Saddlemen

Portfolio from CALVMX Vintage MX, Round Eight

| 2 October 2017 1:13 pm

CALVMX/100% Vintage Motocross Regional Series
Round 8: Perris Raceway

Story and Photography by Tom Corley/tcestudios@netzero.net
PERRIS, CA, SEPT. 10, 2017

Sayaka Kaneshiro – a Wonder Woman who is real to those of the moto community. Can she leap like a superhero and whip it over the jumps? Yep! No problem, and we’ve got a picture in this portfolio to prove that feat, too.

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Even more impressive than seeing a woman compete against Pro-caliber racers is the fan base that she has made, many of whom were first swept off their feet seeing her compete in the 40 Years of Women’s Motocross event at Glen Helen. On this day, with the CALVMX at Perris, it was her final race in California, USA, as she would soon be embarking to Okinawa, Japan.

Sayonara, Sayaka!

Along with pictures of Sayaka’s farewell performance, there are some others of interest in this portfolio, including the always incredible battle of the CZs between Greg Landers and Nick LaPaglia, as well as newcomer Ayrton Sieja, also CZ mounted.

Incredible medals with an image of Sayaka emblazoned on them (and signed) were awarded to the winners. The day was topped off with a group shot of the riders surrounding guest of honor Sayaka, and her family, too.

This rockin’ coverage, as always, is best seen on a large-screen computer. Enjoy!

At the riders’ meeting, CALVMX promoter Frank Vrettas introduced the guest of honor, Sayaka Kaneshiro. The group of racers should know her well by now, but perhaps they hadn’t had a chance to see her without a helmet. The day was also special for Frank, as it was his birthday.

At the riders’ meeting, CALVMX promoter Frank Vrettas introduced the guest of honor, Sayaka Kaneshiro. The group of racers should know her well by now, but perhaps they hadn’t had a chance to see her without a helmet. The day was also special for Frank, as it was his birthday.

All present at the riders’ meeting finally got to see Sayaka without her helmet on, but now she is in full racing armament. How would this day go for her, and when will she be racing again?

All present at the riders’ meeting finally got to see Sayaka without her helmet on, but now she is in full racing armament. How would this day go for her, and when will she be racing again?

Looking forward to her future, Sayaka Kaneshiro said that this bike would be put in a container and shipped to Okinawa after this race. But first, let’s see a couple of pictures that depict the stylish rider we will never forget.

Looking forward to her future, Sayaka Kaneshiro said that this bike would be put in a container and shipped to Okinawa after this race. But first, let’s see a couple of pictures that depict the stylish rider we will never forget.

It takes a modern bike and a lot of confidence to be able to do this on a bike and land right. Sayaka does it right.

It takes a modern bike and a lot of confidence to be able to do this on a bike and land right. Sayaka does it right.

Puffy, billowy clouds float on a vibrant blue sky, while two sky pilots become part of this phenomenon. Sayaka is on the far side, matched by another naturally gifted rider – the great John Rice.

Puffy, billowy clouds float on a vibrant blue sky, while two sky pilots become part of this phenomenon. Sayaka is on the far side, matched by another naturally gifted rider – the great Jon Rice.

On the starting line is Sayaka’s brother Shota Kaneshiro, who is fast, too. Let’s see how he looks out on the track…

On the starting line is Sayaka’s brother Shota Kaneshiro, who is fast, too. Let’s see how he looks out on the track…

Looking good while taking this berm is Shota Kaneshiro (678), who is on his way to winning the Modern Support Four-Stroke Expert title. Were there any more from the Kaneshiro family who raced on this day…?

Looking good while taking this berm is Shota Kaneshiro (678), who is on his way to winning the Modern Support Four-Stroke Expert title. Were there any more from the Kaneshiro family who raced on this day…?

Yes, there certainly was another member of the Kaneshiro family racing, and that was Sayaka and Shota’s dad, Tsoyoshi Kaneshiro (11X). Now, this rider is one for going out and just having fun! As you can see, he is wearing a hat on his helmet. It looks like it’s being held on by duct tape; amazingly, it stayed on! This fun rider went on to win the GP 200cc Novice first-place medal.

Yes, there certainly was another member of the Kaneshiro family racing, and that was Sayaka and Shota’s dad, Tsoyoshi Kaneshiro (11X). Now, this rider is one for going out and just having fun! As you can see, he is wearing a hat on his helmet. It looks like it’s being held on by duct tape; amazingly, it stayed on! This fun rider went on to win the GP 200cc Novice first-place medal.

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This guy does things his way. That’s our Bob Tocco, who goes by a few names, and they all describe his personality and lifestyle.

This guy does things his way. That’s our Bob Tocco, who goes by a few names, and they all describe his personality and lifestyle.

“Nice changes were made, and the track was great backwards – loved it!” enthused Bob Tocco, who added, “I would like to thank Fasthouse, Lucas Oil, 100%, and Factory Effex for their support, and hope to see everyone at Barona Oaks!”

Ayrton Sieja (241) is a new talent who has really taken to Vintage racing, though he learned his techniques on a modern bike.

Ayrton Sieja (241) is a new talent who has really taken to Vintage racing, though he learned his techniques on a modern bike.

CZ-mounted relative newcomer Ayrton Sieja had stiff competition in race two from Greg Landers and Nick LaPaglia.

“We took turns dive-bombing each other,” Landers commented, “and as a result, we each took turns getting the short end of the stick. With regards to Ayrton Sieja, he took a spill after we tangled while we were going for the same line on a jump landing. Luckily, he was okay, and I had a spare clutch lever for him to use that day. After the races, I took their pipe down to Jim at Shirley Designs in Huntington Beach to have a dent removed, which was a result of the crash.”

Greg Landers (27G) leads Nick LaPaglia (17), who is kicking up a big trail of dust for whoever is following.

Greg Landers (27G) leads Nick LaPaglia (17), who is kicking up a big trail of dust for whoever is following.

The first moto of race two had the fast boys out on the track, which at this juncture was somewhat dusty. Landers is just coming back into racing.

“I was bummed that I had to sit a few races out due to the transmission issues I suffered at the So Cal Vintage MX Classic,” Landers reported. “I was able to get that sorted out, and during that time I happened to find another 1973 CZ 400 that I take along to the races now as a spare race bike.”

A back shot of Greg Landers (27G) and Nick LaPaglia (17) engaging in a race that was the best of the day.

A back shot of Greg Landers (27G) and Nick LaPaglia (17) engaging in a race that was the best of the day.

“Perris was eventful, to say the least!” Landers remarked. “I really enjoyed the track being ran in that backwards direction. It flowed well, and their effort to make more berms didn’t go without notice.”

Greg Landers (27G) on his way to taking the win in the Open Age Vintage Expert class, over Nick LaPaglia (17).

Greg Landers (27G) on his way to taking the win in the Open Age Vintage Expert class, over Nick LaPaglia (17).

“Nick and I definitely had some run-ins!” Landers said. “Thanks to Frank, the CALVMX crew, and Perris Raceway for their efforts.”

With his mouth wide open and giving a big shout-out, Nick LaPaglia (17) ends his day of racing.

With his mouth wide open and giving a big shout-out, Nick LaPaglia (17) ends his day of racing.

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Scott Burnworth (8) was looking good on his Project ’87 Suzuki 125, under the watchful eye of his tuner Gary Faxon. What could possibly hold him back…?

Scott Burnworth (8) was looking good on his Project ’87 Suzuki 125, under the watchful eye of his tuner Gary Faxon. What could possibly hold him back…?

… Well, Scott Burnworth’s bike came to a sudden stop. He later explained just what the prognosis was: “We lost a piston wrist pin bearing.” That gave him a 1-DNF score in the Over 50 GP Pro class.

… Well, Scott Burnworth’s bike came to a sudden stop. He later explained just what the prognosis was: “We lost a piston wrist pin bearing.” That gave him a 1-DNF score in the Over 50 GP Pro class.

Swooping to the inside of the first turn is Dan Paulson (236), in the Modern Support Four-Stroke Intermediate class.

Swooping to the inside of the first turn is Dan Paulson (236), in the Modern Support Four-Stroke Intermediate class.

Dan Paulson won the Modern Support Vet Intermediate and Modern Support Four-Stroke Intermediate classes.

“I thought the track was prepped really well, the CALVMX staff ran a great show, and it was nice to take part in the farewell send-off for Sayaka,” Paulson reported. “Oh, yeah – and I won all four of my motos.”

In race seven’s first moto, note that Jeremy Smith (317) has green numbers on his number plate that match his spokes.

In race seven’s first moto, note that Jeremy Smith (317) has green numbers on his number plate that match his spokes.

The start of the second moto didn’t turn out well for Jeremy Smith (317), as he took a soil sample in the dusty conditions. Trying to avoid him were Ichiro Horaba (4) and Andy Loftquist (51).

The start of the second moto didn’t turn out well for Jeremy Smith (317), as he took a soil sample in the dusty conditions. Trying to avoid him were Ichiro Horaba (4) and Andy Loftquist (51).

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Go, mini riders! Some young riders get a good start at this Vintage Motocross event: Ryder Friday (42) leads Tony Nguyen (132) in race three.

Go, mini riders! Some young riders get a good start at this Vintage Motocross event: Ryder Friday (42) leads Tony Nguyen (132) in race three.

“My racing went great!” Ryder Friday reported. “I got a second place. I hadn’t raced in a while, so it was fun. I liked the track a lot. The jumps were really fun and safe. I’d like to thank Mommy and Daddy, uncle Chris Cole, my brother Logan, Spider Grips, Malcolm Smith Motorsports, Troy Lee Designs, and EKS Brand Goggles.”

Team Blaze rider Craig Furman (22) in race-five action.

Team Blaze rider Craig Furman (22) in race-five action.

Craig Furman took first place in the opening moto of the GP 3 125cc Intermediate class.

“It felt good leading [Scott] Burnworth,” Craig Furman confided. “My cardio isn’t too hot, as I was breathing for oxygen.”

In the second moto, his rally ended.

“The bike blew up!” Craig exclaimed. “It has an orange spark. Guess I killed it going after Burnworth.”

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A flurry of riders head through the first turn side by side – and that makes it easy to fall. Here in race four, we have Thomas Engelhardt (11T), Roland Rodriguez (86) and Rickert Haag (48R).

A flurry of riders head through the first turn side by side – and that makes it easy to fall. Here in race four, we have Thomas Engelhardt (11T), Roland Rodriguez (86) and Rickert Haag (48R).

Micah Davis (118) has surfed before, but he is best at racing motocross. He took his fast Honda to the GP 1 200cc Expert-class win.

Micah Davis (118) has surfed before, but he is best at racing motocross. He took his fast Honda to the GP 1 200cc Expert-class win.

More from race four: Mark Stubbs (16) pursues Darrell Sedig (90K). On the day, James Youngblood was the winner of the Over 50 GP Intermediate class, with Sedig in second and Stubbs in third.

More from race four: Mark Stubbs (16) pursues Darrell Sedig (90K). On the day, James Youngblood was the winner of the Over 50 GP Intermediate class, with Sedig in second and Stubbs in third.

Mark Stubbs (16) dices with Thomas Engelhardt (11T).

Mark Stubbs (16) dices with Thomas Engelhardt (11T).

Mark Stubbs was positive about everything on this day.

“The track was great!” Stubbs exclaimed. “I’m feeling like 16 years old again.”

See what Vintage Motocross racing does for a person?

Chris Heinrich (121) and Eric Cook (4Q) get ready to rumble.

Chris Heinrich (121) and Eric Cook (4Q) get ready to rumble.

In the start line before the 100cc contest got under way. Chris Heinrich pointed to Eric Cook and asked, “Is that your chest protector?”

“No,” Eric replied, “that’s my belly protector.”

On the day, Heinrich won the GP 100cc Pro class, while Eric Cook took first in the first GP 100cc Modified Intermediate moto, but he tallied a DNF in the second moto.

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Three-wheel action had enough riders to make for some excitement. Matthew Carrick must have lost his number plate, but we know it’s him, as he was on the way to taking second in the Open Expert class, behind David Ham. Jerry Nocciolo (33, behind Carrick) won the 250cc and Under Expert class.

Three-wheel action had enough riders to make for some excitement. Matthew Carrick must have lost his number plate, but we know it’s him, as he was on the way to taking second in the Open Expert class, behind David Ham. Jerry Nocciolo (33, behind Carrick) won the 250cc and Under Expert class.

Meet Shohei Kimara, on his CRF 1000l Honda Africa Twin, which weighs in at 511 pounds.

Meet Shohei Kimara, on his CRF 1000l Honda Africa Twin, which weighs in at 511 pounds.

This was Shohei Kimara’s first motocross race; he normally rides in the desert and takes Japanese riders on guided trips to Baja. Shohei is a mechanic and owns a motorcycle repair shop called Moto Whoops in Gardena, California. Yes, he knows Sayaka Kaneshiro… and Bob Seki, too.

Shohei Kimara takes a simple fall on his 511-pound bike. Well, vintage and modern bikes do the same thing, and you’ve got to hand it to Shohei for getting out there for the first time.

Shohei Kimara takes a simple fall on his 511-pound bike. Well, vintage and modern bikes do the same thing, and you’ve got to hand it to Shohei for getting out there for the first time.

Race two saw a close contest between Tim McIntyre (13, in the red jersey) and Vincent Laker (192).

Race two saw a close contest between Tim McIntyre (13, in the red jersey) and Vincent Laker (192).

Tim McIntyre is the bike mechanic for Vincent Laker, which made their duel interesting. Asked Vincent what it is like racing against Tim, he said: “I always enjoy racing with Tim, as he can monitor my bike as he flies by me.”

And what did Vincent think about the track?

“A huge improvement, running the track in reverse,” he replied. “Wished for a longer start straight, but a left-hand turn is a bonus.”

Then Tim was asked about his customer Vincent.

“The Englishman must have some Scottish heritage, because he gets the most value out of every race,” McIntyre responded. “He is one of the few who have the stamina to take advantage of the buy-three-entries-and-get-the-fourth-free option, and he does it every month!”

Tim McIntyre (13) gets a little air on his CZ, ahead of Dan Ayala (X54).

Tim McIntyre (13) gets a little air on his CZ, ahead of Dan Ayala (X54).

On the day, McIntyre took second place in the Over 50 Vintage Expert class. As for Dan Ayala (X54), he placed fourth in the Over 60 Vintage Intermediates.

“The change of direction was perfect,” McIntyre said of the layout. “The last two meets at Perris, the track didn’t flow and became just a matter of, If you start well, you’ll finish well. Now the track let you run outside for speed or inside to make a move – a lot more fun for me, because I don’t always gate well, but I love to pass!”

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With the racing over, it was time for everyone to join together in the concession center to say hello and, hopefully, win a medal!

Here we’ve got our guest of honor Sayaka Kaneshiro (center) with Michael Bierman (left) and Lori Payne (right) – three people who are always smiling.

Here we’ve got our guest of honor Sayaka Kaneshiro (center) with Michael Bierman (left) and Lori Payne (right) – three people who are always smiling.

The medals for this day were special, because they had a picture of Sayaka Kaneshiro on them. Burner Design did these medals, and the man behind that is ace racer Scott Burnworth – who is in our next picture…

The medals for this day were special, because they had a picture of Sayaka Kaneshiro on them. Burner Design did these medals, and the man behind that is ace racer Scott Burnworth – who is in our next picture…

Sayaka with Scott are first up in our awards presentation. They made that great-looking medal possible.

Sayaka with Scott are first up in our awards presentation. They made that great-looking medal possible.

Tommy Luera Jr. won the Junior Beginner class. Behind him is Sayaka and Tommy Luera Sr. In the background is a great-looking poster with a collage of Sayaka’s pictures from throughout the last few years.

Tommy Luera Jr. won the Junior Beginner class. Behind him is Sayaka and Tommy Luera Sr. In the background is a great-looking poster with a collage of Sayaka’s pictures from throughout the last few years.

Mark Sandzimier accepts his award from Sayaka for winning the GP 2 125cc Expert class.

Mark Sandzimier accepts his award from Sayaka for winning the GP 2 125cc Expert class.

The two fastest guys out on the track on this day accept their medals from Sayaka: Nick LaPaglia (left) and Greg Landers (right).

The two fastest guys out on the track on this day accept their medals from Sayaka: Nick LaPaglia (left) and Greg Landers (right).

Greg Landers wrapped up this day after engaging in two hard motos of bar-banging with Nick LaPaglia and Ayrton Sieja.

“In the end, it was all high-fives and laughs between myself, Nick and Ayrton,” Lander said. “That’s the way it should be. After all, we all have families to go home to and work on Monday.”

Landers thanked numerous people who have helped him out: “I’d like to give a special thanks to factory Hodaka number-eight “Gentleman Jim” Stein for some carb-tuning tricks during the break and some hydration tips. He happened to notice I was only getting about two-thirds throttle in the first two motos. Lastly, I’d like to thank Valley Relic Museum, Deus Ex Machina, Pro Form Racing, Front Runner Suspension, Maxima Racing Oils, Mid-Cities Motorsports, and Von Zipper.”

Last up is Darrin Hammond, who is showing his appreciation to Sayaka for being here on this day.

Last up is Darrin Hammond, who is showing his appreciation to Sayaka for being here on this day.

Hey, this photographer wanted his picture with Sayaka, too! She’s wearing a 40 Years of Women’s Motocross shirt, and I’m wearing one from Guns ’N’ Roses for this rockin’ coverage. Now how about a group shot with Sayaka so nobody is left out…?

Hey, this photographer wanted his picture with Sayaka, too! She’s wearing a 40 Years of Women’s Motocross shirt, and I’m wearing one from Guns ’N’ Roses for this rockin’ coverage. Now how about a group shot with Sayaka so nobody is left out…?

The group shot was the last chance for everyone to get a picture with Sayaka. We’ve got a present to everyone from Sayaka, and that is the next picture…

The group shot was the last chance for everyone to get a picture with Sayaka. We’ve got a present to everyone from Sayaka, and that is the next picture…

The scene was the So Cal Vintage MX Classic 8 at Glen Helen, at which Sayaka Kaneshiro amazed all who hadn’t seen her race yet and thrilled those who were already her fans! I took this shot on one of the uphill jumps, made an 8x10 for this event, and had Sayaka sign it for all of you.

The scene was the So Cal Vintage MX Classic 8 at Glen Helen, at which Sayaka Kaneshiro amazed all who hadn’t seen her race yet and thrilled those who were already her fans! I took this shot on one of the uphill jumps, made an 8×10 for this event, and had Sayaka sign it for all of you.

Lastly, here’s a picture of CALVMX promoter Frank Vrettas with his birthday cake.

Lastly, here’s a picture of CALVMX promoter Frank Vrettas with his birthday cake.

Time to sing along….

For he’s a jolly good fellow
For he’s a jolly good fellow
For he’s a jolly good fellow…
Which nobody can deny!

[For more from this event, including race coverage, results, and more photos, please see “Sayaka Says Goodbye” by Steve Caro and Kathryn Caro… Editor]

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Category: Motocross, Regional, Vintage, Vintage Motocross

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