2023 Copper Classic converges on San Manuel

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By Nathaniel A. Lopez and T.C. Brown

  The smell of dust and engine oil burning floated through the air surrounding the former Gardner Middle School. March 11, was the day of the 17th annual 2023 San Manuel Copper Classic race hosted by the Trail Riders of Southern Arizona.

  This year saw the attendance of the race grow, boasting a total of 306 racers total, with 258 big bike racers, and 48 mini bike racers.

  “Nine miles of new, never been raced, single track was added to this year’s race-course,” commented TRS’ George Wysopal,  “A Enduro Cross section was added to this year’s course. This section included obstacles to challenge the rider’s slow speed technical skills. It included riding up and over a large an elevated wooden pole (balance beam fashion) crossing over wooden poles and huge tractor tires laying perpendicular to the direction of travel.”

  TRS received tremendous support from the local community. BHP allowed TRS to use their private property for the entire 16-mile race-course. Pinal County Department of Tourism approved a $1,500 grant to help off-set TRS’ event expenses. The San Manuel Fire Department provided on site emergency medical support. The San Manuel School Superintendent provided TRS access to the school

property for race registration, parking, and camping. JWJ Cycle associates volunteered to assist TRS in managing this race. San Manuel Schools provided Saturday food service. Peppersauce Motorsports and Rentals also helped out, lending a hand to help retrieve broken bikes, and injured riders.

  There was a $2,000 purse that was to be split between the top three big bike racers. The top three overall finishers were: Bryce Smith at 1st place, D J Weber at 2nd place, and Ashton Wilkenson at 3rd place. As they do every year, the Trail Riders of Southern Arizona plan to donate some of the proceeds to the San Manuel community. Events like these, are critical in bringing more tourism to town, and helping grow local economy.

  This race was the 4th Round of the Arizona Motorcycle Riders Association (AMRA) State Championship Series. It was sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). The race was sponsored by The Trail Riders of Southern Arizona (TRS) Inc.

  Riders raced up to 60 miles on the Hare Scramble format track that was new for this year. The track was setup on BHP property by TRS with input from local riders. TRS Vice President, George Wysopal, indicated that the response had been very positive by the racers and fans. The group is excited for next year.

Partial Results

Overall A Class

1st Bryce Smith

2nd DJ Weber

3rd Ashton Wilkson

Overall B Class

Collin Heath

Clayton Reynolds

Jeremy Nash

Overall C Class

Alan Thaxton

Justen Keranen

Jason Stone

  Complete Race Results can be found at https://www.moto-tally.com/AMRA/Results.aspx.

OVERALL A: 1. Bryce Smith (KAW); 2. Dj Weber (HON); 3. Ashton Wilkinson (HUS); 4. Cole Cherick (HON); 5. Kyler Heimer (YAM); 6. Alexandru Trapp (GG); 7. Skylar Thornton (KTM); 8. Joseph Stanley (BET); 9. Jacob Kelly (HUS); 10. Jake Flake (BET); 11. Joshua Skelly (KTM); 12. Andrew Moore (YAM); 13. Spencer Debuf (KTM); 14. Mike Ladner (KTM); 15. Dustin Dyer (KTM); 16. Dave Bower (HUS); 17. Jonathan Kirat (KTM); 18. Harry Lyles (KAW); 19. Jacob Campbell (KTM); 20. Matt Berhow (GG);

OVERALL B: 1. Collin Heath (HUS); 2. Clayton Reynolds (KTM); 3. Jeremy Nash (); 4. Adriel Mauzey (KTM); 5. Josh Dearborn (GG); 6. Adam Simpson (HUS); 7. Parker Williams (HUS); 8. Jace Vogt (KTM); 9. Billy Kovacs (KTM); 10. Derrik Smits (KTM); 11. Arthur Forte (KTM); 12. Trevor Marquez (KTM); 13. Mark Jackson (KTM); 14. Ben Johnson (KTM); 15. Brody Friend (); 16. Taylor Mahoney (KTM); 17. Dj Schul (KTM); 18. Zachary Russack (KTM); 19. Mark Smith (KTM); 20. James Patterson (YAM);

OVERALL C: 1. Alan Thaxton (KTM); 2. Justen Keranen (YAM); 3. Jason Stone (); 4. Andrew Gutierrez (HUS); 5. Coy Rogers (YAM); 6. Logan Sanders (SHE); 7. Nathan Enter (KTM); 8. Chris Cook (HON); 9. Konner Kilpatrick (HON); 10. Mike Trapp (HUS);

  1. Jacob Bowen (HUS); 12. Jake Morris (KTM); 13. Rickie Ryder (); 14. Nathan Sanders (BET); 15. Zach Wesson (); 16. Michael Ebert (); 17. Austin Gonzalez (KTM); 18. Blake Halbert (); 19. Gavin Forte (); 20. Colby Northern (HUS);

AA: 1. Bryce Smith (KAW); 2. Dj Weber (HON); 3. Ashton Wilkinson (HUS); 4. Cole Cherick (HON); 5. Kyler Heimer (YAM);

A OPEN: 1. Skylar Thornton (KTM); 2. Joseph Stanley (BET); 3. Jacob Kelly (HUS); 4. Dustin Dyer (KTM); 5. Jonathan Kirat (KTM);

A 250: 1. Jacob Campbell (KTM); 2. Russell Conner (YAM); 3. Caleb Lamca (YAM); 4. Paul Best (); 5. Matthew Cutchen (KTM);

A 200: 1. Kirk Boyd (KTM); 2. John Smallhouse (KTM);

A 30+: 1. Harry Lyles (KAW); 2. Kevin Jones (BET); 3. Schuyler Spence (BET); 4. Nicholas Fisher (KTM); 5. Nate Charette (YAM);

AA VET 35+: 1. Joshua Skelly (KTM); 2. Andrew Moore (YAM); 3. Matt Berhow (GG); 4. Travis Epperson (KTM);

A 40+: 1. John Kean (KTM); 2. David Dyck (GG); 3. Travis Kohl (KTM); 4. Dennis Smoldt (KTM); 5. Ben Trapp (HUS);

A 50+: 1. Mike Ladner (KTM); 2. Dave Bower (HUS); 3. Philip Carlin (KTM); 4. Steve Hatch (KTM); 5. Joe Kertesz (HUS);

A 60+: 1. Dave Schreiner (KTM); 2. Louis Pouliot (YAM); 3. Ernie Allsup (GG); 4. Mike Allsup ();

A 70+: 1. John Cooper (HUS);

A WOMEN: 1. Cassie Slawson (KTM);

B OPEN: 1. Collin Heath (HUS); 2. Clayton Reynolds (KTM); 3. Adriel Mauzey (KTM); 4. Josh Dearborn (GG); 5. Adam Simpson (HUS);

B 250: 1. Jeremy Nash (); 2. Jace Vogt (KTM); 3. Billy Kovacs (KTM); 4. Brody Friend (); 5. James Patterson (YAM);

B 200: 1. Mark Smith (KTM); 2. William Howerton (KTM); 3. Cole Dilley (YAM);

B 30+: 1. Trevor Marquez (KTM); 2. Mark Jackson (KTM); 3. Taylor Mahoney (KTM); 4. Dj Schul (KTM); 5. Zachary Russack (KTM);

B 40+: 1. Arthur Forte (KTM); 2. Ben Johnson (KTM); 3. Jeff Baker (KTM); 4. Zack Heim (HUS); 5. Paul Mcloughlin (BET);

B 50+: 1. Ben Crawford (KAW); 2. Eddie Gordon (KTM); 3. Christopher Kelly (GG); 4. Daniel Ashinhurst (HUS); 5. Mike Albrizzi (HUS);

B 60+: 1. Mark Tindale (KTM); 2. Dror Kirat (KTM); 3. Rick Destephens (KTM);

B WOMEN: 1. Daiana Trapp (GG); 2. Lia Dugan (HUS);

C OPEN: 1. Alan Thaxton (KTM); 2. Andrew Gutierrez (HUS); 3. Coy Rogers (YAM); 4. Nathan Enter (KTM); 5. Chris Cook (HON);

C 250: 1. Justen Keranen (YAM); 2. Zach Wesson (); 3. Hayden Mckinley (); 4. Scott Halbert (YAM); 5. Mario Finke (HON);

C 200: 1. Jacob Bowen (HUS); 2. Tim Rodriquez (); 3. Luke Adams (KTM); 4. Rhett Russo (KTM);

C 30+: 1. Jason Stone (); 2. Logan Sanders (SHE); 3. Rickie Ryder (); 4. Bradley Watts (HUS); 5. Tyson Grigg (BET);

C 40+: 1. Colby Northern (HUS); 2. Andrew Gutierrez (); 3. Price Riggins (YAM); 4. Gilbert Sanchez (HUS); 5. Allen Craighill (SHE);

C 50+: 1. Mike Trapp (HUS); 2. Terry Neyman (HUS); 3. Greg Derr (KTM); 4. Thomas Cammarato (BET); 5. John Preece (KTM);

C 60+: 1. Richard Green (KTM); 2. James Brown (KTM); 3. Robert Salter (BET); 4. Robert Arvizu ();

C 70+: 1. Steve Fox (KTM);

C WOMEN: 1. Zoey Johnson (); 2. Samantha Mcneilly (KTM); 3. Alyssa Walker (BET); 4. Bella Morocco (HUS); 5. Jennifer Szabo (KTM);

SCHOOLBOY: 1. Konner Kilpatrick (HON); 2. Nathan Sanders (BET); 3. Robert Quintin (KTM); 4. Grady Mentzel (KTM); 5. Rogan Rogers (HUS);

SPORTSMAN 2: 1. Joseph Rogers (HUS);

All results courtesy of Moto-Tally.com.



Younger riders take the trail during the 2023 Copper Classic (photo by Nathaniel Lopez)

Racers await the start of the A, AA and B Class race (photo by T.C. Brown).


Local desert racer legend, Jerry Kyle, prepares for the start of the A Class race (photo by T.C. Brown).

Plenty of dust was kicked up at the 17th Copper Classic (photo by T.C. Brown).


A large group of riders complete the first corner cleanly (photo by T.C. Brown).






Nathaniel Lopez (79 Posts)

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