REM GLEN HELEN: REPEAT WINNERS, THE WALKING WOUNDED & THE SOME WILD RIDES

Debbi Tamietti catches the light just right as Jon Ortner is framed in his own roost. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Photos by Dan Alamangos, Debbi Tamietti, Jon Ortner & Kenny Maddux

We don’t need to see the pink “Fruit Bat” helmet to know who this is. Only one rider at REM could get himself in this predicament. David Cincotta takes his TM on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Photo: Dan Alamangos

Colton Aeck won the 450 Pro class. Hopefully, first place paid enough to buy number plate backgrounds. Photo: Dan Alamangos

Repeat winners aren’t unusual in motocross—just ask Eli Tomac. But the only guy at this week’s REM motocross at Glen Helen Raceway who has ever stood where Tomac stands (with his second straight 450 National Championship) was Gary Jones. Jones reeled off four consecutive 250 National Motocross Championships (1971-74) before an injury stopped his streak. Tomac and Jones are or were at the top of the food chain during their prime. No one at REM is at the top any more. The old guys are racing for fun (Jones won the Over-65 Expert class). The young guys are hoping to get good enough to make the step up to the AMA Nationals. The Novices want to become Intermediates, the Intermediates want to be Experts and the Experts hope to someday make a dent in the AMA Nationals. And, as at every racetrack, there at lots of riders who hope they never get moved up to the next fastest class.

With Bradley Denton (74) moving up to the 450 Pro class (where he went 3-2), he and close friend Willy Simons, Jr. (246) got in some dueling. Simons won the 250 Pro class. Photo: Jon Ortner

Every step up starts with a win streak—and this week there was a select few who were able to repeat their wins from the last REM motocross race—that included Dave Eropkin, Luther French, Ralf Schmidt and Charlie Beck. It always feels good to win, but it feels a whole lot better to start a win streak.

Cole Tompkins won the 450 Intermediate class and cut a swath down this hill. Photo: Dan Alamangos

There are always stories in the pits. Some good and some bad.

(1) Randy Skinner has been nursing a sore left shoulder, but after taking a couple weeks off he decided to race this week. Unfortunately, he crashed and hurt his right hand.(see below for a photo sequence)

(2) Mic Rodgers broke his arm in a bad crash two years ago and has been on the sidelines for much longer than he liked. He made his return to racing this week. Looked good and left in one piece.

(3) MXA’s Jody Weisel is still missing from action. He had his two eye surgeries in the month of August and says he’ll be healed and back on his bike in late September.

This is what the above corner looked like from the opposite side as Cole Tompkins heads downward. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

(4) Joe Melton has been racing every weekend to get ready for the Vet Motocross des Nations vintage race at Farleigh Castle. Tthe Vet MXDN is on September 8-9 in England.

(5) Kenny Maddux made his return to racing and left the dollie that he was pushing around with his broken leg in it at home. He went 2-2 in the Over-50 Intermediates and was right on winner Jeff Jetton in the final turn.

(6) Luc De Ley returned to racing three months ago after two decades off. He loves it and this week talked his wife Inger into coming to the races with him. He made in 100 feet before being caught up in a four bike pile-up. He sat out the rest of the day with an injured shoulder.

(7) Carter Dubach’s dad, AMA Supercross winner Doug Dubach, won’t let him ride a 250 four-stroke yet. He wants Carter to learn all about bike handling, power maintenance, shift points, clutch use and momentum on a YZ125. Carter went 1-1 in the 250 Intermediate class on his little two-stroke, Congrats!

Richard Tayler raced a Suzuki RM250 to third in the 250s Pro class, but had issues in the second moto. Photo: Dan Alamangos

What follows is a photo essay on the winners, repeat winners and the losers, courtesy of MXA’s hot shot photographers.

Josh Kaller went 3-2 for second in the 250 Pro class. Photo: Jon Ortner

Anatomy of a crash #1: Nothing bad appears to be happening here as Randy Skinner leads Will Harper (7) and Bob Rutten (83), but it’s all about to go wrong within the next two corners. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Anatomy of a crash #2: Somehow Randy Skinner managed to drop his bike in a deep rut and end up standing in the way of oncoming traffic. Photo: Kenny Maddux

Anatomy of a crash #3: Randy fell backwards as Bob Rutten couldn’t avoid hitting his bike. Will Harper and Val Tamietti (31) come in hot. Photo: Kenny Maddux

Anatomy of a crash #4: Randy Skinner’s right hand is jammed into Rutten’s rear wheel as he falls awkwardly backwards. Photo: Kenny Maddux

Anatomy of a crash #4: Skinner breaks free as Bob Rutten swerves to the outside, Will Harper (7) cuts inside and Val Tamietti is blocked. Photo: Kenny Maddux

MXA is still working on it’s 2019 450 Shootout and that means racing the bikes in as many classes as possible every week. Randel Fout (above) rode two different classes on three different 450s. Photo: Dan Alamangos

MXA’s Dennis Stapleton was at REM to herd the MXA test riders as they raced the 2019 450s. Here, Dennis stops to chat with stuntman Mic Rodgers, who was making his first race in almost two years after an arm injury. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

With Val Tamietti (31) leading the Over-60 Expert class with one corner to go, Dave Eropkin (811) gets a big drive out of the Mini-Bowl turn. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Dave Eropkin would snatch victory from defeat in the final turn over Val Tamietti. Don’t cry for Val, he has won 20 races so far in 2018. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

The Mini-Bowl is the first turn on the REM layout. Unlike the National track’s Talladega first turn it is smaller and a left, not a right. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Tracy Hrach (14) went 5-4 for 5th in the Over-60 Expert class behind Eropkin, Tamietti, Rutten, and Harper. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Brian Martin leads a fast conga line through the switchbacks. Chasing Martin are Pete Vetrano, Marc Crosby and Steve Hinckley. Photo: Debbi Tamietti.

450 PRO
1. Colton Aeck (Hon)…1-1
2. Bradley Denton (Hon)…3-2
3. Shaun Hillion (Hon)…2-3

250 PRO
1. Willy Simon, Jr (Yam)…1-1
2. Josh Kaller (Yam)…3-2
3. Richard Taylor (Suz)…2-3

450 INTERMEDIATE
1. Cole Tompkins (Hon)…1-1
2. Carson Hinckley (Hon)…2-2
3. Zach Randolph (Yam)…3-3

250 INTERMEDIATE
1. Carter Dubach (Yam)…1-1
2. Ryan Washburn (Hon)…2-3
3. Caleb Stephens (Yam)…4-2

Four-time 250 National Champion Gary Jones still knows how to lay down some fast laps—even if he is 66 years old. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

OVER-40 EXPERT
1. Ralf Schmidt (TM)…2-1
3. Andy Anaya (Yam)…1-2
3. David Cincotta (TM)…4-3

Pasha Afshar was fourth in the Over-40 Experts. Photo: Dan Alamangos

OVER-40 INTERMEDIATE
1. Joey Circocco (Suz)…1-1
2. Brian Bolding (KTM)…2-2
3. Joe Sutter (Hon)…4-3

OVER-40 NOVICE
1. David McCarthy (Yam)…1-1
2. Joe Pena (Yam)…6-2
3. Lamont Dusseau (Yam)…4-4

Fred Nichols crash (in the upper left) split the Over-50 Elite and Expert riders. Experts Joe Melton (no numbers), Robert Resingner (96) and Bryan Friday (43) stick to the middle, while Elite riders Jon Ortner (1) and Luther French (2) go where no one is. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

OVER-50 EXPERT
1. Chris Radzinski (Kaw)…2-2
2. Robert Reisinger (Hus)…1-5
3. Ron Shuler (KTM)…6-1

OVER-50 INTERMEDIATE
1. Jeff Jetton (Suz)…1-1
2. Kenny Maddux (Hus)…2-2
3. Steve Watson (KTM)…3-5

OVER-50 NOVICE
1. Jack Phinn (KTM)…1-2
2. Ron Rich (Hon)…3-1
3. Lance Sloane (KTM)…2-3

Jack Phinn vowed at the last race that if he won the Over-50 Novices he would move to the Over-50 Intermediate class. Sadly, he didn’t even make the top three. But, this week Jack won, so expect his Over-50 Intermediate debut next Saturday. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

OVER-60 EXPERT
1. Dave Eropkin (KTM)…1-1
2. Val Tamietti (Yam)…2-2
3. Bob Rutten (KTM)…3-3

OVER-60 INTERMEDIATE
1. Steve Donovan (Hon)…1-1
2. Eric Cotter (Hon)…2-2
3. Steve Hinkley (KTM)…3-3

Mic Rodgers may have been out of action for almost two years, but he came back and won the first moto he raced in the Over-65 Intermediates on a Husky. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

OVER-65 INTERMEDIATES
1. Charlie Beck (KTM)…2-1
2. Mic Rodgers (Suz)…1-2
3. Tony Parsons (KTM)…3-3

Over-65 Intermediate repeat winner—Chief Charlie Beck. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

VET NOVICE
1. Braden Larson (Hus)…1-1
2. Reid Davis (Yam)…2-2
3. Mark Taylor (Yam)…3-3

250 NOVICE
1. Bradley Cole (Hon)…1-1
2. Ryan Circocco (Suz)…2-2
3. Garrett Cirocco (Hon)…4-3

Luther French showed up on a KTM 250SXF two-stroke…and won. Photo: Jon Ortner

250 NOVICE
1. Connor Styers (Yam)…1-2
2. Nathan Sall (Yam)…2-3
3. Ben Campbell (Yam)…5-1

250 BEGINNER
1. Caleb Olsen (Kaw)…2-1
2. Grant Oliver (KTM)…2-2
3. Jake Wondolowski (Hon)…3-3

250 Novice repeat winner —Connor Styers. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Ron Rich (253) was 2nd in the Over-50 Novice class, sons Tyler and Ryan were 4th and 5th in the 250 Beginner class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

THIS WEEK’S BRAND BREAKDOWN

Suzuki and Kawasaki have made a comeback of sorts over the past couple races. Three races ago there was not a single Suzuki or Kawasaki in the big bike classes. This week 6% of the bike entered at REM were Suzukis and 5% Kawasaki. As always, KTM was the most popular brand with 36% of the racers at REM on orange. Yamaha was second with 28%, while Honda followed in third with 18%. Husqvarna was fourth with 8% and TM was seventh with 4% (which was only 1% behind Kawasaki).

BIKES BY BRAND AT REM 8-25-2018
1. KTM…36 %
2. YAMAHA…28%
3. HONDA…14%
4. HUSQVARNA…8%
5. SUZUKI…6%
6. KAWASAKI…5%
7. TM…4%

The father/son team of Erik (123) and Shawn Danoski (125) came from Las Vegas for their first-ever REM race. The guy in front of them, Abdulatif Al-Khanna (18), came from Kuwait. Abdulatif was 4th, Erik 6th and Shawn 7th in the 250 Novice class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Former Saddleback Specialist Luc De Ley’s wife Inger came out to watch him race. Luc was involved in a first turn crash in moto one and his day was done. “Isn’t this fun, honey.” Photo: Jon Ortner

REMAINING 2018 REM MOTOCROSS RACES

Sept. 1…Summer Series
Sept. 29…Glen Helen, CA
Oct. 6…Glen Helen, CA
Oct. 20…Glen Helen, CA
Oct. 27…Octobercross (World Vet Warm-up on World Vet National track)
Nov.3-4…Dubya World Vet Championship (National track)
Nov. 17…Glen Helen, CA
Dec. 1…Glen Helen, CA (Canceled for Robby Gordon Off -Road Championship)
Dec. 15…Glen Helen, CA
Dec. 22…Glen Helen, CA
Dec. 29…Glen Helen, CA

By using the World Vet rule that lets an older rider move down one skill level for every ten years, you will find Over-60 Experts racing in a lot of different classes. Pete Vetrano raced the Over-60 Experts and the Over-40 Novices. He was 6th in both classes. Photo: Jon Ortner

Mike Burgmeier hangs out in the pits between his Over-40 Novice motos. Photo: Jon Ortner

You can buy these REM motocross hats by clicking here. Why not be the only guy in your state who looks like he knows what’s up? Photo: Debbie Tamietti

REM races again at Glen Helen on Sept 1, 2018. For more info on REM Motocross go to their facebook page or web page at www.remsatmx.com

REM RACES AGAIN NEXT SATURDAY

 

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