AMA H&H Red Mountain, Ca.
The race was scheduled to start a little after 9:00. I chose to start on the far right side, and felt pretty good about my spot. When the banner fell, I had a great jump! It wasn’t until I was getting close to the end of the bomb that I saw David Pearson was a little bit ahead of me (on my left). He got there first, so I had to tuck behind him as we headed onto the trail. The dust was a lot worse then I thought it would be, so I had to back off even more. I was a little tight early and I could see David put some time on me, but at least it wasn’t dusty anymore. Around the 15-mile mark I was probably 30-seconds back, but I started to feel a lot better and loosened up. The next few miles I started to close the gap, and got back into his dust (around 15-seconds back). I basically rode in this position for the rest of the first loop. When we finished the first 40-mile loop, I was still about 15-seconds back. The second loop was going to be around 40-miles too, but it had a ton of whoops. I had a few sections where I would get pretty close to David (within 10-seconds), but there was really no way I could make a pass unless he really messed up. This place has a lot of vegetation, and you can’t get off the course to try and make a pass. I had a few close calls trying to see if I could get close enough to key off him, but I decided I’d wait for the third loop (since it was supposed to be tighter). After the second loop, I was 10-seconds back when we pitted. Leaving the pits, I really felt I had a good chance at making a pass for the win. The third loop was only 20-miles, so I knew I didn’t have a lot of time to get it done. I really started to turn it up! I got within a few bike lengths, a couple times, and then I would get dusted out and have to start all over again. During this time, I had a lot more close calls then I can count. I really wanted this win and was feeling good, but the dust was killing me. It actually got pretty frustrating getting within a couple seconds, and not making the pass. I could tell David lost the course, a few times, which was nice since I would get right on him again. They had a ton of ribbon, but were definitely lacking on the down and corner arrows! With about 3-miles left, I had one more shot when I got right back on him again. This time we were heading down a rocky hill and I pinned it past him. Finally, some clean air and in the lead I went! As soon as we got to the bottom, we were in this nasty whooped-out sandwash and he was right on me. Now we only had 2-miles left to the finish, and I thought I had it, but then the course turned left out of the sandwash. Unfortunately they didn’t have any arrows to tell us! As soon as I went by the turn, I saw there was ribbon going up the hill. David saw I was trying to b-line it to the left, but he was able to get there before I was (since I passed the turn). I jumped behind him again, but it was back into the thick dust. We did about another mile until we went into the finish. I can tell you I wasn’t too happy when I went through the checkered flag for my second place.
I’m actually really happy with the way I rode, but pretty mad about the outcome. I really felt my speed was good all day, and we have the KLX working better then anything I’ve raced in a long time (thanks to Jonny). I’m pretty bummed the club didn’t use more arrows, since I really feel it cost me the win! I knew they must’ve been lacking on arrows, since the second loop they had to draw the turn markers on blank cards. It’s still a long year, but I know I can’t be giving any race wins away! I still feel confident I can pull it off.
Results (Top 10 OA):
- 1st David Pearson
- 2nd Destry Abbott
- 3rd Josh Morros
- 4th David Kamo
- 5th Ryan Kudla
- 6th Steve Hengeveld
- 7th Matt Henderson
- 8th Paul Krause
- 9th Chance Wylie
- 10th Anthony Modica
This was the last weekend I was able to hang out with my trainer Stephen Gall. He’s heading back to Australia for a little while. We did get to do some riding together on Friday, for the first time, and for not riding much he’s still really good!
I also hung out with a lot of friends Saturday night, since I stayed at Goat’s place. The race was close to his house, so he put on a nice barbeque. I really had a great time!
It was great to have the club put on a three-loop race and have it close to 100-miles. They did a great job on the ribbon, but hopefully they use more down and turn arrows next year. The first loop was pretty fun, but on the fast side. If you like whoops I’m sure you would’ve liked the second loop (my back was getting sore). I enjoyed the third loop the most, since it wasn’t near as fast as the other two.
https://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=28060064. I know Beau was doing a clip also and I’ll post it later.
My next race is this weekend, at the second WORCS round, in Mesquite Nevada.
Kawasaki Racing, Dunlop, Stephen Gall Training, GPR, Thor, IMS, Shoei, Pro Circuit, Kawasaki Accessories, SIDI, Acerbis, CTI2, Jonre Multimedia, BRP, Motion Pro, Works Connection, OGIO, Kicker, Hinson, Hoy Fox Toyota, AP Designs, Braking, Renthal, Scott Goggles, Team Hawg Racing, Twisten Wrenches, Cyto Sport, Red Baron, Trick, Zip-Ty, RK/Excel, N-Style, Maxima, ZLT, Bent, Steahly, Parkway Chiropractic, and Tire Balls.