Peoria WORCS podium with Taylor Robert (center) in first, Robby Bell (left) in second and Gary Sutherlin (right) in third.
The 2013 Rocky Mountain World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) kicked off at the Canyon MX park in Peoria, Arizona and it was Monster Energy Kawasaki
’s Taylor Robert who claimed the top prize in the event. Robert, the 2012 WORCS champion, beat out Precision Concepts’ Robby Bell, who took second, and DTS rider Gary Sutherlin, who claimed third.
The two-race format followed in 2012 was changed to a single two-hour long race for 2013, though the change didn’t have much of an impact on Robert. The Kawasaki rider got out front before the end of the first lap and couldn’t be caught, building enough of a gap on the field to recover from a few minor spills without losing any ground on the competition.
“I love the sand, especially when it is super whooped out and rough like it was today. I felt like I was struggling in the rocky sections, I tipped a few times and yard sailed once. Luckily I kept it together for the win, “said Robert.
Veteran off-road racer, Destry Abbott, was contacted prior to the race by promoter Sean Reddish to design the course, since the recent race marked the first WORCS event at Canyon Creek since 2005.
“It is definitely a unique kind of WORCS race, Sean Reddish contacted me and asked if I would help design it. I didn’t design it all, but I definitely put my input in it and came out here a couple of days. I am excited the way it turned out,” said Abbott.
He appeared to be quite comfortable on course for much of the competition too, keeping inside the top-five until late in the race when a mechanical issue forced him to retire after eight laps.
Bell, on the other hand, avoided any major issues and was able to push through the pack after a less than stellar start, making it to second after three laps. There was even a moment late in the race following one of Robert’s crashes that Bell closed the gap to under a minute, but Robert was able to recover quickly and maintain the front despite Bell nipping at his heels.
Sutherlin, who rode a Kawasaki in 2012, showed he’s just as comfortable aboard the Yamaha YZ450
, taking third just seconds behind Bell.
“I rode a Kawi for a couple of years, and I had a great time. I wouldn’t be here without them, but with them stepping out of the off-road division, I went out and bought a YZ450,” said Sutherlin.
Robert now leads in overall points, followed by Bell in second and Sutherlin in third. The season’s still quite young though and it remains anyone’s guess who will take the top-spot in 2013.
2013 WORCS Peoria Pro Results:
1. Taylor Robert (Kawasaki)
2. Robby Bell (Kawasaki)
3. Gary Sutherlin (Yamaha)
4. Bobby Garrison (Kawasaki)
5. Ryan Abbatoye (Kawasaki)
6. Justin Jones (KTM)
7. Destry Abbott (Kawasaki)
8. Justin Seeds (Kawasaki)
2013 WORCS Overall Points:
1. Taylor Robert, 25
2. Robby Bell, 22
3. Gary Sutherlin, 20
4. Bobby Garrison, 18
5. Ryan Abbatoye, 16
6. Justin Jones, 15
7. Destry Abbott, 14
8. Justin Seeds, 13