Irvine, Calif. – Cahuilla Creek MX in Anza, Calif., was host to Round 9 of the World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS) where Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert battled the elements on his KX™450F to win both motos and clinch the 2012 WORCS championship. Teammate Bobby Garrison rode strong to finish with a 5-4 moto score giving him fifth overall. With the championship wrapped up and one round remaining, Garrison has a nice cushion for second giving Monster Energy Kawasaki the top two spots in the championship standings. Rounding out the podium was Kawasaki’s Robby Bell who went 3-5 for third overall and holds third place in the standings, completing a Kawasaki series sweep.

Coming into Round 9, Robert had won five rounds and knew that he could wrap up the championship with another overall win. On Saturday, Robert rounded the first turn within the top-five and began his ride to the front. By the second lap, he made his way into second and could see the leader just ahead. Entering the off-road section, Robert made his move for first and proceeded to gap the rest of the field. With his win on Saturday, Robert only needed to finish on Sunday to clinch the title. The weather looked like it would be another scorcher, but just as the gate dropped the skies opened up and within a lap, the race became a mudder. Robert was able to get out front on the first lap and avoided dealing with the roost. Robert lead wire-to-wire and secured the 2012 WORCS Championship.

“The weekend was great,” said Robert. “Saturday, I got punted off the track on the first lap, but was able to work my way back up front. It was super hot out, so once I got into first I toned it down a bit to conserve energy for Sunday. I got a better start Sunday and was able to sail to the finish. We all thought it was going to be even hotter Sunday, but on the first lap it started to rain and at first I thought it was my camelback leaking. It started pouring rain, which made it tricky but a lot of fun.”

Soldiering On

Although Robert held the points lead, Garrison had a chance to take the championship battle to the final round if he could finish ahead of Robert. Garrison spun off the concrete start on Saturday, but went to work on the first lap and made his way up to fifth before leaving the motocross track. Entering the Pro off-road section and he got caught up with another rider and went down. Getting up in eighth, Garrison starting working down the gap and made it back up to fifth by the checkered flag. Sunday, he got a much better start and battled the entire 90 minutes. In the closing laps he was able to close up on third, but finished fourth.

“It was a tough weekend,” said Garrison. “First lap on Saturday I got caught up in the pro section and had nowhere to go but into another rider. After that I just tried to make up as much ground as I could. My shoulder still isn’t 100 percent, so with the rough whooped-out sections it was tough to push. On Sunday, once the rain started I knew it would slow the pace down a bit and work to my advantage. I was able to make some good passes and get by a few guys in the pits as well. I’m happy for Taylor (Robert) and glad Monster Energy Kawasaki is on top.”

Celebrating Early

After Robert’s win on Saturday, the team knew they would be receiving the number-one plate on Sunday. Once Robert was out front on Sunday, the celebration began. The whole team busted out the championship hats and shirts early and all cheered on Robert as he came by the pits with a 33-second lead, his racing number.

Team Green

After winning a title at Loretta Lynn’s last week, Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Brandy Richards returned to WORCS. Racing two classes on two different Kawasaki race bikes, Richards had no issues adjusting. On Saturday, she rode her KX™250F to another win in the Women’s A class, which she has won every round so far this year with just one round remaining. On Sunday, Richards dropped down to the KX™100 and took another win in the Supermini A class against a field of boys. She currently sits second in the Supermini A standings

Torrential Downpour

Heading down to the line on Sunday, all the racers expected high temperatures during the grueling 90-minute moto. The moto was still grueling, but from the rain and mud, not the heat. The off-road sections became extremely slick as the course accumulated standing water in spots.

“The track got super muddy in the off-road section,” said Robert. “There were rivers running through the track in some spots. I went through one puddle and didn’t realize how deep it was. When I went through, I sunk down to the pegs and the water tore my feet off the pegs! It was fun though, I was having a blast.”

Pit Stops

The pit stop is always crucial at WORCS races and this round was no exception. On Saturday, after racing 60 minutes in 100-degree heat, the team noticed that the fuel had started to boil. Both riders finished without problems, but knowing Sunday’s race was even longer, the team took measures to cool the fuel. With Sunday’s storm, another issue arose for riders with their vision. Many riders had to stop multiple times for new goggles as they ran out of tear-offs as it continued to rain. Both Robert and Garrison made up a ton of ground as they only stopped once to receive both fuel and goggles.

Going Out On Top

The next stop for Monster Energy Kawasaki is the final round of WORCS at Honolulu Hills in Taft, Calif. Even though the championship is wrapped up, Robert will still be looking for nothing but the win, while Garrison and Bell will be looking to close out the series on the podium as well.

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