REM MOTOCROSS RACE REPORT: YOUNG STARS, OLD STARS & SEEING HOLLYWOOD STARS

In the early morning before the pits fill up you will find the early birds taking all the parking spots up by the tower and down by the starting line. To the left (and over the cliff) is the Glen Helen National track. Photo: Glen Helen

PHOTOS BY DEBBI TAMIETTI

With September historically being the hottest month of the year, the incredible number of races being held every weekend, which a can amount to six races between the National track, REM track, Lucas Oil Off-Road track, Stadiumcross track and the cross-country combinations, falls off in September and October—and are replaced by massive multi-day events like the WORCS series (both motorcycle and quads), 24 Hours of Glen Helen, Tough Mudder Run, Octobercross, World Vet Championship, Mud Factor Run, Travis Pastrana’s Nitro Rallycross and The Day in the Dirt. For example, this past weekend there were only three motorcycle races at Glen Helen—the AME Summercross night race on the Stadiumcross track,  Saturday’s REM Motocross and Sunday’s ARX Vintage race.

Talon Hawkins (71) was untouchable in both Pro motos.

With the constant string of Summer days with the temperatures hovering near the 100-degree mark, most of Glen Helen’s race promoters and a healthy number of heat-adverse racers wait until later in the year to resumed their activities. But thanks to REM, Summer is still race time as the REM faithful continue to show up no matter how hot it gets, which has them saying, “You think this is hot? Let me tell you about the day it was 116-degrees and I raced two classes.”

Former Vance & Hines Yamaha racer Preston Tilford (11) took seven years off from racing, but came back to win the Vet Pro class at REM.

Making matters worse for race turnouts in September are the local TV weathermen who issued heat warning for this past Saturday claiming it would be 103 degrees, when, in fact, NOAA reported that the highest temperature on Saturday at Glen Helen was only 97-degrees and it didn’t hit that high point until 2:10 p.m.in the afternoon — which is about the time that REM’s races end.

The leaders of the Intermediate were never farther apart than this all day long. Connor Styers (62) won the 250 Intermediate class, but had to fight for it against Vet Intermediate winner Josh Fout (92). Fout won the first moto duel and Styer won the second moto.

Richard Taylor (141) came out to spin some laps and looked very stylish.

The best ride of Saturday was turned in by 250 Pro winner Talon Hawkins, who swept both motos with ease. Equally notable was Over-50 Elite rider Billy Joe Mercier, who just turned 50 years old and celebrated by going 1-1. Preston Tilford, former Vance and Hines Yamaha rider, came back for his first race in the last seven years. Now 30 years old, Preston took the Vet Pro win. 6D helmets’ Robert Reisinger continued his weekly wars with former Zaca Station promoter Ed Guajardo in the Over-60 Experts by taking a 1-1 win over Ed’s 2-2. In a strange coincidence, the top three in the Over-65 Expert class were all Hollywood stuntmen with Will Harper’s 1-1 taking the win in front of former Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures President Mark Donaldson’s 2-2 and stunt coordinator Mic Rodgers’ 3-3. And, no one can forget the crazy riders who decided to ride two classes in the 97-degree heat, even though some of them had to race back-to-back. They included Mike Monaghan, Lamont Dusseau, Pete Vetrano, Bill Reimer and Gary Taylor.

Hollywood stuntman Mark Donaldson (36) moved to Georgia earlier this year, but came to town to work on some movies and TV shows, so the former AMA Pro decided to come out and race with his buddies. Mark went 2-2 in the Over-65 Experts.

Mic Rodgers (115), another Hollywood stunt legend, is coming back from a broken scapula and punctured lung from a punishing trip down the Mt. Whitney downhill. Mic went 3-3 in the Over-65 Experts.

Will Harper (7) missed most of the 2021 SoCal race season while working on a movie in Atlanta. He rounded out the stuntman sweep of the Over-65 Experts class with a 1-1 day.

Steven Chandler moved to Idaho, but he had yet to break the REM Glen Helen habit and drove down to race. How long is the drive? He was clean shaven when he left his home.

Steve Chandler (306) and Scott Skelton (41) fought over 8th place in the Over-60 Expert class with Skelton getting the nod.

450 NOVICES
1. Zack Wiley (Hon)…2-1
2. Geremy Patterson (Kaw)…1-2
3. Lamont Dusseau (Yam)…3-3

Tate Kaplan (92x) gases his CRF250 to the edge of a drop-off on his way to the 250 Novice win.

Dane Gordon (624) took his Yamaha YZ450F to a 1-1 finish in the 450 Beginner class.

OVER-40 NOVICES
1. Pete Vetrano (Hus)…1-1
2. Gary Taylor (KTM)…3-2
3. Lamont Dusseau (Yam)…2-4

These three childhood friends had the Over-50 classes covered. Billy Mercier (left), just turned 50 years old and came out to celebrate by winning the Over-50 Elite class. Mike Davis (center) won the Over-50 Expert class. Kevin McCarthy (right) took the gold in Over-50 Novice class.

OVER-50 EXPERTS
1. Mike Davis (Hus)…1-1
2. Joe Sutter (Yam)…3-2
3. Jonny Benskin (KTM)…2-3

Mike Davis (202) collected another Over-50 Expert class victory.

Billy Mercier raced the 125 West Supercross and 250 National series in the early 1990s, but now that’s he’s 50 years old, he plans to focus on winning the Over-50 Elite class.

OVER-50 ELITES
1. Billy Mercier (KTM)…1-1
2. Jon Ortner (Yam)…2-2
3. Phil Dowell (KTM)…3-3

Nate Otto (122) went 7-5 for sixth in the Over-50 Expert class

OVER-50 INTERMEDIATES
1. Jason McCormick (Hon)…1-1
2. Pete Anagnos (Hon)…2-2
3. Jim Dorsett (Yam)…5-4

Sadly, Over-40 Novice Farzam Marzi (84) had a solo bike crash and swapped so bad that his bike landed on his hand. Farzam won’t be back on his bike this year.

OVER-50 NOVICES
1. David McCarthy (Yam)…1-1
2. Mike Hillion (KTM)…2-2
3. Luis Esparza (Kaw)…4-3

Joe Sutter (111) used a 3-2 to best Jonny Benskin’s 2-3 for second overall in the Over-50 Expert class.

This three-way battle in the Over-60 Experts was between Dirt Bike editor Ron Lawson (57), Zaca Station’s Ed Guajardo (27) and former AMA Pro Robert Reisinger (96). By the checkered flag Reisinger was first, Guajardo second and Lawson fourth.

OVER-60 EXPERTS
1. Robert Reisinger (Hus)…1-1
2. Ed Guajardo (Yam)…2-2
3. Dave Eropkin (KTM)…3-3

Randel Fout (91) was assigned to race MXA’s 2022 Honda CRF250. Randel blasts through a hail of roost.

OVER-60 INTERMEDIATES
1. Luc De Ley (Suz)…1-1
2. Bruce Ashmore (Hon)…3-3
3. Corby Reutgen (KTM)…5-2

Hey, Randy Skinner (5) found an even more intense hail of roost to blast through. Randy sold his 2021 KTM 450SXF to Marc Crosby, but borrowed it back from Marc to race this weekend and then volunteered to take it home and clean it before returning it to Marc. There is a good chance that Marc won’t see it for a while.

OVER-60 NOVICES
1. Chuck Cook (Hus)…1-1
2. Mark Homan (Yam)…3-2
3. Stephen Johnston (Yam)…2-3

Zach Taylor is the youngest of the racing Taylors that includes former AMA Pro dad, Rich and brother Richard.

OVER-65 EXPERTS
1. Will Harper (KTM)…1-1
2. Mark Donaldson (Gas)…2-2
3. Mic Rodgers (Hus)…3-4

MXA’s Jody Weisel (43) leads British rider Tony Parsons (68) down the Mt. Whitney downhill. One finger on the brake and two fingers on the clutch show you where his priorities lie. Photo: Jon Ortner

OVER-65 INTERMEDIATES
1. Tom Holmes (KTM)…1-2
2. Kent Reed (Gas)…3-1
3. Stephen Johnston (KTM)…2-3

The trouble with big hills is that when you fall, whether going up or coming down, you always end up below your bike. It looks like Steve Moore (45) made it to the top of this uphill and then fell back down it. He’s lucky that he landed 15 feet below the crest, because there is 75 feet more of downhill below him.

OTHER CLASS WINNERS
250 Pro..Talon Hawkins (Hus)
250 Intermediate…Connor Styers (Yam)
Vet Pro…Preston Tilford (Hon)
Vet Intermediate…Josh Fout (Gas)
Vet Beginner…Adam Fern (Hon)
250 Novice…Tate Kaplan (Yam)
125 Novice…Nick Reisinger (Hus)
125 Beginner…Angel Vargas (KTM)
450 Beginner…Dane Gordon (Yam)
250 Beginner…Mathew Kerestressy (Hon)

Over-60 Intermediate John Caper (44) has found a very unique way to avoid having any more knee surgeries, but he is wearing out the butt of his pants faster.

Pasha Afshar (L7) is chased by ESR’s Ron Shuler (33) in the combined Over-50 Expert and Over-50 Elite class.

Mike Monaghan (39) rode two classes (and they were back to back). Was was fourth in the Over-50 Experts and 7th in the Over-60 Experts on a KTM 125SX.

Film maker Mark Homan (838) puts up some special effects foro the guys behind him to deal with.

2021 REM RACE SCHEDULE
Sept. 18…REM track
Oct. 30…Octobercross (National Track)
Nov. 5-6…World Vet Championship
Nov. 20…REM track
Dec. 4…REM track
Dec. 18…REM track

One final roost shot courtesy of Robert Pocius.

REM will be racing next Saturday, September 18. However, REM will not race again until the Octobecross on Oct. 30 because Glen Helen will be holding two WORCS series weekends, plus the 24 Hours of Glen Helen of Oct 9-10 and a Tough Mudder run on Oct. 23-24. For more information about REM go to www.remsatmx.com or Click Here for REM’s Facebook page.

billy mercierdebbi tamiettiglen helen racewayjody weisljon ortnermotocrossmxarem motocrossROBERT REISINGERtalon hawkins