With Rd#1 just right around the corner, teams and riders are preparing as we speak for another great season. The WORCS series will open up Jan. 18th at Speedworld Raceway in Phoenix, AZ at Rd#1. The 2008 season saw Bobby Bonds edging out former WORCS Pro Champion Ricky Dietrich. Bonds who was the full privateer was able to keep his drive and motivation alive as he proved hard work can deliver the off-road prestige trophy. As we leave 2008 behind us, we look ahead to 2009, with rider team changes, riders changing brands, its sure to be a good one.
#1 Bobby Bonds- "Bondo", Bobby Bonds has switched teams and brands as he looks to defend his Championship title aboard the new Valli Motorsports team out of San Jose, Ca. Headed up by Charles Halcomb and team owner Chad Lanza, Valli has built a strong team and will be a strong contender for the '09 season. Bonds who returns to the Honda since his amateur days is very excited and can't wait to make the Pro gate in three weeks.
#2 Ricky Dietrich- "RD" This man has a mission this year, and that mission is get his title back. Dietrich who also captured a WORCS Pro title in 2006 aboard his Carter Powerpsorts Kawasaki, has his 2009 Factory Kawasaki/Monster Energy 450F dialed in and anxious to arrive to the gate on Sunday, Jan. 18th. RD grabbed his first AMA title as the '09 AMA Maxxis Endurocross Champion. He's continued his training with Ryan Hughes in the off-season and Jason Smigel and Dietrich I'm sure have the game plan locked in for this upcoming year.
#3 Kurt Caselli- "Captain America" Caselli will leave us as he heads back east to take on his new challenge- GNCC Pro title. WORCS wishes Kurt the best of luck and hopes to see a couple of surprise visits to the WORCS series in 2009. Captain Kurt will lead the KTM team in GNCC and will also return as Captain of the 2009 ISDE trophy team in Portugal in October.
#4 Damon Huffman- "Huffdaddy", Damon Huffman will return to the WORCS series with a serious amount of motivation. Huffman coming off an awesome Endurocross season will look to capture a slew of podiums and give the boys fits as he looks to go for his first ever WORCS Championship.
#5- Justin Soule- The "Reno Rocket" returns to the KTM camp right where he started in 2007 in his rookie year. One of nicest guys in the pits, Justin will be sure to make a few podiums and give the crowd all the excitement and professionalism a fan could ask for. Soule who resides in Reno, NV has a huge heart and all in all, Soule always says I'm just happy the good Lord provides me with this great opportunity to ride motorcycles for a living.
#6- Kyle Summers- "Kustom", another new member of the Valli Motosports team arrives in California, and word out of the Valli camp is simple. Summers is hauling the mail on his new Valli 450. Look for Kyle to do really well in WORCS and his various outdoor national stops as well.
#7- Bobby Garrison- "Bobby G". If there was ever an anticipated WORCS return, this is it. Garrison who lost the 2006 championship to Dietrich by 1 point, and who also was leading the series in points last year before his injury will be the final team member of Valli Motorsports. Garrison is a talented and phenomenal rider who shows drive and aggressiveness on the track at all times. Bobby is looking to shed to shed about 6 digits this year for his title chase.
#8- Tim Wiegand- "Short stuff" Don’t let his nickname fool you. Weigand who rides for the JCR Racing team is looking to make a break out ride for 2009. Tim who has been around the industry for awhile is always competitive and will be sure to be a mark in this upcoming season.
#9- Robby Bell- "Mr. Baja" Robby Bell had a rough year, simply put. After an ugly get off in Washington at Rd #4, Bell had tough time finding his rhythm. This year is different, a new team, a new brand of bike, the Northland Motorsports/Precision Concepts Kawasaki rider will make a strong debut in Phoenix and everyone is looking for excitement from this guy.
#10- Gary Sutherlin- "Who is this guy" How about Ricky Dietrich's former mechanic, turned full privateer Kawasaki rider out of Phoenix. Gary showed awesome potential in 2008 and we all look for big surprises from this guy come Rd #1.
Other notables, or shall I say 2-time WORCS Champion and the all time winningest WORCS rider Nathan Woods will return on his new Suzuki 450. Nathan who broke his collarbone at Mesquite last year, returned strong to win Honeylake and will look to reek havoc on the Pro gate all year long. Nathan looks to continue his record setting ways in WORCS and grab a third WORCS Championship along the way. Mike Brown former 125 SX Champion will be back on his KTM, Jamie Lanza will be back on his Kawasaki, Taylor Robert who podiumed in his Pro debut at Taft will be riding on the Northland team as well. Nick Brozovich will switch to JCR aboard the CRF450. ZipTy is making a brand switch to Husky and they are really pumped with the new bikes. The Desert Fox, Destry Abbott coming off another AMA Hare N' Hound Championship will also be strong for 2009. New arrivals will include Gavin Gracyk, former SX/MX privateer will debut in Phoenix aboard his Carter Powersports Kawasaki 450F. Gavin is a great guy and I expect good things from Gracyk in WORCS this year.
New sponsors to the series will be Kalgard as they return with the $500 Kalgard Pro Main Event Holeshot Award as well as series sponsorship. AXO will join forces with WORCS in 2009, with all the new gear being worn by the WORCS track staff, rider contingency and series involvement. TBT Suspension out of Washington will join the series at Rd#1. AP Racing with their 2009 brake pad line, Randy & Ralph at GPR return as long time series sponsors, Farmdawg at Maxxis will be at every round working out of the famous Orange rig. Pirelli tires returns. Danny Laporte and Paul Ondas will be back giving strong trackside exhaust support from FMF. Aceribis & SCOTT based out of Idaho will be back. Walt's Motorsports will return to the famous Lake Havasu round. Craig Kennelly out of Las Vegas with Carter Powersports is putting the final touches on the series as well. Finally Dan Thomas and his crew out of Payson, UT, who has been with us since the start will return as our prestigious title sponsor of the 2009 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC WORCS Racing series.
All the brands will be back Kawasaki, KTM, Yamaha, Suzuki & Honda with full WORCS off-road contingency for all classes.
WORCS series kicks off in three weeks and if your anywhere but in Phoenix on Sunday, Jan. 18th your going to be missing out on the start of another successful season. We will see everyone in 3 weeks. For more information on the series, please visit www.worcsracing.com