Rider: Christian Craig
Date: May 27th, 2017
Location: Glen Helen National


Editor’s Note: Please keep those submissions coming. If you would like your bike to be featured in the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” please email me at All I ask is that you give a breakdown of your bike and a detailed description of the build. Please also send a few photos of your steed. By submitting your bike for the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” you agree to release all ownership rights to the images and copy to MXA. Please don’t email me spam or try selling me Taylor Swift concert tickets or email me spam. I already celebrate T-Swizzle’s entire collective, and there will be “bad blood” if you send me junk mail. See what I did there? Happy submitting your smoker.


Harry Bink landed a front flip Rocksolid to take the Best Trick win. 


1. Levi Sherwood (NZ) 71.63
2. Javier Villegas (CHI) 67.65
3. Josh Sheehan (AUS) 67.57


1. Harry Bink (AUS) 9.02
2. Will Van Den Putte (BEL) 8.99
3. Pat Bowden (AUS) 8.88



by Dennis Stapleton

Mammoth Lakes is a scenic vacation spot with a variety of activities for families. Between the annual motocross event, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and fine dining, as well as skiing and sledding from the massive amounts of snow received earlier this year, this is great spot for kids and adults to really enjoy the outdoors.

At the annual Mammoth Motocross event, racers get to hang out with their moto buddies that live in other states while having fun participating in events like mini bike races and bowling night when they aren’t racing. One thing to keep in mind when you visit is the altitude, which at the center of town is approximately 7,800 feet above sea level (the top of the mountain is 11,053 feet above sea level). Make sure to take the proper precautions when you visit to acclimate yourself to the change in oxygen due to the altitude especially with the more strenuous activities. This is also true for the bikes when racing, as the bike will feel slower due to the altitude and lower oxygen. On a two-stroke, you should go two teeth up on the rear sprocket and one on a thumper to get some of that lost bottom end power back.

Dennis Stapleton and his dad get the pick of the litter on the 40 man gate.

I started going to Mammoth in 1981 when my dad was racing and I was only a year old.  As a kid growing up watching my dad race, I wasn’t allowed to race the event until I was 12. Those rules have changed now and the event itself has become one of the major AMA Sanctioned events in motocross with countless vendors participating in the fun. The schedule has changed quite a bit over the years, in that racers now have to qualify through racing the King of the West Series run by 2xPromotions before the official Mammoth Motocross event begins.

When a racer qualifies in a King of the West Series event, they draw chips out of a bucket and line up at that number on the gate on race day at Mammoth. If you win in a King of the West Series event, as I did this year, you get first gate pick at Mammoth with a red plate that was supplied by 31 Thirty Designs this year and your name listed as a “who to watch” on a page in the official Mammoth Motocross program that is handed out at the event. If a racer makes it to the main, they receive a pin and the top ten racers receive a bear trophy. First place gets to take home the ‘big’ bear trophy, and in honor of this years’ 50th anniversary, all the trophies were gold. Award ceremonies are held every evening at the track after the day’s races are complete.

Dennis got 4th overall in the 30 Plus Pro class. 

As we arrived at the 2017 event, we received the official Mammoth Motocross programs that were handed out which included the full racing schedule. The Vet practice was Friday with racing on Saturday and Sunday, the kids practice was on Monday with racing on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the big bike practice was Thursday with racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I think the hardest part of the event must be the limited parking. We had to get in line at 4:30 in the morning to get a decent parking spot. There was overflow parking available and shuttle buses were available to take you to and from the event from the overflow parking. Practice started promptly at 7am with qualifiers immediately after. There are 40 gates, and I feel that the best gates are between 12 through 20. The start is concrete, but your starting line helpers must quickly farm the front of the starting line where the dirt starts, which this is the only AMA event that allows you to do that. The track is a high speed, natural terrain track with safe jumps. Laptimes are 2 plus minutes with amateur motos having 5 laps, intermediate having 7 laps and pros having 10 laps. Photos by OPB photography & Dan Alamangos


Marvin Musquin: “I ended up with a DNF in the second moto, which was disappointing. I had a problem because a rock hit the brake. Overall it was a bit better than last week regarding the feeling in my knee, but it’s still difficult. I was able to practice pretty well over the week, so that’s what I’m going to try and do again next week. I’m going to keep working and will try to get better and stronger. It’s tough because I’m losing points in the championship, but it’s mainly about me getting better.”

Trey Canard: “I had a very good weekend. I wasn’t even planning on coming to this race until Tuesday, so it’s been kind of a whirlwind of a week. I was so happy to be back at the races. There were some good things to write home about. I qualified well and got good starts. I had some good moments in the motos, but there’s no way to anticipate that race pace. I did better with it the second moto, but didn’t have much left for the end. All-in-all I’m happy and I feel like I’ll have a bit more anticipation going into next week. Hopefully I’ll be able to build some momentum in the next few weeks.”

Cole Seely: “I’m bummed how today ended because I was feeling good before I crashed. It was early in the race but I definitely had more to give and think I could have kept working my way forward. I had a good jump out of the gate off the start but shifted into third and lost all my momentum because it was so deep. A few laps later, while I was battling with Cooper [Webb], we came together over a jump and hit. Unfortunately, I got the worst of it and went down hard. I got checked out by Alpinestars and the team, and I decided it was best to sit out the second race.”

Eli Tomac: “It’s been a long time coming, and it feels really good to get another win today. I had a few off weeks, some struggles, but some days are good and some days are not so good. I went home and tried to fix the bad things and come back better improved into this weekend. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season as I feel some of my best tracks are coming up.”

Blake Baggett: “It was another tough weekend battling through the field to be up here on the podium. Ideally a holeshot or two would have made our day a lot easier today. The first moto went okay, but these guys [Eli Tomac and Jason Anderson] just out rode me and that’s the bottom line. I got hung up with Cooper [Webb] in the first turn of Moto 2 and just had to put my head down and charge through the pack the entire race in order to salvage some points and get on the podium.”

Aaron Plessinger: “It was an awesome first moto and such a good feeling to finally grab another win. I grabbed the holeshot and just opened a little gap and rode my own race for the win. The second moto went pretty good as well, but Zach [Osborne] was riding awesome and ended up getting around me. I just kind of brought it home for second and did what I needed to take the overall. I haven’t won a outdoor race besides Indiana and it feels good to get the monkey off my back with another win.”

Zach Osborne: “I ran out of tear-offs in Moto 1 and it made it difficult trying to pass my way to the front. Fortunately, I was able to get a better start in the second moto and take the lead pretty early in the race. This four-race stretch that we’re in, I knew that the tracks suit me well, so my plan was to try and score as many points as possible for the championship.”


Ryan Hughes was the guy putting the $1,000,000 prototype 2001 Honda CRF450 on the map in the outdoor Nationals. Okay, maybe this bike wasn’t a million dollars, but the money spent in development was in that range. No wonder two-strokes took a back seat. Ryan’s best finish on the prototype was second at Red Bud. He has some pretty bad crashes on this bike.



Jan. 6…… Anaheim, CA…… Angel Stadium
Jan. 13…… Houston, TX…… NRG Stadium
Jan. 20…… Anaheim, CA…… Angel Stadium
Jan. 27…… Glendale, AZ…… U. of Phoenix Stadium
Feb. 3…… Oakland, CA…… Oakland Aameda Coliseum
Feb. 10…… San Diego, CA…… Petco Park
Feb. 17…… Arlington, TX…… AT&T Stadium
Feb. 24…… Tampa, FL…… Raymond James Stadium
Mar. 3…… Atlanta, GA…… Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Mar. 10…… Daytona, FL…… Daytona Intl. Speedway
Mar. 17…… St. Louis, MO…… Dome at America’s Center
Mar. 24…… Indianapolis, IN…… Lucas Oil Stadium
Apr. 7…… Seattle, WA…… Centurylink Field
Apr. 14…… Minneapolis, MN…… U.S. Bank Stadium
Apr. 21…… Foxborough, MA…… Gillette Stadium
Apr. 28…… Salt Lake City, UT…… Rice-Eccles Stadium
May 5…… Las Vegas, NV…… Sam Boyd Stadium


May 20…Hangtown…Sacramento, CA
May 27…Glen Helen…San Bernardino, CA
June 3…Thunder Valley…Lakewood, CO
June 17…High Point…Mount Morris, PA
June 24…Muddy Creek…Blountville, TN
July 1…Red Bud…Buchanan, MI
July 8…Southwick…Southwick, MA
July 22…Spring Creek…Millville, MN
July 29…Washougal…Washougal, WA
August 12…Unadilla…New Berlin, NY
August 19…Budds Creek…Mechanicsville, MD
August 26…Ironman…Crawfordsville, IN
* Visit to buy tickets


February 25…Losail…Qatar
March 5…Pangkal Pinang…Indonesia
March 19…Neuquen…Argentina
April 2…Leon…Mexico
April 16…Trentino…Italy
April 23…Valkenswaard…The Netherlands
May 7…Kegums…Latvia
May 21…Teutschenthal…Germany
May 28…Ernee…France
June 11…Orlyonok…Russia
June 25…Ottobiana…Italy
July 2…Agueda…Portugal
July 23…Loket…Czech Republic
August 6…Lommel…Belgium
August 13…Frauenfeld…Switzerland
August 20…Uddevalla…Sweden
September 3…Gainesville…USA
September 10…Assen…The Netherlands
September 17…Villars sous Ecot…France

DARYL ECKLUNDhonda crf450motocrossmxaryan hughes