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Photos by Dan Alamangos, Debbi Tamietti and Mark Chilson
SoCal has been be living in the warm glow of an “Indian Summer” as the Santa Ana winds blew in 100 degree weather at REM ‘s Glen Helen motocross races this Saturday. A few days before it was 75 degrees and the day after it was 80 degrees—but when the races come to town—the world heats up.
Jon Ortner raced with Ron Lechien back in the AMA Nationals in the 1980s. Did we say raced with? We meant he was on the track at the same time. But, now that they are both much older, Jon raced with Ron Lechien at REM. Photo: Mark Chilson
The big show was predicted to be the showdown between Ron Lechien, Jon Ortner and Luther French in the Over-50 Elite class. But a wrench got thrown into that battle right after practice when Luther French didn’t show up on the line for moto one. With Lechien getting the holeshot, all that Jon Ortner could hope for was to hang onto Ron’s coat tails and wait for Ron to get tired. In the first moto, Ron didn’t get tired. He never pulled far away from Ortner, but he was never under any pressure.
Jon Ortner hoped that he could get a better start in the second moto and get in front of Ron Lechien. It didn’t happen. Ron holeshot again and Ortner was buried in the pack. Ortner pushed hard to make up ground quickly, but instead got caught up in a Robert Reisinger crash. The showdown never came down to anything exciting and Ron Lechien won both motos going away and Ortner was second both times.
THE VAL TAMIETTI SHOW
It’s rare that the Over-60 class gets any attention, but ever since Val Tamietti went on his win streak, people are lining up to see who can beat the former CMC number one racer from the 1970s. Since coming back from shoulder surgery, Val has only lost one race and has a win streak that stretches to 23 races.
This week Andy Kirker, Thad Friday, Bob Rutten, Kirk Bassett, Pete Vetrano and Mark Donaldson were joined by 60-year-old and one-day rider Mark Crosby—all hoping to stop Tamietti’s unbeaten streak. It didn’t happen, Val went 1-1 with Kirker 2-2 and Friday 3-3 rounding out the top three. Tamietti’s reign remains.
It looks like hope has to come from the Over-60 Intermediate class because two of those riders showed Expert speed in the gate behind the Over-60 Experts. Former Pro Dan Schramm won the Intermediates with a 1-1 (and said he would move to the Over-60 Experts at the next race), while John Bosanko was a close second with a 2-2 and REM will have to look at his lap times since he raced up into the Expert gate also. George Kohler (3-4) was third, but now lives in Carson City, Nevada, and only races three times a year (and came to SoCal to get in few race laps before racing the Over-65 Expert class at the World Vet Championship in four weeks).
The biggest class of the day was the Over-50 Experts. It was a red letter day for Joe Sutter who used a 3-1 to get the win over a top ten of Givanni Spinali (2-3), Chris Radzinski (1-4), John Begin (8-2), John Griffin (5-6), Jerry Black (7-5), Robert Reisinger (6-7), Ron Shuler (4-9), Dan Alamangos (9-8) and D.R. Clement (11-10).
In the Over-50 Intermediates Randy Skinner went 1-1, Dave Eropkin 2-2 and Lance Schoonmaker 3-3. The reward for their prowess? They all got moved up to the Over-50 Experts for the next race.
The 250 Novices were won by Ty Hartman (1-1) over a top five of Hunter Turner (3-2), Kallen Sibert (2-4), Travis Caldera (4-3) and Richard Begg (5-5). Josh Fout took the 450 Novice win by trading moto wins and second places with Bradley Cole. Louie Romo went 1-1 in the Vet Novice in front of Anthony Barraza (3-2), Mark Taylor (2-3), Lamont Dusseau (5-4) and Jason Bassett (6-5).
REM does not race on October 14 because of the 24 Hours of Glen Helen cross-country race or on the following weekend on October 21, but they return of October 28 for the Annual Octobercross race—which is the official warm-up race for the World Vet Championship. For more info on REM go to www.remsatmx.com
NEWS ABOUT OUR DEAR DEBBI
MXA photographer Debbi Tamietti (second from right) and Tina Simons, wife of Willy Simons and mothe rof will Simons Jr, (third from right) were at the Las Vegas concert when the shooting started. To read Debbi’s story click here