MTA WORLD TWO-STROKE CHAMPIONSHIP

 
There was a time when the World Four-stroke Championship was a novelty race, for odd-balls and misfits. That was then and this is now. Two-strokes are the novelty now, but that might change. The MTA World Two-Stroke World Championship is a growing event that will probably get even more popular in the years to come. It’s the perfect event for the lean times in which we live. Unlike the four-stroke races of the past, this event doesn’t require incredibly complex and expensive one-off creations. Quite the opposite. It’s a chance to dust off the old smoker and go racing for cheap.
      Making it even more attractive was the LA Sleeve Pro class $4000 purse, which had a few pros scanning Craig’slist for a ride. A perfect example was Gary Sutherlin, who found a 2003 Kawasaki KX250 for $1300, and turned it into a pro-level racer in a few days with the help of his buddy Ty Davis. Sutherlin was third in the pro class.
      But the star of the pros was Dirt Bike Test rider Michael Leib, who utterly dominated both motos on a 2002 Honda he borrowed from Race So Cal, a motocross vacation business. During most of the first moto Leib was forced to come through the pack after tangling with Vince Friese (Hon) on the way to the first turn. In the meantime, Mike Sleeter (KTM) was up from fending off attacks from Mitch Van DeMortel (Yam), Billy Musgrave (KTM) and Sutherlin. DeMortel got into the lead and broke away in a two way battler with Sleeter. A few laps into the race, Friese joined in. But by the halfway point, Leib had caught up. He passed DeMortel and Sleeter in the same turn and then walked away to a 15-second lead.
      The second moto was much easier for Leib, He started about fourth and was leading by the second lap. Then he walked away to a clear win. Second place wasn’t so clear. In real time, Friese crossed the finished line second, but he was later disqualified for unsportsman-like conduct. That gave second place money to Sleeter ahead of Sutherlin who crossed the line fourth in the second moto. DeMortel had a tougher time, finishing eighth in the second round. Another hard luck case was last year’s winner Austin Howell, who had trouble in both motos to eventually DNF. For full results, go to www.Glen Helen.com.
 
 
Mike Sleeter (111) got the first moto start ahead of Casey Casper (260).
 
 
Vince Friese and Mitch Van DeMortel.

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