REM planned to run out its 40-race long 2014 motocross season with four straight races in December before taking a one-week breather before starting all over again in 2015. But Mother Nature has played a role in the schedule SoCal has suddenly become rain central. Last week’s motocross race (December 13) was canceled because of flooding, and this week’s race (December 20) had it’s iffy moments after rain on Tuesday and Wednesday was punctuated by a forecast for rain on Saturday morning. Luckily, the weatherman was wrong and the sun, although obscured by high clouds, was peaking out all day long.
The Justin Jones versus Ryan Surratt battle in the 450 Pro class was epic in both motos, but was ruined by a questionable last lap pass by Surratt, who cut through the infield to stuff Jones in a downhill hairpin. This questionable move earned Surratt the “Greg Groom Creative Line of the Day Award,” which isn’t an honor by any stretch of the imagination. The pass got Ryan Surratt the overall win, because the promoters didn’t see it — but the camera did, and cheating is cheating.
The Swedes are back in town and they swept the 250 Intermediate class with Jonathan Magnusson, Anton Stahlberg and Marcus Hansson going one-two-three. On another international front, Hungarian motocross racer Imre Adamek took the Vet Pro gold.
As everyone on the planet who follows REM motocross should know by now — the big classes of the day were the men from the past. The two biggest classes were the Over-50 Experts and the Over-60 Experts — with the Over-50 Intermediates and Over-50 Novice being the next largest groups.
Over-50 Elite: The “Elite” class is a special class set aside for former AMA National riders who are too fast for the majority of the Over-50 Expert class. Thus, Pete Murray, Willy Simons, Jon Ortner and Bob Weber were kicked up stairs into a race of their won. Pete Murray took the win after making a second moto pass on Willy Simons. When asked where he passed Willy, Murray said, “I don’t remember. The whole race was a blur.” 6D helmet founder Bob Weber, an NESC star a few decade ago, was third with Jon Ortner, still doing suspension testing for MXA, in fourth.
Over-50 Experts: It’s hard to determine why the Over-50 Experts fight so hard to win — given that too many victories will get them moved up to the extremely fast “Elite” class, but they go at it hammer and tong. Two riders spearheaded both motos, Jerry Black and Bryan Friday, but a five-man pack followed them closely. In the end, Australian Dan Alamangos fought back from crashes to go 3-3 for third in front of former CMC number 1 Val Tamietti (5-4), Dave Eropkin (4-6), Joe Sutter (6-7), Luther French (9-5), Andy James (8-8), Will Harper (7-9) and Mark Hall (10-10).
Over-50 Intermediates: It’s not often that a 4-1 takes the overall and even less likely that two riders would tie on points with a 4-1 and 1-4, but that is just what happened in the Over-50 Intermediates with Arnie Davis taking the top spot over Terry Varner. Robert Pocius continues his rise in the Intermediates after moving up from the Over-50 Novice in early December. His 5-2 got him third in front of an equally sharp Jeff Scott (3-6), Gary Harada (2-7) and Mike Phillips (10-3).
Over-50 Novices: With Robert Pocius out of the Novice class, there is room for new winners and Lonnie Paschal took the win with a 2-1 over Tim Hoole’s 1-3 (on a Suzuki RM125 Full Floater). Mike Hillion was third with a 4-2.
Over-60 Experts: This class was jam-packed with former winners, World Vet Champions, AMA Hall of Famers and a four-time AMA 250 National Champion. And it was Gary Jones, who was not only a factory rider for Honda, Yamaha, Can-Am and Ammex in his younger days, but has also won the World Vet Championship in the Over-30, Over-40, Over-50 and Over-60 classes in the past. Surprise! Jones didn’t win win. It wasn’t his day as Too Tech’s Rick Johnson used a 1-2 to defeat Jim Latendresse (4-1), Gary Jones (2-3), John Alden (3-5) and Ken Ehlers (8-4).
REM races again next weekend, Saturday, December 27, 2014. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com
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