Saddlemen

Max Gerston Dominates to Earn First Overall WHS Win!

| 29 June 2017 5:33 pm

AMA Kenda/ SRT West Hare Scrambles Championship Series
Round 7: Hannegan Speedway

Courtesy of West Hare Scrambles
Photos by Mark Kariya @kato.foto
BELLINGHAM, WA, JUNE 25, 2017

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Round seven of the AMA Kenda/ SRT West Hare Scrambles Championship, which was held at Hannegan Speedway in Bellingham, Washington, tested the West Coast’s top off-road specialists with a tight and technical variation. Hosted by NMA and PNWNA, racers of all skill levels enjoyed Washington perfection.

To kick off a weekend of racing, Saturday began with the Pee Wees enjoying a 30-minute event of fun and challenging terrain. From start to finish, Henry Meranto topped the entire field to take the win by a minute and a half! Settling into second overall, Link Brocker led Henry Leighton, Nolan Davidson and Killian Curtiss to the checkered flag.

Link Brocker raced to second overall in the Pee Wee class.

Link Brocker raced to second overall in the Pee Wee class.

Race two (reserved for all the remaining Youth riders) was led into the first turn by round-six winner Mason Matthies, aboard his Yamaha.

Mason Matthies leads the riders of race two into the first turn.

Mason Matthies leads the riders of race two into the first turn.

However, shortly after, Steven Diaz jumped into the lead and put his head down as he continued to build a gap over the next five laps.

Matthies chased Diaz from second place until Kyle Kerling made a pass on lap five that would ultimately change the running order. Passing both Diaz and Matthies, Kerling made his way into the lead and never looked back. When the checkered flag waved, Kerling checked in as the winner, ahead of Diaz and Matthies, as they made their way to the podium.

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Taking first place in the Girls’ class, Ava Silvestri impressed with a start-to-finish leading performance to take the win.

Ava Silvestri rips to take the win in the Girls’ class!

Ava Silvestri rips to take the win in the Girls’ class!

In the Micro Mini class, Wyatt Burns took the win, but it did not come so easily. Off the start, Ryder Thomaselli took control of the lead, but then he suffered from issues that would cause him to fall way back. Burns took advantage of the opportunity to make the pass on lap three for the lead.

An intermission between Saturday’s races saw the littlest of two-wheel enthusiasts compete in a Stryder bike race.

An intermission between Saturday’s races saw the littlest of two-wheel enthusiasts compete in a Stryder bike race.

To conclude Saturday’s racing, the Novices, Masters, Pioneers and Sportsmen took to the starting line for a 1.5-hour race on the now-worn track.

Coming through on lap one, Open C rider Owen McKill clocked in as the overall race leader, but it wasn’t long before Sportsman contestant Tyler Kinkade would become the overall leader. Kinkade carried his momentum all the way to the checkered flag to take the overall win, ahead of Sportsman rider Tyler Deschamps and Owen McKill.

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Sunday’s racing began at 9 a.m. with the A and B classes, whose riders would be challenged with a 2.5-hour race.

Racers wait for the green flag to wave.

Racers wait for the green flag to wave.

Coming from his Youth victory the day before, Kyle Kerling lined up to race the B 250cc class. He would ultimately dominate the field with a repeat winning performance for the overall win. The remainder of the overall podium would be filled by B Open riders Josh Merzlak and Kaden Reid. Coming through as the first B 200cc racer, Cody Kurtz finished sixth overall.

Kyle Kerling effortlessly navigates through the EnduroCross section on his way to taking the overall win.

Kyle Kerling effortlessly navigates through the EnduroCross section on his way to taking the overall win.

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The Pro, AA and A riders anxiously sit on the starting line.

The Pro, AA and A riders anxiously sit on the starting line.

The final race of the weekend, reserved for the Pro, AA and A racers, saw Purvines Yamaha DA8 rider Nick Burson take the holeshot off the start.

Nick Burson (1) takes the holeshot, ahead of teammate Axel Pearson and Joel Tonsguard.

Nick Burson (1) takes the holeshot, ahead of teammate Axel Pearson and Joel Tonsgard.

However, it wasn’t long before Beta’s Max Gerston would move into the lead, knowing he had a freight train of competition behind him coming over the next 2.5 hours.

Meanwhile, Danny Brocker moved into second place, ahead of Burson and his teammate Axel Pearson.

However, by lap four, Northern California’s very own Joey Fiascanaro had made his way into second place, with Joel Tonsguard in tow.

Joey Fiascanaro comes in for a quick pit stop.

Joey Fiascanaro comes in for a quick pit stop.

Round-six winner Burson couldn’t seem to get into the groove, and he ultimately suffered from mechanical issues that left him to finish in sixth place (which was enough for him to salvage second place in the points). Burson’s teammate Pearson raced for points as well after sustaining an injury at the National Hare and Hound event just weeks prior.

Turning some of the fastest lap times, Gerston was well settled into his lead position, leaving the competition behind and eventually taking the checkered flag for his first-ever West Hare Scrambles victory! Round-one winner Fiascanaro and series rookie Tonsguard rounded out the podium, ahead of Brocker.

A very happy Max Gerston takes the checkers for his first WHS victory!

A very happy Max Gerston takes the checkers for his first WHS victory!

The points chase has once again changed. Now it is led by Max Gerston, with a 10-point advantage over Nick Burson and Joey Fiascanaro with just three rounds left in the season.

The Pro podium was comprised of (from left to right) runner-up Joey Fiascanaro, winner Max Gerston, and third-place finisher Joel Tonsgard.

The Pro podium was comprised of (from left to right) runner-up Joey Fiascanaro, winner Max Gerston, and third-place finisher Joel Tonsgard.

From row two of the Pro/ AA/ A race, Pro 250cc racer (and class points leader) J.T. Baker moved out front early on off the start and carried his speed through the first half of the race. However, on lap five, with just three laps to go, Baker had to repair his damaged chain guide and sprocket, and that would ultimately cost him the race and the podium.

Clayton Gerstner, who was running third at the time, saw this as an opportunity to advance, so he made the pass on second-place rider Ryan Turner to assume the lead.

Clayton Gerstner hits the tire obstacle in the lead.

Clayton Gerstner hits the tire obstacle in the lead.

Cole Conatser also charged to the finish, and he was able to confidently claim third overall and the final podium position.

Cole Conatser edges out Ryan Turner for the Pro 250cc holeshot.

Cole Conatser edges out Ryan Turner for the Pro 250cc holeshot.

J.T. Baker continues to maintain the Pro 250cc-class points lead, ahead of Cole Conatser and Dillon Shepard.

Spraying some bubbly in the Pro 250cc podium celebration at (from left to right) Runner-up Ryan Turner, winner Clayton Gerstner and third-place finisher Cole Conatser.

Spraying some bubbly in the Pro 250cc podium celebration at (from left to right) Runner-up Ryan Turner, winner Clayton Gerstner and third-place finisher Cole Conatser.

Hannegan Speedway
Bellingham, Washington
Results: June 25, 2017 (Round 7)

OVERALL: 1. Max Gerston (Bet); 2. Joey Fiascanaro (KTM); 3. Joel Tonsgard (Bet); 4. Clayton Gerstner (Yam); 5. Danny Brocker (Hon); 6. Ryan Turner (Yam); 7. Axel Pearson (Yam); 8. Nicholas Burson (Yam); 9. Cole Conatser (KTM); 10. Devin Schueler (Yam).

[For complete results, please go to http://www.moto-tally.com/whs/results.aspx… Editor]

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