Roach & Ratigan Dominate 212 VMX
By Steve Caro
Photography by Kathryn Caro
Boulevard, CA. Apr. 17
The vintage racers of CALVMX traveled further south and way further east for the fourth round of their 2016 100% sponsored series. Their journey saw them making their first appearance of the year at the always-vintage friendly 212 MX Land complex located deep in the east county of San Diego. Excellent preparation by track manager Austin Prida and crew resulted in a course greatly resembling outdoor tracks from the mid-1970’s thru late 1980’s.
Heavy wind gusts battered the pit and track areas throughout the morning. Well-timed watering kept the inevitable dust to a minimum throughout the day. Despite the gusts often topping at least 25mph, numerous racers in both the vintage and post vintage classes kept the throttle pinned and launched far on the numerous jumps.
Veteran CZ campaigner Steve Roach was totally unfazed by the windstorms and dominated the 60 Plus Vintage Intermediate division. In the first moto, Roach timed the old-school “hand-on-helmet-bike-in-neutral” flag start to lead the pack up the start straight. Close behind Roach were fellow CZ riders Craig Walker and Rickert Haag. Roach kept the power on throughout the moto, fending off several challenges from the duo of Walker and Haag, to take the moto win, followed by Walker and Haag.
When the green flag flew at the start of the second moto, Roach banged his Czech steed into gear and powered his way onto the main portion of the course with Walker and Haag once again in hot pursuit. As he had done in the first moto, Roach used a consistent style navigating the 212 Land course and never put a wheel out of line throughout the moto. At the checkers, Roach clinched the overall victory with Walker and Haag rounding out the top three class finishes.
Ron Ratigan used the power and legendary handling of his Maico to conquer the GP-1 250 Experts. The first moto witnessed Ratigan nabbing the lead as the pack funneled its way thru the first turn. Close behind were Rick Price and Brent Wilkinson, also Maico mounted. Lap three saw Wilkinson moving into second and begin to apply pressure to Ratigan. Numerous times Wilkinson closed to within striking distance of Ratigan, but the wily leader was able to power away each time. At the checkers, it was Ratigan taking the moto win, followed by Wilkinson, with Price in third.
Ratigan stormed into a commanding lead at the start of the second moto and essentially was never challenged, although Price kept a steady pace in second and closed to within a few bike lengths of Ratigan several times. At the checkers, Ratigan’s 1-1 scores ensured his overall victory, followed by Price (3-2) and Wilkinson (2-3).
In a flash back to 1974, it was a Honda vs. Bultaco duel in Vintage Sportsman 250 Intermediate. Mike Padilla (Hon) and Patrick Irvin (Bul) had a spirited match in both motos. Close behind the lead duo, Andrew McKeag (Husq) rounded out the top three finishers. In the second moto, Padilla took the lead early in the moto and held off the challenges of McKeag and Irvin. McKeag kept the pressure on Padilla but the leader kept his example of one of the most iconic machines in U.S. motocross history in front to take both the moto and overall victory. Irvin used his 1-3 scores for second, with McKeag and his 3-2 scores good for third overall.
Other winners on the day included Kylea Traughber (Hon), using a skill level that far exceeds her novice ranking, in Women Novice and Tobi Taki (Yam) who kept his two-stroke YZ-167 in front of the bellowing four-strokes to take the overall in Modern Support Vet 40 Plus Intermediates.
Greg Landers has quickly adapted to his newly acquired CZ and took a dominant win in Vintage Open Age Expert. Also putting CZ on the podium was Anthony Manning in 50 Plus Vintage Intermediate, while Kawasaki mounted Kirk Chapman topped the Open Age GP Experts.
CALVMX crosses state lines on May 1 for a bonus race at the Arizona Cycle Park facility. The race will also be an AHRMA regional round, so double points are in the offering for all competitors. Arizona MX legend Carlos Serrano will be the honored guest, with commemorative cups bearing Serrano’s likeness to be presented to class winners. Club president Frank Vrettas views this bonus race as a way of thanking all of the Arizona based riders who frequently make the long trip to participate in CALVMX races in California.
Further photos and race coverage can be found at: