When Ryan Abbatoye, Justin Seeds and I decided we wanted to race the 10 Hours of Glen Helen we started thinking of a way to make the experience a bit different for us. As fate would have it, Justin had a 2003 KX250 two stroke that he was just starting to assemble and it didn’t take much deliberation for us to come to the conclusion that racing a two stroke sounded like a lot of fun. Justin delivered the bike to Precision Concepts and a couple weeks later we had a race bike. We couldn’t wait to start burning laps on it.
There’s little in this world that can simulate the feeling of being in top gear, tucked in behind the front number plate, throttle adjusted to the maximum, asking the motor to deliver just a little bit more, but that description makes up over half of the Best In The Desert Henderson 250 experience. The forty-five mile racecourse is comprised of fast sand washes, a few faster power line roads, one mile-long whoop straight and a couple rocks just to make sure the racers are paying attention. Talladega Nights sums it up best: Henderson “…is all about speed. Hot, nasty, bad*** speed.”
Just to make the race a little more exciting, the weather was going to be sub thirties with thirty-plus mph winds. It was time to break out the wool long johns, the Fox jacket and Antifreeze gloves, layer up in an effort to not lose all feeling in the extremities, and head to the start line first thing in the morning for a borderline darkness start.
The top pro motorcycle teams joined the Trophy Truck and car teams in Ensenada today for the traditional press conference prior to the start of every Tecate Score Baja 1000. The only difference is that, this time, after finishing their various speeches and interviews, the motorcycle guys had to switch into full race mode for tonight’s scheduled 11 p.m. motorcycle and ATV class start. In light of the race schedule, attendance by the riders was sparse. Here is what they had to say.
FMF/Bonanza Plumbing KTM
Antti Kalonen, Team Manager: “I have Kurt Caselli with me today. Unfortunately the rest of the riders are on the course, getting ready for tonight’s start. We have Kurt starting today for the first part of the night section, and then Kendall Norman will get on in San Felipe for the rest of the night section. Then Mike Brown is going to get on the bike, and we’re going to have a couple more riders along the way, taking the shorter sections toward the end. It is a long race, and we have been working very hard for this one. Preparation has been going well. We learn, every race, something new. I’m excited, and I want to thank Roger (Norman) for making some necessary changes to the rules and the course and making the sport better and the racing better. I am looking forward to this one, and we hopefully we can cross the finish line on the top spot.”
The THR Motorsports / Monster Energy / Precision Concepts Kawasaki team’s dream season continued on a winning note when its two Open Pro squads went 1-4 at the General Tire Vegas-to-Reno, the next-to-last round in Best in the Desert’s five-race American Off-Road Racing Series. Robby Bell and David Pearson proved to be the fastest racers overall in the 534-mile jaunt from Beatty to Dayton while Ricky Brabec and Ty Renshaw, who led for a while, settled for a fine fourth.
Bell and Pearson enjoyed clean air for a while, having drawn the first starting position. Unfortunately, they suddenly found themselves behind when Bell lost the course during his first stint.
“Yeah, it was pretty eventful, to say the least,” Bell conceded.
Pearson explained how such a thing could happen: “A couple cows had knocked down the course markings about 20 miles before pit four, and Robby blew the corner and he got lost for quite a while.
Robby Bell enjoyed a clean sweep, winning all four races he entered at round four of the Big 6 AMA West Coast Grand Prix Series aboard his THR Motorsports/Monster Energy/Precision Concepts Kawasaki KX450F. The sole round of the eight-race series held outside of Southern California (though it almost qualifies, being in Primm, Nevada), it provides a unique set of challenges for both the rider and his mechanic.
“The Shamrocks Motorcycle Club marked out an enjoyable course with a balanced mix of twisty sand whoops and high-speed, choppy straightaway’s,” Bell shared. “Bike setup would be a compromise: too stiff and the chop will rip your hands apart, but too soft and the deep whoops will be more than happy to kick your back end out from under you. I felt my bike was set up perfectly for the course conditions and was ready to get out there.”
As usual at GP races, the Unclassified race was the first event of the weekend, and Bell established a pattern that he’d follow both days.
“Unclassified went well for me,” he said, “as instead of my usual routine of just cruising around, I felt good enough to jump out front and win, passing both of the Honda boys (Timmy Weigand and Colton Udall) and hopefully, from my point of view, setting the stage for the races to follow.”
With the temperature well above the century mark, training, hydration and planning were added to the formula of speed and talent as Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert took round five of the WORCS Series in Surprise Arizona. Robert, an Arizona native, was well equipped to deal with the 105 degree temperature at the Speedworld course as he went 1-1 and extended is points lead in the WORCS Series.
While many of the top Pro riders struggled with the heat Robert rode with his usual speed, cutting a blistering 9:07 fastest lap to outdistance the all-star field of racers. Quick pit stops and teamwork were also a factor as Robert finished more than a full minute ahead of the rest of the field in both races to take the overall.
“I like it this track because it’s challenging,” said Robert. “The heat didn’t bother me today and I’m looking forward to the next round in Adelanto. Kawasaki has built me a great motorcycle and the team is the best in off-road right now. We’re working really hard this year to win races and stay focused on the WORCS Championship.”
The second video of the series focuses on the training that racers do off of the bike, and how that can be the difference in beating the next guy on the course. Both Bell and Seeds hit the weights, do plenty of cardio and strength exercises to prepare their body ready for pushing the limits in a long race.
AP Brakes has been posting Day in the Life videos of its team riders. The most recent video the dirt bike brake company released is on Robby Bell. Bell talks about his start in racing, noting that he wasn’t very serious about the sport for a long time, that it was more of a hobby when he was younger.
It’s not every day that we get insight into the everyday world of racers. But AP Racing Brakes, a dirt bike racing company from England that has making disc brake systems since 1966, is creating a new video series that follows the lives of two of their young Pro WORCS Racers Robby Bell and Justin Seeds as they battle toward victory. The video series will offer in-depth background into what it takes to become a successful dirt bike racer.
This is a behind-the-scenes video of their daily lives as well as action of them live on the track. The full online documentary series coming soon, but here’s a teaser of the action