The 41st running of the NMA World Mini Grand Prix got off to a windy start at the Mesquite MX Track in Mesquite, Nevada, on April 11. Racers from all around the country actually experienced a little bit of everything: wind, some rain, sunshine, a mix of warm and cool temperatures, and more wind. But all 34 motos on the day’s agenda got off without a hitch before the sun set with another 30-plus motos on top for today.
Dillan Epstein topped the first round of 250 and 450 Stock Pro motos.
Despite a busy amateur schedule in March, all of the major manufacturers are represented at the World Minis but many of them are running on a smaller scale, letting some of their riders skip the Mesquite event to rest up. However, the entries count is still over 1500.
Some of those 1500 riders have gotten off to fast starts, including Kawasaki’s Dillan Epstein who won the opening motos in the 250 and 450 Stock Pro classes. The ultra-smooth Kawasaki rider finished ahead of fellow Kawasaki riders Austin Burns, Matt Inda and Dylan Bauer in the 250 class, and Jeremy Martin (Yamaha), Burns and Aaron Siminoe (Kawasaki) in the 450 class.
Kawasaki rider Jayme Gardiner III looked to be headed to the 450 Stock Intermediate-class win before washing out in a turn and handing the lead over to Honda rider Hayden Mellross, of Georgia, who went on to take the first-moto win.
Peter Davis (181) leads the Superminis.
Gardiner got up in time to hold on to second but not for long. He and fellow Honda rider Tyler Enticknap found themselves in a heated battle for runner-up honors, which eventually went to Enticknap.
Gardiner, however, came away with a win in the 250 Four-Stroke Non-Pro division one moto.
Two divisions were held in the 250 Stock Intermediate class, and those wins went to Honda rider Matt Bisceglia of Texas, and Kawasaki pilot Branden Leith of Utah.
Bisceglia also topped the second division in the 250 Four-Stroke Non-Pro class, as well as the first moto of the 450 Four-Stroke Non-Pro class.
Yamaha rider Dean Spangler of California won a close race in the 250cc Two-Stroke Non-Pro class. He led it the whole way, but North Carolina’s Keith Tucker, who came up through the pack, was pestering him on his 150cc KTM after having passed KTM rider Coal Dils for second a few laps from the end.
Gage Linville won the Pee Wee Stock (7-8) division two class.
In some of the smaller-bore classes, Honda rider Andrew Pierce from Texas took the big win in the first moto of the 85/150 Open Thru-16 class over Derek Kelly and Derek Drake.
Maximus Vohland and Gage Linville shared wins in the 50cc Pee Wee Stock (7-8) divisional classes, while Ryder De Francesco took the first-moto win in the 50cc Pee Wee Stock Thru 16 class over Reed Vogan.
In the 85 Stock Thru 11 class, KTM riders Brock Papi and Ciaran Naran came away with the division one and two wins, respectively.
Supermini Thru 13 division wins were Suzuki pilots Peter Davis and Rookie White.
More than 1500 entries have been filled out for this year’s race.