Taft Big 6 GP Race Report 2016

Wrong turn costs OX Motorsports' Colton Udall Big 6 win at

Ox Motorsports Honda captain Colton Udall forfeited the win at round two of the AMA District 37/MSR Big 6 Grand Prix Series when he took a hard left turn out of pit row and rejoined the course in the middle of a high-banked turn right after the landing from a table-top, citing somewhat confusing course marking.

It belied what had been a good ride for the defending series champion who had a disappointing first round but got things in order for the 90-minute, $2000 AMA Big 6 West Coast Grand Prix (WCGP) Series feature race at the Taft Grand Prix hosted by the Dirt Diggers Motorcycle Club in the Central California oil town of Taft.

A good start put him in the lead pack right away and halfway into the race, Udall found himself getting a quick pit and the lead over round-one Blayne Thompson. At the finish, it appeared Udall had redeemed himself and put himself back in the points chase, but officials decided to levy the penalty, giving the Fasthouse Yamaha rider the win.

Blayne Thompson jumping at Taft Big 6 GP 2016
Blayne Thompson airs it out over the fifth-gear step-up at Honolulu Hills. Physically second to defending Big 6 WCGP champ Colton Udall at the finish, a post-race penalty for a course infraction found them switching positions in official results, giving Thompson a perfect 1-1 in the first two rounds.Photo by Mark Kariya

“I ended catching back up [to Udall after my slightly slower pit stop],” Thompson said, predicting, “If I [would’ve] had one more lap, I would’ve ended up getting him, but I didn’t have the time.

“I’m ecstatic with the way I rode. If I keep riding like this all year, I think I can win a championship, for sure.”

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Kawasaki-mounted Robby Bell rode a smart, measured race to third followed by teammate Justin Seeds with Ox Motorsports Honda teammates Justin Jones and Mark Samuels the next in.

Early leaders Eric Yorba and Michael Del Fante, WCGP Pro II winner Trevor Stewart and Pro Jeff Loop rounded out the top 10 overall.

Trevor Stewart jumping at Taft Big 6 GP 2016
Last year’s WCGP Pro II champ Trevor Stewart picked up a ride on a TM 250 MX two days before Taft, the third different bike he’s raced in the last three months. Lack of seat time didn’t seem to hurt him as he rolled off another class win and finished ninth overall.Photo by Mark Kariya
Shane Logan at Taft Big 6 GP 2016
After trailing Robby Schott (in blue in background) for the first two laps, Shane Logan made the pass for the Super Mini Advanced lead and kept it to the finish, though Schott badgered him the entire way, staying within a couple seconds the rest of the race.Photo by Mark Kariya
Gina Alvarez at Taft Big 6 GP 2016
Gina Alvarez enjoyed a successful Big 6 weekend. She started out by winning Women Expert and finishing third overall in the multi-class second race of the weekend behind Revo Expert winner Bob Roberts and after a heated battle with early leader and Mini Intermediate winner Jake Alvarez (no relation). She then won WCGP Women Pro to pick up this check and finished the weekend by taking fifth in LIghtweight I Expert against the boys.Photo by Mark Kariya