Wet, boggy and muddy – just a little more rain and the day would have been perfect for the racers who battled it out in Round 7 of the 2021 Monster Energy Guam Motocross Championships Sunday at the Guam International Raceway in Yigo.
“Mud is fun,” said racing enthusiast and organizer Robert Bucek. “The worst part of the mud is cleaning up after. No matter how hard you try not to take it home, you’ll take it home with you.”
The island’s mercurial weather only added to the gut-pounding excitement and grit of the day as dozens of riders duked it out, jockeying for better race position as the series nears its yearend finale.
Racers want more rain, Bucek said, adding it made for easier riding conditions. Gesturing to a boggy area that was starting to thicken, he said, the open minibikes were going to struggle if the mud continued to dry up.
The more water, the thinner it gets, and the easier it is to get through, Bucek said. Thicker, boggier – and the mud gets slippery causing bikes to spin because of the weight and mush, he said.
Regardless, he said, the race will go on and for adrenaline junkies like himself, the mud makes the day better.
Bucek, who raced in the open ATV class, finished second in his first heat and first overall at the end of the day.
His racing strategy was smart.
“The goal is to wait for everyone to go … be the last one out,” he said, the sound of revving engines in the background. “Let them deal with the chaos and the mud.”
Sticking to his strategy, racers spun out, got stuck in the mud or generally had trouble navigating the bog, making it perfect for him to slip through.
“Got me from dead last to second … right behind the leader,” he said, adding if there had been another loop, who knows what could have happened.
The strategy worked as Bucek finished first in the Open ATV class. James Lujan and Georgie Santos finished second and third on the day.
In the Open Motorcycle class, Lil Jon Aguon – the defending champ and the current points leader – churned his way straight to the front in the first heat. Taking advantage of the mud, Aguon roared out to the front slinging mud and obscuring the vision of his opponents – JR Cepeda and Blaze Aiken, who finished second and third, respectively.
In the second heat, strategy and experience played a huge part, making for a thrilling race. Aguon and Cepeda took the one-two with Aiken lurking behind. Cepeda made several challenges on Aguon, only to be rejected thanks to a fire hose of mud to the face from Aguon’s rear tire, disabling Cepeda’s goggle system and ruining his vision. Like a shark who smelled blood, Aiken saw Cepeda struggling and attacked mercilessly. While Cepeda refused to give up, his compromised vision made the pass by Aiken inevitable. Aguon took home round 7 win with Aiken second overall and Cepeda in third.
• 450 class: Aguon, Mike Limtiaco, Marshall Vawters
• 250 class: Aiken, Cepeda, Jonathan Aguon
• Over 40 Vet: Mike Limtiaco, Jonathan Aguon, Bong Radam
• Schoolboy/girl: Jordan Leon Guerrero, Damian Manibusan, Abraham Guerrero
• Novice: Aaron Overstreet, Zac Cruz, Joey Cruz
• Women’s Minibike: Elizabeth Overstreet, Jessani Leon Guerrero, Breann Lawrence
• Kids Minibike: Lawrence Limtiaco, Richard Wenden, Isiah Salas
• 85cc Kids Minibike: Lawrence Limtiaco, Richard Wenden, Isiah Salas
• 150cc Kids: Jessani Leon Guerrero
• 65cc Kids Minibike: Jonboy Aguon, Alize Mondia, Talen San Nicolas
• 50cc Minibike: Jeriah Guzman, EJ Lawrence, Kyan Mayo
• Kids Mini-ATV: Drieannah Garcia, Ava Maria Zapatos, Aria Zapatos
Round 8 for the 2021 Monster Energy Guam Motocross Championships are slated for Aug. 22 at the Guam International Raceway in Yigo. Gates open at 7a.m. with practice at 8 a.m. Signups start at 10. Mandatory meeting is at 11 with racing starting at 11:30. Spectators are welcomed, but required to follow COVID-19 protocols. Those interested in getting involved or are looking for more information can visit www.GIRMAC.Teamapp.com or contact Bucek at 727-5381.