GEICO EnduroCross Championship Series
Round 3: Orleans Arena
Courtesy of GEICO
Photos by Drew Ruiz
LAS VEGAS, NV, MAY 1, 2015
Rockstar/ Lucas Oil/ Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker took an exciting wire-to-wire win at round three of the 2015 GEICO AMA EnduroCross Series, inside the Orleans Arena. Although Haaker led from the start, he withstood steady pressure from Cody Webb on his FMF/ RPM/ Team Maxxis KTM. Geoff Aaron rounded out the podium on his Gas Gas.
Webb set the fast lap time during both the afternoon and nighttime hot-lap sessions to get the bonus point and top gate pick. However, it was Haaker who took the Nexen Tire $500 Holeshot Award. His fellow Husqvarna rider Mike Brown followed Haaker for a few laps until he made a mistake in the firewood pit, which allowed Webb to take over second.
Webb pushed Haaker for several laps and even got alongside Haaker a couple of times but could never make a pass stick. By the last lap, both riders had lapped the entire field, and Haaker gained just enough space in the final two laps to take the win by just a few seconds.
“I didn’t get the hot lap, but I knew if I could get the holeshot, I could control the race from there,” said Haaker. “But because of the lappers, the wood pile, and [the fact that] it was a difficult track, it wasn’t easy.”
The win also allowed Haaker to break the tie for the points lead as they head to Austin for the X Games Enduro X, which counts for the GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship.
“It was really tough to get around the lappers,” said Webb. “I rode really good all night, and I caught up to Colton and then I just got hung up in the wood pit a few times, and that let him get away.”
Aaron took third to make up for a tough start to the season, as he did not qualify for the mains at the opening two rounds.
“I have been working really hard this year, riding with Colton a lot, and felt really prepared but just kept putting myself in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Aaron said. “So it was definitely cool to pull off a podium [finish].”
SRT Racing-backed Cory Graffunder took a solid fourth on his KTM. Ty Tremaine took a personal best of fifth on his FMF/ RPM/ Team Maxxis KTM. Kevin Rookstool finished sixth on his Suzuki. Max Gerston took seventh on a Beta. Nick Thompson was eighth on a KTM. Mike Brown dropped to ninth after getting a piece of wood stuck in his wheel. Kyle Redmond, on a Beta, rounded out the top 10.
KTM-mounted Jamie Lanza finished 11th, ahead of Kawasaki jockey Destry Abbott. Noah Kepple was 13th in the main.
In the Women’s class, Sandra Gomez lapped the entire field to take a dominating win. It was the second win in the row for the Husqvarna rider from Spain. Tarah Gieger took second on her Honda, and Rachel Gutish took third.
All of the EnduroCross events also include Support classes, and Canada’s Ryan Graffunder took the win in the Open Amateur class, over Austin Schiermeister and Steve Deines.
Stephen Foord, another Canadian, rider won the Vet class, over Rich Black and Jason Gitchel.
Jack Field took the TrialsCross win and threw in a few backflips to keep it exciting. Michael Salsman and Kieth Adams rounded out the podium.
The Vegas event also included the first-ever X Games Step Up Qualifier. The crowd witnessed an exciting competition that saw Italy’s Massimo Bianconcini, Botswana’s Alistair Sayer and Florida’s Tom Parsons earn invitations to the Austin X Games.
The X Games Enduro X will be the next points-paying event for the 2015 GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship. It will take place on Friday, May 5, in Austin, Texas, at the spectacular Circuit of the Americas.
If you have never been to an EnduroCross, you must get to an event in 2015. The exciting show and amazing skills on display will blow you away. And if you want to see how your skills match up to the EnduroCross track, there are classes for Open Amateurs, Vets (Over 35), Women and TrialsCross riders that anyone can enter! Sign up today at https://secure.tracksideonlineresults.com/mmsx_ex/.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Results: May 1, 2015 (Round 3)
OPEN AM: 1. Ryan Graffunder; 2. Austin Schiermeister; 3. Steve Deines.
VET: 1. Stephen Foord; 2. Rich Black; 3. Jason Gitchel.
TRIALSCROSS: 1. Jack Field; 2. Michael Salsman; 3. Kieth Adams.
WOMEN: 1. Sandra Gomez (Hsq); 2. Tarah Geiger (Hon); 3. Rachel Gutish.
MEN PRO: 1. Colton Haaker (Hsq); 2. Cody Webb KTM); 3. Geoff Aaron (GG); 4. Cory Graffunder (KTM); 5. Ty Tremaine (KTM); 6. Kevin Rookstool (Suz); 7. Max Gerston (Bet); 8. Nick Thompson (KTM); 9. Mike Brown (Hsq); 10. Kyle Redmond (Bet); 11. Jamie Lanza (KTM); 12. Destry Abbott (Kaw); 13. Noah Kepple (KTM).