The GEICO AMA EnduroCross series returned to action inside the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento and Cody Webb, a resident of nearby Santa Cruz took a popular win. The FMF, RPM, Team Maxxis KTM rider recovered from a near crash in the first turn to take the lead at the end of lap three. He then opened a comfortable gap as all of his rival’s crashed one or more times on the extremely challenging track. FMF KTM’s Taylor Robert managed to take second from Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker on the final lap and those two riders joined Webb on the podium.
Mike Brown wowed the crowd during the daytime Hot Laps by completely jumping the water pit to set the fastest time. Webb and Haaker, who came into the Sacramento event tied on points rounded out the top three during the Hot Laps. Utah’s Nick Thompson continued his impressive season by setting the fourth fastest time ahead of SRT Racing’s Cory Graffunder.
When the evening got started with the heat races, Brown continued his impressive run to take an easy win in heat one. Webb took heat two and Robert showed he was ready to race by taking the win in heat three. Haaker was the big loser as he finished third and fell a point behind Webb in their championship battle.
Destry Abbott took the Nexen Tire Holeshot on his Kawasaki with Robert looking to make the move into the lead in the second turn. But Robert nearly went down and that held up several riders, which allowed Ty Tremaine to take the lead on his RPM KTM. Meanwhile, Webb nearly went down in the first turn and was at the back of the pack but he quickly passed several riders in the second turn carnage. Tremaine led a few laps but then got passed by Thompson, who continued his impressive night. Thompson’s lead was short lived though as he went down in a turn and held up Tremaine, allowing Webb to slip by for the lead on lap three.
Once in the lead, Webb rode consistent laps to hold a 2-4 second lead for several laps but Brown was jumping the water pit and making up a lot of time but then giving it back in the Matrix, the difficult log section. Brown eventually got stuck in the Matrix a few times ruining his run and pushing him back to an eventual fifth place finish. Haaker passed several riders to get into second and looked like he was safe until Robert began to close in on him. Robert was also jumping the water pit and running the fastest laps in the second half of the race to work his way back to the leaders after flipping over backwards on the rock pyramid on lap three when he tangled with Haaker. On the final lap, Haaker fell in a difficult rock section allowing Robert to take second away.
“My bike was on the ground in the first turn and I was standing up but then everybody went wide and got stuck in that second turn and I went from last to fifth so that saved my race” Webb said. “The Matrix was a killer tonight and I was so glad to have a tough track again as it separates the men from the boys.”
“I got knocked backward off that log pyrmid and from there went from ninth back up to third behind Colton” Robert said. “I jumped the water hole almost every lap, which was pretty sketchy but it put me right on Colton on the last lap and then he made a mistake and I was able to get second”.
“I just made a mistake on that last lap but trying to take the safer line in the rocks instead of my normal inside line” Haaker said. “I had come back from a bad first lap so I was disappointed to give up that spot but I will be back next week in Denver.”
Graffunder mixed it up with the leaders early in the race and rode steady to take forth on his KTM. Brown was fifth. Redmond was sixth on his Beta. Thompson was seventh, Destry Abbott finished eighth on his Kawasaki, Tremaine was ninth and Kevin Rookstool rounded out the top ten. Cooper Abbott, Noah Kepple and Max Gerston finished eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth in the main.
Webb now holds a seven point lead over Haaker in the points heading into the Denver event, which will take place next weekend. Brown is twenty points back in third.
Sacramento, California GEICO EnduroCross Main Event results
1. Cody Webb KTM
2. Taylor Robert KTM
3. Colton Haaker Husqvarna
4. Cory Graffunder KTM
5. Mike Brown Husqvarna
6. Kyle Redond Beta
7. Nick Thompson KTM
8. Destry Abbott Kawasaki
9. Ty Tremaine KTM
10. Kevin Rookstool Suzuki
11. Cooper Abbott Kawasaki
12. Noah Kepple KTM
13. Max Gerston Beta
Rachael Gutish took the Women’s class win on her FMF RPM Team Maxxis KTM. Photo: Drew Ruiz
In the Women’s main event, Rachel Gutish rode a flawless race to lead every lap and take her second ever EnduroCross main event win. Lexi Pechout, the defending Women’s champion took second in a multi-rider battle that had all of the riders unsure of what position they were in. Spain’s Sandra Gomez took third despite riding with broken toes that were injured just a week before. The battle for the women’s championship is now tied between Gutish and Pechout with 90 points each. Shelby Turner, the point’s leader coming in finished fourth in the race and is now three points back. Gomez is forth, only six points back and Mogan Tanke is just eight back in fifth.