PHOTOS BY DEBBI TAMIETTI
Suddenly, young future Pro racers have discovered that the best way to prepare for a future in the rough and tumble AMA Pro ranks is to race—not five laps motos on a smooth track, not on a practice track that doesn’t resemble what they will face in the big time, not a jump-track that is manicured to perfection and not at a track without the specter to real true-to-life competition to push them. So, Hunter Yoder, Brian Medeiros, Geran Stapleton, Tyler Belknap, Talon Hawkins, Sean White, Tyler Nichols and Jackson Gray showed up at REM’s 3rd of July “Ice Cream Race.”
The REM track underwent a few modifications before Saturday with two new and tricky on/off camber corners and the REM regulars were ready to give the youngster a run for their money. At the top of the list of regulars were Sean Lipanovich and Justin Jones—both on 450s. They proved to be tough to run down as the track got rough and bumpy over the 20-minute Pro motos. Sean Lipanovich was the fastest starter and quickly opened up big leads over Jones who suffered from mistakes, meanwhile the 250 Pros sorted themselves out for the long motos, made all that much longer by the 95-degree temperatures and continuous up and down circuit.
There were standouts in every class, as the best riders rose to the occasion, while the workman-like REM regulars often chose to race two classes, with only one moto between the checkers and the next gate drop.
In the 250 Pro class Hunter Yoder went 2-1 for the overall win. Hawaiian Brian Medeiros, fresh from a television interview for his hometown channel in Kaui, keeps racing MXA’s stock Suzuki RM-Z250 to surprising results. The Hawaiian went 3-2 for second overall after Australian Geran Stapleton, who had won the first 250 Pro moto, faltered back to fifth in moto two. The Aussie’s 1-5 was good enough for third. Later in the program, Hunter Yoder, Jackson Gray and Geran Stapleton signed up for the Open A class to make sure that they got in a full day’s work. Yoder went 1-1 to win his second class of the day.
In the 250 Intermediate class, Talon Hawkin went 1-1. The last time Talon was at REM he came up short on a the big jump next to the scoring tower (he was the only one doing it) and demolished his rear wheel and was lucky to ride it out. This time, no one was jumping Hawkins Leap, which was okay with Talon. Sean White went 2-2 in the 250 Intermediates with Farzam Marzi third.
AND THEN CAME THE OVER FIDDIES
The biggest surprise of the day was that Jon Ortner, who spent three months with pins in his foot from a practice crash that broke four bones, decided to race when he found out that he could put his foot in his boot the day before. Surprise! Ortner won the Over-50 Elite class with a very smart, safe and sane 3-1 score over ESR’s Ron Shuler and 6D’s Robert Reisinger. Ortner’s race craft had him follow Ron Shuler late in the second moto, but not pass him until the last lap out of fear that Robert Reisinger would follow him by Shuler and get the Over-50 Elite overall with a 1-2. Ortner’s last lap ploy gave him a 3-1 score to Reisinger’s 1-3 (pushing Reisinger back to third behind Shuler’s 2-2).
Chris Radzinski took the Over-50 Expert class over Australian Dan Alamangos with Mark Sandzimizer, Morgan Pierce and Ernie Becker rounding out the top five (although Becker manage to throw in a big crash on the last lap of the second moto).
After his third in the Over-50 Elite class, Robert Reisinger came back later in the day to win the Over-60 Expert class with a 2-1 over Ed Guajardo’s 1-3, Dave Eropkin’s 3-2, Val Tamietti’s 4-4 and KTM 150SX-mounted Mike Monaghan’s 5-5. Former Baja Champion Bob Rutten was the Over-65 Expert class winner in front of four-time 250 National Champion Gary Jones. Luc De Ley used a box-stock GasGas MC 125 two-stroke to win the Over-60 Intermediate class over a top five of Bill Reimer, Marc Crosby, Lance Sloane and Tim Hoole.
BIKE BRANDS RACED AT REM GLEN HELEN THIS WEEK
With riders on eight different brands at REM this past weekend, the breakdown by brand showed the not surprising strength of KTM and Husqvarna.
REM TURNOUT BY BRAND
2. Husqvarna …22%
THE 2021 REM RACE SCHEDULE: TWO MORE RACES IN JULY
2021 REM RACE SCHEDULE
July 17…REM track
July 24…REM track
Aug. 7…National track
Aug. 14…REM track
Aug. 21…REM track
Sept. 11…REM track
Sept. 18…REM track
Oct. 30…National Track Octobercross
Nov. 20…REM track
Dec. 4…REM track
Dec. 18…REM track