Fun Mart Cycles/ktmhutt.com/Maxxis offroad racer Shane Watts provided a stellar display of offroad riding at Rd. 5 of the GNCC series held in perfect conditions at the Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, Tennessee venue over the weekend, April 27.
“I always enjoy heading to Loretta’s and this year was no different with one of the best tracks ever , a nice flowing course that really tested skill, speed and endurance, “ Watts commented following the grueling 3 hour race. “I got off to a mid pack start but then quickly moved up into fourth where I could keep an eye on the lead riders. Once Knight had got out front and disappeared it was time to put the hammer down and leave the rest of the pack behind so as to catch up to the fellow foreigner and not make his next victory so easy. Once I bridged that gap I decided to just tag along for a while and watch seeing as I hadn’t ridden with Knight for almost a year, since back at the 2007 version of the Loretta’s GNCC. Right at the end of the first lap though I clipped a tree which pin-balled me straight across into another tree resulting in quite a violent wipe-out that not only had me spitting some blood following the race but also wrenched my already tender neck muscles from the huge crash I’d had a few weeks earlier, and I banged my head again which left me somewhat dazed.”
“Once I’d recovered and got going again I was 30 seconds down and back amongst the other Pro riders. I was heaps annoyed at myself for making such a dumb mistake so after about mile when I had found my rhythm again it was time to charge back up to Knight. Midway through that second lap I had again bridged the 30 second gap and then towards the end of the lap was able to pressure him into a mistake and subsequently take the lead. I was riding comfortably and just cruising along in the lead until the later stages of that third lap when we both had a little “incident” out on the trail. I went to go around a couple of lapped riders while he took the same line as them and as the trail joined up again we both ended up having a collision which left me laying on the ground. Now, there are two ways I could look at this incident and I’d like to interpret it as just one of those unavoidable racing accidents where I was the one that came off second best. I’m quite certain that there was nothing intentional about it from Knighter’s aspect, especially seeing as he offered a public apology when it was mentioned during his podium victory interveiw.”
“This second crash totally knocked the wind out of my sails. I have scuff marks all over my body and by then my head was severely throbbing with pain. Mentally the desire was there to again charge back to the front but my lack of pre-event training basically meant that there really wasn’t anything left in the tank to do it with physically. I’m just disappointed that I used a lot of extra energy in the beginning of the race as I was really looking forward to running up front for the majority of the race and finally making Knight have to work extra hard for his next victory. I showed that I was able to reel him in a few times with some scintillating speed, and even if for some reason he wasn’t going at full speed, I was at least able to easily pull away from the remainder of the hard charging pack of Pro riders. This resulted in me easily gaining the fastest overall lap time of the day for a full lap of the course.”
Watts will now put away his racing boots for a while and focus on his wildly popular Dirt Wise Offroad riding schools for the next few months. Due to a crammed schedule of the Dirt Wise schools resulting from the overwhelming interest, Watts will only be able to possibly attend two more GNCC races for the remainder of 2008, that being June 22 at Yadkinville, NC and the series finale on Oct 26 in Indiana. With spectacular style and scintillating speed Watts will sure be a crowd favorite at these races as he again tears up the track and tries to lead from the front of the pack.
For more info and news about the racing endeavors of Shane Watts, and that of his Dirt Wise riding schools, please sign up for his periodical Newsletter by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.shanewatts.com. This feature is made possible by the great support of GPR Stabilzers, Dirt Tricks sprockets, and Fasst Flexx handlebars.