Brandon Brady (205) looks like he has the holeshot in the 450 Pro class, but the roost in front of him is from MXA test rider Dennis Stapleton. Justin Jones (42) would win the overall.
With another unique track design, REM’s weekly motocross race at Glen Helen Raceway saw incredibly close battles in many of the major classes. On a day that was predicted to be sunny and warm with temperatures near 80-degrees, instead the racers saw high clouds drift in from the south to produce perfect racing weather with temps in the low 70s.
THE CLOSEST BATTLES
Japanese rider Rya Sato used a 2-1 to win the 250 Pro class.
450 Pro: Justin Jones and Brandon Brady dueled for supremacy in the 450 Pro class. The duo ran nose-to-tail for most of both motos. Finally, in the second moto, Jones made a decisive move to pass Brandon for the win. Brandon immediately fought back, but made a mistake and went down. Justin’s 2-1 beat Brandon’s 1-2. Klint Stapes was third.
Over-40 Intermediate: Shawn Heit and Scott Fichter traded moto wins and second places, but Heit’s better finish in moto two clinched the deal. Ron Shuler was third, Dan Alamangos fourth and Wil Harper fifth.
Dennis Stapleton is off on another adventure next week. He will be heading to Qatar. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We don't know where it is either.
Over-50 Intermediate: Scott Fichter shrugged off his defeat in the Over-40s and came back to reverse the results in the Over-50 Intermediates. This time, Fichter traded 1-2 and 2-1 scores with Wil Harper, but Fichter came out on the winning side of this equation. Randy Skinner was third, Joe Sutter fourth, Jeff Fahy fifth, Mike Phillips sixth, Owen Fitzsimon seventh, Jeff Mason eighth, Scott Kellar ninth and Mark Hall tenth.
Even though James Herz and Willy Simons Jr. (46) look like they are on a collision course with Randel Fout (82), it is just the foreshortening of the long lens. Simons won the 250 Intermediate class.
Noah Hickerson not only won the 250 Novice class, but he watered the track while he was at it. Noah was lucky that it blew the hose on the very last lap.
Over-40 Novice: Owen Fitzsimon used the “age rule” to drop down to the Over-40 Novices (from the Over-50 Intermediates) to go 1-2 to defeat Joe Sutter’s 3-1 (Sutter was also dropping an age group). Gavin Antill was third with a 2-3, Gary Taylor fourth and Cory Clark fifth.
Jody Weisel (82) leads Alan Kent (8), father of former Los Angeles Dodger and "Survivor" Jeff Kent, while Bill Maxim (197) lurks in the background. Jeff Kent owns motorcycle shops in Texas and is now sponsoring Andrew Short out of Kent Powersports.
Over-60 Expert: There was little doubt about who was going to win the Over-60 Expert class. Even though there were three riders who had finished in the top ten in the Over-60 World Championships this year and two former Over-60 World Champions, plus an Over-70 World Champion, the star of the field was three-time Over-60 World Champion Bill Maxim (who missed the 2012 World Veteran Championship with an injury). Maxim won the first moto with ease over Hollywood stuntman Mic Rodgers, Swede Bengt Johansson, Alan Kent, Jody Weisel and current Over-70 World Champion Lars Larsson (racing for the first time in two months after an illness). But in the second moto, Bengt Johansson fell in a deeply rutted uphill turn, while leading, and cleaned out Bill Maxim’s hopes. Rodgers avoided the mayhem and used a 2-1 to take the win over Alan Kent’s 4-2, Johansson’s 3-3 and Maxim’s 1-6.
THE BIGGEST CLASSES
TM USA accidentally order a TM 100MX, a full-size bike with a 100cc two-stroke engine, but rather than worry about what they are going to do with the bike, they have been racing it. Here, Kris Palm races it in the 250 Intermediate class, while Pete Vetrano finished second on it in the Vet Novice class. It is for sale...slightly used
The biggest classes of the day were the Over-50 Intermediates, followed by the Over-50 Experts, Over-50 Novices and Over-40 Novices.
Jon Ortner's two-stroke sneaks up on Over-50 World Champion Pete Murray's YZ450F four-stroke.
Over-50 Expert: With the current Over-50 World Champion, Pete Murray, in the house, you would think that the hopes of the other riders in the class would be deflated, but not so. In moto one, Gary Renko led for two-thirds of the race before giving way to Pete Murray. After that pass Murray thought he was cruising to an easy victory, but that was only because he couldn’t hear the sound of Jon Ortner’s KTM 250SX two-stroke behind him. And with a lap to go, Ortner carved past Murray and into the lead. It was a shocker for Murray, who turned up the wick and luckily caught Ortner just as they came up on a pack of lappers. Murray got Ortner back.
Jon Ortner hadn't raced a two-stroke in decades, but he adapted to it quickly...except for the occasional unintentional wheelie.
In the second moto, Ortner led until halfway when Murray moved on by to take the second moto sweep. The overall went to Murray (1-1), Ortner (2-2), Willie Amaradio (4-3), Gary Renko (3-4), Dave Eropkin (7-5), Bryan Friday (6-6, plus Bryan got to lead his first-ever Over-50 Expert race for a couple laps in moto two), Mike Monaghan (5-7), Ron Lawson (8-8), Joe Pena (9-9) and Ray Poltack (10-10).
Aussie Dan Alamangos has go-for-broke style.
This is the broke part.
Over-50 Novice: Terry Varner swept both motos relatively uncontested. Kent Reed used a 4-3 to get second in front of a top five of Brian Underdahl (3-4), Ty Larson (2-5) and Paul Dobereiner (6-2).
Johnny Campbell finished the Dakar Rally two weeks ago, but is now at REM sharpening his son Preston's footpegs. The Campbell family is a racing family
REM races again next Saturday, February 9. The 2012 awards will be handed out to the top riders on Saturday. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com
Photos by Dan Alamangos and F. Stop Fitzgerald.