World Mini Grand Prix 2012 – Wrap Up

After witnessing four days of racing on the Neveda/Arizona border, we can say that the future looks bright for American motocross. The 41st Annual NMA World Mini Grand Prix at Mesquite MX offered a variety of classes for racers of all skill levels to compete in, and in every class we saw the almost limitless potential. 43 championships were decided by Saturday afternoon, and though many were both wind and sun burnt, it was a worthwhile week in the desert.

Champions

50 Pee-Wee Stk. Thru 6: Ryder Di Francesco

50 Pee-Wee Mod. Thru 6: Ryder Di Francesco

50 Pee-Wee Stk. 7-8: Jett Reynolds

50 Pee-Wee 7-8: Gage Linville

Super Pee-Wee 6-9: Gage Linville

65 Stk. 6-8: Andrew Hertzler

65 Mod. 6-8: Gage Linville

65 Stk. 9-11: Conner Mullinnex

65-85 Girls Two Stroke: Brandy Richards

65 Mod. 9-11: Carson Mumford

65 Open 6-11: Carson Mumford

85 Stk. Thru 11: Brock Papi

85/150 Stk. 12-13: Luke Purther

85 Mod. Thru 11: Brock Papi

85/150 Mod. 12-13: Luke Purther

85/150 Stk. 14-16: Andrew Pierce

85/150 Mod. 14-16: Justin Hoeft

85/150 Open Thru 16: Andrew Pierce

Supermini Thru 13: Rookie White

Supermini Thru 16: Justin Hoeft

Schoolboy Thru 17: Dakota Alix

150 Four Stroke Thru 16: Andrew Pierce

125 Two Stroke Non-Pro: Dakota Alix

250 Two Stroke Non-Pro: Dean Spangler

Women Non-Pro: Brandy Richards

College 18-25: Tyler Enticknap

250 Stk. Novice: Axell Hodges

250 Mod. Novice: Axell Hodges

250 Stk. Intermediate: Matt Bisceglia

250 Mod. Intermediate: Matt Bisceglia

250 Stk.Pro: Dillan Epstein

250 Mod. Pro: Dillan Epstein

450 Stk. Novice: Cody Herzog

450 Mod. Novice: Yah-Tsheng Moua

450 Stk. Intermediate: Hayden Mellross

450 Mod. Intermediate: Matt Bisceglia

450 Stk. Pro: Jeremy Martin

450 Mod. Pro: Dillan Epstein

250 Four Stroke Non-Pro: Matt Bisceglia

450 Four Stroke Non-Pro: Matt Bisceglia

25 Plus: Mike Sleeter

30 Plus: Robert Fitch

40 Plus: Jeff Ward

The amount of entrants in some classes forced championship run offs to take place Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday's wind and sun eliminated any moisture in the soil and turned many berms to dust.

The World Mini Grand Prix is one of the NMA crown events in the year.

Many young racers have began wearing this "Moto Vests." They are very similar to a bulletproof vest and protect the racer from blunt trama. It is also worth noting that only a handful of racers opted not to wear neck protection of some sort.

KTM, Hart and Huntington, and Honda stepped up their presence in the amateur scene with full tractor-trailer set ups.

The sheer amount of laps and riders turned the Mesquite circuit into a trecherous affair. The fastest sections of the track, which included the downhill and the long straightaway, developed huge braking bumps and ruts.

The run to the uphill gave the racers more than enough speed to crest the top. They would then make a quick right hand turn and plummet back down the hill.

Rain threatened the event on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but the forecasted front never struck during the event. Showers on Friday night gave the track much needed moisture and capped the surrounding mountains with snow.

Many Pee-Wee racers that partook in the event handled the massive jumps and ruts with ease. It was not uncommon to see a 50cc mounted rider huck the numerous jumps.

It is interesting to see the agressive style youth class racers have adopted. It appeared that the traditional riding style disappeared in the Supermini ranks.

The long start straightaway determined the running order in nearly every race. The stronger, faster racers were always at the front of the pack by the time they rounded the left hand turn.

Red Bull KTM recently signed B class racer Dakota Alix to a multi-year development deal similar to that of Ryan Dungey's amateur days at Suzuki.

The track developed two racing lines, a shorter inside rut and the wider outside berm. Racers were neck-and-neck no matter what lane that chose.

Thursday's Supermini battle was easily the best race of the week. Keith Tucker, Blake Slagle, Andrew Peirce, and Justin Hoeft exchanged the lead multiple times before Slagle and Tucker experienced mechanical DNFs. Hoeft would win the moto and later the overall.

The Pro class was missing a few notable racers, including Jace Owen and Justin Hill. Their absences did little to dampen the action, as Dillan Epstein's dominating wins were enough to merit spectator's attention. Epstein was at the front of the pack in nearly every moto.

Blake Savage made the trek from Utah to Mesquite and turned in impressive results throughout the week. Savage finished in the top-ten in each of his three class, and on the podium in two.

Troy Graffunder's results came as a surprise to many. The Wheatland, CA, native was near the front of the pack all week and finished second to Dakota Alix in the 250 Four Stroke Non Pro championship.

The speed and skill level of amateur racers in 2012 looks vastly different and faster than even professionals just a handful of years ago.

Corona, CA's Dean Spangler had a productive week in Nevada. The Yamaha racer swept the 250 Two Stroke Non-Pro class.

Brandy Richards made WMGP history by winning both Women's titles. Richard's won the Women's 125-250 Non-Pro class aboard a Kawasaki KXF 250, then stepped down to a KX 85 to clinch the Girl's 65-85 championship.

To be perfectly honest, the early week action was rather boring. With many coasting to consistent first moto results, there was a lack of battles. That changed as the week progressed and by Friday and Saturday, the racing was much closer.

Matt Bisceglia was by far the week's most impressive racer. The Amsoil Honda amateur won all but one of his 12 motos en route to five championships.

Alex Martin suffered from a very rough week. His first moto incidents kept him from scoring the finishes he needed to claim overall wins. His second moto victories were impressive, but were not enough to overcome Epstein's consistency.

Jeff Ward returned 41 years after winning his first World Mini Grand Prix title to win the 40 Plus championship. Ward's prowess on the bike is something those 20 years his junior envy.

Tyler Enticknap was another surprise to the week, as he played spoiler to many more well known names in the B division. Enticknap claimed the Collegeboy win as well.

KTM's Brady Kiesel started the week off slowly, but by Saturday, the Texan was deep in the action. Kiesel held off Bisceglia in both the 250 Stock B and 250 Four Stroke Non Pro classes for a number of laps before placing second in both classes.