Adding more difficulty to what was already going to be a tough weekend was the fact that I was carrying a pretty bad knee injury from about three weeks prior. I had been on the couch with my leg up for the better part of a month (which lead me to miss the Laughlin Hare Scrambles), but to keep the hopes of defending my WORCS championship alive I knew I needed to come out and give it a right go.
As we lined up for the start of the Pro race I tried to keep my mind clear. I knew I wasn’t at my best, but didn’t want that to affect me mentally; I wanted to get out there, see how I felt, and adjust my goals accordingly.
The start was a dead engine-style and in a carbon copy of the previous round I suffered a three-kicker. In all honesty I think subconsciously I didn’t really want to be right up front from the get-go; I didn’t want to take the risk of pushing too hard and re-injuring myself. Whatever the real reason, I was mired well back in the pack as the race began to take shape.
It was definitely careful times for me in the opening laps as I didn’t want to risk coming together with anyone and going down, but I was able to make a few passes and move into the top-10 within a lap. I could see the leaders just a couple straightaways ahead and everything inside me wanted to be up there battling them, but I could tell after the first couple laps I needed to ride smart and pace myself to get a decent finish.
By Lap 5 I had made my way up to sixth-place and I could see that I was beginning to reel-in Eric Yorba. Within a lap of catching up to the back of Eric I was able to make a move around the outside of him and take fifth position for my own.
From then on I rode my own pace, more or less, just getting through the laps. I could see Justin Jones just ahead of me for a little bit, but I didn’t have the strength to catch him. After a long day in the Havasu sand, I finished in fifth-place.
Considering the fact that I was well less than 100% coming into the weekend, I’ll take a fifth-place finish. I knew it was going to be tough, but I was able to get some decent points towards the championship, and more importantly not reinjure my knee.
I’d like to thank my supporters: Precision Concepts, Kawasaki, THR Motorsports, MSR, Shoei, Sidi, Spy, Focus Apparel, USWE, EVS, FMF, BRP, Alamo Alarm, Ryan Abbatoye Designs, Northland Motorsports, Jan’s Towing, and ATP Mechanix. I’m definitely disappointed for my team and my supporters as it’s been a bit of a tough start to the season and I really want to get on to the top step of the podium for them. Thanks to my mechanic Phil for always working so hard for me, my wife for coming out and supporting me, and I’d also like to thank all of the fans who kept enthusiastically cheering me on during the race, it means a lot to me.
From here I’m focused on getting back to full fitness so I can start to turn my season around. I miss that feeling of being able to push my body to its limits and I’m hoping to soon be able to build that feeling once again.
Thank you to each of the team sponsors: Dunlop, FMF, Renthal, GPR stabilizer, Hinson, VP Race Fuels IMS, BRP, Kalgard lubricants, LA Piston Co., A’ME grips, AP brakes, RK/Excel, ARC levers, DT1 filters, Acerbis, Zip-Ty, Ryan Abbatoye Designs, Seal Savers, Baja Designs, Northland Motorsports