March 7, 2010
Superstition Mountain, Ca.
I can’t believe the first three rounds have been wet and this one was by far wetter than any of them. The start had puddles everywhere, and I only ran the bomb three times before the race since I was soaked, cold and it was raining again. When the banner dropped I didn’t get a first kick start, but it started the next try. I was trying to pass guys, but was getting soaked by a ton of riders with all the standing water. A mile out I had already used all my tear-offs and knew right away I should’ve went with roll-offs. UGH! A few miles in I was around 10th and just was trying to play it smart and get a good feel for the ground, since it was so slippery. I kept picking guys off, but was having a tough time seeing out of my goggles. At this point I saw Jacob on the ground, and he gave me the thumbs up so I kept going. By now I had moved into 4th and had Gary Sutherlin right in front of me with David Pearson right in front of Gary. I knew Kendall was leading, but couldn’t see him. Just before the alternate pit (mile 21) I was able to get by Gary, and get right on David. I stopped for a splash and put roll-offs on. I left a little bit behind David, but was able to get right on him and then made the pass. I could now see Kendall and wanted to get on him so I could key off him. Around the 35-mile mark, I lost my front end over some really slicks hills and went down. I was soaked with mud and my gloves and left grip were really bad. I took off and was thinking this isn’t going to be good, but luckily I came up to a big water crossing and I slowed down to clean the mud off and then was back on the gas. After the first 59-mile loop was over, Kendall had about 2-minutes on me and David was about 45-seconds in front of me. I stopped for a quick splash and changed my gloves (which was really nice since it was still raining). Now I knew the second loop was where it was going to be won, but Kendall had a pretty good lead on us. I was pushing and was able to catch David about 10-miles into the last 37-mile loop. I passed him, and then once we got into the rocks I started to really feel comfortable and had a great pace going. However, David was able to stay on me since it was so much easier to key off the guy in front of you. The rain really played havoc on the arrows, and they folded up or fell off so it was super hard to follow the course (not the clubs fault). Halfway into the loop I could tell we had really closed the gap on Kendall, and were within a minute of him. David and I kept pushing each other and were going back and forth for quite a while. Next thing I knew we were within about 20-seconds of Kendall, and was looking forward to a three way battle for the win! David was ahead of me at this point, and I was following him down this really tight ravine that had two big drop offs that were filled with running water. Unfortunately David rolled off it and went flying over the bars. I sat there for a few seconds and I could tell he was struggling to pick it up so I figured I would try and jump over his front end, but it was going to be tight. I tried anyway and boy was it a bad call on my part! My front end slammed into his, and now we were both stuck in the deep puddle of water and neither one of us could do anything to get unstuck. He finally had to lay down his bike the opposite way we were going to get it unstuck, but there still wasn’t enough room to get by so I had to sit there and wait for him to try and get his bike flipped around. I knew we had just thrown away any shot we had at the win, since we were there for at least 2-minutes. Once we took off it was another epic battle and we kept going back and forth, but with about 3-miles to go he made a good pass on me. Right after that his bike came to a stop and I knew it was because of the huge wash we were trying to ride up that was flowing a few feet deep in areas. I was thinking I should be on a jet ski here instead of a dirt bike (it really was that deep for a good mile). I ended up finishing 2nd and a few minutes ahead of David who finally got his bike started. Kendall put in a great ride and got his first National H&H win.
Even though I finished 2nd I had a blast and felt really good on the bike again (my conditioning is getting better too). I really felt I could’ve been right there for the win, until the last mistake which was my fault. The conditions really made it fun, and challenging, and then to have some great battles just made it that much better. Definitely a fun day of racing for me!
1st Kendall Norman
2nd Destry Abbott
3rd David Pearson
4th Robert Underwood
5th David Kamo
Here’s a short video clip from Beau. He wasn’t able to get a ton of coverage because of the weather, but it’s still pretty cool! http://www.promoto.tv/
It’s nice to be in the points lead, but I really want to be pulling off some wins again. I’ve been close, but just haven’t won one this year! Come on Idaho!
I would rate this H&H with one of the coolest ones I’ve done in years. The first loop was unbelievably slick and you had to ride smart. The second loop was awesome, and the weather conditions made it interesting and challenging. Even though I didn’t win I had a blast, and thought the club did a great job considering the conditions they had to deal with (all the rain). It definitely wasn’t easy and I think that’s what national events should be like, but the rain did help make it that way!
I’d like to give a big thanks to the Argubright’s for letting Jonny and I use their truck to help us stay dry. Jacob was putting in a great ride and was running 2nd early, but took a big digger and had to call it a day.
Yesterday Gary Sutherlin teamed up with Justin Soule to win the Laughlin Hare Scramble and then showed up late last night to race the H&H. He had a solid 4th place until he bent his sprocket really bad, 20-miles from the finish, and ended up with a DNF.
I have this weekend off and then have a long drive up to Idaho the following week for round four of the H&H series.
Here’s a little video clip that me and my teammates did to plug Kawasaki’s new Facebook page. It was kind of funny! http://www.kawasaki.com/Racing_news/Article.aspx?id=1360
2010 Sponsors: Monster Energy Kawasaki, Thor, Dunlop, GPR stablilzers, Shoei, Akrapovic exhaust, Stephen Gall Training, SIDI, IMS, Zip-Ty, HoyFox.com, Motion Pro, BRP, Braking, Works Connection, Concept2, CTI2, Maxima, Kicker, O’GIO, Traxxas, Renthal, Hinson, Jonre Multimedia, dragonfireracing.com, Scott, Cyto Sport, N-Style, UNI, Parkway Chiropractic, Tire-Balls, and ZLT.