April 25, 2010
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Brett Metcalfe’s 2-1 took the 450 Pro win.

For the last couple weeks Mike Alessi has had his run of Glen Helen’s Saturday REM races. He has pulled his classic holeshots and checked out…and this Saturday’s race looked like more of the same. Mike holeshot both 450 Pro class motos and in the first stanza left the field for dead. Back in the pack, Brett Metcalfe fought long and hard to work his way up to a well-earned second on his Geico Honda CRF450 (Metcalfe is moving to the 450 class for the 2010 AMA Nationals). The second moto was a repeat of the first round, with Alessi holding a four-second lead for most of the moto. Then, Metcalfe turned on the afterburners and caught the KTM 350SXF rider with four laps to go in the 30-minute plus one lap moto. For a lap the two jabbed and parried, but it wasn’t until Metcalfe made an incredible inside move directly in front of Alessi’s pits to get the lead. Mike chased for a while and then dropped back to four-seconds behind the Australian. Suddenly, with two laps to go, Alessi was right back on Metcalfe’s rear fender. As they disappeared over to the canyon side of the REM track, everyone waited to see what kind of pass Alessi could pull over the giant Mt. Whitney tabletop jump. But, Metcalfe came around by himself. Alessi had made a mistake in the back and the race was over.

Mike Alessi’s win streak at REM came to end went he went 1-2 in the 450 Pro class.

Sean Kranyak wants to do well in the 2010 AMA 450 Nationals and has been hammering out the 30-minute motos at REM to get ready.

Metcalfe’s 2-1 beat Mike Alessi’s 1-2. Sean Kranyak was third with Preston Tilford fourth (Preston fell while running second on the first lap of the first moto and spent all of the second moto dueling with Tyla Rattray’s KX250).

Tyla Rattray (28) leads Michael Leib (170) on lap one of the 250 pro race.

In the 250 Pro’s, which were combined with the 450 Pros, Tyla Rattray took the victory, but it never looked like a sure thing. Rattray won the first moto, while British rider Searle sampled the complete menu of Glen Helen dirt (including one trip off the track when he failed to make the off-camber corner at the bottom of Mt. Whitney). If they gave points for passing the most riders, Searle would have won it, but only because he had to pass some riders three time in the same race. Michael Leib took advantage of Searle’s miscues in the first moto to score second in moto one. Myles Tedder was fourth behind Searle. Travis Freistat was fifth.

This off-camber corner was incredibly tough. Here, Tommy Searle (19) blows Myles Tedder (133) out of the inside rut. Chris Hay (212) is in front of them.

The second 250 moto was all Tommy Searle. Rattray found himself bottled up behind Vance & Hines 450 rider Preston Tilford. The young Tilford put in an amazing race to keep the 2008 250 World Champion behind him, but with about five minutes to go in the very long motos Tilford hit the wall and Rattray went on by. With new found life, Rattray took his Pro Circuit KX250F right up to the rear wheel of Searle’s KTM 250SXF. Had the race gone another lap it is likely that the former Grand Prix competitors (Searle finished second the year that Rattray won the World title) would have swapped places.

Tommy Searle hit the ground a lot in moto one.

As it was, Rattray’s 1-2 was good enough to nip Searle’s 3-1 and Leib’s 2-3. Freistat got fourth with a 5-4.

Michael Leib (17) will forego the rest of his Amateur national career to turn Pro in the 2010 250 Nationals. Tyla Rattray welcomes him to the class with a face full of roost.

Under FIM rules, Grand Prix riders cannot ride at a GP track at any time for 30 days before the GP. Glen Helen applied for a waiver to this rule because Glen Helen is the track that American teams rent for testing and GH holds open practice sessions on. The FIM agreed that since Glen Helen was a permanent facility that was used virtually every day by factories, local riders and racers, that the 30-day rule would not apply. Glen Helen is a busy place, this past weekend they held Saturday’s REM race, an open practice (on the front track) and an offroad truck race…then, on Sunday, they hosted a Vintage race (on the REM track) and a round of the Yamaha Dealer series on the front track. Thanks to the FIM waiver Pro riders, who plan to race the GP can still ride and race at Glen Helen…which is holding a $26,000 Pro Race on May 16. Glen Helen has many different tracks. There is the USGP course, REM track, Endurocross track, minicycle track, truck course, Pro Circuit’s Supercross track and the SRA cross-country course).

What it looks like on the way over Mt. Whitney.


Last week Matt Tedder won REM’s amazing competitive Over-50 Expert class with ease. This week he almost lost it. Tedder, a two-time Loretta Lynn Champion in this age category, won the first moto in front of Chuck Sun, Greg Nelson, Willie Amaradio, Dennis Boulware, Dave Eropkin, Phil Alderton, Larry Boulware, George Kohler and Randy Skinner. Sun, the 1980 AMA 500 National Champion, had borrowed MXA‘s KTM 450SXF and used it to come from behind to take the lead in the second moto. Sun had the overall victory in the bag until the very last lap. Coming down Mt. whitney into an steeply banked off-camber corner, Chuck Sun decidded that the lapper in front of him would probably be slow in the tight inside line, so hemoved down to the smoother, but longer outside line. Surprise! The lapper got out of the inside rut quick enough that Tedder was able to follow him and cut Sun off on the exit.

“It was my fault,” said Sun. “It was poor race strategy and I don’t know what I was thinking. There were only four corners to go. I should have protected the inside line. I’ll be smarter the next time.” All this from a rider who has raced for 35 years and was on the fabled 1981 American Motocross des Nations team. You never stop learning.

Yamaha’s Tim Olson won the Vet Intermediate class over Scott Lindley, Jesse Ziegler, Sten Rasmussen, terry Cook, Brad Cameron, Jon Lyles and Joe Melton. Melton would come back to win the Over-40 Expert class (not to be confused with the Over-40 Pro class). Terry Fowler (a blast from the past) swapped motos wins with MXA’s Willy Musgrave with Fowler’s 2-1 beating Musgrave’s 1-2. Matt Tedder was third.

Swede Bengt Johansson enjoys some rare SoCal greenery.

Alan Olson won the Over-60 Expert class (with his usual come-from-behind ride). Tom White, last week’s winner, took second with a 3-2 over Lyle Sweeter’s 2-3. Jody Weisel (4-4) was fourth, Feets Minert fifth, Bengt Johansson sixth and Richard Stuelke seventh.

Joseph Hall swept both moto of the 250 Beginner class in front of a top five of Joe Iorio, Tyler Laird, Joe Valencia and Cameron Marabito.

REM races again next Saturday (and the 30 minute motos will continue). For more info go to

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