REM GLEN HELEN: KURT NICOLL, MIKE SLEETER, GORDON WARD LOOK AHEAD

Photos by Debbi Tamietti, Dan Alamangos, Jon Ortner & Rich Stuelke

sleeterdtPerrenial World Vet runner-up Mike Sleeter wants to make 2016 the year that he finally wins the Over-30 World Vet Championships—because with each passing year more young guys move in to the class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

You can tell when the World Vet Motocross Championship is coming up because some of the major players begin to show up at at REM to warm up. With the World Vet only four weeks away, REM offers a chance to race on a track that is as rough as the Glen Helen National motocross track with the toughest competition possible (especially in the older age groups).

shireydtKurt Nicoll (2) and Dalton Shirey (H146) had a knocked down drag-out battle in the first moto of the Pro race—with Nicoll knocking the Husqvarna WORCS rider down. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

The focus of the World Vet in 2016 will be on Saturday, November 5th, Over-40 Pro class, won last year by Kurt Nicoll, followed by Sunday November 6th, Over-30 Pro class Over-30 Pros, won last year by KTM’s Ryan Morais. New this year is the addition of an Over-50 Pro class to Sunday’s program. Last year Dubach Dubach won the Over-50s in a squeaker over Kurt Nicoll. Since there are class for Novice, Intermediate and Expert in 25-, 30-, 35-, 40-, 45-, 50-, 55-, 60-, 65- and 70-year old age groups, a lot of bragging rights are on the line.

brianmedeirosdtHawaiian Brian Medeiros got to see some interesting haybale folk art during the 250 Pro race. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

The front runners in the Vet Pro class were Mike Sleeter, Kurt Nicoll, Michael Carter and Gordon Ward, while South African Alan Jullien looked great in the Over-40 class (Kurt Nicoll is the current Over-40 World Champion, but chose to race in the Over-30 Pros for the challenge).

108willjrWilly Simons, Jr. has found a new gear on his YZ250F. He was the fastest rider on the track on his way to the 250 Pro win. Photo: Dan Alamangos

The Over-50 stars of the day at REM were Luther French, who has improved his overall speed dramatically in the last month, and former AMA National Pro Jon Ortner, who has been fast every weekend, but suffered rare crashes the last two weekend.

108kurtnicollLast year Kurt Nicoll won the Over-40 World Vet Championship after spending years in the “friend zone” with crashes and mechanical at the world Vet. This year he wants to do the double by winning the Over-40 and Over-50 titles. Photo: Dan Alamangos

The Over-60 class has seen the most growth in the week’s leading up to the World Vet with a host of riders making appearances at REM. This week the winner was Jim Latendresse. And the Over-65 Experts looked tough with former World Vet Champion Tom White (1990 Over-40 Champ), Lyle Sweeter, Jim O’Neal and Tom Holmes all battling for an edge in the warm-ups races.

108jodyStill heavily bandaged from a crash two weeks ago, MXA’s Jody Weisel came from last to first to win the Over-60 Intermediate class on a Husqvarna FC350. Photo: Dan Alamangos

It will only get tougher as REM has two motocross races left before the World Vets (and after this coming weekend’s 24 Hours of Glen Helen endurance race). The first of the two will be on the REM track on October 22 and the second race will be the annual Octobercross (formerly known as the “Commotion By The Ocean” when it was held at Carlsbad Raceway) on October 29. The REM Octobercross will be held on the actual World Vet layout—this race should bring out the big guns.

108jimonealJim O’Neal missed the start of his second Over-65 Expert moto, which meant a hard chance from the back with little reward. Jim aims his Husqvarna at the target rich environment in front of him. Photo: Dan Alamangos

As for this week’s race, Glen Helen was still locked into its 95-degree summer weather cycle as the cast of regular characters showed up. Here are the winners in some of the competitive classes.

NOVICES: Jack Hall (85 Novices), Tyler Nichols (250 Novices), Zach Randolph (450 Novices), Ken Clark (Over-40 Novices) and Gary Guerico (Over-50 Novices).

108alanjullienSouth African Alan Jullien (86) has the Over-40 Pro class covered at REM, but can he translate that when he faces Doug Dubach and Kurt Nicoll at the World Vet in a couple weeks. Photo: Dan Alamangos

INTERMEDIATES: Luke Sparks (85 Intermediates), J.P. Alvarez (125 Intermediates), Jason Fichera (250 Intermediates), Mike Fichera (450 Intermediates), Mike Diorio (Over-30 Intermediates), Ralf Schmidt (Over-40 Intermediates), Bob Pocius (Over-50 Intermediates), Jody Weisel (Over-60 Intermediates) and Rich Stuelke (Over-65 Intermediates).

108lutherLuther French (2) and Jon Ortner (10) have been trading moto wins for the last three weeks in the Over-50 Elite class. Photo: Dan Alamangos

FOREIGN RIDERS: Alan Jullien (South Africa—1st Over-40 Expert), Ralf Schmidt (Holland—1st Over-40 Intermediate), Kurt Nicoll (England—2nd Vet Pro), Philip Maassen (Germany—2nd 450 Novices), David O’Connor (Ireland—3rd Vet Novice), Barak Aljasmi (Kuwait—3rd 250 Novices), Dan Alamangos (Australia—4th Over-40 Intermediate) and Tony Parsons (England—4th Over-60 Intermediate).

danalamangosdtAustralian Dan Alamangos had a good day going, but had one moto ruined by a flat front tire. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

THE REMAINING REM RACES OF 2016
Oct. 22…Glen Helen, CA
Oct. 29…Glen Helen, CA (World Vet track)
Nov. 5.. No race (World Vet Championship)
Nov 12…Glen Helen, CA
Nov. 19…Glen Helen, CA
Nov. 26…No race (Day in the Dirt)
Dec. 3….Glen Helen, CA
Dec. 10…Glen Helen, CA
Dec. 17…Glen Helen, CA
Dec. 25…No race (Christmas Day)
Dec. 31…No race (New Year’s Eve)

maassendtGerman Philip Maassen is in America to help TM USA dial in new suspension settings. What better way to test suspension settings than to race with them? Photo: Debbi Tamietti

klintstapesdtMeanwhile, former AMA Pro Klint Stapes has started his own suspension company. Stapes Suspension is located in SoCal. Here Klint works on 250 Pro Willy Simons, Jr’s forks. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

108beckerThis is part of the REM track that most people never see. It is a long downhill through the canyon (on the left), followed by a tight hairpin and then a right-hand turn up over the ridge. Ernie Becker’s Husqvarna (87) and Lonnie Paschal’s Yamaha (51) share the road. Photo: Dan Alamangos

jeanturnerdan1Jean Turner sweeps over the crest and takes a little dab before plunging back into the fray. Photo: Dan Alamangos

shelbywarddtShelby Ward (294) went 3-4 for fourth in the 250 Novices. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

108vetranoIn what looked like a big day for Husqvarna’s, Pete Vetrano takes his Husky smoker up and over the ridge. Photo: Dan Alamangos

108pociusHocus Pocius courtesy of Robert Pocius. Photo: Dan Alamangos

tomwhitedtTom White (80) and Tom Holmes (510) battle in the Over-65 Expert class. These grand dads never thought they would be flying over doubles in their sixth decades. Photo: Dan Alamangos

stuelke1Robert Pocius (153) Dave Eropkin (811), Mike Phillips (433) and Bill Reimer (71) come over the top. Photo: Rich Stuelke

JON ORTNER’S PHOTO OF THE WEEK

ortnergabbyEverybody needs a great mechanic, here Josh Fout’s girlfriend Gabby, gives Josh’s V8 a quick tune-up. You gotta love what she used to get closer to the engine. Photo: Jon Ortner

To learn more about REM go to www.remsatmx.com

 

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