The decision to open the yet unfinished Glen Helen AMA National track to Pro riders on Thursday was made on Wednesday afternoon when MXA’s Jody Weisel decided that he needed to see the layout in action and get some lap times before moving forward. Even though the special pre-National National practice wasn’t announced until Wednesday afternoon, every rider and every team showed up. The teams are desperate to get in as much outdoor testing as possible. Now they know how much bigger and faster the Nationals will be than Supercross was. Plus, Jody can go back to finalizing the details before the next pre-National practice—which will be on Friday, May 16, at 1:00 p.m.
You can click on Mark “Chillzone” Chilson’s photos to make them larger.
Bryce Vallee (814) jumps the Wall Jump with Christopher Pourcel (377) coming out of the Velodrome turn behind him. But, focus your attention on the amateur riders sprawled out across the Mt. Whitney hill on the REM track in the background.
Then a few corner later, Cooper Webb (37) shows Justin Barcia (51) the fast way to the Log Cabin jump. Actually, Barcia is on the fast line because he will hit the booter in front of him and land on top of the Log Cabin.
Josh Grant (33) gets his JGR Yamaha deep down into this rutted corner. Josh Grant is one of many AMA Pros who consider Glen Helen their home track, but Josh was actually discovered while racing at REM.
Christophe Pourcel is a one-man band on the Valli Yamaha team. Valli has been missing fom the National scene for awhile, but Yamaha is giving them maximum support to help Christophe in hsi retrun to the AMA Nationals. Christophe will race the 250 class. Erik Kehoe is the team manager and the Yamaha factory is responsible for the GYTR engine package.
Dean Wilson’s (15) move to the Red Bull KTM team in 2015 was confirmed by Roger DeCoster and Mitch Payton. Dean will ride out his Kawasaki contract and tenure in the 250 class during this year’s AMA Nationals. The Palm Tree corner comes immediately after the sand straight (which was rough). Check out the new paint scheme on Glen Helen’s two-story scoring tower.
Ivan Tedesco (9) and Weston Peick were working out the wrinkles on their RCH Suzukis. Ivan is the only rider on the track who has a corner named after him. The “Tedesco Corner” is where Ivan and Mike Alessi had their infamous coming together almost a decade ago.
If there was any doubt that the Supercross season was over, the climb up Mt. Saint Helen dispelled that thought. This Suicide Mountain-style climb included a big road crossing about 2/3rds of the way up.