Rnd 7 August 12, 2017 – Caliente, NV – FLIER POSTED
Photo/Blurb: Mark Kariya
After the Youth races, the big bikes lined up for three separate loops at the X12 Virgin Ground Hare & Hound hosted by the Buzzards Motorcycle Club in Plymouth, Utah.
Round six of the Kenda/SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series, no one knew exactly what to expect, though the Youth races provided a glimpse at their event.
With the first loop shortened in order to avoid one particularly deep creek, there were still more obstacles than one might imagine a flat field would hold. However, most of those obstacles were hidden by the grass that was knee-high in most places that I saw. None seemed to be in the racing line except for the creek crossings, but with the billowing dust, racers predictably moved farther and farther off the main line, making it inevitable that some poor souls would hit those hidden obstacles.
But while the guys up front had the most problems with dust and race-ending objects, those farther back seemed to have a good time enjoying the second and third loops that shot them into the hills west of the pits. Lots of flow, big hills and beautiful vistas is how I heard it.
In the end, Taylor Robert waited patiently for early leaders Axel Pearson and Tuffy Matthew Pearson to push a little too hard, taking the lead on the second loop and managing the rest of the race from the front. Whenever he felt Gary Sutherlin was getting too close, the FMF KTM racer upped the pace and kept the Purvines DA8 Racing points leader in his dust.
After a huge tumble that Robert witnessed, Tuffy Matthew Pearson regrouped and charged to the finish in third place–remarkable considering not just the crash but that this was his first National in four years (and he was aboard his 2012 KTM 450 XC-F). Axel Pearson also showed a lot of grit after crashing twice to forfeit the lead, finishing fourth with a suspected cracked collarbone. Justin Morgan came in fifth aboard his Rocky Moutnain ATV-MC/Precision Concepts CRF450X, still feeling pretty tired after spending the previous week doing hundreds and hundreds of pre-run miles as well as taking a turn in the San Felipe loop on the winning Baja 500 team.
Now comes a short break before the series resumes in Panaca, Nevada, in the middle of August when current series champ Ricky Brabec hopes to be back in the saddle
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2017 Rnd 5 KENDA/SRT National Hare & Hound Championship from JMR Productions