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Dirt Rider goes Surfing
Photos courtesy of Toyota Surfercross and Brown Dog Wilson
By Ricky Yorks and Jimmy Lewis
The 14th annual Surfercross was held July 26th, and 27th. The format has professional surfers and motocross riders paired up, and ready to do battle on the two-day event.
Day one started at the track in Perris California at the Lucas Oil MX Park. Dirt Rider Magazine was in full force with Jimmy Lewis riding a Husky 125, Chris Barrett on his Pro Circuit KX125 and Ricky Yorks, riding his Autism MX backed Yamaha YZ250. There wasn’t a plan to all ride two-strokes, but that’s what happened, the DR boys all showed up with our premix burning machines. When the dust had settled from the moto event, Chris Barrett and Sean Vilandry sat on top of the leader board in the industry class. In the pro class Grant Langston and Chava Greenlee had the lead (Langston was also riding a two-stroke KTM 250 SX). Derek Garland and Yorks were in second place and Jimmy Lewis and Jeff “Chicken” Mataisevich rounded out the podium. Funny thing was that since there was a shortage of surfers, so-called pro moto guys like Lewis and Garland we now making their Pro Surfing debut and would likely pay for it in the ocean.
Day two took place at Trail 6 in San Onofre, California. Typical on the sand at this lowkey event, you can’t help but notice all the smiles and high fives you get from competitors and friends alike. I think it is safe to say, anyone who has ever been a part of this competition knows that this invite-only event is one of the coolest all year. The water was nice and refreshing after spending the first day at the hot and dusty track. For the surfing portion, it’s fun to watch some of the moto guys struggle to stand up or even paddle out into the waves, while the pro surfers shred the waves so effortlessly. You can definitely tell the guys who spent there summers chasing amateur motocross championships. After the surf heats, everyone takes a break for lunch. Wahoo’s caters the event both days, and provides great food for all the athletes. When the surf finals came to an end, it was Dakota Tedder and Mark Gabriel who topped the field with the overall win combining strong performances in both events but not winning either. That is the beauty of the event and it’s random draw format. Riley Harper and Chad Robbins finished second, while Garland and Yorks, pulled off the final podium spot in third. In the industry the same thing almost happened, well at least for Barrett and his partner who felt robbed or floundered in the waves, judges decided! KTM frontman Jon Eric Burelson and Jonathan Murphy topped FMF’s Jeff Northrup and Curt Beigel while Baja Champ Johnny Campbell and Terry Beal took the third step on the podium.
Much of the credit each year goes out to Jeremy Albrect and his team for putting on such a fun event and he couldn’t do it without the continued help from strong sponsors like Fox, Oakley, Rokform, DC Shoes, Wahoos, FMF, KTM, Kawasaki, N Style and of course Toyota.-Ricky Yorks
Believe it or not, California Governor Jerry Brown responded to pressure from the OHV community and line item vetoed much of the damaging cuts to the California OHV program. It took a lot of letter writing and calls but it worked. Now there is a scandal within the State Parks with hidden money, much of it stashed away in the OHV program coffers but not being used, only stolen. There is an ongoing investigation but we need to again put pressure on the Governor to keep OHV money for OHV programs.
See this post to learn more and take a few minutes to be heard.-Jimmy Lewis
Like Loretta Lynn’s, Ponca City has been a place where amateur riders were able to showcase their talents and gain exposure before breaking into the big leagues. Ryan Dungey, Ryan Villopoto, Trey Canard and Nico Izzi are among some of the recent graduates of Ponca.
Riders making a name for themselves at this year’s AMA Fly Racing Ponca City MX Championships in Ponca City, Oklahoma, included Austin Burns, who had an incredible week by winning all 12 of his motos en route to four titles. The Monster Energy Team Green rider claimed titles in the 250A, 450A, 250 Pro Sports, and 450 Pro Sports classes.
Sean Cantrell and Daniel Baker also turned in good showings and claimed three titles each, with Cantrell taking titles in the 85 (12-13) Stock, Jr Mini (9-13) and Sr. Mini (12-14) classes. Meanwhile, Baker’s three titles came in the 250 B Mod, 250 B Stock and Schoolboy 2 (13-16) B/C divisions.
Meanwhile, Sandy, Utah’s Pierce Brown made history by giving Cobra their first-ever major national title in the 65cc division after taking titles in the 65 (7-9) Mod and Stock classes.
Other riders leaving town with two titles included, Gage Linville, Ryder DiFrancesco, Matt Bisceglia, Jalek Swoll, Jordan Bailey, and Michael Sleeter.
Linville’s titles came in the 51 (4-8) Open Stock and 51 (7-8) Mod divisions, while DiFrancesco topped the 51 (4-6) Mod and Stock classes.
Meanwhile, Bisceglia won titles in the 450 B Mod and Stock divisions on his Honda, Yamaha rider Swoll topped the 65 (10-11) Stock and Mod divisions, and Jordan Bailey won the 85 (9-11) Stock and Mod titles.
Sleeter rode his factory KTM to wins in the 25+ and 30+ Expert classes.
Challen Tennant absolutely dominated the Supermini 1 (12-15) division, running away with all three motos in the process. The Texas rider had two moto wins in the Supermini 2 (13-16) division, but he was disqualified from the second moto for receiving outside assistance when he had bike problems during the race.
Miles McDonald went 2-2-5 to win the Supermini 2 (13-16) division.
Now it’s off to Loretta Lynn’s for most of these guys! Look for updates from LL in next week’s Dirt!
Steward Baylor has been on a rampage this year in the AMA/Rekluse National Enduro Series presented by Moose Racing, and this past weekend, the South Carolina rider wicked it up in the final test to take a narrow victory over eight-time national enduro champ Michael Lafferty at round seven of the series in Cross Fork, Pennsylvania.
After jumping out to a quick lead early in the race, Baylor found himself 10 seconds down to Lafferty heading into the sixth and final test of the day. However, the Fly Racing/ RidePG.com/Genuine Dirt Racer/WP Racing USA-backed KTM rider turned in his best run of the day to surpass Lafferty by just two points at the finish.
Lafferty was third fastest in the final test after high-siding over a slippery log, but the factory Husaberg rider still finished out the day with the runner-up position.
With the win, Baylor extended his lead in the series standings to 23 points over Lafferty in the series standings with just three rounds remaining.
Husaberg’s Nick Fahringer, who handily won this race last year, rounded out the podium after turning in one of his best rides of the year. The Ohio rider turning the fastest time in the fourth and fifth tests after getting off to a slow start early in the day, but was pushing both Baylor and Lafferty heading in the final test. A couple of crashes, however, thwarted any chance of Fahringer moving into the top two.
New Jersey KTM rider Jesse Groemm continues to move up the ranks and parlayed a steady and nearly error-free performance into a fourth place finish. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania native Andrew DeLong was hoping for a strong ride in his home state and the FAR Husqvarna rider was pleased with a solid fifth.
Shenandoah Honda-backed Thad DuVall was sixth after winning the opening test of the day. DuVall was riding a 250 two-stroke for the first time all year, and only had an hour on the bike before the race.
Defending series champ Russell Bobbitt had an off day and finished a lowly seventh on his FMF/KTM, while Steward Baylor’s younger brother Grant, finished eighth on a KTM. -Shan Moore
That’s all for this week, check in next week for more off-road news.