REM MOTOCROSS RETURNS TO GLEN HELEN WITH A BANG
Take a snap shot of this photo and you will see what it looked like in both Pro motos. MXA’s Dennis Stapleton (184) leads, while Willy Simons, Jr. (246) and Bradley Denton (474) chase. Stapleton’s KTM Factory Edition is no spring chicken. It has 94 hours on it with nothing more than new clutch plates. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
PHOTOS BY DEBBI TAMIETTI, DAN ALAMANGOS & JON ORTNER
Ever since the Christmas and New Years break the loyal REM racers have been meeting on Saturday’s at Glen Helen to practice for the eventual arrival of the 2020 season. They had to wait through Christmas, New Years and Anaheim 1 weekend, but this weekend was the start of something big—an all-new 2020 REM motocross season opener.
REM is scheduled to hold motocross races on January 18, January 25, February 1, February 15, February 22, March 7, March 14, March 21, March 28, April 18, April 25, May 2, May 9, May 16 and May 24. That is 15 races in the next next 21 weekends (including 6 straight races in April and May). REM racers aren’t complaining—their dream is 50 races a year with only Christmas and New Year’s off. They can dream can’t they.
But this weekend’s opener was the first motocross on the 2020 agenda—and it came with perfect weather and a new track layout (although, REM regulars have seen every possible combination). In what is a pretty common occurence, 33% of the racers at this week’s REM motocross were over the age of 50 and an identical 33% were over the age of 60 years old. That meant that 66 percent of all the racers at REM were born before 1970. And the man who finished second in the Over-65 Intermediate class, Lars Larsson, was born in 1941—he was joined by four other riders who were born in the 1940s (REM does not have an Over 70 class, so they were all in the Over-65 class— which had 15 riders in it).
The breakdown by brands is always interesting at REM. 34% of all bikes at REM were KTM’s, 33% were Yamahas, 17% were Husqvarna, 12% were Honda’s, 2% were Kawasakis, and Suzuki and TM had 1% each.
Swedish Grand Prix rider Lars Larsson (left) was brought to the USA in 1967 by Edison Dye to introduce motocross to American teenagers. He did a good job. Austrian GP and ISDT Gold Medalist Horst Leitner (right) designed the ATK 406, KTM 125 proto, ADB Avenger, the AMP Link, Specialized FSR suspension mountain bike and the Mercedes Benz mountain bike. Lars is in the AMA Hall of Fame and Horst is in the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.
Hollywood stuntman Mark Donaldson was one of a group of riders who showed up with box-stock 125 two-strokes to try to work on their throttle control, shifting and bike skills before going back to racing their four-strokes. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
REM put the big tabletop back in the track layout this weekend— it hasn’t been used in two years. It isn’t big as in long, it is big as in high. The landing ramp is 40 feet down and 80 feet long. On a clear day you can see San Berdoo from up there. Photo: Dan Alamangos
Willy Simons, Jr. (246) won the 250 Pro class, but could never come on terms with Vet Pro winner Dennis Stapleton (184). Stapleton beat all of the young Pros — helped by two holeshots. Photo: Dan Alamangos
It looks like number 83 is in the lead…and in second place. With transponder scoring the scorers aren’t sticklers on double numbers any more. Jim Hanson (83) leads Bob Rutten (83) in the Over-60 Expert class. Hanson would end up with a 8-10 and Rutten a 6-3. Photo: Dan Alamangos
MXA’s Josh Fout has spent the last two weeks testing a Twin Air Power Flow air filter mod on MXA’s YZ450F. MXA also experimented with oversize airbox covers on the dyno and had Josh test those in the Vet Intermediate race—which he won. Photo: Dan Alamangos
The jealous MXA test riders made fun of Josh’s hump-back airbox cover on the YZ450F, but the Twin Air filter and hump-back cover made two more horsepower on the stock YZ450F engine. Photo: Dan Alamangos
An inch is as good as a mile—because if you miss one inch to the left it is a mile to the ground below. And, if you stay on the jump face by an inch you can fly a mile. Jon Ortner (1) demonstrates. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Baja Champion Bob Rutten (right) brought his old desert racing buddy from the 1970s, Dr. Dan Williams, out to REM to see if Dan would like to start racing again (after 40 years off). Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Jerry Black (M6) had an uncommon 10th in moto one that his 5th in moto two couldn’t fix in the overall scoring. John Griffin (7) had a better day in the Over-50 Experts with a 4-6 day . Photo: Debbi Tamietti
This weekend’s REM race was the first event of 2020, which it is when riders get moved up. Steven Chandler (306) had dominated the Over-60 Intermediate class in 2019. His reward? He is now an Expert. He went 14-12 in the Over-60 Experts. Welcome to the big leagues! Photo: Debbi Tamietti
UPCOMING 2020 REM RACE SCHEDULE
May 2 (REM Vet Cup)
EVERYBODY LOVES A RACE PHOTO—DEBBI HAS THEM
Give Debbi a day or two to process this week’s REM race 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