This weekend was a local D37 race put on by the 4 Aces motorcycle club. The race was held in Red Mountain and staged out of teagle wash. Any race that is out in my hometown desert I try and race. I always love racing out here and with all the rain lately I knew it would be really good. I also need some more race seat time on the new bike to help prep for the upcoming Nationals. This race was a Desert Scrambles which pretty much means the same loop twice. It was around a 35 mile and we would complete that loop twice. They also added about 10 miles to the start of loop 2 that was more national caliber up in the rocks and tighter sections. I made my way over to the start about 15 minutes early and found a spot that I liked. This race was start by class so there was no practicing the start before. Luckily for me I am pretty familiar with the terrain having grown up 20 minutes away. When the flag dropped I got a good jump but didn’t get the trail that I wanted. I moved left and found myself bush whacking across the desert. I hit a few unexpected washouts and made myself over to a trail that was headed towards the leaders. They were coming up a hill from the right and I was coming from the left. My buddy Colby was filming on top of the hill and I knew he had no idea I was headed straight for him. I had some room to the right of him so my goal was to scare the crap out of him. Well it worked but not as well as I had hoped because he caught me out of the corner of his eye and moved back. From there I found a good trail off to the right and made my way up into 2nd. The course funneled into sand was and I was right behind the leader Ryan Smith. I squared up a corner and got on the gas a little sooner and had some momentum coming into the next turn to make a pass. I now found myself in the lead. It was nice having the power of my YZF450x in the deep sand that we were in most of the day too! I lead the rest of loop 1 but knew I didn’t have much of a gap on 2nd place who now was Ricky Brabec. I was really glad he decided to race since he has been winning a lot of the bigger races and I need to work on my speed for later in the year. When I came into the pits I probably had 10 seconds on him but I missed the scoring shoot and had to stop and get the banner lifted up for me. This let Ricky right up to me in the pits. I took a quick splash of gas and took off. My Viral goggles were working so well I didn’t even need to take a new pair my wife had waiting for me!
Loop 2 took off into the rocks and I should have known where it was headed but leaving the pits I got confused. I hesitated and lost the lead to Brabec. I was pissed I went the wrong way a little bit so I just pinned it through the next little valley and got back around him before we got in the rocks. I always love the rockier technical terrain but lately in the races I have been a little timid in them. I wasn’t going to let that happen this time though. I put my head down and got back to riding like I know I can. The whole rock section Ricky and I were battling. I would pull out a little bit then he would reel me in. I saw his wheel more than a few times and was having a lot of fun battling through the rocks. Once we made it back onto the loop we had already ridden the course was beat to death. IT was so rough and lines everywhere. I knew it was going to be hard to keep him behind me because it was a lot easier to follow than lead. I held the lead all the way until about 5 miles to go. Ricky blew past me on a trail off to the side that was a lot faster than the trail I was on. I wasn’t going to let him just have the win easy though. I kept right on his rear wheel through the last check and all the way until the final right hand turn. From then it was a straight shot to the finish line. I knew from the lap before that the main trail was hard to follow because it zigged and zagged through the bushes all the way back. Ricky was off course to the left and I was on the main line to the right. I pulled up along next to him and he edged me out onto the main trail. From here I could see the finish and I was right on his back wheel. Coming up was a little chicane through the bushes and when Ricky let off I went left and kept the throttle on. I made the pass and I heard him grab a handful of throttle and go left. I had a better angle towards the finish and was able to beat him into the scoring shoot and through the checkered flag.
It felt good to win but more importantly it was fun battling with Ricky all day. It was a good test for me and the new bike. This is the main reason I like to race every weekend. I learned a lot about my bike and what I need to work on to make myself better for the upcoming events. Thanks to my wife for being my support system and the best pit wife in the business! She didn’t know what a motorcycle race was 5 years ago and today she knows more than 90% of the people out there and helps me so much! My dad for the quick pit as always I don’t have to worry about losing time in the pits ever. My next race will be in two weeks at another local race in Slash x to get some more seat time and testing in before two Nationals back to back.