AMA H&H Jericho, Utah.
Thursday afternoon Jonny, my dad and I made the trip up to Utah. I did a little riding Friday and felt really comfortable with the bike. It?s the same set-up I?ve used the last couple H&H?s and I?ve been really happy with it. After that I was off to the race site to check out the bomb run. We could only walk it and it was pretty smooth for the first half mile. After that it jumps on a road, which is going to be pretty dusty. The race is probably going to be on the hot and extremely dusty side. Let?s hope for some wind.
The race started a little after 11:00. Luck for us we had a pretty good breeze which was going to help. When the banner fell, I had a pretty decent start. Then I kept the KX450 wide open and passed a few guys that started right next to me. I was first at the end of the bomb and jumped on the road. I looked back and saw David Pearson right behind me. He?s the one I?m battling for the title and I knew it was going to be a dog fight. About 5-miles in, we were in these sand dune whoops and David got right up on me. He stayed a couple bike lengths behind just keying off me. We stopped at the first check, and made a sharp right turn. He was still there, and we were on this really fast road where he was able to pull me on top-end (KTM 525). My bike was really good from bottom to mid, but he seemed to have more on top end. I had to back off, because of the dust. I pretty much just stayed 25-seconds back. I started to make up a little time before the alternate pit, and when I saw he was stopping I figured I would gamble and not stop. Jonny told me I would make it on gas, so I trusted him and told myself if I was in this position I wouldn?t stop. Just as I was going by, David pulled out and we had a bar-to-bar race for the next mile and a half. It was actually a lot of fun and we had to be doing at least 90+ jumping over these big washouts and whoops. It was a little bit on the sketchy side, but we both knew there was a lot on the line. The course made a sharp left off the jeep road, which I didn?t see and blew by. David cut underneath me and took the lead back. Now I just stayed out of his dust again until the main pit (48-miles in). Jonny and the Kawasaki guys did a great job and got me out super fast. I was happy to know my bike will now do 48-miles too (thanks to the IMS tank). When I was leaving the pits, I looked back and saw Josh was riding awesome and only 25-seconds behind me (on a KX250F). I was pretty happy the first loop was over since it was on the fast side, and I like the more technical stuff. Now we were heading up into the hills which is a lot better. I felt really good and would get within 15-seconds and then we would turn and I would get dusted out again. The wind was helping a lot, but it would also work against me at times. With about 10-miles left in the race I was still in David?s dust at times, but I knew I needed to make a pass to stay alive in the Championship race. I was getting pretty close and then clipped a tree and went down. Luckily the bike was still running and I was able to get going without losing much time. I started to push it really hard again and got within 10-seconds, but that?s as close as I could get (to dusty). I followed him into the finish for a very disappointing second.
I gave it everything I had today, but came up short. David and I had some great battles and we both rode really clean which is nice when you?re racing at the speeds we do. I really feel good about my speed and the way the bike is working, but it was just a tough year for me in the H&H?s. We still have one round left in October but the championship has already been decided. David will be running the number one next year and I wrapped up the number two plate.
1st David Pearson
2nd Destry Abbott
3rd Josh Morros (1st 250F) Great Ride!
4th Russ Pearson
5th Kendall Norman
6th Quinn Cody
7th David Kamo
8th Brian Brown
9th Carl Maassberg
10th Matt Henderson
On Tuesday Cooper (my son) and I drove over to California to do a photo shoot with Thor. He was pretty excited to do some photos in the 2008 gear (which looks really good). We drove home Wednesday, and then I left and headed up to Utah the next day.
I want to give a huge thanks to my family, my mechanic (Jonny) and all the Kawasaki guys (and girls). They have all been behind me 100% and I was really hoping to win the title for them this year. It would?ve tied the record for the most H&H Championships. I?ll be back next year, and more determined then ever! At least I still have the WORCS series to focus on.
Now I?ve had the number 1 plate four times and the runner up five times. It seems like I?m always there, but it?s really not a good feeling to know you worked hard all year and end up a little short. I still have the WORCS series and it?s going pretty well still. Then I get to look forward to some outdoors which is going to be fun!
David Pearson rode like a Champion this year. He put it together every race and didn?t have any bad luck. He definitely deserved it and this was his first Championship. Congrats! He’s really a great guy and I?m happy for him, but I hope to get that number 1 plate back next year J !
I just received the latest issue of Cycle News and was super pumped! I have a full page add on the back cover from my last H&H win two weeks ago. Thanks Kawasaki for the win add!