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.

The fog would come and go—this is the first lap of the first Pro moto. Photo: Dan Alamangos

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.

Jon Ortner (1) sails down a drop-off with a totally gray palette in the distance. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Jody Weisel walks the track before practice. The fog was so thick that you couldn’t see the other side of the jumps at 8:30 in the morning.  Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Max Lee (50) went 4-2 in the 250 Pro class for third. Photo: Dan Alamangos

Mitchell Falk was the fastest rider on the track. The rain plays tricks with the light as Mitchell’s Honda flashes past the camera. Photo: Dan Alamangos

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.

 


Kurt Thomas (588) went 2-2 in the 450 Pro class.
Photo: Dan Alamangos

Ryusei Otsuka took the 250 Intermediate victory.  Photo: Dan Alamangos

Degan Palmer’s 2-3 was good enough to clinch the runner-up spot in the 250 Pros. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

 

Rene Garcia (69) catches of brief glimpse of where he is headed to on his way to 4th in the 250 Pro class.  Photo: Dan Alamangos

The dirt was incredible on the Glen Helen’s REM track—no mud just a loose layer of perfect dirt. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Dan Alamangos gets down and dirty to snap a pic of Jake Delaney (712) railing the inside line at the bottom of the big uphill. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Sometimes, when it’s raining you just have to toss your goggles. Josh Fout demonstrates the squint-and-pray technique on MXA’s TM 300FI-MX. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

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

Joe Sutter (111) fought all the way for a 3rd overall in the Over-50 Experts. Here, he leads Over-50 Elite winner Craig Davis (811). 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

The Over-50 Elites and Experts sweep up onto the banking with Jon Ortner (1), Pasha Afshar (L7), Craig Davis (811), Val Tamietti (310 and Pete Murray (55) looking for an angle. Photo: Mark Chilson

Braden Larson (21) went 1-2 in the Vet Novice class—losing to Brandon Woods’ 2-1. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Kent Reed (491) climbs up on the tank of his KTM 450SXF Factory Edition to get the front end down. Kent went 4-3 in the Over-60 Intermediate class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

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

Former Baja Champion Bob Rutten (83) was second in the Over-60 Expert class, but he did it with a 5-2 score. 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

REM races next weekend on December 21 for the final race of the 2019 REM race schedule. For more info about REM motocross go to www.remsatmx.com or their Facebook page by Clicking Here.

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

 

You might also like