41 year-old FMF/KTM rider Mike Brown put his teammate and 2012 EnduroCross champion, Taddy Blazusiak, on notice at the 2013 season opener in Las Vegas. The veteran rider dominated the night, posting the fastest hot lap and then leading the entire main event for his first GEICO AMA EnduroCross series race win. Blazusiak followed close behind in second and Honda rider, Colton Haaker, rounded out the podium.
Brown was on fire from the start, coming through fastest in qualifying, winning his heat race and then earning the number one gate pick in the new hot lap format. Riders qualifying for the main event now compete for gate picks in the night program, giving the packed house a chance to watch their favorite competitors battle in a single, solitary lap against the clock.
Brown upped the power for 2013, switching from the KTM 250 he rode in 2012 to a 350cc machine. He ran out early on in the race inside the Orleans Arena, taking the holeshot ahead of Blazusiak. The two riders remained in those positions to the checkers, with Brown pulling a gap of close to 10 seconds at one point. Blazusiak was able to cut the gap to almost nothing late in the race when Brown got hung-up in the rocks, but Brown throttled through and crossed the finish line before his teammate could gain the upper hand.
“It feels so great to get my first win tonight. I’ve been training hard and working toward this goal for a few years now and everything finally feels right. I am extremely grateful to my team that has been behind me this season and built me a great bike. I hope to carry my momentum into the next round and work toward a championship,” said Brown.
ImDefending EnduroCross champion, Taddy Blazusiak, started the 2013 season with a second-place finish.
Blazusiak was busy battling with Haaker and Beta rider Cody Webb for second place, as all three remained in close combat throughout the 12-lap event. Webb eventually finished fourth and was followed by KTM’s Geoff Aaron in fifth. Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert scored sixth and was trailed by Husqvarna rider Cory Graffunder in seventh.
In Women’s action, defending EnduroCross champion Maria Forsberg struggled in the main after a promising start. She grabbed the holeshot, but quickly got tangled in a log section which saw her fall to second-place. Soon after she was hit by another rider in a corner and went down, where she had to wait until the entire field passed in order to remount. Charging back from last-place, Forsberg made it back to fourth before just before the checkers. KTM’s Shelby Turner ended the night in first, followed by Chantelle Bykerk in second and Rachel Gutish in third.
Men’s EnduroCross Las Vegas 1 Results 2013:
1. Mike Brown (KTM)
2. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM)
3. Colton Haaker (Honda)
4. Cody Webb (Beta)
5. Geoff Aaron (KTM)
6. Taylor Robert (Kawasaki)
7. Cory Graffunder (Husqvarna)
8. Kyle Redmond (KTM)
9. Justin Soule (Kawasaki)
10. Max Gerston (Beta)
Women’s EnduroCross Las Vegas 1 Results 2013:
1. Shelby Turner (KTM)
2. Chantelle Bykerk (KTM)
3. Rachel Gutish
4. Maria Forsberg (KTM)
5. Sarah Whitmore (KTM)