COSTA MESA, CALIF. – Rockstar Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker took a dominating win at round two of the 2018 AMA EnduroCross championship at the Orange County Fairgrounds. For the second race in a row, the seats were packed and the crowd was treated to an exciting night of racing. Trystan Hart rode his SRT-Husqvarna to a second-place finish after passing defending champion Cody Webb on the final lap.
FMF KTM’s Webb got the day started by narrowly beating SRT-Husqvarna’s Kyle Redmond for the fastest hot-lap time. Cooper Abbott rode a great lap on his RPM KTM to set the third fastest time. Ty Tremaine set the fourth fastest time on the Alta electric bike and Hart rounded out the top five. Haaker had a big crash that resulted in a 25th place time and second row start in the heat races.
Cody Webb kept the momentum going by winning the first of the two pro class heat races. South American, Benjamin Herrera finished second on a Beta. Hart, Noah Kepple, Abbott and Dustin McCarthy took the remaining direct transfers to the main. In the second heat race, Haaker quickly moved to the front, despite his second row starting position, and easily held on for the win. Tremaine, Redmond, Geoff Aaron, Ryan Wells and Wally Palmer took the other main event qualifying spots. Webb and Haaker each earned a bonus championship point for their heat race wins.
The top four from each of the above heat races faced off in head-to-head bracket races. Haaker and Webb worked through the brackets to face off for the bracket win. Haaker won a close race to take the additional bonus point and first gate pick for the main.
Tremaine rocketed to the holeshot on the Alta to take the lead and held that to the end of the first lap. Webb then took over the point position while Haaker, his main rival, found himself in eleventh position after a first lap crash. Haaker quickly sliced through the field and made his way to second by the fifth lap and then closed in on Webb over the next five laps. Haaker made a pass on Webb for the lead at the start of lap eleven of what ended up being a 21-lap main. Haaker looked set to pull away but then fell in a rock corner a few laps later, allowing Webb to close to his rear wheel. But Haaker was on a mission and pulled away again for the remainder of the race to take his first win of the season.
Webb looked set for a second-place finish, but Hart snuck up on him and the two battled wheel to wheel through the rock pile on the last lap with Webb crashing and Hart continuing on to take second. Webb recovered for the final podium spot.
Tremaine continued his strong night with a fourth-place finish, the best ever for an electric powered motorcycle. Cristobal Guerrero traveled all the way from Spain to ride his Yamaha to a fifth-place finish. He is a regular in the FIM Super Enduro series where he finished this season seventh overall.
Herrera rode his Beta to a sixth-place finish in only his second ever EnduroCross. Aaron finished seventh on his GasGas. Redmond was eighth on his Husqvarna. Abbott finished ninth on the RPM KTM and Ty Cullins rounded out the top ten on a Beta.
“I started the day off with a full loop out in the hot-lap so that put me on the second for the heat race. So that wasn’t a good start, but I knew I was fast today and somehow, I got into the lead right away in the heat and won that. Then I won the bracket race in a good battle with Cody. In the main, I crashed on the first lap, but I was still calm and worked my way to the front. It was just one of those nights where I knew I could be patient because I had good speed. It’s great to get the win with my daughter here for her first ever race.”
“Once again, I got a bad start but then I got by Ty Tremaine to get into third and I could tell I was closing in on Cody, which is easier than having him chasing me. And then on that last lap, we both just sent it into those rocks and either one of us could have crashed but fortunately, I made it and Cody is okay. I am so happy with how I rode.”
“I had a rough week and am a little beat up right now after a crash this week. I didn’t even know that Trystan was closing on me until he was there and then I crashed on that last lap. So I am not happy with the result but will go get some physio on my shoulder this week to be more ready for Reno next weekend.”
main event results
1. Colton Haaker, Husqvarna
2. Trystan Hart, Husqvarna
3. Cody Webb, KTM
4. Ty Tremaine, Alta
5. Cristobal Guerrero, Yamaha
6. Benjamin Herrera, Beta
7. Geoff Aaron, GasGas
8. Kyle Redmond, Husqvarna
9. Cooper Abbott, KTM
10. Ty Cullins, Beta
11. Noah Kepple, GasGas
12. Dustin McCarthy, Yamaha
13. Ryan Wells, KTM
14. Wally Palmer, Husqvarna
Shelby Turner led all but the final lap at round one before fatigue and recovery from a broken leg caught up with her and she finished second. This week, she again battled with FMF KTM’s Kacy Martinez but managed to come out on top on her KTM. Martinez closed in again on the last lap but finished second. Morgan Tanke finished third despite injuring her foot in practice.
Destry Abbott again won the Vet class on his KTM. He had to recover from a few small mistakes in the early laps. Dan Hayakawa finished second and Eric Schettler finished third to make it an all Arizona podium.
David Kamo took the Open Amateur class win. William Riordan and Gavin McCarthy rounded out the podium.
In the Amateur B class, Cole Wilton took his first EnduroCross win. Nick Saia and Ryan Gouveia rounded out the podium.
Emanuel Angius came all the way from Italy to win the TrialsCross main event. Coleman Johnson and Lior Ebiaz finished second and third.
In the local AMA District 37 class, Tyler Smith took the win despite having to put his chain back on during the race. Frederick Parr and Sam Capt rounded out the podium.
Round three will be in Reno, Nevada next Saturday, September 22.
You can watch all six 2018 AMA EnduroCross events on beIN Sports on the Thursday following the event at 9 pm EST. Get more details at www.beinsports.com.