Mini O Wrap Up, Steward Baylor Talks 2015, Kurt Caselli Tribute Bike Raises $27,000 and Much More! - The Weekly Dirt: December 3, 2014

Welcome to Weekly Dirt, your place on the Internet for off-road news from around the world. This week we take a quick look at last week’s Mini Os held over Thanksgiving week at Gatorback Raceway in Gainesville, Florida. We also check in with Steward Baylor, who announced his plans recently for the 2015 season. Finally, Kato brings us an update on the Kurt Caselli Tribute bike, which sold for $27,000. There’s plenty to go over, so let’s get going.

Champions Crowned At Mini O's

Team Green Kawasaki’s Darian Sanayei win the took the Dunlop Silver Tire Award. Photo By Rob Koy
Aussie Reg Magyar won the coveted Scott Golden Goggle award for his efforts in the C divisions. Photo By Rob Koy
Mitchell Falk took the title in the Schoolboy 1 (12-16) B/C Limited division in Motocross and titles in the the Schoolboy 1 (12-16) B/C Limited and the Schoolboy 1 (12-16) B/C in the Supercross divisions. Photo By Rob Koy
Ricky Renner won titles in the 450 A and Junior 25+ classes. Photo By Rob Koy
Jett Reynolds cleaned house in the 85cc 9-11 Motocross and 65cc 7-9 Supercross divisions. Photo By Rob Koy

Another batch of future stars were crowned at the 2014 Thor Winter Olympics – also referred to as the “Mini O’s” – and among the names taking home the biggest awards were Orange Brigade KTM rider Alexander Frye, Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Darian Sanayei, Honda-mounted Reg Magyar, and Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll.

Swoll won six titles in all, those coming in the 12-13 and 12-15 age classes, and walked away with the Fox Bronze Boot and the Pro Circuit Platinum Pipe Awards. Meanwhile, Sanayei took the Dunlop Silver Tire Award, which is given to the rider who accumulates the most points in the Pro Sport divisions. Frye, on the other hand, won the most championships in the Pro classes, claiming three in all.

Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Austin Forkner moved up to the big bikes for 2014, and went home with Motocross titles in the 250B, 450 B, and Schoolboy 2 (13-16) B/C classes. In Supercross, Forkner won the 450 B title.

Magyar, from Australia, won the coveted Scott Golden Goggle award for his efforts in the C divisions. The award goes to the rider that accumulates the most points in the B and C divisions (8-11) and Megyar took titles in the 450 C and 450 C Limited classes.

Other notable class winners included Ricky Renner (450 A and Junior 25+), Marissa Markelon (Pro Women), Jet Reynolds (85cc 9-11 Motocross and 65cc 7-9 Supercross), Mitchell Falk (Schoolboy 1 12-16 B/C and Limited Supercross), Pierce Brown (85cc 9-11 Motocross) and 85cc 9-11 and Limited Supercross), Ryder DiFrancesco (C51cc 4-8 and 7-8 Limited Supercross and 51cc 4-8 Limited Motocross), and Matthew LaBlanc (65cc 7-9 and Limited Motocross and 65cc 7-9 Limited Supercross).

Steward Baylor To Run His Own Team In 2015

Steward Baylor will run his own KTM-based team in 2015. Photo By Rob Koy

Steward Baylor announced at the recent Kenda Ozark 100 that his plans are to run his own team in 2015. Teaming up with Baylor will be GNCC specialist Trevor Bollinger. According to Baylor, the duo will race the national enduro and GNCC series, plus several one-off races like the Kenda Tennessee Knockout and the Kenda Ozark 100.

“Right now we’re working with a trailer company to be our title sponsor, but nothing is finalized yet,” said Baylor. “We’ll still have support from KTM, as well as Fly Racing and FMF.”

Baylor has spent the last two years recovering from various injuries but says he’s finally healthy and at 100%.

"I really want to say I can come back and win my title back," said Baylor. "I've stepped up my training program and I'm in the best shape of my life, so I'm looking for a good year," said Baylor. "I've definitely had my share of injuries and it's been a long and bumpy ride, but I think right now everything is shaping up like I want it."—Shan Moore

Ramirez Wins Kurt Caselli Tribute Bike After $27,000 Bid

This doesn’t look like the KTM 450 SX-F you’d normally see at your dealer or the track. That’s because Roland Sand Design transformed a stock one into a retro-themed “desert sled” as a tribute to KC66--Kurt Caselli--and put it up for auction at the 17th Annual Red Bull Day in the Dirt. It ended up fetching $27,000, the winning bid coming from Caselli’s former teammate/roommate/friend Ivan Ramirez and his father, Ivan, Sr. Though the bike was constructed so it could be easily returned to stock condition, don’t expect the younger Ramirez to line up with it at an AMA Hare & Hound National next year. It’s likely the most collectible KTM around, and the entire amount plus a lot more ended up being raised over the weekend. (By the way, this shot is from the Dirt Rider Kurt Caselli Ride Day Fundraiser a couple weeks ago. Photo By Mark Kariya

When Roland Sands Design took a KTM 450 SX-F that KTM North America donated, the goal of the project was to create a retro-themed “desert sled” in honor of the late, great off-road racer Kurt Caselli. But even better, the intention was to auction said piece of art and turn the funds over to the Kurt Caselli Foundation.

Well, the auction took place at the 17th Annual Red Bull Day in the Dirt at Glen Helen Raceway Park in San Bernardino, California, and the RSD KTM probably exceeded expectations when the bidding reached well into five figures.

When it stopped, the Kurt Caselli Foundation gratefully accepted a $27,000 check. The winner? Fittingly, it was Caselli’s former teammate, roommate and friend, Ivan Ramirez, and Ramirez’s father, Ivan, Sr., who made the winning bid.

With the Dirt Rider Kurt Caselli Ride Day Fundraiser a couple weeks ago bringing in more than $11,500 and the 2nd Annual Kurt Caselli Ride Day (at Glen Helen) coming up this Friday, the KC Foundation is looking at closing out its first full year in fine fashion.

By the way, Australian KTM rider Toby Price--who was part of the Caselli-led team in the SCORE San Felipe 250 last year--took the DITD's weekend finale, the Coup de Grace.—Mark Kariya

Red Bull Day In The Dirt: A Weekend To Remember

KTM’s Ivan Ramirez rode his tail off at DITD, finishing near the front of every class he entered. Photo By Zachary BonDurant
Dirt Rider test rider Jimmy Roberts rails the Long Haul Honda CRF450R test bike to a second place finish in the Stunt GP team race. Photo By Zachary BonDurant
It was awesome to see Taylor Robert shredding a KTM 300 two-stroke on a motocross track! The speedy KTM racer took home a handful of first place trophies at DITD. Photo By Zachary BonDurant
Racing legend Jeff Ward was looking stylish and smooth aboard his KX450F in the vet division. Photo By Zachary BonDurant
It wasn’t Zach Osborne’s weekend to win everything, but the Husqvarna racer put in a great showing and was a threat all weekend long. Photo By Zachary BonDurant
DR’s Ryan Orr backs the KTM 450 SX-F test bike in during the 450 Expert race. Photo By Zachary BonDurant
DITD 17 was a record-setting weekend, with over 2,000 racers in attendance. Practice was absolutely packed! Photo By Zachary BonDurant
Roberts and Denison hand off the bike during the 80-minute team race, in which riders must switch off every single lap. Photo By Zachary BonDurant
Always armed with a smile, DR’s own Ricky Yorks teamed up with FMXer Matt Buyten to put in a great result at DITD. Ricky then scored a solid 15th in the final Survival Race. Photo By Zachary BonDurant

Now 17 years running, the Red Bull/ Fasthouse/ Troy Lee Designs Day In The Dirt is one of Southern California’s most anticipated events. Originally started by the Hollywood stunt community but now expanded to the rest of the two-wheeled industry, DITD turns Glen Helen Raceway into a small city over Thanksgiving weekend. With a wide variety of classes ranging from vintage to two-stroke to youth races, the event culminates with a 90-minute Coup De Grace GP. Overall, it’s a packed three days of that’s half race, half party, and 100% fun.

Big winners for DITD 17 included Red Bull KTM Teammates Taylor Robert and Ivan Ramirez, who owned the Moto-A-GoGo GP team race ahead of a deep talent pool that included Toby Price, Zach Osborne, Sebastian Tortelli, Darryn Durham, Jessy Nelson, and Andrew Short. Robert also threw down wicked lap times in Saturday's Pro/Am Grand Prix, the Bossa Nova Team Race, and the FMF 2-Stroke Revival Race to take top honors there as well. Sean Collier owned Sunday's Pro/Am GP, while SoCal favorite Gordon Ward earned the Vet Classic Grand Prix victory ahead of Dirt Bike's Mark Tilley and FMXer Ronnie Renner. In the brutal Coup De Grace Survival Race—which took place in a sporadic downpour on what was by then a completely hammered track—Toby Price put his KTM on the box to take a 30-second win over Robert, Osborne, Ramirez and Colton Udall.

Of course, Dirt Rider was in attendance all weekend, with test rider Ricky Yorks finishing a solid 15th in the Coup De Grace and third in the Extreme Sports Team Race aboard a Long Haul Kawasaki KX450F. DR Editor Chris Denison and tester Jimmy Roberts came in second in the Stunt GP, while Ryan Orr battled for a top ten in the 450 Expert Division. The beauty of this event is that racers can bite off as much or as little as they want to chew, so it's entirely possible to show up and race just enough to get a taste of the event, or to ride all weekend and leave with big blisters and an even bigger smile.

Part of what makes Day In The Dirt so fun is the party atmosphere, which was highlighted this year by a Kurt Caselli Foundation Auction, a Saturday Night mini race, nightly movies, helmet painting by the TLD crew, and a host of other fun vendors, activities, and events. The family atmosphere is a staple part of this event, with plenty of fun and racing for the kids as well. Best of all, everyone is there to race motorcycles, celebrate Thanksgiving, and have a great time.

Head on over to dayinthedirt.com to see what you missed, and to catch dates as they are announced for next year's event. And for those of you who live in snowy states, you may want to consider adding DITD to your annual Thanksgiving plans—the weather in SoCal is prime for racing that time of year, and we guarantee that your whole family will have a blast! —Chris Denison

That’s all for this week, be sure to check in next week for more news from the off-road world.