TEAM SUZUKI’S BRETT METCALFE WINS 450 CLASS

June 6, 2011
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Team Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe came to REM to take advantage of the 30-minute Pro motos. He got a good workout on a warm SoCal day…although no where near as hot as last week’s Freestone National.

While most AMA National Motocross Championship contenders were relaxing on their off-weekend between AMA Nationals, Team Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe came to Glen Helen’s REM motocross to put in the best kind of training for motocross?racing. Metcalfe was joined by three other National privateers and the rest of the REM motocross crew.


Swedish rider Calle Aspegren has earned points in this year’s AMA 450 Nationals and along with Swedish National Champion Fredrik Noren (who was nursing a Freestone injury this weekend) plan to race the complete AMA 450 National series. The MX Heaven-supported rider picked up sponsorship from Gaerne boots because of his impressive AMA National rides.

Metcalfe is currently fifth in AMA 450 National motocross points (behind Chad Reed, Ryan Villopoto, Davi Millsaps and his Suzuki teammate Ryan Dungey). He was the class of the field at REM this weekend, but managed to get a good workout by getting fourth place starts behind Jake Canada, Vance & Hines’ Preston Tilford, Italian pro Elia Zinetti and Swedish rider Calle Aspegren.


Jake Canada (592) looked like he was going to give Brett Metcalfe a run for the money at the start of both 450 Pro motos. Canada opened up five-second leads, but couldn’t hold the factory rider off.

It took Metcalfe a couple laps to work his way through the riders in front of him…and both 450 Pro motos were carbon copies. Jake Canada opened up quick leads on neo-Pro Tilford, while Metcalfe dispatched the riders in his way. Then, with surgical precision, Metcalfe closed the gap on Tilford and then Canada and made classic inside/out passes in sections of the track where passing didn’t seem possible.


Brett Metcalfe (24) pursues Vance & Hines Preston Tilford (74) during the first 450 Pro moto. Tilford went 3-3 for third overall.

The top five in both motos were Brett Metcalfe (1-1), Jake Canada (2-2), Preston Tilford (3-3), Calle Aspegren (4-4) and former AMA Pro Tony Amaradio (5-5). Brent Harden, son of AMA Hall of Famer Scot Harden, went 7-6 to nudge out Elia Zinetti (who is also raced both the Hangtown and Freestone Nationals…along with Calle Aspegren as part of the MX Heaven team).


Italian Elia Zinetti (863) has been racing the AMA 450 Nationals and, in preparation, he rides through a blizzard of roost on his way to seventh overall at REM.

IN THE VET CLASSES

Vet Beginner: John Bradley won both motos of the Over-30 Beginner class in front of Shawn Khacherian, John Tookey and the Kinman brothers.

Vet Novice: Rick Richards used a 2-1 to defeat Mike Boyd’s 1-2 and John Rabjohn’s 3-3 in the Over-30 Novices.

Vet Intermediate: Ian Fitz-Gibbon took the Vet Intermediate victory after first moto winner Tim Olson hurt his back in the first moto, but stayed on the track to win the moto. Olson couldn’t start the second moto…handing the overall to Fitz-Gibbon (2-1).


Five MXA test riders rode the 2012 KTM 250SX two-stroke at REM. The goal is to race as many laps as possible during the test period to find out everything possible about the all-new, linkage-equipped, 50-horsepower KTM.

Vet Pro: DR.D’s Mark Tilley swept both motos of the Vet Pro class.

THE EXPERT CLASSES

Over-50 Experts: The biggest and most hotly contested of the Expert classes was the Over-50 Experts. Willy Simons won both motos and became one of only a handful of riders to take back-to-back victories in REM’s aggressive Over-50 class. Simons, who won last week, was followed across the finish line by Dave Eropkin (2-2), who finished second last week also. Dennis Boulware (4-5), Greg Nelson (7-3), Tim Murphy (6-4), Greg Groom (5-7), Randy Skinner (3-11), Clark Jones (9-6), Pete Vetrano (8-9) and George Kohler (10-10) rounded out the top ten.


Kenny Safford (101) leads Owen Fitzsimon (258), Paul Fitz-Gibbon (38), Rick Richards (45) and Joe Sutter in the second Over-40 Novice moto. Safford, the designer of the Tech 8 boot, led the most of the moto, but ended up third behind Doni Wilson and Owen Fitzsimon.

Over-60 Expert: Lyle Sweeter went 1-1 in front of Tom Holmes (2-2), Ray Pisarski (3-3), Jody Weisel (4-4), Bengt Johansson (6-5), Bruce Hoover (5-6), Bill Seifert (7-7) and Feets Minert (8-8). Amazingly, there were ten riders on the line for the Over-60 Expert class (all were born before 1951).

OTHER NOTABLES

Over-50 Novice: Craig Johnston used a 1-2 to nip Terry Varner’s 3-1 for the victory in the large Over-50 Novice class. Kent Reed’s 2-3 was good enough for third.

Over-40 Novice: Doni Wilson (1-1) led home a top five of Owen Fitzsimon (2-2), Kenny Safford (5-3), Paul Fitz-Gibbon (4-4) and Joe Sutter (6-5) in the 40 Novices.


TM Motorcycles continues to grow since returning the USA after a long absence. Pete Vetrano (37) and his test riders race the bikes in several classes every weekend to learn everything they can about improving the Italian bikes. This week Vetrano was testing new forks.
Shawn Wynne finished fourth overall at the USGP Vet Cup race on a TM MX300 two-stroke behind Mats Neilsen, Doug Dubach and Darryll King.

450 Novice: Parker Jones, son of former AMA National Pro Clark Jones and nephew of four-time 250 National Champion Gary Jones, won the 450 Novices class with a 2-1 in front of James Bender’s 1-2. Mark Taylor was third with a 4-3.

250 Novice: Nathan Cernicky (1-1) held off a top five of Kordel Caro (2-4), Gunnar Johnston (3-2), John Milner (4-4) and Cody Johnston (5-5).

REM races at Glen Helen next Saturday, June11. Practice starts at 9:00 a.m. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com

PHOTOS BY DAN ALAMANGOS

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