Irvine, Calif. (October 3, 2012) – Following six grueling days of the world’s most difficult riding conditions, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert and Destry Abbott helped Team USA climb to fourth overall on the final day in the World Trophy Team results at this year’s International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in Saxony, Germany. Both Robert and Abbott finished the event with individual gold medals and consistently put in top times on each day’s tests. Robert was the top finishing American rider ending the event in seventh place overall in the E2 class.
Carrying the Team
Robert had competed in ISDE once before, but this was his first time as part of the Trophy Team. Robert had a goal to stay consistent and not make any mistakes that could cost him and the team a lot of time. He did just that and finished in the top-10 on three of the six days never finishing lower than 14th in the premier E2 class. Despite developing a case of tendinitis in his wrist from the long hours on the bike, Robert was able to finish seventh overall on his KX™450F in the E2 class and was the top finishing American, leading Team USA to fourth overall.
“It was pretty insane,” said Robert. “The trails were gnarly and the competition was stiff. The first two days were the same tests with one really nasty test. It went through the trees and the trail was littered with roots and rocks and holes that you couldn’t see. There were also a couple mud holes. The transfer sections were really tough as well because of all the hill climbs. I tried to stay pretty consistent all week and learned a lot, so I’m excited to come back next year and improve.”
Competing in his ninth ISDE, Abbott was originally not part of the 2012 USA team. Kawasaki teammate Bobby Garrison was originally chosen for the team, but injury forced him to pull out from the team. This allowed for Abbott to take over and he couldn’t have been more excited. He felt more prepared this year than last and although he had a rough start on Day 1, he was able to bounce back the following day and progressively got more comfortable with the conditions as each day unfolded. Abbott finished the final day just outside the top-10 on his KX450F and climbed up the standings to finish 21st overall in the highly competitive E2 class, earning his seventh ISDE Gold medal.
“I was happy with my times throughout the six days,” said Abbott. “We all rode pretty well and the team was second fastest on the last couple days. Our goal was to be on the podium, but considering we came from behind we are happy. It was so nice to not have to worry about my bike each day. The KX450F is so strong; all I needed to do was basic service all week. It really allowed me to focus on the each day and gave me confidence knowing I had nothing to worry about.”
One would think that after competing in ISDE for the ninth time, Abbott would have seen and ridden everything possible, but that is not the case. Abbott always strives to better himself as a rider and is continuously learning on the bike. Germany presented new challenges and conditions that are much different from his usual terrain of Arizona, but he was able to adapt and conquer the obstacles throughout the six days of competition.
“It’s totally different every year,” said Abbott. “Each year is different conditions and this year was more east coast style conditions, but we were able to tackle it. Taylor rode exceptionally well. I also try to be a versatile rider so I was happy with my performance.”
When Robert and Abbott walked the tests the week before the competition began, Day four’s tests stood out and were clearly going to be the most challenging. Not only was the course itself difficult, but the night prior it rained substantially leaving the course wet, muddy, and extremely slick. Robert was able to overcome the tricky conditions and finished ninth on the day.
“It was impossible to get traction that day,” said Robert. “There were slippery roots on top with hard-packed, rocky dirt underneath so you would just slide from the roots to the wet rocks. Even the guys that were used to those types of terrain said that they had never ridden anything so slippery.”
Pushing to the End
Going into the sixth and final day of competition, Team USA sat in sixth place and was determined to finish strong. The final day consisted of a supermoto style course and a moto format. All six riders from Team USA put in strong finishes in their motos and they were able to jump from sixth to fourth in the World Trophy Team standings surpassing last year’s overall winners of Finland.
Kawasaki legend Jeff Fredette added to his AMA Hall of Fame resume completing his 32nd ISDE event. The multi-time gold medalist made the trip to Germany and finished the grueling event on the new 2013 KX450F.
“All the Kawasaki guys rode great all week,” said Fredette. “I raced the new KX450F for the first time and it worked fantastic. The forks were like riding on pillows over the rocks.”
Rounding out the Season
With ISDE complete, Monster Energy Kawasaki will return to the AMA EnduroCross season. Racing resumes in Denver, Colo., for Round 5 at the National Western Complex where Robert and Justin Soulé will look to put their KX™250Fs on the podium.
2013 International Six Days Enduro
September 24-29, 2012
World Trophy Team Results
E2 Individual Final Results
1. Pierre-Alexandre Renet, France
2. Johnny Aubert, France
3. Alex Salvini, Italy
4. Matthew Phillips, Australia
5. Ivan Cervantes, Spain
6. Joshua Strang, Australia
7. TAYLOR ROBERT, USA, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
8. Mathias Bellino, France
9. Thad DuVall, USA
10. Robert Kvarnstrom, Sweden
21. DESTRY ABBOTT, USA, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI