REM GLEN HELEN MOTOCROSS RACE REPORT: VALLI’S JIMMY ALBERTSON WINS 450 PRO CLASS; PRESTON TILFORD SURPRISES THE REST OF THE 450 PACK
This week at Glen Helen’s REM race there were lots of fireworks. Here are 11 notable factoids.
(1) Jimmy Albertson swept both motos of the 450 Pro class on his Valli Yamaha YZ450F. Albertson benefited from two holeshots?which made life easier. Albertson was ninth last weekend at the Unadilla 450 National. In 2010 Jimmy raced the 450 GPs…his best finishes were an 8th in Holland and a 9th in Brazil.
Preston Tilford…sans fender.
(2) Vance & Hines rider Preston Tilford, who will be leaving the V&H amateur team after the Pala National to turn Pro, signed up for the 450 Pro class on a box-stock 2012 Kawasaki KX250F (Tilford was doing V&H pipe testing for mechanic Alan Olson). Although a first turn crash in moto one ruined his chance of winning the overall (and his rear fender), Tilford shocked all of the 450 riders in moto two by working his way through them and closing on Albertson. Jimmy probably didn’t know that the guy behind him was on a 250, but he knew he was there. Tilford went 4-2 for second behind Albertson, but in front of Tye Hames, Austin Howell, Shane Smith, Everett Holcomb, Brandon Gillespie, Tony Amaradio and Brett Hottel.
Tye Hames went 2-4 at REM.
(3) The 450 Pro class was the biggest class of the day…and included AMA National riders Albertson, Tye Hames, Calle Aspegren, Luca Nastrini, Austin Howell and a hot group of locals that included Shane Smith, Everett Holcomb, Brett Hottel, Tyler Ruiz, Chris See, Brandon Gillespie and others.
(4) Austin Howell was drafted to race MXA‘s 2012 Kawasaki KX450F. He was running second behind Albertson late in the second moto, when he and Preston Tilford collided…sending Austin down. In the end, Austin’s 5-3 gave him fourth.
(5) The biggest crash of the day came courtesy of Swedish rider Calle Aspegren, who along with countryman Fredrik Noren, got considerable credit for skipping the 2011 Swedish National Championships to race the AMA National Championships. Noren was even named to the Swedish MXDN team for next month’s race. But, back to Calle’s crash. Coming out of the back of the track the riders had to jump a blind ridge. Once in the air, they landed on a downhill straight on the other side of the ridge, but Calle misjudged the angle and jumped full speed into a well-placed cliff. He bounced off the cliff, cartwheeled down the track and lay motionless for a minute. Finally, he got up, remounted and rode back to the MX Heaven pits. Calle had a third in moto one.
Matt Inda won the 250 Pro class.
(6) Robot Rogers, a legend-of-sorts from Saddleback Park, is back racing again. Robot raced the Over-50 Intermediate class. Robot went 8-7 for ninth in a class won by another former Saddleback Pro?Bob Marino.
Dave Eropkin (811) leads Willie Amaradio (7), Greg Nelson (385), Randy Skinner (383), Bob Rutten (83) and Mike Monaghan (2) in the Over-50 Expert race.
(7) Greg Nelson won the Over-50 Expert class for the second week in a row, and, after a recount of the Over-50 Expert victories in 2011, the list of winners is as follows:
As for Greg Nelson, this week’s victory was his sixth overall win.
You might remember Bob Rutten (83) from the glory days of desert racing when Bob was a factory rider and Baja winner. Behind Bob is former Pro Circuit Husqvarna rider Mike Monaghan (2) and behind Mike is Dirt Bike‘s Ron Lawson (on a 2012 KTM 125SX).
(8) Bengt Luotonen showed up with a Honda CR500 two-stroke and raced two classes. Bengt was second in the Vet Novice class (2-2) and fifth in the Over-50 Intermediates (6-6).
Aussie Dan Alamangos.
(9) Steve Lawler, a former Over-50 Expert winner, decided to race the “125 Adult A” two-stroke class, where he went 1-1. Lawler, Dirt Bike‘s Ron Lawson and Joe “Meltdown” Melton went at it hammer and tong. Unfortunately, the tongs got Melton when he engaged in a duel with Aussie rider Dan Alamangos (also on a YZ125). Alamangos emerged unscathed, but Melton broke his hand.
Three MXA test riders spent time on the 2012 Honda CRF450 at REM. Jody (above), John Minert and Mark Hall.
(10) The MXA gang races as much as it can?because that is the best way to test a “race bike.” Jody raced a 2012 KTM 450SXF and 2012 Honda CRF450 (testing springs on the KTM and a 280mm brake on the CRF), Willy Musgrave won the Over-40 Pro class on a 2012 KTM 250SXF two-stroke?which is a test bed for Showa suspension, Dick’s Racing Intelajet carb, Pro Circuit pipe an silencer and TCR wheels. John Basher split motos between a 2012 Kawasaki KX450F and a 2012 RM-Z250. Billy Musgrave got second in the 250 Pro class on a 2012 KTM 150SX. Alan Olson raced a 2012 Kawasaki KX250F. The first moto Mark Hall raced the 2012 KX450F that Austin Howell raced in the 450 Pro class and, in the second moto, the Honda CRF450 that Jody and John Minert were testing parts on. Ray Pisarski is finishing up the last of the 2011 CRF250 testing in preparation for the 2012 unit. Plus, Tom Hinz, Feets Minert, Ernie Becker and Dan Alamangos were busy in their respective classes. Dennis Stapleton was racing in NorCal.
Dr. John Tookey?dentist, helicopter pilot and racer, but not necessarily in that order.
(11) If you like to keep track of trends, the brand breakdown at REM this weekend was Honda 34%, Yamaha 26 %, KTM 19%, Kawasaki 16% and Suzuki 8%.
On another note?40% of the riders at REM were over the age of 40…and 73 percent of those were over the age of 50 (and 15 percent of the Over-40 total was made up of riders over 60-years-old). Simple math would tell you that only 12 percent of the riders over the age of 40 were under the age of 50.
Additionally, of the 29 different classes held at REM (between Beginner, Novice, Intermediate and Pro), Yamaha won 10 of them, Honda won nine, KTM six, Kawasaki three and Suzuki one.
Sometimes you have to shed a few parts to get maximum performance?MXA‘s John Basher demonstrates.
REM races again next Saturday, August 27. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com
Photos: Ernie Becker and Dan Alamangos