Jon Ortner takes the outside line, which insures that no one will be following him. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

There wasn’t supposed to be an “Un-Race” at Glen Helen this Saturday. Instead REM planned to hold the opening round of their 2018 Summer Series. Unfortunately, REM promoter Frank Thomason had knee replacement surgery and his optimistic plans to be back at the track a week later were a little optimistic. REM decided to cancel the race and reschedule it for later, but that decision wasn’t made until Wednesday—which was too late to stop the ball from rolling. Glen Helen asked MXA if we would hold an “Un-Race” this past weekend. We agreed.

Joe Melton gets his Yamaha YZ250 two-stroke crossed up in order to get it hooked up. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

In truth, MXA has very little to do with an “Un-Race” apart from getting Glen Helen to extend the track beyond their normal Saturday practice track and the prep it better than they would for a practice day. MXA and a select group of REM racers agree to water the track over the course of the day. Other than telling people that there will be an “Un-Race, the MXA guys just show up on Saturday morning like everyone else.

Willy Simons, Jr. was at the “Un-Race.” Well, it least we have proof that Willy Simon’s rear wheel was here. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

“Un-Races” don’t happen every time REM doesn’t have a race scheduled—it depends on timing, both REMs and MXA’s timing. If there is going to be a two or three week break in REM’s race schedule, then it is likely that there will be an “Un-Race” on one of the empty weekends. Conversely, if MXA needs to test bikes there will be a “Un-Race” so they can fill the holes in their regular test schedule on a relatively private prepped track.

Luc Deley chases Mark Hall. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

This weekend’s “Un-Race” was a special circumstance (after all there was an “Un-Race” last weekend when it was 113-degrees). But, because the REM race was canceled late in the week and under medical circumstances, it was decided that there would be a another one this weekend also.

Jack Phinn hasn’t been at REM in years, but when he heard that there was going to be an “Un-Race” he decided to come back out and try it. He vows he’ll be back for next Saturday’s Summer Series race. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

How often are “Un-Races” held? Not very often, because REM holds its regular races on almost every weekend out of the year (and on weekends when they don’t hold a race, Glen Helen typically has some other race organization using the REM track). This week was only the fourth “Un-Race” of the year—why so few? Because between the regular REM schedule, plus Glen Helen’s off-road races, 12 hours of Glen Helen, World Vet race, World Two-Stroke race, 24 Hours of Glen Helen, Day in the Dirt, Last Man Standing, mud runs and SRA GPs, there are very few times when the REM track isn’t being used.

Randel Fout on MXA’s 2019 Kawasaki KX450. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

REM’s cancellation left a hole in the schedule and MXA agreed to fill it. Normally “Un-Races” are kept low-key. If you aren’t in the loop then you wouldn’t find out that there was one until it was already over. But, because of Frank’s knee surgery, racers coming over from Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Washington, and the scheduling, It was decided to tell the REM regulars that there would be an “Un-Race ” on July 14 in lieu of the REM race that got canceled. This enabled more REM racers a chance to ride on what would have been a surprise weekend off.

6D Helmet’s Bob Weber grinds a little off the bottom of his CRF450. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Thus, what you see is a sampling of the photos that Debbi Tamietti and Jon Ortner shot at “Un-Race IV.” This is not by any means all the racers who showed up at Glen Helen for the “Un-Race,” just the ones that we could easily identify.

Pasha Afshar comes through the roller coaster section in flying colors. His lone fan approves. Photo: Jon Ortner

The MXA gang told Val Tamietti that he could ride any bike they had at “Un-Race IV.” In this photo Val walks towards the line-up of 2019 bikes with a gleam in his eye. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Val on a KTM 450SXF.  Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Val on a 2019 Yamaha YZ450F. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Val on a 2019 KTM 350SXF. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Val on a 2019 Kawasaki KX450. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

“What do you mean it’s too stiff. I’m pretty sure that it’s too soft.” Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Bob Casper spinning laps. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Pete Vetrano at the bottom of the downhill with Dave Eropkin (811) in hot pursuit. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Gabi Sanchez has lots of off-road experience, but she came to the “Un-Race” to try a true-to-life motocross track. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

MXA’s Jody Weisel spent the day testing different set-ups on the 2019 Kawasaki KX450. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Todd Gravitt on his black KTM. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Scott Williams found a 2006 Yamaha YZ125 with only one hour on it and got it for $1000. He put that much into it and has a sweet 125 two-stroke. Photo: Jon Ortner

Dave Eropkin with some kind of orange plastic guard over his lower triple clamp. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Corby Reutgen (513) and Steven Chandler don’t get to race against each other at a normal REM race, so the “Un-Race” let them spend some time together. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Tanner Antles sweeps into the finish line corner. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

The Skinners—Blake and Randy. Photo: Jon Ortner

Jack Phinn (315) dragging a toe as he pool cues his bike towards the berm. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Tony Parsons checking out the camera. Photo: Jon Ortner

Bob Pocius (31) got to Glen Helen early to help the track crew water the REM track. The riders agree to keep the track watered so that it stays good all day long. Photo: Jon Ortner

Jody Weisel grabs a fire hose before the day begins to insure no dust. Photo: Jon Ortner

Brad Goolsby doesn’t just rail a berm, he intimidates it. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Chris Hunt (577) gets the front up and rear down to maximize drive. Photo: Jon Ortner

Luc Deley normally races a 250, so he took the opportunity at the “Un-Race” to try all of MXA’s 450 four-strokes. This is a Husqvarna Rockstar Edition FC450. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Bob Rutten drove down from Utah to race this weekend’s REM race, but when it was canceled he came to the “Un-Race” and…. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

…brought his brother Tom with him to try out his bike. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Mark Hall works at WPS in Boise, Idaho, he flew down to race REM, while his wife visited with friends from when Mark worked at White Brothers, VP Fuels, MTA, 6D and Pro Circuit. The “Un-Race” saved him from a couple tea parties. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Chris Cole. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Steve Donovan has suddenly reappeared on the scene after missing some time with injuries. He plans to make a comeback. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

REM will be racing next weekend, July 21 and the following weekend July 28. For more info about REM Motocross go to

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