REM GLEN HELEN MOTOCROSS REPORT: TAMIETTI, EROPKIN, FRENCH & ORTNER BATTLE

Brian Medeiros got the angle of the dangle mixed up with the coefficient of force vector. No matter, he picked himself up and charged back to second in the 250 Pro class. Photo: Rommel Andrade (Click on images to enlarge)

Shaun Hillion would end up winning the 450 Pro class, but he threw in an Aaron Plessinger victory dance a little too early in the second moto. Photo: Rommel Andrade

The weekly REM motocross races are in the midst of a string of consecutive race weekends that run throughout January and February. This weekend’s race was number 3 of 7 straight.

Shaun Hillion on two wheels. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Brit Robbie Dowson was the fastest rider on the track. He won the 250 Pro class and beat all of the 450s in the process. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

But counting races at Glen Helen Raceway isn’t that simple. For example, on this weekend alone there was; (1) REM motocross on the REM track on Saturday, (2) Pee-Wee race on the new REM Pee-Wee track and (3) a Saturday night Stadiumcross practice. This was followed up on Sunday by (4) an Over-The-Hill-Gang race on the AMA National track and (5) an American Retrocross vintage race on the REM track. That’s 5 different events at the same race track over two days. There are lot of areas in the country where they don’t have 5 races in their whole racing season.

Rayce Nelson won the 250 Intermediate class on a KTM two-stroke. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

WINTER IN SOCAL

Ireland’s Jim O’Neill moved up one place in the 450 Pro class over last week’s finish. His 3-1 involved some crashing in moto one. Photo: Dan Alamangos

It is winter, but in SoCal “winter” is just a code word for mild and windy. Although the temperature at Glen Helen never reached the predicted 80-degrees for the REM motocross, the winds blew at a steady 17mph (with gusts around 25 mph). The strange things about REM motocross is that years ago they learned their lesson about high winds when two riders were blown into each other on a crosswind jump. What lesson did they learn? To design the track so that there are no crosswind jumps. Every jump on the REM motocross track goes into or with the predominant North wind. Thus, riders on the motocross racetrack aren’t bothered by the winds that blow down the canyon, but the same can’t be said for the people in the pits.

Brit Tony Parsons (68) and John Huegel (27) split 2-3 and 3-2 motos in the Over-65 Intermediate class. Parson’s got the nod. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

BIGGEST CLASSES

As always the biggest group of riders were in the Over-50 classes. Between the Over-50 Novices, Intermediates and Novices, half-century riders represented 35% of the riders at REM, with riders over the age of 60-years-old taking up the second largest chunk at 20%. The biggest individual class was a tie between the Over-50 Intermediates and Over-50 Novices (with one-quarter of all the racers at REM in these two classes).

Chris Radzinski (104), Ray Poltack (5), Jerry Black (M14) and Ron Shuler (33) charge into the first turn in the Over-50 Expert class. Amazingly, the overall winner, Robert Reisinger, isn’t visible in the first turn. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

FOREIGN RIDERS

Swedish Grand Prix star, multi-time ISDT gold medalist and co-founder of Thor Racing, Lars Larsson (62) won the Over-65 Intermediate class for the second week in a row. Oh yeah, we forgot to mention that Lars is eligible for the Over-75 class…if there was a such a thing. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

There weren’t as many foreign riders at REM this week as normal (since the Japanese riders didn’t show up). All in all there were riders from Australia, Canada, England, Holland, Ireland, South Africa and Sweden on the starting lines. With Ralf Schmidt (Holl), Robbie Dowson (Eng), Alan Jullien (SoA), Jason Kendrick (Eng), Lars Larsson (Swe) and Harold Torres (Can) all winning classes.

Brit Jason Kendrick took the 450 Intermediate win and came back later to win the Open Intermediate class (“Open” in REM parlance doesn’t refer to engine size, but to a class for riders looking for an additional class to race). Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Jason Goss (828) and Nick Pollack (513) go at it in the Over-40 class. Photo: Dan Alamangos

GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT

Dave Eropkin (811) leads Val Tamietti in the Over-60 Expert class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

A lap later, Val Tamietti (31) leads Dave Eropkin (811). Photo: Debbi Tamietti

For some reason, probably the large number of older riders, who bring in a number of old spectators, the premier classes at REM are the Over-50 Experts and the Over-60 Experts. The old soldiers were once high-profile Pro racers, about 35 years ago, so they are amused at their sudden rise to fame long after they hung up their boots for the first time. But, they got pulled back in to racing as they got older—and now everybody in the pits wants to see the Val Tamietti/Dave Eropkin battle in the Over-60 Expert class and the Luther French/Jon Ortner showdown in the Over-50 Elite class. The difference between winning and losing between these four riders is often a fraction of a second. It all boils down to who gets the start and then can get through the lappers with the least drama (and without making enemies who might block you in the second moto if you play too rough with them in the first moto). Watching these two races is educational for young riders.

Luther French (2) took the win in the Over-50 Elite class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

This week in the Over-50 Elite class neither French nor Ortner got very good starts, which meant a lot of slicing and dicing. In the end, Luther French took the win. The opposite was true in the Over-60 Experts as Dave Eropkin holeshot both motos, but Val Tamietti was Eropkin’s shadow. Val pounced the first time Dave made a mistake (early in the first moto and late in the second moto). They will be back to repeat the process next Saturday.

Jon Ortner rode MXA’s 2018-1/2 KTM 450SXF Factory Edition to a 2-2 day in the Over-50 Elite class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

SELECTED CLASS RESULTS

450 PRO
1. Shaun Hillion…1-2
2. Jim O’Neill…3-1
3. Corey Davy…2-3

OVER-40 EXPERT
1. Alan Jullien…1-1
2. Ralf Schmidt…2-2
3. David Cincotta…3-3

Jerry Black went 4-5 for third in the Over-50 Expert class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

OVER-40 INTERMEDIATE
1. Louie Romo…1-1
2. Kenny Maddux…3-2
3. Jason Goss…2-3

OVER-40 NOVICE
1. Harold Tomes…2-1
2. Lamont Dusseau…1-2
3. Matthew Trussell…3-3

Bob Rutten (83) passes Jim Hansen (83). These kind of duplicate numbers would have sent the scorers into a tizzy a few years ago, but with transponders they don’t care. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

OVER-50 EXPERT
1. Robert Reisinger…2-1
2. Chris Radzinski…1-2
3. Jerry Black…4-5

OVER-50 INTERMEDIATE
1. Bill Clontz…1-1
2. Bryan Friday…2-2
3. Mike Phillips…4-3

Kenny Maddux went 3-2 for second overall in the Over-40 Intermediate class. Photo: Rommel Andrade

OVER-50 NOVICE
1. Lance Sloane…2-1
2. Jim Naegle…1-2
3. Corby Reutgen…3-3

OVER-60 EXPERT
1. Val Tamietti…1-1
2. Dave Eropkin…2-2
3. Jim Latendresse…3-3

Scott Williams came back after a long lay-off to go 6-13 in the Over-50 Novice class. His muscle memory only lasted one moto. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

OVER-60 INTERMEDIATE
1. Glen Senecal…1-1
2. Gary Scott…2-2
3. Steve Chandler…3-3

OVER-65 INTERMEDIATE
1. Lars Larsson…1-1
2. Tony Parson…3-2
3. John Huegel…2-3

Marc Crosby cracked the top ten in the Over-60 Experts with a 9-8. Photo: Dan Alamangos

450 NOVICE
1. Zack Randolph…1-1
2. Brandon Reid…2-2
3. Jeff Fitzgerald…3-3

450 BEGINNER
1. Dillon Sewell…1-1
2. Jeff Carpenter…2-2
3. Nathan Hilbun…3-3

Pasha Afshar has his starts down as he leads David Cincotta (861) early in the Over-40 Expert race. David finished third overall with a 3-3. Pasha was fifth overall. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

250 NOVICE
1. Kallen Sibert…1-1
2. Chris Gibeault…2-2
3. Lamont Dusseau…3-3

250 BEGINNER
1. Tyler Rich…2-1
2. Ryan Rich…1-2
3. Ethan Howell…3-3

This is the stadium-section of the REM track—everything that you can’t see behind the lens either goes up or down—sometimes down and down again. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

VET NOVICE
1. Reid Davis…1-1
2. Louie Romo…2-2
3. Mark Taylor…3-3

VET BEGINNER
1. Andrew Blum…1-1
2. Carl Purnell…2-2
3. Greg Justyn…3-3

Last week Ryder Friday (42) was racing in Anaheim Stadium, this week he was the first-ever rider to win on REM’s all-new 50cc and 65cc racetrack. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

PEE-WEE 50:
1. Ryder Friday…1-1
2. Travis Pietronico…3-2
3. Kale Bucher…2-3

Travis Pietronico (99) and Kale Bucher (511) swapped 3-2 and 2-3 scores to go second and third. Travis Pietronico raced to second in the Pee-Wee class, while Grandpa Glenn went 6-11 for ninth in the Over-50 Intermediate class. They both had a good time. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

REM will be holding 50cc and 65cc races on their new kids track in conjunction with the weekly REM big-bike races. The Kids track is fun and not intimidating. Plus, it is open after the races for all the practice the kids want. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

REM’s next race is on Saturday, February 3rd. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com

THE NEXT REM RACE

Click on images to enlarge

Photos by Dan Alamangos, Debbi Tamietti and Rommel Andrade


 

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