Last week was a hectic, but fun, series of events, all related to the Lucas Oil/Red Bull AMA National at Glen Helen. We were at the track Wednesday through Sunday monitoring the progress of both the facility and the riders as the pros worked their way to the big event on Saturday, the National, and the amateurs working their way to the Sunday event, the opening round of the Yamaha Spring Series (and AMA amateur day). Thursday, May 15th was the first test of the Jody Weisel-designed layout. The regular Thursday Glen Helen practice day had a modified National Track open for practice for all riders. It was very well attended! From 1pm to 2:30 pm, the full National Track was opened for the benefit of AMA pro licensed riders. It was amazing to watch these talented riders strut their stuff. A few relatively minor changes were outlined, and the track was shut down for modifications. The following day was the Racer X Pro Ride Day, and it would provide full sessions of track time on the finalized National Track. We were there to photograph this track day.
Davey Coombs was all smiles when talking about the partnership with Bud Feldkamp and Glen Helen, and the awesome Weisel-designed track!
Ryan Dungey getting prepared for track time at the Racer X Pro Ride Day
Troy Lee’s Cole Seely was one of the first on the track
Just about all the heavy hitters took part in the Pro Ride Day. The factory and major-team semis were on hand, and many of the vendors had already started their preparations and setups for the 24th.
Marvin Musquin was prepping for his return to pro-level racing after recovering from injuries
James Stewart and the Yosh Team was out testing bike settings.
Darryn Durham looked good, but later had a practice crash that would prevent him from racing the first few rounds of the Nationals
Thursday, May 22nd brought the event press day. Once again, the Pro riders would have two practice sessions as well as a press conference for selected riders. Ryan Dungey, James Stewart, Chad Reed, Justin Barcia, Ken Roczen, Josh Grant, and Brett Mecalfe all participated in a question/answer session in the Media Tent.
Josh Grant of the JGR Yamaha Team looked great all week!
Stewie, Dungey and Reed at the press conference
Kenny Roczen is always a great interview as well as a threat to win races
After the press conference the riders took to the track once again. They would have two sessions to finalize their settings are be ready for Saturday’s event. It was a pleasure walking the pits to check out the machines in a relaxed environment!
Chad and company just before the first practice session
Saturday’s National was a huge success, with an estimated 29,000 specters in attendance. The racing was fantastic. . . we refer you to the MXA website for race coverage. Two full galleries of photos from the event are posted up on the motophotollc.com website. . . one outstanding gallery by Chilzone, and one by the MotoPhoto staff. We hope you have time to check them out!
The start of moto 1 of the 450 National, with Josh Grant pulling the holeshot!
The Glen Helen facility never looked better! The Glen’s staff and MXA Sports did an outstanding job prepping for the National.
Trey Canard on one of the Mt. St. Helen’s step up jumps!
Ryan Dungey took the overall, with teammate Kenny Roczen second, and Trey Canard filling out the podium. What a great day!
Jeremy Martin came to race. He dominated both motos of the 250 class with speed and style!
Sunday brought the opening round of the Yamaha Spring Series. The National Track was slightly modified (the double step up jumps and the back canyon section were eliminated, making for a slightly safer track with lower lap times for the amateur racers). Lori Bryant was rewarded with a very large turnout! A smooth, efficient day of racing was provided by the great Glen Helen staff. A full gallery of rider photos from the opening day of the Yamaha Spring Series is posted up at motophotollc.com; below are a few samples:
Frank Thomason’s REM events will resume this Saturday. The REM Track will be under restoration, so this week’s REM event will be on the modified National Track. It should be a hoot! The iMOTO crew will be there to take photos as well as line up on the gate(s)! Sunday the Yamaha Spring Series will bring Round Two, also on the modified National Track. We will be at that event as well (hopefully racing as well as taking more rider images). Check out motophotollc.com around Tuesday for galleries of those two events, and check back right here at iMOTOmx.com for weekend summary! See you then!