Team Solitare/Kingdom/FLY Update - Worcs Round 5, Honeylake, CA - Dirt Rider Magazine

Hello all. I hope everyone had a great Easter and was able to spend time with your loved ones.After 13 straight weekends of racing the AMA Supercross Series, we finally had two weekends off. Easter weekend I spent with my family at home, but the second weekend I decided to take Destry Abbott up on his challenge of riding a WORCS race. Since I became friends with the talented Mr. Abbott four years ago, he has been trying to get me to cross-over and do a little off-road. This was the first time things fell into place and I was able to take him up on the offer.The WORCS Series (World Off-Road Championship Series) blends Motocross with Off-Road racing. Some of their events favor the motocross racers, some the off-road specialists. This one was at the Honeylake Motocross Park in Northern California. The race track was awesome, but the off-road sections had me a little apprehensive from the start. Here is a quick breakdown of my first of many off-road experiences.Practice/Unclassified: Saturday morning I signed up for the "Unclassified" race which is basically a thirty-minute practice session that they call a race. It was really cold outside and raining lightly when we took off, but after a lap I was pretty warmed up feeling good. The course on Saturday was different from our Sunday race, as it didn't have the very difficult "pro sections" added in. Still, the course was tough and the lap times were over seven minutes in length. I left the track feeling good but knowing I had to make a few chassis changes for my Pro Qualifier later that afternoon.Pro Qualifier: This race was 30 minutes long and was basically for gate position for Sunday's main race. My start was good, as I was around fifth exiting the first corner. By the end of the first lap I was into third with Lance Smail all over my rear wheel. Bobby Garrison checked out up front with Justin Soule in second and I was now comfortably in third. I started getting arm pump on lap two, which is very uncharacteristic for me. I think that my nerves coupled with an extremely demanding track got the best of me. I was able to settle down pull out a comfortable margin to finish third, about ten seconds back from Soule.After the race on Saturday I walked all three pro sections to get a glimpse of what Sunday's event was going to be like. Wow! I would be lying if I said I wasn't freaking out a little bit. The rocks were huge, there were massive uphill climbs and only one way through many of the sections. When I walk a Supercross track, the obstacles look much bigger and more difficult than when I actually ride over them. I was hoping this would be much the same.Pro Race: WORCS races are two hours, so unlike a Motocross or Supercross race you have to pace yourself so that you don't wear out too early. My start was just outside the top ten, but I moved up a few spots quickly and was ninth by the end of the second lap. I successfully negotiated all three pro sections, so I was feeling pretty good, as those were my areas of most worry. My first mistake came on lap three, when I botched the entry to one of the pro sections and got into some massive rocks. I hit the ground and the engine died. I picked myself up and started the bike, but I would have to dismount and walk my bike through about 50 feet of rocks to get back on course. At that point I was back to 12th. Destry had just passed me so I thought that having someone I am used to riding with just ahead would help out. I did pick up my pace, but Destry was much faster through the rocky sections so I had to really push on the motocross track to stay anywhere near his pace. This caught up with me on lap four, when I had a big crash around a sandy sweeper. I did the full body check when I got up to make sure all was well, which it was with the exception of a sore rear end. The bike was not as fortunate; the bars, levers and handgaurds were damaged and the kill button ripped off in the crash. Over a minute later I was again on the course, only now I was back outside the top twenty. Fortunately, the second hour was much less eventful as I managed to stay on the bike for the remainder of the event. When the checkered flag flew at two hours and twelve minutes, I was back up to 15th.Summary: I would be lying if I said I didn't have a blast. I really enjoyed the challenge of this race, and although the crashes sucked (they all do!) I had a great time and learned so much. The off-road specialists absolutely fly through those rocky sections and steep climbs, and I would like to figure out how to pick my pace up through there and try another event in the near future. I learned a ton about my bike setup, my conditioning and line selection. I feel extremely prepared heading into the outdoor nationals this season. I would like to thank Destry for his help in preparing for this event. Also, all of the WORCS racers who helped me out over the weekend (Nathan Woods, Bobby Garrison, Lance Smail) and the WORCS staff for welcoming a "moto guy" to their series. A special thanks to IMS for getting my bike outfitted with a tank and Dry Break system (we had a super-fast pit stop). Lastly, JR Boyd stepped in for my usual mechanic, Jesse Black, who was ill and could not attend. JR did a fantastic job, as usual, and we all made a lot of great memories over the weekend.Thanks to everyone for your continued support and see you at the race track!Team Solitaire/Kingdom/FLY Racing Honda is an independently owned and operated professional Supercross and Motocross race team based in Phoenix, AZ. Our 2007 marketing partners include: FLY Racing, Kingdom Clothing, American Honda, Dragon Optical, WPS, Dubach Racing Exhaust,, Ohlins by Coppersmith,, Michelin, Vortex, Team Hawg Racing, ASV,, Dirt Pro, Polisport Plastics, Enjoy Mfg., Ride Engineering, Boyesen, Pivot Works, Ready Filter, Sano Systems, Twenty20, Pro Honda Oils & Chemicals, RK Chain, Excel, Group D, DC Auto Wraps, Champion Tool Storage, Motion Pro, OGIO, Ron Davis Radiators, Crank Works, Hot Rods, CP Pistons, Barnett Clutches, Sidi Boots, RPM Science, NGK Spark Plugs, QTM/Brembo, Pro Grip, Hammerhead, IMS Products, USA Sport, Cytosport, Cometic, Lakai and Fletcher Chiropractic.