Suzuki’s Ryan Hughes won the second round of the WORCS series in Victorville, California, February 18. Hughes got out to the front early and held the point to the end, finishing just ahead of KTM’s Kurt Caselli, and Kawasaki’s Nathan Woods.
Defending WORCS Champion Ricky Dietrich, who won the opening round in Arizona, crashed on the parade lap and was unable to start the race because of a broken arm.
Chris Johnson, riding a White Brothers Yamaha, took the holeshot with Caselli and Hughes in close pursuit. Johnson’s lead was short-lived, as both Caselli and Hughes passed him as they headed out onto the off-road loop. (The high-desert course was much tighter and more technical than the ‘06 race. This year’s course consisted of deep sand, huge braking bumps, knee-deep ruts and an “endurocross” section.)
As the field settled in for a two-hour-plus battle, Hughes put the pass on Caselli and took command for the rest of the race. Behind the two front-runners, Hughes and Caselli, battled Woods, 2006 White Brothers Vet World Champion Casey Johnson and rookie WORCS rider Kyle Summers, aboard a Topar-sponsored Kawasaki. Woods held off both Johnson and Summers to secure third.
“I changed my training just a bit after the Speedworld race, which let me be more prepared for this event,” Hughes said. “It worked out well and my Suzuki’s performance was just great, you can’t ask for a better team to race for.”
In the Pro2 class it was all Team Green, with Josh Morros, who had to overcome five first-lap crashes, taking first place honors. In second was Northland Kawasaki racer Brad Goolsby, followed by Jamie Lanza on his KX250F.
First-time winner in the Women’s “A” class was FMF/MSR/Kawasaki racer Penni Cyrus. Second place went to defending champ Sherri Cruse on her Zip Ty YZ250F, while third went to ‘05 champ, RPM KTM’s Maria Forsberg.
Hughes has an 11-point lead over Caselli going into round three at Lake Havasu City, Arizona, March 16-18.