2013 MTA WORLD TWO-STROKE CHAMPIONSHIP: BIG PAYDAYS, BIG HILLS, BIGGER BUMPS & A CLOCK THAT COULDN’T TELL TIME VERY WELL

April 8, 2013
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Sean Collier made a couple grand, had lots of fun and held off the MXA team. It’s worth mentioning that Sean was a MXA photo rider many moons ago (around 2005).

Photos by Mark Chilson and Dan Alamangos

With a massive show of support for the old way of doing motocross, a large contingent of two-stroke riders descended on Glen Helen Raceway for the 2013 World Two-Stroke Motocross Championship. With $9500 in purse money up for grabs and a free Husqvarna motorcycle to the winner of the 125 Pro class, the Pros were excited to try their hand at old school racing. Even the track was designed to look more like a racetrack from the old days, with lots of offcamber turns, a ditch-like water crossing (minus the water) and beaucoup turns that offered five ways to go through them (most of them wrong). The Glen Helen track was big, very steep and exceptionally long (with a totally new up, down, up and down sections that bracketed the Triple Step-up with two new hills?and the Triple Step-Up was used as a step-down).


There is too much going on in this photo of describe it all. It is obvious that Tyler Bereman (653) and Beau Baron (549) are having a land dispute of some kind and we don’t have a clue where Austin Howell (83) is headed.

The racing was intense with stellar rides put in by the two winners, Blake Savage and Sean Collier, but also by a serious group of chasers who fought back from adversity.

125 Pros: Billy Laninovich would have won the 125 Pro class if the motos were only 15 minutes long?because he had the lead in both 20-minute plus two laps stanzas to that point. But, both times Billy got caught and passed…including being swamped late in the second moto by Bobby Garrison, Blake Savage, Colton Aeck and Gary Sutherlin.


Blake Savage stalks Billy Laninovich in moto one.

Also notable was Colton Aeck, who charged on every lap and in every corner of the track to come back of average starts to get second overall with well deserved thirds in both motos.


Daryl Ecklund (12) hasn’t raced since hurting his knee in the AMA 450 Nationals, but he was stylish in his Navy whites.

The MXA 125 team of Daryl Ecklund, Robby Bell and Dennis Stapleton ran into a swath of problems: Ecklund had a mystery miss that caused his YZ125 to cut out on bumps, but he persevered to a strong sixth in moto one and came from dead last, after a crash on Mt. Saint Helen, to finish inside the top ten for the day.


Robby Bell (83) lost two good finishes when his KTM suffered a flat tire in moto one and a loose shifter in moto two.

Robby Bell raced MXA‘s KTM 125SX, but got snake-bit by a flat tire in moto one and shifter problems in moto two. Meanwhile Dennis Stapleton was caught up in a Doug Dubach crash to finish 11th overall. The offroad contingent always does well in motocross when it comes to Glen Helen. Bobby Garrison (who won the second 125 moto), Gary Sutherlin, Jamie Lanza, Colton Udall and Justin Jones were all top ten riders.


Bobby Garrison finished fifth in the 125 Pro class, but won the second moto going away.


Dennis Stapleton raced both the 125 and 250 class, along with dual classers Colton Aeck, Bobby Garrison, Ricky Yorks, P.J. Larsen and Gary Sutherlin. The first 250 Pro moto ran for 30 minutes plus two laps by accident. The motos were advertised as 20 minutes plus two laps. There were a lot of tired riders after that.


Sebastien Tortelli has one of the nicest riding styles ever.

Sebastien Tortelli looked like he could win. The French star decided at the last-minute to race the 125 Pro class and finished the first moto in 4th and was running third in moto two (and really moving), when his engine went sour. Tortelli stopped to diagnose the problem, rejoined the race, but a couple laps later the problem returned and he ended up backing his 4th up with a 17th.


Gary Sutherlin (324) and Colton Aeck (328) argue over who is going to get to Billy Laninovich (blue jersey) first during the second 125 moto. Aeck won the coin toss.

Savage’s win earned him $1000 and a 2013 Husqvarna CR125 two-stroke.

250 Pros: After the first moto the MXA 250 team of Austin Politelli and Trent Pugmire looked like they would have a private test rider battle for the gold after they went one-two (with Sean Collier in third). Unfortunately, Politelli fell in the second moto while fending off Collier for the lead, Austin remounted only to get knocked down by Bereman at the top of Mt. St. Helen while in fourth. He called it quits. Trent Pugmire went 2-2, but was beaten by Sean Collier’s 3-1. Collier was paid $2000 for his day’s work.


MXA‘s Trent Pugmire‘s 2-2 got pipped by Sean Collier’s 3-1, but Pugmire pocketed $1250 and got one of those “big checks” for his man cave.


This is how close Colton Udall got to finishing on the podium…and getting a “big check” of his own.

Surprises in the 250 Pro class came from offroad and endurance racer Colton Udall, who showed real speed. Colton went 4-4 for fourth overall and was only three feet shy of being third overall. Equally amazing was Bobby Garrison. Troubles in moto one left him with a ninth, but nothing could stop the former World Two-Stroke Champion in moto two as he powered by Billy Laninovich and opened up a sizable gap on the chasers. Sadly, a 9-1 isn’t the recipe for victory.


Doctor D couldn’t diagnose the first three turns?and the prognosis was a long day.

Doug Dubach had no luck at all. Although almost 50 years old (later this year), Dubach was considered a threat to win, but when the gate picks for the first moto were drawn randomly, Dubach got the 34th pick at the gate. It was a deficit that he never overcame. Then, in the second moto, Doug crashed in the third corner and started from the back again. A 12-12 day is very un-Doug-like.


Broc Armbruster was the only two riders brave enough to manhandle a 500cc two-stroke. Although Broc does admit that there were moments when FMF’s KTM/KX500 hybrid manhandled him.

Broc Armbruster was one of only two riders to show up on a 500 two-stroke (Beau Baron was the other 500 rider) as Broc raced MXA’s KTM/KX500 hybrid (which is tested in the new issue of MXA). Without any practice on the beast before the race, Armbruster spent most of the first moto learning what not to do with a 500 two-stroke. Then, in the second moto, he found the groove and started to move forward. Suddenly, the magic disappeared as Broc got a flat front tire?but he finished the last three laps as though the tire still had air in it.


Shawn Wynne used some creative lines?including this one. How did they work for Shawn? He went 29-22

RESULTS: OPEN PRO
1. Sean Collier (Yam)……………..3-1
2. Trent Pugmire (KTM)………….2-2
3. Tyler Bereman (Yam)………….5-3
4. Colton Udall (Hon)……………..4-4
5. Austin Howell (Yam)……………6-6
6. Gary Sutherlin (Yam)…………..8-5
7. Justin Jones (KTM)…………….10-9
8. Bobby Garrison (Hus)………….9-10
9. Colton Aeck (Yam)……………..13-7
10. Beau Baron (Hon)……………..16-8
11. Doug Dubach (Yam)………….12-12
12. Shane Post (Hon)……………..17-11
13. Austin Squires (Hon)…………15-13
14. Austin Politelli (Yam)…………1-27
15. Dennis Stapleton (Yam)…….18-14
Other notables: 17. P.J. Larson (7-26); 19. Broc Armbruster (23-15); 21. Mike Sleeter (11-29); 23. Stephen Heighton (26-21); 25. Mark Tilley (21-28).


Austin Politelli could, shoulda, woulda. He didn’t have to beat Sean Collier to take the overall 250 victory, but it went down trying to make the pass.

RESULTS: 125 PRO
1. Blake Savage (Hus)…………..1-2
2. Colton Aeck (Hus)……………..3-3
3. Billy Laninovich (KTM)………..2-5
4. Gary Sutherlin (Hus)………….5-4
5. Bobby Garrison (Hus)…………9-1
6. Andrew Silverstein (Hus)…….7-6
7. Jamie Lanza (Hus)……………..8-7
8. Daryl Ecklund (Yam)…………..6-9
9. Jeff Northrop (Hus)……………10-10
10. Sebastien Tortelli (KTM)……4-17
11. Dennis Stapleton (Hus)…….13-12
12. Austen Scroggins (KTM)……12-14
13. Ryan Dudek (Hus)…………..19-8
14. Ricky Yorks (Yam)…………..14-13
15. Chuck Sun (Hus)…………….16-15
Other notables: 16. Robby Bell (KTM); 17. Brett Hottel (Hus); 18. P.J. Larson (Yam); 19. Hunter Falk (KTM). 


125 Pro winner Blake Savage got a check for $1000 and a brand-new Husqvarna. Husqvarna sponsored the 125 Pro race and fielded 9 bikes in the field. It worked because Husky’s went 1-2-4-5-6-7-9-13-15-24

HISTORY OF THE WORLD TWO-STROKE CHAMPIONSHIP

Honda built special one-off four-strokes for Ron Lechien and Johnny O’Mara to race and came to the 1984 event with factory mechanics. The idea of special Championship for unique machinery started in 1976 with the World Four-Stroke race and continues with the current two-stroke race.

The World Four-Stroke Championship started in 1976 and was won over its 34-year run by riders as talented as Gunnar Lindstrom (1976), Goat Breker (1979), Pierre Karsmakers (1980), Rick Johnson (1983), Ron Lechien (1984), Greg Zitterkopf (1989-90), Mike Young (1992), Donny Schmit (1995), Doug Dubach (four-times), Ryan Hughes (four times) and Weston Peick (2009-10). After the 2010 edition, the idea of a special race for four-strokes seemed redundant given the changing face of American motocross. So, the four-stroke race was dropped and replaced with a World Two-Stroke Championship. Now in its fourth year, the MTA sponsored two-stroke race grows bigger with each race. Here are the winners.

WORLD TWO-STROKE CHAMPIONS (2010-2013)
2010 …Bobby Garrison (Hus)
2011 …Austin Howell (Yam)
2012 …Michael Leib (Hon)
2013
   250 …Sean Collier (Yam)
   125 …Blake Savage (Hus)

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