Monster Energy Kawasakiâ€™s Ricky Dietrich finished a long weekend of racing with a seventh overall finish at the sixth round of the WORCS series at Riverdale Raceway in Toutle, Wash. Northland Precision Concepts Kawasakiâ€™s Taylor Robert battled up front for most of the race, putting in the fastest lap of the day on his way to third. The podium was Robertâ€™s second of the season. Dietrichâ€™s teammates Damon Huffman and Destry Abbott had their fair share hardship, finishing a hard-fought day in 12th and 15th, respectively. Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green riders Corey Floyd and Ryan Abbatoye finished 1-2 for the fourth time this season in the Pro 2 class.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Under the Tent
After racing on the East Coast on Saturday, Dietrich caught a plane to his home state of Washington to finish out the weekend with his off-road teammates at the WORCS race. Dietrichâ€™s day didnâ€™t end the way he had hoped but considering he took a pretty hard hit during one crash, he was happy with the result.
â€œI was pushing really hard until my crash and then I decided to take it easy for a lap or two,â€ said Dietrich. â€œI still rode hard, but I couldnâ€™t see out of my left eye for the next two laps. I am fighting for points and anything can happen over the next few races, every point counts.â€
Despite the long weekend, Dietrich had a great time doing what he loves and doesnâ€™t regret anything.
â€œI am happy I did both races this weekend,â€ said Dietrich. â€œOpportunities like this donâ€™t come along very often and I was able to get a top 10 in both races. It would be easy to blame the motocross race for my finish off the podium Sunday, but it wasnâ€™t a factor at all. I almost surprised myself with my fitness. I ran my strongest laps at the end of the race. If the race was a little longer, I might have picked off a few more guys.â€
In just his first year in the Pro class, Robert was able to score his second podium of the season. The rider from Phoenix wasnâ€™t sure how he would do in the tight tree-lined course in Washington, but the naturally talented rider fit right in.
â€œI wasnâ€™t to sure how this weekend would go,â€ said Robert. â€œBeing from the desert of Phoenix, I just wanted to do my best. I felt really good in practice and even better in the race. I was in second for a few laps and was right on (Mike) Brown, but I had to come in for a quick fix on my bike. I got in and out and was able to stick right on the leaders. The top-four finished within 10 seconds of each other, which is a little rare for a WORCS race.â€
Ups and Downs
For Huffman, the start is where it went downhill and didnâ€™t seem to go right for him after that. At the first turn, a rider tried to sneak in and pass him on the inside, eventually crashing into Huffman and taking him out. Although he didnâ€™t know it at the time, he had broken several spokes and continued to ride until he heard the strange noise coming from his front tire. He came in on the second lap and did what he could to come back. After a few more small crashes, Huffman was able to finish 12th.
â€œI was going for a good start on the inside,â€ said Huffman. â€œI got a good jump and was clearly there first. I got up in last and after the first lap I was into 12th. It seemed okay, but then I had to come in for a new tire. I rode like a mad man trying to catch up. There were a lot of sandy sections and I went down trying to push hard. The last lap I was passing guys, but then fell again. I ended up passing them back before the checkered flag. It was one of those days. The start really killed me. I felt fast all weekend and Iâ€™m bummed that I couldnâ€™t show that.â€
Abbott had high expectations for the race since he loves the terrain in Washington. Like his teammates, he went down and had to recover.
â€œI got a good start and I was going pretty good until I went over the bars,â€ said Abbott. â€œI had a few more falls and I donâ€™t know what it was. I was pretty disappointed and it just wasnâ€™t my day at all. I re-injured my wrist a little bit so Iâ€™m going to take some time off the bike. I am going to refine my program away from the bike. I want to come out the second half of the season and finish strong.â€
The riders to beat in the Pro 2 class have been Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green riders Floyd and Abbatoye. For the fourth time this season, Floyd finished first and Abbatoye second. The top-three riders finished almost three minutes in front of fourth place. Floyd currently leads the Pro 2 class by nine points over his teammate.
Time for a Break
The round in Toutle, Wash. was the last round before the WORCS summer break. With temperature reaching the 90s in most racing areas, the series will take its usual break and resume activities the first weekend in August back in Washington. The tight, woodsy terrain will challenge the riders for two weekends in a row at Straddleline ORV in Olympia, Wash.
â€œI love coming back up to Washington,â€ said Dietrich. â€œThis is the type of stuff I grew up riding. Now I just have to keep it on two wheels and I donâ€™t think I will have a problem.â€
AMA World Off Road Championship Series
Riverdale Raceway â€“ Toutle, Wash.
June 14, 2009
Pro Class Results
1. Bobby Bonds, Maricopa, Calif., Honda
2. Mike Brown, Gray, Tenn., KTM
3. TAYLOR ROBERT, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., KAWASAKI
4. Josh Strang, Antioch, Calif., Suzuki
5. Kyle Summers, Discovery Bay, Calif., Honda
6. Tim Weigand, Santa Clarita, Calif., Honda
7. RICKY DIETRICH, MENIFEE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
8. Nick Brozovich, Bayfield, Colo., Honda
9. Justin Soule, Reno, Nev., KTM
10. Rory Sulliivan, Estacada, Ore., HSQ
11. JAMIE LANZA, BEAUMONT, CALIF., KAWASAKI
12. DAMON HUFFMAN, VALENCIA, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
14. ROBBY BELL, SUN CITY, CALIF., KAWASAKI
15. DESTRY ABBOTT, PEORIA, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
Pro 2 Class Results
1. COREY FLOYD, SNOHOMISH, WASH., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI TEAM GREEN
2. RYAN ABBATOYE, RIDGECREST, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI TEAM GREEN
3. Ian Blythe, Sedalia, Colo., KTM
4. Jonathan Davis, Martinez, Calif., Suzuki
5. CJ Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Honda
6. Travis Coy, Boulder Creek, Calif., Honda
7. ERIC HABENICHT, MEADOW VISTA, CALIF., KAWASAKI
8. Correy Solis, Martinez, Calif., Yamaha
9. CODY SCHAFER, WHEAT RIDGE, COLO., KAWASAKI
10. Brandon Gjernes, Marysville, Wash., Suzuki
Pro Class Points
1. Mike Brown, Gray, Tenn., KTM, 129
2. Bobby Bonds, Maricopa, Calif., Honda, 128
3. RICKY DIETRICH, MENIFEE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 117
4. Tim Weigand, Santa Clarita, Calif., Honda, 95
5. Justin Soule, Reno, Nev., KTM, 93
6. TAYLOR ROBERT, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., KAWASAKI, 87
7. DAMON HUFFMAN, VALENCIA, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 81
8. Nathan Woods, Paso Robles, Calif., Suzuki, 68
9. Bobby Garrison, Hesperia, Calif., Honda, 56
10. DESTRY ABBOTT, PEORIA, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 54
Pro 2 Class Points
1. COREY FLOYD, SNOHOMISH, WASH., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 160
2. RYAN ABBATOYE, RIDGECREST, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI TEAM GREEN, 151
3. Jonathan Davis, Martinez, Calif., Suzuki, 128
4. ERIC HABENICHT, MEADOW VISTA, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 76
5. CODY SCHAFER, WHEAT RIDGE, COLO., KAWASAKI, 68
6. Travis Coy, Boulder Creek, Calif., Honda, 65
7. Kevin Oâ€™Donnel, Lancaster, Calif., Suzuki, 58
8. BRAD GOOLSBY, RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 54
9. Justin Jones, Norco, Calif., Honda, 43
10. Nicolas Gustavsson, Norco, Calif., Honda, 42