Normally this spot, being called 450 Words and all, focuses on the 450 Class and all that happened in it, but seeing as how we had both 250SX coasts racing Las Vegas, let’s focus on what went on in that class. Earlier today we wrote about the West side, so let’s make this about the East.
It’s been a miserable season for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, with just one lonely win on the year with five riders, but the team finally got another win—from the fill-in guy who normally races Amsoil Arenacross. But while Tyler Bowers was out front and led wire-to-wire, there was a storm brewing behind him.
In second sat GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn, who was struggling with a broken hand he incurred in practice on the very last lap. The points leader was in fine shape when Red Bull KTM’s very fast Marvin Musquin caught and passed Hahn. And seeing how Musquin was the only rider in the field who had a chance to take the title away from Wilbur, that wasn’t good for Hahn.
Musquin was bearing down and trying to make something happen as the laps wound down. He needed Bowers to make a mistake—something, anything—as a Musquin win and Hahn staying in third got the KTM rider the title. Bowers had never won a main event before, but now the AX fill-in was going to be the man to decide the East Region 250SX title.
After years of injuries, Wil Hahn became a champion for the first time in Vegas.
Simon Cudby photo
And although it was close, Bowers held on for the win. Musquin rode great, but like Eli Tomac in the West, it didn’t add up to much. Wil Hahn is the 2013 250SX East Region Champion thanks to a gutsy ride with a broken hand.
“"More than anything, it's nice to have a team that believed in me when sometimes I didn't even believe in myself. I'm so stoked to have gotten this title, it's a dream come true for me,” said Hahn.
Hahn’s certainly deserving of this, as he’s struggled to find his spot in the sport with injury after injury. Just when he’d be able to string some great results together (like in 2010 on the TLD Honda team), the injury monster was always right around the corner.
Hahn’s title should be a lesson for other riders and teams. For a rider, it shows that never giving up, working hard, and being positive is never a bad idea; for teams, if you’re seeing a rider saying and doing the right things, don’t give up on that. When things break right and the pendulum swings, that patience will be rewarded.
Congrats to the Wil, his mechanic Sean, and the GEICO Honda team on a great season and well-deserved title. It was a crazy journey for them, but it’s always worth the trouble.