REM MOTOCROSS RACE REPORT: BAD NEWS! IT DIDNT GET TO 100-DEGREES, BUT NO ONE COMPLAINED
PHOTOS BY DEBBI TAMIETTI & DAN ALAMANGOS
This weekend’s race was controlled by two outside forces: (1) Billed as “The First 100-Degree Race of 2021,” based on the weather forecasts that predicted 104-degree temperatures and, widely trusted, based on the fact that on Friday it was 104 degrees at Glen Helen. A lots of riders felt that discretion was the better part of valor. They would rather go to the beach than to Glen Helen when the thermometer goes past the Century Mark. The big surprise was that the meteorologists were all wrong. It never hit 100-degrees at Glen Helen on Saturday. The high was 94-degree at 2:00 p.m. and the first round of motos were held in temps below 90-degrees. (2) This July 19-20 weekend was the Mammoth Mountain Motocross Vet weekend. Definitely not the powerhouse race weekend that it once was, Mammoth Mountain still drew 15 REM regulars away from the weekly REM wars. The plus side of this was that the REM guys acquitted themselves well at Mammoth Mountain. Pete Murray won the Over-60 Expert class, Kurt Nicoll took the Over-50 Expert division and Ryan Hughes, Mark Tilley, Dennis Stapleton and Billy Mercier swept the top four spots on the Over-40 podium, while Josh Grant, who grew up racing at REM, won the Over-30 Pro title. Other REM riders who made a mark at Mammoth were Alan Jullien, Ed Guajardo, Thad Friday, Mic Rogers, John Caper, Kevin Barda, Giovanni Spinali and Mike Davis. Congrats to all of them, but you missed a great track at REM and some serious dueling for the spots you guys vacated.
Justin Jones passed on a career in Supercross and AMA Nationals to be an offroad racer, but the ISDE Gold Medalist, AMA Junior World Cup winner and four-time Baja 1000 winner still likes to come out and play. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Aryton Ward (797) borrowed his dad’s KX450 and came to REM to get ready for next week’s Mammoth Mountain Pro weekend. He rode well and battled with Justin Jones and Brian Medeiros (75). Photo: Debbi Tamietti
MXA test riders have to race what they are assigned, that means that even a 250 Pro like Brian Medeiors eventually gets assigned to race the slowest bike in the 250 class. However, you wouldn’t know it, as Brian won the 250 Pro class on a stock RM-Z250. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
The racing was intense, if not for the final podium position, at the very least for the holeshot. Robert Reisinger won both the Over-50 Expert and Over-60 Expert classes with four straight moto wins. Ron Schuler took the Over-50 Elite gold, while TM importer Ralf Schmidt won the Over-40 Expert class on a fuel-injected TM 144 FI prototype. Luc De Ley (1-2) won the Over-60 Intermediate class over a top five of Bill Reimer (4-1), Marc Crosby (2-3), Tim Hoole (3-4) and John Perry (5-5). Bill Reimer came back to redeem himself with a 1-1 win in the Over-50 Intermediate class over a top five of Russell Brown, Steve Watson, Morgan Pierce and Ernie Becker.
The 450 Pro victory went to Baja 1000 Champion and ISDT hero Justin Jones with Ayrton Ward in second. Both of these riders are the sons of former AMA National Champions Gary Jones and Jeff Ward. Brian Medeiros raced MXA’s Suzuki RM250 and, on the tight and hilly Glen Helen terrain, he rode it to a two moto sweep of the 250 Pro class.
The 250 Intermediate class was the most exciting race of the day thank to Talon Hawkins. Talon was the only rider to jump the table top before the tower all the way over to the landing ramp at the finish line. Hawkins was blazing fast and could easily hang with the Pros, but, in what was an unlucky moment for his Husqvarna FC250, but a very lucky moment for him, Tallon came up “big-time short” on this jump in the second moto. The explosion of his rear wheel could be heard in the pits when he cased the jump, breaking most of the spokes and throwing Talon on to his handlebars — where he rode the bike into a bank on the side of the track. He was lucky, first because he wasn’t thrown over the bars. Second, that his bike skidded into the left-hand bank to keep him off the racing line of the blind jump. Third, and most importantly, he wasn’t hurt. With Hawkins out of the 250 Intermediates the win went to Caden Braswell with Connor Styers second.
See anything missing? How about two-thirds of Talon Hawkins’ spokes. This wasn’t a stock Husqvarna wheels, it is built on a high-end Excel A60 rim, which is a little worse for wear, but didn’t collapse, for which Talon can be thankful for. Photo: Dan Alamangos
Randel Fout (71) wanted to race the Pro Circuit-built KTM 150SX that MXA’s Josh Mosiman raced to third overall at the 2021 World Two-Stroke Championship and got two holeshots on. It seems like a bad choice to go up against a class full of 450 four-strokes, but Mitch Payton had turned it into a 44-horsepower rocket ship so Randel had no major issues passing 450s. Photo Debbi Tamietti
There were plenty of highlights in the slower classes as well. Brian Medeiros’ Hawaiian friend Jantzen Tani, who has been spending a couple month racing is SoCal, a Hawaiian motocross tradition that goes back to the days of John DeSotoy, went 1-1 in the 450 Novice class. Mark Taylor and Michel Oetzell split moto wins and seconds in the Vet Novice class, with Taylor getting the nod based on his 2-1 score. Dane Sietrich swept both moto of the Over-60 Novice class, while Gene Boere’s 2-1 was more than good enough to beat Bill Seifert’s 1-3 in the Over-65 Intermediate class with T.V. Holmes in third, Kent Reed in fourth and Tony Parsons in fifth. Sonya Seale and Gabby Sanchez were the two happiest racers at REM as the got to spend a lot of time together on the track and in the pits. Seale took the win in the Women’s class.
Val Tamietti (31) was REM number One in 2017 and 2018, but didn’t get the three-peat because he broke his leg just before the 2019 season started. This Saturday, Val was third in the Over-60 Expert class behind Dave Eropkin, who was the 2019 REM number one. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Even without its Mammoth Mountain traitors, the biggest class of the day was the Over-60 Experts, which, as noted, was won by Robert Reisinger, but it featured some high-powered talent from the 1970s—including Dave Eropkin, Val Tamietti, Randy Skinner, Darren Lowery, Mike Monaghan, Steve Chandler and Jim Hanson. REM has an 32-year tradition of racing that is aided by the fact that so many “REM Number One” riders keep racing week after week even though the racing prowess that brought them to the points championship a few years ago is a little worse for wear. This is the list of former Number Ones (and the years they won) who were racing at REM on Saturdays: Jody Weisel (1998), Randy Skinner (2001 & 2012), Marc Crosby (2005), TV Holmes (2016), Val Tamietti (2017-2018), Dave Eropkin (2019) and Robert Reisinger (2020).
Believe it or not, MXA’s Jody Weisel was the REM Number One rider 23 years ago (1998). If that seems like a long time ago, he was the CMC Number One Vet Pro 37 years ago (1984). Contrary to popular belief, he is not still wearing the same boots—Alpinestars custom makes him new white Super Victory leather boots every couple years. Photo: Dan Alamangos
Marc Crosby ended up third in the Over-60 Intermediate class when his buddy Luc De Ley refused to pass first place rider Bill Reimer on the last lap of the second moto because Luc didn’t need to pass Bill to take the overall. Marc’s 2-3 was edged out by Reimer’s 4-1. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Of the eight different brand of bike raced at REM this past weekend, Three brands had over 80 % of all the bikes at REM. In fact, KTM had half of the 80% all by itself. The big numbers went to KTM, Husqvarna and Yamaha, with Austrian duo has 61% all by themselves (and if you threw in GasGas, they would have had 64%).
BIKE BRANDS RACED AT REM GLEN HELEN THIS WEEK
Jakob Giardini (166) has captured the “black blob of color” look. If it wasn’t for his shiny YZ250 exhaust pipe he would be all but unrecognizable. Motocross photographers hate it when riders dress in all black. Photo: Dan Alamangos
2021 REM RACE SCHEDULE
June 26…REM track
July 3…REM track
July 17…REM track
July 24…REM track
Aug. 7…National track
Aug. 14…REM track
Aug. 21…REM track
Sept. 11…REM track
Sept. 18…REM track
Oct. 30…National Track Octobercross
Nov. 20…REM track
Dec. 4…REM track
Dec. 18…REM track
Randy Skinner has his own GasGas MC450, but got drafted by MXA to race Kent Reed’s full-race GasGas. It’s always a mistake to race a fully modified race bike and then return to your stocker the next day. Photo: Debbi Tamietti