Ron Lechien rolled up his sleeves and went to work in the 450 Pro class.
For motocrossers October has been a continuation of SoCal’s weird 2010 weather pattern. It was the coolest summer in decades and October has added to the weather weirdness with more days of rain than ever before. When Californians woke up on Saturday morning, a flash rain storm covered all of SoCal…well, almost all of SoCal. The one place that was spared the heavy downpour was Glen Helen Raceway. In an interesting social phenomenon, the hardy racers (the ones who drove through the bands of rain on the freeways to get to Glen Helen) only to find it perfectly prepped, called their chicken friends to tell them that it wasn’t raining at Glen Helen. As each new racer pulled into the pits, he called back to his less adventuresome buddies…and before long a large pack of racers had gathered for the Ninth Annual Octobercross on the USGP track. This race was originally called the “Commotion-by-the-Ocean” when promoters Frank and Myra Thomason held it at Carlsbad, but when they moved to Glen Helen (far from the ocean), they renamed it.
Austin Howell borrowed LightSpeed’s prototype YZ450F and easily won both 450 Pro motos.
450 PRO: Austin Howell, riding LightSpeed’s prototype Yamaha YZ450F (with the engine moved down and forward in the frame), won both 450 Pro motos, but the surprise second-place rider was Ron Lechien. The former MXDN winner and 1985 AMA 125 National Champion even had time to throw in a fairy decent crash and still post a 2-3 day. Ron rides with amazing style, and even at 43 years old, he looks like a youngster on a bike. Dane Jackson was third with a 3-4, while Tony Amaradio (no spring chicken himself) went 6-2 for fourth.
Bryan Friday (43) pursues Bob Weber (51), Jimmy Bateson (401) and Pete Murray (7) in the Over-40 Expert class.
OVER-40 EXPERT: With the World Veteran Championship only seven days away, there were a lot of riders who came to the Octobercross for a chance to get to ride the debut of about 75 percent of the World Vet track. Pete Murray, who won the Over-40 World Championship 11 years ago, and three-time Loretta Lynn Over-50 Champion Matt Tedder moved down to the Over-40 class to get in some extra laps. Murray went 1-1, Tedder 2-2, Phil Dowell 3-3, Bob Weber 4-4 and Bryan Friday 5-5. (Doug Dubach is the current Over-40 World Champion).
Pete Murray won both the Over-40 and Over-50 Expert classes.
OVER-50 EXPERT: After the Over-40 Expert warm-up, the Over-50 Expert class was the main event. Not only did Murray and Tedder return for a rematch, but they were joined by heavy-hitters Steve Lawler, Andy Kirker, Gary Jones, Willie Amaradio, Fred Nichols, Randel Fouts, John Atwood, George Kohler, the Boulware brothers and others. In the end, Pete Murray took the win in front of Tedder and Lawler. (Pete DeGraaf is the current Over-50 World Champion).
Troy Lee Design’s Bob Weber was fourth overall in the Over-40 Experts and third overall in the Over-30 Open class.
OVER-60 EXPERT: If you had told motocross racers back in 1968 that they would still be racing in 2010?they would have laughed you out of the pits. Believe it or not, 42 years later they are still racing. It is shocker to see all of the Over-60 Experts out preparing for next week’s World Vet Championship. In fact, there were four former World Vet Champions (and they had won a combined 13 World Vet titles in all the age groups) on the starting line for the Octobercross’ Over-60 class?including last year’s World Vet Champion Bill Maxim. Maxim showed that he is on the fast track to win his third Over-60 World Vet Championship when he easily gapped Alan Olson (2-2), Tom White (3-3), T.V. Holmes (4-4), Lars Larsson (5-5), Jody Weisel (6-6), Bill Seifert (10-7) and Bengt Johansson (7-10). Over the last ten years the Over-60 World Championship has been won by Hideaki Suzuki (2000), Lars Larsson (2001), Eyvind Boyesen (2002), J.N. Roberts (2003), Hans Hansson (2004), Alan Olson (2005), Terry Sage (2006), Thorlief Hanssen (2008) and Bill Maxim (2007 and 2009).
MXA‘s Willy Musgrave swore off four-strokes a month ago, bought a used Honda CR250 and hasn’t slowed down one iota.
450 INTERMEDIATE: Keaton Ward swept both motos in front of a top five of MXA‘s John Minert (3-2), Nathan Hollander (2-3), Rowan Tretz (4-4) and Cody Brownfield (5-5). In what may be a precursor of things to come, more than half of the 450 Intermediates were on KTM’s. John Minert (1-3) would come back to win the 250 Intermediate class on his 2011 KTM 250SX two-stroke. John Milner (3-2) was second and MXA‘s Billy Musgrave (4-1) was third on a Yamaha YZ125.
OVER-40 INTERMEDIATE: Tony Beck used a 2-3 to take the gold in front of Jeff Jetton’s 1-4 and Dan Alamangos’ 3-2. George Andrews was fourth, but the worst break fell to Tim Murphy, who went 11-1.
Shane Smith used a 4-6 to get sixth in the 450 Pro class.
OVER-50 INTERMEDIATE: As the World Vet gets closer the size of the Over-50 Intermediate class grows in leaps and bounds. This week it was the second largest class at REM (the largest class was the Over-50 Experts). Strangely, the Over-50 Intermediate winners matched the exact scores of the Over-40 Intermediate winners with Greg Iorio taking the victory with a 2-3 and Hollywood stuntman John Alden going 1-4 for second overall. Other notable riders in the Over-50 Intermediates were: Bob Marino going 5-1 for third; Marc Crosby’s 3-6 got fifth; Bengt Luotenen’s 7-5 for sixth; John Caper’s 9-10 for tenth.
Dane Jackson (657) takes the outside line, while Tony Amaradio (6) carves up the inside in the 450 Pro class.
Next week there is no REM races as the MTA World Vet will be at Glen Helen on Saturday and Sunday.
For those of you coming to the MTA World Veteran Championship here is a brief rundown of the schedule:
Thursday?Open practice for everyone.
Friday?Half-day practice (for riders entered in the World Vet) on the complete WVC track.
Saturday?All classes will race, but the only Championships class are for Over-25 riders and the Over-40 Pro class. Saturday is considered a warm-up race for Over-30, Over-40, Over-50, Over-60 and Over-70 riders from foreign countries and other states.
Sunday?All the World Vet Championship classes will be run (there are no races for the Over-25 class on Sunday).
REM races again on November 13. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com
Photos by Dan Alamangos