Best Race I Have Seen in a Long Time

Frank Rant

One of the best races I have seen at a motocross race in a long time did not occur at a National, or a Supercross,  but occurred in practice Saturday at REM.  Doug Dubach who was only riding practice, (he was leaving for Loretta Lynns place), and MXA test rider Willie Musgrave went at it for the entire pro practice.   I usually don’t get to watch much of the lap to lap action, but their battle had me transfixed.  Dubach on a 2010 YZF 250 and Musgrave on his mighty Honda CRF 450 went at it like it was the deciding race in a championship.  It was fun to watch as Dubach hit every berm, wall, rut, jump, and corner trying to get around the faster 450.  Afterwards in the pits I asked Doug if he was having as much fun as it looked, he grinned, pointed to his jersey covered in mud and said in a very Malcolm Smith way, yeah it was.    When I started REM 23 years ago, it was because I thought I could make racing better.  I was tired of going to races that paid little or no attention to safety.  I was tired of going to races that due to lack of preparation by the promoter made the race day stretch into the night.  I was tired of going to races where I was made to feel like I was the payment on the promoters Mercedes.  When I started REM I had been racing in the neighborhood of 60 races a year for close to 10 years.  I raced all over, nights at Ascot, Saturdays at Saddleback, Sundays at Carlsbad, every “race with best series”, races all over California, and the west.  Over the years I’ve raced most tracks, raced with most promoters, and most organizations, I think I’ve seem most of what motocross can offer.  My driving mantra throughout my tenure as race promoter has always been the famous line from the movie “Field of Dreams”, if you build it they will come.  I am still amazed at racers who will spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on the latest safety equipment, but will go and race at a track that has little or no flagging crew.  Or a 19 year old kid with a first aid kit, instead of a trained ambulance crew.  They then go on the internet and wail about how bitchen a place they ride at, and isn’t it a shame so and so got wracked on an obstacle.  Or the famous line repeated every time someone is hurt badly, “I just don’t know if I can take this sport anymore”, or “please send prayers”, or “why is this happening in this sport”.  If you race a track or race with a promoter that is unsafe, or unprepared, it’s on you. If you support unsafe tracks, promoters, or organizations you are partially responsible for the injuries occurring.  Change comes by telling these people what you think by opening or closing your wallet.   I recently drove an hour to a track to race with another club.  I rode practice, and to be honest was uncomfortable.  I know my limitations; I know that certain obstacles are going to make me pay dearly for days if not weeks.  I chose to load up and go home.  I have tried hard to make REM a place where everyone from beginner to pro will be challenged, have fun, and go home in one piece.   REM uses the same flagging crew every week.  We have from 12 to 15 cornerworkers every Saturday.  REM has about $10,000 worth of radios, why?  So the flagmen can keep in touch with each other and the ambulance crew.  REM uses the best ambulance company we have seen in our 23 years.  Every week we have a paramedic as well as an emt.  REM hands out hundreds of dollars in goodies every week in the riders meeting raffle just to get you to come to the riders meeting to stay informed.  We have segregated practices that are enforced.  The nature of motocross racing is that everyone eventually will crash, and eventually will sustain some sort of injury, some of you way more than others.  Your job as a racer is to make sure that you are prepared, your bike is safe, your equipment is safe, and your racing environment is safe.  REM is far from perfect, we analyze every weeks race to see how we can make it better.  You have the option of spending your money in many different ways.  If I don’t live up to your expectations you have many other options for your Saturdays.  The goal of racing, whether pro or beginner is that feeling that Doug Dubach had battling with Willie Musgrave.  No matter if you are riding a 1979 CR 250, or a 2010 450 with all the doodads.  No matter if you are racing on shoestring, or have a $500,000 hauler and a personal mechanic, the goal should be the same.  Racing is a feeling that is unlike any other, I have tried to find a similar feeling in other sports and activities and have never found it.  It is unique, and only a racer knows what that is, and knows when it is missing.  Make sure you get your money’s worth, make sure you will be around for the next race, we can’t afford to lose you.  Be safe out there.  You can always reach me at