“SATURDAY AT THE GLEN RACE REPORT:” THE FIRST WARM DAY & A LONG, LONG TRACK
How many steeply banked, 180-degree corners are there at Glen Helen. Two on the National track (Talladega and the Velodrome) and two on the Arroyo track (the first turn and the Mini-Talladega). There used to be a scale-size one on the Pee-Wee track, but the Pee-Wees moved to the Stadiumcross track and gave the land back to the Arroyo track.
PHOTOS BY DEBBI TAMIETTI
By summertime standards it wasn’t hot at Glen Helen on Saturday, but given how cool Spring has been and how wet the Winter was, the 90-degree temperatures and bright sun were a shock to the systems of people used to wearing jackets, “Saturday at the Glen” is only one-third of the way through its 2023 race schedule, which doesn’t come to an end until December 16. Although Pros were in short supply — even MXA’s Dennis Stapleton, Josh Mosiman and Josh Fout went to Pala to get in a of couple rides before Pala is closed to start working on the National track for May 27. But, of course, the regulars show up no matter what. Many of them have been racing on the “Saturday at the Glen” track since it was called Arroyo Cycle Park and even more raced it during the 35-year residency of REM Motocross.
What they didn’t expect was a really long layout that covered a lot of ground — big hills, swerving sand sections, high speed canyons and lots of off-camber corners.. The handful of Pros could crank out 2:30 lap times, but most of the Intermediate class were at 3:10, and the slower classes close to 3:30 (with the back markers pushing 4:00 minutes)—and when you are sitting on a hot starting line waiting for the last rider to come around so they can start your race, four minutes is an eternity.
What follow is Debbi Tamietti’s photo gallery of most of the major players at “Saturday at the Glen” this past weekend. Enjoy!
J.P. Alvarez (192) swept both motos of the 250 Pro class.Rick Richards (45) won the Over-40 Intermediate class on his Suzuki smoker with a 1-1.
Rick Richards performance was no doubt aided by taking a nap between motos.
Hollywood actor and two-stroke race promoter Pasha Afshar (L7) won the 125 Expert class at the last “Saturday at the Glen” race, but this week the Mairose brothers, Nick and Jeremy, pushed him back to third.
Pasha and Jody in the morning before practice.
Pasha and Jody later in the day.
Braden Larson (121) came back from a first moto second place to win the second moto and take the Vet Intermediate class on his Husqvarna with a 2-1 score.
Farzam Marzi (84) took the 125 Novice win with a 3-1 over Angel Vargas’ 1-3 and Tyler Hopson’s 4-2 .
Tyler Hopson (216) finished third in the 125 Novice class with a 4-2. Tyler is the son of Andrew Hopson, who has worked for Team Honda, Team Suzuki, Team Pro Circuit and now works for KTM.
This is Chance McCord. Chance can usually be seen in the Rrazor as a track worker. He borrowed the bike from the Hopsons and rode the first 125 Intermediate race. Then had to get back to work helping downed riders on the track. So, he missed his second moto.
Bill Sauro (311) leads the Over-50 Experts with Arek Kruk (79) and Alan Jullien (7) in hot pursuit.
Alan Jullien (70) used every inch of track in his effort to stay with Sauro, but Bill has been winning regularly over the last couple months. Sauro went 1-1, while Jullien went 3-2 for second..
John Griffin’s 7-5 was only good enough for 6th overall as he finished behind Bill Sauro, Alan Jullien, Larry Laye, Michael Carter and Poland’s Arek Kruk.
Alan Jullien relaxes between motos with friend Tatiana, a Russian Ballerina who used to dance in the Bolshoi. It must be true because she had a very heavy Russian accent.
Davin Alexander (43) took the Over-50 Intermediate victory with a 1-1.
Robert Reisinger (96) might have been able to take the Over-60 Expert win, but a first moto 4th killed that chance (even though Robert won the second moto). Ed Guajardo (27) pounced on Reisinger’s first moto issues to win with a 1-2.
Luc De Ley (65) has been working his way up through the Over-60 Expert ranks on MXA’s 2023 KTM 300SX two-stroke and this week was on the verge of cracking the top two, but Luc’s 2-3 tied with Reisinger’s 4-1 and Reisinger’s better second moto broke the tie.
Randy Skinner (491) borrowed Jody Weisel’s 2023 Gasavarna, but got a flat rear tire on his way to the starting line and rode back to the pits where Kent Reed lent him his 2023 GasGas MC366F. Randy had trouble adapting to Kent’s set-up, but led to the last corner before going over a berm to finished second behind Robert Pocius (157). He worked on Kent’s bike between motos and came back and won the overall with a 2-1. Not bad for a Speedway racer.
Randy Skinner’s win came about because his “Saturday at the Glen” pals are a tight knit group and lent him their race bikes. Randy is waiting for surgery to stop his hands from going numb—this week they didn’t .
Steve Piattoni (262G) went 4-4 for fourth in the Over-60 Intermediates.
Chuck Peterson (157) had a 4-5 day on his GasGas in the Over-60 Novice class.
Some classes, although not necessarily the fastest, hold a fascination for the local fans because of who races in them. One of those classes is the Over-65 Experts where you can see SoCal stars of the past still racing. Val Tamietti (31) and Dave Eropkin (811) went 2-1 and 1-2 with Tamietti taking the win. Baja 500 /1000 hero Bob Rutten was third, Indian Dunes star Will Harper fourth and four-time 250 National Champion (and current Over-70 World Champion) Gary Jones in 6th .
These are the three fastest Over-65 Experts heading into the Min-Talledega turn on the first lap. Dave Eropkin (811) was a hotshot 125 Pro back in the 1970s, Val Tamietti (behind Eropkin) was a multi-time CMC number one rider on his Track N Travel Maico. Bob Rutten (behind Val) was a famous desert racers in the glory days of the big California desert races.
In the combined over-65 Expert and Over-65 Intermediate start, the three fastest Experts disappeared very quickly. Over-65 Expert Will Harper (7) leads a gaggle of Over-65 Intermediates that includes Jim Hanson (83), Tim Hoole (40), Marc Crosby (75) and Carl Gazafy (176) though the Mini-Talladega turn.
Although the “Dentist of the Stars” Marc Crosby (75) was at the back of the group on the start, he quickly worked his way to the front in both motos to go 1-1 to Pete Vetrano’s 3-2, Jim Hanson’s 2-3, Tim Hoole’s 4-4, John Fitz’s 6-5 and Carl Gazafy’s 5-6 (Phil Cruz and Mic Rodgers DNFed).
Joe Wilson (46) took the Over-50 Novice victory with a 2-1, beating 65-year-old Pete Vetrano’s 1-2.
Pete Vetrano (37) traded moto wins and seconds with Joe Wilson in the Over-50 Novice class for second place and also finished second overall in the Over-65 Intermediates on his GasGas.
Jaden Still (28) took the win in the big 250 Beginner class with a 1-1.
IN THE MINI RANKS
Henry Gardiner (94) took the overall win the PW/XR class for entry-level bikes like the Yamaha PW50 and small displacement Honda four-strokes (other brands are also allowed).
Benjamin Bojorquez (78) won the 50cc Pee-Wee class for riders ages 4-to 6.
Lucas Campbell (284) took second in the 4-to-6 year old Pee-Wee class with a 2-2.
Ryder Paul swept both motos of the 50cc Pee-Wee 7-to-8 year old class.
Dennis Allen (214) won the 65cc class on a Yamaha YZ65 and came back to win the 85 Beginner class also.
Patrick Miranda (17) edged out Jacob Tilley (5) for the win in the 85cc class. Miranda had a 2-1 to Tilley’s 1-2.
Carson Klein (3) put together a 6-5 moto score for a top five finished in the 85cc class.
2023 “SATURDAY AT THE GLEN” SCHEDULE
If yo are looking for a racing oganization that ofeer long moto, low cost and very consistent race schedule—this is it. “Saturday at the Glen” motocross will race again on June 3, June 17, June 24, July 15 and July 29. 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
2023 “SATURDAY 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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