REM MOTOCROSS RETURNS TO GLEN HELEN WITH A BIG BANG
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Photos by Dan Alamangos, Kyoshi Becker and Jon Ortner
REM has canceled more races since New Year’s than it has held. The SoCal rain has turned the road into Glen Helen into a river on most weekends in January and February, so everyone was chomping at the bit to get back into action. Photo: Kyoshi Becker
In a normal year, REM will race 40 weekends. But, this year it is going to be tough to get to 40 races. In the months of January and February, the rains came like clockwork every Friday night. It washed out the road into the track, flooded the low laying land and cut enormous rain grooves in the downhills. Races were canceled left and right. The good thing? If you had a nagging injury back in January, you had plenty of time off for it to heal. But, finally, there was no doubt that this week’s race was on. The weather looked good and the Glen Helen track crew had a nice sunny week to get both the AMA National track and the REM track prepped.
As the vans, Sprinters and pickups pulled into the pits early on Saturday morning, it was like a high school reunion. Everybody was happy to see the guys that they normally would have spent every weekend racing against — and, finally, they were back together again. The weather was perfect, the track was good and the mood was buoyant. It was a great day of racing…and a great way to start off a new year—albeit a belated start.
MXA’s Dennis Stapleton was putting in another day of testing on the 2017 Honda CRF450. MXA has run through 9 different fork valvings and Dennis said that the 9th version was the… wait for it…worst of the bunch. Back to the drawings boards, but first he is off to the Joe Gibbs facility to test some JGR bikes. Photo: Dan Alamangos
Because so many races were canceled due to weather in the first part of the 2017, the 2016 awards weren’t handed out until the end of February. (From left to right) Tom Holmes (2016 REM number 1 in points), 1998 REM Number one Jody Weisel (4th overall in 2016 points — 18 years later), three-time REM number one Jon Ortner (second in 2016 points) and Pasha Afshar (REM Sportsman of the Year).
It is hard to believe that this man was the first Grand Prix racer to move to America to demonstrate Husqvarnas for Edison Dye. It is not hard to believe that Lars Larsson brought motocross to America, but it is amazing that he is still racing in America 50 years later (in his 70s). Photo: Dan Alamangos
1980 AMA 500 National Champion Chuck Sun won the Over-60 Expert class over a top ten of Joe Pena, Gary Jones, Ken Ehlers, Val Tamietti, Jim Hansson, Steve Parker, Kirk Bassett, Roland Rodriquez and Mic Rodgers. But he was most proud of his new sunglasses. Photo: Jon Ortner
Janae Thomason grew up at the races. Her parents, Frank and Myra Thomason, have run REM for 30 years. Janae is now married and bringing son Senna to the races to visit with grandpa Frank and grandma Myra. Photo:Jon Ortner
There is nothing as exciting as sand whoops with a fast downhill turn in the middle of them. David Cincotta gets kicked off the line so that Alan Jullien (70) and Robby Schott (523) have a clear path. Photo: Dan Alamangos
HUSKY’S AT REM GLEN HELEN
Husqvarna has a loyal following at REM. Here are a few photos of the Husky faithful this weekend at Glen Helen. We start with Vegard Falmaar (from the ancestoral home of Husqvarna) Photo: Dan Alamangos
Sportcar racer Ernie Becker (87) on a Husqvarna FC250 leads meat-man Mike Phillips on a Husky FC450 in the Over-50 Intermediate class. Scott Richeson (94), on a white Yamaha, won with a 4-2 score. Photo: Dan Alamangos
You may have heard of Pete Vetrano before. He was the TM importer (twice), the Vertematti importer, the Falcon importer, the LEM importer and is now the Scalvini exhaust importer. That a Scalvini four-stroke exhaust on his FC350. Photo: Dan Alamangos
For more info about REM motocross go to www.remsatmx.com. Unfortunately, next weekend the Praire Dogs Grand Prix will be held at Glen Helen and this two-day race uses parts of the REM track for its cross-country race. So, while everyone was happy to be back at REM, they will have to takes one more weekend off before returning to REM on March 11 and March 18.