Justin Jones and Glen Helen Raceway put together an ISDE fundraiser today that had most of the Southern California dirt bike community together for a day of riding. Jones was selected as a member of the American Junior World team for this year’s Six-Days, which will be held in Argentina in November. Each year the U.S. sends a fairly large contingent of off-road riders to compete against the best in the world. They fall into three different categories. The six best, most experienced riders are selected for the Trophy team and their scores are combined and compared to the elite teams from other countries. Additionally, we send a team of four young, up-and-coming riders to compete on the Junior World Team. Riders who earned the privilege of going abroad by proving themselves in the U.S. Qualifier series are usual divided into three man club teams. America is unique in this regard; No other country has so many riders who want to go, which is the reason that the Qualifier series was invented back in the ’70s. In the U.S., the honor of representing your country abroad puts you in a very elite club.
Contrary to popular notion, the American Motorcyclist Association doesn’t dig into its coffers to fund the team. The AMA provides structure but the fundraising is up to the individuals. Even those selected for the Junior World team. In recent years, KTM’s Off Road Racing Manager Antti Kallonen has been a key figure in the fund-raising, simply because many of his riders end up being on the team—his involvement was sparked by Rich and Kurt Caselli, and now he’s carrying the torch for them. Kallonen gave Justin Jones and the other riders a figure to shoot for, and ideas on how to do it. The Glen Helen Ride Day will provide a good start, but it takes a lot of money to send a container full of parts and bikes to South America. The good news is that America is on more of a level playing field when the elite European teams have to travel halfway around the world, too. They get a little taste of what it’s like for the Americans every year.
The day turned out to be an epic riding event. It had more Baja heroes than the last SCORE event, including Colton Udall, Mark Samuels and Robby Bell. There were some great riders who we haven’t seen in a long time, like Sean Hamblin. Overall, it was a great day, but the fund raising will continue, mostly through Justin’s account at https://www.gofundme.com/justinjones-isde.
Joining Justin on the Junior World Team are Trevor Bollinger, Grant Baylor and Stewart Baylor Jr. The Trophy team will consist of Mike Brown, Thad Duvall, Charlie Mullins, Zach Osborne, Taylor Robert and Kailub Russell.
Just a reminder.
Justin’s dad, four-time 250 National Champ Gary Jones, chats with his brother-in-law, Clark Jones from Noleen.
Colton Udall was one of the Baja champs on hand.
Ryan Abbatoye did some test riding for Kawasaki. It wasn’t just about KTMs.
We got ahold of a 2015 Suzuki RM-Z250 for the first time and used the ride day to get some testing done. Work, work, work!