AMA Racing Kenda National Hare & Hound Dirt Bike Racing, Round 7

May. 23, 2011 By Mark Kariya
After following for much of the race, Kurt Caselli took advantage of a Kendall Norman crash to lead the way into the finish for the fifth time this season.Kurt Caselli moved another step closer to winning the AMA Racing/Kenda National Hare & Hound Championship Series when he came from behind to win the 51st Annual Cherry Creek National, round seven of the series hosted by the Sugarloafers Motorcycle Club, near Jericho, Utah.
The FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team ace actually got off to a decent start but found himself chasing Johnny Campbell Racing Honda’s Kendall Norman, who’d returned from a knee injury to win round six. In fact, the defending series champion built a substantial lead by the end of the mostly fast 65-mile-long first loop.
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“I just came out [with] really no expectations; I just wanted to ride like myself and have fun--nothing more and nothing less,” Norman insisted. “I always love coming up here, and the dirt was amazing because of the rain [all week].”
Unlike snowy round five last month held a few miles east, the conditions proved to be as close to perfect as it gets--which may have worked to Norman’s disadvantage since he couldn’t count on throwing up a wall of dust behind him to stymie his pursuers.
Kendall Norman led most of the race, but a little run-in with a tree on the second loop prevented him from notching his second win in a row, forcing him to settle for second.

However, loop two offered the chance for those giving chase to close the gap as long as they were ready for 45 miles of much more technical and twisty going in the trees. And that’s where the race changed hands.
“I knew it was going to be kind of a long race and maybe these guys would get a little tired at the end,” Caselli said. “I came up to a check [on the second loop] and they told me I was only 15 second behind Kendall. I think in the pits, I was about a minute or less [behind]. So I caught up and was just trying to ride patiently and eventually caught up to Kendall. He made a little bobble and I was able to get around him.”
Destry Abbott got a good start and ran a strong second in the early going, eventually settling for third--the fifth time this season he’s finished there.

Norman was unable to rebound from that “bobble” and came in about a minute behind. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Destry Abbott, who’d diced with Caselli in the early going, rode a solid race to claim third, some three minutes behind Norman. “I thought I rode really well,” Abbott said, “and they just beat me fair and square. I had a great time and the three of us put a good ride in.”
Robert Underwood matched his season-best fifth place with a good ride that saw him duel with David Pearson for most of the race.

After a poor start and a crash that left him with a lacerated finger, Purvines Racing Honda’s David Pearson came in fourth just ahead of Concours Auto Body Kawasaki’s Robert Underwood. Zip-Ty Racing Husqvarna’s Nick Burson finished a series best-to-date sixth followed by Northland Motorsports Kawasaki’s Jeff Truelove, 250cc Expert winner Lane Buchert, Purvines Racing Honda’s Carl Maassberg and Utah’s Preston Hannifin.
The podium (from left): third-place Destry Abbott, winner Kurt Caselli, runner-up Kendall Norman.

With the original round seven outside of Reno cancelled and apparently dead for this year, competitors now go into the summer break with only the final two rounds in Lucerne in October remaining. Caselli’s win gives him an even larger cushion in series points over Pearson, 187-159, unofficially. Abbott remains third with 146, unofficially.

Despite a crash that gave him a lacerated finger early in the race, David Pearson pressed on to finish fourth, retaining second in points.Results
1. Kurt Caselli (KTM 450 SX-F)

2. Kendall Norman (Honda CRF450X)

3. Destry Abbott (Kawasaki KX450F)

4. David Pearson (Honda CRF450R)

5. Robert Underwood (Kawasaki KX450F)

6. Nick Burson (Husqvarna TXC 449)

7. Jeff Truelove (Kawasaki KX450F)

8. Lane Buchert (KTM 250 XC)

9. Carl Maassbert (Honda CRF450X)

10. Preston Hannifin (Kawasaki KX450F)

Check out previos Hare & Hound races:

Round 6

Round 5

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