Colton Aeck (526) and Justin Jones (behind) were locked in close combat in the 450 Pro class. Aeck took the win and Jones had to settle for third overall after bending his front rotor in moto one. Photo: Mark Chilson
The weekly REM Glen Helen motocross wars were as heated as ever — with amazing battles in the 450 Pro, 250 Pro, Over-50 Expert and Over-60 Expert
classes. Plus, there was a cool story about a young man who is now a motocross racer...and had to overcome adversity to make it happen.
450 Pro: Last week’s winner, Colton Aeck, won the first moto with ease when Justin Jones had to stop to have his brake rotor straightened. Arik Swan took second in moto one with Swede Marcus Ovegaard third, Trevor Carmichael fourth and Charles Whittelsey fifth.
With a new front wheel for the second moto Jones and Aeck raced hammer-and-tong in a battle in which which each rider has his favorite parts of the track. In the end, lappers determined the outcome as Aeck squeezed passed a couple lappers right before a tight section and Jones got trapped behind them. The top five overall went to Aeck (1-1), Arik Swan (2-3), Justin Jones (6-2) and Trevor Carmichael (4-5).
Last week Swedish rider Kristoffer Palm won the 250 Intermediate class. This week he won the 250 Pro class. Photo: Mark
This is how close the top three in the 250 Pro class were—except that by day's end they were in reverse order. Jason Bunch (624) was third, Hunter Falk (128) was second and Kris Palm (127) was first. Photo: Ernie Becker
250 Pro: Last week at REM, Kristoffer Palm won the 250 Intermediate class, this week he turned Pro. It’s not often that a neo-pro wins his first race after moving up, but Palm went 1-1 in front of a top five of Hunter Falk (2-2), Jason Bunch (3-3), Chris See (4-4) and Devon Roth (5-5)
Jon Ortner (10) and Willy Simons (46) had a phenomenal race in the Over-50 Expert class. Ortner used his YZ250 two-stroke to make the decisive pass late in moto two over Simon's YZ450F. Photo: Mark
Over-50 Expert: The highly touted Over-50 Expert class at REM continues to amaze as Willy Simons and Jon Orter (both with solid Indian Dunes credentials) went back and forth in what can only be descibed as a nail biter. After Simons won the first moto in front of Ortner and Andy Jefferson (yes, that Andy Jefferson), the second moto would come down to a back-and-forth battle between Simons and Ortner. As the two riders traded places, the moment that determined the outcome came as the tried to pass a slower rider. Simons made the first move, but Ortner made the better decision. They drag raced around the lapper, with Ortner on his way to the checkered flag and 2-1 victory over his arch-rival.
Andy Jefferson used MXA's World Two-Stroke Championship-prepped Husky CR144 to go 3-5 in the Over-50 Experts. Photo: Ernie Becker
Andy Jefferson, who was racing against a packed house of 450cc bikes on a Husqvarna CR144 two-stroke, fell while running third in moto two and lost two places to end up with a 3-5 day for fourth. Dave Eropkin’s 4-4 gave him third with Steve Lawler (8-3) fifth, Bryan Friday (6-6) sixth, Willie Amaradio (5-9) seventh, Val Tamietti (yes, that Val Tamietti) eighth, David Blunk (7-10) ninth and Bob Rutten (yes, that Bob Rutten) tenth.
When asked what he wanted for his 11th birthday, Mason Drammer said that he wanted to race. He got his wish. Photo: Ernie Becker
On lap one of the 85 Beginner class Mason Drammer (217) went down in the three-bike pile-up at the top of Mt. Whitney (along with Etai Ebaiov and Noy Ebaiov). Undaunted, they all got going again and Drammer's birthday wish ended with a fifth overall. Photo: Ernie Becker
85 Beginner: Young Mason Drammer came down from the Central Coast to fulfill his birthday wish. Race day at REM was Mason’s 11th birthday and when asked what he wanted for his birthday, Mason said that he wanted to race. And race he did — including a get-off on lap one and some spirited duels in moto two. As you would expect, the day ended with a big smile.
MXA's John Basher (35) raced the 2014 KTM 250SXF in the Vet Intermediate class. David Faux (732) gets a sky high view of the landing zone. Photo: Mark
OTHER BIG WINNERS
Vet Beginner: Ken Sarmento used a 1- to defeat Jason Chism’s 3-1 and Angel Rodriquez’s 2-3.
Vet Novice: Vance Freeman swept both motos in front of Daniel Mendez (3-2) and Scotty Walker (2-3). In a intramural battle for bragging rights back at the KTM race shop, Scott Youngstrand went 5-4 in front of David O’Connor’s 6-5.
Ernie Becker (61) leads Paul Fitz-Gibbon (38) and Cory Clark (48) in the Over-40 Novice class. Clark would end up second overall, while Becker and Fitz-Gibbon would get 7th and 8th respectively. Photo: Mark
MX-Tech's Jeremy Wilkey flew in from Illinois for some suspension testing with MXA, but since he was at the track he borrowed MXA's KX450F and went 8-4 in the Vet Intermediates. Photo: Ernie Becker
Vet Intermediate: Adam Morrow and Scott Lindley traded 1-2 and 2-1 scores with the gold going to Morrow. David Faux was third.
Vet Pro: Kris Keefer won the Over-30 Pro class, but in moto one he was in up front with the 450 Pros. In the second moto Keefer was running third overall in the combined 450/250/Vet Pro race when his CRF450 air forks developed a leak. With one leg down on pressure, Keefer concentrated on surviving the moto and winning his class— which he did. Ryan Abler was second and Justin Reese third.
Steven De Rose leads an angry pack of chasers around Glen Helen's REM track. Photo: Mark
Over-60 Expert: George Kohler won a couple races when he first turned 60 last year, but the combination of a nagging injury and a man named Gary Jones stopped his win streak. But, this week with Jones off on the vintage circuit and a healthy body Kohler holehot both motos, only to get caught and passed by Lyle Sweeter in moto one. In moto two, Sweeter and Kohler dueled again, but this time Kohler closed the deal with a 2-1 in front of top five that was Kohler, Sweeter, Tom White, Bill Seifert and John Huegel.
George Kohler (192) won the Over-60 Expert class over Lyle Sweeter and Tom White. Photo: Mark
TM importer Pete Vetrano found a brand-new, never-been-ridden 2005 TM 450 in his warehouse. So, did he put it in a museum? Try to sell it to a customer? Put it on display in his showroom? Nope, he raced it. Photo: Ernie Becker
THE BIG FOUR-OH CLASSES
Over-40 Novice: With Joe Sutter and Cory Clark sharing moto wins the tie breaker came down to Sutter’s second moto second over Clark’s first moto third. Kendall Stanley was a close third with a 2-3. Gabi Ebaiov brought the whole family out to race and scored a fourth overall in front of famous boot and clothing designer Kenny Safford.
Over-40 Intermediate: Ian Fitz-Gibbon went 1-1 in front of a top five of Kenny Montggomery, Scott Lindley, Danny Pacheco and Bret Anderson.
Over-40 Expert: South African Alan Julien’s 2-1 beat Eddie Davis’ 1-3 and Greg Pierce’s 3-4. Shawn Heit was fourth and Ron Engel fifth.
The biggest class of the day was the Over-50 Novices. Kent Reed (33) went 8-10 on a day that include a big first turn crash and and a couple other mishaps, but he had a good time anyway. Photo: Ernie Becker
REM does not race over the next two weekends because of the Last Dog Standing GP and Mammoth Mountain. REM will return to Glen Helen on June 29. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com