Brace for more competitive races


Riders in the Veteran Class head out to the course during the opening leg of the Marianas Racing Association Point Race Season last month at the CowTown Raceway Park. (Joseph Chin)

The kick-off leg of the Marianas Racing Association Point Race Season last month was just a preview for even more competitive races at the CowTown Raceway Park.

There were multiple ties in several classes in the opening leg of MRA’s season last Jan. 24, including the deadlock for the top spot in the Peewee Class 1 and the Veterans Class, while the point differences in other races were small, and rankings shakeup took place in other divisions after heat 2.

“The opening was really competitive and I am not surprise when position changed in Heat 2. Our riders have been through a lot of practice time and practice heats since April and they’ve shown tremendous improvement,” Expert Open rider and MRA vice president Cuki Alvarez said.

Two Novice Class riders are in a tight race. (Joseph Chin)

Alvarez finished first in the Expert Open and came in second in both heats of the Veterans Class to get 44 points and place third overall. Dave Celis was ranked third on Heat 1 of the Veteran Class, but moved to first when he ruled Heat 2, relegating Heat 1 winner Melvin Cepeda to second place. Celis and Cepeda finished with 45 points each, but the former prevailed in the tie due to his first place finish in the final heat.

The same thing happened in the Peewee Class I with Zane Fujihira battling back from a second place finish on Heat 1, as he won Heat 2, nosing out Ezekiel Camacho in the tiebreak. In the Power Puff Class, the Top 3 rankings on Heats 1 and 2 were different. Eventual champion Billie Pangelinan was first on Heat 1 and second on Heat 2, while runner-up Nanako Celis came in at third in the opening heat and first in the second, and Edinna Cepeda was second in the first heat and third in the final.

Riders in the Peewee Class 1 race on Heat 1 during the kick-off leg of the Marianas Racing Association Point Race Season last month at the CowTown Raceway Park. (Joseph Chin)

For the Novice Class, although Corry Pangelinan dominated the 12-rider field, rankings in the division changed on Heat 2, making the battle for the No. 2 to No. 9 spot a close one.

“In any class, the Top 3 and the even the entire rankings can change anytime when the rider makes mistakes or has mechanical problems. Every race is going to be a test of endurance and power of the machine and the rider themselves. Everyone will pick up the pace as the season progresses,” Alvarez said.

Daily rides/practice
Alvarez expects the races to get tighter in the succeeding legs now that riders have more opportunities to train.

Power Puff Class riders wait for the start of the race. (Joseph Chin)

He said that since they opened the CowTown Raceway Park last month, riders can have practice rides everyday.
“We open the track for training from 8am to 6pm every day. Before, when we were still using the Kan Pacific grounds, we can only practice every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday and under limited time,” the MRA official said.

Alvarez added that MRA recently signed up new members and that would make the field even more competitive and the races more exciting.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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