WORCS Round 11 Report

Garrison Storms Pismo Beach WORCS; Lanza Clinches Pro 2 Championship

10/21/07: Pismo Beach, California, WORCS Round 11; A carnival atmosphere greeted the Pro riders at Round 11 of the WORCS Series at Pismo Beach on October 21, 2007. Personal watercraft performed in the surf just behind the starting line, spectators lined the 4 ½ mile track, a strong wind blew in off the ocean and the riders knew they were facing two hours of wide open racing in the endless sugar-sand.

Bobby Garrison holds up his 1st place trophy.

photo: Joe Colombero

“This is the only race where I actually worry about the bike lasting until the finish,” said Ty Davis before the start. His words would prove to be prophetic, as more then 15 riders, including Davis, would DNF with mechanicals before the day was through.

But the big story was the Championship points chase between Red Bull/KTM’s Kurt Caselli and Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Nathan Woods. After winning round 10 in front of Woods, Caselli came into the Pismo race with a 25 point lead and only two rounds remaining. With only 30 points available for a first place finish, Caselli led by almost a race and only had to put in a couple of good finishes to ensure the title. But neither Woods nor Caselli have ever been the kind of racers who lay back and cruise.

When the Pro class left the line, Caselli set out to clinch the Championship with the idea that winning would always keep him in front of rival Woods. Bobby Garrison got the holeshot amidst a slew of Zip-Ty Yamaha team-mates with Caselli close behind. When the mess of the first turn was sorted out and the sand cloud dissipated, Woods was on the ground and the pack with Caselli was long gone. Woods got up and began a race-long charge from last place while Caselli went after Garrison and the lead. As they completed their first lap Caselli held the lead over Bobby Garrison and Ricky Dietrich. Woods completed the first lap in 10th, but he was more then 1 ½ minutes behind Caselli’s KTM.

Garrison in action.

photo: Joe Colombero

Caselli and Garrison swapped positions on the second lap while Woods encountered a few problems and failed to move up. Garrison was having the best ride of his season and Caselli was about to have the worst. While battling for the lead and what certainly would’ve been the clincher on the title-chase, Caselli’s KTM sputtered to halt and refused all of Kurt’s efforts at motorcycle CPR.

Garrison and Dietrich were soon engaged in battle and Justin Soule charged through and moved into third. Meanwhile, all eyes were on Woods who steadily moved up lap after lap. “The sand is harder for a big guy to race in,” said Woods afterwards. “I’m not making excuses, but I just buried my bike at the start and this sand is so soft I was digging in all day and never could really get on top of it.”

Despite his troubles, Woods continued to attack and eventually finished fifth, which earned him 16 valuable points on Caselli who DNFed. As they go into the final round in November, Caselli still holds the points lead with 201 with Woods nine back with 192.

Garrison managed to shake off Dietrich and rode as if the sand was a freeway taking a decisive win ahead of Dietrich and Soule. Robby Bell finished fourth with Woods rounding out the top five.

Jamie Lanze took the win in the Pro 2 class.

photo: Joe Colombero

Garrison’s victory at round 11 is his second of the season and he currently sits sixth in points. “I got a good start and had a nice battle going with Caselli,” said Garrison. “So I followed him and took some of his lines. Then I got by him and Dietrich caught me and we went back and forth for a while. Then he had problems or something around the 1 ½ hour mark so I didn’t see him again. I just stayed on it and rode my own race and it all worked out for me today. I really like the sand, I don’t get tried as quickly in the sand and it’s a struggle for some of the other guys, so this was a fun race for me. I think they should have more sand races.”

In Pro 2 action, Jamie Lanza put in another stellar ride to win the race and the Pro 2 Championship. Lanza’s victory was his fourth of the season, a season that so far has netted him 252 points, placing him far ahead of Jonathan Davis who sits second in the points with 196. Davis was also second to Lanza at the Pismo round while Brad Goolsby rounded out the top three.

“I’m really happy to win this Championship,” said Lanza. “This was my goal for the season and I met my goal. I’ve had a lot of fun racing this year, but it hasn’t been easy. I had a blast out there today and my Kawasaki ran so strong, I just got to give this one to the Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team.” With the Pro 2 title secure, Lanza will likely ride in the Pro 1 class at the final round in Taft in November