Kyle Redmond The Top Dog At Last Dog Standing

Only four finish hot, tough race

Kyle Redmond
A lingering wrist injury has kept Kyle Redmond from doing much racing since last year’s EnduroCross season ended, so he didn’t feel fully prepared for Last Dog Standing. However, the extreme challenges presented apparently suited him well because he won with a 3-1 “moto” score, the final moto performance a dominating one over the last half.Mark Kariya

For the Eighth Annual Last Dog Standing, presented by AOMC, at Glen Helen Raceway Park in San Bernardino, California, the Prairie Dogs Motorcycle Club might have devised its most difficult challenge yet. Run in a moto format, the third and final heat called Last Dog 3 (LD3) proved to be more than most of the field could handle due to temperatures in the 90s, lingering dust in the narrow canyons, and the most technical terrain the club could find in the hills around the park.

After winning LD2 (only the Sportsmen raced LD1), FMF KTM Factory Off-road Racing Team’s Taylor Robert appeared to be the favorite for LD3 (which was two laps of a loop about 8 miles long) and the overall triumph, but a couple of crashes put him into catch-up mode, forcing him to expend more energy than expected, and he had to resort to teaming up with SRT Husqvarna’s Trystan Hart in order to surmount some of the most difficult sections—this after waiting for the dust to clear after Hart’s SRT Husqvarna teammate Kyle Redmond slipped past and into the lead early in LD3.

Trystan Hart
When the going got really tough in LD3, Trystan Hart agreed to team up with Taylor Robert and pull each other’s bike up the gnarliest hills as both were completely spent. However, they found the second lap of LD3 actually easier since the trail was more worked in and Hart secured second place with his 2-2 day.Mark Kariya

“Kyle got up a hill that Trystan and I had to help each other up, and he was gone—he was riding really good,” Robert said. “Trystan and I got to the top and we were smoked; we just went into full survival mode.”

Hart explained, “Kyle was in front so we let him go. Taylor and I just chilled out and got off our bikes because it was so dusty! At that point, we were so hot we just decided to help each other and we wasted a lot of energy doing that because you’re doing double the bikes, basically. We were just fried and we just coasted, basically, in on that [first] lap, then I got a little boost of energy, I would say, and I charged that second lap.”

Taylor Robert (left) and Noah Kepple
Taylor Robert (left) and Noah Kepple discuss strategy for the tire mountain that proved unrideable for everyone. Some riders pushed, pulled, and lifted their bikes alone; others resorted to teaming up with their fellow riders. The tires proved to be Robert’s undoing and he had to settle for third overall with his 1-3 day. Fourth in LD2, Kepple was credited with fifth overall, having reached check four on lap two of LD3.Mark Kariya

And Redmond added, “We were all together just kind of pushing our bikes and getting roosted by each other. I was like, ‘I’ve got to get out of here!’ So I found a good line at the top of one of [the climbs]; Trystan was pushing his bike and I slipped around him and never saw him again. It was tricky. The race was tough. The first lap [of LD3] was really hard and the second lap was quite a bit easier.”

Interestingly, Robert, Hart, and Redmond all had identical final scores, but Redmond earned the overall and biggest chunk of the $10,000 purse with his 3-1 tally followed by Hart’s 2-2 and Robert’s 1-3. Sherco rider Mitch Carvolth was the fourth and final rider to complete both laps of LD3 within the allotted time, that and his 6-4 giving him fourth overall.

Josh Rooken-Smith helps Mitch Carvolth
Eventual seventh-place finisher Josh Rooken-Smith helps Mitch Carvolth up the final stack of tires. Carvolth was the fourth and last rider to complete two laps of LD3, giving him fourth overall and the final official finish position.Mark Kariya

GasGas rider Noah Kepple took fifth after getting to check four on lap two with SRT Husqvarna’s Wally Palmer, Trials Training Center KTM-mounted Josh Rooken-Smith, FMF/Maxxis/RPM/KTM Racing’s Spenser Wilton, Topar KTM’s Ryan Wells, and Turner Motorsports TM rider Ryan Gouveia rounding out the top 10.

Cory Graffunder
Early in the Pro-only prologue (which simply determined their start order for LD2), Cory Graffunder appeared to have things well in hand as he romped out front.Mark Kariya
Graffunder
Unfortunately for Graffunder, he crashed off the teeter-totter and ended up sidelined with a broken ankle.Mark Kariya
Graffunder
Graffunder wasn’t the only one to fall off the teeter-totter, though he may have been the most seriously injured. Here, Senior Lightweight Beginner (yes, there were classes for everyone from Beginner to Pro) Stephen Marquez bails after failing to successfully negotiate it the first time. After a time-out for personal introspection, he rejoined the race.Mark Kariya
Prairie Dogs
The Prairie Dogs brought back the teeter-totter, but this time had fabricator “Cozmic” Joe Filardi build it out of metal so it wouldn’t break like the old wooden one did. He designed it so it bolted together for easier transport.Mark Kariya
telephone pole-littered water pit
Although not extremely difficult—and actually looked forward to since wet riding gear is cool riding gear—the telephone pole-littered water pit proved challenging to most riders.Mark Kariya
Paul Krause
The tire mountain was definitely the most unrideable obstacle for everyone. Here, Paul Krause tries to point out the least energy-sapping method and route to son Brandon, but by this point, the younger Krause was spent and called it a day.Mark Kariya
Josh Greco
Huge tires mean huge holes waiting to eat one of your tires, as Josh Greco demonstrates.Mark Kariya
hill with deep rain ruts hidden by tall weeds
One of the sections saved for LD3, this hill with deep rain ruts hidden by tall weeds actually wasn’t too bad if you hit one of the two or three lines just right, as David Kamo does here. (The former Baja 1000 winner was in fifth place here on lap one but later DNFed with undiagnosed electrical issues.)Mark Kariya
Josh Rooken-Smith
There were, however, more botched than clean attempts. Here, Josh Rooken-Smith contemplates his next move.Mark Kariya
Taylor Robert
Taylor Robert drops through the Glen Helen sign en route to third.Mark Kariya
tire-filled Yamaha bridge
The tire-filled Yamaha bridge provided more than one challenge.Mark Kariya
Glen Helen
Of course, it wouldn’t be a race at Glen Helen without the opportunity to bank through Talladega as LD1 gets underway, proving LDS wasn’t all seemingly impossible obstacles.Mark Kariya
Craig Thompson
Due to the amount of time spent on the loop in LD3, topping off with fuel and rehydrating/recharging your body was paramount. Here, SRT Husqvarna team owner Craig Thompson fills Wally Palmer’s tank. For his first time at LDS and Glen Helen, “Wild” Wally did well, entertaining spectators en route to sixth place.Mark Kariya
Spenser Wilton
Mark Kariya
Horrifyingly, Spenser Wilton (left) fell off the first pipe at the end of his first lap and landed heavily on the ground below, though his bike remained on the pipe and didn’t follow him down, which would’ve crushed him. He made his way back up and Robert rode up, parked his bike, and helped Wilton through the section before riding through himself to finish third.Mark Kariya
Taylor Robert
After finishing, third-place Robert’s (right) face reflects the effort LDS extracted while runner-up Hart also shows the strain.Mark Kariya
top three (from left: runner-up Trystan Hart, winner Kyle Redmond, and third-place Taylor Robert
After an hour or so of rest, the smiles returned as the top three (from left: runner-up Trystan Hart, winner Kyle Redmond, and third-place Taylor Robert) accepted their rewards on the podium.Mark Kariya