The battle for the WORCS Championship has become a 3-way dogfight between Team FMF/Suzuki Off Road’s Ryan Hughes, Team Red Bull/KTM’s Kurt Caselli and Team Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Nathan Woods. On this day, two of these racers would prevail while the third would be forced to retire from the event with injuries and no points.
When the gate dropped, Nathan Woods got a rare and welcome holeshot followed by Honda’s Robby Bell and Team Zip-Ty Yamaha’s Ty Davis. Oddly, Caselli got caught in the starting gate and Hughes tangled in a first turn pile-up. Both riders recovered quickly and started to charge for the front.
Davis quickly moved up into second while defending WORCS Champion Ricky Dietrich moved into forth. It didn’t take long for Team Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Dietrich to move into second and then challenge team-mate Woods for the lead. A battle between the two Kawasaki riders ensued with neither seeming to have a clear advantage. They would swap decals for most of the race.
Meanwhile, Team Zip-Ty Yamaha’s Bobby Bonds moved past Davis into third followed by Caselli who had charged through the pack from his bad start. Hughes continued to have a bad day with more mishaps to add to the first-turn pile-up. He eventually pulled into the pits about 90 minutes into the event with sore ribs and a swollen hand from striking a tree. He was unable to continue even knowing the DNF would cost him the points lead.
Woods and Dietrich continued to trade the lead until the closing laps when Dietrich got hung up on the Endurocross logs section and stalled his big KX450. This allowed Woods to establish a large gap and also allowed Caselli to move into second and Bell into third. Dietrich, Caselli and Bonds battled over the rest of the podium while Woods continued a masterful ride with a comfortable lead.
As they came across the line Woods took his third win of the season with Caselli taking second place and the points lead away from Hughes. Bonds finished a hard fought third for his first podium of the WORCS series.
“I love racing in Washington,” said Woods. “The team has been working really hard and I just felt really good all weekend. This is a full off road course and that’s what’s great about this series, it’s real off road. I got to thank Monster Kawasaki and Pro Circuit, Moose, Dunlop, Smith, Sidi Boots, and everyone else I forgot. I’ve got a great list of sponsors and they all help me get this far. It’s a long season and it isn’t over till it’s over.”
With four races to go Caselli now holds the WORCS points lead with 171/1win, Hughes is second in points with 157/3 wins, and Woods, who had to miss a round with a broken hand, is closing the gap with 151/3wins.
Results: WORCS Round 8
1. Nathan Woods
2. Kurt Caselli
3. Bobby Bonds
4. Ricky Dietrich
5. Robby Bell
6. Ty Davis
7. Lance Smail
8. Mike Kiedrowski
9. Jason Raines
10. Eric Rhoten