Round 6: Lake Elsinore MX Park
Story by Steve Caro
Photos by Kathryn Caro
LAKE ELSINORE, CA, JUNE 20, 2015
The Tucson, Arizona, Tourist Bureau put it succinctly: “But it’s dry heat!”
Those four words aptly describe the conditions that the CALVMX competitors faced for the final round of the 2015 First Series at Lake Elsinore MX Park. The thermometer hovered around the 97-degree level the entire day. By midday, hydration for both humans and the track surface were of the utmost importance.
A healthy turnout of machines from the 1970s up to modern ones filled the pits on an absolutely cloudless day. Only a faint breeze kept temperatures from reaching triple digits. Due to the severe drought conditions, in an effort to save water, Elsinore’s track staff added a proprietary product to the contents of the water truck, enabling them to use less water yet at the same time add a degree of “tackiness” to the challenging track surface.
The manmade course at Elsinore always provides a unique challenge to the racer. For CALVMX, the main track at the complex was altered to suit the capabilities of the classic racing machinery in use. A combination of flat cornered turns, tabletop jumps and a few bowl-shaped corners had the full attention of the riders throughout the motos.
Riders faced an added twist: There was a flag start rather than the traditional gate or rubber-band start. A long starting straight leading to a tight left-hand first turn mandated a good start for a chance at a high moto finish.
The GP 1 500cc Expert division featured a three-rider duel in both motos.
In the first moto, Husqvarna racer Brent Koble emerged from a first-turn tangle of machines with the lead, over longtime competitor Ed Tashjian, on a Suzuki, and Brad Roysdon, who was mounted on the only four-stroke-powered machine in the contest, a Yamaha TT500-based machine.
Koble maintained a torrid pace on the heavily rutted course. Tashjian stayed within striking distance but was never able to close in for a pass attempt. After being involved in that first-turn tangle of machines, Roysdon worked his way up to third. At the checkers, it was Koble with the win, followed by Tashjian and Roysdon.
Moto two saw Tashjian and Koble getting nearly identical starts. Koble led the pack into the back portion of the course, but this time Tashjian was a mere bikelength behind.
Powering their way around one of the few bermed corners, Tashjian gassed his big RM400 and squeezed into the lead. The rough Elsinore course really worked the suspensions on the first-generation long-travel machines for the entire length of the motos, as both front and rear wheels seemed to be in a continuous up-and-down cycle.
Koble kept steady pressure on Tashjian throughout the moto, and even a slight mistake would have resulted in a position change. Immune to the pressure behind him, Tashjian powered his way to both the moto win and the overall victory. Koble was second overall, followed by Roysdon with 3-3 scores for the final podium spot.
The Vintage Sportsman 125cc class is one of the true survivors of Vintage racing. Within the ebb and flow of the sport, those faithful to the eighth-liter-sized motor have always managed to field a steady number of entries in the Novice, Intermediate and Expert divisions.
Veteran campaigner Jeff Snyder has been around Vintage racing for 20-some years. Using a variety of machines ranging from Honda Elsinores and Husqvarna CRs to Yamahas, CZs and Hodakas during his long career, Snyder has had one of the most consistent careers on the Southern California circuit. At Elsinore, the Honda-mounted Snyder conducted a two-moto battle with his fellow Honda rider Tim Bartee in the Vintage Sportsman 125cc Intermediate class.
Moto one saw Snyder time the waving of the flag perfectly to lead the combined field of Intermediates and Novices out of the first turn. Trailing Snyder were Bartee and Kawasaki-mounted Pete Wright.
Elsinore’s course layout meant the small-bore machines had to be kept “up on the pipe” at all times to avoid loss of forward momentum. Snyder held the lead position from start to finish, with Bartee never more than a few bikelengths behind as the two battled not only each other but also a course that would penalize the slightest miscue by a rider. At the checkers, Snyder crossed the line with the win, followed by Bartee and Wright.
Snyder wasted no time in the second moto, as he pulled an impressive holeshot at the drop of the flag and powered his way into a multisecond lead over Bartee and the rest of the pack.
Midway through the moto, Bartee closed the gap on Snyder as they made their way through the back portion of the course.
With one lap to go, Snyder found an extra burst of power and extended his lead to several bikelengths. The moto finished with Snyder clinching the overall victory and Bartee taking a well-earned second overall.
In the Women’s division, Yamaha-mounted Liz Winslow topped the Expert ranks. Kawasaki jockey Carol Feeney topped the Intermediate class, while Suzuki rider Kerri Kress and Honda pilot Alyssa Borrielli scored top honors in the Novice and Beginners divisions, respectively.
Honda-mounted Travis McCaw was top dog in both the Vintage Sportsman 250cc Intermediate class and the GP 1 125cc Intermediate class.
Maico-mounted Brad Morrison won the Over 50 GP Expert contest.
Honda rider Sandi Weidler bested the GP 150cc Novice field.
Suzuki jockey Mark Sandzimier came out on top of the GP 2 125cc Experts.
Honda riders Tanner Pies, Jerry Nocciolo and Paul Parker topped the Three-Wheeler Expert, Intermediate and Novice divisions, respectively.
July will see the CALVMX cavalcade returning to Cahuilla Creek MX Park. Scheduled for July 19, the round will be the opening event for Series 2 in the CALVMX program.
For further information on Vintage Motocross racing, see calvmx.net and ahrma.org.
Lake Elsinore MX Park
Lake Elsinore, California
Results: June 20, 2014 (Round 6)
IRONMAN VINTAGE INT: 1. Art Leva (Hon).
IRONMAN GP NOV: 1. Gideon Branch (Yam).
IRONMAN GP INT: 1. Tyler Varner (Yam); 2. Don Hansing (Mai).
WOMEN BEG: 1. Alyssa Borrielli (Hon).
WOMEN NOV: 1. Kerri Kress (Suz); 2. Lillie Chase (Hon); 3. Julia Notman (Mai); 4. Tina Varnes (Kaw); 5. Sandi Weidler (Hon).
WOMEN INT: 1. Carol Feeney (Kaw); 2. Lori Payne (Hon); 3. Julie Lee (Yam).
WOMEN EX: 1. Liz Winslow (Yam).
WOMEN VINTAGE: 1. Kerri Kress (Suz).
ADULT MINI EX: 1. Mike Bierman (Hon).
ADULT MINI 125 INT: 1. Lori Payne (Hon).
GP 85 NOV: 1. Jessie Sedig (Yam); 2. Jeremiah Sedig (Kaw).
XR STOCK INT: 1. Art Leva (Hon).
VINTAGE WORKS EX: 1. Brad Russell (Suz).
VINTAGE SPORTSMAN 125 NOV: 1. Ben Eisen (Yam).
VINTAGE SPORTSMAN 125 INT: 1. Jeff Snyder (Hon); 2. Tim Bartee (Hon).
VINTAGE SPORTSMAN 250 NOV: 1. Marty Eisen (Yam).
VINTAGE SPORTSMAN 250 INT: 1. Travis McCaw (Hon); 2. Tim McIntyre (CZ); 3. Jim Barker (Hon); 4. Craig Walker (CZ); 5. Dana Yenawine (CZ).
VINTAGE SPORTSMAN 250 EX: 1. Brent Wilkinson (Suz).
VINTAGE SPORTSMAN 500 INT: 1. Frank Maney (Suz).
GP 100 STOCK NOV: 1. Randy Rhinehart (Yam).
GP 100 STOCK INT: 1. Scott Piddington (Yam); 2. Norm Himaka (Yam); 3. Terry Russell (Yam).
GP 100 STOCK EX: 1. Steven Furman (Yam).
GP 150 NOV: 1. Sandi Weidler (Hon).
GP 1 125 INT: 1. Travis McCaw (Hon).
GP 1 125 EX: 1. Brad Russell (Suz); 2. Jack McCormick (Suz).
GP 1 250 NOV: 1. Pat Wilkining (Suz).
GP 1 250 INT: 1. Michael Smole (Yam); 2. Steve Gallegos (Hsq).
GP 1 500 INT: 1. Darrel Sedig (Mai); 2. Scott Mays (Hsq).
GP 1 500 EX: 1. Ed Tashjian (Suz); 2. Brent Koble (Hsq); 3. Brad Roysdon (Yam).
GP 2 125 INT: 1. Bob Seki (Suz).
GP 2 125 EX: 1. Mark Sandzimier (Suz).
GP 2 250 NOV: 1. Julia Notman (Mai).
GP 2 500 NOV: 1. Kevin Reynolds (Mai).
GP 2 500 EX: 1. Roland Rodriguez (Mai).
GP 3 125 NOV: 1. Ed Larnerd (Yam).
GP 3 125 INT: 1. Jeff Jackson (Kaw).
GP 3 125 EX: 1. Kirk Jackson (Kaw); 2. Ed Tashjian (Suz).
GP 3 250 INT: 1. Christian Hanks (Kaw); 2. Darrin Hammon (Yam).
GP 3 500 NOV: 1. Don Moore (KTM).
OPEN AGE GP INT: 1. Vince Laker (Hon).
50+ VINTAGE INT: 1. Jeff Snyder (Hon).
50+ VINTAGE EX: 1. Steve Ellis (C-A); 2. Brent Wilkinson (Suz).
50+ GP NOV: 1. Kevin Reynolds (Mai); 2. Don Moore (KTM).
50+ GP INT: 1. Ron Rinden (Hon); 2. Don Hansing (Mai); 3. Mark Stubbs (Hon).
50+ GP EX: 1. Brad Morrison (Mai); 2. Dave Feeney (Hon); 3. Brent Koble (KTM); 4. Brad Roysdon (Hon).
60+ VINTAGE INT: 1. Craig Walker (CZ); 2. Dana Yenawine (CZ).
60+ GP INT: 1. Rickert Haag (Hsq).
MODERN SUPPORT 4-STROKE NOV: 1. Tim Rasmussen (Yam); 2. Gideon Branch (Yam); 3. Al Rogers (Hon).
MODERN SUPPORT 4-STROKE INT: 1. Liz Winslow (Yam).
MODERN SUPPORT 4-STROKE EX: 1. Robby Campbell (Yam); 2. Steve Furman (Kaw).
MODERN SUPPORT 2-STROKE NOV: 1. Barry Katz (Yam); 2. Randy Rhinehart (Suz); 3. Verne Lofquist (Hon).
MODERN SUPPORT 2-STROKE INT: 1. Tyler Varner (Yam); 2. Darrin Hammond (Yam).
MODERN SUPPORT 2-STROKE EX: 1. Kirk Jackson (Hon); 2. Mark Sandzimier (Suz).
DUAL SPORT POST-1990 INT: 1. John Souza (KTM); 2. Vince Laker (Hon).
3-WHEEL STOCK 250 INT: 1. Jerry Nocciolo; 2. John Robertson.
3-WHEEL STOCK 250 EX: 1. Paul Parker.
3-WHEEL STOCK OPEN INT: 1. Jerry Nocciolo II.
3-WHEEL STOCK OPEN EX: 1. Tanner Pies; 2. Tom Decrescente; 3. Larry Proctor.