REM GLEN HELEN MOTOCROSS REPORT: THE LONG & WINDING ROAD IS OUT, BUT THE TWISTY TURNS ARE IN
For the past week the main road into Glen Helen Raceway had been closed and everybody who came to race or practice had to come down the twisty back road in. The asphalt has yet to be striped, but it was open for this week’s REM race on Saturday.
PHOTOS BY DEBBI TAMIETTI
The oppressive heat of the last month finally took a day off on Saturday. Thanks to high clouds and moisture from Mexico, the temperature never broke 90 degrees, and for riders who have become used to 100-degree days, that felt like winter had arrived. Even with all the griping about how hot it was over the last month, the actual temperatures were within the normal average temperatures for July—and, yes, that does mean that 100-degrees wasn’t anything odd (at least not for just outside of San Bernardino, California).
These are the Over-50 Experts half way to the first turn. Note that every rider has one finger on their front brake lever, but if you pull it this far from the first turn, you will not get a very good start. Bryan Friday (43) has the lead with Jon Ortner (56), Dan Alamangos (57), Randy Skinner (12), Ralf Schmidt (73), Robert Reisinger (96), Greg Pierce (416) and Phil Dowell (23) in pursuit.
The one thing that the riders learned because of the heat is that after a couple 103 degrees days, 98 feels cool and 88 is refreshing. We’ll know when it is actually hot, hot, hot when all of the riders stop wearing their “in fashion” black gear in favor of light colors that reflect heat instead of absorbing it. This week there was a lot of masochists dressed in black on black.
REM is the last bastion of the old school Indian Dunes and Saddleback specialists. Thus, the Over-50 and Over 60 classes are like class reunions at REM. Saddleback closed 37 years ago, which means if you were a 16-year-old hot shot in 1984, you would eligible for the Over-50 Novice, Intermediate or Experts classes today. Oh, there are young guys at REM, mostly racing in the Intermediate and Pro classes. They, like the old guys who made REM famous when they were young, come to REM for the long motos, super efficient race program and the firm knowledge that they will be on the way home before 3:00 p.m. REM runs a Swiss clock.
The Over-60 Expert first turn is a more tightly packed than the Over-50s—although a lot of players in the Over-50 Experts are actually over 60 years old. From right to left: Randy Skinner (12), Robert Reisinger (96), Val Tamietti (31), Ed Guajardo (27) and Dave Eropkin (811)
This week saw an exciting 450 Pro battle between Dalton Shirey and Brian Medeiros. Both won a moto, both had mechanical troubles that caused them to get second in the other moto and both had incredible speed. And this was true in most of the classes. In fact, almost one-quarter of the classes ended with riders splitting 1-2 and 2-1 scores. Because each moto was so competitive, riders in the Over-50 Expert class finished second with a 4-2 score, third with a 6-3, fourth with a 5-4, fifth with a 3-6 and sixth with a 2-7. It meant that no matter where you finished in moto one, you could salvage a good day in moto two.
Enjoy Debbi Tamietti’s photos from this week at REM — she got a little help from Jon Ortner and Dan Alamangos (when they weren’t racing). And you have to know that your photo could be featured in the next REM Glen Helen Motocross Report, but not if you sit at home and complain about how hot it is. Enjoy.
In the 450 Pro class, Brian Medeiros (73) and Dalton Shirey (1) split moto wins. Medeiros won the first moto when Shirey’s fuel line broke and Shirey won the second moto when Medeiros’ clutch went out. The 1-2 and 1-2 scores went in Dalton Shirey’s favor.
Aussie Dan Alamangos rode like a man possessed to keep Dutchman Ralf Schmidr from passing him. Dan would go 4-2 for second overall in the Over-50 Expert class. As for Ralf, he was the only Over-40 Expert so they put him in with the Over-50 Experts—thus Dan could have let Ralf by, but he didn’t want to.
1. Greg Pierce (Kaw)…1-1
2. Dan Alamangos (Hus)…4-2
3. Mike Monaghan (KTM)…6-3
4. Robert Pocius (KTM)…5-4
5. Bryan Friday (KTM)…3-6
The Flagger of the Day. This young man was incredible. He paid close attention to the racers, even counted them when they went behind a hill to make sure that the same number came out on the other side. The track is a safer place when the flaggers are this good.
1. Joe Wilson (KTM)…1-1
2. Jim Gonzalez (KTM)…2-2
3. Mike Hillion (KTM)…3-3
4. Howard Tresville (Kaw)…4-4
5. Jamie Riker (Hus)…5-5
Ron Lawson (57) and Gary Jones (5) fight for this corner in the Over-60 Expert race. Well, actually Ron is in the Over-60 Expert class, while Gary is leading the Over-65 Experts. Which one is going to get out of this corner first? We put our money on the four-time 250 National Champion
1. Ed Guajardo (Yam)…1-1
2. Robert Reisinger (Hus)…2-2
3. Dave Eropkin (KTM)…3-3
4. Val Tamietti (Yam)…4-4
5. Mike Monaghan (KTM)…5-5
Ron Lawson (57) was where the action was. Here, KTM 150SX-mounted Mike Monaghan (39) is on the outside, while Val Tamietti ‘s YZ250 two-stroke makes a sharp cut to the inside. Tamietti would end up fourth, Monaghan fifth and Lawson seventh.
Joel Licon (289) and Kenny Licon (924) not only got to race at REM, but they could claim that they were spending family time together. They split moto wins in the Vet Intermediate class with Joel’s 2-1 besting Kenny’s 1-2 .
1. T.V. Holmes (KTM)…2-1
2. Phil Cruz (Hus)…1-2
3. Gene Boere (KTM)…3-3
4. Kent Reed (Gas)…4-4
5. John Huegel (Hus)…5-5
Robert Resinger went over to the score tower to check the scores only to discovered that he finished second in the Over-50 Elite class behind Jon Ortner and second in the Over-60 Expert class behind Ed Guajardo.
1. Luc De Ley (KTM)…2-1
2. Greg Groom (Suz)…1-3
3. Lance Sloane (KTM)…3-2
4. Marc Crosby (Hus)…5-4
5. Bill Reimer (KTM)…4-5
1. Jim Dorsett (Yam)…1-1
2. Bill Reimer (KTM)…3-2
3. Geoff Patterson (KTM)…2-5
4. Mike Phillips (KTM)…5-3
5. Pete Vetrano (Hus)…4-4
Over-60 Intermediate Frank Emerson doesn’t like to be crowded in the pits, so he pulled down the road to pit by himself, with the added benefit of using the Velodrome turn’s bleachers for shade. Photo: Dan Alamangos
PERCENTAGE OF BIKES AT REM BY BRAND
Luc De Ley, on a stock Husqvarna TC125 two-stroke, didn’t use horsepower to win the Over-60 Intermediate class, he used line selection to get to the front and it took every lap there was. Here, Luc lines up Lance Sloane (124), who would go 3-2.
Gary Jones is coming back from knee replacement surgery and is trying to get in shape before the World Vet Motocross Championship in November. Gary has won World Vet Championships in the Over-30, Over-40, Over-50 and Over-60 classes. In 2022, he hopes to add the Over-70 title.
This off-camber hairpin fell off sharply to the outside. Mike Phillips (433) aims for a rut further down the banking as Geoff Patterson (211) goes for the middle rut. Over-50 Intermediate winner Jim Dorsett (536) tries to get it slowed down so that he can take the high line.
2021 REM RACE SCHEDULE
Aug. 7…National track
Aug. 14…REM track
Aug. 21…REM track
Sept. 11…REM track
Sept. 18…REM track
Oct. 30…National Track Octobercross
Nov. 20…REM track
Dec. 4…REM track
Dec. 18…REM track