I hope everyone had a nice off season and happy holidays! Its finally that time of year again! Time to get the new bikes all dialed in and train hard for the upcoming season. Its the best time of the year for me! I recently purchased another 2005 Honda TRX450R over the off season as a practice quad for the year. With a strong program, machines and outstanding sponsorship support behind me, I was more than ready to get out to Canyon MX, a local track of mine to kickoff the 2013 WORCS series! The track was said to be very rocky, whooped out and a definite challenge! Mother nature thought differently though, and the skies opened up all Friday night, Saturday and even a little bit into Sunday morning! The track was completely underwater and most of it was re-routed! The rain gear came out, the bikes were sealed up and we were ready to go racing, rain or shine!
Production A (Saturday)
After skipping out on practice to keep the quad out of trouble, I headed to line up for my Pro-Am qualifier, the Production A class. The gate was full with over twenty quads trying to qualify, and a good start was key in the muddy conditions! I chose a spot that lead to the inside of the right hand turn and waited for the green flag to fly. As it dropped, my Maxxis tires hooked up and pulled me to about a 5th place start! I kept pace and tried to avoid all the big water holes or deep mud to keep my bike running strong. Each lap I would pass another rider and eventually, I found myself in second place! My quad was running strong, but I pitted for goggles after almost every lap, between the falling rain, roost, mud and water splashing, I kept going through tear offs. But I wasn’t the only one, everyone was pitting for new goggles, and people were dropping out of the race left and right. It was truly a race of survival. My EKS Brand goggles were a huge help, as many people went to the local ER to get their eyes flushed out after riding with no goggles! Overall, my race ran very smoothly. My Lonestar/Elka suspension soaked up all the rocky terrain like a dream and I crossed the line in second place! I was happy with my finish and pace and was ready to tackle the Pro-Am on Sunday!
Finally, for the first time all weekend, the sun started peeking out from behind the clouds before the Pro race! With everything still even more wet than it was the day before, there was more course changes that were made and discussed at the riders meeting. After cleaning and prepping the quad for about 4 hours after the race on Saturday, it was time to get it all dirty again and shoot for the podium in the hour and forty-five minute Pro-Am race! Unfortunately, I was about 10 seconds late to the line when they called my name to get my gate pick, and was forced to go to the back of the line. With 21 riders on the gate, the start lane wasn’t wide enough, so I had to make a second row behind everyone, which I wasn’t very happy about. Because the the gates were underwater, we had a dead-engine start, and when the flag flew, my quad fired first kick and I pulled right in front of most of people in the line ahead of me to get a 6th place start! With new line choices opened up from the previous day, I was able to work my way into second very quickly once again. The leader was in my sight and I would find myself reeling him in every lap. After pitting for more goggles, I found out that every time I would charge hard to catch the leader, my hands would slip off the bars or my thumb would slip off the throttle. My gloves and grips were so wet that I could barely grip any of my controls, which made it very hard to race. I decided pitting for gloves would be a waste of time because they would just get wet again the next lap, so I just tried to deal with it. About an hour and 15 minutes into the race, I lost a spot and moved back to third place while pitting for more goggles. I felt physically strong, but I could not hold onto the handlebars no matter what I did because they were so slippery. I pushed as hard as I could, but two laps from the end, I lost another position and held 4th place all the way to the checkered flag. I had a very consistent weekend and I am happy with the way I started out my season! Round two is already right around the corner, and I will definitely be shooting for another solid finish!
Thank you again for the support this year, I greatly appreciate it!
Ryan Waldo #76