It’s been very busy the last 4 weeks for the companies and riders who follow the amateur mx circuit. They started off in Daytona for the RCSX then to Oakhill MX in TX, next up was Freestone for the Spring Classic in TX, and then all the way west for the FMF racing California Classic put on by 2xpromotions at Pala Raceway. It’s like a bunch of traveling Gypsy’s in their motorhomes and trailers hoping to catch the eye of the Big OEM’s to get that Factory Ride.
I was fortunate enough to be able to be apart of the amateur program KTM calls the Orange Brigade, so when I get the chance to see the riders and families who still ride for the program I try and attend the events they race at. This years California Classic has even more vendor and OEM support then last year and is growing every year with that being said this is the premier spring time event on the West Coast and essentially made the NMA World Mini disappear.
Today was practice day at the 4 day event and I went and got in a little practice before I race on the week in the 25 and 30+ classes. Pala is known for its huge jumps and fast straights, but this track is far from that. The crew at Pala has made a very demanding track with lots of tight turns, some big doubles, sand sections and man made bumps spaced out to slow the speeds down. It got very rough and demanding and I heard a lot of people complaining but it’s the same track for everyone and rumor has it there will be some slight track changes to help the flow, but at the end of the day I’m sure the stars will shine in all classes.
Speaking of stars I snapped a few pics of some of the top riders bikes which are very close to what the pros are using in MX and SX. These riders are the next breed to come through the ranks into the big leagues and they all have lightning speed. In the A class keep an eye out for Husqvarna’s Michael Mosiman. He is very smooth and really shines when the track is rough, Cole Barbiere is on a Suzuki support team managed by Larry Brooks that could really help with his confidence, Cycle Trader Yamaha’s Brandon Hartranft and Justin Copper opened some eyes in Freestone and if they carry that confidence into this weekend they should be upfront. Star Yamaha’s Challen Tennant, Brazil’s Enzo Lopes and Jordan Bailey have the speed to win but I think confidence and bad starts are things they need to tackle to be on the top step. In the highly competitive Supermini classes you will see Kawasaki’s Stiles Robertson and Dilan Schwarts, MTF’s Jarret Frye is on a roll, and Carson Mumford is making his return on his Factory Geico 150 4-stroke duking it out. In the B classes its going to be TLD KTM’s Derek Drake, Geico Honda’s Jo Shimoda and Monster Kawasaki’s Garret Marchbanks pulling away form the group and going for the title.