Remember the days when Perris Raceway was host to the GFI Supercross Invitationals? Well, Thanks to Milestone MX Ranch and numerous people involved in the Perris Invitationals from the 90′s, they are no longer a thing of the past. The first ever Monarch Moto Pro Super-X Invitational is now the new breed of off-season invitational races and everyone involved, including racers, couldn’t be more excited.
The racing format for the Monarch Moto Invitational started with roughly 16 riders in each 250 and 450 class and each race had three to four riders battling it out in short sprint motos. Each quarter and semi final race was eight laps and the top two riders from each advanced into the main event, which was 12 laps. There were also last chance qualifiers and only one rider advanced from each of the short three lap races. Five riders made it to each main event and they all battled to win their share of a $10,000 pro purse and $2,500 in holeshot awards.
To add even more excitement to the days busy schedule, Buddy Antunez and Nathan Ramsey’s Road to Pro organization invited some of the nations fastest amateur racers to compete in the Amateur All-Stars division. These kids may be considered amateurs still, but don’t let the term fool you. They are bred to one day become some of the fastest motocross racers one day and they all intend on making that happen. There were a few favorites coming into the event and either Axel Hodges or Ryan Surratt were favored to win. Carlen Gardner and Luke Purther were also on hand for the Amateur All-Stars race, but the one thing that separated these two from Surratt and Hodges was that they were both aboard two-stroke 125s. The premix burning machines were at a huge disadvantage to Surratt and Hodges’ four-strokes in all spectrums of the racetrack. Plus, the two four-stroke riders had a little more experience on SX tracks because they had both raced at the Monster Energy Cup just a few months ago. Regardless of who was on what bike, though, these kids were ready to go at it like the pros.
250 Main Event
Once the gate dropped for the blistering fast 250 class in the main event, it was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson and Mav TV/Troy Lee Designs/Honda’s Shane Mcelrath who emerged from turn one ahead of the pack. My Plash/Yamaha’s Cooper Webb and 5150 Energy Drink’s Jake Canada both bobbled in the back section which allowed Wilson to stretch out a lead over the rest of he pack. Canada and Webb were battling for third, but the 5150 Energy rider nearly lost it in some mud allowing Webb to capitalize on his mistake and move by making his way up to second. Wilson, who looked more than comfortable all day by winning every qualifier, was able to gap the rest of the field and was the first to cross the finish line. Webb did have a few mistakes, but regrouped quickly and was able to finish the moto in second just in front of Mcelrath for third who had to take a trip to the LCQ to get into the main. Canada, who had a great battle with Wilson earlier in the day, finished up in fourth and Dakota Tedder in fifth.
1. Dean Wilson
2. Cooper Webb
3. Shane Mcelrath
4. Jake Canada
5. Dakota Tedder
Photos: Casey Davis