Eli Tomac came to REM to get in some outdoor testing and to run REM's 30-minute motos. The local Pros desire to do well and Eli's unfamiliarity with Glen Helen's concrete start meant that he had to work for it—albeit only for the first 10 minutes of each moto. Here Eli leads Justin Jones (42) and Colton Udal (510).
When Eli Tomac was interviewed at the riders meeting by announcer Tom White, he was asked when the last time he showed up at a local race was. To the delight of the local crowd Eli said, “Actually, the last time I raced a local race was at REM two years ago, but I’m back today.”
Preston Tilford won the 450 class, but only because overall winner Eli Tomac was in the 250 Pro class. Tilford's 1-3 gave hm the 450 Pro class victory over Justin Jones and Broc Armbruster. Brandon Brady gave Tomac the most competition, but a flat tire in moto one ruined his overall score.
With the eight-week break in the 250 East Supercross series coming to an end next weekend, Eli wanted to put the finishing touches on his AMA 250 National outdoor preparation by racing REM’s long 30-minute motos. He will have three straight weeks of Supercross before he gets a chance to do any more outdoor test. Last week the Troy Lee Designs team of Christian Craig, Cole Seely and Jessy Nelson came to REM to test their outdoors bikes—but nobody gets to test next week because Glen Helen is hosting a 10,000 person "mud run" on both motocross tracks on Saturday. REM will return with its30-minute Pro motos on April 27.
THE 250/450 PRO RACE
Dennis Stapleton is depicted in a classic example of REM's optical illusions. With so many hills and drop-offs it looks like the riders behind Stapleton are going the wrong way, but he is actually on the downhill portion of the hill they are going up. MXA's Stapleton was on his way to Denmark for the round of the Danish National Championship immediately after REM.
There was little doubt that Eli Tomac was going to win the Pro race. Even though Eli was in the 250 Pro class, the 250 and 450 Pros were combined on one gate. It could be assumed that Eli’s Geico Honda would suffer on the start against the 450s, but fellow 250 rider Mat Inda came off the line in second place, while Eli was back in 8th.
Broc Armbruster two-steps his way to third in the 450 Pro class.
Brandon Brady jumped to a quick lead and opened up a sizable gap in the first two laps as Tomac methodically picked his way through the field. By the fourth lap, Tomac had gotten to second place, but Brady had a 10-second lead. Tomac whittled that down to nothing and passed Brady to go on to the overall win. Sadly, Brady suffered a flat tire and had to come in to the pits right after Tomac went by. He fixed the flat and returned to the race many laps down.
Colton Udall had a great race at the World Two-Stroke Championships last week finishing fourth overall, so the Baja star decided to keep working on his considerable motocross skills. Colton went 2-6 in the 450 Pro class.
In the second Pro moto it was Brady and Tomac again. They engaged in a spirited duel for the first couple laps, but even the power of Brady’s 450 couldn’t hold off Tomac’s CRF250 forever. Tomac eventually lapped up to fourth place in the combined Pro class.
Eli Tomac won the 250 Pro class and the overall, while Preston Tilford got the 450 crown in front of Justin Jones, Broc Armbruster, Colton Udall, Brandon Brady, Marcus Ovgaard, Billy Lea, Kyle Wolack and Devin Roth.
THE OTHER BATTLE OF EPIC PROPORTION
Nick Beall (425) follows Nathan Cernicky (381), Ryan Surratt (51) and Zac Commans (top right) in the Intermediate race.
Zac Commans and Ryan Surratt have raced against each other many times in the 250 Intermediate class. This week was no different as Commans holeshot moto one, but fell off in the third turn—allowing Surratt to run away. Amazingly Commans came from the back to catch and pass Surratt. However, Surratt latched onto Commans rear wheel and the real war began—it eventually went to Surratt with Commans second, Kordel Caro third, Cody Brownfield fourth and Nathan Cernicky fifth.
In the second 250 Intermediate moto Commans left nothing to chance as he holeshot for the second time and skipped the get-off. Commans stayed well clear of his arch rival and won the overall with a 2-1 to Surratt’s 1-2 and Cernicky’s 5-3.
THOSE OLD GUYS
Just like back at Indian Dunes in the good old days, Willy Simons (46) and Jon Ortner (10) fought it out in the Over-50 Expert class. Simons got the upper hand.
The old guys were out in force again.
Over-40 Experts: Eddie Davis won both motos of the Over-40 Expert class with Greg Pierce in second. Davis was even able to defeat the normally faster Over-50 Experts in moto two of their combined race.
Over-50 Experts: Willy Simons took both motos in front of Jon Ortner with Dave Eropkin third. Bryan Friday continues to improve since getting moved up and had a 3-5 day.
Greg Pierce (416) broke the shift lever off Mike Monaghan's TM 144MX in this collision. Meanwhile, Dave Eropkin (811) gets away from the mayhem.
REM isn't for the faint of heart as Randy Skinner and Jeff Fahy (31) try to occupy the same ten-square-foot plot of land in the Over-50 Intermediate race. Skinner's 1-2 took the win over Bob Marino (4-1), Fahy (2-4) and Chris Cole (7-5).
Over-50 Intermediates: By far the biggest class of the day, the Over-50 Intermediates featured baseball scores as the primary feature of the class (with a few football scores back in the pack). A 1-2 took the win (Randy Skinner), a 4-1 got second (Bob Marino), a 2-4 was third (Jeff Fahy), while a 7-5 (Chris Cole) and 6-6 (Mark Hall) got fourth and fifth respectively. Jeff Mason had a 12-3 day which was better than Ken Ehlers 11-7, Steve Donovan’s 3-15 or Joe Sutter’s 5-14.
As Steve Stackable used to say,"If you can't win, at least get out front and style for awhile." Mark Hall (56) has his moment of glory in front of Joe Sutter (111) and Pete Vetrano (37).
Over-60 Experts: At most tracks the Over-60 riders don’t have to race against former AMA National Champions, AMA Grand National dirt trackers or expatriate Swedish riders, but at REM they do. Four-time 250 National Champion Gary Jones won both motos in front of a top five of Tom Holmes, AMA Grand National number 80 Tom White, Swede Bengt Johansson and Bill Seifert.
Pucker up Bill. This isn't how you do it...and now Bill Seifert knows that.
This is how you do it. Jody Weisel threw in a little patriotic flag waving to drive the point home to his buddy Bill (although it should be noted that Bill beat Jody on the day).
Mitchell Falk, definitely not one of the old guys, won the 85 Expert class, while his dad got second in the Over-40 Intermediates behind Aussie Dan Alamangos.
Brian Martin has spent good money many times to go watch Eli Tomac race, so it is only fitting that Eli come out and watch Brian do his thing.
REM does not race next Saturday, April 20, but returns on Saturday April 27 and Saturday May 5. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com.
Photos by Dan Alamangos and Randel Fout