David Pearson is one race away from reclaiming the title he first won in 2007: king of the AMA Racing/Kenda National Hare & Hound Championship Series. The THR Motorsports / Monster Energy / Precision Concepts Kawasaki KX450F-mounted racer maintains his lead in series points after a strong runner-up finish at round eight of the series on October 14 at the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area outside of Lucerne Valley, California, behind Kurt Caselli. Purvines Racing Kawasaki’s Nick Burson rounded out the podium in third.

Caselli of the FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team got the holeshot and immediately tried to gap the field with Pearson sticking close, the two title rivals never far apart. In fact, Pearson made a few passes that put him in the lead during the first two 40-mile loops of the So Cal Motorcycle Club’s three-loop race. Their battle would separate them from the rest of the pack as the race wore on, the pace they ran a brisk one.

The 2012 AMA National Hare and Hound series kicked off this weekend with a bang and JCR/Honda racer David Kamo took home a podium spot. The race series is spread over 10 rounds and the goal is to chase down the championship for 2012.

The first round was held in Lucerne Valley, California and featured two loops.The 1st loop was a 37 mile rocky, treacherous and technical loop. The 2nd loop was a 42 mile sandy, high speed loop that made for some dramatic racing action.

“David Kamo did great. This is the start of a long series and we want to be racing for the championship come October.” — Johnny Campbell

“What a great way to start out the year on the podium! I had a lot of help from Scott Dunlavey, & Hide Hanawa on bike prep before the race. Four days after Johnny got back from Dakar, he was in the desert with me, getting the bike set up for the National. I felt very focused and ready to win on race morning! The banner dropped and I found myself in the dust in 4th behind Caselli, Abbott, and Pearson on the 1st loop. I came into the pits for gas-n-go and felt way more relaxed going into the 2nd loop and was making up time. I made my pass on Abbott on the 2nd to last valley for 3rd! My Honda CRF450X felt amazing from start to finish. When I got to the finish I wanted more, but was satisfied to be on the podium! It’s a long series and I want to be there in the end focused on the Championship.” —  David Kamo

AMA National Hare and Hound 2012 Schedule

Round 1 – Jan. 22 Lucerne Valley, Calif
Round 2 – Feb. 12 Ridgecrest, Calif.
Round 3 – Feb 26 Reno, Nev.
Round 4 – March 25 Murphy, Idaho
Round 5 – April 22 Lucerne Valley, Calif.
Round 6 – May 5 Jericho, Utah
Round 7 – May 19 Jericho, Utah
Round 8 – Sept 8 Panaca, Nev.
Round 9 – Oct. 14 Lucerne Valley, Calif.
Round 10 – Oct. 28 Lucerne Valley, Calif.

Photo credit: Ryan sanders

Upcoming Round 8 in Jericho, Utah this Saturday, May 21st – be sure to check back for coverage at the start of next week.

With Round 7 in Reno, Nevada having been cancelled due to BLM issues, the close point’s standings have been on hold.  Thankfully, Round 8 of the AMA/Kenda National Hare and Hound Championship Series, presented by Sugarloafers MC, is in full swing and is just a week away in Jericho, Utah.  Our last visit to Jericho was cold, snowy and brought out locals TJ Hannifin and Shawn Strong, who both were front-pack runners.  Kurt Caselli earned a great first place finish in the heavy snow conditions, but the temperatures have heated up, and so has the point’s chase.

Down south in sunny Lucerne Valley, California, Round 6 of the National Hare & Hound series saw the JCR Honda of Kendall Norman up front and on the podium for the first time since his 2010 championship.  Off Road Support’s Jacob Argubright rode a strategic and smooth ride from start to his second place finish, while KTM/FMF rider Kurt Caselli fell back to third towards the end of the 80-mile course after a painful run in with a cactus bush.