LOOKING BACK: GIANT 2017 WORLD TWO-STROKE MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP PHOTO GALLERY
Glen Helen built a new start for the World Two-Stroke Championship. It didn’t turn 180-degrees, but instead shot straight up a steep hill. Here, Zach Bell (100) leads Mike Sleeter (11), Jon Ames (179), Travis Bell (17) and R.J. Wageman (621).
Photos by Debbi Tamietti & Dan Alamangos
Let us return to a time long ago and a land far away! Nope, just messin’ with you. This is a look at the photos that Dan and Debbi shot at the 2017 World Two-Stroke Motocros Championships two years ago. The new edition is this Saturday, April 20, 2019—but it’s always nice to look back and see where we’ve been. Enjoy.
Sean Collier (207) is always a favorite at the World Two-Stroke Championship. His booming KX500 is a powerful weapon on a track the size of Glen Helen. Surprise! Sean dropped his KX500 in favor of a TM 300MX. Unfortunately for Sean, he suffered crashes that left him chasing from behind all day. Sean was 10th with a 16-8 day.
The 2017 two-stroke track used the cut-through pass on Mt. Saint Helen. Although the track doesn’t go all the way to the top of the hill, it is visible to every spectator and the riders think it offers more passing opportunities. The cut-through is in this year’s Two-Stroke track design, but going in the opposite direction.
MXA’s Dennis Stapleton was running in the top ten until he crashed in moto one and dropped back to 14th. Dennis was racing MXA’s project Husqvarna TC250 (with Factory Connection’s coil-spring conversion kit in the WP AER forks). Dennis ended up 11th overall.
Brandon Scharer (154) raced a fairly basic Honda CR500 in the midst of all the fancy high-tech two-strokes. Here, he tries to keep pace with R. J. Wageman’s 7th place aluminum-framed Suzuki RM250. Brandon’s first moto woes left him with a 28-3 day. He coulda been a contender.
The Pro classes weren’t the only tough classes at Glen Helen. The Over-50 Pro class was equally tough. Former Grand Prix winner and Offroad Champion Rodney Smith (31) held off Husqvarna’s Andy Jefferson for the win, while Pete Murray, Jon Ortner, Steve Butler and Jungle Jim Chamberlain pursued the leading duo.
Andy Jefferson (17) was the first black motocrosser to ever qualify for an AMA Supercross main event. That was 38 years ago. Today, Andy works at Husqvarna and still knows how to get around a track. He raced MXA’s project TC300 — since Husqvarna doesn’t make a 300cc motocross version, it is built from the electric-start Husqvarna TX300.
Steve Butler was Jeff Emig’s mechanic when Jeff raced for Team Yamaha, he would go on to become the Yamaha team manager, but now works in the R&D department at Yamaha. Steve was fifth in the Over-50 Pro class. It was his first-ever race as a freshly minted 50-year-old.
FACES AT THE RACES
Alan Olson, Chad Reed’s Yamaha mechanic, AMA Supercross Mechanic of the Year and a nine-time World Vet Champion, (left) plays golf every week with AMA Hall of Famer Tom White, who was also an AMA Grand National dirt tracker and World Vet Champion. We miss Tom, who passed away. at the end of 2017. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
The late Tom White has founded and funded the World Vet, World Four-Stroke Championship and World Two-Stroke Championship with either the White Brothers or Dubya USA. Tom was kind enough to let MTA take over sponsorship of the two-stroke race a few years ago—but he still came out to announce the Pro races. Photo: Jon Ortner
WORLD TWO-STROKE CHAMPIONS (2010-2018)
2010 …Bobby Garrison (Hus)
2011 …Austin Howell (Yam)
2012 …Michael Leib (Hon)
2013 …Sean Collier (Yam)
2014 …Sean Collier (Yam)
2015 …Mike Sleeter (KTM)
2016 …Mike Alessi (Suz)
2017 …Ryan Surratt (Hon)
2018 …Zach Bell (Hus)