Riders brace for point race


Harley Susulin competes in one of the legs in the Marianas Racing Association Practice Heat Series at the Marianas Motocross Park last month. (Joseph Chin)

Excitement is brewing as Marianas Racing Association riders brace for the start of the 2021 Point Race Season.

Siblings Harley and Brooklynn Susulin, who consistently saw action in the seven-leg MRA Practice Heat Series at the Marianas Motocross Park and at the Kan Pacific grounds and in previous events of the group, are looking forward to the kick-off this Sunday at the renovated course in Marpi (former CowTown Raceway).

Harley competes both in the dirt bike and ATV divisions of the Peewee Class 1, while her younger sister Brooklynn rides on an ATV and participates in the Peewee Class 2. Harley is 8 years old, while Brooklyn is 4, and the Susulin sisters are among the more than 20 young riders in the MRA family.

Angelo Hernaez, right, is in a close race against Franklin Santos in the Expert Open Class. (Joseph Chin)

“They are both excited and nervous for this Sunday’s race. They enjoy the track so much they ask to ride every day,” said Harley and Brooklyn’s mother, Vanessa.

“I’ve seen so much progress from them. They are such fast learners. They are pretty fast on the track now than when they first rode CowTown,” Vanessa added.

Meanwhile, Expert Open Class rider Angelo Hernaez shares the same enthusiasm the Susulin siblings are showing as the “real test” nears.

“I am excited and at the same time feeling a little bit of pressure because this Sunday will be the start of the point race,” Hernaez said, who regularly figured in the Top 3 of the Expert Open Class in previous race, as he challenged the father-and-son duo of Cuki and Shane Alvarez.

Brooklynn Susulin navigates a rocky portion of the course at the Marianas Motocross Park. (Joseph Chin)

Hernaez said since most of the riders have been through a lot of practice races in the last five months, they have shown significant improvements and this will make each ride in the official season even more competitive. He added that the re-designed course at the Marianas Motocross Park will be a great challenge to each rider.

“It’s better than the Kan Pacific course. The raceway is bigger and wider plus there are a lot of jumps—smooth jumps. There is also a big space for the fans, so more people can watch and enjoy the races,” Hernaez said.

Angelo Hernaez goes flashy during the last leg of the Marianas Racing Association Practice Heat Series. (Joseph Chin)

The MRA 2021 Point Race Season will be a seven-leg series with the association awarding the Top 3 plates to the riders in each class at the end of the competition. The second to sixth legs are scheduled (subject to changes) for Feb. 28, March 28, April 25, May 30, and June 27, while the season finale will take place on July 25.

Besides the Peewee and Expert Open classes, MRA also holds races in the Minis 1 and 2, Veterans Open, and Novice.

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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