The TPJ Fly Racing team travelled to San Bernardino, CA to compete in the second round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross championship at Glen Helen raceway.
This week we welcomed the return of Nick Schmidt and Dylan Merriam, who were both taking time off to recover from injuries sustained during the Monster Energy Supercross season.
We also welcomed back TPJ Fly Racing rider Chad Gores, who made his return to racing this weekend.
Schmidt and Merriam both had the opportunity to ride for press and various media outlets on Thursday and Friday leading up to the races. They were able to get an early look at the track and conditions for racing on Saturday. We are very grateful to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross team for giving our riders this opportunity.
On race day, the TPJ Fly Racing crew came out in full force with our massive pit set up, and our Karcher pressure wash station. We are very fortunate to have the support of a long list of sponsors that helps us get to the races each week.
As racing kicked off, it was clear that the track would take no prisoners. Even some of the top riders struggled during qualifying. Dylan Merriam made his debut to the 450 class at Glen Helen and qualified 20th overall. Schmidt qualified not far behind in 25th. Chad Gores made an attempt to qualify through the consolation race, but opted to pull off early and preserve himself for the next round.
As the gate dropped for the first moto, Merriam got a great start and was holding on to 15th position. While charging down a wet and rutted straightaway, he tried to cross over from inside to outside; as he cut across, his front wheel dipped into a mud hole and he tucked the front end of his bike. When he was able to recover and get his bike started again, he was 20 seconds behind last place. Merriam got up and charged all the way from 40th to 23rd, another hiccup in the sand dropped him to 30th for moto one. Later, Merriam had his foot checked due to pain, and discovered he rode the first moto with three broken toes. Due to his injury, he could not race the second moto. However, we were very impressed by his determination in his debut, and look forward to seeing him healed and back on the track.
Schmidt has been nursing a wrist injury for several weeks, and this week it continued to bother him. He made an attempt to race moto one but pulled off early and chose not to race the second moto. We hope that in the next few rounds Schmidt will be back at 100%.
We understand that injuries are a part of racing, and we are very impressed by the will power and strength of these up and coming athletes. We are very thankful to the sponsors who continue to support them through the highs and lows of race season, and we look forward to seeing what these athletes can do on a good day.
We want to extend a special thank you to Karcher pressure washers for the great power washing station, it keeps our bikes clean despite the grime of outdoors, and lets us give back to the racing community by sharing it with other teams. We also want to thank DSC Construction and Dunlop tires for their contribution to our main event qualifiers. DSC Construction pays back their fuel and entry fees, and Dunlop tires supplies them with a fresh set of tires.
It is thanks to the support of our sponsors that we are able to travel the country and help these young athletes work toward their dreams.
We are headed east and looking forward to our next round of racing in Lakewood, Colorado at Thunder Valley. We hope to see some of you there!