MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI MAKES SOLID START AT WORCS SEASON OPENER

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Damon Huffman earned fourth place at Speedworld MX Park in Surprise, Ariz. in only his second-ever WORCS race. Privateer Kawasaki rider Bobby Bonds finished second in the Pro class, while Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green™ rider Taylor Robert took the Pro 2 class win. Teammate Ryan Abbatoye rounded out the podium in third.

After receiving last gate pick in the pre-race draw, Huffman came out strong and worked his way through the pack to place his Kawasaki KXâ„¢450F inside the top-five. Teammate Destry Abbott rode through intense arm-pump to finish with a noteworthy eighth place, while Ricky Dietrich rounded out the top 10.

In the competitive Pro 2 class, Robert worked to stay close to the front and was able to pass for the lead on the last lap. Abbatoye also came from behind to earn third place after starting in eighth. Teammate Josh Morros rode with a mission after coming into the pits to completely replace his rear brakes on the second lap. Once on the track, he turned out the third-fastest lap time and finished fourth.

Monster Energy Kawasaki Under The Tent

In only his second WORCS race to date, Huffman rode steady from the back of the pack to come across the finish in fourth-place.

“I knew the start was going to be important and I ended up with 34th gate pick,” said Huffman. “The first few laps I rode a little tight but I finally settled in around the third or fourth lap. I actually felt better towards the finals laps. I tried to ride consistent after seeing a lot of people go down. I just kept plugging away towards the front and finished pretty good considering my mid-pack start.”

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Abbott had an impressive start, moving into second on the second lap. He worked through arm-pump to finish eighth.

“On the next lap I’m not sure what happened, but I just suddenly got huge arm-pump,” said Abbott. “It was to the point where I couldn’t use the clutch or front brake. At the hour mark, I pitted and backed off, but I believe I was around seventh place. My arms started to loosen up and my pace started to get better, but I still wasn’t riding loose.

“If I hadn’t gotten arm-pump, I really feel I would’ve had a good shot at the podium. I know its part of racing and a lot of guys dealt with the same problem. I’m still feeling good about my speed and everything else that goes with it.”

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In his first year as a Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green rider, Robert captured the first Pro 2 win of the year aboard his Kawasaki KX250F. His determination to make a final lap push and take the lead made it clear that he was ready to make an impression the first race of the season.

“I felt good and knew I could win because of my times the day before in the 250F A race,” said Robert. “I ended up crashing twice in the same lap that dropped me back to about sixth. I wasn’t sure if I could make up the lost time. But every time I went by my pit board it said I was catching the leader so I stuck with it.”

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Abbatoye rode a strong season opener as he got his first podium under his belt in the Pro 2 class.

“I got a really bad start but it ended up working out,” said Abbatoye. “The first couple laps were really chaotic so I decided to lay back a bit. When everyone got a little more settled, I started to move up towards the front. I made my way to fourth and after someone stalled in the endurocross section, I moved into third and kept it there.”

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Making it three Kawasaki’s in the top-five in the Pro 2 class was returning Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green rider Morros. This was Morros’ first race back after he suffered an injury last August at the WORCS round in Olympia, Wash.

With less than a lap completed, Morros came in for a complete rear brake change out, which set him back over seven minutes. At the checkered flag, he had made up close to four minutes on the leaders, while turning out the third fastest lap in the Pro 2 class.

“At the start, I blew first corner and suddenly realized I didn’t have my rear brakes,” said Morros. “I made the decision to come in on the first lap so I could use the rest of the race to push back to the front. I was really upset and I used that to motivate me to get back out there and do well.”

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The season opener saw Kawasaki place five KX™450F’s in the top-10 in the Pro class and five KX™250F’s in the Pro 2 class.

World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS)
Speedworld MX – Surprise, Ariz.
January 20, 2008

Pro Class Results
1. Kurt Caselli, Palmdale, Calif., KTM
2. BOBBY BONDS, MARICOPA, CALIF., KAWASAKI
3. Kyle Summers, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM
4. DAMON HUFFMAN, VALENCIA, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
5. Nathan Woods, Paso Robles, Calif., Suzuki
6. Robby Bell, Sun City, Calif., Honda
7. Bobby Garrison, Hesperia, Calif., Yamaha
8. DESTRY ABBOTT, PEORIA, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
9. BRENDEN RITZMAN, PORT ORCHARD, WASH., KAWASAKI
10. RICKY DIETRICH, WINCHESTER, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
13. JAMIE LANZA, BEAUMONT, CALIF., KAWASAKI

Pro 2 Class Results
1. TAYLOR ROBERTS, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI TEAM GREEN
2. Nick Brozovich, Bayfield, Colo., Suzuki
3. RYAN ABBATOYE, RIDGECREST, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI TEAM GREEN
4. JOSH MORROS, SPARKS, NEV., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI TEAM GREEN
5. Brodie Humphries, St. George, Utah, Suzuki
6. Corey Floyd, Snohomish, Wash., Yamaha
7. Jonathan Davis, Marinez, Calif., Suzuki
8. RONNIE GOODWIN, LAS VEGAS, NEV., KAWASAKI
9. ROBBIE GOOLSBY, RANCHO CUCAONGO, CALIF., KAWASAKI
10. Ian Blyth, Sedalia, Calif., Yamaha

Pro Class Point Standings
1. Kurt Caselli, Palmdale, Calif., KTM, 30
2. BOBBY BONDS, MARICOPA, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 25
3. Kyle Summers, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM, 21
4. DAMON HUFFMAN, VALENCIA, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 18
5. Nathan Woods, Paso Robles, Calif., Suzuki, 16
6. Robby Bell, Sun City, Calif., Honda, 15
7. Bobby Garrison, Hesperia, Calif., Yamaha, 14
8. DESTRY ABBOTT, PEORIA, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 13
9. BRENDEN RITZMAN, PORT ORCHARD, WASH., KAWASAKI, 12
10. RICKY DIETRICH, WINCHESTER, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 11
13. JAMIE LANZA, BEAUMONT, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 8

Pro 2 Class Point Standings
1. TAYLOR ROBERTS, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI TEAM GREEN, 30
2. Nick Brozovich, Bayfield, Colo., Suzuki, 25
3. RYAN ABBATOYE, RIDGECREST, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI TEAM GREEN, 21
4. JOSH MORROS, SPARKS, NEV., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI TEAM GREEN, 18
5. Brodie Humphries, St. George, Utah, Suzuki, 16
6. Corey Floyd, Snohomish, Wash., Yamaha, 15
7. Jonathan Davis, Martinez, Calif., Suzuki, 14
8. RONNIE GOODWIN, LAS VEGAS, NEV., KAWASAKI, 13
9. ROBBIE GOOLSBY, RANCHO CUCAONGO, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 12
10. Ian Blyth, Sedalia, Calif., Yamaha, 11