REM GLEN HELEN RACE REPORT: GUYS WHO WOULD RATHER RACE THAN WATCH OTHER GUYS RACE
PHOTOS BY DEBBI TAMIETTI & DAN ALAMANGOS
With the Pala National taking place this past Saturday you would think that every motorcycle fan in SoCal would be at the big event. First, that isn’t remotely true, there are an estimated 100,000 off-road riders in SoCal, and half of them have to mow the yard, another half didn’t know it was happening (since there was no pre-race major media advertising), the third half have been to Pala before and vowed to never return and the fourth half were going out of town on the three-day Memorial Day holiday. By our count that only leaves one half to split between the Pala National, Ty Davis’ Adelanto Grand Prix and the weekly REM race.
TM importer Ralf Schmidt (73) won the Over-40 Expert class and got third in the Open Vet class (If an REM class has “Open” in the title it is open to riders of all skill levels and is offered as a possible second class for riders looking for more seat time). Photo: Debbi Tamietti
As far as the REM racers go, they had the choice of driving to Pala or driving to Glen Helen. They could also freely choose between racing their motorcycles or watching some else race their motorcycles. This was not a hard choice for hardcore motocross guys. They wanted to race. Plus, the ability to get home from Glen Helen in time to see the AMA National on TV was a bonus (however this proved to be more than true when the TV schedule was changed to send the Pala National broadcast back several hours, meaning that every DVR would get a hockey game, not a Pro Motocross). Local racers have long standing rivalries that drive them to race and they couldn’t take the chance that their arch rivals would show up at Glen Helen if they went to Pala. The end result? All the REM regulars were ensconced in the REM pit.
Josh Fout (67) won the Vet Intermediate class on a KX450X and was one of three MXA test riders racing cross-country bikes instead of motocross bikes. Why? Because there was an SRA Grand Prix on Sunday and they planned to camp out and race the same bikes the next day. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
When ask if they thought they should be supporting the sport by going to the Pala National instead of to a local race, they laughed. The typical answer was, “I’m supporting the sport by buying a $10,000 motorcycle from my local dealer, not to mention, parts, plastic, tires and gear. And, I’m supporting the industry when I have my suspension revalved, buy an exhaust pipe, purchase shiny new gear, choose to wear a specific brand of helmet, tie my bike down with tie-downs, roll it up a loading ramp, put it on a bike stand and buy custom graphics. Plus, I’m supporting the track and the race promoters that I race with every week. The real sport is made of the thousands of people who ride their bikes every weekend.”
Tyler Nichols switched to GasGas this week, but didn’t have time to put numbers on it. He did, however, have time for Cone Valve forks and an FMF muffler. He won the 450 Intermediate class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
And who were the REM racers supporting the most by racing their motorcycles? The motorcycle manufacturers! That can be discerned at some level, by the bikes they choose to race. Here is the percent breakdown, by brand, from this week’s REM race. KTM was the number one bike at REM. That could be skewed in KTM’s favor because REM races are older than the typical local racers, and thus have more money to spend on expensive Austrian bikes. If you add the three Austrian bike’s (KTM, Husqvarna and GasGas) percentages together, they made up 56% of the bikes racing at REM on Saturday.
BIKE BRANDS RACED AT REM GLEN HELEN THIS WEEK
250 Intermediate Sterling Cogar appears to be heading into oncoming traffic, but it is an optical illusion. They will stay on their side of the tree and Sterling will go by on his side. Photo: Dan Alamangos
What follows are the photos that Debbi Tamietti shot at REM on Saturday, along with some help from Dan Alamangos, but he was busy with his races and only shot one race.
The best race of the day was between Giovanni Spinali (4) and Mike Carter (50) in the Over-50 Elite class. They split moto wins and second place finishes and traded places almost every lap. Need proof? Look below. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
When Dave Eropkin drove into the pits, where his friends had saved him a pit space by placing an orange rubber traffic cone on the spot, he drove over the cone in his Mercedes-Benz Metris van. Unfortunately, the Metris has a sensor under that van that the cone tripped. The Mercedes ECU thought there had been an accident and shut down. Dave had call AAA to take his dead van back to Burbank. Next time, he’ll get out and move the cone. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Mike Monaghan (16) finally recovered from his broken ankle and came back to racing at REM. He said he was going to take it easy since he’d been off the bike to two months. But, Mike’s version of taking it easy was to race two classes, with only one moto between them. He was third in the Over-50 Experts and seventh in the Over-60 Experts on MXA’s YZ125. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Randy Skinner’s doctor told Randy two months ago that he needed a knee replacement, Randy never stopped racing and says now that his knee feels fine. Note the wrap-around ProTech forks guards. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Bob Rutten won his umpteeth Over-65 Expert class with a 1-1 . He says that he’s willing to move up, but at 65 years old there isn’t any place for the former Baja Champion to move to. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Joe Root (8) leads a mixed pack of Over-65 Experts and Over-60 Intermediates, but would eventually give way to Marc Crosby (38), Mic Rodgers (115), John Bosanko (101) and Luc De Ley (78). That is a lot of Husqvarna’s in one photo. Photo: Dan Alamangos
Australian Dan Alamangos (36) raced MXA’s Yamaha YZ250FX cross-country bike in the Over-50 Expert class at REM and then raced it the next day in the SRA GP. Rob Engel (24) chases Dan. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Randell Fout (94) tried to race three weeks ago, but his fresh out of the cast arm couldn’t take the braking bumps. Then, he tried to race the “Last Dog Standing GP” two weeks ago, but his arm still hurt. The third time was the charm, aided by a mechanical problem in his second moto that forced him to come in early. Randel also stayed overnight at Glen Helen and raced the SRA GP on Sunday. Photo: Dan Alamangos
Jody Weisel joined fellow MXA test riders Josh Fout and Dan Alamangos on off-road models at this week’s REM motocross. Jody raced a 2021 GasGas EX 350 cross-country model. Here, Jody leads Bill Seifert Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Two of the many Saddleback Specialists who race every week at REM. Val Tamietti (left) raced for Wheelsmith and TNT Maico, while Mike Monaghan raced for Anaheim Husqvarna (now known as Pro Circuit). How old are they? Saddleback closed in 1984, that was 34 years ago . Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Arnie Davis (119) leads Fred Nichols (56) through the California wild flowers out in the Bud’s Creek section of the REM track. Arnie was fifth and Fred sixth in the Over-60 Expert class. Photo: Dan Alamangos
Randel Fout heads towards the tight and deeply rutted hairpin turn at the top of this hill. Randel can see the downhill side of the hill off to his left, but knows that the hairpin ruts claims somebody in every moto. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
REM is taking two weeks off. They will return on June 19 in an attempt to ruin the turnout at the Mt. Morris National. For more information about REM go to www.remsatmx.com or Click Here for REM’s Facebook page.