Nov. 6, 2007 • Honey Lake MX Park hosts last round of motocross series

Local motocross racers, Cole Taylor, No. 22, Jessica Nobles, fourth from left, and Levi Wosick, far right, compete in their first motocross/grand prix at Honey Lake Motocross Park on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Saturday, Oct. 21 was a regular MX event with riders competing in two motos in their respective bike size and skill level classes.

As usual, the Honey Lake crew of the Wosicks and all of their local help had the facility in tip-top shape. Mother nature helped out with some rain and the track was groomed to perfection, just waiting for the hundreds of racers to do battle.

Fall was definitely in the air with temperatures in the high 30s for practice. As the day wore on, the track became rougher and rougher putting man and machine to the ultimate test – just what a true MX track should do.

Local professional racer Matt Bussell put in some good rides in the 250 Pro class as well as the +25 pro class. He pulled good starts in three of four of his motos, and he led the +25 moto for a good part of the race before finally getting passed by one of Northern Nevada/ California’s fastest pro riders, Tony Evans of Reno. Another local rider posting strong rides was +30 intermediate rider Johnny Hay, of Susanville. Johnny pulled off a third place and a first place for first overall in his class.

Riders and spectators were treated to a special half-time race. Six first-time peewee class riders lined up for a race on the mini track. These first-time racers ranged in age from 5 to 10 years old, and they had a blast. Even though the race was just for fun and they weren’t keeping score, the kids raced hard and put on a good show for the other racers, spectators and their proud parents. Each new racer received a trophy for their efforts. Cole Taylor, Jessica Nobles and Levi Wosick were the three local kids racing for the first time.

Sunday was a different format. Instead of two 5-lap motos, the riders competed in “Grand Prix”-type timed race, lasting approximately 45-55 minutes in their respective skill and bike-size classes. The track consisted of portions of the MX track as well as some tough trails through the hills and rock-infested creek beds. This type of racing requires a bit different bike set-up and rider strategy. Being that the race lasts quite a while, a rider needs to pace himself so as not to wear himself out by the end of the race.

Motocross is very physically demanding and wearing yourself out can lead to dangerous crashes. These types of races also have less big jumps, so a little softer suspension is usually better and easier on the rider in these long grueling races. A rider needs to pay attention to which “lines” he will choose because in a race like this, the track is constantly changing. A nice corner on one lap could be blown out the next, the straight sections develop huge whoops and the tops of boulders become exposed. So as the race wears on a rider must seek out alternate lines to make better time and save his body from a beating.

The +30 expert class race was on Sunday, Oct. 21. This race included all riders age 30 and over and we all started at the same time. Racer started together, but would be scored based on the skill levels. Local racers included Hay and Tim Nobles of Susanville, as well as Olympic Downhill skier Daron Rahlves. Hay and Rahlves fought for first place during most of the race, but Rahlves crashed on a berm, Hay crashed into the downed Rahlves and Nobles took the race with Rahvles finishing second and Hay coming in third.

The last race of the day on Sunday was the Team Race. This race pit teams of 2-3 riders against each other on the Grand Prix course for a grueling two hour race. By this time, the track was treacherous with huge bumps, square edged holes, deep ruts, and large rocks littering the course. A little twist was added to this race. The first rider in each team had to race on foot up the start hill to his bike, which was held by his teammate. He, or she –  there were several girls and women in this race – then had to start their bike and race to the first turn. This last race was long and full of some intense racing. It was a true test of man and machine. Keep in mind, most of these riders had already raced a 45-minute GP earlier in the day, and at least two motos on Saturday.