GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship Series
Round 7: Comcast Arena
Courtesy of GEICO
Photos by Drew Ruiz
EVERETT, WA, OCT. 18, 2014
FMF KTM’s Taylor Robert took his first-ever GEICO AMA EnduroCross main-event win in Everett, Washington, on Saturday night. And it was an incredibly exciting win, as he battled with Rockstar/ Lucas Oil JCR Honda’s Colton Haaker and Beta USA’s Cody Webb to take the narrow win.
Webb, Haaker and Robert were also the three heat-race winners on the evening to earn an extra championship point each. Red Bull KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak had an off night, as he got second in his heat and then finished fourth in the main.
The top six qualifiers do a hot lap against the clock during the evening show to earn their gate picks and another championship point for the fastest qualifier, and the GEICO-supported Webb narrowly edged Robert to get that point.
In the main event, Husqvarna’s Mike Brown took the $500 Nexen Tire Holeshot Award and was followed closely by Webb and Cory Graffunder. Webb passed Brown to take the point position on lap one and the quickly opened up a decent lead. Haaker and Blazusiak were both outside the top five on the start but quickly moved to third and fourth, respectively, as they completed the first lap.
Webb led nine of the 12 laps and seemed to have another win in hand until he got stuck in an incredibly difficult rock section that caused problems for nearly every rider during the evening. Robert and Haaker both passed Webb and then engaged in their own shootout for the win.
Haaker closed right onto Robert’s rear wheel as they hit the rock section on the penultimate lap and then took his own tumble. Haaker remounted quickly and closed back in on the last lap, but Robert held on for his first GEICO AMA EnduroCross win.
Webb held on for third, and Blazusiak took fourth, ahead of Brown. Bobby Prochnau took sixth on his RPM KTM. Max Gerston was seventh on a Beta. Kevin Rookstool took eighth, Ty Tremaine was ninth, and Cory Graffunder rounded out the top 10.
Although Robert won an X Games Enduro X gold medal in Germany in 2013, this marked his first-ever GEICO AMA EnduroCross win.
“I have been working so hard for this for three years,” Robert said, “so it feels good to get the win. Now I get to go to Argentina next week to represent the United States at the ISDE, so this is a great confidence booster.”
For Haaker, the solid second allowed him to gain points on both Webb and Blazusiak.
“Congrats to Taylor for staying up out there and being consistent,” Haaker said. “I tried to make a pass and just went down right at the end, but I am glad it was an exciting race for you fans.”
Webb was a little disappointed to have given away what seemed like a comfortable win.
“It was a great night, and a little mistake there cost me the lead,” Webb said. “My clutch lever was twisted down, so it took me a little while to get going again.”
Blazusiak was upbeat despite finishing off the podium for the first time in 2014.
“It wasn’t the best of nights, for sure, as we had a lot of problems,” Blazusiak said. “We have a few weeks to regroup and will come back strong for Boise.”
Despite finishing third, the bonus point for the heat win and additional bonus point for setting the fast time during the hot lap allowed Webb to increase his lead to seven over Blazusiak. Haaker gained one point on Webb and is now nine back. Webb has 165, Blazusiak 158 and Haaker 156 with two races remaining.
Husqvarna’s Sandra Gomez Cantero took her second Women’s class win in a row. The Spanish rider has earned X Games Enduro X medals before and is making the long trip from Spain pay off.
Morgan Tanke took second, which allowed her close in on the points lead.
Melissa Harten took her first-ever podium finish on her Gas Gas.
The evening also included a host of support classes for Amateur, Vet and Trials competitors.
Austin Schiermeister took the Amateur-class win, over Dalton Dietz and Wyatt Hart.
Josh Adams took the win in the Vet Over 35 class, over Billy Baldwin, and Josh Buell made a last-lap pass to take third.
Emanuel Angius took his second win of the season in the TrialsCross class. Joel Tonsguard and Ronald Rinquette finished second and third, respectively.
The next round of the 2014 GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship will take place inside the Idaho Center, located just east of Boise, Idaho. The large floor and gnarly obstacles have contributed to exciting racing the past few years, so get your tickets now!
Results: October 18, 2014 (Round 7)
EX MAIN: 1. Taylor Robert (KTM); 2. Colton Haaker (Hon); 3. Cody Webb (Bet); 4. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM); 5. Mike Brown (Hsq); 6. Bobby Prochnau (KTM); 7. Max Gerston (Bet); 8. Kevin Rookstool (KTM); 9. Ty Tremaine (KTM); 10. Cory Graffunder (KTM); 11. David Broderick (KTM); 12. Jamie Lanza (Hsq); 13. Wally Palmer (Chr).
WOMEN’S MAIN: 1. Sandra Gomez Cantero (Hsq); 2. Morgan Tanke (KTM); 3. Melissa Harten (GG); 4. Chantelle Bykerk (KTM); 5. Tarah Gieger (KTM); 6. Rily Ellinger (KTM); 7. Lexi Pechout (Shc); 8. Nicole Bradford (Kaw); 9. Rachel Gutish (KTM); 10. Allyson Johnson (Hsq).
AM: 1. Austin Schiermeister; 2. Dalton Dietz; 3. Wyatt Hart.
VET 35+: 1. Josh Adams; 2. Billy Baldwin; 3. Josh Buell.
TRIALSCROSS: 1. Emanuel Angius; 2. Joel Tonsguard; 3. Ronald Rinquette.