Kurt Caselli won Round 9 of the 2012 AMA Hare & Hound Series and closed in to just eight points behind current championshop leader David Pearson.
Factory FMF/KTM’s Kurt Caselli took the win in Round 9 of the 2012 AMA National Hare & Hound Series stop at the Johnson Valley OHV park in the SoCal M.C. National. Caselli beat out his closest contender, Kawasaki’s David Pearson, by over six minutes at the checkers. Fellow Kawasaki rider Nicholas Burson rounded out the podium.
Caselli was fast from the start, taking the holeshot but he had to battle Pearson throughout the first technical loop as the two remained neck-and-neck for much of the section. Caselli came out six seconds ahead and built on his advantage through the second loop, building it to almost one minute. The KTM rider continued to stretch the gap on Pearson through the final loop for the overall win.
“I am happy to take the win here,” remarked Caselli. “There was a lot of tough competition here today and I had to work hard to claim the win.”
Kawasaki’s Justin Morrow finished the day in fourth, followed by Caselli’s teammate Ivan Ramirez. Ramirez struggled after gusting winds blew tail markers from the course and he got lost while running in fifth. Luckily he was able to find his way back and settled back into the number five spot, where he held to the end. KTM’s Mike Brown also struggled after the trail markers fell from the course, but he wasn’t able to recover as well as Ramirez and finished the first loop in 15th. He rallied in the second lap and made it up to eighth, but was forced to pull out of the competition due to mechanical issues.
Honda rider David Kamo took sixth with Kawasaki’s Jacob Argubright following in seventh. Yamaha’s Skyler Howes took eighth with Husaberg rider Tuffy Pearson and KTM’s Ryan Kudla finishing ninth and 10th respectively.
Pearson remains the points leader, but Caselli closed in with his commanding performance in Southern California. The two are now separated by just eight points, meaning the 2012 title will be decided in the final round on October 28, 2012 in Lucerne, California.
SoCal M.C. Hare & Hound podium with Kurt Caselli (center) in first, David Pearson (left) in second and Nicholas Burson (right) in third.
2012 SoCal M.C. National Results:
1. Kurt Caselli (KTM)
2. David Pearson (Kawasaki)
3. Nicholas Burson (Kawasaki)
4. Justin Morrow (Kawasaki)
5. Ivan Ramirez (KTM)
6. David Kamo (Honda)
7. Jacob Argubright (Kawasaki)
8. Skyler Howes (Yamaha)
9. Tuffy Pearson (Husaberg)
10. Ryan Kudla (KTM)
2012 National Hare and Hound Championship Points:
1. David Pearson, 188
2. Kurt Caselli, 180
3. Justin Morrow, 138