FEB 9–RACE REPORT: GNC NATIONAL ROUND ONE
The 2005 national motocross season has started! Glen Helen, in San Bernardino County, California, was yet again the scene of the opening round of the Nationals. What is unfathomable is how someone decided to schedule the race on Super Bowl Sunday, February 6! We hope whoever did this has been fired, as this sport needs as many spectators as it can to help it grow and be strong. As it was, hardly any independent spectators showed up. The bleachers were filled mostly with the racer’s families and friends. Not a good start to the season.
FIRST MOTO ACTION
A flurry of preparation was going on as every racer’s crew tried to prepare the starting line in the wet condition. The concrete pad was swept, the dirt in front of the gate tamped down, and the pros themselves were given last minute pep talks and advice. Every Pro is given one warmup last, staged about ten seconds apart. This gives them one last look at the track and its conditions. When all had returned from the lap, the lined up and waited for the gate to drop.
The gate dropped and twenty screaming quads bolted for famous “Talledega”, the huge, sloped, bowl-like first turn. Honda’s Tim Farr took the holeshot, followed closely by Doug Gust, John Natalie, Jr, Jeremiah Jones, Harold Goodman and Keith Little. Last year’s winner, Yamaha’s Kory Ellis, had a horrible start and was way in back. In fact, anyone not in the top five by the first turn were already drenched in roost and feverishly using up their tear-offs.
THE BATTLE FOR FIRST
The number 708 machine of Harold “The Bee” Goodman had come out of nowhere to take fourth position, while Joe “The Professor” Byrd was in fifth and nipping at his heels. Natalie was back in ninth, while Ellis was clogged up in 14th. The wet, slick conditions made passing even harder to do than normal, and not too many positions changed hands. Tavis Cain had his engine explode and had to be towed off the track. At the end of moto one, it was Farr, Gust, Jones, Goodman and Byrd. Ever-fast Dustin Nelson just missed the top five on his number 94 YFZ450.
Tim Farr: “The TRX450R is running great. It’s just so fast and smooth. The key here is the holeshot. You have to get it, period. I got it and it helped me get the win.
John Natalie, Jr.: “It was all my fault. I got eager to pass Jeremiah and missed a turn. It’s a drag to start the season with a ninth in the first moto, but I just have to come back and win the second.”
Farr again proved uncatchable. His Honda was way in front, leaving Gust again battling with teammate Jones for the two and three spots with Kory Ellis. It looked like Kory would hold on to keep second, but with about three laps to go, Kory bobbled at the base of Mount St. Helens. The momentary lapse was all Doug and Jeremiah needed to scoot by. Kory wasn’t able to retake his position by race’s end.
What about John Natalie Jr? The Honda mounted rider was stuck back in sixth, victim of a semi-poor start. He couldn’t catch Spader, who finished fifth, but he was able to hold off a charging Joe Byrd. In the end, last year’s number two overall finisher in the motocross series finished sixth in the moto and sixth overall. Keith Little had a few mistakes to end up 18th out of 20.
1. Tim Farr, Honda TRX450R, Honda/Baldwin/Four