REM GLEN HELEN MOTOCROSS RACE REPORT: PRESTON TILFORD IS BACK ON TOP, BUT AMA HALL OF FAMER GARY JONES DOES SOMETHING CRAZY-COOL
Once considered the King of REM, Preston Tilford has had a tough two years with lost rides and injuries, but he came back to his winning ways this weekend.
With another big crowd this past weekend, every REM racer is looking forward to next weekend’s special Troy Lee race. It will be a big deal?with sponsorship from Troy Lee, Moto Brew, ARC levers, Lucas Oil, Pro Valve and others. It celebrates the 15th anniversary of REM racing at Glen Helen and kicks off the beginning of REM’s month of 30-minute motos for the Pros (to help them get ready for the AMA Nationals). Troy Lee will bring his complete AMA Supercross race team, semi truck and mechanics. There will be food, refreshments, free T-shirts, Moto Brew and lots of star power. Additionally, the Pro purse will be paid to the 250 Pros, 450 Pros, Over-40 Experts and Over-50 Experts.
Colton Aeck won the 250 Pro class with a 1-1, but he had to overcome trouble as he fell or stalled three times in moto two.
You can also make a full weekend out of it, by staying around for the next day’s MTA World Two-Stroke Championship. It will feature a $9500 purse from MTA, Glen Helen and L.A. Sleeve for the 125 and 250 Pro classes. Plus, thanks to sponsorship from Husqvarna, the 125 Pro class winner will receive a brand-new 2013 Husqvarna CR125 two-stroke (regardless of what brand he raced in the 125 Pro race) in addition to his purse money. Plus, Husqvarna is fielding a 10-man team of riders in the 125 Pro class.
THIS WEEKEND AT REM GLEN HELEN
Broc Armbruster went 5-4 in the 450 Pros.
450 Pros: Last week’s winner Brandon Brady looked like he was going to repeat the feat this weekend after winning the first moto, but it wasn’t to be. Preston Tilford, back from injury, took off in moto two and couldn’t be caught. Meanwhile, Kyle Wolack finished second in moto two with Brady third. The points worked out for Tilford (2-1) with Brady second (1-3) and Wolack third (3-2).
Brett Hottel raced MXA’s KX500 two-stroke, albeit housed in a 2013 KTM frame. The Donnie Emler-built bike is a rocket. Hottel was seventh in the 450 Pro class.
250 Pro: Colton Aeck used his YZ250 two-stroke to win the 250 Pro class over Danish rider Mathias Keller. Keller will now return to Denmark to race the Danish National Championships. Sean Macri was third overall.
Mathias Keller (28) stayed with MXA’s Dennis Stapleton while in the USA preparing for the upcoming Danish National Championships.
250 Intermediates: Ryan Surratt was on fire as he spent most of the day near the fornt or at the front in the combined 250 Pro/250 Intermediate race. Surratt’s heroics gave him an easy victory over Kyle Fry (2-2), Dennis Andersson (5-3), Nathan Cernicky (4-4), Last week’s winner Kordel Caro (3-6), Matt Cerami (6-5), Cody Brownfield (7-7) and Keith Olsen (9-8).
Swede Marcus Ovgard was ninth in the 450 Pros and second in the Open Expert class.
Over-50 Experts: Often considered the premier class at REM, the Over-50 Experts are gearing up for next week’s purse race?as all of the heavy hitters are expected to make an appearance. This week, Jon Ortner was the star of the class as he won both motos on his trusty 2005 Yamaha YZ250 (which he bought last week for $2500). Central California’s Gary Bowman came down from Bakersfield to go 2-2, with Hollywood stuntman Bryan Friday having his best day ever in the Over-50 Experts with two holeshots and a 3-3 day. Dave Eropkin and Willie Amaradio rounded out the top five.
THE BIGGEST RACES OF THE DAY
Josh Van Den Henvel is a Santa Cruz racer who travels south whenever he gets the chance. Josh was 11th in the 450 Pro class.
The biggest races of the day were the Over-50 Intermediates and the Over-50 Novices.
Over-50 Novices: Ray Glover went 1-1 in front of Bill Reimer’s 2-2, Paul Dobereiner’s 3-3, Brian Underdahl’s 4-5 and Roy Krull’s 6-4.
New England’s Austin Squires gave up his four-strokes for a 2003 Honda CR250 and apart from last week’s electronic power valves issues, he loves it. Squires won the Vet Pro class and the Open Experts.
Over-50 Intermediates: Last week Randy Skinner won with a 2-2 when Jeff Fahy faltered in the second moto. This week Skinner and Fahy resumed their duel, with the help of Bob Marino, Manuel Gasper and Jeff Mason. In the end Randy Skinner’s 2-1 was good enough for the win, as first moto winner Bob Marino ended up 10th in moto two. Jeff Fahy took second overall with a 3-2 in front of TM-mounted Manuel Gasper (5-3) and Jeff Mason (4-4). The Over-50 Intermediates are “Suzuki Central” at REM with one-third of the field on yellow (and the RM’s in this class make up one-half of all the ‘Zooks at REM).
MXA’s Jody Weisel managed to holeshot one moto of the Over-60 Experts on a Factory Services KTM 350SXF, but faltered back to sixth overall by the end of the day
Over-60 Experts: Only in SoCal, could a local race find more Over-60 Experts than 250 Novices or Vet Novices. But because lots of former Pros from the 1970s are still racing and working in the motorcycle industry, REM has a big field of Over-60 Experts. For some reason, known only to four-time 250 National Champion Gary Jones, he decided to race an air-cooled 1974 Yamaha YZ250 vintage bike. Lyle Sweeter would win both motos, but Jones came through the pack on his four-inch travel, silver-tanked YZ to go 2-2. The old YZ couldn’t come down the big hill wide open because of the size of the braking bumps compared to the amount of travel on the YZ. This one shortcoming is where Jones lost his chance of winning the day. In the process of going 2-2 Gary passed third place Mic Rodgers (3-3), fourth place Tom White (4-4), fifth place Ray Pisarksi (6-5), sixth place Jody Weisel (5-6), seventh place Bill Seifert (7-7), eighth place John Huegel (8-8), ninth place Earl Shuler (9-11) and tenth place Rob Deeds (10-12).
Gary Jones raced a 1974 Yamaha YZ250 against the modern bikes. The four-time AMA National Champion was able to go amazingly fast on the old iron, but the big bumps on the downhill forced him to back off on his 4-inch travel, 39-year-old, race bike.
Other notables: Cody Mason won the 450 Beginner class for the second week in a row. Hunter Watt took the 250 Beginner victory in front of Cordis Brooks (not the famous “Cordis Brooks”). Trevor Stewart flew on his YZ two-stroke to win the 250 Novices and Open Novices. Aussie Blake Cobbin owned the 85 Expert class. Alexandra Ruesga took the 85 Beginner class. Vance Freeman was the Vet Novice winner, while Mike Wilson took the Vet Beginner class.
Gary Taylor watches as the 250 Novice class sweeps through the first turn. Noah Hickerson (49) has the holeshot with Brandson Sussman (12) second. Ty Cullins (66) is hugging the inside line.
REM will host the special Troy Lee race next Saturday, April 6, with 30-minute motos, purse payout for the 250 Pros, 450 Pros, 40 Experts and 50 Experts. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com
Photos by Dan Alamangos (with help from Ernie Becker and Randel Fout)