OMA Nationals
Race Report for April 14, 2005 Mart Cycles team rider Shane Watts narrowly missed victory at Rd. 2 of the OMA Nationals held in perfect racing conditions at Decatur, Arkansas over the past weekend (April 10).
Following a mediocre mid-pack start Watts struggled to find a comfortable rhythm around the course for the first half of the two-hour race. After the mid race fuel stop Watts finally found form and quickly recovered from 7th position and the 2 minute deficit to the second and third placed riders. The first half of the final lap of the race proved to be a ferocious knock-down battle between these three until Watts was able to pull away and then chase down the race leader, only to come up 4 seconds short of the victory.
‘I totally stunk for the first half of the race. I just couldn’t get comfortable out there and every time I tried to push I would make another mistake and get out of control. It was so frustrating, but I just kept putting in laps hoping things would turn around. After the gas stop I started feeling heaps better and was able to charge. Once I caught Garrahan though it was an instant roadblock. Then we caught Kanney and the battle began. That half a lap produced many stories, and for me quite a bit of blood and no skin left on my elbows. If we weren’t friends then there probably would have been a bit of push and shove back in the pits after the race! It was pretty exciting!’
‘Following being slammed into a tree and being wiped-out in the creek bed section I was able to make my way past them and continue to chase down McLevy only to come up just that bit too short.’

Watts now prepares for Round 4 of the GNCC series in South Carolina this weekend.
OMA Nationals Round 2 Decatur Arkansas – April 10
1. Josh McLevy (KAW)
2. Shane Watts (KTM)
3. Brian Garrahan (SUZ)
4. Nathan Kanney (KTM)

GNCC Round 4 South Carolina Mart Cycles Offroad racer Shane Watts finished a disappointing fourth place at Round 4 of the Grand National Cross Country Championship held in perfect conditions at Cross Anchor, South Carolina on the weekend (April 17).
With a great start on his KTM 200EXC Watts ran second for the first half mile before moving into the lead and holding it for a half lap. From there Watts just hovered around in the lead pack of three or four riders. After the gas stop, and with three laps remaining of the three hour race, Watts, Salminen and Hawk distance themselves slightly from the rest of the pack as they began the charge to the checkered flag. With two laps to go Salminen wiped-out leaving Hawk out in front, with a 10 second buffer over Watts. Then with only three miles of the final lap to be completed Watts made a basic mistake and suffered a time consuming crash in a mud hole, losing second place in the process. Then with less than a mile remaining Watts was outgunned by Salminen and was thus relegated to a final finishing position of fourth.
‘That was enjoyable to have a great start to the race and to be apart of the lead pack. I was just trying to ride smooth and smart, and be consistent but I just kept making too many mistakes. I suffered a few crashes during the middle part of the race, which is not what I wanted, although I was able to catch back up to the leaders each time. On the last lap I just tried to bring it home for a magnificent second place but I made that dumb mistake and crashed. Talk about being disappointed!
Other than that I’m pretty happy that I was able to still run the lead pace for most of the race considering that unfortunately it is impossible for my body to function at the level it used to a few years ago.’
GNCC Round 4 South Carolina
1. Barry Hawk (YAM)
2. Glenn Kearney (SUZ)
3. Juha Salminen (KTM)
4. Shane Watts (KTM)
5. Robbie Jenks (KTM)


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