With championship hopes on the line, hooligan riders were full send at the 3rd annual Moto Beach Classic. Keeping things sketchy has been a theme of this year’s races and the .38-mile asphalt track laid out at Bolsa Chica stayed true to form thanks to a wooden ramp at the finish line flanked by tight turns on both ends.

Heading into the final round of the 2019 RSD Super Hooligan National Championship, only eight points separated leader Joe Kopp from challenger Andy DiBrino. Kopp laid down the gauntlet early on by posting the fastest qualifying time with a 14.248 lap. X Games veteran and dirt track pro Jake Mataya was second-fastest, 0.092 seconds behind Kopp, followed by MotoAmerica Superbike star Josh Herrin who posted the third-quickest time.

In the Super Hooligan Main, Kopp lined up inside against the rail, DiBrino fittingly next to him as the championship title was a checkered flag away. When the flag dropped though, it was Mataya who rode around them both from the middle position to grab the holeshot, Kopp, David Kohlstaedt and DiBrino in tow. By the end of the first lap, Mataya had opened up a lead he would never relinquish. Kopp and DiBrino pursued him the entire race, but Mataya was on the gas and rode away with the win. Kopp rode a calculated race and held DiBrino at bay for a second-place finish, thus capturing the 2019 Super Hooligan National Championship and ending the reign of the two-time defending champion. But Mataya, riding on a borrowed bike, did steal a little bit of the Moto Beach thunder.

“Such a good time at the Moto Beach Classic this weekend. Rode @rolandsands @brewsed pickle tracker Harley with @picturesfromjames 22 front plate and got the win. Thanks @kenny65e for dialing the bike in all day. Congrats to @kopp_racing on the championship,” posted Mataya.

Kopp had a few choice words about the battle at Bolsa Chica and fired off this friendly salvo post-race on Instagram.

"Asphalt guy DiBrino brings in another "asphalt" specialist for our Bolsa Chica asphalt race finale then the dirttrackers showed up and that plan quickly failed. Dirttrackers take 1 & 2 overall for the doubleheader. I think I'll keep learning in the dirt."

Kopp wasn’t the only champion to be crowned at the Moto Beach Classic. It was also the final race of the J&P Cycles Amateur Hooligan class. To sweeten the proverbial pot even more, the AMA sanctioned the event and the overall winner would be crowned the first hooligan 2019 AMA Amateur National Champion. Rich Silva proved perseverance and hard work pay off after winning the first AMA Amateur Hooligan championship.

“We gonna be in the AMA Hall of Fame! It came down to the wire. It was pure grit that got me here. Thanks to all who supported this journey. We did it! I guess it’s true what they say you just gotta show up to all the races hahah!” posted Silva.

Silva is a hard-working, hard-partying dirt tracker who’s always down for a race or a good time. He also happens to be one of the nicest guys in the pits. J&P Cycles is proud to call you champ!

Congrats to Tony Parent for his second-place finish in the final Amateur Hooligan standings and Carlos Sanchez for fighting his way to 3rd. Thanks also to Jolene Van Vugt for abusing the tank on the J&P Cycles Indian Scout Sixty this season.

The SoCal vibes started early on the SeaLegs on the Beach stage with a foot-stomping set by the Bent Duo and grooved on into night thanks to the Long Beach Dub All Stars and the always funky Fishbone.  Between the high-flying Division Super Ramp BMX Show and the Bell Helmet Stunt Show, the carousel of entertainment never stopped at the 3rd annual Moto Beach Classic. The sun shone brightly against the canvas of customs in the bike show on the beach, munchkins on STACYC E-bikes buzzed around the boardwalk and watched the races with big eyes, a future champion certainly among them, and surfers scanned swells looking for the next set to roll in against the steady tide of V-Twins battling in the background.