Honey Lake Motocross Park sits in a valley looking up at the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The WORCS course features the motocross track, open sagebrush, oaks, dry waterfalls, and rocky, tough creek bottoms to round out the package. The Honey Lake course is the dictionary definition of the perfect WORCS Race.
The Pro class drama began before the race did, as point’s leader Ryan Hughes crashed in the rocks on the parade lap and holed his tank. Hughes went to the pits and quickly replaced his tank, but with a standard unit with a twist-off cap, instead of the large quick-fill he was replacing. This would significantly slow down his pits stops later in the event. When the gate dropped Soule pulled the holeshot, much to everyone’s surprise except his own. “I punished myself practicing starts, I burnt out my clutch this past week practicing starts,” said Soule.
Bobby Garrison, Woods, Bell, and Hughes quickly overtook Soule. Still Soule, whose best previous finish this season was a seventh, refused to back off. “I fell in behind those guys and just kept my pace and looked for places where I might gain an advantage,” said Soule. “Ryno (Hughes) was really struggling in the rocks. The course really favored off-road riders like me, it was really technical.” Soule worked his way back up to third and stayed there to finish just ten seconds behind Bell in second.
This was Bell’s encore trip to the podium this season and his best finish with second place. “I just tried to ride smooth and not break my bike, said Bell. “This course was super gnarly and really hard to pass, so I knew as long as I didn’t make a mistake I wouldn’t lose any time. The course really favored off-roaders instead of motocrossers, just look at the podium. It’s all off-road guys.”
Woods performance was nearly flawless in victory, building his lead every lap and never being challenged. When the checkered flag came out after more than two hours, Woods had a lead of 1 1/2 minutes. “I’ve done nothing but train for the last couple of weeks,” said Woods. “I’ve been able to put a good program back together and I really like this track. I like the rocks and the single track, it’s my forte. The team, everybody did what they had to do today, which was get a good start and stay out of trouble. The early season was rough, but today is my turn-around day.”
Series point’s leader Hughes finished seventh and maintains his points lead over Kurt Caselli, who had several mechanical problems and finished 19th. Destry Abbott and Bobby Garrison rounded out the top five behind Woods, Bell and Soule.
1. Nathan Woods (Kawasaki)
2. Robby Bell (Honda)
3. Justin Soule (KTM)
4. Destry Abbott (Kawasaki)
5. Bobby Garrison (Yamaha)
6. Derek Costella (Kawasaki)
7. Ryan Hughes (Suzuki)
8. Scott Simon (Kawasaki)
9. Mike Kiedrowski (Suzuki)
10. Kyle Summers (Kawasaki)