AMA Racing Kenda National Hare & Hound Dirt Bike Racing, Round 4
After the “typical” desert heat of El Centro, California, the AMA Racing/Kenda National Hare & Hound Championship Series threw a biting cold wind and even snow at competitors for round four. But the winner remained the same with Kurt Caselli of the FMF/KTM Factory Off-road Racing Team topping Dirt Inc’s. Rabbitt Creek 100 Jody Schlapia Memorial to notch his third-straight victory and take over the series points lead for the first time.
Previous 2011 AMA Hare & Hound Races:
But with the nearly ideal conditions following rain and light snow on several days leading up to the event, the racing proved to be very tight. In fact, the first four finishers all led at one point or another and stayed within seconds of one another all afternoon.
“That was by far the funnest race I’ve done in probably ever,” Caselli said. “Right from the start to the finish, the top four guys were probably within 30 seconds of each other.
“We just basically swapped positions for the whole race, 100 miles. It was awesome!”
The lack of dust made it impossible for anyone to break away so the pace became more tactical.
“It felt like a trail ride,” Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Destry Abbott admitted. “Kurt looks back and gives me a thumbs-up; I’m giving Jacob [Argubright] a thumbs-up--it was just a really good time! It seemed like it was kind of like Tour de France--everybody was kind of pacing each other [and you] couldn’t break away.”
Indeed, the race came down to who made the fewest mistakes since everyone made at least one. Caselli took a big tumble on a downhill, as did Purvines Racing Honda’s David Pearson; both consequently lost spots, of course.
Argubright found himself in front in the final miles, a spot he’d never occupied before. “I led after the alternate pit,” he reported. “Dave [Pearson] had a little spill and I just got in the lead and I tried to hold it. Kurt pressured me and I got a little nervous and he passed me. I couldn’t hold [the lead].
“I just tried to keep it as long as I could.”
So, Caselli took win number three and, with it, the series points lead for the first time. Off-road Support/Kawasaki of Simi Valley’s Argubright took a best-to-date second with Abbott keeping his record of podium finishes this season at 100 percent. Pearson limped in for fourth, dropping to second in points behind Caselli, 106-98, unofficially. Abbott’s third with 88 while Argubright holds 80, unofficially.
1. Kurt Caselli (KTM 450 SX-F)
2. Jacob Argubright (Kawasaki KX450F)
3. Destry Abbott (Kawasaki KX450F)
4. David Pearson (Honda CRF450R)
5. Robert Underwood (Kawasaki KX450F)
6. Justin Morrow (Honda CRF450X)
7. Levi Hutchings (KTM)
8. Lane Buchert (KTM)
9. Tuffy Pearson (Honda CRF250X)
10.Brett Saunders (Kawasaki KX450F)