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First, let’s get the weather out of the way. Last week the temperature at Glen Helen was 106 degrees. This week it was 102 degrees. To hear the REM motocross racers talk about the difference, you would have thought that a blizzard had just rolled off the Pacific Ocean. Freezing temperatures aside, 4 degrees is amazingly noticeable to people dressed in multiple layers of leather, carbon fiber, Nylon, plastic and fiberglass.
As you might expect riders from places with typically hot weather did very well at the weekly REM motocross races this weekend. Hawaiian Brian Medeiros won the 250 Pro class for the third straight week, while Kuwaitti Adulatif Alkhanna took the 250 Novices (102 in Kuwait isn’t considered hot). Other impressive foreign winners were Holland’s Ralf Schmidt in the Over-40 Expert class and Sweden’s Stefan Adriansson in the 125 Two-Stroke class.
Adulatif Alkhanna (88) came from Kuwait to prepare for the upcoming Arab National Championships. He used a 2-2 to win the 250 Novice class over Argentinian Gustavo Cisneros (4-1) and Matt McKenna (1-4). Photo: Debbie Tamietti
Australian Dan Alamangos and Brian Muscutt rode MXA’s 2017 and 2018 KTM 350SXFs back-to-back in various motos during the day—plus, MXA’s Daryl Ecklund and Travis Fant used the 2018 KTM for a video shoot and photo session before practice even started. Photo: Debbie Tamietti
MXA raced its 2018 Honda CRF450 in two classes (albeit disguised in used 2017 plastic). Jon Ortner (63) won the Over-50 Elite class and Jody Weisel was third on the Over-60 Intermediates. Between motos it was ridden by several other MXA test riders. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
THE BIG WINNER
The big winner of the day was Over-50 Elite rider Jon Ortner. The Over-50 Elite class is reserved for former Pros born before 1967—although there have been non-Pro riders who have raced their way into the Elite class with late blooming talent. Ortner, who is a three-time REM number one rider, showed up with his regular YZ450F, but was drafted to race MXA’s 2018 Honda CRF450. Although he had raced a 2017 CRF450 several times last year, he tested the 2018 bike in practice and then went to the starting line. Ortner and last week’s winner Luther French played a high-speed game to tag in the first moto of the Over-50 Elite class, with Luther getting the win. In the second moto, after making a few suspension adjustments, Ortner followed Luther for one lap before going around him on the humpback curve just before crossing over the start line. And that was all she wrote. Ortner’s 2-1 beat Luther’s 2-1. As always Luther and Jon shook hands on the track exit.
THE OTHER WINNERS
It seems that the hotter the weather the better the track prep and this week’s REM track was primo—102 or not. Kudos to the Glen Helen crew and John Allen in particular. The effort is appreciated. We all know that motocross is all about the dirt. Here are some selected classes and their top threes:
85 EXPERT 1. Kayden Smith 2. Caleb Stephans
3. Dominic Vaccarello
OVER-40 EXPERT 1. Ralf Schmidt 2. David Cincotta
3. Pasha Afshar
This is the last lap of the Over-60 class. Kent Reed (491) leads, but is about to get rammed by Jody Weisel (63), while Mike Marion (35) is about to return the favor to Jody. Joe Pena is coming up fast behind the lead trio. Guess what? Nobody passed anyone, but they all got black tires for the effort. Photo: Debbie Tamietti
OVER-50 EXPERT 1. Ron Shuler 2. Joe Sutter
3. Dean Adkins
OVER-50 INTERMEDIATE 1. Randy Skinner 2. Bill Reimer
3. Bill Clontz
OVER-50 NOVICE 1. Dan Paulson 2. Glenn Pietronico
3. Andy Stix
250 INTERMEDIATE 1. Aryton Ward 2. Brandon Sussman
3. Matt Bynum
OVER-60 EXPERT 1. Val Tamietti 2. Bob Rutten
3. Joe Pena
OVER-60 INTERMEDIATE 1. Kent Reed 2. Phil Cruz
3. Jody Weisel
Mike Monaghan (44) showed up with a broken foot, but wedged it into his Alpinestars and went 8-8 in the Over-50 Expert class. Pasha Afshar (L7) went 9-9, but could walked after the moto was over. Photo: Debbie Tamietti
OVER-40 NOVICE 1. Pete Vetrano 2. Kenneth Clark
3. Gary Taylor
125 TWO-STROKE 1. Stefan Adrianssson 2. Andrew Browne
3. Austin Redd
450 NOVICE 1. Bradley Cole 2. Blake Paschal
3. Josh Fout
250 NOVICE 1. Abdulatif Alkhanna 2. Gustavo Cisneros
3. Matt McKenna
THE BRAND BREAKDOWN
Brand breakdown: The last week Yamaha finally took the top spot away from KTM —albeit only by 4%. This week KTM regained the top spot with 36% of all the racers at REM on orange. Yamaha was second with 29%, Honda third with 17%, Husqvarna fourth with 8%. Kawasaki and Suzuki both had 4% and TM had 2%. There was one Cobra in the mini class.
Age breakdown: If you divide the REM motocrossers into two age groups — under 40 years old and over 40 years old — it breaks down like this. 60% of this week’s racers were over 40 and 40% were under. If you sub-divide the older group out by 40, 50 and 60 years olds—it would be 40% under 40 years old, 15% between 40 and 49, 25% between 50-59 and 20% over the age of 60. The three biggest single classes were the Over-50 Experts first and Over-50 Intermediates, Over-60 Intermediates and Over-40 Novices tied f0r second.
JON ORTNER’S PHOTO BONUS
REM races again next Saturday, July 22. Will it be over 100 degrees for the third straight week? For more info go to wwww.remsatmx.com