Yamaha Quad X Series Round 1 & 2 Glen Helen Raceway, Devore, CA 3/10-11/12

Rounds 1 and 2 of the2012 Yamaha Quad X series were held as a double header weekend at Glen Helen Raceway. The weather was unexpectedly warm for the weekend with temps hovering from the mid 70’s to the low 80’s. The track layout was fast but had a couple of tight sections and most riders seemed to like it. The Quad X regulars were also joined by Joe Byrd and Paul Homes, both doing some pre-season testing/training for their respective series’.

Round 1 Moto 1: David Haagsma pulled the holeshot, closely followed by Beau Baron and Joe Byrd. I started 5th but made my way into 4th in the second turn. As we powered down the first hill I grabbed fifth gear and held it on a little longer than Byrd to take 3rd. For the first half of the race Haagsma and Baron were riding such a good pace that I had trouble closing the gap, but soon after the halfway mark I made it to Baron’s grab bar. I had the pass made on the outside of a technical right hander over a bump but gave the spot right back when I flat landed the next jump and blew my right hand off the bars. It took me another two laps to catch back up and make the pass stick as I jumped to the inside of Baron down the finish line straight and held the line through the next corner. I did my best to chase down Haagsma in the final two laps but couldn’t get there. At the checkers it was Haagsma, me, Baron, Byrd and Row.

Round 1 Moto 2: Baron grabbed the second moto holeshot and the GYTR/Yamalube $250, behind Baron was Haagsma and Byrd. I made an aggressive move to take 3rd from Byrd in the second turn and set out after the leaders. Halfway thru the second lap I got to the inside of Haagsma on an uphill rhythm section and controlled the inside of the following turn to take second. Two laps later the same move worked on Baron to take the lead. Once out front I tried to ride mistake free laps but there was still a battle going on behind me as Byrd mounted a charge and passed both Haagsma and Baron. As we crossed the finish the pressure was still there, I took the win followed by Byrd, Baron, Haagsma and Row.

Round 2 Moto 1: Baron grabbed the holeshot with Haagsma 2nd and me 3rd. It was a three man freight train for the first half as nobody could quite make a move. Just after halfway Baron made a mistake at the bottom of Mt. St. Helens and allowed Haagsma and I to pass as he climbed back over the berm. I tried and tried to make the pass on Haagsma for the lead but could not make it stick. As we started the final lap I wanted to be close enough to try another pass but caught a small kicker entering a right hander that straightened me out, I straddled the berm and my bike stopped throwing me over the bars and onto the ground. I remounted quickly but Haagsma and Baron were gone, I had to settle for 3rd followed by Jesse Goss and Paul Holmes.

Round 2 Moto 2: Baron took the holeshot and the GYTR/Yamlube $250 Holeshot Award as Haagsma pushed wide and I hugged the inside to grab 2nd. I was able to immediately start pressuring Baron and after three laps he made a small mistake and jumped out into some thick mud off of a right hander with a jump in the middle of the turn. Baron’s momentum was slowed just enough for me to sneak by on the inside. Now out front, I tried to keep the fast pace and minimize mistakes as Baron was applying constant pressure from 2nd. Haagsma had fallen off the pace in moto two and was a lonesome 3rd 8-10 seconds back. As we started the last lap Baron was only two seconds behind me, but would slow dramatically to let teammate, and team owner’s son, Haagsma pass on the last lap. The team tactics took away my overall win and handed it to young Davi… I bet the victory party was epic.

Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2012 Yamaha Quad X series are in the books and we have a tie atop the points standings. It must be nice to have a teammate that’s faster than you but you can tell where to finish. It is very disappointing to get beat this way but it only fuels my fire for round 3 at Competitive Edge on April 22.

Top Five Results Rnd 1
1 Dustin Nelson YAM
2 David Haagsma HON
3 Joe Byrd HON
4 Beau Baron HON
5 Josh Row YAM
Top Five Results Rnd 2
1 David Haagsma HON
2 Dustin Nelson YAM
3 Beau Baron HON
4 Paul Holmes YAM
5 Jesse Goss SUZ
Top Five Points (after rnd 2)
1 Dustin Nelson 47 pts
2 David Haagsma 47 pts
3 Beau Baron 39 pts
4 Josh Row 35 pts
5 Joe Byrd 34 pts