OMA Winter Nationals kickoff in Tennessee

 

Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Winter Nationals, Round 1: DP Brakes Hangman Cross-country National

Ashburn aces OMA Winter Nationals kickoff in Tennessee

By Mark Kariya

 

There’s a new game in town and its name is the Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Winter Nationals. It’s a kinder, gentler game than the regular OMAs with courses that are a little more open—more third- and fourth-gear stuff than the sometimes killer log-infested torture-fests that Bill Gusse loops are famous for.

But that’s because winter often brings bad weather, the kind that can make a somewhat challenging section next to impassable, so it really almost has to be like this. And this opens it up to more casual racers, not just the best in the country or even the best in the state.

In addition, the OMA Winter Nationals will have slightly different race-day formats, with Sunday mornings reserved for the less experienced and the older, slower riders; the Pros, A’s and B’s get their own course in the afternoon.

Though familiar with the general area, Jordan Ashburn spent the first couple laps getting to know the course before making his break and winning easily in Tennessee’s inaugural OMA Winter National.

That suited local favorite Jordan Ashburn just fine at the DP Brakes Hangman Cross-country National near Hanging Limb, Tennessee, at round one of the inaugural series. The Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green-supported racer toured around the hilly loop with Chase Bishop his closest challenger for the first lap or two.

After that, though, Ashburn clicked it up a notch on his KX450F and motored away, besting Bishop by over five minutes. Of course, crashing and bending the front end of his Johnnysigns.com-backed YZ250F made it difficult for Bishop to steer; the faster he tried to go, the more it wanted to put him on the ground, so he settled for second.


Chase Bishop found it difficult to keep pace after he fell and tweaked the front end of his YZ250F so he settled for second place.

Shane O’Banion not only won Open A, but he was the first A rider and third overall on time aboard his borrowed KTM 300.

College student and motocrosser Shane O’Banion borrowed a friend’s KTM 300 XC-W and mimicked Ashburn’s M.O. somewhat, using the opening laps to get acquainted with the circuit. However, he had to fight off a few more challenges, which he did successfully in order to get the Open A victory and third overall, despite the handicap of starting a minute behind the Pro line. (Jeremy Ott from Illinois would end up the third Pro after finding it difficult to adapt to the hard-packed, faster terrain.)

Though Ashburn’s winning ride appeared to be almost effortless, he insisted, “It was a race, [but] I mean, it was fun. The track was awesome—a real good track, just real slick. They put some tight sections in since yesterday (he and Bishop rode the Saturday afternoon “fun” race to warm up) and it was real fun.”

Of course, it’s always more fun when you win, and he’ll have the chance to repeat that fun day at round two next month in Nashville.


Podium (from left): runner-up Chase Bishop, winner Jordan Ashburn and third-place Pro Jeremy Ott.

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