This weekend, the GEICO EnduroCross series presented by E3 Spark Plugs kicked off in fabulous Las Vegas, setting the stage for what will surely be an incredible season of racing. Despite crazy hot conditions outside of the stadium and a challenging track inside, the race action was as tight as we’ve ever seen it at EnduroCross, and that’s saying a lot! To get the full scoop on the race, we asked Monster Energy/ Kawasaki’s Destry Abbott to give us an inside look at the opening round of EX. If you’d like to see the race for yourself before we spoil it for you, check out Shotmaker Productions’ web show at the bottom. Now, over to Destry!Hey Everyone! I was super pumped when the guys from Dirt Rider asked if I could write my race story for their Monday Race Report. It was an eventful night and I hope you enjoy reading about. I look forward to see you readers at the races soon!Pre Notes:
This is my first race back in three months and boy did it feel good to be going to the races again! I’ve only been on the bike for a little over a week and knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I really enjoy the EX races and wanted to try and make it. I was able to spend a few rides on my 250F and figured the shoulder was healed, so I might as well give it a try. Fitness and speed was going to be more of my concern!
The first heat that I was in was stacked; then again all the heats were stacked with good riders. They only take the top two from each heat to the main and the rest go on to the semi. I had a pretty good gate pick due to my time from the hot lap earlier in the day. When the gate dropped, I had a good jump and Mike Brown and I came into the first corner together. I tucked right behind him and then the second corner went into one of the many tough sections (this one was the matrix section). You have to set-up a little wide and when I did that I got hit by someone from the inside of me. I lost my momentum and it made it tough to clean the section. Of course right after that we had a hard left into probably one of the toughest sections of the night for me. It just turned into a bottleneck, and I lost more spots that dropped me to around 7th by the time I got out of it. I made up a couple spots, and then went down again in a section that had two course options. The choices were to either just ride straight over the rock piles or try and make a turn through them with a big log in the middle. I kept trying to take the hard part and go over the log, but it bit me twice during the heat and cost me a lot of time. By the time the checkered flag came out I finished 5th and off to the semi I went.The semi race still had a lot of good riders in it, and for sure the toughest guy was going to be my teammate Ricky Dietrich. When the gate dropped, I had another awesome start and was leading after the first two corners. Then I hit my dreaded section with the left-handed rock corner. I messed up and started a small bottleneck. Ron Commo made a good pass and went to the outside of me. I was still able to get going in second, and felt way better than I did in my heat race. This time I told myself not to try and go over the log in the big rock section, which was slower, but safer for me:). With two laps to go I was still holding down second and Ricky wasn’t far behind me in 3rd. Right before the white flag I heard the crowd get really loud, so I looked up and saw Ron going down over one of the tires. Now I was in the lead, but had RD still right on me. I tried to push it really hard before we got to the big right-handed rock corner. I still wasn’t going to try and go over the log, but I was pretty sure RD was going to do it and try and make the pass. As I was coming back up, Ricky nailed the corner that put us right next to each other. I was able to get to the next corner before he did, and I knew I had to protect my lines if I was going to take the win. Luckily he was to the outside of me before the matrix section and I was able to set-up wide for it and make it though first. I heard the crowd erupt as I went through it and figured he must have gone down. Luckily I made it through the next corner and when I saw him picking up his bike I was finally able to breathe again. Thankfully I was able to hold on to the one qualifying spot, and moved on to the main event (only the winner went to the main).
The main event was here and I was part of it! I didn’t set my goals too high, because I was just getting back on the bike so I was pretty excited to be in the main. My goal was to get a good start and just keep it upright and not take any chances. I had another great start and was right there in the first corner, but this time I was on the outside and the guys from the inside tangled and made a huge bottleneck. I had to sit there and wait for them to move. I finally got going and after the first lap I think I was in 10th. I was able to stay right on a group of five guys in front of me for most of the race and then I made a big mistake in my dreaded left-hand rock corner. They were able to gap me, but I just tried to stay consistent and was able to make it up to 9th by the end of the race.Overall Summary:
I have mixed emotions about my night of racing. I knew it was going to be really hard to make the main and was super pumped I made it in, but was disappointed with my overall results. I know I’m probably only at 75% right now, but feel that if I was stronger and had more time on the bike I could’ve been a lot further up. Now I finally get to start training hard on the bike, and hopefully here soon I’ll be back up to speed! Overall it was really good and I stayed safe and had a blast, so I’m not too upset with it. I just need to realize that it’s going to take a little time and it will all work out!Main Event Results:
1st Taddy Blazusiak
2nd Geoff Aaron
3rd Cory Graffunder
4th Mike Brown
5th Justin Soule
6th Gary Sutherlin
7th Kyle Redmond
8th Jamie Lanza
9th Destry Abbott
10th Cody Webb
11th Kevin RookstoolOther Notes:Here’s a cool video someone posted on YouTube of my Semi race: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3GqJo3gVvgIf you haven’t been to an Endurocross race you really need to make it! I really believe it’s some of the best motorcycle racing to watch. So here’s your opportunity: I’m going to have a fan section (with the help of Monster Energy Kawasaki and Thor) where I’ll be selling 100 tickets and you’ll be getting a free t-shirt and hopefully some other goodies too. The tickets will be at normal price, but you get some free stuff and get to hang out with a bunch of fun people:). This will be for the final Vegas race on November 20th. I’ll have more details in a couple weeks and will post something on my site and my facebook page.Now that I’m able to get on the motorcycle to train again, things should start to pick up with my fitness and results. I’ve been spending a lot of time on my bicycles and row machine, but it’s still not the same as riding my motorcycle.
Speaking of bicycles, I just picked up a new sponsor (Tomac Bicycles). The bike is awesome and I wanted to thank them for helping me out this year!I was sporting some of Thor’s new 2011 gear this weekend (thanks to James Zomerdyke). James and Bret Leaf also helped me out with their mechanic skills; since my mechanic wasn’t able to make it (he had shoulder surgery last week).Thanks to Kit Kamo for all the goodies! She always bakes before every event and brings us a treat for after the race. They were a big hit!Since I haven’t been able to do a whole lot these last 2-month I started a fan page on Facebook where I’ve been giving things away and keeping everyone updated (along with my website). Please check it out here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Destry-Abbott/114746998547830?ref=tsI’m working on my new 2010 ISDE shirt that I’ll be selling here soon, so be sure to keep an eye out for it:) I’ll be selling them to try to help with this year’s ISDE cost!www.destryabbott.com2010 Sponsors: Monster Energy Kawasaki, Thor, Dunlop, GPR stabilizers, 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, Tomac Bicycles, Matrix, Scott, Cyto Sport, N-Style, UNI, Parkway Chiropractic, Tire-Balls, and ZLT.