Off-road racer Trevor Stewart (1) won both motos of the Pro class, but it took him awhile in both motos to break free from Troy Lee Design’s Derek Drake (33). Photo: Debbi Tamietti

As summer approaches and with it the 2019 AMA National Motocross Championships, REM lengthens the Pro motos to help aspiring AMA riders, riders coming back from injury or out-of-shape riders who need a lot more seat time to get ready. The amateur motos stay at 15 minutes, but the Pro classes (and a selected group of fast amateur classes) got their moto stretched out to 25 minutes.

Trevor Stewart gets a momentary opportunity to see if he left the lights on in his truck down in the pits. Photo: Dan Alamangos

You would think that every AMA National motocross rider would be chomping at the bit for the chance to go to the starting line for the opportunity to begin to adjust to longer moto, rougher tracks and brighter sunshine. You’d be wrong. AMA National riders don’t want anyone to see how out of shape they are or worse yet how slow they are. So, they don’t show up for the thing that their preparation needs the most. Luckily, lots of Pro riders are REM regulars, making this week’s Pro race a barn burner.

Derek Drake (33) leads Yusuke Watanabe (11),  Kurt Thomas (588) and Trevor Stewart (1) out of this banked corner. Photo: Jon Ortner

Former Pro Circuit Husqvarna rider Mike Monaghan (15) got to the checkered flag first, but he still didn’t win. Photo: Jon Ortner

In fact, all of the classes at Glen Helen on Saturday featured hard-fought duels for the win. The closest being between Over-60 Expert Mike Monaghan (a former Saddleack Pro) and Dave Eropkin  (a former Ascot, Irwindale and OCIR Pro). Randel Fout, a former Michigan Pro, won the first moto easily, but pulled out of the second moto to save his ailing shoulder. With Fout out, the battle boiled down to Monaghan versus Eropkin. On the last lap, Eropkin caught and passed Monaghan with two turns left. Amazingly, Monaghan passed Eropkin back in the final uphill hairpin and crossed the line in the lead by a wheel-width for the win. But, what Mike forgot, is that the transponder wire is about 30 feet past where the flagman stands—and the race is scored by the transponders, not the flag. Eropkin, although second at the flag was first to the buried wire — for the win. Now you might asked, Why aren’t the flagman and the transponder wire in the same place? Because the finish line is in a section of track called the “rollercoaster,” and the flagman doesn’t feel safe standing on the downhill side of the finish line jump—so, out of concern for his safety, REM allows the flagman to move to the top of the series of jumps to be in a safer place. There is a red sign at the transponder wire location that says “Finish Line.” Mike Mongahan knew about the wire, but in the excitement of the moment forgot. He won’t forget the next time.

Derek Drake is the next rider in line to get a full-boat ride with the Troy Lee team—not that he hasn’t had one since he was an amateur. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

One class that wasn’t in doubt was the Over-50 Elite class. 25-time World Vet Champion (Yes, you read that right) Doug Dubach came to REM so that his son Carter and Japanese protege Yusuke Watanabe could race REM’s long motos. But since Doug was at Glen Helen, he decided to race the Over-50 Elite class to pass the time between Pro motos.

Brian Medeiros (934) wanted to go home to Hawaii for the Oahu Supercross next weekend, but with the Hawaii promoters not helping Hawaiian riders, he decided to stay in California and prep for the AMA Nationals. Photo: Jon Ortner

Doug was gone at the drop of the gate. He had a big lead on lap one of both motos and by the second lap his victory was almost assured. “Almost!” Going down the back straight Doug caught up to a pack of lappers—mostly made up of  Over-50 Experts and Intermediates. It would seem like a simple thing for a former AMA Supercross winner and Yamaha factory rider to pick his way through the lappers to get to the checkered flag in one piece. But, up the fast, sandy and rough back straight Doug Dubach met his match. The closing rate at the end of the straight was so great that Doug collided with a lapper. Doug had to pick himself up, remount his bike and get going—which he did before the rest of the Over-50 Elite pack even knew he had been knocked down.

Drake (33) and Medeiros  (934) log some flight time at Glen Helen. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Kurt Thomas (588) finished 7th in the 450 Pro class, while Ciaran Naran (111) went 3-4 to tie for third, but ended up fourth because of a tie. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

This week’s breakdown by brands was heavily weighted towards KTM. The orange bikes represented 35% of all bikes at REM Glen Helen. KTM outclassed the 25% of Yamahas—no other brands cracked 20%

1. KTM…35%
2. Yamaha…25%
3. Honda…16%
4. Husqvarna…15%
5. Kawasaki…4%,
6. TM..2%
7. Suzuki…2%
8. Other brands…1%

Benny Breck (318) hung tough in the 450 Pro class, even though he was racing as a Vet Pro (where he had his hands full with Over-40 Vet Tony Amaradio and Over-50 Vet Kurt Nicoll). Photo: Dan Alamangos

1. Benny Breck (Hon)…1-1
2. Kurt Nicoll (KTM)…2-2
3. Tony Amardio (KTM)…3-3

Justin Muscutt (76) spent last year at the AMA Nationals as the Alpinestars’ boot rep, taking care of other racers, in order to earn enough money to race the 2019 AMA National Motocross Championships. This year he’s racing. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

T.V. Holmes’ doctor told him that he could not race yet after breaking his tib/fib, but that didn’t stop T.V. from going to the starting line on his full-race walker. Japanese racer Yusuke Watanabe was bemused to say the least. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

1. Trevor Stewart (Hon)…1-1
2. Derek Drake (KTM)…2-2
3. Matt Hubert (Hus)…4-3

John Caper’s doctor told him that he could not race yet after his heart surgery, but John was pretty sure that this did not qualify as actual racing. Photo: Jon Ortner

1. Bryan Friday (KTM)…2-1
2. Kevin Montgomery (Yam)…1-2
3. Nick Waters (Hus)…3-4

Joe Sutter (11) is about to meet Doug Dubach (15) — unless Joe blinks. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

1. Doug Dubach (Yam)…1-1
2. Eddie Davis (Yam)…2-2
3. Jon Ortner (Yam)…3-3

Val and Debbi Tamiettti have been together since before Val was CMC number one back in the 1980s. At the moment, the current REM number one is out with a broken tib/fib. Debbi is a world famous moto-photographer. Photo: Dan Alamangos

1. Lonnie Paschal (Yam)…2-1
2. Shy Moshe (Yam)…1-4
3. Todd Wiseman (Yam)…4-2

Brandon Sussman (12) chases the 450 pack up the back canyon on his YZ250F. Photo: Dan Alamangos

1. Lance Sloane (Yam)…1-1
2. Jamie Mitchell (Hon)…2-2
3. Duane Quale (Yam)…4-3

Doug Dubach (55) will be 56 years old this summer, but he shows no signs of slowing down. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

At day’s end this was the top three in the Over-60 Expert class in the order they finished. Dave Eropkin (2-1), Mike Monaghan (1-2) and Bob Rutten (3-3). Photo: Dan Alamangos

1. Dave Eropkin (KTM…2-1
2. Mike Monaghan (Yam)…1-2
3. Bob Rutten (Yam)…3-3

If you look at this photo from the left to the right, you will see second, third and fourth in the Over-50 Elite class. Eddie Davis (X), Jon Ortner (10) and Ron Shuler (33) don’t leave each other very much room. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

1. Mitch Evans (Yam)…2-1
2. Steve Chandler (TM)…1-2
3. Kent Reed (KTM)…3-3

Jack Phinn (315) plows a trench in the Over-50 Intermediate class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

1. Ken Ehlers (Yam)…1-1
2. Patrick Flynn (Kaw)…2-2
3. Mick Rodger (Hus)…3-3

It might look like Marc Crosby is on Dennis Stapleton’s World Two-Stroke KTM 250SX, but actually Dennis borrowed Mark’s regular race bike from the MXA stable to race the Two-Stroke race, but after he finished prepping it, Dennis got a second KTM 250SX to race and gave Mark the 250SX back—albeit with Stapleton’s graphics. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

1. Connor Eddy (Yam)…1-1
2. Brandon Warner (Hon)…2-2
3. Cole JGress (Yam)…4-4

Kurt Nicoll is practicing for the Farleigh Castle Vet Motocross des Nations. How can we tell? Every race we go to Kurt is there putting in the laps. This week, the 54-yearold signed up as a Vet Pro so that he could race the long motos. Photo: Dan Alamangos

1. Kenny Rawson (Hon)…1-1
2. Erik Sturn (Kaw)…3-2
3. Lucas Hansen (Yam)…2-4

Kevin Montgomery (291) gets to spend a few moments in front of ultra-fast Eddie Davis in the Over-50 class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

1. Alan Julien (Yam)…1-1
2. Ralf Schmidt (Yam)…2-2
3. Pasha Afshar (TM)…3-3

Randel Fout (94) doesn’t wait for lines to open up—he just makes new lines. Note the big rock that Randel’s front wheel is about to snow plow into Bob Rutten’s (83) rear wheel. Photo: Dan Alamangos

1. Cole Gress (Kaw)…1-1
2. Jason Goss (KTM)…2-2
3. Joe Sutter (Hon)…3-3

Patrick Flynn works for Kawasaki on Monday through Friday and races a Kawasaki on the weekends. Mike Monaghan (15) and Dave Eropkin (811) are about to lap Patrick. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

1. Jason Ingersoll (Hon)…2-1
2. Kevin McCarthy (KTM)…1-2
3. Mike Colvin (Hon)…3-3

With his hair flapping in the breeze, Steve Chandler has been a solid performer on his TM two-stroke. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

1. Blake Gardner (KTM)…1-1
2. Seth Willardsen (Yam)…2-2
3. Michael Oetzell (KTM)…3-3

Mitch Evans won the Over-65 Intermediate class with a 2-1 over Steve Chandler’s 1-2. Photo: Dan Alamangos

Next weekend, Saturday, May 4, REM will be at Cahuilla Creek for the third of their four scheduled races at the Anza, California, track.  They will return to Glen Helen on May 18. For more info about REM motocross go to or their Facebook page by Clicking Here.

May 4…Cahuilla Creek
May 18…Glen Helen
June 1…Glen Helen
June 8…Cahuilla Creek
June 15…Glen Helen
July 13…Glen Helen
July 20…Glen Helen
Aug. 10…Glen Helen
Aug. 17…Glen Helen
Sept. 21…Glen Helen
Oct. 4…Glen Helen
Oct. 19…Glen Helen
Oct. 26…Glen Helen
Nov. 16…Glen Helen
Nov. 23…Glen Helen
Dec. 14…Glen Helen
Dec. 21…Glen Helen


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