2012 Monster Energy Mammoth Motocross
Friday was the Open race day and after practice I was feeling really good going into the first heat. I got a bit of an eye opener as the pace in the heat race was quicker than I was expecting and I qualified 7th. The team made some positive changes and I headed off to the start of the Open Pro Main. I’ve had a history of mid pack starts at Mammoth as I’ve never quite been able to figure out how to get off the line at the elevation Mammoth offers. With all of my focus on getting off the line well I had planned on rolling the gate to get a slight advantage as it dropped. The start procedure is quite routine and you can almost count three seconds from start board going sideways to gate drop every time. Unfortunately for me this was the exception as the gate was held slightly longer and I had to check up before I ran into the gate. Of course the moment I checked up, the gate dropped and I was hosed up the start straight, doomed to come around in the teens on the first lap. I made some quick moves but lost one of the breaks in the chain; I liken the first couple laps to a long chain of riders and there’s destined to be some breaks in the chain as some racers have more pace or better lines. The key is to be up front in the first group as once the chain breaks between packs of riders it makes it tough to gain much time as you’re making your way through. I found myself around tenth behind Brian Sjogren at about the halfway mark and could see I had a little pace on him. I was applying the pressure, going outside and in and finally in the horseshoe corner I was able to duck inside and take ninth for my own. From there I was on the wrong side of the chain and had bit of a gap to make up to the seventh and eighth place riders: Zach Peddie and Alyas Wardius. I caught up to Wardius and was able to make a quick outside-in move by and into eighth, but with the laps winding down I was running out of time to make much more progress. The white flag flew and I was right on the backside of Peddie, looking for the slightest opening to make my move. Across the start straight and through the next left handed corner I had a great run up the big uphill. Zach heard me coming and moved over to pinch me off, but I wasn’t about to lift on the throttle and our elbows almost touched just before the top of the hill. Over the top I was on the outside and made a quick pivot to shoot underneath him and in his haste to block the line he lost his front end and went down, handing me seventh place. From there the gap in the chain was about nine seconds up to Christian Craig and I came through the checkers in seventh.