MATEO OLIVIERA CAPTURES 1ST 450 WIN AT GLEN HELEN
On Cinco De Mayo Weekend, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC WORCS gathered for the fifth round of the season and the halfway mark of the year at Glen Helen Raceway. The ridges make a very anticipated return, with a single-track pro section that hasn’t been used since 2018. On Thursday morning, a steady amount of rain fell, creating a new challenge for some racers as the Offroad section had some small creeks for them to traverse, making the scenery transport you somewhere back east. Mateo Oliviera wins his first 450 Pro race making that four different winners in the first five rounds of 2023. Kade Tinkler-Walker dominates in Pro 250, winning his 3rd in a row, and Hayden Flores brings home the win in Pro-Am. On Saturday, Kaitlyn Jacobs won the Women’s Pro, and Travis Damon won in 125 Pro.
Dane Perry and the WORCS track crew created a fantastic track for this year’s Glen Helen round. Most riders would agree the Pro Section was an excellent addition as you dropped from the ridges into a single-track trail down the mountain before dropping into a rocky canyon with some ledges and a small creek to traverse through. Tyler Lynn said, “ It was great to go from the fast Offroad track to that as it completely switched up the race, and it was the most technical Pro section we have had”
Trevor Stewart used his moto background, starting behind the gates, to grab the holeshot and lead for most of the first lap. Still, he found himself on the ground early as a few people passed him, allowing Mateo Oliveira to grab the lead before heading into the pro section on the first lap. Once Oliveira had clean air, he was on a mission, putting in lap after lap as he slowly broke away from the rest of the pack. “I had the biggest smile on my face, I knew this was my weekend, and I told myself before I left the house to get it done!” Oliveira said. Behind him, a battle of the Precision Concepts Kawasaki riders was made as Tyler Lynn and Zach Bell found themselves next to each other, each passing each other at least once during this race. Bell said the last 30 minutes of the race or so, he had to back off as it was a brutal course on his wrist, and he is still not 100% healthy, so it was a risk management scenario. Both riders would be on the podium, with Lynn in second and Bell finishing in 3rd place.
In 250 Pro, Jake Alvarez was in front early, leading the first two laps as he and Walker battled each other before Walker got around him right before the pro section began. Once by him, Walker checked out as Alvarez said he kept on him for about a lap before Walker was gone. SLR Honda rider Walker continues to show his speed and is here to stay as he wins in 250 pros. “This was my type of track, I loved the rocky and single-track sections, and it suited my strong points.” Jack Simpson, on his Purvines Racing Yamaha, had to be strategic on his approach as he lost much of his rear brake, forcing him to be intelligent and unable to push too hard to catch the front runner. He did make the pass on Alvarez to put him in second place, as that is where he finished, still retaining his excellent overall points lead in the championship. Alvarez knew he had a podium spot, so he didn’t battle too hard with Simpson and grabbed the final spot on the podium, which also made the RPM FMF racing team go three for three on podiums this weekend.
Hayden Florez put together a dominating race with Mason Decunzo and first time in Pro-Am Dustyn Davis trailing behind him. Florez came into this round feeling great after a win in Blythe and a healthy 18-point lead in the championship points. Tyler Jones was first around the Talladega and led for some time, but eventually, Florez passed, and he was on his way to another victory. In his first Pro-AM race, Dustyn Davis on his Gas Gas came to play, moving up from the expert class and doing it boldly, finishing in 2nd this weekend. Mason Decunzo finished in third place after struggling early on but found his groove and put it on the box still in reach of Florez for the overall championship.
On Saturday, Travis Damon and Tristun Alvarez always give the fans a show when they line up next to each other for the 125 pro race, which was no different. Both riders are on new bikes, with Damon switching from a Honda to a Yamaha and Alvarez staying on his RPM FMF Racing KTM. Alvarez grabbed the holeshot as he turned around and gave Damon the fist bump and #1 while going up the hill after the start and battling hard as Damon found a way towards the back around Alvarez and, with the pass, slowly separated from Alvarez. Fighting to the checkered flag but Damon was just too fast as he grabbed another win in the new 125 Pro class. Rounding out the podium was Quentin Pahi aboard his Yamaha two-stroke. Later in the day, Kaitlyn Jacobs and Lauren Woods lined up for the Women’s Pro race as Kaitlyn won, bringing another win to the RPM FMF Racing crew this weekend.