BEST IN THE DESERT (Terrible Town 250)

BEST IN THE DESERT (Terrible Town 250)


I had to get to the race Wednesday, because we had to break in the race bikes Thursday morning. Thursday morning we got up early and headed out to a spot where we’ve tested before. It was Jason Smegel our Team Green manager, John Braasch the mechanic, and the other three Kawasaki riders (Brian Brown, David Pearson, and my teammate Shane Esposito). We were going to be racing brand new KX 500’s, so we had to make sure we put some time on them before the race. Everything went really well and we were all happy with the way our bikes were running. After that we all just kicked back and relaxed the rest of the day. When Friday came along we had sign up and hung out at the Kawasaki pits to talk and sign posters. Friday night, Shane and I went to the Best in the Desert meeting to make sure we could get all the info on the race. After the meeting, Shane and I went over our pit strategy on where we were going to switch and what our game plan was going to be. We felt we had a good shot at winning the $10,000 cash prize they were putting up for first overall.

Race Day

The race was going to start at 6:00a.m. and we had to be there by 5:00 a.m. to start staging. Shane was going to start the race for us. We were the 5th bike off the line with the Professional bikes leaving 1 minute apart. First off was Nick Pearson, second our other Kawasaki team of Brian Brown and David Pearson, third was Kirk Stephenson, fourth Johnny Campbell, and fifth was our team followed by Ty Davis and his teammate Russ Pearson in the sixth starting position. There were four additional teams in our class. There was a little breeze early in the morning, which would help us when trying to pass the teams in front of us. By the first pit, everyone was still in the same order as they started. Before pit two Shane was able to pass the team of Kirk Stephenson and Johnny Campbell. But not far after the pass, Johnny must have had a big crash and knocked himself out. Ty Davis was the first rider to find him. Ty stayed with him for a few minutes, until the other Honda team of Andy Grider showed up. From what I was told, Johnny never came to the whole time Ty was there with him. Ty went to the next check and told them Johnny was down and needed help ASAP. Andy stayed with him until the helicopter showed up. Johnny eventually came to, but had some broken bones. By pit two, Shane was running third physically and second on corrected time. Pit three was where I was going to get on. When the riders showed up it was our other Kawasaki team leading. Shane was able to take over second and on corrected time, we were even with our other team. I got on the bike there and was pushing to try and catch our other team in front of us. By pit four I was able to pick up 15 seconds on them, which now put us in the lead on adjusted time. I stayed on the bike until the next pit, but I lost almost a minute to our other team which now put us down 45 seconds on the overall. Meanwhile, behind us Ty was trying to make up the time he’d lost earlier in the race. They were running third on time, but were about 6 minutes down on the leading team. I gave the bike to Shane at pit 5 and I could tell when he left he was going on a mission to catch David in front of us. About 8 miles before pit 6, our other team broke the water pump guard and lost the water. Not much further, they blew up the motor. That gave Shane the lead, but when he came into pit 7 he had no rear brakes. John put new brake pads on and changed the brake fluid. When he left the pit, he had about a 10 minute lead over the second team of Ty Davis and Russ Pearson. I went to pit 8 and waited about a minute for Shane to show up. The handle bars were bent up, because he had slid out at a road crossing that they had watered. When I left the pit, I only had about 35 miles to the finish. Kawasaki let me know through my radio, we use during these races, that I had a 12 minute lead and to make sure I ride smart and get it to the finish. I rode a decent pace and brought it in for the win, with a little over 10 minutes on the second team of Ty and Russ. Shane was waiting at the finish and we were both happy to win and finish safe. I think before the race, he was a little nervous about how my shoulder was going to hold up. (this was my first race back after I dislocated it three weeks ago) Everything worked out great for us, but I was bummed for our other team. It would have been a great race between our two teams. I would like to thank John Braasch for, once again, building a great KX 500 and the rest of the people who helped us out with pit support and chasing.

Top 3 Overall

Destry Abbott/ Shane Esposito   (Kawasaki)

Ty Davis/ Russ Pearson              (Yamaha)

Nick Pearson/ Matt Gosnell        (Yamaha)

Other Notes

>Our other Kawasaki team, of Brian Brown and David Pearson, was able to get the bike into the pit to fix it and finish the race.

>Johnny Campbell spent the night in a hospital in Vegas. He may have three compressed vertebrae and a broken shoulder or collarbone. (This is what I was told, but I don’t know for sure.)

>Another pro rider, Dayton Raper, broke his collarbone.

>The race was marked pretty well, but this has always been a race where you need to ride with your


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