“SATURDAY AT THE GLEN” MOTOCROSS REPORT: THE ROAD IS BACK IN ACTION & SO ARE THE REGULARS


Sean Lipanovich (505) took the wins in both motos of the 450 Pro class.

PHOTOS BY DEBBI TAMIETTI & JON ORTNER  

“Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day!” This was the chant that racers have been using all through January—as the rains poured into SoCal. Glen Helen Raceway managed to stay open most of the time, but keeping three or four tracks prepped was no easy task (especially because Glen Helen is located at the end of a canyon and has two river beds splitting, not only the main road into the racetrack, but the track itself). It took time, but, finally, the Atmospheric River moved farther north and the track actually got in a full weekend of scheduled practices and races. For example, last weekend’s “Saturday at the Glen” race  was squeaked in because the rains weren’t scheduled to show up until after 11:00 a.m. By combining classes into multiple gate drops, last week’s Saturday races made it all the way to the final moto on the schedule before the skies opened up. But, Sunday’s Old Timer’s Club Motocross and the ARX Vintage motocross race were canceled—Glen Helen moved them to this Sunday.

Austin Keys (H722) took his NGPC-equipped Husqvarna to second in the 450 Pro class with a 2-2

As the riders loaded up their trucks and headed towards Glen Helen, most of them assumed that they would have to take the back road into Glen Helen. The back road cuts through the Sheriff’s facility and portions of the prison grounds that is over the ridge from the track. When the early arrivers got to the track, located where the 15 and 215 freeways merge, before going up to the desert, they assumed that they would be coming into the via the back road, but, to their surprise, the County had graded the sand off the main road. The riders who were at the track already, called all of their friends, who were still on the highway, and told them that the main road was open. This “Jungle Drums” style of communication is pretty common among racers.

Dennis Stapleton (184) has been busy with motocross schools, helping Kurt Nicoll with his vacation camps and his MXA duties, but needed to ride. He went 2-2 in the Vet Pro class.


Brian Medeiros (934) cuts across the ruts in the 250 Pro class. Unfortunately Brian would hurt his knee in the first moto and have to pack it in.
Photo: Jon Ortner

Once everyone was ensconced into their chosen pit parking spot, the races were set to go. Everyone expected the track to be wet after three weeks of rain, but there was no mud. In fact, the track had to be watered before the day was done. Here are Debbi Tamietti’s and Jon Ortner’s photos of this “Saturday at the Glen.” Enjoy.

Josh Fout (32) and Richard Ellis (34) show two different approaches to this right-hand sweeper. Two-strokes are a lot more fun to ride.

Pasha Afshar (L7) raced the 125 Expert and Over-50 Expert classes. He won the 125s, but went 6-6 in the Over-50s. Photo: Jon Ortner

Randel Fout (65) was assigned to race MXA’s 2023 KTM 300SX to test exhaust systems on. He loved the 300SX.

Robert Reisinger (96), Ed Guajardo (27), Jon Ortner (N1R), Ray Poltack (hidden behind Reisinger), Dave Eropkin (811), Luc De Ley (hidden behind Poltack) and Ron Lawson (hidden behind Eropkin) spread out. By the end, it would be Guajardo first, Reisinger second and DeLey third.

David O’Connor (30) works at KTM’s Factory Services race shop building engines for KTM’s race teams. As you can imagine, his 2023 KTM 250SX is fast. Photo: Jon Ortner

Back in the canyon, out of sight from most spectators, Glen Helen strung three blind humps together in a loop that rejoined the front part of the Arroyo Vet track 30 feet to their right.

Marc Crosby (75). leads Mic Rodgers (115), Frank Emerson (75) and Ernie Kopasz in the Over-65 Intermediates. Crosby would win both motos.

Frank Emerson (75) and Ernie Kopasz (314) dueled over second in the Over-65 Intermediates. Kopasz would get the spot.

Bruce Ashmore (111) had a run-in with a rider who wasn’t suppose to be in his class. The ensuing crash sent Bruce to the hospital with a dislocated shoulder and broken bone. The offending rider was black flagged, but too late for Bruce. If you aren’t old enough to race in an age-graded class, don’t lie about your age. 

Luther French (21) and Polish rider Arek Kruk (79) enter the sandy straight in the canyon section of the Arroyo Vet track.

Ron Lawson (24) took Dirt Bike’s KTM 300SX to 7-5 finishes in the Over-60 Expert class.

This has been a rare sight in the month of January. The water truck hasn’t been needed for the first three weeks, but the constant rains finally stopped.

“Saturday at the Glen” is probably the only place where you can see two CMC number ones from the Saddleback and Carlsbad days on the track at the same time. Val Tamietti (31) was a three-time CMC Pro #1, while Jody Weisel (71) was the 1984 CMC Vet Pro #1.


Luc De Ley (82) took MXA’s GasGas MC250F to third overall behind winner Ed Guajardo (2-1) and runner-up Robert Reisinger (3-3) in the Over-60 Expert class.


Jon Ortner (N1R) only has two races on his new 2023 Yamaha YZ250X two-stroke. Last week he won the Over-60 Expert class at the National Grand Prix Championship (NGPC) series in Delano and this week he was winning the Over-60 Expert class at “Saturday at the Glen” until he thought the white flag was the checkers in moto two to go 1-8 for 4th overall.


Michel Oetzell (406) was second in the Over-30 Novices and first in the 450 Novices.


Lars Larsson (171) is a marvel. He was a Husqvarna Grand Prix racer, ISDT gold medalist (for three different countries), the GP rider that Edison Dye brought over in 1967 to demonstrate motocross to America, the co-owner of Torsten Hallman Racing (THOR), an inductee to the AMA Hall of Fame, a four-time World Vet Champion and at 81 years old still racing every week.

Malcolm Goldsby (62) swept both motos of the Over-65 Novice class.

Lonnie Paschal (51) went 1-4 for second overall in the Over-60 Intermediate.

The Over-65 Expert class is a hard fought battle every moto between Val Tamietti (31), Bob Rutten (83) and Will Harper (7). They started in these positions and finished in these positions.

Michael Oetzell (406) gets to the ground first in the combined 250/450 Novice class, but Ryan Freitas (665) and Denver Ethridge (515) are out-jumping him. John Schlick (48) ended up 4th in the 450 Novices, but came back to win the Vet Novices in front of Michael Oetzell.

Professional race car driver Ernie Becker (87) gets paid to drive sports cars, but in his own time he races motocross. Ernie went 3-5 for 4th in the Over-60 Intermediate class.

Gabby Sanchez (76) specializes in off-road races, but likes to dabble in motocross. She went 7-5 in the 250 Novice class.

Jett Bushnell (31) went 4-2 for second overall in the 125 Beginner class.


Patrick Miranda (17) won all four motos in the 85cc and Supermini class.


Levi Harrison (825) was second in the 4-to-6 years old Pee-Wee class with a 3-2. His gear and his bike were color-coded red, white and blue, but that ain’t nothing…


Levis’ family came out in force, and in the appropriate team apparel, to cheer him on. 

Bode Bushnell (699) went 4-3 for third in the 85cc class.


Kolton Shores (13) swept both motos of the 65cc Beginner class.

“Saturday at the Glen” motocross will race again February 4, 11 and 25. Pre-entry is only $30 ($25 for minis). Post entry is $40 ($30 for minis) on the day of the race. The Gate fee is $10 (per person). You can sign up for the next “Saturday at the Glen” motocross as late as the Friday before the next race (or just show up in person on race day). For more info go to www.glenhelen.com

Jon Ortner (N1R) flew his Simi Valley Cycles / TBT Racing / O’Neal-sponsored Yamaha two-stroke to an easy win in the first Over-60 Expert moto. His second moto was an easy win for the guys who stayed on the track for the whole moto.

2023 “SATURDAY AT THE GLEN” SCHEDULE

Jan. 14…Winter Series #1 (Arroyo Vet track)
Jan. 21…Winter Series #2 (Arroyo Vet track)
Feb. 4…Winter Series #3 (Arroyo Vet track)
Feb. 11…Winter Series #4 (Arroyo Vet track)
Feb. 25…Winter Series #5 (National track)
Mar. 18…Spring Series #1 & Pasha 125 Open (National track)
Mar. 25…Spring Series #2 (Arroyo Vet track)
Apr. 15…Spring Series #3 (Arroyo Vet track)
Apr. 22…Spring Series #4 (Arroyo Vet track)
May 13…Spring Series #5 (National track)
June 3…Summer Series #1 (Arroyo Vet track)
June 17…Summer Series #2 (Arroyo Vet track)
June 24…Summer Series #3 (Arroyo Vet track)
July 15…Summer Series #4 (Arroyo Vet track)
July 29….Summer Series #5 (National track)
Aug. 19…Fall Series #1 (Arroyo Vet track)
Aug. 26…Fall Series #2 (Arroyo Vet track)
Sept. 16…Fall Series #3 (Arroyo Vet track)
Sept. 23…Fall Series #4 (Arroyo Vet track)
Sept. 30…Fall Series #5 (National track)
Oct. 21…Winter Series #1 (Arroyo Vet track)
Oct. 28…Winter Series #2 (National track)
Nov.3-5…World Vet Championship (National track)
Nov. 18..Winter Series #3 (Arroyo Vet track)
Dec. 9…Winter Series #4 (Arroyo Vet track)
Dec. 16..Winter Series #5 (National track)

 

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