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Race Report from NHHA Round Six, Take One: Clayton Roberts

| 16 November 2016 4:54 pm

NHHA National Hare and Hound Association Championship Series
Round 6: Jackrabbits MC at Spangler Hills OHV

By Clayton Roberts
Courtesy of Blais Racing Services
Photos by Mark Kariya
RED MOUNTAIN, CA, SEPT. 17, 2016

Race Report by Clayton Roberts, Supermini Fourth Place
Out of all the different types of races I’ve done since I started racing dirt bikes, I would have to say Youth National Hare and Hounds are my favorite. I grew up riding and racing desert, so I have just grown to feel comfortable with the desert, and I enjoy the technical aspect.

Clayton Roberts (199) in action at the Jackrabbits Hare and Hound.

Clayton Roberts (199) in action at the Jackrabbits Hare and Hound.

Supermini racer Clayton Roberts (199) came in fourth in class and fourth overall in Red Mountain.

Supermini racer Clayton Roberts (199) came in fourth in class and fourth overall in Red Mountain.

When I realized a National was coming up in California, I couldn’t wait. I have been running cross country with the high school, so I had felt confident that I would have decent fitness for the race.

Race day came, and I signed up for the Big Wheel class. For this race, they didn’t combine the 65s with the 85s, so I was in the third race. My dad and I decided to go for a short little ride to make sure everything was good, and that way I could get warmed up.

After the ride, we still had about [an hour and a half to wait], so we made some changes to the suspension until I felt more comfortable at high speed. The 65cc and Girls’ race had just started, so we went back to the truck so I could relax for a little before my race.

It came time for my race and I headed to the line. I got a pretty smooth line next to all of the top racers. I still had about 30 minutes, and I already had butterflies. I relaxed under the umbrella and tried to get focused. Before I knew it, the banner was up and it was time to shut our bikes off. I was ready to go at any moment.

Then the banner dropped and all you could here was a bunch of superminis and 85cc bikes screaming across the desert! I had a really good jump, but I got somewhat pinched off. I decided to cut right to get it [out] of the dust, but that was a bad idea. I got passed by three kids because I was on the outside of everyone.

I quickly passed those kids back and settled in behind my good buddy Bradley East. I was chasing him down for about three-quarters of a lap until he made a slight mistake and blew a corner. I was able to make the pass, but he was still right behind me. I knew it was going to be a long race, so I just tried to settle into a good pace. I was sitting fourth overall and fourth in class, and I didn’t feel as if I was super close to the leaders. My goal was to ride a crash-free race and try to be smooth to catch the leaders.

I rode a steady pace for the next few laps, although I made a few small mistakes, causing tip-overs. I stayed in fourth.

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I came in to pit at about the halfway point. I left the pit in the same position I was in when I came in, except now I had a fresh pair of goggles and more gas. It was amazing how nice the clean goggles felt in the race. It gave me some more spark to ride a faster pace.

I kept it on two wheels for the rest of the race and finished a solid fourth overall and fourth in class. I may not have gotten the results I had wanted, but I can’t be too disappointed because I was able to race my dirt bike!

[Stay tuned for another Race Report from this event to be posted soon on Today’s Cycle Coverage… Editor]

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Category: Hare and Hound, National, POV, Regional, Riders, Riders All, Riders' POV, Riders' Race Reports

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