Story by Heather Wilson
Photos by Wilkinson Brothers
Competitors raced through a course marked by cones in the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course paddock, while fans watched as the racers, dressed in their full leathers, dragged their knees through the corners during the Ohio Mini Roadracing League event at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days on Saturday, July 9.
Racers compete on small-displacement (under 150cc) dirt bikes that have had their tires swapped for street tires, making the bikes supermoto-style. Most courses are seven-tenths of a mile to a mile in length, although the track at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was smaller yet.
Each class races approximately 10 minutes and races twice throughout the day. There were 30 competitors for the event this weekend, but the club averages more than 50 racers throughout the season -- anywhere from age 5 to 60-plus.
The club started as the Ohio YSR League in 1999, but changed it's name in 2010 to accommodate more brands of bikes. The club even offers rental of bikes and gear.
Thirteen-year-old Gavin Anthony, from Hilliard, Ohio, raced the Stock Moto Expert, F-1 and F-3 classes aboard a Honda CRF100. He’s raced the OMRL series for four years and raced motocross previously. He also road races in the WERA series.
“I pretty much got into it because of my dad,” Anthony said. “He raced before, and I thought it was cool what he was doing.”
Anthony says he does it for the adrenaline rush.
“It’s always fun. You can’t have a bad time on a motorcycle… unless you crash,” Anthony said.
Racing in the Novice F-3, Novice Stock Moto and F-1 classes was Morgan Hampton, a 16-year-old from northern Kentucky.
“A friend of my dad’s told me about the series,” Hampton said. “I wanted to get more experience [on the track] and want to start racing bigger bikes eventually.”
Hampton has been racing the series for two years aboard a CRF100 and Honda 150R.
“It’s cheap, and, most of the time, it’s difficult to get hurt,” Hampton said.
The mini road racing was managed by the Ohio Mini Roadracing League. While the mini road racing was not part of the national championship program, the top riders in each class were recognized based on the cumulative points earned during both days of competition. Visit www.omrlmoto.com for more information.
AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is happening this weekend, July 9-10, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
The weekend includes the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Bike Show presented by Old Bike Barn, the American Motor Drome Wall of Death, a classic motorcycle field meet, demo rides of current production bikes, seminars, live music, raffle bikes and displays of AMA clubs and custom bike builders.
Tickets are available for purchase on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course website at www.midohio.com or at the gate. Admission for Sunday is $35. Kids 12 and under get in free.
For more about AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, see www.facebook.com/AMAVintageMotorcycleDays.
AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a fundraiser for the nonprofit AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Financial contributors include Moto Armory, Nationwide Insurance, Suzuki Motor of America, Federal Motorcycle Transport, Old Bike Barn, Iron Pony/Pony Powersports and Sena Technologies Inc.