Recap: Ironman National Amateur Day
2019 STACYC Ironman National Amateur Motocross Report
The 2019 Ironman Amateur Days MX and Amateur Racing AMA Indiana State Championship took place on August 23rd and 25th at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana, where over 500 entries filled the starting gates to do battle for prizes and contingency.
The Indiana event is part of MX Sports Pro Racing’s expanded amateur racing program for the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, and it allows competitors from all over the country to race during the National weekend at all 12 rounds on the schedule. This will undoubtedly help the continued growth of the amateur racing component of the world’s most prestigious off-road motorcycle racing series.
As usual, one of the highlights of pro national weekend was the 125cc All Star Series race, which takes place on Saturday in between the pro races. The 125 All-Star race has been growing in popularity and is now one of the main features of weekend.
All-around “Moto Ace” Ryan Sipes came out on top of an intense battle with fellow KTM riders Wyatt Liebeck and Jack Chambers to win the 125 All Stars, taking advantage of a bobble by Liebeck on the final lap to do so.
Sipes was understandably excited to get back on a two-stroke.
“I didn’t really race a four-stroke until my very last year of amateurs, so all the way through the Schoolboy and B classes and my first year in the A classes, I was on the two-strokes. I never raced one as a pro, but it’s always fun to go back to it,” said Sipes. “I kind of just decided the week of the race that I wanted to see if I could do it.”
Sipes got a good jump off the start, but was pushed wide in the first turn.
“I thought I had the holeshot,” said Sipes. “I got a great jump and got out of the gate good and thought I had a holeshot. Then, I think it was Jack Chambers, he was right on the inside of me and he didn’t let off either and pushed me wide, so I ended up coming out third out of the first turn.”
Sipes passed Liebeck and Chambers to take the lead by the end of the first lap, but then he took a bad line and Liebeck got back around.
“He was riding really good,” said Sipes. “I was starting to think I wasn’t going to get him back. I had a plan for the last lap. I wanted to try to pass him on the last lap because I had a better line than he did in this one section. He ended up bobbling and giving it to me a couple corners before that. He was definitely fast, but I was right there to be able to get him when he messed up. It was just a lot of fun. It’s funny, I got 18 years on the guy that got second. Whatever that says. I’ve still got a little bit of speed and a few tricks up my sleeve.”
Every Pro National Motocross in 2019 will featured the special 125cc All Star Series, which was created to provide an opportunity for the manufacturers that still make 125 two-strokes to showcase these bikes. The 125 class fills a huge gap between 85’s and 250’s, so MX Sports is helping to fill the void by making 125 two-strokes as part of the pro afternoons.
During Sunday’s action, Indiana’s Ezra Hastings topped the A classes, the KTM rider coming out on top of intense battles with Blake Taylor to take double moto wins in both the 250 A and Open A divisions.
In the 250 A class, Hastings topped Taylor (2-2) and Landon Armbruster (3-3) for the victory, however it was not without a bit of drama.
“My first 250 moto was actually a little crazy,” said Hastings. “My goggle strap broke when the 1 board was up, so the gate dropped and I had the goggles in my hands. I took off when everybody was in the first turn. I had to race with no goggles. I actually came back to win, surprisingly. Made a good pass on the last lap, so that was exciting.”
In the Open A division, Taylor once again finished second behind Hastings with another 2-2 performance, while Aaron Cottrell was third with a 3-4 moto tally.
Another double winner was Chris Blackmer, who took wins in the 125 B/C class and in the College B/C (14-24) class.
Mark Fineis topped the Supermini (12-16) class on a KTM, going 1-1 to beat out Husqvarna-mounted Cayden Switzer’s 2-2 and TM rider Tytian Barnes’ 4-3.
The Schoolboy 1 (12-17) class went to Jack Chambers with a perfect 1-1 moto finish. The KTM rider topped Fineis (2-2) and Switzer (3-3) for the win.
Chambers also win the Schoolboy 2 (14-17) class, his 2-1 putting him ahead of Luke Fineis’ 1-2. Kawasaki-mounted Gatlin Combs went 5-3 for third.
Ely Gross of Missouri doubled up in the 65cc classes, winning both the 65cc (7-9) and 65cc Open (9-11) classes on a KTM. KTM-mounted Eli Wolfe (2-2) and Husqvarna-mounted Jackson Potashnick (3-3) rounded out the podium in the 65cc (7-9) division, while Husqvarna-mounted Tristan Dalton (2-2) and KTM-mounted Nathan Bierbom (3-3) finished out the podium in the 65cc Open class.
Kawasaki’s Krystain Janik swept the 85 Sr (12-15) class, going 1-1 to beat out KTM-mounted Josh Brunck’s 2-2. Husqvarna-mounted Peter Perenti went 3-3 for third. Perenti returned to the track later to win the Mini Jr. (7-13) class with a 1-1 score, over Luke Brown’s 2-3.
Yamaha-mounted Keith Campbell topped the Masters 50+ and the Super Senior 45+ divisions.
Other winners included Josh Brunck (85 Jr. 9-13); David Weis (Senior 40 B/C); Scott Metz (Senior 40); Calvin Kent (Vet 30 B/C); and Nick Peterson (Junior 25+).