COLTON HAAKER DOMINATES AMARILLO ENDUROCROSS

 

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Colton Haaker had another dominant performance in the 2021 AMA EnduroCross Championship, earning his second-straight victory at Saturday’s second round of racing in Amarillo, Texas. The four-time Super EnduroCross Champion came close to another perfect three-race sweep, ending the night with impressive 1-2-1 Main Event scores.

 

The Amarillo National Center, in Amarillo, Texas hosted round two of the 2021 GEICO AMA EnduroCross series and Colton Haaker took the overall win, his second in a row. The Rockstar Husqvarna rider had 1-2-1 scores in the three motos. RPM KTM backed Cooper Abbott finished second overall with 3-1-3 moto finishes and FMF KTM’s Trystan Hart rounded out the overall podium with 2-5-2 moto finishes.

For the first time, the top fourteen pro riders ran their hot-laps during the opening of the evening program rather than during the afternoon. The hot-lap results set the gate picks for the first of the three motos and Haaker set the fastest time of 46.299. Hart was second with a 47.939 lap. SRT Off-road backed Cory Graffunder finished third with a 50.168 time to round out the top three. Pennsylvania’s Ryder LeBlond finished fourth with a 50.562 and Max Gerston rounded out the top five on his GasGas with a 51.192 lap time.

Cooper Abbott earned second overall in Amarillo, his best overall result to date. He won the second moto to go along with the moto win he earned last season. (Jack Jackson photo).

 

Noah Kepple took the first Moose Racing Holeshot of the night in moto one with Hart, Nick Thompson, Gerston and Haaker in tow. Hart took over the lead and Haaker worked his way into second quickly with Gerston hanging close in third. Haaker managed to pass Hart about halfway through the moto and opened gap. Hart hung on for second and Gerston crashed near the end of the race to allow Abbott and TM rider Ty Cullins through for third and fourth. Gerston recovered for fifth in the moto.

The second moto inverts the finish positions from race one for gate picks, so the top eight riders start on row two. LeBlond took advantage of a front-row start to take the holeshot and was followed by Thompson and fellow Utah rider Anthony Johnson. Abbott was the first of the top riders to work his way through the field and took the lead on the second lap. Hart was fifth with Haaker behind him until a mistake pushed Hart further back into the field. Haaker moved into second, but several mistakes kept him from closing on Abbott. Abbott held on for the moto win, the second of his career with Haaker second. Cullins put in a great ride for third in the moto and Germany’s Tim Apolle finished fifth on a Beta.

In the final moto, Gerston blasted to the front ahead of Hart, Haaker and Abbott. Haaker worked his way into the lead before the end of the first lap. Hart and Abbott moved past Gerston for second and third early in the race and held those positions to the finish. Gerston finished fourth in the moto and Apolle had another strong ride for fifth.

 

Trystan Hart had two second-place moto finishes but a fifth place finish in moto two dropped him back to third overall. (Jack Jackson photo).

 

Haaker was the clear overall winner with his 1-2-1 moto finishes and Abbott edged out Hart for second with his 3-1-3 scores. Hart was third. Cullins finished fourth overall with 4-3-6 moto finishes. Gerston rounded out the top five overall with 5-6-4 scores.

Apolle finished sixth with 6-4-5 finishes. Will Riordan was seventh overall with 7-7-8 moto finishes and was again the top junior rider (21 and under). Graffunder struggled to back up his third-place hot lap and finished eighth overall with 15-8-7 finishes. LeBlond was ninth overall with 9-12-9 moto results and Johnson rounded out the top ten with 11-10-11 scores.

Haaker was happy to get his second win in a row. “My first time here in Amarillo and the dirt looked amazing but it ended up being unpredictable and I had so many sketchy moments. I landed on a rider once and almost landed on another rider in the second moto. So it was kind of a sketchy night for me but it was a fun night and I happy to take another win.”

Abbott had a crash during the hot-laps and started two of the three motos on the second row but still finished second overall. “I am pretty pumped on my 3-1-3 moto scores and I really earned that second moto win by getting to the front quicker than Colton and Trystan. So that felt great. I am looking forward to doing it again next weekend in Reno.”

Hart had a tough second moto that contributed to a third overall. “The moto two’s will be the death of me. I have been struggling to get through the pack and I don’t think I have managed to beat Colton in the second motos since we started that three-moto format. So I will keep working and try to improve on that so I can have a shot at the overall.”

 

Colton Haaker (center), Cooper Abbott (left) and Trystan Hart earned the top three spots on the overall podium in Amarillo. It was the same top three from round one but Abbott and Hart traded positions. (Jack Jackson photo).

 

Shelby Turner (center) won the Women’s class for the second race in a row. Morgan Tanke (left) finished second and Louise Forsley rounded out the podium. (Jack Jackson photo).

 

2021 Amarillo, Texas AMA Super EnduroCross Round 2 Overall Results

  1. Colton Haaker, 1-2-1, Husqvarna
  2. Cooper Abbott, 3-1-3, KTM
  3. Trystan Hart, 2-5-2, KTM
  4. Ty Cullins, 4-3-6, TM
  5. Max Gerston, 5-6-4, GasGas
  6. Tim Apolle, 6-4-5, Beta
  7. Will Riordan, 7-7-8, KTM
  8. Cory Graffunder, 15-8-7, Yamaha
  9. Ryder LeBlond, 9-12-9, Husqvarna
  10. Anthony Johnson, 11-10-11, Sherco
  11. Noah Kepple, 8-9-15, Husqvarna
  12. Nick Thompson, 10-14-10, KTM
  13. Spenser Wilton, 14-13-12, GasGas
  14. Dustin McCarthy, 12-11-16, KTM
  15. Branden Petrie, 13-16-14, KTM
  16. Cody Miller, 16-15-13, KTM

 

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