Pala, CA—The AMA Pro Motocross series traveled to Fox Raceway at Pala on Saturday, May 25, for round two of its series, followed by the Fox Raceway National Amateur Days on Sunday, May 26th.
Due to traffic and parking issues experienced last year, the Amateur Days races were not promoted as heavily for this year’s event. And, as expected, the turnout was not as big as the week before at Hangtown. Despite the entry size, the event was a total success and first year promoter Myron Short deserves props for the amazing job he did with this year’s event.
For 2019, a new class has been added to Pro day called the 125 All Stars race. Every Pro National Motocross in 2019 will feature the class, which was created to provide an opportunity for the manufacturers that still make 125 two-strokes to showcase these bikes. The 125 class fills a huge gap between 85s and 250s, so MX Sports is helping fill the void by making 125 two-strokes a part of the pro afternoons. The reaction to the 125 All Star class has been amazing and the turnout at Pala was great.
Josh Varize turned in the ride of the day when he outran multi-time supercross/motocross champion Ryan Villopoto (Yam) to win the 125 All Stars race. Varize and Villopoto swapped the lead at least seven times during the course of the race.
“It was pretty cool knowing I was battling with a multi-time champion,” said Varize.
Villopoto grabbed the holeshot at the start of the race with Varize in third, however the KTM Orange Brigade rider was able to get into second quickly and started to pressure Villopoto.
“I was on his tail. I knew I could get around him. I just had to find the right spot,” said Varize. “I found the right spot and then passed him. I thought I was going to eventually start creeping away, but then the next thing I know, I hear him right behind me again. I made a little mistake and he passed me.”
The two leaders exchanged the lead at least five more times until finally Varize made the winning move on the final lap.
“I was leading at the end and I wasn’t expecting him on the inside of me before those big, seat bumper rollers,” said Varize. “Once he got by me I was like, ‘oh no’, because I knew it was the last lap. The big hill was coming up and I know how light I am; I’m able to just power up that hill. Luckily, I got onto the inside of him and was able to get in front of him right there. I knew I just had to stay smooth, don’t make any mistakes and just bring it on to the checkers.”
Varize was excited about beating a legend of the sport.
“It was pretty cool having all the people there, all the fans and stuff like that,” said the 17-year-old. “You hear the air horns and you hear everyone screaming and stuff. It was pretty cool to come over the finish line first and hear everyone clapping and high-fiving everyone. It was pretty exciting.”
Fast House Yamaha rider Andrew Hertzler finished third.
One of the premier classes during Sunday’s Amateur action is the FMF Two-Stroke Challenge, and KTM rider Seth Brandenburg won both motos to claim the overall win. Tyler Jensma (Yam) was second with two second-place moto finishes while Kyle Allison (KTK) was third.
KTM’s Max Miller also posted 1-1 finishes to win the Schoolboy 2 (13-17) division, while David Dabon (Yam) was second overall with a 2-2 performance. Am Pro Yamaha rider Jarrett Frye finished third.
The Super Mini 2 (13-16) class was won by Slade Varola. The JGR/Yoshimura Suzuki rider led every lap of both motos to claim a 1-1 overall victory. Stav Orland (KTM) went 2-2 for second while fellow KTM rider Kayden Smith finished third in both motos for third overall.
Austin Black (Suz) dominated the B class, winning both the 250 B and 450 B divisions. In the 250 B class, Jarrett Frye led all five laps of the first moto, with Black finishing second. In the second moto, it was Black leading every lap and posting the fastest time to win the race. In the end, Black took the overall win with a 2-1 moto tally, while Max Miller (KTM) went 3-2 for second overall. David Dabin (Yam) was third overall with a 4-3 finish. Frye did not start the second moto.
The 65 Open (7-11) class saw a battle between Husqvarna rider Vincent Wey (Nick Wey’s son) and Seth Dennis (KTM). Dennis led the way in the first moto, leading the entire distance with Wey finishing second. In moto two, the roles were reversed and Wey led all laps to take the overall win while Dennis finished second for second overall. Kelana Humphrey (Hsq) went 3-3 for third overall.
MX Sports Pro Racing’s expanded amateur racing program for the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship allows competitors from all over the country to race during a national weekend at all 12 rounds on the schedule, which will undoubtedly help the continued growth of the amateur racing component of the world’s most prestigious off-road motorcycle racing series.
For information about the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, please visit ProMotocross.com.
To view the full results, click here.