REM MOTOCROSS RACE REPORT: IS THIS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA OR THE TWILIGHT ZONE?
PHOTOS BY DEBBI TAMIETTI, DAN ALAMANGOS & MARK CHILSON
On Friday it was 78 degrees in SoCal, everybody was looking forward to a sunny warm winter day at Glen Helen on Saturday, But when they came up the 15 freeway the normally brightly colored world turn a stark and dreary gray. As the 15 freeway veared away from Glen Helen Raceway to go up into the desert, the fog seemed to clear up, but that was just a trick. Heading down Route 66 the fog came back for the last five miles to the Glen Helen Motocross track — only this time with a vengeance. It was the proverbial pea soup fog that rarely ever makes it out of San Bernardino. But, there it was — at least we think it was there because we couldn’t see far enough to be positive.
When practice started the riders would go out and be back in the pits in a lap or two claiming that they went through all their tear-offs on the first lap and that you could not see the next corner until they were in it. Making matters worse was the track layout had been changed, so even the hard-core locals didn’t really know where the next turn was. Every now and then the fog would go from 100 feet of visibility to 110 feet of visibility and riders would go back out, only to come right back in a lap later.
At the riders meeting REM’s Frank Thomason assured everybody that the races would not start until the riders could see the water tank on top of Mt. Whitney. It took a little while, but the black water tank slowly came into view. The first motos were foggy, but not too bad. As the day went on, the atmoshpere got lighter and brighter. It looked like it was going to be a great day. Then, it started to rain…not hard, just one of those steady drizzles that get you all wet when you are standing still and soaked if you are moving at 30 mph.
Although the fog went away by the second moto, it was replaced by rain. Jody was testing a 2020 TM 300FI-MX four-stroke. Note the rag sticking out of the sleeve on his throttle arm—that was to wipe the rain away after his tear-offs were gone. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
It never turned into a clear and sunny day. The fog hung around and the rain persisted. Of course, when the races were over, and everyone headed back down the 15 freeway, it became painfully obvious that it hadn’t rained 5 miles away from the track.
Val Tamietti crashed out of the Over-60 Expert win, but amazingly, the sixty-year-old came back to beat the Over-50 Experts with a 3-1 score. This is the second race in a row that the ancient Maico star from Saddleback Park has beaten those young 50-year-old whippersnappers. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
This is what life looks like in the Over-50 Expert pack. Johnny Benskin (77) would end up second. Australian Dan Alamangos (64) would crash out. C.T. Falk (63) would go 9-8. Mike Monaghan (84), who is also over 60 years old, would go 1-6 for 4th and Pasha Afshar (L7) would end the day in 7th overall. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Lars Larsson, a three-time World Vet Champion, had to miss the World Vet after getting injured at the Octobercross the week before. He came back this week and went 3-2 to take second overall in the Over-65 Intermediate class. Not bad for the 78-year-old Grand Prix racer. Photo: Rich Stuelke
With five of the top ten riders from the Dubya World Vet Motocross Championship signed up in the Over-60 Expert class at this week’s REM motocross, it was only fitting that 2019 Over-60 World Champion Pete Murray would go 1-1. Photo: Mark Chilson
Mitchell Falk donated his helmet, jersey and pants from the 2019 AMA National series to be given away in a drawing at the riders meeting—and gave REM’s Frank Thomason 15 pairs of pants, saying he’d rather give them to Frank to give to worthy riders rather than sell them. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
EVERYBODY LOVES A RACE PHOTO—DEBBI HAS THEM
Give Debbi a day or two to process this week’s REM photos to her SmugMug account and then browse to your hearts content. You can order digital photos of yourself or friends from her page—for as little a $1.50. To look at this week’s REM race (posted in a couple days) and Debbi’s favorites photos go to www.debbitamietti.smugmug.com