2017 TWMX Trans Am, Presented By MTA Distributing | Race Recap
Photos | Casey Davis @air_d617
By now, the 2017 Transworld Motocross Trans Am, presented by MTA Distributing has come and gone, but the weekend of fun continues to live on here at twmx.com, as we continue to bring you coverage from the three day event. For a second consecutive year, Glen Helen Raceway played host to the growing amateur motocross national, but this weekend’s racing was quite a bit different compared to last year’s, as rain clouds plagued Southern California throughout the week leading up to the race – even on the morning of day two – leaving the infamously rough racetrack a soupy mess. However, a weekend of great racing and great memories was had by all.
Vendor Row was definitely a hot spot this weekend thanks to the inclement weather. 100% was in attendance and it’s a good thing because otherwise we would have had a lot of racers riding blind. MTA Distributing, 6D Helmets, Spectro oils and so many more were on hand supplying racers with everything needed for a day of racing in the mud at deeply discounted prices.
As aforementioned, it was a bit of a mud bog throughout day two, as the rain clouds again decided to open up the night before, but the Glen Helen track crew did an amazing job with the race course given the circumstances. After the first day of racing had concluded, riders were greeted with an exceptional prep job on Sunday morning thanks to the track crew, who worked tirelessly to deliver the best track they could.
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GoPro/KTM young gun Mitchell Falk made his return to racing this weekend at the TWMX Trans Am after a long stint on the sidelines. As some may remember, Falk unfortunately suffered an injury to his shoulder during the second moto of the Amateur All-Stars race at the 2016 Monster Energy Cup after dominating the first moto. Falk encountered problem after problem with the injury since then and it’s left him on the sidelines since October. The number 612 was finally able to line up again for the first time this weekend though, and he logged an impressive second place overall in 250 Pro behind Japan’s Taiki Koga. Not bad at all considering he’s been off the bike since October. Glad to see you back out there Mitchell!
Takumu Yokosawa looked extremely comfortable in the sloppy conditions and after battling it out with fellow Honda rider and moto one winner Kohei Ogaea, the number 212 was rewarded with the overall in 450 Pro after taking the second moto victory. Yokosawa is no stranger to the TWMX Race Series, either, as he and several other fellow Japanese riders make their way to the United States a few times a year to train and ride, and occasionally line up behind the gate at local TWMXRS events.
The 223 of Jonah Brittons – another TWMXRS regular attendee – was another rider that looked right at home in the mud. Brittons went on to rack up a total of four out of six moto wins for two overall Trans Am Championships in 250 Intermediate and Open (Non-Pro). It didn’t come easy though, as he had to face off against Amsoil/Factory Connection/Honda’s Jo Shimoda – another Trans Am champion – on several occasions.
Likely the most impressive performance of the weekend came from the mini classes, but there’s nothing mini about the speed that Orange Brigade KTM’s Hunter Yoder delivers on a regular basis. “Master Yoder” and his 508 machine went undefeated throughout the course of the weekend and he racked up a total of four moto wins in 85/150F Mini Sr (12-14 yrs) and 85/150F Open (9-15 yrs) for his first Trans Am Championships.
We can’t say enough about this kid’s abilities on a dirt bike. Jeremy Fappani is an incredibly talented individual for being just ten years old, as the number two can hold his own on any track against any competitors, and he proved that last weekend at Glen Helen. Fappani and his KTM were seemingly unfazed by the treacherous track conditions, as he accumulated a total of three moto wins and never finished outside of fourth position. For his efforts, Fappani went home with the championship in 65cc Open after sweeping both motos.
Anytime you line up next to Amsoil Honda’s Jo Shimoda, you better get off the line before he does otherwise you’ll have your work cut out for you if you plan on catching him. Although Shimoda encountered some issues during Saturday’s racing likely due to the mud, he made a full comeback during Sunday’s motos and claimed two dominant moto victories over Brittons and the rest of the field of talented riders. The number 47 is no stranger to the Trans Am podium, as he obtained several championships last year in the mini classes, and even though the Factory Connection young gun struggled in the beginning stages of the weekend, he was able to rebound for a Schoolboy (Thru 17) Championship.
The Supermini classes always deliver the excitement, as these youngsters aren’t afraid to put down fast lap times. The same can be said for Degan Palmer and Tyler Nicholson who battled head-to-head during each Supermini moto making for some very exciting racing. The pair were inseparable on the racetrack at times, but in the end though, the number 48 of Palmer emerged on top after accumulating three out of four moto wins along with a Supermini 1 Championship.