 Novice class.
For the first time in memory the biggest class of the day was not made up of Over-40 or Over-50 riders. Instead the 250 Novice class was the quantity winner. The Over-50 Intermediates and Over-40 Novices were the next two biggest classes.
250 Novice: Trevor Stewart (1-1), Gavin Tadora (3-2) and Brandon Sussman (2-4) got the top three steps on the box, but the real duels were back in the pack. The difference between sixth through ninth was a matter of swapping one or two places as sixth went to Brandon Reid’s 7-8 in front of Gustav Gustafsson’s 9-7, Andrew Paul’s 8-9 and Ryan Moore’s 6-13.
We like to think that Scott Williams put that chunk of dirt on his helmet before the moto started, because how else could it have gotten there?
Over-50 Intermediate: In REM Race Central they are taking a close look at the Over-50 Intermediate class. This class has been the subject of much controvery ever since five Over-50 Experts moved down at the start of the 2012 season — and since almost no Over-50 Intermediates have moved up to the Expert class (although there have been several multi-time winners). This week’s winner was Jeff Fahy (1-2) with Steve Donovan (3-1), Joe Sutter (5-4) and Fred Nichols (2-7) rounding out the top four. Shy Moshe made the move up from the Over-50 Novices and scored a top five finish with a 4-6. Greg Ziegler, Jeff Mason, Scott Williams, Mark Hall and Randy Skinner were all in the top ten.
Colton Udall (510) was the second fastest man in the 450 Pro class.
Over-40 Novice: Scott Fichter went 1-1 to win the third largest class of the day with Joe Sutter, Kendall Stanley, Kennard Lipscomb, Mark Hall, Tommy Leone, John Pratt, Gary Taylor and Pasha Afshar filling in the top ten. You may notice that Joe Sutter and Mark Hall were also in the top ten in the Over-50 Intermediate class. How could they race both the Over-50 Intermediates and Over-40 Novices? Under SoCal Vet rules, when you drop a 10-year age group, you can also drop one skill division. Thus, these 50 years old Intermediates are legal in the Over-40 Novice class.
OTHER SIGNIFICANT WINNERS
We are not sure what Drew Petrie (378) is doing here, but even more confusing is why he is wearing a jacket on a 90 degree day.
Zac Commans: Zac went 1-1 with Ryan Surratt (2-2), Dean Spangler (3-3), Kordel Caro (4-5) and Vito Bednar (7-4) filling the top five.
Carson Mumford: With a 1-1 Carson Mumford took the 250 Novice victory. Braden Keeler, Donovan Tryon, Ford Heit and Dillon Ziegler were the top five.
Dan Alamangos: Switching from a KTM 250SXF to a 350SXF was a smart move on the high-speed Glen Helen USGP track as Australian Dan Alamangos holeshot both motos of the Over-40 Intermediate class and took the win with a 2-1. Ron Shuler went 1-2. Scotty Walker was third overall with a 4-3.
Marcus have you met Matas yet? Mat Inda (256) introduces himself to Swede Marcus Ovegaard (864).
REM races again next Saturday, July 20, but then has to take July 27 off because of a Lucas Oil Offroad truck race that fills up the whole park with spectators. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com