Dennis Stapleton sailed to the Vet Pro victory.
Dennis Boulware, four-time REM Champion, passed away suddenly last Saturday of a heart attack. A friend to many and a great guy, Dennis was a hardcore racer. As longtime friend and four-time AMA National Champ Gary Jones said while reflecting on Dennis at the rider’s meeting, “He had tunnel vision when he raced, and he was always looking forward.” Ron Lawson, of Dirt Bike magazine fame, and Pete Vetrano, importer for TM motorcycles, also said kind words about their friend. Afterward announcer Tom White said a prayer and there was a moment of silence in Boulware’s honor.
Dennis Boulware raced with number 44. It was only fitting that a few close friends paid tribute to Dennis by switching from their normal race digits to 44. Justin Jones sported the familiar number, as did 450 Intermediate winner Connor Green.
MOTHER NATURE IS KIND
REM isn’t a jump track. It’s a motocross track. If you can survive the hills and massive bumps then you’ll walk away pleased on the day.
Fortunately the furnace that has been SoCal was backed down a few notches by Mother Nature. Riders were greeted by overcast skies in the morning, with the sun burning the clouds away just before practice. In most other areas of the country it would have been considered hot at REM, but just two weeks ago the thermometer hit 107 degrees. Sunny and 90 degrees didn’t seem so bad to the REM regulars.
THE PRO CLASS
Justin Jones paid tribute to his friend, Dennis Boulware, by wearing #44 instead of Jones’ traditional #42.
The Pro class brought out Vance & Hines rider Steven Tokarski. Back from racing at Loretta Lynn, Tokarski wanted to make a splash in the Pro class. He was in the mix early, but bike maladies ended his day. Justin Jones, a newcomer to the Pro ranks, had problems in the first moto, but he absolutely walked away with the second moto. His 6-1 scores were good enough for third overall. Kyle Wolack relied on consistency (2-2) to win the 450 Pro class, with San Jose’s Lee Witt (3-3) finishing second. Travis Bell (1-1) won the 250 Pro class. His leaps off the jump coming out of the back section were impressive.
Connor Green (1-1) snagged the 450 Intermediate win ahead of Dylan Mroz. Rowan Trefz went uncontested in the Vet Intermediate class, as did Willy Musgrave in the 40 Pro, Paul Krause in the Open Expert, and Dennis Stapleton in the Vet Pro. Stapleton spent the day testing Pro Circuit-tuned suspension on MXA‘s 2013 Kawasaki KX450F.
THE BIGGEST CLASS OF THE DAY
The biggest class of the day belonged to the 50 Novices. Inconsistency either helped or hurt the overall placement for many riders. Mike Hillion finished second in the first moto, but failed to finish the second moto. Dave Halverson won the second moto after a DNF in the first moto. The man with the best overall scores, Jeff Mason with a 1-2, also took the overall in front of Michael Mosca, Jeff Scott, Brian Underdahl and Ian Pederson.
MXA TEST BIKES
REM got a facelift in May, thanks to the Red Bull X-Fighters. Now the challenging track has even more hills and undulations, making for a roller coaster ride.
The fleet of MXA bikes is constantly changing. This weekend we added the 2013 Honda CRF250 and Suzuki RM-Z250 to the mix, but had to give Honda their 2012 CRF250 back. And, because we’re a motocross magazine for racers, we race many of the bikes every opportunity that we get. Dennis Stapleton (Kawasaki KX450F), Willy Musgrave (Suzuki RM-Z250), Mark Hall (Yamaha YZ450F), Ray Pisarski (KTM 250SXF), Bengt Johansson (KTM 450SXF), John Basher (Honda CRF250 and Suzuki RM-Z250), Dan Alamangos (Kawasaki KX250F), George Kohler (KTM 350SXF) and Ernie Becker (Kawasaki KX250F) put the squad of MXA bikes to the test.
Griffin Dexter, wringing out a Honda CR250 two-stroke, won the 250 Intermediate class.
Vance Freeman won the Vet Novice. Nick Nahas won the 40 Novice. Ty Cullins won the Open Beginner. Brandon Krause won the Open Novice class. Bryan Friday overcame flat tires to win the 40 Intermediates. Randel Fout traded moto wins with Paul Krause to win the 40 Experts. Randy Skinner took the 50 Intermediate class. Jon Ortner won the 50 Expert class. Gary Jones went 1-1 in the 60 Expert class. Gina Rossi won 125 Beginner. Mitchell Greene won 125 Novice. Ty Collins went 3-1 to capture the 250 Beginner class. Chris Gibeault did the deed in the 250 Novice class. Douglas Reid went 1-2 in the 450 Beginner class for the win. John Basher took the 450 Novice class, and Jason Burden won the Vet Beginner class.
REM will take a two-week break (the 24 Hour Endurance race in next Saturday, and the following weekend is the Lake Elsinore National) before returning to racing on September 15th. For more information, visit www.remsatmx.com