Photos by Dan Alamangos
Justin Hoeft (x) and Justin Jones (42) lead the Pro charge over this rolling hump. Zac Commans (92) tries to sneak up on the right.
As sad as it is to report, winter finally arrived at Glen Helen as the riders huddled in their jackets and hats to fend off the bitter chill of the 62 degree weather...a few even eschewed wearing shorts. Okay, SoCal racers are babies when it comes to cold weather, but by the same token REM racers don’t complain when the temperatures hit 110 degrees in the summer or the Santa Ana winds blow them backwards over jumps.
Bonanza Plumbing KTM's Justin Jones (42) and Justin Hoeft picked up where they left off last week—with all-out war for two 20-minute motos. The results came out the same this week as last, with Jones going 1-1, but at any point Hoeft could have been standing on the top step of the combined Pro class.
To each his own, and SoCal is all about warm weather and sunshine—and their definition of warm doesn’t include anything in the 60s. It is assumed, and rightly so, that next weekend will be pleasant for REM. But, suffer we must.
Justin Hoeft (X) backs his Honda into a downhill turn.
The Pro race promised to be a barn burner as Pro Circuit’s Zac Commans, Troy Lee’s Justin Hoeft and Bonanza KTM’s Justin Jones lined up for a repeat of past duels.
Both motos of the combined Pro class, which included the 450 Pros, 250 Pros and Vet Pros starting on the same gate, saw Justin Jones and Justin Hoeft pick up right where they left off last Saturday. Jones would end up winning both motos, but it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. They chased, passed and dueled with each other all day long. In the end, Hoeft’s mistakes made all the difference.
In the Pro race, Dennis Stapleton (184) escapes the carnage as Brad Walker (8) starts to go down in front of Jason Ramsey (285). Valtteri Malin (430) goes around the outside. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Zac Commans couldn’t stay with the front duo, while Finn Valtteri Malin, Joseph Reynolds and Brad Walker dueled for third through fifth in the 250 Pro class.
Valtteri Malin (43) is a Finnish rider enjoying the American-style of racing, which includes fending off Jason Ramsey's creative line choice.
Gordon Ward (444) was amazingly fast as the Vet Pro winner fought with the young Pro riders in both motos.
MXA's Dennis Stapleton (184) got second in the Vet Pro class and leaves on Thursday for Kuwait and Qatar for the build up to the first MXGP of the year on March 1. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
In the Vet Pros, Dennis Stapleton and Gordon Ward proved that they had the speed to run with their younger competitors. Ward took the win with Stapleton second.
Pete Murray (7) won the Over-50 Elite class. Murray is a multi-time World Vet Champion. His right knee isn't impressed by Pete's resume though.
The biggest class of the day was the Over-50 Experts, who were in the second gate behind the Over-50 Elite riders and Over-40 Experts. The Elites were a powerhouse group as Pete Murray, John Ortner, Shawn Hybarger and Randel Fout set a quick pace, with Over-40 Experts William Hendershot and Gary Renko mixed in. It took Hendershot a couple laps to get to the front of the Over-50 Elite riders, but then he set sail with Pete Murray in tow. In the end, Hendershot won the Over-40 Experts, while Murray won the Over-50 Elites.
Jon Ortner leads (85) leads Randel Fout (34) and Shawn Hybarger (23) early in the Over-50 Elite class race. Ortner would go 2-2, Hybarger 4-3 and Fout 3-4. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Baja hero Bob Rutten (83) and Joe Sutter (111) battled long and hard in the Over-50 Expert class. Sutter went 10-7, while Rutten went 12-10.
Meanwhile, the packed gate of the Over-50 Experts saw Bryan Friday gete out front early and never be challenged. Val Tamietti, Willie Amaradio, Dave Eropkin, Craig Christian, Ron Lawson, Greg Nelson, Joe Sutter, Fred Nichols and Bob Rutten rounded out the top ten (with Mike Monaghan, Will Harper, Tony Shuler, John Perry and Mark Hall making it the top 15).
LightSpeed's Willie Amaradio (83) was a solid 3-3 in the Over-50 Expert class behind Bryan Friday and Val Tamietti. That is Tamietti coming up behind him.
The next biggest class was, surprise, the Over-50 Intermediates. Won by C.T. Falk in front of a top ten of Darren Lowery, John McCormick, Terry Varner, Jeff Mason, Kevin Worrell, Mike Phillips, Marc Crosby, Pete Vetrano and Scott Williams (the top 15 included Gary Harada, Todd Wiseman, Ted Kukla, Chuck Ramsey and Sam Ramirez).
Mike Monaghan has a little trouble staying down in the wall turn, you can get away with this move as long as the front wheel stays on the vertical face. Not every rider who tried this was a lucky as Monty.
The third biggest class was, wait for it, the Over-50 Novices. Ty Larson swept both motos. Mike Hillion (3-2) was second, Kent Reed (2-4) third, Robert Pocius (4-3) fourth and Frank Beach (5-5) fifth. The rest of the top ten was filled out by Brian Underdahl, Ron Phil, Chuck Cook, Jeffrey Arzouman and Bob Gallateto.
Randy Skinner (31) and John Perry (32) drag race up an REM hill.
The fourth biggest class was the Over-60 Experts, but you knew that already, didn’t you? Gary Jones, on a Beta, went 1-1 in front of Jim Latendresse’s 2-2, Mic Rodger’s 3-3, Bill Seifert’s 5-4 and John Huegel’s 6-5.
OTHER WINNERS ON THE DAY
Jett Reynolds (79) was flying on his KX65 in the 65cc Advanced class.
250 Beginner: Wyatt Larson.
Vet Beginner: Jason Chism.
250 Novice: Noah Hickerson.
450 Novice: Braden Larson.
Vet Novice: Pasha Afshar.
Over-40 Novice: Kenny Campbell.
85 Expert: Mitchel Falk.
65 Advanced: Jett Reynolds.
Tyler Nicholls got himself in a dangerous position in the 250 Novice class. MXA's Dan Alamangos shot this photo and then rescued Nicholls from his double-jointed predicament.
REM races again next Saturday, February 8, plus again on February 15 and February 22. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com