Team USA takes a hit or two on Day 2 of ISDE

By Mark Kariya

David Kamo of the U.S. Junior World Trophy team joined Ricky Dietrich on the sidelines of the 84th Maxxis FIM International Six Days Enduro here in Figueira da Foz, Portugal, after his bike super-heated towards the end of the day in one of the many power-devouring sandy special tests.
That was just one of several downers that hit Team USA on the second day of the so-called Olympic games of off-road motorcycle racing, though there was plenty of bad luck to go around. Great Britain’s David Knight, leader of E2 after the first day, crashed and hurt his neck in the first test of the day and visited the hospital to ensure he was just very sore and not seriously injured. And Finland’s Juha Salminen lost 10 minutes after his bike overheated in a test and quit, though it did restart after a few minutes. Still, getting it completely checked and back cost more time, and his second-place team lost time but no positions to leader France in World Trophy. Italy is third while the U.S. is now sixth. In addition, Destry Abbott crashed hard in the cross test the second lap around, though he was able to continue.
Spain supplanted France as the leader in Junior World Trophy with the U.S. sliding to third, but the American quartet is less than 1.5 seconds behind their French counterparts while the Spaniards are ahead of them by 13.20 seconds so this contest is still very much up for grabs. With one man down, like the senior team, the Juniors no longer have the luxury of being able to disregard their worst score each day; all remaining riders must ride at but not over the edge.
Ryan Powell lost the C2 lead when his YZ250 seized, and fellow Club team rider and C2 competitor Ben Smith reportedly rang his bell in a crash so he bowed out early.
Even veterans like Jeff Fredette—who is gunning for his record-stretching 29th Six Days start and finish—weren’t immune to mental lapses. When his bike quit as he rolled up to the start of one test, he knew something was amiss, but he didn’t have time to examine it completely. It continued to run rough in the test and it was only after he’d exited that he was able to check it out more closely, discovering that he’d left the choke on.
But U.S. World Trophy team leader Kurt Caselli (who remained fourth in E3, though he moved up to sixth overall individual) showed optimism when he declared, “I think these first two days have been hardest on the bikes as far as the whole race is going to go. The next couple days aren’t even going to be as bad. Obviously, if the bikes are still running [after two days here], they’re going to be pretty good for the rest of the week.”
He summed it up by noting, “We definitely have a shot to get on the podium if we keep pushing.”

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