With the unfortunate news that the Adelanto GP had called off the pro race, I was left with an appetite to race on Saturday and decided to satisfy it by heading out to Glen Helen for REM and a bit of MX training. I rather enjoy the REM series races and so it came as a small shock when I realized it had been over a year since I’d made it out to one. I must say that the new (well, new to me) course design since the X-Fighters has made the track flow better, added a few options for racing lines and allows for more competitive racing. After burning some hot laps in practice I felt great on the bike and, as I lined up for the first moto, was looking forward to a bit of sprint training.
I haven’t started with a motocross gate, let alone one on concrete, for some time, so when the gate fell I was very happy to get off the line well, heading into the first turn in second position. I was soon applying massive pressure on the leader trying to push past him and just a few corners into the race I made a move around the outside and jetted into first-place. Tony Amaradio quickly made the move behind me and showed he still has plenty of speed as he clung to my back tire. A couple of laps in, I began opening up a gap and after finding some better lines I had stretched out over 10 seconds, allowing me to focus solely on how I was riding the track. I continued to enjoy myself through the checkers, winning the first moto and putting myself in a great position for the overall.
For the second moto I wanted to improve my start by one, but as the gate dropped I found myself slightly off balance and as much as I fought to keep the throttle pinned, I finally had to lift, regain myself and settle into fourth through the first turn. I quickly made my way into third behind Brandon Brady and Amaradio and it was apparent the intensity had increased from the first moto. Brandon was hanging it out, looking for a way by Tony, and a lap later he made his move into first. I soon worked my way onto Tony’s rear fender, anxious to get by before Brandon pulled too much of a gap, and as we headed down Mt. Whitney I pushed hard down the inside, out-braking him into the corner. Unfortunately, my momentum had carried me a bit wide and Tony made a cheeky move as he cut back underneath my line, taking second-place back. I didn’t waste much time finding another way by as just a couple corners later I carried more momentum around the outside of a left-hander and took sole possession of the spot.
I now had my sights set on Brady who was riding extremely well out front, making it difficult to gain ground, but I was slowly starting to cut into his lead. With less than half the race to go I had closed the gap to just a couple seconds, and that’s when Brandon gave me a real gift as he stalled his bike at the base of Whitney. He tried to quickly restart his machine, but his efforts were in vain as I was close enough to capitalize and make the pass for the lead. I focused on riding smooth from there on and I was able to close out the race with a pretty comfortable gap at the finish. It was unfortunate for Brandon that he stalled his bike; he was riding really well and it would have made for quite a battle to the finish, but I was happy to come away with the moto sweep.
REM races always provide a fun day of competition, and Saturday was no exception. I’d like to thank all of my supporters: Precision Concepts, Alamo Alarms, Fox, THR Motorsports, Northland Motorsports, USWE, GPR, HookIt.com and all of our team sponsors for continuing to back me. I’m doubling up this weekend since Sunday is the first round of the Gary Jones Western Off Road Championship Series and, as I love to race at Glen Helen and the pro race is two hours long, it’s a bit of a no brainer for me to go out there to get some excellent training in and have a great time!
Thank you to all the Precision Concepts, Alamo Alarm racing team sponsors: FMF Racing, GPR, IMS, BRP, AME Grips, Kalgard, Ryan Abbatoye Designs, Renthal, Dunlop, VP Racing Fuels, DT1 Filters, Hinson, Matrix Concepts, RK/Excel, Acerbis, Works Connection, Zip-Ty Racing, SealSavers.