REM RACE REPORT: LOOKING FOR AN AMERICAN HERO

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Photos by Dan Alamangos, Rich Stuelke, Mark Chilson and Jon Ortner

CHILdavidIrish rider David O’connor (30) holeshots South African Alan Jullien (70), American MXA rider Josh Fout and Australian MXA rider Dan Alamanos (44). Foreign riders were out in force at REM’s weekly motocross races this past Saturday. Photo: Mark Chilson

The good news is that the California drought is over, no matter what the bureaucrats say. The bad news is that the last two months of rain wreaked havoc on SoCal racing. Every week it refused to rain on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but instead insisted on raining on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The result? Canceled races and flooded tracks. But finally during a gap between a Friday drizzle and a Monday shower, REM Motocross was able to hold their first motocross race since the “Day After the Night Before” race following Anaheim 1 on January 8. Given that REM holds the most weekly races of any sanctioning body in the World, 40 points-paying races a year, not holding races was an unusual experience. The upside was that the rain washed lots of sand down from the mountains around Glen Helen Raceway, and left the track in prime condition. With moisture in the ground and sand on top, this week’s REM motocross had also most perfect dirt. Here is a photo essay of the day’s happenings.

PROS FROM NORWAY, SWITZERLAND, SWEDEN, GREAT BRITAIN, JAPAN & THE GOOD OLD USA

DANjustinjonesISDE gold medallist and Baja 1000 winner Justin Jones upheld American honor by winning the 450 Pro class with his classic laid-over style. Photo: Dan Alamangos

DANyokosawaJapanese Honda rider Takumu Yokosawa (212) went 2-3 in the 450 Pro class for second overall behind Jones, who is the son of four-time 250 National Champion Gary Jones. Photo: Dan Alamangos

DANogawaKohei Ogawa (912) pursues countryman Taiki Koga (922) and Swede Rickard Hansson (73) down Mt. Whitney. That’s Tony Amaradio at the bottom. Photo: Dan Alamangos

DANrickardhanssenSwede Rickard Hansson gets ready to rail through a perfect berm on his way to 7th in the 450 Pro class. Photo: Dan Alamangos

DANkogaTaiki Koga won the 250 Pro class in front of a top five of Brit Robbie Dowson, Japan’s Ryota Ikemoto, Swiss rider Robin Scheiben and American Noah Hickerson. Photo: Dan Alamangos

DANMasashiTegukiMIKIEMasashi Teguki, but you can call him Mikie, won the 250 Intermediate class. Photo: Dan Alamangos

THE HARDEST FOUGHT CLASSES AT REM ARE FOR RIDERS BORN BEFORE 1967

stu50EXPThis tight little pack of Over-50 Expert/Elite riders is all that was left after two red flags and three restarts. Phil Dowell (23) and Ron Shuler (33) take the point. Photo: Rich Stuelke

DANmikephillipsMike Phillips in action, before his crash brought out the second red flag in the Over-50 Expert’s second moto. Photo: Dan Alamangos

STUskinnercrashStep one, engage the launch control button. Step two, engage the ejection button. Randy Skinner and Mark Hall hooked bars 50 feet off the starting line. They both went down hard. This crash, however, did not bring out the red flag. Instead, there was another crash three turns later that did. Randy and Mark did not go back to the starting line. Photo: Rich Stuelke

DANmonaghanFormer Pro Circuit Husqvarna Pro Mike Monaghan holeshot the original start of the Over-50 Experts on a KTM 250SX two-stroke, but when it was red flagged he couldn’t duplicate the feat on the second or third restarts. He went 3-3 for third. Photo: Dan Alamangos

DANortner54Jon Ortner, on MXA’s 2017-1/2 KTM 450SXF Factory Edition, won the battle of the red flags over Pete Murray for the gold in the Over-50 Elite class. Photo: Dan Alamangos

stuORTNERmurrayIn both motos (and all three restarts of the second moto) Ortner and Murray were never farther apart than this. Photo: Rich Stuelke

THE 6D HELMET GIVEAWAY GOES TO A THREE-TIME WINNER

ORTwebertomEvery three months the riders who didn’t miss a race during that time period have their names etched on wooden chips and 6D head honcho Bob Weber, above with Tom White, draws out the winning chip. The prize? A free 6D helmet. Amazingly, over the last year, David Cincotta has had his name drawn three times. And since David already owned a 6D helmet to begin with, he now has four of them. Photo: Jon Ortner

STUweber6D’s Bob Weber raced the Over-50 Elite class and finished 4th. Photo: Rich Stuelke

DANcincottaDavid Cincotta won the Over-40 Expert class in his all-pink ensemble. Photo: Dan Alamangos

THE REST OF THE BEST & SOME RIFF-RAF

STUdownhillYou don’t just ride down REM’s Mt. Whitney. You have to jump off the top and then peg it to the bottom. Photo: Rich Stuelke

DANjodyJody Weisel floats MXA’s KTM 450SXF Factory Edition gently over the crest of the Mt. Whitney. It would be cool to look off in the distance and see the packed pits, but your focus in fixated on the bottom of the hill. Photo: Dan Alamangos

DANleeamaradioLee Amaraido, father of former AMA Pro Tony Amaradio and brother of LightSpeed owner Willie Amaradio, Husqvarna’ed his way to a 7-9 day in the Over-60 Intermediates. Photo: Dan Alamangos

DANbeckerSports car racer Ernie Becker had an on-and-off day with a 6-13 score in the Over-50 Intermediates. Lots of riders in the Over-50s choose to race 250s because of REM’s long motos and constantly turning layout. Photo: Dan Alamangos

DANmaddux40Kenny Maddux (418) takes a casual look-back in the Over-40 Expert class. His 3-3 was good enough for second overall. Photo: Dan Alamangos

DANpashaPasha Afshar hooked up and went 5-7 for 7th in the Over-40 Experts and came back to go 6-4 for 4th in the Over-50 Experts. Photo: Dan Alamangos

JON ORTNER’S PHOTOS FROM THE PITS

ORTsimonsTina Simons, son Will Jr. and Will’s girlfriend Rachel. Photo: Jon Ortner

ORTlutherLuther French crashed in the first turn and broke his nose. He lent his bike to a friend and sat out the day. Photo: Jon Ortner

ORTluthernose2REM motocross racers are down to Earth people and, here, Luther shares a laugh with Alan Julien — who just happened to be the guy Luther collided with. Alan came to apologize, but Luther laughed it off and graciously said, “It was just a racing incident.”  Photo: Jon Ortner

ORTpeterhtalyorPete Murray and EKS Brand’s Rich Taylor. Photo: Jon Ortner

ORTpashaPasha Afshar (left) regales Ernie Becker, Justin Jones and Dan Alamangos with tales of wild Hollywood parties and hanging with the stars — some of them true. Photo: Jon Ortner

ORTmontyDMike Monaghan (left) and Randel Fout discuss the jetting on Monaghan’s KTM 250SX two-stroke. Fout took it to Glen Helen on Thursday and cleared up the low-end bog, so Mike could race it on Saturday. Photo: Jon Ortner

ORTshullersESR’s Earl and Ron Shuler. Photo: Jon Ortner

For more info on REM motocross, go to www.remsatmx.com

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