2011 WORCS Taft Results

January 31, 2011
Matt Davidson
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Danger, adrenaline and competition are what fuel this moto enthusiast. Driven by a spirit for sportsmanship, our racing guru here at MotoUSA can be spotted at finish lines the world over as he delivers the latest battles from the two-wheeled realm.

Friends and family of Nathan Woods participated in a parade lap at Honolulu Hills  with Woods son Braxton riding with Kurt Caselli.
Friends and family of Nathan Woods took part in a parade lap at Honolulu Hills, with Woods’ son Braxton riding with Kurt Caselli.

The 2011 WORCS series had a somber beginning at the Honolulu Hills course in Taft, California as two-time WORCS champion, Nathan Woods, suffered fatal injuries on Friday, January 28 during practice (read more about the accident here). News of Woods’ death quickly rippled throughout the off-road racing community, and Saturday’s race schedule was postponed in order to hold a parade lap in his honor. Leading the parade lap was Woods’ wife, Amanda, and former mechanic, Charles Jirsa. His son, Braxton, rode with the reigning champion, Kurt Caselli. Woods was sincerely missed by fellow competitors as they lined-up at the start to resume the first round of the championship. As a terrific mud racer, Woods would have loved the wet conditions present during the first round in Taft.
KTM’s Kurt Caselli landed the holeshot to start the one hour plus one lap moto. Despite washing the front end out during the opening lap Caselli went on to pocket a start-to-finish victory ahead of Kyle Summers and Taylor Robert. As a longtime friend of Woods, Caselli dedicated his victory to his fallen competitor, giving Woods the first win of the 2011 season.
“Today I was riding for him,” said Caselli. “Nathan and I shared a pure enjoyment of the sport and always wanting to win. I think everybody rode today for Nathan Woods. I’m going to miss him, he taught me a lot. He was winning WORCS Championships when I was coming up into the Pro ranks and I learned by watching him. He was one of my idols. I want to thank all of my sponsors, my KTM is awesome, but this race is for Nathan and his family. My heart goes out to all of them.”

Kurt Caselli  #1  getting the holeshot during the start of the 2011 WORCS Championship in Taft.
Kurt Caselli (#1) getting the holeshot during the start of the 2011 WORCS championship race in Taft.

A fierce battle for the runner-up position took place between many riders, and Summers eventually piloted his Yamaha machine into second more than half a minute ahead of Garrison, who grabbed the final podium position.
Caselli’s teammate, Mike Brown, also had a good start and battled within the top-three for the majority of the contest. Unfortunately, Brown was stricken with arm-pump near the end and dropped a few positions, ending the first race of the season in fifth.
After winning by more than a minute over the field Caselli came to the podium with Woods’ #54 plate in hand. In honor of the fallen rider, WORCS Racing awarded the overall victory to the deceased Paso Robles racer and to allow Woods a final opportunity to lead the series.
“This is a tough weekend for everybody,” said Caselli. “We lost one of our greatest riders in this sport on Friday. Nathan was a close friend of mine; we went to the ISDE together and got to be good friends. He was a down-to-earth, awesome guy, a great competitor, so tough, so strong.”
Jason Parsons topped the Pro 2 division ahead of Justin Seeds and Cory Graffunder. The Pro 2 Lights were topped by Ty Tremaine, Nathan Collins and Shane O’Dor. Former Minimoto Supercross plate holder and MotoUSA test rider, Randy Pekarek, also experienced strong results in his first WORCS race. The OMA-KTM rider won the 250A race on Saturday to qualify for Sunday’s Pro 2 Lites main where he missed the podium by just under half a minute. 
2011 WORCS Taft Pro Saturday Results:
1. Nathan Woods (KTM)
1. Kurt Caselli (KTM)
2. Brenden Ritzman (Kawasaki)
3. Sean Kranyak (Yamaha)
4. Kevin Rookstool (KTM)
5. Chris Johnson (Suzuki)
6. Colton Udall (Honda)
7. Robby Bell (Kawasaki)
8. Ryan Abbatoye (Kawasaki)
9. Mike Brown (KTM)
10. Ryan Reina (Kawasaki)
2011 WORCS Taft Pro Sunday Results:
1. Nathan Woods (KTM)
1. Kurt Caselli (KTM)

Kurt Caselli dedicated his first win of the 2011 season to his close friend  Nathan Woods.
Kurt Caselli dedicated his first win of the 2011 season to his close friend, Nathan Woods.

2. Kyle Summers (Yamaha)
3. Taylor Robert (Yamaha)
4. Mike Brown (KTM)
5. Kevin Rookstool (KTM)
6. Bobby Bonds (Husqvarna)
7. Robby Bell (Kawasaki)
8. Destry Abbott (Kawasaki)
9. Brenden Ritzman (Kawasaki)
10. Gary Sutherlin (Kawasaki) 
2011 WORCS Pro Championship Points:
1. Nathan Woods, 50
2. Kurt Caselli, 47
3. Kyle Summers, 44
4. Bobby Garrison, 42
5. Taylor Roberts, 40
6. Mike Brown, 38
7. Kevin Rookstool, 37
8. Bobby Bonds, 36
9. Robby Bell, 35
10. Destry Abbott, 34

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