TAYLOR ROBERT RULES HAVASU WORCS

HAVASU WORCS
TAYLOR ROBERT RULES
Subtitle: Graffunder Tops Pro 2
Story and photos by
Joe Colombero

Taylor Robert annihilated the competition ‘again’ at the Havasu WORCS round.

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert (33) was clearly unstoppable at WORCS round 4 this weekend. Robert gated well in both races coming off the line in the top three on the dead engine starts. He cannoned his way to the front by the end of the first lap and started laying down faster and faster lap times. Though challenged by Mike Brown and Kyle Summers, neither rider could keep Robert in sight for very long. Robert’s performance on the fast, rough, sand and rock Havasu course was almost perfect and his 1-1 finish for round four places him securely at the top of the title chase.
“I like it here,” said Robert. “I went 1-1 at Havasu last year and I felt confident that I could do it again. This track is actually easier than my practice track at home so it was a fun weekend. I’m glad to be leading the points again because Brown just keeps getting tougher to beat and I’ve got to focus on each race and keep my eye on the WORCS Championship.”

Brownie, another year younger continues to defy nature, battling with the kids and finishing second overall.

Taking second was FMF/KTM’s Mike Brown (311) with a 3-2 performance. Brown (who just celebrated his 40th birthday last week) got the holeshot in Saturday’s race and led for a while before losing the battle with Robert and Summers for the race #1 win. Then he gated well again in race #2 on Sunday, riding most of the 1 ½ hours in third before reeling in Summers to take the second spot on the podium.

Robert and Brownie and Blake Savage nailed the start.

Taking third overall was Kyle Summers (394), who rode impressively to second in race #1, then led race #2 in a long battle with Robert. Summers set the fastest lap of any rider on the track with an amazing 5:40, but he couldn’t maintain that pace in the wind and heat on the tough Havasu track. Eventually, the burning heat wilted Summers charge and he lost touch with Robert and fell victim to Brown’s late race challenge.
Ryan Abbatoye had his best WORCS Pro performance this year taking fourth overall with a 5-4 finish. Abbatoye rode hard and consistent, letting the heat fell other riders as he rode past and kept on the gas. Bobby Garrison took fifth with Justin Soule sixth, Ross Nealy seventh, Gary Sutherlin finished eighth Colton Haacker ninth, and Cole Shondeck tenth.
Robert leads the WORCS Championship with 171/2 wins, ahead of Brown with 163/1 win and Summers with 157, Garrison 153/1 win, and Soule with 141.

Pro 2
Corey Graffunder put Husky on the top of the Pro 2 podium for the first time this season with a come from behind ride to take the win. Graffunder had to battle his way past defending Pro 2 Champion Justin Seeds and point’s leader Ivan Ramirez to earn the win. Ramirez finished second and holds onto the class point’s lead. Taking third was Ian Blythe who was thrilled to get on the podium as he has been fourth several times this season. Fourth place fell to Alex Dorsey with Seeds taking fifth. Dirt Rider magazine’s Chris Green finished in sixth with Travis Coy seventh Cooper Hall eighth and Tallon Taylor ninth.
Ramirez still leads the Pro 2 Class with 94/2 wins, ahead of Graffunder with 87/1 win, and Seeds with 71.
Pro 2 Lites
Brandon Leith (838) made the trip down from Eagle Mountain, Utah to take another win in the Pro 2 Lights class. Leith set the fastest lap time of all the Pro 2 Lites with a blistering 6:13 aboard his Kawasaki. Ryan Sandoval finished second and Star Savage took the third spot.
Leith tops the Pro 2 Lites title chase with 97/3 wins, ahead of Sandoval with 82 and Eric Yorba with 63/1 win.
Women Pro
Tatum Sik took her third win in a row to top the WORCS Women Pro class. Nicole Madsen came from a last place start to finish second and defending Champion Kacy Martinez took third and Elizabeth Bash took the fourth spot.
Martinez leads the championship with 84, with Madsen at 76 points and Sik closing in with 75/3 wins.
Next round: April 20-22 Speed World, Surprise Arizona.

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