The second annual Dirt Bike Kidz amateur contest took place Saturday at the Lucas Oil MX Park in Perris, Calif.
The Lucas Oil MX Park featured five ramp take offs, a 75-foot dirt lip, and three giant safety guideline-approved landings. The front portion of the Lucas Oil MX Park had been converted from its normal landscape of a MX track to the only stage in freestyle motocross where young upcoming amateur FMX riders could show case their talents.
In the amateur class, riders Cal Vallone, Billy Kohut, and Taylor Woods battled neck and neck throughout the qualifiers and the finals with Temecula's Vallone taking top honors. He threw huge extended seat grab, no footed can, and whip tricks to secure first place. Canada's Kohut and Taylor Woods took second and third, respectively.
In the pro am class, Bakersfield native Jeff Griffin was looking solid all day, with unmatched extensions, grabs, and flip tricks during the qualifying runs. But the final proved tougher for Griffin, who missed a flip trick mid run during the final.
In the final, Justin Ayres from Eagle Point, Ore., and Brian McCarty of Phoenix threw down perfect runs. For the second year in a row, Ayres claimed the victory. Griffin's missed trick landed him in second place, and McCarty rounded out the day in third.
"It's awesome that Jeremy is giving us an opportunity like this to know what it's like to ride in a event of this nature," Ayres said about the contest's founder, Jeremy Stenberg. "I really want to see more of these go on, like 3 or 4."
In the whip contest, Vallone won again with a near backward turndown.
In all three classes, top competitors were paid in cash prizes ranging from $200 to $1,000, plus other prizes.
"For me I think it's cool to put on an event like this," said Stenberg. "There's no other event for [these young riders] to get recognized or seen by people. I want to give back to my sport like what guys like Brian Deegan, Larry Linkogle, and Metzger did for me. I wouldn't be where I am today without them."