REM GLEN HELEN RACE REPORT: HAWAIIAN EYE & THE OLD SWEDE

The REM motocross track at Glen Helen resembles a roller coaster as it climbs and falls with the occasional scream from the riders. The left-hand turn at the top of  this hill is as close to vertical as you can get without free-falling.  Photo: Jody Weisel (Click on images to enlarge)

Photos by Dan Alamangos, Jon Ortner, Rich Stuelke & Jody Weisel

You gotta love Glen Helen. This weekend saw a jammed-packed facility  for the REM Motocross. There was Open practice on the Grand Prix track, an AME Minicross race on the amateur stadiumcross track, a giant off-road truck race on the Lucas Oil Truck track and the weekly REM motocross. And that just on Saturday. The schedule for Sunday was equally packed with several different styles of racing taking place in the San Bernardino facility.

Some artsy-fartsy photography by Dan Alamangos. Photo: Dan Alamangos

Making it better, and we know that people who are snowbound find this irritating, but it was a beautiful, sun-soaked, 72-degree day in SoCal. Last week’s track, which was very challenging after a rainstorm two days  before the weekend, was smoothed out by the good weather.  This week’s track prep was perfect —with a few new additions to the layout.

There are flat sections on the REM track, but the most fun comes when you sweep up and down continuously. Photo: Rich Stuelke

The two biggest track changes were a return to going up the left side of Mt. Whitney and down the right side. For the past few races, the REM motocrossers have been either going up and over one side or up from behind the hill and down one side. Most REM racers were happy to return to the original layout on Mt. Whitney. They like to go up and then turn and come  down once they reach the peak.

The TM motorcycle’s race team likes to stick together. Here, Ralf Schmidt (73) leads David Cincotta (861). Which they duplicated in both of their motos with Blue Angels precision. Photo: Dan Alamangos

The second change was to eliminate the flat track turn in front of the starting gate that had riders coming down a steep drop-off and then flat tracking a 180-degrees to race down the start straight to another 180-degree turn that sent them back towards the starting area. This week, when the riders came down the drop off, they went straight across in front of the starting gate and rejoined the track without the two 180-degree corners. It was better for those who don’t own a steel shoe.

Aussie ace photographer Dan Alamangos, took a break from racing to shoot this pan shot of 250 Intermediate winner Stilez Robertson, as Jon Ortner also took a break from racing to shoot Dan shooting Stilez. Photo: Jon Ortner

The Hawaiians came in force—all of them from the garden island of Kauai—some like Brian Medeiros and David Dabin are on the mainland looking for success in American motocross and the others were just dedicated racers who want to sample SoCal racing. On almost every weekend of the year REM has its fair share of Swedish, British and Australian racers—but the Hawaiian motocrossers highlighted the appeal of the sport—even on an island paradise.

Then Dan set down his camera and went out to spin laps—Dan is still recovering from a broken foot and needed help to get his swollen left foot into this boot, but once he got it in he was full speed ahead. Photo: Jody Weisel

THE RESULTS FROM THE BIGGEST CLASSES OF THE DAY

250 NOVICE
1. Josh Fout (Kaw)…1-1
2. James Pietronico (Yam)…2-3
3. Cole James Gress IKTM)…4-2
4. Stephen Sunvold (KTM)…3-4
5. Rob Deeds (KTM)…5-5

Luther French (2) was leading the Over-50 Elite class when he tumbled down the steep hill that was mentioned in the first photo. As Luther lay sprawled on the ground (note his leg at the bottom of the photo), Pete Murray (7) and Jon Ortner (10) swept on by. Luther called it day once he finally got to his feet. Photo: Dan Alamangos

OVER-30 NOVICE
1. Adrian Spiker (Yam)…1-1
2. Braden Larson (hus)…2-2
3. Kenny Hernandez (KTM)…3-3
4. Mark Taylor (Yam)…4-4
5. Michael Oetzell (KTM)…5-5

Josh Fout was one of four MXA test riders assigned to swap back and forth between the 2019 250cc four-strokes. This is the second race that they have played test bike roulette and will continue doing it until MXA learns everything they need to know about the RM-Z250, CRF250, 250SXF, KX250, YZ250F and FC250. Photo: Jody Weisel

OVER-30 NOVICE
1. Adrian Spiker (Yam)…1-1
2. Braden Larson (hus)…2-2
3. Kenny Hernandez (KTM)…3-3
4. Mark Taylor (Yam)…4-4
5. Michael Oetzell (KTM)…5-5

Former Grand Prix racer, ISDT Gold Medalist, co-founder of THOR gear, AMA Hall of Famer, three-time World Vet Champion and MXA test rider since 1973, Lars Larsson, won the Over-65 Intermediate class. What makes it so special is that Lars is 77 years old and racing MXA’s 2019 Husqvarna TE300i fuel-injected, two-stroke, off-road bike. Photo: Jon Ortner

OVER-50 EXPERT
1. Ron Shuler (KTM)…1-1
2. Bryan Friday (KTM)…3-2
3. C.T. Falk (KTM)…2-3
4. Joe Sutter (Hon)…4-4
5. Rick Richardson (Yam)…5-6

Bradley Denton broke out his trusty, but rusty, Suzuki RM250 two-stroke and won the 250 Pro class. Photo: Jon Ortner

OVER-50 INTERMEDIATE
1. Robert Pocius (KTM)…2-2
2. Glenn Pietronico (KTM)…4-1
3. Mike Phillips (Hus)…3-3
4. Bill Clontz (Yam)…1-6
5. Paul Glendon (Yam)…5-6

MXA’s Randel Fout dominated one moto on a 2019 Yamaha YZ250F and his second moto on a 2019 Kawasaki KX250. Photo: Dan Alamangos

OVER-50 NOVICE
1. Drew Castro (Yam)…2-1
2. Todd Heagstedt (KTM)…4-2
3. Mike Hillion (Yam)…3-3
4. Gary Stoltenberg (KTM)…1-7
5. Lance Sloane (KTM…5-8

Hawaiian David Dabin (17) was second in the 250 Intermediate class behind Stilez Robertson. Photo: Dan Alamangos

OVER-60 EXPERT
1. Dave Eropkin (KTM)…1-1
2. Mike Monaghan (Yam)…2-2
3. Jim Hanson (Hon)…3-5
4. Pete Vetrano (Yam)…6-3
5. Joe Pena (Yam)…5-6

Hawaiian Brian Medeiros (934) was third in the 450 Pro class—on a Kawasaki KX250.  Photo: Jon Ortner

OVER-60 INTERMEDIATE
1. Tom Holmes (KTM)…1-1
2. Mic Rodgers (Hus)…2-2
3. Phil Cruz (Hus)…3-3
4. Brian Martin (KTM)…4-4
5. Dave Stern (KTM)…5-5

Hawaiian Randall Osakoda (423) was sixth in the Over-30 Novice class. The fourth Hawaiian racer, Darrell Dabin, was fourth in the Over-40 Novice class. Photo: Rich Stuelke

OVER-65 INTERMEDIATE
1. Lars Larsson (Hus)…1-1
2. Tony Parsons (KTM)…2-2
3. Jody Weisel (KTM)…3-3
4. Mike King (Hus)…4-4
5. Rich Stuelke (KTM)…5-5

Stilez Robertson (325) may not be a Pro yet, but he was the fastest rider on the track at REM this week. Photo: Dan Alamangos

Pick your poison. Stilez Robertson (325) takes the inside, while Bradley Denton (274) takes the outside and comes up on a slower Adrian Spiker (66). Photo: Rich Stuelke

WINNERS OF SELECTED CLASSES

250 BEGINNER
1. Blake Skinner (KTM)…1-1

450 BEGINNER
1. Jacob Wondolowski (Yam)…1-1

Mic Rodgers (115) was second in the Over-60 Intermediate class, while Mike Marion (80) is finally back to racing after his brutal Mammoth Mountain starting line crash from last June. Photo: Dan Alamangos

OVER-30 BEGINNER
1. Michael Oetzell (KTM)…1-1

450 PRO
1. Richard Taylor (Yam)…1-1

REM has the knack of producing tight racing as Terry Messer (56), Mic Rodgers (115), Mike Marion (80), Jody Weisel (38) and Mike King (47) jockey for position on this steeply banked mini-Talledega turn. Photo: Jon Ortner

OVER-40 EXPERT
1. Craig Davis (Hus)…1-1

OVER-40 INTERMEDIATE
1. Louie Romo (Yam)…1-1

STI Tire’s Craig Petersen (714) and Michael Oetzell (124) flash by the scoring tower. Photo: Rich Stuelke

Mike Mongahan was second in the Over-60 Expert class with a 2-2 and sixth in the Over-50 Expert class with a 8-5. Phil Dowell (23) was third in the Over-50 Elite class. Photo: Jody Weisel

OVER-50 ELITE
1. Pete Murray (Yam)…1-1

450 NOVICE
1. Ryan Foster (KTM)…1-1

Ron Shuler (33) swept both Over-50 Expert motos ahead of a top four of Bryan Friday, C.T. Falk and Joe Sutter.  Photo: Jody Weisel

THIS WEEK”S BREAKDOWN BY BRAND

1. KTM……………….35%
2. Yamaha…………..31%
3. Husqvarna…….16%
4. Honda…………….10%
5. Kawasaki……….3.0%
6.  Suzuki……………2.5%
7. TM………………… 2.5%

Jacob Wondoloski (251) won the 450 Beginner class. Photo: Jody Weisel

It isn’t SoCal without a traffic jam. Photo: Rich Stuelke

Two former REM Number One riders, Ray Pisarski (2011) and Bengt Johansson (2002), came out to hang out with the old gang. Photo: Jody Weisel

Kenny Maddux crashed in the Over-50 Intermediate class when he got off line on a small step-up double, which he cleared easily, but landed on the edge of the track and was thrown over the bars (with his bike cartwheeling down the track). Fellow racer Mike Phillips immediately stopped to render aid and the race was red flagged before the pack came around.

At 2:30 in the morning, Kenny Maddux sent this email to Jody from his hospital bed, “Well, since I can’t sleep I thought I would tell you the injuries I got. A concussion, broke my T3, T4 and a  few ribs. Just waiting for my MRI, and then surgery sometime on Sunday. I will be back out there in no time watching you guys.”

Robbie Carpenter (132) has been winning the Over-50 Intermediate class of late, but this week he made it no further than practice. Photo: Jody Weisel

You gotta love this dirt. This photo of Jon Ortner (10) chasing Over-50 Elite winner Pete Murray (7) is a little deceiving because Orter is going down a steep hill and Murray is going up a hill. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

This is what the MXA pits looked like at REM this weekend. The collection of machines included every 2019 250 four-stroke, each of which was raced  by test riders who had to switch bikes for every moto as part of MXA’s 250 Shootout protocol. Photo: Rich Stuelke

EKS Brand’s Richard Taylor won the 450 Pro class. Photo: Dan Alamangos

Tarynn Kupau corners on the edge of adhesion on REM’s Pee-Wee kid’s track. Photo: Rich Stuelke

Dave Eropkin (811 took the win in the Over-60 Expert class (if you don’t count Randel Fout who doesn’t want to be scored). Jody Weisel (38) was third in the Over-65 Intermediate class. Photo: Dan Alamangos

Sean Hillion (413) was second in the 450 Pro class with a 2-2. Photo: Dan Alamangos

REM races again next Saturday, December 22, followed by the final REM Motocross race of 2018 on December 29.  The 2019 REM motocross season will start on January 12 (after taking the Anaheim I weekend off. For more info go to REM’s facebook page or web page at www.remsatmx.com

 

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