REM GLEN MOTOCROSS HELEN REPORT: RON LECHIEN, ROBBIE BELL & PETE MURRAY SHINE ON USGP TRACK
Ron Lechien (4) has been riding a lot in the last year. Ron looks fit and even in 95-degree heat didn’t let the grind of a 9-to-5 job at Maxima Lubricants slow his passion for racing.
REM’s weekly motocross race was moved to the Glen Helen AMA National track (which was still in the USGP configuration) because the starting line of the REM motocross track was being used as the staging area and pits for a two-day NAHA Pro Hillclimb event. Not that the REM racers were complaining about moving over from their regular racetrack (the REM track was the original Arroyo Cycle Park track from the 1970s), because they got to race on the USGP motocross layout. The only part of the Grand Prix track that the local heroes didn’t get to ride was the second half of the Triple Step-Up that leads to Mt. Whitney?because lap times would have been astronomical in the Novice and Vet classes. Adjustments were made to the steepness of the face on the first camelback after Talladega and on the finish line double, but everything else remained the same. Word in the pits is that this is the last weekend when the Yamaha Fly-Away jump will be used in the regular Glen Helen track layout because constant uses wear down the face of the jump (and Glen Helen wants to save it for special races).
Robbie Bell (32) won two classes at REM on Saturday. Bell is best known as a Baja winner, but he races motocross when his schedule permits.
Baja Champion Robbie Bell won the 450 Pro class in front of a top five Parker Eckman, Jeremy Girard, Chris See and Robert Perez. Bell came back later to win the Open Expert class also.
Garret Eckman took the 250 Intermediate victory over Cody Young, Jonas Carlsson, Billy Musgrave, Justin Falk and Justin Imhof. The 450 Intermediate win went to Justin Seeds in front of Ryan Cowell and MXA‘s John Minert.
Ron Lechien came out to race at REM and looked very good. He still had good speed and had no trouble jumping everything on the track. In the Open Expert class, Ron kept Pro winner Robbie Bell in sight for the whole moto.
Justin Seeds (213) leads the Intermediates down Mt. Saint Helen. Cody Young (911), Ryan Cowell (686) and John Minert (43) give chase.
The Over-50 Expert class was a runaway for Pete Murray. Although the class was packed with lots of talent, including Dave Eropkin, Steve Lawler, Greg Nelson, Randel Fout, Dennis Boulware and George Kohler, Murray pulled big leads and raced uncontested to a two-moto sweep. Steve Lawler was second, Eropkin third, Nelson fourth, Fout fifth, Joe Pena sixth, Dennis Boulware seventh, George Kohler eighth, Larry Boulware ninth and Mark Hall tenth.
Hollywood stuntman John Alden took the Over-50 Intermediate win over Greg Iorio (1-2), Chip Didlake (5-3), Rudy Chavez (4-4), Mike Baralow (3-5), Marc Crosby (6-8), Phillip Taboada (9-6), John Caper (8-7) and Paul Crouch (7-9).
Lyle Sweeter took the Over-60 Expert class win when favorite Bill Maxim (who is the Over-60 World Champion) slipped to third in the second moto. Tom White was second with a 2-2.
MXA’s John Minert (43) and Ryan Cowell (686) duel over second overall in the 450 Intermediate class.
In the hotly contested 250 Novice ranks, Daniel Mynet went 1-1 in front of a top ten that included Patrrick Hannah (2-2), Jason Stone (4-3), Shane Barlow (3-5), Cody Melendez (5-4), Donny Fish (6-6), Braden Larson (10-7), Parker Jones (11-9) and Taylor Lacombe (13-10).
Parker Jones floats over the tunnel jump before the left-over Grand Prix grandstand section. Parker Jones is the son of Noleen’s Clark Jones (a former AMA National Pro) and nephew of Gary Jones (a four-time 250 National Champion).
IN THE OTHER CLASSES
Vet Novice: John Ortiz (1-1), Kevin Franco (2-2), Mark Picchoffino (3-3), Kendal Stanley (6-4), James Kress (5-5), Joe Pena (7-6), Pete Vetrano (8-7) and Tom Hinz (9-8).
450 Novice: Cody Melendez used a 2-1 to beat Reid Davis (3-2) and Patrick Hannah (1-4).
250 Beginner: Joe Iorio went 1-1 to take the win over Cory Conner (3-3) and Ray Barcia (5-2).
It was the first race back for John Basher (41) since being out with a ruptured spleen. He said that he was going to take it easy, but here he grabbed such a big handful of his KX450F that he had to sit on the gas tank to keep the front end down.
Over-50 Novice: Ruben Albarado used a 2-1 to defeat David Blosser (1-2), Kevin Ridgman (3-3), George Garcia (5-4), Rick Beaker (4-6), Greg Whitfiled (6-5), Bob Barnett (7-7), Paul Lax (9-8, Britt Wuest (8-9) and Norman Screeton (10-10).
Vet Intermediate: Mike Hibner (1-1) got the gold in front of Chad Hubbard, Mike Carter, Jonathan Rhodes, Joey Cirocco, Tim Olson, Jesse Ziegler, Mike Diorio, Tim Harris and Chris Kelly.
The MXA guys: A few MXA guys were missing; Dennis Stapleton was racing at Freestone, Al Olson went to a Loretta Lynn Regional, Ray Pisarki is still injured, Bengt Johansson skipped a weekend, but Willy Musgrave, Jody Weisel, John Minert, Dan Alamangos, Billy Musgrave, George Kohler, Mark Hall, Feets Minert, Tom Hinz and MXA‘s USMC division?Taylor Lacombe and Ian Swett?were spread throughout the field. MXA‘s two Marine’s only have a month of racing left before they go to Afghanistan?both are Iraq veterans. John Basher returned to action for the first time in two months. Next week Willy Musgrave is off to the Canadian F1 Grand Prix (a trip he won from karting).
Pete Murray is the new king of REM’s incredibly contested Over-50 Expert class. It should be noted that every week there is a new king. There were 40 racers in the Over-50 classes at REM this weekend.
REM races again next Saturday, June 12. Practice starts at 9:00 am.
For more info go to www.remsatmx.com
Photos by Dan Alamangos