Mendota April 15, 2006

Stadium cross


Ross Martin, Barney Lavens and Rusty Ott with an eye on the sky

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By Merle Acord


uying or selling stocks, affairs of the heart and motocross; Timing is everything. It was rumored that Ross Martin, champion sled driver, was told by his sponsor Polaris sled manufacturers, to 86 the motocross they didn’t want him hurt and the curt reply was, “They aren’t paying me enough not to ride bikes.” The timing thing: Especially In stadium cross, as any rider knows, one of the best things that can happen to you is getting a good start.. Ross, one of the gifted few, times the drop of the gate to a mille-second, and that converts to half a bike length off the start, and “Williams” up in the Wisconsin wilds has supplied Ross with hard running engines for years and Ross is usually first in to the corner. .  Okay not always, but that’s the way to bet you’ll win much more than you lose.
               Only three groups finished the main, the quads, the fifties and the 125A class. A quick look-up at the sky and the foreboding dark purple cloud a harbinger of a shortened program. So with that in mind the 370 entrants, not a record, but as the saying goes a damn good average, rode the heat race to win for they could (and were in most classes) the determining factor in final position placement.
`              Russell (Rusty) Ott,  Pro Source Suzuki shop owner, multi-D17 Open points champion and retiree of the Chess Open trophy is no stranger to high powered machinery and it stood him in good stead when Barney Lavens unlashed his 450 and started playing catch up after a so-so start in the 30A class. Barney closed on the white flag lap; but catching and passing are two different things. And Rusty, veteran of many motocross wars and miraculously having lost little of his former skills, took advantage of the short heat race and was able to give a 110% all the way and when the pair flashed under the checkers Rusty was still out front and winner of the rain shortened event.          
               Burton Lavens, riding three class and mounted on a new 450 Suzuki prepped at Gary Borelli’s Meriden Motorsports Shop said, “I’m still getting used to all that power,” said Lavens
               Jason Whrli Quad B winner said, “It was a good raee and Cody (Harbach) was right on me at the finish, but I was able to hold him off. It was getting a little rutty in the corners, but not bad. I would like to thank my parents first for all that they do for me and Four/Play Racing, Howard Tomotto, EVS and Sidewinder.”

               Brandon Block on a Honda was third place winner.

               “I had him,” said second place quad C rider Rich Olson. “I caught him and tried everything get around, but nothing worked. I guess you can say I screwed it up. I want to say thanks to Dan Brancken and my parents.”

               “He killed me in the first moto,” said  Billy Garkey up on a Yamaha. “You don’t want to let that guy get out iin front of you. He’s tough. I would like to thank SolCal Decal Dan Bracken and my parents”.

               Chris Hyle was third place quad C winner.

               Third place 50 Sr. winner Jacob agreed that he went as fast as he could, but than vowed he’ll get him nest time. Second place winner Taylor McLaughlin wouldn’t agree that he went as fast as he could but agreed he would get him next time. Winner of the 50Sr. class Jono Mandelke said there wasn’t that much too racing all you had to do to win was go fast. Okay boys and girls there you have it.

               Third place 50 Jr. rider Dylan Boyd said “I had a lot of fun and I’ll be back.”

               ‘I rode a good race and I’m sure my Dad is proud of me,” said second place 50 Jr.  rider Jackson Jeffery.

               “I got out in front right away,” said Chase Sexton 50 Jr. winner. “It was a lot of fun and I’ll be back in a couple of weeks.”

               Chad Johnson did a get-off in the third lap of the 125A class and rung his bell pretty good but after a little rest and relaxation over with the ambulance crew, Chad arose and to the delight of the spectators walked to the pits.

               With the 125A moto Red Flagged Ross Martin would answer the question; could he repeat the hole shot? With his superb hand eye coordination and William’s motor, it was a piece of cake, Ross was again first into the corner at the end of the starting chute…That pretty much took care of first place but the pit bulls were at it for the other podium positions. Honda rider Kody Molitor led the cluster of go-for-it riders for the next four slots. Justin Kelly, with a new number 904, but still on a Suzuki slipped into second only to be challenged by a dark horse Derek Whitney, that wont be underestimated again after tonight’s performance. Derek also placed second in the 250A behind Martin with Kevin Markwardt third  and Justin Kelly fourth. To say the racing was exciting would be like calling a Porsche a car: true but understated

               Barney Lavens is looming larger as he becomes more accustomed to his 450 Suzuki. Midseason results should be interesting. Tonight he score an ace in the +25, a down to the wire second in the 30A’s and because it was a three class night of riding, confessed to goofing off in the four/stroke class that Justin Kelly won.

              Looking up and down the rooster, waiting for the rain to go away, its noted that we are blessed with a profusion of talented riders. The season should be remarkable And Mother Nature, with whom no one ever wins an argument, continued to wet down Mendota and Ward’s stadium cross track with it’s doubles, triples, tabletops, gravity bowls, and the dirty dozen plus two. Plus a straight that lets the 450’s catch their breath. Indeed it was a beautiful effort but hey the season has just started and some losses are expected.