WORCS Round 7, Riverdale Raceway, Toutle, Washington, 6/10/07: Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Nathan Woods captured his second victory of the season in Round 7 of the WORCS series by outpacing his team-mate, Defending Champion Ricky Dietrich over the course of the 2-hour Pro 1 main event. Team FMF Suzuki Off Road rider Mike Kiedrowski put in an amazing race to take his first podium of the season riding a 2-stroke RM250 to the finish line about 2 minutes behind Dietrich.
When the gate dropped none of the usual suspects came out in the lead pack. WORCS point’s leader Ryan Hughes got to the first turn ahead of the field, but got bumped from behind and hit the ground hard. Hughes remounted in dead last to rejoin the race and try to keep his title hopes alive. The early leaders included Honda’s Robby Bell followed by Husky mounted Lance Smail with Kiedrowski in third. But Woods and Dietrich were not far behind and quickly closed on the lead pack in the tight Washington woods.
The race was barely 15 minutes old when Woods took over the lead with Kiedrowski on his tail and Dietrich charging through the pack to move into third. Meanwhile the two men leading the points chase, Hughes and Red Bull KTM’s Kurt Caselli were both having trouble fighting the technical course and making their way through the pack.
At the 1/2 way point Dietrich made his move past Kiedrowski and went after Woods who had opened up a 20 second lead. Dietrich quickly closed the gap on Woods and for the remainder of the race the two Kawasaki’s were locked nose-to-tail in the best dogfight of the season. “I got a bad start and was in 10th but just rode my own race, picking off people one at a time," said Dietrich. “I ended up in a battle for the lead with Nathan and we went back and forth for a while. But I think Nathan’s better prepared then me right now, coming off my injury my hands started to blister up and it got harder to hold on. I’ll do better next time. I love racing in Washington, this is my home track and I feel great up here.” Both riders traded for the lead several times during each lap for a solid hour with Woods prevailing to the checkered flag.
Meanwhile, Kiedrowski settled into third and gapped the rest of the field, virtually riding by himself for the last hour of the race on the 250cc 2-stroke. “I knew the 450’s were going to be faster then my 250 off the start so I got a decent jump and just cut behind everybody to the inside of the first turn,” said Kiedrowski “I just hugged the inside and I came out about 6th. Then Woods and I started going by guys and I didn't want to let him get away. Suddenly I was in second with Dietrich right behind me. It was the three of us for a while and then I bobbled in a turn and went down. I got up pretty quick, but I lost a lot of time on those two guys so I just rode my own race from then on out. The RM250 2-stroke was a blast to ride up here and it really paid off for me. This is my best finish so far this year.”
Caselli and Hughes continued to have problems but both riders kept moving up. Caselli, also on a 2-stroke crashed at least twice while Hughes took three trips to the tundra, including one that broke a couple of ribs. Hughes faded back as far as 12th before charging through the final 1/2 hour to finish 5th, directly behind Caselli in 4th. “I was thinking about the Championship,” said Hughes later. “Even with the broken ribs I knew as long as I kept Caselli in sight he wouldn't gain more then a point or two on me.”
At the finish Woods took the checkered flag all alone, having put 30 seconds on Dietrich and his blistered hands. This is Woods second win in the series, coming back after missing an early round with a broken hand. The victory moves him solidly up into third in the standings. “The Washington course here is awesome,” said Woods. “I got an okay start about 8th, but was able to make my move pretty early and moved into the lead and got to enjoy the track by myself for a while. Everything worked really well today; I rode my own race, relaxed and had fun dicing with Ricky. I made a few mistakes; I fell over 2-3 times, but nothing big. And I always kept it running and didn't really lose any time. There were some brutal parts of the course, it was really tough on the hands, but we came out with the win so I’ve got nothing to complain about and I’m really looking forward to the next round up here in about a month. With some luck I’ll be in the title chase before this is over.”
WORCS Round VII
1. Nathan Woods (Kawasaki)
2. Ricky Dietrich (Kawasaki)
3. Mike Kiedrowski (Suzuki)
4. Kurt Caselli (KTM)
5. Ryan Hughes (Suzuki)
6. Bobby Bonds (Yamaha)
7. Robby Bell (Honda)
8. Ty Davis (Yamaha)
9. Derek Costella (Kawasaki)
10. Justin Soule (KTM)