Valle De Bravo, Mexico (outside of Mexico City)August 5-6, 2006 Pre-Race (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday):This was a trip I’ve been looking forward to for a while. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this event and I’ve been told it’s like an ISDE format, but way laid back. The wife was going to come down here with Jonny and I, but we couldn’t get a babysitter for the eight days we needed. So it was Jonny and I heading to another race. We flew out early Monday morning and spent the day flying down to Mexico City. Homero Diaz (Mexico’s fastest rider) and Nathan Kanney picked us up at the airport. Bart Obluki (Poland’s best rider) and the Watts family (Shane, Kerry, and daughter Edin) also flew in at the same time. We all jumped in the van and took the two hour drive just outside of Tuluca. We finally made it to the house we were going to be staying at. It’s not far from the start and right by the lake. I’m absolutely amazed at how beautiful this place is. After flying into Mexico City I wasn’t to sure what I was getting myself into, but boy was I ever wrong. The next couple of days we did a little riding and checked out the sites. One of the local riders let me race his KX450 this weekend. The bike only has three rides on it so it should be perfect. I added a PC exhaust system, Renthal Grips, and our N-Style graphics kit and she’s ready. A lot of the riding reminds me of the Northwest with the trees and slippery conditions. We’ve ridden a couple of times, which is good for me, to get used to these conditions. After riding with most of the fast guys I’ve realized that it’s really going to be tough to win this event. I was really impressed with Homero and how fast he’s been going, then again he’s won this event every time except once. You also have Bart, who is a top five guy in the World Enduro series, going super fast. I didn’t know Husky’s could go that fast. I think it will be a great race with Shane, Nathan, Xevi, Bartosz, Homero, and I. I’ve been to a lot of different countries, but I truly believe this place is one of the most beautiful. We’ve seen these amazing waterfalls and had lunch at some houses that would be worth 10 million in the states. It rains every day here around 3:00 in the afternoon, but it’s cool to see the clouds in the mountains all the time (elevation here is 7,000 feet). It’s actually really weird, because it does this everyday. So far, Jonny and I are having a great time and wouldn’t mind coming down here more often. Friday:Today Shane, Jonny and I got up early to go for one more ride. We went out and made a little grass track to practice on and to do some more play riding. Later on it was time to get the bikes ready and check them into impound. The impound was down town and packed with people. It felt a lot like the ISDE’s I’ve been to in Europe. Saturday Race Day:It was another early morning and we were off to the start. My 450 started right away and I was off, heading out on the trails. Nathan and I were on the same minute which was really cool, because I had someone to ride with. The first test came pretty quick and I was looking forward to seeing how I was going to do against all these great riders. The first test was going well, until I lost my front end in a slippery corner. I got up pretty quick and was back on the gas. I think I finished 4th in the test. Right after this test we had a good long trail section. It was really cool to be riding up in these trees and checking out the scenery. We got to the next check with about 45 minutes to spare, so we all just relaxed. All the top guys were within the first 7-minutes. During the day we had a total of eight tests with two being an enduro test with some trees. The other six are on grass fields, which these guys are really good at. As far as the rest of the day, it actually went really well. I had one more slide out where the rear end came around to the front. The test started to get a lot more slippery after the grass went away. When I saw the day’s results I was a little surprised to see I was sitting in third overall. Nathan was actually pretty close to me and then Bartosz would actually be in third if not for his minute penalty. Tomorrow should be a lot of fun, but I just hope it doesn’t rain. Saturday’s overall results:1st Xevi Puigdemont (Spain)2nd Homero Diaz (Mex)3rd Destry Abbott (USA)4th Nathan Kanney (USA)5th Bartosz Obluki (Poland)6th Jaime Garcia (Mex)7th Maurizio Carminati (Italy)8th Arturo Arina (Mex)9th Shane Watts (Aus)10th Alejandro Sanchez (Mex) Sunday Race Day:I should actually start off by telling you this was one of my worst days of racing in a long time. It rained quite a bit last night, which I didn’t think would be that bad. I couldn’t have been more wrong! All the tests were amazingly slippery to the point that you felt like you were riding on ice. Early I was saying that this place was slippery, but most of these tests were hard to turn on unless you could get into some of the grass sections. We had a total of nine tests today, and I was only able to keep it on two wheels in one of them (that’s pretty bad). Most of them were all little slide outs where the front wheel would be turned and you still would be going straight. There were sections you could get on the gas and you wouldn’t go anywhere. Towards the end of the day my rear tire had a slow leak and would go flat within 20-minutes. With three tests to go I filled it back up and got ready for the test. I took off and felt like everything was going good, but I had one fast straightaway to go and that’s where I took my bike soil sample. It was actually a really weird crash. I was on the gas and hit a small little bump (or something like that) and when my front end landed it had no traction and threw me to the ground. I did quite a few rolls and as soon as I jumped up Jonny was standing there making sure I was ok. As you could imagine I wasn’t too happy and had a little headache. I got to the bike and took off to the finish. After this test I had another one which was the only one I kept it on two wheels. Then I had the final test of the day (not including the final moto) where I didn’t think things could get any worse. When I took off I knew my rear tire only had about 5 pounds in it, but I was just going to ride smooth and not take any chances. This was the enduro test and I was having a good time on it until the bike swapped and sent me straight into a tree. As I was sitting on the ground, I couldn’t believe how bad this day was going for me. I was in no hurry and took my time getting up and finishing the test. I think I was 4-minutes behind the first place guy on this one. Now we had a little break before the final moto, where 40 of us would be racing. We went and did an autograph session while it was still raining out. At this point, I had no intention of trying to ride at full speed in the final moto. I just wanted to make sure I would still be healthy for next week’s race. The final moto was really fun with all the spectators cheering us on, and I think I finished around 8th in the moto (with one small slide out). Nathan won the final moto which was pretty cool too. That would’ve been the test I would’ve liked to win. I know it doesn’t sound like I had a great time today, but the trail sections were a blast and pretty tough in some sections. This was one of the best organized events I’ve been to! I definitely want to come back, but I just hope it doesn’t rain as much. Results overall (unofficial):1st Homero Diaz2nd Xevi Puigdemont3rd Nathan Kanney4th Bartosz Obluki5th Maurizio Carminati Other Notes:My next race is coming up this weekend in Washington, for a WORCS race. I’d like to give a huge thanks to the Diaz family for inviting us here. This was one of the best events I’ve ever been to and I’m planning on putting this on my schedule for next year. If I was you I’d do the same thing!!! If you get a chance you can check out their website at www.funenduro.com.mx . Sydney from the FAST dealership in Mexico City supplied Nathan and I with our bikes and two mechanics for the weekend. Sydney was a great guy and would help us with just about anything we needed. Thanks Sydney!!It seemed like just about everyone I met down here was really cool. I wish I could’ve spent more time down here taking pictures. They let you ride just about anywhere. If I was a magazine company I would plan on making a trip here to do photo shoot. You could ride on waterfalls that would look photo shopped anywhere else. Truly amazing! The Diaz family put all of us riders (and Watts family) up at a house they rented. It was great to spend time with everyone. They were all some of the coolest people I’ve ever met. Homero, Bartosz, Nathan, Xevi, Shane, Jonny, and myself have been playing jokes on each other the whole time I’ve been here. From the time you wake up, you have to be careful and make sure they didn’t sabotage something. They’ve already been messing with the bike. Payback is going to be good! I was told there were 370 entries and that’s where they had to close it off. Then in the final moto I would say there were probably around 4,000 spectators. It was really cool. WOW!!! I thought I had a tough day Sunday, but I was wrong. Monday most of us riders went to Mexico City to fly out. Our plane didn’t leave until 4:00 p.m. so we just hung out at the airport. Then our flight kept getting delayed, until around 7:00 and then they cancelled it. They told us we would fly out early in the morning so we stayed at the airport. When morning came, they had overbooked the flight and we couldn’t get on. So we made them book us on another airline. Finally around 11:00 we were off to Houston and then to Phoenix. After 30 hours at the airport we were finally back in Phoenix, but then we discovered that they had lost our luggage. They think it might still be in Houston. Now I’m finally sitting at home (Tuesday night) without any of my clothes or gear from Mexico. I could actually write a whole story on the things that went on for the past 30 hours that you wouldn’t think could happen to someone. It actually got to the point it was funny! Now I’m just looking forward to sleeping in my own bed! For a lot more pictures of the race you can check out this link http://topspeed.tv/funenduro06/ . Thanks Mike for putting this together! Best Wishes,Destrywww.destryabbott.com2006 Sponsors:Kawasaki, Dunlop, Scott goggles, Thor, Pro Circuit, Kawasaki Accessories, SIDI, GPR, Acerbis, CTI2, Jonre, BRP, Motion Pro, Works Connection, Hinson, Hoy Fox Toyota, American Racing Wheels, Renthal, Pro Clean 1000, DP pads, UNI, Wiseco, Twisten Wrenches, Cyto Sport, Red Baron, Trick, Zip-Ty, RK/Excel, N-Style, Shoei, Maxima, IMS, Top Speed, ZLT, Bent, Steahly, and Tire Balls.