American Honda’s Kendall Norman proved his skills go far beyond desert riding by taking a solid win at the 2004 Tecate Hare Scramble. The tight course and perfect conditions made for an incredible race, with Norman dominating the pro class followed by KTM’s Brent Harden and Dax Billings in third. Bobby Bonds was among the favored to win, but unfortunately suffered a bad crash off the start, taking him out of the race.”This was one of the best courses I’ve ever ridden,” said Kendall Norman, “The conditions were good; it was really tight and technical how I like it. That’s pretty much what I grew up riding in.” Norman had opened up an impressive gap by the end of the first lap and checked out for the rest of the race. “I just stayed smooth and smart and didn’t have any problems,” said Norman, “I saw some carnage on the bomb but I was able to [avoid] that and not involve myself in any accidents.”If the name Kendall Norman sounds familiar, it’s because he was the recent third member of Honda’s record-setting Baja 1000 team. For more with American Honda’s newest off-road protégé, click here.The carnage Norman referred to was Bobby Bonds’ tangle at the start. Bonds tagged the rear wheel of another rider, went down hard and stayed down. He didn’t appear to have any broken bones, but was, without question, done for the weekend.Brent Harden pulled the holeshot aboard his KTM 200 E/XC. “I actually felt really good. I led the first lap, but ended up crashing,” said Harden, “I came into a corner and my handlebar caught a rock and high-sided me. I got up still in the lead, but it took a second to regroup and Kendall [Norman] went by me.” On the second lap, Kanney and Billings caught Harden, the three of them swapping places over the next few laps. Harden took over second place after Honda’s Nathan Kanney—another newcomer on the off-road scene—suffered a broken brake lever. Dax Billings rounded out the podium taking third.”This was awesome,” said Billings, “The dirt was perfect. Bob Shafer just laid out a great course, as he does every year.” Billings had a unique setup on his bike, running motocross-style Precision Concepts suspension, rather than his usual off-road setup. “We [usually] set it up for longer distance stuff, and what ends up happening is as the course gets worse and worse, you start blowing through things. When you have motocross suspension it starts out way too stiff, but as the race progresses and the holes get worse, you can actually hit them with more speed.” Other than having to stand up the entire three hours, Billings’ experimental suspension setup seemed to work well.For more information on this and other Tecate Hare Scrambles, visit the Los Ancianos Motorcycle Club site at www.losancianos.com.