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Photos by Debbie Tamietti

Justin Jones —450 Pro winner.

In one of the most epic 450 Pro duels of the 2014 REM motocross season, Justin Jones, Zac Commans and Shane McElrath fought tooth and nail for two whole  motos —and none of the three were on 450s. In the end, Justin Jones, who had clutch issues in practice with his race bike and had to borrow Jody Weisel’s KTM 350SXF for the races, came away with the win that could have gone any of three ways.

Shane McElrath (87) won the first 450 Pro moto with Jones hot on his tail. Photo by Chris Alamangos

Troy Lee Design’s rider Shane McElrath, who is getting ready to return to the AMA 250 Nationals from an injury, won the first moto with Jones, the son of four-time 250 National Champion Gary Jones, all over him. Each rider had parts of the undulating track that favored them—which resulted in lots of close racing.

This is the second moto in a nutshell. Jones (192) leads with Zac Commnas (103) and Shane McElrath (87) in hot pursuit.

Pro Circuit protégé Zac Commans had a bad start in moto one and fought hard to get McElrath and Jones in sight before the checkered flag fell. At the completion of moto one it was McElrath first, Jones second, Commans third, Preston Tilford fourth, Colton Udall fifth and Andreas Ovgaard sixth.

Zac Commans.

Between motos Justin Jones got some advice on how to race the unfamiliar 350SXF—which consisted of two words, “Don’t shift.” Justin took the advice, started in second gear and never shifted on the way to the first turn. The result? A holeshot! This time Zac Commans got a good start and began pressuring Jones right away, while McElrath was mired in the pack. By the midway point, Shane McElrath joined the front duo to make it a trio. There were passes back and forth between the three, but they would never stick. McElrath would jump by Commans, but Zac would hold the inside line in the next turn and fend Shane off. Meanwhile, Jones opened up a big lead (of approximately 50 feet) and held it to the flag.

Zac Commons (103) is at the sharp end of the stick with Colby Raha (1X), Preston Tilford (7), William Hendershot (501), Dennis Stapleton (48) and Kordel Caro (672) caught up in the melee.

Jones’ 2-1 took the victory over McElrath’s 1-3 and Commans 3-2. Preston Tilford was fourth and Baja star Colton Udall was fifth.

Colton Udall.

Dennis Stapleton won the Vet Pro class.

Cody McCulloch—250 Pro winner.

John Basher (18) won the Open Vet class in front of desert ace Paul Krause and Mark Hall. Photo by Chris Alamangos


The other battle of note was in the extremely competitive Over-50 Elite class where Jon Ortner, Bob Weber, Willy Simons and Shawn Hybarger dueled over dominance. In the end, Ortner took the gold home with a 1-2, while Bob Weber, of 6D helmet fame, was second with a 3-1. What the scores don’t tell you is that Willy Simons was actually the dominant rider of the day. In both motos Willy was leading until he pushed the front end and went down…in the exact same corner both times. Simons miscues left him with a 2-3 score and third overall.

The power elite of the Over-50 Elite class are Bob Weber (6), Jon Ortner (10) and Willy Simons (46).

How close can they get? Are they all still on the race track? In the end, Jon Ortner (10) would win the Over-50 Elite class.

Randy Skinner (383) would go 14-3 in the Over-50 Expert class, while Val Tamietti (31) would take the overall on this YZ250 two-stroke.

The next step down in the Over-50 Hierarchy at REM is the Over-50 Experts. Val Tamietti, former CMC number one Pro rider from the Saddleback days, took the overall with a 3-1, while Dave Eropkin was second with a 2-2. Amazingly the third place rider, Tony Schuler, had a 5-5 score. How could a 5-5 get third? Because first moto winner Luther French had a 1-9 day, Robert Reisinger backed up his 4th in the second moto with a 12th in moto one, while Phil Dowell did the exact same thing in reverse order with a 12-4. Randy Skinner put together a 14-3 day—Tony Schuler’s 5-5 was the most consistent score in the top ten.

After winning the first moto of the Over-50 Intermediates, Chris Cole (45) looked like a sure thing, but by day’s end Scott Williams (20) stood on the top step of the podium.

One level down from the Elites and the Experts in the Over-50 food chain is the Over-50 Intermediates. It was equally competitive as Scott Williams used a 4-1 to take the overall victory. Mike Phillips 3-3 got second with Todd Wiseman third with a 5-2. First moto winner Chris Cole had bad luck in moto two and went 1-7 for fifth overall

Syd Woods —Over-50 Novice winner.

The Over-50 Novices are part of a massive return of 1970s and 1980s riders back to the sport. In fact, at REM over half of the riders at this week’s race were over the age of 50. Syd Woods used a perfect 1-1 to take the Over-50 Novice class in front of a top ten of Eric Swanson (3-3), Alex Hill (6-2), John Caper (4-4), B.J. Lehn (5-6), Ray Valenzuela (7-5), Robert Pocius (2-11), Mitch Evans (9-7), Chuck Cook (8-8) and Chris Goodman (12-9).

Tom White (80) was just nominated into the AMA Hall of Fame. How did he celebrate? He raced the Over-60 Expert class and went 4-3 for third. Chasing Tom in this photo are Brian Martin (65) and Bill Seifert (37).

“Hello! Can anyone see me. My leg is trapped and I need a little help. Hello!”

“Oh good, here comes some help. Why isn’t he stopping?”

Jason Jones (219), Mark Struve (23) and Swede Gustav Gustafsson (862) create a traffic jam in the 250 Novice class.

By the time Brandon Reid (271) arrives on the scene with Nick Uljanic (97) behind him the road block was complete.

65 rider Mikey Durden (725) meets Kuwait 85cc Champion Bander Al Bahar in a deep rut. Photo by Chris Alamangos

Jody Weisel (58) showed up sick, so it was no big deal to lend his 2014 KTM 350SXF to Justin Jones, especially since he had a 2015 KTM 350SXF sitting next to it in the pits. He switched bikes, but he couldn’t switch lungs and spend the next day in the doctor’s office.

REM does not race next weekend, July 12, because of an offroad truck race at Glen Helen, but will return on July 19. For more info to go

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