Mammoth Mountain MX Update

Kit Palmer | June 23, 2011


Last weekend it was the vets, this week it was the kids taking to the same Mammoth Mountain Motocross track that Ryan Hughes defeated Jeremy McGrath on a few days earlier. Tuesday and Wednesday were reserved for the Mini-class racers and there were plenty of them, making for two days of packed racing. But no one was faster than Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo who took top honors in the super-fast Supermin class.After condensing two Supermini divisions down to one final, Cianciarulo faced off with some of the fastest minicycle racers in town, such as Darian Sanayei, Tristan Miller, Rookie White and Justin Hoeft. Cianciarulo, however, made quick work of all 39 riders by grabbing the holeshot and establishing a solid lead. The Kawasaki riders stretched out his lead after every lap to take the win and the class championship.The race for second place was about as close as you can get between Suzuki teammates White and Miller. After both riders had fought their way past Sanayei, White and Miller went at it hard the last two laps. Miller held down second but let White get passed him just before taking the one-lap-to-go flag. Miller, however, came right back and took the position back and looked to have second place in the bag. But White didn’t give up and passed Miller in the last turn with the waving checkered flag in sight.Miller ended up third, followed by Sanayei.There was plenty of drama in the 85 (7-11) final. Suzuki riders Sean Cantrell and Michael Mosiman engaged in a fierce dogfight for the lead. Cantrell got off to a fast start but Moisman slowly shaved off whatever small lead Cantrell had built up, and the two went into the final lap nearly side by side. Unfortunately, the race was upended when Cantrell crashed into a lapped rider who had crashed. Cantrell clipped the bike as a track official was trying to get the downed motorcycle off the track. Mosiman avoided the carnage and went on to take the win. Cantrell, who injured his arm in the fall, managed to finish the race in third, one spot behind Derek Drake.Robbie Wageman finished fourth, followed by Cody Eaton.A moto earlier, Drake scored a hard-fought win in the 65 (9-11) final. Drake came from behind to pass early leader Gabriel Jairala before running off with the victory. The last few laps, Drake found his groove and stretched out his lead to nine seconds before taking the checkered flag.Jairala finished second, followed by Mitchell Falk, Gordon Keck and Conner Mullennix.In the 85 Open final, Mark Worth held on to take the win. He got out in front early and stayed there, but he could never completely relax, because Cantrell and Sanayei were always right there.Sanayei ended up passing Cantrell late in the raced to take second place. Third went to Cantrell, followed by Troy Graffunder and Luke Purther.In the 50cc Shootout, Stilez Robertson and Dilan Schwartz traded moto wins with Robertson getting the nod via his tie-breaking second-moto win.Robertson was looking to win the 65 (6-8) class as well but couldn’t quite make it happen. After winning the first moto, Robertson crashed hard in the second moto while leading. Ethan Mann ended up taking the overall win with a 2-1.In the 85 (12-13) main, Justin Hoeft came back to finish off the weekend of minicycle racing with a win. He blazed the hillside track and finished seven seconds ahead of Tristain Miller. Cole Barieri took third, followed by Mark Worth and Luke Purther.There’s no racing today, but there is plenty of action at the Mammoth track, as it is open practice day for the big bikes, which begin their round of motos tomorrow.Here’s is our report of the Vet 30+ Vet race, courtesy of Bayo Olukotun/LocoX…The Mammoth Motocross kicked off with the Vet classes, with scores of +30 year old riders making the trip for a few days of excellent racing. With classes for every skill level, everyone had their fair shot at earning one of the coveted Mammoth Bear trophies. While most of the racers in attendance were competing for the Vet Junior and Intermediate or Senior Junior and Intermediate classes, the real show that everyone looked forward to was the Vet Pro class.Through the years, many former factory riders, National Champions, and World Champions have participated in the festivities of the Mammoth Motocross. Two that are legendary in their own right and also on the High Sierra circuit are Jeremy McGrath and Ryan Hughes.Both California natives, the moto legends have been racing in Mammoth since their early days on dirt bikes. For 2011, the two rivals chose to face off once again on the tricky and bump laden course.On Saturday, tension filled the air as people speculated where Ryno and the King of Supercross might end up. Hughes has always been known for his fitness, and McGrath for his pure natural talent. Which would prevail had yet to be decided. In moto one, McGrath grabbed the holeshot, but Hughes was on a mission and made short work of the factory Honda test rider. But the race was not over as McGrath kept the pressure on Hughes throughout the entire race. Hughes took first place McGrath second, and Timmy Wiegand finished third.The stage was set for moto two, with the two rivals well aware that whoever claimed the moto win would also take the overall. This time around, Hughes managed the holeshot and McGrath was right on his heels. For much of the moto, the two riders were inseparable, racing within a few bike lengths of each other. As the laps wound down, it seemed Hughes was a shoe in for the win, but it was not to be as a flat tire in the closing laps slowed his times and McGrath was able to capitalize. MC would take the moto win and day one overall ahead of a disappointed Ryno with Timmy Weigand and Michael Sleeter rounding out the top four.On Sunday, people lined the fences once again to watch Hughes and McGrath go at it and they did not disappoint. McGrath pulled the holeshot in the first moto going up the technical uphill, with Weigand, Hughes, and Mark Tilley in tow. Hughes made short work of Weigand, and went to work on McGrath who had opened a small lead. Within just a few laps, MC and Hughes were in a fierce battle for the lead and the crowd was in for a treat. For the remainder of the race, the two riders stayed within a few bike lengths of each other, although Hughes was finally able to make the move on McGrath for both the lead and eventual moto win.For the final Vet Pro moto of the weekend, McGrath pulled another amazing holeshot and would have a dominant lead for the opening laps until Hughes found his groove. By midrace, Hughes had forced his way into the lead, but that was not the end of the story. As the laps wore on, McGrath seemed to find a second wind and began to pull up on Hughes. But the building tension was too little, too late, and Hughes was able to hold on for the win, the overall, and the overall of the weekend.Have you seen the digital edition of Cycle News that’s available every single Tuesday?
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Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.