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REM GLEN HELEN MOTOCROSS RACE REPORT: SOMETIMES YOU GOTTA SUFFER FOR YOUR CRAFT

September 17, 2012
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Jeff Fahy (31) lets it all hang out in pursuit of Mitch Evans (4) and Mark Hall (56).

The Glen Helen motocross regulars will tell you that it wasn’t “all that hot” at this week’s REM race…and by their standards it wasn’t. At 105 degrees the temperatures were no where near the 116-degree race that holds the thermometer record. When asked why they are willing to race motorcycles in sweltering heat the answers varied from “Motocross is what I do” to “It ain’t that hot” to “The only way to get used to the heat is to go out in it.”

But, for all of their bravado, the heat did scare away the less dedicated (or maybe just the smartest of the breed). But the races go on in SoCal…not necessarily rain or shine (because SoCal racers won’t race in the rain), but they will race when it’s hot.


450 Pro winner Kyle Wolack (949) steps up with 250 Intermediate winner Ryan Surratt (51) hot on his tail.

450 Pro: Kyle Wolack has shown a massive increase in speed and fitness over the last few months. This weekend he was the fastest and the strongest of the 450 Pros. Kyle holeshot moto one and stayed away from the chasing pack. In moto two he got a bad start, while Gilroy’s Ryan Pluckhan opened up a healthy lead. As Wolack worked his way towards the front only Shawn Wynne and Shawn Hillion stood between him and Pluckhan by the halfway point. As lapped traffic came into play, Wolack’s ultra-fast outside lines rocketed him up to Ryan Pluckhan’s rear wheel. Because of the lappers Pluckhan didn’t know that Kyle Wolack had arrived and on the way up Mt. Whitney, Wolack went straight up the inside and surprised Pluckhan at the top. It was a classic move. Pluckhan tried to retaliate on the steep downhill, but Wolack held him off and pulled away. Kyle Wolack took the win with a 1-1 in front of a top three of Ryan Pluckhan (2-2) and Shawn Wynne (3-3).


Ryan Pluckhan (788) had to eat a little roost off Dennis Stapleton’s twin-pipe Honda CRF450. Pluckhan would end up second overall in the 450 class.

250 Intermediate: Ryan Surratt, son of former AMA 125 West Supercross Champion Willy Surratt, continues to wave the two-stroke flag. With the Intermediates starting on the Pro gate Surratt got a chance to test his speed against the Pros and he was up to the task. Although, he couldn’t get in front of Wolack or Pluckhan, he chased within shouting distance throughout the long, hot motos?finishing first in the 250 Intermediate class and an impressive third overall in the combined Pro/Intermediate gate.


Willy Musgrave (192) won the Over-40 Pro class on Jody Weisel’s Yamaha YZ250 two-stroke.

Over-50 Expert: Steve Lawler has been on a hot streak as of late in the Over-50 Expert class and was working on a consecutive moto win streak that looked like it would never be broken?but LightSpeed’s owner Willie Amaradio brought it to an abrupt halt in the first moto of the Over-50 Experts. The top five saw Lawler in second, Dave Eropkin third, Ron Lawson fourth and Mike Monaghan fifth. Steve Lawler started a new win streak in the second moto as his 2-1 took the overall win when Amaradio slipped back to fifth. Mike Monaghan, who insists on racing a 125 two-stroke against a field made up of 450cc four-strokes, had a great second moto. Aided by the extra-long motos and the high heat, Monaghan pushed his KTM 125SX past every rider in the class (save for Lawler). Sadly, his 5-2 score would only get him fourth overall behind Lawler, Eropkin and Amaradio.


Jim O’Neal spent two motos in hard, long and hot chases of Tom Holmes in the Over-60 Expert class.

Over-60 Expert: Tom Holmes won both motos over O’Neal Racing’s Jim O’Neal with Jody Weisel (4-3) third, Ray Pisarski  (3-5) fourth and Swedish rider Bengt Johansson (5-4) fifth.

Over-50 Novice: The biggest class of the day was the Over-50 Novice class. Jeff Scott (2-1) was first with Mike Hillion (1-2), Michael Mosca (3-3), Jeff Mason (5-4), Mitch Evans (4-7), Dave Halverson (7-5), Brian Underdahl (6-6), Terry Varner (8-8), John Tookey (10-9) and Brian Martin (9-10) rounding out the top ten.

INDIVIDUAL WINNERS ON THE DAY

They don’t all make it up every climb, but you have to admired the wiggly line that leads to the site of the crash.

Vet Pro: MXA‘S Dennis Stapleton took the 2013 Honda CRF450 to its maiden win. The new bike was also raced in several other classes.


Dan Alamangos gave Husqvarna an easy victory in the Over-40 Intermediate class…then, he was off to race a Supermoto race.


This is Dan Alamangos completing his weekend of racing at the Orange County Fair Supermoto race.

Over-40 Intermediate: Aussie Dan Alamangos raced MXA‘s Husqvarna TC250 to a 1-1 day. Alamangos is a Husky aficionado and after the motocross races were over he headed to a Supermoto race at Costa Mesa Fairgrounds on his Husky TC450.

Open Novice/ 250 Novice: Brandon O’Neal won two classes (racing back-to-back) and swept all four motos.


It is just an optical illusion. Mark Taylor (129) is on a different part of the REM track than the three riders going away from him.

Over-50 Intermediate: Speedway racer Randy Skinner swept both motos of the Over-50 Intermediate class in front of Mark Hall (2-2), Jeff Fahy (3-3), Pete Vetrano (4-5), Manuel Gasper (5-6) and Joe Sutter (8-4).

Vet Beginner: Mike Wilson’s 2-1 nipped Kelley Gilman’s 1-2.


Ernie Becker (63) was second overall in the Vet Novice class on a KTM 350SXF.

Vet Novice: Brian Stoner’s 1-1 was dominant with second going to the 4-2 of Ernie Becker and third to Kris Petrat’s 3-3.


Dennis Stapleton lofts the 2013 Honda CRF450 over the finish line step-up. Dennis was one of four MXA test riders to put time on the CRF450 on Saturday.

REM races again next Saturday, September 22, and, according to the pit pundits, it will be much cooler?maybe as low as 99 degrees?next weekend. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com

Photos by Dan Alamangos and Ernie Becker

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