TRAVIS BRIGHT’S START TO THE WORCS SERIES
Travis Bright is 19-year old motocross racer from Ojai, California. He has been seriously racing the amateur ranks since he was a pup. This year, with the help of Dirt Bike magazine and Kawasaki, he’s attacking the PRO2 class of the WORCS series. Many fast talented moto guys think the WORCS series is easy. We have news for you, it isn’t and Travis’ report gives you the straight skinny about the race.
Round 1 of the WORCS was definitely a learning experience. I have done a few WORCS races before but never really taken them seriously. I just got on the new Kawasaki 450 and have nothing but good things to say about it, I love the bike. I rode practice on Friday, which was just the motocross track. I felt great and everything was going as planned. Saturday morning I went out for Unclassified, which is pretty much a practice race and cruised around the track learning the off-road portion and getting a feel for it. It was super muddy with the sun glaring in my eyes and I could barely see where I was going.
Unclassified was my first mistake of the weekend and those mistakes would carry over to the afternoon race. When I went to the line for the 450A race I was put in the second row because there were so many riders, which already had me frustrated. A good finish in the 450A class qualifies riders for the PRO2 race on Sunday. The flag dropped and I was off to a mid pack start. After the third turn I had passed up to about 5th, but then went down. I got up and tried to ride this hour-long race like a short motocross race. At first it worked out, I was going through guys left and right. There was only one problem…when I was cruising around learning the track in Unclassified; I was learning the track going slow, not up to speed. Going fast I had no idea where the heck I was going, needless to say that race was a disaster. I went down three times first lap and one crash was pretty bad. I found myself in the bushes without my bike. So I didn’t qualify out of that race for the PRO2 race on Sunday. I had to race the OPEN race at the end of Saturday to try and get into PRO2. I went out there, chilled out and road a smart race. I learned a lot that race. As mad as I was that I had to do it, it was a blessing in disguise. I figured out how to go slow to go fast…if that makes sense.
Sunday was the big show and what I was really there for, the PRO 2. I was a bit nervous on the line but settled down and pulled myself together. I came off the gate fairly well and rounded the first turn about tenth. Knowing that I had two hours to race the first lap I kept it nice and mellow not letting anyone get around me but not going crazy to pass people. I came through the scoring in about tenth place I think. Then came the nasty WORCS-CROSS. All the riders the first lap were getting balled up and going down. I saw some of the top guys stuck in there and I though to my self, ‘now is my chance!” Yeah, now was my chance to loose 40 seconds on the first lap. I crashed twice and stalled the bike in the WORCS-CROSS section. Right there I was 40 seconds down on lap one. Lap two was pretty much the same thing just not as bad. I think on the lap charts I only lost 25 seconds second lap. Which was good considering first lap. The more I went through there the better I got. Some laps I wouldn’t hang up at all, I would go right through with no problems. If only I could have done that the first two laps. The first lap out I just plugged away. On lap two I came by my pits in 16th. By the hour mark I had passed my way I into 6th or 7th. I pitted, threw on some fresh goggles and kept plugging away. With two laps to go I had caught 5th and passed him and was right on 4th place. We went through the log section; I bobbled a little but was only about 10 seconds behind. In the off-road section I knew I didn’t have much time so I started to lay the wood down. I brought those 10 seconds in to less then half a second. We went into a tight left hand bowl turn and just simply lost the front end. The bike slide down a hill and stalled. It took everything I had after 1 hour and 45 minutes of riding to lift the KX450F up. I got up and by the time I started going I lost probably 30 seconds. So the last two laps I kept it cool and rode a smart race to finish 5th. Without loosing over a minute in the logs the first two laps I think I could have been right there near the front. I was stronger at the end then I was at the beginning. I learned a lot this weekend and I will expect to be near the front next round.
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