There is nothing special about REM’s weekly motocross races—unless you count the fact that they race 40 times a year, that the REM track is the original Arroyo Motocross track (where the first-ever 125 National Championship was held), that it is the place where most foreign riders come to try their hand at American motocross and that it is run by the amazing Frank and Myra Thomason.
Luther French (2) won his first Over-50 Elite race, but to do it he had to hold off first moto winner Jon Ortner (10). One look at the roost that these two are throwing should tell you how hard they were trying.. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
For most of the REM regulars, many from the Saddleback, Indian Dunes and Carlsbad days, it is the only race track in SoCal that races virtually every week. It is tough to emulate the “Saddleback days” at race tracks that either don’t race weekly or don’t have a set group of racers in every class. REM has riders who have raced against each other for decades—and know that next week they will face the same competitors. That gives a feeling of community. REM harks back to the weekly moto wars of the glory days—and is probably the friendliest motocross race you’ll ever find.
For MXA the REM races are an important part of the bike testing program because it offers a “dirt dyno,” a consistent race surface with big hills that is incredibly rough. MXA has done enough race laps to tell when a bike works and when it doesn’t on Glen Helen’s decomposed granite. And while MXA rides at all of SoCal’s 10 race tracks—we use the weekly REM races as a proving ground (for the 7 to 10 bikes that MXA races every week in classes from Novice to Pro).
What follow is a photo essay on this week’s REM motocross. Ya shouda been there.
Those pesky haybales are always right in the middle of the good line. Swede Kristoffer Palm doesn’t let that stop him, but it did stop his footpeg. Palm was second overall in the 450 Pros. Photo: Dan Alamangos
This is probably the greatest race number ever conceived. Chris Micklos, who was an REM regular years ago, slapped “FUN” on his Honda CR250 two-stroke and came out for some fun after 6 years off his bike. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Don’t let the snow-capped peak in the background fool you — SoCal is in the middle of its typical winter heat wave. Swede Sebastian Sjoblom wasn’t complaining about the weather—since it’s freezing back home. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
REM has a concussion policy. If you suffer a concussion you cannot return to REM for at least a month. Ron Shuler (33) served his term and came back to finish second in the Over-50 Experts. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
For more info about REM’s weekly races go to www.remsatmx.com