(Press Release from Gnccracing.com)

America’s Team Manager Jeff Russell just called in an update from Day 1 of the ISDE.

America’s Team was dealt a big blow early when Barry Hawk’s YZ250 siezed just a few minutes into the event (he will not be the last casualty when you consider the soaring heat and humidty and the deep sand the event takes place in). As per ISDE rules, Hawk should be eliminated from the race, but he’s going to put a new top end in his bike now and hope the jury rules him eligible to ride again tomorrow.

The team is mystified over how Hawk’s bike went under. His plug apparently looked fine, and the piston is okay too. Only the ring siezed against the cylinder. There was no way to fix the engine on the track, as the test took place on a huge sand dune. Taking the top-end off their would have resulted in a pile of sand getting inside the engine.

Each team counts five of its six best scores each day, which means there’s no room for error with the American Trophy Team. Luckily, everyone else had a good day today. The beach-side trails offer few challenges for the racers, with the top riders hitting their check points on time. The event will be decided through bonuses awarded in Special Tests. Four tests were held today. Ty Davis and Mike Kiedrowski showed top-ten speed, with Jason Raines and Mike Lafferty running top twenty. Rodney Smith was a threat in the 125s, but he made a wrong turn and lost about ten minutes in the final trail section of the day. He will have to hustle over the next five days to make that time up.

Other American Riders, like GNCC Club Team members Randy Hawkins, Robbie Jenks and Doug Blackwell, as well as young KTM recruit Kurt Caselli, are riding well too.

Russell says that while America’s Team doesn’t have the absolute fastest riders, few teams feature such a deep group of strong results. Currently the team is in 12th place. Smith needs to make up his lost time, and if Hawk can get back in the hunt, we’re still in the hunt. Considering the conditions, almost all the teams can expect some damage as the week wears on.

7-time World Motocross Champion Stefan Everts, by the way, is running very strong, taking three wins and a second in his four tests. According to Russell, the special tests are basically motocross tracks, which means Everts could be a contender all week long.

Results and a few photos are posted on the official ISDE site, www.isde2003.com.


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