Argubright Stops Caselli Win Streak at the Reno Extreme Hare & Hound
Just when it seemed Kurt Caselli was turning into Superman, Jacob Argubright came along with a handful of Kryptonite and proved the two-time and defending series champion is indeed vulnerable.
“I’ve been looking forward to this all year,” Argubright said about learning that the GXE Reno Extreme would be round eight on the 2013 AMA Racing/FMF/GPR Hare & Hound National Championship Series.
Argubright won the inaugural race last year when it was simply a sparsely attended exhibition race and not a National, and he learned that the terrain surrounding the Tahoe Reno Motorplex was unlike anything on the AMA Racing/FMF/GPR Hare & Hound National Championship Series tour.
So he put that knowledge to good use and rode away from the field, with Caselli almost two minutes behind at the finish, those two well ahead of third-place Ivan Ramirez.
“I definitely got outridden today by Jacob so hats off to him,” Caselli conceded, “but I’ve still got to think about the championship, and there’s a lot of sections you could’ve gone down and thrown it all away.”
“What worked for me was I was here last year and I knew it was going to be brutal,” Off-Road Support/Kawasaki of Simi Valley’s Argubright said. “This year was a lot, lot, lot gnarlier. It was like a [normal] third loop for three hours!”
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Part of that was because GXE used only one 18-mile-long loop with the Experts slated to do it three times, unlike the usual Hare & Hound that usually has two or more separate, longer loops. What dictated this was the simultaneous running of the Eldorado HDRA Reno 500 truck/car race using most of the area surrounding the Tahoe Reno Motorplex. But there seemed to be no avoiding the omnipresent loose rock no matter where you turned.
That and the later noon start, on a warm day to begin with, spelled the premature end to many competitors’ day. Instead of three (or two) laps, completing just one lap took all they had. The combination of loose, unpredictable rocks everywhere and a couple of challenging climbs made more difficult by fallen or stuck riders sapped everyone’s strength—no one escaped, even the fittest. As Caselli admitted, “I got tired on that second lap; the third lap was tough.”
Ramirez, Caselli’s teammate on the FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team, likewise confessed the course had temporarily beaten him as well: “On the third lap, I had to stop a little bit on the [big] uphill because I was really tired [and] out of breath.”
That makes the performance of Purvines Racing Beta’s Justin Morrow even more remarkable. In his first race since surgery a couple months ago, the eventual fourth-place finisher admitted, “I was really worried I wasn’t going to be up to par to do anything special at all.” But he got a good start on his two-stroke 300 RR (all of the Purvines riders used either 250 or 300 RRs at this one) put him in the lead group right off the bat, though one particular climb did him in each lap.
“I felt really fluid and smooth, and it seemed like every lap I got to that same uphill and it would drain all my energy because I couldn’t keep enough momentum between the gears,” he said. “Every lap that hill [cost me] time.”
But teammate Nick Burson also had a little hill climb moment on the last lap right after he’d passed Morrow. That relegated him to fifth place. Open A winner Irving Powers, 250cc A winner Levii Hutchings, Vet A winner Dan Capparelli, 250cc A runner-up Axel Pearson and SCORE regular Justin Morgan rounded out the top 10.
Results - Round 8
1. Jacob Argubright (Kawasaki KX450F)
2. Kurt Caselli (KTM 450 XC-F)
3. Ivan Ramirez (KTM 450 XC-F)
4. Justin Morrow (Beta 300 RR)
5. Nick Burson (Beta 300 RR)
6. Irving Powers (KTM 450 XC-F)
7. Levii Hutchings (KTM 250 XC)
8. Dan Caparelli (Beta 250 RR)
9. Axel Pearson (Beta 250 RR)
10. Justin Morgan (Honda CRF450X)
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