Martin, Lavens, Ezerins, Cochran heat up MegaX

MegaX Shootout Series Rd 6

Mendota, Illinois 6-25-05


By Merle Acord



he heat was oppressive in the nineties when practice started at six o’clock and there wasn’t any breeze meaning the spectators would suffered for unlike the riders they can’t generate any air. Track promoter Gerhard Ward laid down some serious water on Friday a day ahead of Saturday’s race an act that is akin to washing your car and not expecting it to rain and of course it almost always does. To show how serious this mini drought is, the rains never came. Whatever it didn’t bother the horde from the North. Ross Martin champion snowmobile racer under contract with a major manufacturer to ride again in 2006, added another 125A & 250A win to an already impressive string of victories showing he has made the transition from snowmobile to bikes with nary a hiccup.

 “I never show them anything in the heat race,” said 125A winner Ross Martin from Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, after doing what looked like fooling around in the heat race. I save it for the main where it counts. In the main Martin, true to his word, was leading the pack when they cleared the first set of whoops after turn one and from that point on first place belonged to Ross and the race was for second. Kody Molitor from Maple Park, Illinois on a borrowed bike was a firm second with Hatley, Wisconsin’s Brad Modjewski rubbing rubber on his rear fender at every corner. Kody couldn’t pull away and Brad, who could ride the pace, but didn’t have the ponies to make the pass. It was classic Stadium racing.

            It was inevitable, Brad was sticking a wheel in at every corner and Kody wasn’t giving up the line. And as the laps counted up Brad became more aggressive so in the bowl turn before the outback jumps in the later laps they finally came together and Brad came away with second place. Kody had to get it together again and catch back up by then the race was over and Kody followed Brad under the checkers for third.

Nick Hollars second place finisher in the 4/wheel B quads was really feeling the effects of the heat. “I don’t know what happened to Brandon (Bracken) in the first heat but he sure showed up in the main. I would like to thank my Grandparents for all their support.”                     

“The bike runs good in this weather but I run better when it’s a little cooler,” said 4/Wheel main winner Brandon Bracken of Rockford, Illinois. “We had some electrical problems in the first moto but my Dad got on it and cleared it right up. For help this year I’ve got Pro Taper, SoCal, DeCal, EVS and Selmi Helmets.”
            Robert Meyers was conspicuous because he could breathe while the first and second place winners were gasping for air. “I wasn’t really loafing out there,” said the third place 4/Wheel B quad winner, “I tried to keep up with them for a while but they were way too fast so I just cut it back a little and conserved some energy.”
            “I came out here tonight hoping for a win like the last two weeks, but it didn’t happen. My cousin was in front of me but the out front guy was the fast one and I just couldn’t beat’em,” said third place 4/Wheel C quad rider James Shaw.

            Rick Pacione second place4/Wheel quad winner said, “Yeah I got dirty, always do if you don’t run out front. And running out front when Ryan is in the race can be a problem. I would like to thank Jim’s Motor Rebuilding, VM Motor Sports and my Mom.”

            Ryan Woods winner of the 4/Wheel quad C class said, “ This probably the first time all season my bike has run right and it makes a big difference. I was able to check out and that’s a good way to win a race. I would like to thank 4/Play Racing and Meriden Street Motor Sports.”

            Rick Nichol from Alsip Illinois had a so-so hole shot and just couldn’t make up the distance and finished a respectable third 65cc senior in the main.  Robbie Hyson also had a hole shot behind “Mad Maxx” Malatia that he couldn’t overcome and took second. “Mad Maxx” returning from a run at the Regional where he placed back in the pack reverted to his original form and beat up on the local riders in the 65 senior class.

            “I can’t really talk I’m so excited, so many things are going thru my head, ” said 65 beginners class winner Zachary Sawko of Bartlette, Illinois.

            Richie Guess wasn’t that excited over his second place slot in the 65 beginners and third place winner Travis Ward didn’t seem to be any worse for wear after sliding off backwards when his front wheel threatened to loop on the doubles outback.

            Eron Ezerins, one of Wisconsin’s elite A riders, played follow the leader too long in the +25A main and finished second. “It is warm tonight,” said Eron, “but with the short laps it isn’t that big a deal. I really enjoy the racing and where I finish, that is where I finish. I would like to thank Action Power Sports, and my wife for making the haul and giving me companionship on the ride.”

            “It is really dry out there and that makes the start everything,” said first place winner “Barney” Lavens. “Eron is here tonight and I love to race with him, he fast but you know there won’t be any big take out moves. I’d like to thank Gary Borelli at Meriden Street Motors, and Pro Source Suzuki.

            Jacob Kelsey 85senior winner said, “ The gate wasn’t dropping right so I let off and missed the drop, but I finished first and that is the main thing. I’m getting some help from Garnet Boots, EVS, Tag and Mom and Dad.

            Robbie Hyson and “Mad Maxx” are having a due or die each time they hit the track and they are both better riders from the experience. To date Robbie has played second fiddle to the hard charging Itasca, Illinois Honda of “Mad Maxx”, but the gap is getting narrower each outing.

            “I’m a little tired,” said “Mad Maxx” Malatia, “ but it is a lot easier when you get the hole shot and don’t have to pass a bunch of guys. I would like to thank Pro Source, DGY and Mom and Dad.

            “I’m starting to get used to the 450,” said 4/stroke winner Justin Kelly. “It comes off the corners and hooks up good. I would like to thank Pro Source Yamaha Suzuki and Rusty Ott, 4/Play Racing, DeCal Works, UFO and Mom and Dad.

            “I was able to keep him honest and make a close race of it,” said third place 14-24 winner Jesse Keith. I would like to thank Fox Valley Off Road, Riders Choice Racing and Service Honda.”

            “That is the fastest I’ve ever seen Jesse ride,” said second place 14-24 rider Adam Tarara, “He gave me a good run for it. Tuf Racing, UFO and Mom and Dad are helping me out.”

            Justin Baker winner of the 14-24 race side, “I tried not to get to wore out in this and save a little for the “B” race coming up. I’m getting some help from 4/Play Racing, UFO and Mom and Dad.”

            It was ladies night at the park with eleven contestants ballooning the class size. With three of the ladies Fox Valley staff members, Patty Ward, Mandy Lanute and Hanna Keith racing for the first time in formal competition and getting a race-view from the other side of the clip board. It was a lot of fun agreed the girls and yes, before you ask, we will do it again.

            BriAnn Stiles, photojournalist and long time MX race contender at a tender age had a bad time in the heat race taking a tumble but came back in the main with the rubber side firmly gripping the track and beat second place Theresa Lanute by a comfortable margin.

            Theresa had mixed emotions (not really) about beating Mom, (staff photog Mandy Lanute) since she had humiliated her Dad (Joe) in an informal run off at Fox Valley Off Road Park. Her concern was had she overcooked…

            Mandy armed with that innate knowledge all Mothers seem to have said, “Why am I doing this? because my son Joey, who races in the 65 beginners class, was showing a real indifference to his obligations. He had agreed to race and then at the last minute for, no good reason, didn’t want to do it.”

            “Gee’s Mom,” he said, “You don’t really know how I feel, you don’t race…

            “He can’t say that any more.”   

            “Did you get any pictures of Theresa and me racing together,” ask Mandy? “Like maybe when she was lapping me.”

            James Abbott third place winner in the 30A said, “It’s a little hard when you don’t ride for couple of weeks and then go up against these guys. Let me say that the times I don’t come up to the podium when I finish second or third is strictly because I’m irritated with the way I rode. I realize that you have to be able to take the bad days just like the good days. I would like to thank Gary Borelli for doing my suspension, and Pro Motor Sports in Iowa.”

            “When you are running out front, all you can think are good thoughts,” said a smiling Eron Ezerins 30A winner. “I took over the lead after about a lap and a half and was able to dance around with anyone stepping on my toes. So yes, it was a good time and I love coming down here.”

            “It was a tough night what with all the heat, I’m wore out,” said second place 30B rider Steve Perkins. I would like to thank Pro Source, EVS, and Smith Goggles

            “A good attitude and a good hole shot is all that it takes.” Said Justin Baker 125B winner. “It’s always harder to pass those guys than it is to get in front of them off the start. This is my first Mendota race that I didn’t mess anything up. I would like to thank 4/Play Racing, UFO and Mom and Dad.”

            “This is pretty much the first time I’ve raced 125B,” said third place winner Tyler Knowleton, “So I’m not too disappointed. I might have put the fear in them,” said Tyler in answer to one of track announcers Bill Holt’s question, “But I also put the fear in me a couple of times. I would like to thank Riders Choice Racing, B&M Motor Sports, and Gary Borelli Suspension.

            “I’m just relaxing tonight and having fun” said 250A winner Ross Martin. “There are times when you just let it happen and this is one of those nights. Again I would like to thank Ace Power Sports, 4/Play Racing and my brother.” 

            It was a tough night for Kody Molitor after a head to head duel with Brad Modjewski and firmly seated in the second slot on the way to pick up the white flag, Kody miscued on sharp left hand kicker and killed his big 4/stroke and is often the case with 4/strokes it wouldn’t restart. Brad Modjewski never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, motored by for second place.

“I would like to have done better,” said third place 250A winner Justin Kelly, “but there was a crash in the first corner and I had to come back from dead last. I won’t complain, I’m happy with third.


Click photo to enlarge

Ross Martin 125A, 250A winner



Nick Hollars Quad B



Justin Kelly 4/S A rider



Jon Six 125A, 250A




Brad Modjewski 125A, 250A



Barney Lavens 25A, 30A


The Ladies #3 BriAnn Stiles