40th Annual Mammoth MX - Dirt Rider Magazine

The iconic Mammoth Mountain Motocross has long been a moto haven for folks looking to escape the city and summer heat to roost through giant pines. Traditionally the first weekend of the 11-day event is ceded to riders 30 years old and older with class breaks for 40 and 50. Despite the expense of travel, lodging and multiple days of riding, some classes sold out on-line under a minute, and every class was filled to capacity in three hours!Two riders who make the first weekend a mission are SX legend Jeremy McGrath and the inspiration of old guys everywhere John Dowd. McGrath holds the outright lap record at the track, and generally wins the regular pro classes as well, had his hands full in the Vet class. MC had been back on a bike for only three weeks after seven weeks dealing with injury. Dowd admits that his training for the year peaks for the Southwick National MX, which traditionally has been held the week before Mammoth, so he came fit and battle-hardened. This year Southwick is in August, so JD wasn't as fit as usual. But it didn't matter. Riders the first weekend race four motos spread over two days, But since Dowd is over 40, he chose to ride both classes, or eight motos (at 9,000 feet elevation)! He easily handled the 40 class with the strongest challenge coming from Former Watercraft champion Victor Sheldon. On Saturday Dowd holeshot and did his all to keep McGrath at bay, and it worked. MC caught up in a few laps, but his arms got tight his hands kept coming off the handlebar, so he backed off and prepared for the second moto.After a Titanic battle for the next two motos, McGrath was able to win, but was not able to shake a determined Dowd until late in the first moto on Sunday. By that time the pair had amassed a lead that allowed MC to slow and high-five announcer Larry Naston as he went by. But then Dowd stopped and talked with Naston, and said he was saving himself for the decisive final moto.The final saw another titanic meeting with Dowd in front at the start and McGrath working his way by. Dowd hung tough and was in a perfect position to capitalize on MC's mechanical distress on the final lap of the weekend.Kyle Lewis ran a strong and consistent third all weekend with Phil Lawrence, Ty Davis and Nathan Woods generally scrapping over the next positions. All said, it was some of the best racing ever seen at Mammoth. Dowd headed home after the race while McGrath will race the regular Pro classes. That should give an indication of whether youth and enthusiasm or age and experience is king of the mountain.For more information on the race go http://www.Mammothmotocross.com