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MRANN champion savors season
by Dan McGee - Special to the Tribune
Jan 13, 2014 | 1558 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Dan McGee - Steve Tichenor, the overall points and Open Class champion, and his wife, Jenny, stand by Tichenor's bike after MRANN's awards banquet Saturday.
Tribune photo by Dan McGee - Steve Tichenor, the overall points and Open Class champion, and his wife, Jenny, stand by Tichenor's bike after MRANN's awards banquet Saturday.
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Tribune photo by Dan McGee - Tichenor drives through a sand wash to the pits during the first lap of the final 2013 MRANN race at Purgatory Peak. While he could have locked up the overall points championship, Tichenor pressed on and finished second overall for the day.
Tribune photo by Dan McGee - Tichenor drives through a sand wash to the pits during the first lap of the final 2013 MRANN race at Purgatory Peak. While he could have locked up the overall points championship, Tichenor pressed on and finished second overall for the day.
slideshow
RENO - Having a blue plate with a white number on it is special for racers in the MRANN (Motorcycle Racing Association of Northern Nevada) desert series. It means a rider has earned enough points to be in the top 20.

But the big prize is the blue plate with No. 1 as that signifies the overall points champion for the previous season. The 2013 overall champion is Steve Tichenor, so in 2014 his motorcycle will carry the blue No. 1 plate.

"In 2012 I won the 4-Stroke class and thought it would be so neat to get the overall," he said.

His road to this title began in Las Vegas where he grew up.

"I started racing when I was 7 years old on an old RM 50 and continued pretty much until 18. At that point I was riding pretty good and of course thinking of being a pro dirt bike racer. And both my mom and dad supported me 100 percent," he said.

After high school, his father sat him down and talked to him about his future.

"He said you can stay here or take a break from racing for education. So I took a break for a year, got away from dirt bikes and came to UNR (University of Nevada, Reno)," he said. "Stayed through earning a PhD, it was a hard decision but good for me."

Once in graduate school he resumed racing with his friends Dennis "Desert Fox," Belingheri and Paul Ziegler.

"Then I won the 250cc title in 1999 or 2000," he said. It was pretty cool. This year, 2013, it was truly race by race as I had good finishes and by midseason it looked pretty good."

As he season progressed Levi Hutchings and Josh Wilson were giving him a run for his money. MRANN's stretch run begins in September when the summer break is over and those final events are the money rounds for anyone seeking a championship.

"The last three races were really tricky as at that time Levi was my closest rival, he's very talented and we were close in points," Tichenor said. "At Western States I actually beat him and overalled at the Gold Digger event, which really helped me out. But Levi didn't race in our final event."

Due to the government shutdown, what was supposed to be the next to last event was moved to November and ended the season. Even though he seemed to have a lock on the title, he was nervous going into that race.

"It was really nerve wracking. I told my wife if something goes wrong, you won't like living with me but it went really well," he said.

After being one of the first off the line at the start, Tichenor found the course to his liking and went for it. His efforts ended with a runner-up finish that not only secured the overall championship, but clinched the Open class title as well.

"Most of the bike work I do myself but if I need something I'll take it to RMS. While Nick Alosi works on the motor, Greg Chapel did the suspension work," he said.

Tichenor added that his family, including his parents, wife Jenny and their children Kyra and Devan have been huge supporters of his racing.

Tichenor, like most riders, has a conditioning program which is not easy with a family and two young children that also want his time. But he does work out two or three times a week.

Another help is riding with his long-time friend Dennis Belingheri.

"I learn something from him every time we go riding together," he said.

Now that the New Year is here, riders are looking forward to starting the 2014 season and he's no exception.

"I think it'll be pretty similar this year, so I'll go to the first race and see how it goes. It's mainly for fun but I take it seriously," he said.

Asked what this title means to him, Tichenor said, "This one is definitely tops. It's really special as there is a long list of riders in MRANN that have won those titles. And it was really a special moment at the last race when Dennis gave me the No. 1 plate."

• On Saturday MRANN held its annual awards banquet at the Boomtown Hotel and Casino. Once again Tichenor was honored both by his fellow riders and special guests.

Along with his wife and family, his parents Doug and Sue Tichenor came up from Las Vegas to share this special night. His father is in the Hall of Fame for the Southern Nevada Club, MRAN.

The closest championship was in the Over-30 class where both Josh Wilson and Justin Legenbauer ended the season tied in points. After a tiebreaker was invoked, Wilson won the title by a single point.

Other people honored were Folosm Smith, Most Improved Mini Rider, Mason Stone, Most Improved Big Bike Rider and Robby Nelson, Sportsman of the year.

Attendees at the banquet vote for the best race of the year and this time the final event at Purgatory Peak staged by the Tankslappers Motor Cycle Club won that trophy.

For those not racing in California, there is a month-long break until MRANN's season begins. That first event, on Feb. 15-16, is when the Trail Blazers MC will stage the 16th annual Sahwave Hare and Hound race north of the Nightingale exit on I-80.

OTHER RACING NEWS

• Exit 28 has practice sessions from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

• Three local riders competed at the Phoenix round of Supercross this Saturday. The youngest was Chase Cannizzaro, who was seventh in his second practice and finished seventh in the KTM Jr. Challenge event.

Aaron Siminoe and Brian Sjogren once again competed in SX 250 West. In their first qualifying practice they were sixth and eighth while in the second Sjogren was third, one spot ahead of Siminoe.

Later Siminoe was sixth in his heat and earned a spot in the main where he started 19th and finished 18th. Sjogren was 11th in his heat and finished 16th in the LCQ so wasn't able to transfer into the main event.

RESULTS

2013 MRANN Racing Championships

Big Bikes:

Overall Points* - 1. Steve Tichenor, 2. Tanner Tremaine, 3. Dakota Jamieson, 4. Kyle Townsend, 5. Adam Thissen, 6. Levi Hutchings, 7. Reece Honea, 8. C.J. Crandell, 9. Josh Wilson, 10. Taylor Dahlberg, 11. Michael Berenbak, 12. Chris Maas, 13.Jake Osborne, 14, Titan McKibben, 15. Ryan Hamel, 16.Dan Capperelli, 17. Mark Dowers, 18. Paul Ziegler, 19. Dustin Genovese, 20. Justin Legenbauer

*- Will ride with blue plates in 2014.

Over 60 - 1. Pete Pritchard, 2. Mike Wilson, 3. Dave rosenquist, 4. Paul Christensen, 5. Norm Burns

Over 50 - 1. Mark Dowers, 2. Dave Zotter, 3. Ray Sbriglia, 4. Ron Miner, 5. Robert Kramer

Over 40 - 1. Titan McKibben, 2. Alan Cameron, 3. Mike Kenney, 4. Eric Hensel, 5. Keith Serpa

Over 30 - 1. Josh Wilson, 2. Justin Legenbauer, 3. Ryan Jackson, 4. Steve Arcouette, 5. Chris Kozlik

Women - 1. Jacqueline Stone, 2. Jodie Fell, 3. Danielle Walkiewicz, 4. Beth Legenbauer, 5. Katie Rosenquist

200cc - 1. Chris Maas, 2. Paul Ziegler, 3. Mason Stone, 4. Drew Chattin, 5. Austin Serpa

250cc - 1. Dakota Jamieson, 2. Ryan Hamel, 3. Ricky Dahlberg, 4. Kevin Wallace, 5. LeviHutchings

4-Stroke - 1. Jake Osborn, 2. Bill indar, 3. Stephen Helms, 4. Ed Sellers, 5. Loll Marcus

Open - 1. Steve Tichenor, 2. Tanner Tremaine, 3. Kyle Townsend, 4. Adam Thissen, 5. Robert McAdam

Saturday Classes:

6 & Under: 1- Landen Williams, 2. Ryder Thomoselli, 3. Ava Delaney, 4. Jordan Maas, 5. Austin Hough

7 & Older - 1. Camie Ingram, 2. Lawson Williams, 3. Tristan Moorice, 4. Ty Milligan, 5. Blair Rankin

4-Stroke - 1. Andrew Anderson, 2. Brook Davis, 3. Anthony Braun, 4. Miranda Schlefstein, 5. Alyssa Pinkston

65cc - 1. Ezra Belingheri, 2. Jesse White, 3. Carley Legenbauer, 4. Henry Anderson, 5. Ryder Schwartz

100cc: 1. Austin Serpa, 2. Austin Wilson, 3. Jonas Thissen, 4. Dallas Serpa, 5. Tristan Furlong

V Women - 1. Chrystal Ponsock, 2. Devynn Muhlenberg, 3. Jessica Machutta, 4. Alyson Wilson, 5. Mackinze Dingley

Special Awards:

Most Improved Mini Rider - Folsom Smith

Most Improved Sunday Rider - Mason Stone

Sportsman of the Year - Robby Nelson

Family of the year - The Rigsbys

Race of the Year - Purgatory Peak, Tankslappers MC
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Steve Tichenor
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January 14, 2014
Great article, Dan. Thank you for the write up!
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