Hawaiian Brian Medeiros (63) has been getting ready for the start of the AMA 250 National series by racing a 2018 Yamaha YZ450F for training. When Hangtown rolls around on May 19, he’ll switch back to his YZ250F. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
On Saturday REM Motocross started a four-straight race schedule that will lead up the May 26 AMA Glen Helen 250/450 National. This week’s race was on the classic REM track, built over the remains of the original Arroyo Cycle Park track from 1973. Next week’s race (May 5th) will be on the Glen Helen National track, utilizing most of the National layout, but without the massive jumps. The May 12 REM motocross will be back on the REM track, as will the My 19 race. If riders want to race one more time before the AMA National, Glen Helen will host a Friday Amateur National on May 25 (with the massive jumps) and a Friday night Amateur Stadiumcross (on Glen Helen’s Stadiumcross track).
Dave Eropkin (811), Randy Skinner (363), Randel Fout (22) and Val Tamietti (31) take a roller coaster ride at REM Glen Helen. These two drop-offs are much steeper than they look in the photo. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
In short, if you want to race in the next month you have May 5, May 12 and May 19 to race with REM — and May 25 to race the amateur portions of the Glen Helen National.
Matt Hubert went 1-2 in the 450 Pro class, but that’s like kissing your sister when your competition goes 2-1. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
REM is willing to hold 30-minute motos over the next three races for the Pro class, but only if enough Pros show up to take advantage of a National-length warm-up. If there aren’t enough Pro riders to justify the longer motos, the Pros will race 20 minutes. Team managers can call REM if they are interest in testing the fitness of their riders before the Glen Helen AMA National at (951) 200-0699.
Pete Murray grabs the bare minimum mount of traction to keep moving forward (and sideways at the same time). Photo: Debbi Tamietti
This weekend’s REM track was as rough as it used to be back in the days before the Red Bull X-Fighters rebuild changed the nature of the dirt (by excavating the front part of the track with a stadium viewing section). Although still rough after X Fighters left Glen Helen, with classic SoCal square-edge bumps, REM hasn’t been as rough as it used to be back in the glory days. Well, this week the roughness came back. The only place to rest on Saturday’s REM track was on the track exit—where the riders could take a deep breath and unpucker.
This pack of four was leading the Over-60 Expert class. All looks well, but a few feet later all that would change for Randy Skinner (383), Val Tametti (31), Randel Fout (22) and Dave Eropkin (811). Photo: Dillon Ziegler
Val went down in the ruts, causing Randel and Dave to do the domino thing. Photo: Dillon Ziegler
The big whoops and curb-like square-edge bumps claimed the unwary as riders went down, often in piles of three or more at a time. At one point, the three biggest contenders in the infamous Over-60 Expert class (Val Tamietti, Randel Fout and Dave Eropkin) were laying on top of each other— allowing Randy Skinner to scoot away to the overall victory.
Frank and Myra Thomason celebrated their 47th wedding anniversay the same way they have celebrated the last 35—by running the REM races. Unlike most race promoters, Frank and Myra are loved by the men who race with REM (well, Frank not as much as Myra). Photo: Ernie Becker
Hawaiian Pro Brian Medeiros won the 450 Pro class—even though he threw in a couple of crashes over the two motos. And, no 250 Pros took the checkered flag in their second moto—the victims of crashes and mechanical woes. In all the crashes, no one was seriously hurt—just their pride.
Ralf Schmidt picked some spectacular lines trying to miss the deep rust and square-edge bumps on his way to the 125cc Two-Stroke Adult class victory. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
We are positive that it’s a Dubach, but it is getting harder to tell the son from the father. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
The 125 Two-Stroke Adult class seemed to have found the secret as the little tiddlers danced across the wave-like bumps without the big swaps that were generated by the four-strokes. Dutch racer Ralf Schmidt took his TM MX125 to a 1-1 victory over Giovanni Spinali (3-2) and Brian Calhoun (2-4). Additionally, Carter Dubach, son of former Team Yamaha factory rider Doug Dubach, raced his YZ125 to the overall victory in the 450 Intermediates.
The circle of life at REM. Photo: Rich Stuelke
THE TOP FIVES AT REM
Billy Joe Mercier raced the AMA Supercross series in 1993 and the 250 Nationals in 1996. Now he is happy as a local REM racer in the Over-40 Expert class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
New England Champion Austin Squires raced the AMA Nationals from 1997 to 2004. Austin now works for Metzeler/Pirelli. He hasn’t raced in about five years, but decided to make his comeback on his old Suzuki at REM. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
Here is a selection of classes and the top five riders in each of them:
OVER-40 EXPERT 1. Billy Mercier (Yam)…1-1 2. Austin Squires (Suz)…2-2 3. Mike Carter (Hon)…5-3 4. Ralf Schmidt (TM)…4-4
5. Terry Cook (Yam)…3-5
Joey Cirocco (154) won the Over-40 Intermediates, while his son Ryan Cirocco (154) was second in the 450 Novices, behind behind Bradley Cole (14). Photo: Debbi Tamietti
OVER-40 INTERMEDIATE 1. Joey Cirocco (Suz)…2-1 2. Geno Prida (Hus)…1-2 3. Chris Yearger (Hon)…4-3 4. Kevin Jackson (Hon)…3-4
5. Joe Sutter (Hon)……5-5
Matt Sweet (934) made the long trip down from Washington State to go 5-4 in the Over-40 Novice class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
OVER-40 NOVICE 1. Danny Younghusband (Yam)…1-1 2. Lamont Dusseau (Yam)…2-2 3. Pete Vetrano (Yam)…4-3 4. Terry Miller (Yam)…4-3
5. Matt Sweet (Yam)…5-4
Chris Radzinskii (104) swept both motos of the Over-50 Expert class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
OVER-50 EXPERT 1. Chris Radzinski (Kaw)…1-1 2. Ron Shuler (KTM)…3-2 3. Robert Reisinger (Hus)…2-4 4. Jerry Black (Hus)…4-3
5. Chris Cole (KTM)…6-6
Zach Randolph (214) and Carter Dubach (15) battled for the 450 Intermediate win. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
OVER-50 INTERMEDIATE 1. Jeff Case (KTM)…2-1 2. Robbie Carpenter (KTM)…1-3 2. LuC Deley (Hus)…3-2 4. Lonnie Paschal (Yam)…4-4
Brian Bolding of N2Dirt has been missing for a long time with a shoulder injury. He came out to give it a try, but found out that it wasn’t ready for prime time just yet. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
OVER-60 EXPERT 1. Randy Skinner (KTM)…3-1 2. Dave Eropkin (KTM)…2-2 3. Val Tamietti (Yam)…1-4 4. Kirk Bassetrt (KTM)…4-3
5. Pete Vetrano (Yam)…5-5
John Caper (44) was 4th in the Over-60 Intermediates, while Bob Gilbert (427) was 3rd and Steven Chandler (306) first. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
OVER-60 INTERMEDIATE 1. Steven Chandler (TM)…1-1 2. T.V. Holmes (KTM)…3-2 3. Bob Gilbert (KTM)…2-3 4. John Caper (Hon)…4-4
5. Gene Boere (KTM)…6-5
Tony Parson went 2-2 in the Over-65 Intermediate class on his new 2018-1/2 Factory Edition. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
OVER-65 INTERMEDIATE 1. Jim McCartney (KTM)…1-1 2. Tony Parsons (KTM)…2-2 3. John Huegel (KTM)…3-3 4. Rich Stuelke (KTM)…5-4
5. Jody Weisel (KTM)…4-5
Mike Marion (80) and Pete Vetrano (37) both two-stroked it in the Over-60 Expert class—they finished 5th and 9th respectively, Vetrano would later give up 20 years to go 4-3 in the Over-40 Novice class. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
VET NOVICE 1. Braden Larson (Hus)…1-1 2. Robby Gilbert (KTM)…2-2 3. Mark Taylor (Yam)…4-3 4. Anthony Barraza (Yam)…5-4
5. Greg Atkinson (Hon)…6-5
Nicholas Ziegler (background) crashed while leading the 250 Novice class, handing the overall victory to Jeremy Mowry (738). The only consolation is that his brother Dillon, who is out of action with an injury, was there to shoot the photo. Photo: Dillon Ziegler
250 NOVICE 1. Jeremy Mowry (Yam)…1-1 2. Nicholas Ziegler (Yam)…2-2 3. Jack Mowrey (Yam)…3-3 4. Seth Garret (Yam)…4-4
5. Cole Myerly (KTM)…5-5
Gene Boere (62) two-stroked his way to 5th in the Over-60 Intermediates behind John Caper, Bob Gilbert, T.V. Holmes and winner Steven Chandler. Here, Gene is chased by Jody Weisel (52) and Rich Stuelke (4). Photo: Debbi Tamietti
250 BEGINNER 1. Kade Garrett (Yam)…2-1 2. Roger Griffin (KTM)…1-2 3. Tyler Rich (Suz)…4-3 4. Jacob Wondolowski (Hn)…3-4
5. Ryan Rich (Suz)…6-6
Giovanni Spinali (45) chases Ralf Schmidt in the 125cc Two-Stroke Adult class and would come back later to get 7th in the Over-50 Experts. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
VET BEGINNER 1. Alika Kupau (Suz)…2-1 2. Shawn Khacherian (KTM)…3-2 3. Joel Hernandez (Yam)…1-4 4. Michael McCune (Kaw)…5-3
5. Terry Varner (Hon)…4-7
REM’s Kid’s track get a workout by the sons and daughters of the REM racers. Kennedy Gravitt gets gets the most out of her Honda 50. Photo: Debbi Tamietti