Photo by Dan Alamangos and Ernie Becker
With the 2013 World Two-Stroke Championships only six weeks away, the smokers were out in force at REM. Here Tony Amaradio does something that a four-stroke rider can't do—throw roost off of his exhaust pipe.
The Australian and Swedish motocross invasion of REM subsided this weekend. Over the past few weekends there have been as many as 25 foreign motocross racers at REM, but this week the number was pared down to about five Swedes and five Australians. The only foreigner racer to win his class was Australian Dan Alamangos, who rose to the occasion to win both motos of the Over-40 Intermediate class. Ron Shuler was second and Scott Fichter third.
This conga line is brought to you courtesy of the 450 Novice class.
As a note of caution: REM cracks down on riders who engage in dirty riding or fighting, and this week the hammer fell on two Pro riders—one got a lifetime ban for waiting for a rider who had knocked him down earlier in the Pro race and then got in a fight near the finish line with him (that rider’s father jumped into the middle of brawl and was also banned). The other Pro, was given a 10-race suspension for his part in the fight. This is not the first time that riders have been banned from REM, and it probably won’t be the last, but the track crew responded quickly to break up the fight, keep the other members of the family’s involved separated (save for one father) and swiftly administered the penalties.
THE BIG BOY CLASSES
This photo is not tilted, but most of the REM racers wish that it was. Matt Pastor (819) and Wil Harper (7) cling to the side of an steep off-camber turn.
The biggest class of the day was the Over-50 Intermediate class. It was won by Indian Dunes’ star Wil Harper (1-1). The top ten were Harper, Randy Skinner (2-2), Jeff Fahy (3-3), Joe Sutter (4-4), Steve Donovan (5-5), Mark Hall (7-6), Jeff Mason (6-7), John Perry, who drove in from Durango, Colorado, (8-9), Robert Collins (10-8) and Marc Crosby (9-10).
More two-strokes. Durango, Colorado's John Perry throws up a debris trail on his way to fifth in the Vet Novice class. He would come back later to finish 8th in the Over-50 Intermediate class.
The next biggest class was the 450 Novice class. Alex Boost took the win with a 2-1 over Matt Pastor’s 1-2. Brian Stoner was third overall with in 4-3 in front of Ian Andre’s 3-5 and Mark Taylor’s 6-4.
WHAT ABOUT THE FASTEST OF THE FAST?
Colton Aeck (328) used his YZ250 two-stroke to stay ahead of Justin Jones (42) in the first 450 Pro moto. Aeck would finish third overall with Jones second.
The 450 Pro race was a battle Royale between Brandon Brady, Justin Jones and Colton Aeck. Aeck on a YZ250 two-stroke was always in the mix, but had to settle for a 2-3 for third, while Justin Jones looked like he was going to win the first moto before crashing. Jones came back to third, and in the end settled for a second overall with a 3-2. Brandon Brady, on a Suzuki instead of his normal Kawasaki, took the win with a 1-1, but it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Swede Tom Johnson had a tough day, but managed to salvage a fourth overall with a 5-4.
Shawn Rhinehart won the 250 Pro class. Tony Amaradio took the Vet Pro win, while Randel Fout won the Over-40 Pro class.
Just below the Pros in the pecking order come the age-graded Expert classes.
Brandon Brady won the 450 Pro class.
85 Expert: Robbie Wagemen, son of former AMA National rider Russ Wagemen, was blistering fast and took an easy win (and even came back to win the 125 Novice class also). Swede Jeff Oxelmark was second.
Over-40 Expert: Greg Pierce won the Over-40 Expert class which was combined with the Over-50 Experts (which Pierce would have finished second overall in if the scoring had been combined).
Old rivals Dave Eropkin (811) and Jon Ortner (192) continue their racing relationship 30 years after it first started. Ortner would win the Over-50 Expert class on a bike he borrowed from Jody Weisel (thus the 192), while Eropkin would get third.
Over-50 Expert: Jon Ortner came from the back to win the first Over-50 Expert moto on a KTM 450SXF. He marched his way to the front of a fast group of over 50-year-old riders and then, launched himself off of the front of that group to catch and pass Over-40 Expert leader Greg Pierce. In the second moto, Ortner holeshot and stayed in front the whole way. LightSpeed’s Willie Amaradio was second with a 2-2, Dave Eropkin third with a 5-3, Bryan Friday fourth with a 4-4 and Ray Poltack fifth with a 6-5.
Mic Rodgers won the Over-60 Expert class with a 1-1.
Over-60 Expert: Hollywood stuntmen (Harrison Ford’s stunt double) Mic Rodgers used two holeshots to go 1-1 in front of Jody Weisel (2-2), AMA Hall of Famer Lars Larsson (4-3), Bill Seifert (5-4), Earl Shuler (6-5) and Lee Amaradio (3-8).
OTHER NOTABLE WINNERS
Ken Sarmento went 1-2 in the Over-30 Beginner class on his trusty YZ250.
Cory Clark used a 1-2 to win the Over-40 Novices over Joe Sutter’s 1-2. Mike Brownfield swept both moto of the Over-50 Novices in front of Terry Varner’s 2-2 and Paul Dobereiner’s 4-3. Brian Martin returned to action after a long injury induced layoff (it was from a gardening accident) to go 6-5 for fifth. Jason Chism’s 2-1 took the Over-30 Beginner class win over Ken Sarmento’s 1-2. Scott Fichter won the Over-30 Novice class with a safe 2-2 ahead of the 1-3 of Wil Harper. Pasha Afshar was fourth with a 7-1 with David O'Connor in third (3-3). In the 250 Novice class, Josh Wright (2-1) snapped Noah Hickerson’s win streak with Myles Lujan third. Ryan Surratt easily won the 250 intermediates over Nathan Cernicky (2-2), Kordel Caro (3-3 and Cody Johnson (4-4).
Mark Hall and Jeff Mason launch themselves towards the snow covered peak in the background. Yep, you guessed right—Hall is on another two-stroke.
REM does not race this Saturday, March 3 because the Prairie Dawgs Grand Prix, but will return to Glen Helen on March 9. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com