REM GLEN HELEN RACE REPORT: RACERS FROM EIGHT DIFFERENT NATIONS BATTLE

Sean Lipanovich (505) has already retired from Pro racing only to come back. Now he is looking good enough to pick up where he left off. Photo: Carter Dubach (Click on images to enlarge)

Photos by Carter Dubach and Debbi Tamietti

With riders from Sweden, England, Australia, Norway, South Africa, Holland, Belgium, Japan, Brazil and Iceland—not to mention Hawaii’s Brian Medeiros—at his week’s REM Motocross at Glen Helen Raeway it was like a local MXDN. For those who thought last week’s REM track was fast, this week’s track had an even longer straight out to the back. Traditionally, REM tracks have a lot of corners, a wide variety of ups and downs and constantly varying surfaces. This week it was fast—not Carlsbad or Saddleback fast, but fast by modern SoCal track standards. We are pretty sure it will slowed down before the March 10th race.

R.J. Wageman was chased hard by Brazilian Enzo Lopes in both motos. Here, Lopes (16) closes in to make a pass on Wageman in the waning moments of the REM Pro race. Photo: Debbi Tamietti.

The high-speed favored riders who were willing to leave it pegged through the kinks and switchbacks, stay a gear higher and run it in deep on the competition. Early in the moto, when everyone was fresh, the difference between each rider wasn’t all that great, but after of few laps, the strong won out.

Yusuke Watanabe (31) was second in the 250 Pro race behind Lopes. Five of the top ten spots were taken by foreign riders, including two Brazilians, one Norwegian, one Icelander and one Japanese racer. Photo: Carter Dubach

The big winners were Sean Lipanovich in the 450 Pro class who’s 1-1 was good enough to hold off R.J. Wageman’s 2-2 and the 4-3 of Norway’s Cornelius Tondel. The 250 Pro class was easily won by Brazilian Enzo Lopes, who had he been signed up as a 450 Pro he would have gone 3-1.

Richard Taylor (44) leads Enzo Lopes (16) and Pedro Bueno (970) out of the back portion of REM. Taylor was third, Lopes first and Bueno fifth in the 250 Pro class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti.

Robert Reisinger won the Over-50 Expert class over a top five of Ron Shuler, Pasha Afshar, Mike Monaghan and Ron Lawson. Reisinger tried to keep the Over-50 Elites in sight, but when you are chasing a 26-time World Vet Champion, former AMA Supercross winner and factory Yamaha rider, you are content to stay on the same lap.

Steve Watson went 1-1 in the Over-50 Intermediates with Bill Clough, Lonnie Passchal, Jeff Case, Mike Phillips, Luc Deley, Duane Quayle, Robbie Carpenter, John Fitz and Rob Deeds rounding out the top ten.

Hawaiian Brian Medeiros was racing his tired practice YZ250F, but he has a brand-new full-race, big-dollar bike waiting in the wings for Hangtown. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Suddenly, the Over-60 classes have exploded at REM Motocross. Almost 25% of the racers at this week’s REM race were in the Over-60 Experts, Over-60 Intermediates and Over-65 classes. It doesn’t hurt that a lot of star power from the 1970s was on the starting line—including four former REM Number Ones (Val Tamietti, Randy Skinner, Marc Crosby and Curtis Jablonski), two AMA Hall of Famers (Gary Jones and Lars Larsson), one four-time National Champion and one 1970 Trans-AMA Support class champion. Even more amazing was that 77-year-old Lars Larsson won the Over-65 Intermediate class.

Runar Sudmann (28) was part of a contingent of racers who came from Norway to race in SoCal. Runar went 7-7 the 250 Pro class. The highest placed Norwegian was Cornelius Tondel—who was third in the 450 Pro class.  Photo: Debbi Tamietti.

Doug Dubach was the star of the Over-50 Elite class. Plus, he was a good sport. While leading the first moto, Doug saw that former AMA Pro Jon Ortner was chasing him, but rather than put the pedal to the metal, Doug picked a pace that Ortner could maintain. It helped Ortner because he had a target that he could chase. But, when it came down to crunch time, Dubach put his 2018 Yamaha YZ450F, which Ortner had raced as part of an MXA test a few weeks ago, in overdrive and opened up a big gap.

This bottle neck has Mike Marion (35), Sydney Johnston and Lonnie Paschal (51) log jammed up. Photo: Rommel Andrade

Look at the photos, enjoy the captions and start working on your bike for the next REM race.

Doug Dubach is a phenomenal starter—as he shows here in the Over-50 Elite class. Photo: Carter Dubach

Doug’s son Carter broke his wrist at the 6D introduction at Brian Deegan’s Compound last week, so Doug decided to quit being a mini dad and get back in the saddle again. He easily won the Over-50 Elite class—as you would expect from the current Over-50 World Champion. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Terry Cook (303) went 2-2 in the Over-40 Experts behind Mike Carter. Terry has been missing from REM for a couple months and will get back on the top step of the podium pretty quickly. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Pete Vetrano (37) and Curtis Jablonski (30) duel for position in the Over-60 class. Actually, at this point Pete was running fifth in the Over-60 Experts and Curtis was 8th in the Over-60 Intermediates.  Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Every couple races Josh Fout (68) is given a new set of forks to test on MXA’s 2018 Husqvarna FC450. This week it was Earl Shuler Racing (ESR) mods to the stock WP forks. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Dillon Ziegler (121) won the first moto of the 250 Novice class, but ended up third overall with a 1-3 score. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Dillon’s brother Nicholas (114) went 3-1 to the take the overall victory. Colton Mathison split the brothers with a 2-2. Photo: Debbi Tamietti.

Tyler Nichols (55) took the 450 Intermediate win, while Kole Stapes (111) took the 250 Intermediate gold. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Mike Phillips (433) and Christian Clarke (171) share a downhill bend with Andri Gudmundsson. Andri rode on Team Iceland at the Motocross des Nations. Andri went 4-6 in the 250 Pro class at REM. Had the REM 250 Pro race been at the MXDN, the winners would have been Brazil first, Japan second, United States third and Iceland fourth. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

REM promoter Frank Thomason oversees his flock. Amazingly, the class he’s watching on the starting line are the Over-60 Experts. Yes, that is a lot of really old guys. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Two of the really old guys from the photo above are four-time 250 National Champion Gary Jones and multi-time CMC number 1 Val Tamietti. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Here is the second turn of the Over-60 Experts. That’s Randy Skinner (72) in first, Gary Jones in second, John Bosanko (101) third, Gary Scott (157) fourth, Mike Marion (80) fifth and Val Tamietti (31) sixth. By motos end it would be Tamietti and Jones way ahead. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

The race that started after the Over-60 Experts was the largest class of the day. Can you guess what it was? It was the Over-60 Intermediates. John Caper (44) went 2-1 to take his first win as a sixty-year-old. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

No, that’s not Sylvain Geboers. That is Belgian Luc Deley wearing Sylvain’s 1973 Team Suzuki jersey. Luc’s dad, Marcel DeLey, got it from Sylvain 45 years ago. The rip in the jersey is from a footpeg. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Blake Skinner (646) ran in front of 250 Beginner winner Jacob McPhail (306), but couldn’t seal the deal. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Mike Monaghan (33) is a two-stroke diehard. He went 4-4 in the Over-50 Experts. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Probably the most important people at any motocross race are the flag men. They have the ability to save riders from injury with a wave of a yellow flag. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

AMA Hall fo Famer Gary Jones brought out an old Yamaha YZ426 and led the Over-60 class for most of the first moto. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

REM is not for the faint of heart. It gets very rough—square-edge rough. Holland’s Rolf Schmidt hits a few bumps on his way to third in the Over-40 Expert class and second in the 125 Two-Stroke Adult class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

REM’s next race is on Saturday, March 10. For more info go to www.remsatmx.com

NEXT REM RACE IS ON SATURDAY, MARCH 10, AT GLEN HELEN

Click on all images to enlarge

Photos by Debbi Tamietti and Carter Dubach

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