2023 TWO-STROKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

This weekend, a subculture of two-stroke fans gathered at Glen Helen Raceway for what has become the Burning Man of their movement: The Wiseco Two-Stroke World Championship presented by Fasthouse. They came for all sorts of reasons; some to ensconce themselves in a happy place with like-minded individuals, others just to go racing like they do every weekend. It’s all about the bikes, of course, but aside from being two-strokes, they have little in common. There are leading edge race machines mixed with vintage collector’s items, off-road bikes and minis.

Preston Tilford was the holeshot king on a borrowed bike.

 

Those who lined up for the Open Pro class were very serious about racing–you got the feeling it didn’t matter what they were racing. The contenders this year were led by last year’s winner Trevor Stewart on a Fasthouse YZ250. Trevor is better known for his success in off-road racing, and lately, so is Ryan Surratt, who is currently second in the NGPC pro class for JCR Honda. The Honda connection meant that Ryan had to find a CR250R two-stroke capable of going head-to-head with bikes that are 20 years newer–which he did. Carson Brown came down from the north and other riders came from Tennessee and (Mike Brown), Florida (Mike Alessi) and various places all over the country and even the globe.

Carson Brown

Dirt Bike Magazine hosted a live stream of the Open Pro class on our Youtube channel, so if you want to see exactly what happened, click the image below. Spoiler alert: Carson Brown took home the money in the Open Pro class.

The first moto had to be restarted because of a massive chain-reaction crash that took place before the first turn. Brian Medeiros was one of the 15 riders who went down and couldn’t make the restart. Preston Tilford was heartbroken after wasting a spectacular hoeshot on a KTM he borrowed from Will Harper. No problem; he did it again the second time around. Tilford did a spectacular job of clinging to the lead, but when Deegan Vonlossberg finally got by, the racing pace increased. Surratt then passed both of them. Brown was recovering from a so-so start, and it didn’t help that the track had been overwatered in the down time after the false start. He was covered in mud, but managed to catch up to second place after about 15 minutes of racing. Trevort Stewart’s start was a little better, but he found it harder to move forward. By the end of the race, Surratt had a dwindling lead, but Brown had clearly been the fastest on the track. In fact, he recorded the fastest time of the entire race just before the white flag came out.

Ryan Surratt won the first moto on an ancient Honda CR250R.

In moto two, Brown got the holeshot, but Surratt, Stewart and Vonlossberg were right there. The four of them had a spectacular duel until Vonlossberg went down–then it was just three. Near the end, Stewart’s Yamaha started suffering shifting problems. He had to run the entire track in second and third gears. It all came down to Surratt versus Brown. In the end, Brown once again turned his fastest lap at the end to clinch the overall. Fourth overall went to 50-year-old Mike Brown, who scored a 7-4. For complete results, go to glenhelen.com.

The first moto was restarted after a crash that took down almost half the field.
Sean Collier
Mike Brown and Carlen Gardner
Josh Mosiman won the first moto of the 125 Pro class, but then lost the overall to Ryan Morais. Mosiman was third with a 1-3 score.
Mike Alessi didn’t get an Open Pro bike ready in time, but finished second in the 125 Pro.
Pete Murray won the 60+ expert class on his 125 Yamaha.
Carter Dubach was 6th 125 Pro.
Brown and Surratt were glued to each other for the entire second moto.
Surratt, Vonlossberg and Brown in the first moto.

Comments are closed.

edit