SPY Optic invited Southern California’s fastest racers to the San Diego County Fair for the second annual Del Moto Derby. An Arenacross/motocross hybrid track was built inside and outside of the Del Mar Arena using the famous dark powdery soil and was a challenge to all five classes. Amateur action filled the daytime schedule, with 65, 85, and Intermediate divisions vying for ONE Industries contingency before the professional racers filed in for the 5000-dollar purse.
If Manuel Moreno was shaken by his get-off on the final lap of practice, the youngster certainly didn’t show it. Moreno jumped out to an early lead in the main event, sped away from his competition to a 21-second margin of victory, and claimed the 300 dollar ONE Industries contingency check over Tyler Nicholson and Jett Reynolds. Nicholson and Reynolds chased after the KTM racer and earned 200 and 100-dollar ONE checks, respectively, for their podium finishes.
When timed qualifying was over, it was clear that Robbie Wageman had the Del Moto Derby course dialed in. But to take the win, he would have to overcome Mitchell Falk. The Orange Bridgade KTM rider took control of the main event and led the first portion of the race, but after a spirited duel, Wageman overtook the spot. While many focused on the battle for first place, they overlooked the fight Carson Mumford put up to clinch third. The Kawasaki racer survived an onslaught of pass attempts by Derek Drake and Luke Purther and finished just over a half of a second ahead of Purther to take the final podium spot.
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda’s Justin Hoeft avoided the carnage of the first turn to take the holeshot of the Intermediate moto, and used a clear track to put in 10 near-flawless laps. Hoeft gapped the field and finished around eight seconds ahead of Desmond Spears, who piloted his Honda CR250 to a second pace finish. A poor gate pick and start shuffled Axell Hodges to the middle of the pack, but he climbed through the pack to take third in the waning moments of the moto.
Tyler Bereman has quickly become known for his prowess in the hills, and the privateer carried his skills into the arena for the Best Whip competition. A few close calls nearly put Bereman on the ground, but last-second panic revs would bring his Kawasaki back just in the knick of time. His sideways whips swayed the crowd into his favor and he bested Josh Hill, Scott Champion, and Kyle Partridge for the 1000-dollar prize.
The battle between Mike Sleeter and Dean Spangler made the Two Stroke main event the most thrilling race of the day. Sleeter notched the fastest lap in qualifying and took the holeshot, but a charge in the middle of the moto by Spangler was too much for the KTM racer to fend off and he gave the lead to the young racer. Sleeter’s experience came in handy when the two approached lapped traffic in the final moments of the race; Spangler was unable to get around the slower riders quickly enough and the veteran closed in. The two were dead-even in the final turn before another rider forced Spangler off of the track and with that, Sleeter, dashed by to take the checkered flag.
A stacked field of riders, including Bereman, Scott Champion, Sleeter, Travis Baker, Sean Hamblin, Shane McElrath, and Kyle Partridge lined up for the Pro class moto, all with hopes at taking home the 2500-dollar payout. First gate allowed Partridge the inside line to the first turn and he used it to take the holeshot. Partridge never wavered while leading the race and he went on to take the uncontested win over Baker. Although Partridge and Baker claimed the top two steps of the podium, the fastest rider on the track was Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda’s Shane McElrath. The amateur rider clicked off the quickest lap of the 10-lap moto on his fourth lap and came from back in the field to third place.
For full results, visit http://www.mylaps.com/en/events/911713