KTM’s Mike Brown put on a spectacular show with a come-from-behind performance to win his first ever WORCS Pro 1 event in his first full season as an off-road racer. In fact, the Adelanto event was only Brown’s fifth WORCS race ever, as he only joined the KTM Off-Road team in 2008 for the final three races of the season. The victory, along with Brown’s fifth-place finish in round one, also put “Brownie” into the points lead for the WORCS Championship.
Brown’s KTM teammate Justin Soule also delivered a “best-ever” performance as he came from as far back as eighth place in the early running, past a field of WORCS stars, to lead for much of the race. Soule, who’s best WORCS finish in 2008 was a fifth, showed speed, strength, stamina and intelligence as he took over the lead and dominated he first 75 minutes of the race. In the final 45 minutes, Brown caught and battled with Soule for several laps, causing the KTM crew to bite their nails as the teammates “traded paint” all over the course. Brown eventually made the pass and took the win, with Soule earning a hard-fought second.
Third place fell to Team FMF Suzuki Off-Road’s Nathan Woods, who also had to come from the back to earn the final podium slot. Woods gated well, but a few bobbles and some ill-luck early in the race had him back in seventh before the former two-time WORCS Champion put on a charge that eventually carried him up to third place at the checkered flag.
Fourth place went to JCR Honda’s Tim Weigand, who got the holeshot and looked as though he might run away early on. However, Weigand’s water system came loose and the full bladder dropped from his back, and flopped around like an ill-placed colostomy bag for nearly a lap before getting caught in the front forks and breaking off. By that time, Weigand had lost the leaders and had to make up ground to get into fourth.
Team Valli Motorsports’ Bobby Bonds rounded out the top five. Bonds, who was riding with torn ligaments in his left thumb, put on several charges, but the pain and the brutally tough course kept him off the box for the first time in months, ending a nine-race-podium streak that began in April 2008.
Round-one winner, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ricky Dietrich, led early as well, but a loose radiator hose caused his bike to overheat, forcing the former Champion to pit early and long for a fix. The overheating caused other damage and Ricky D. was forced to nurse his bike around the track well below his usual pace. He managed a disappointed 24th and a single point.