Monster Energy Kawasaki News Release
Irvine, Calif. (February 27, 2012) – After two days of intense racing through the Nevada desert, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Bobby Garrison took home the overall win with a 1-1 result at Round 3 of the World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS) at Mesquite MX Park in Mesquite, Nev. With a combination of deep sand in the off-road section and hardpacked dirt on the motocross section, the course proved to be the most challenging of the season. Although Taylor Robert led more laps than any other racer on Sunday, he finished in the runner-up spot on the podium and took second overall with a 3-2 result. Justin SoulÃ© showed steady improvement as the weekend progressed, nailing the holeshot on Saturday and went 5-4 to finish fourth overall.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Under the Tent
Formula for Success
Garrison arrived in Mesquite feeling strong and was determined to finish on the podium. On Saturday he got a good start aboard his KX™450F and moved into the lead before the end of the first lap. He was able to put a gap on the field and take the checkers after the 60-minute plus one-lap moto. On Sunday, Garrison got a mid-pack start and started picking off riders. He rode smooth and consistent over the difficult course and by the end of the 90-minute moto he took the checkered flag and the overall win for the weekend. Garrison currently sits third in the championship points, only 2 points off the leader.
“This weekend came down to consistency,” said Garrison. “This course was really challenging so keeping it on two wheels was key. The race on Sunday really came down to endurance and all the top contenders were right there on the last lap, it was pretty intense. I was in third on the last lap, but knew if I finished second I would take the overall, so I just focused on getting past (Kyle) Summers, who was in second. I was able to get around him and move past Robert into first before we entered the final section of the course. Robert and I were bar-to-bar until the last couple turns. I knew it was going to come down to the finish so I pushed really hard and was able to hold him off until the checkers. I was really happy to go 1-1 this weekend and tighten things up in the points.”
On the Charge
Since he took his first professional win at this course a few years back, Robert came to Mesquite feeling confident and ready to step back on the podium. On Saturday, he got a good start, but got tangled with a rider a couple times in the first lap and found himself in last place battling from behind. Although he threw down the fastest lap times throughout the race, he was unable to reel in the leaders before the checkered flag and finished third. On Sunday, Robert got a good start and led more laps than any other racer. A number of crashes eventually cost him the win, but he still was able to pull off a second-place finish. Robert is currently tied for the championship points lead.
“It’s really important to never give up, no matter where you are in a race,” said Robert. “Every point counts so you can’t ever stop charging until the checkers because you never know what’s happening ahead of you. I knew I was the fastest guy on the course, but just went down too many times this weekend. The track was pretty nasty out there in the off-road section, it had really deep sand, was super silty and whooped out. The top sections were all square-edged, so it was pretty challenging, especially if you were on someone’s back wheel and getting a face full of sand. If I would have kept it on two wheels I know I would have been able to take the win this weekend.”
Getting in the Groove
After finishing on the podium at the last round in Primm, SoulÃ© had high hopes going into Mesquite. Although his fitness was on point, he had a tough time dialing in the challenging course. After finishing fifth on Saturday, SoulÃ© made some adjustments to the bike that he felt would make a big difference on Sunday. Although he got a slow start Sunday, he found his groove mid-race and began working his way toward the front of the pack. He was able to reel in third by the last lap, but ran out of laps and finished fourth on the day and fourth-overall for the weekend.
“I really struggled this weekend with my bike setup,” said SoulÃ©. “I made a few mistakes on Saturday and made some changes on my bike setup for Sunday. On Sunday, the bike felt a lot better, but I started out a little slower than I would have liked. I was riding too tight at the beginning of the race and let the leaders get too far ahead of me. I just couldn’t close the gap before the end of the race. I wish we had a few more laps because my fitness level is really good right now. I honestly felt like I could have raced another 45 minutes.”
The course in Mesquite proved the most challenging WORCS course of the season. With a hardpacked motocross course on the infield and a deep sand and silt-packed course which wound through a tight wash in the outfield, riders had a difficult time figuring out a good bike setup. While some choose to set their bike up for the sand, others chose to maximize performance on the motocross section. Garrison decided to choose a setup different than the rest of the team to find a happy medium.
“I knew coming into this round it was going to be tough to find a setup that worked on both sections of the course,” said Garrison. “I ended up choosing two different types of tires for my KX450F. I went with a Dunlop MX51 on the front for better handling on the motocross course and a Dunlop MX31 on the rear for better traction and drive through the sand. Although the guys were making a little time on me in the motocross course, I was able to reel them back in the off road sections, so I was pretty happy with the setup.”
Cream of the Crop
With a top-tier contingency program in place for the WORCS series, it’s no surprise that a majority of privateers in the Pro class choose Kawasaki more than any other brand. After the conclusion of the Sunday race, seven of the top-ten finishers in the Pro class crossed the finish riding a Kawasaki KX450F.
Battle on the Horizon
In three weeks, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Off Road team heads to Lake Havasu City, Ariz., for Round 4 of the WORCS series. Last year, Robert and Garrison battled it out bar-to-bar in Havasu until the last lap for the top of the podium. With both riders now on the same team, their rematch on the sandy course should be exciting.
World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS) – Round 3
Mesquite MX Park – Mesquite, Nev.
February 25-26, 2012
WORCS Pro Class Results
1. BOBBY GARRISON, HESPERIA, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI (1-1)
2. TAYLOR ROBERT, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI (3-2)
3. Kyle Summers, Florissant, Colo., Yamaha (2-3)
4. JUSTIN SOULE, PHELAN, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI (5-4)
5. Mike Brown, Bluff City, Tenn., KTM (4-5)
6. ROBBY BELL, SUN CITY, CALIF., KAWASAKI (7-6)
7. RYAN ABBATOYE, RIDGECREST, CALIF., KAWASAKI (6-7)
8. Ross Neely, Chester, Calif., Yamaha (9-8)
9. GARY SUTHERLIN, BAKERSFIELD, CALIF., KAWASAKI (10-9)
10. COLTON HAAKER, MURIETTA, CALIF., KAWASAKI (8-10)
WORCS Pro Class Points Standings
1. TAYLOR ROBERT, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 121
2. Mike Brown, Bluff City, Tenn., KTM, 121
3. BOBBY GARRISON, HESPERIA, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 119
4. Kyle Summers, Florissant, Colo., Yamaha, 115
5. JUSTIN SOULE, PHELAN, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 112
6. RYAN ABBATOYE, RIDGECREST, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 85
7. ROBBY BELL, SUN CITY, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 85
8. GARY SUTHERLIN, BAKERSFIELD, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 84
9. Ross Neely, Chester, Calif., Yamaha, 72
10. COLTON HAAKER, MURIETTA, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 56