Though Nick Pearson hadn’t raced much in the past year, his brother, Russell, felt he could still be a great partner for the second round of Best in the Desert’s Silver State Series, the Kawasaki Team Green Laughlin U.S. Hare Scrambles outside of Laughlin, Nevada. So, they trained together for much of the past month to whip Nick into shape, and it paid off.
After more than four hours of back-and-forth jockeying with three other teams, they rolled into the finish behind physically, but a careful check of their total elapsed time proved that they in fact were the fastest duo of the day — by less than seven seconds! Russell pushed hard on the final loop to bring their Pro Circuit/Montclair Yamaha/Zip-Ty Racing YZ450F into the finish in four hours, 20 minutes and 43.9 seconds, unofficially.
Team Green’s Destry Abbott (last year’s winner with partner Nathan Woods, who was injured this year) and Matt Karlsen were physically second to the finish on their Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Dunlop KX450F, and their total time for three laps of the two-loop course was an unofficial 4:20:50.2.
“We were hoping we could take it easy the last couple laps, but we had the brake problem so we just had to keep charging,” Nick Pearson said, of having to stop for a rear brake pad change. “It was just an awesome race.” The last time they teamed up at Laughlin was 1998, and it also ended up with a win. Each recalled having four Laughlin overall triumphs.
Nearly every team reported some issue or another during the race. For the Kawasaki runners-up, a big get-off by Abbott on the final loop might’ve been the difference, as the impact broke his helmet and left him with a fat lip and slightly disoriented.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve knocked myself silly,” Abbott said. “I didnt’ lose consciousness, but I know I’m a little on the loopy side. I broke my helmet really bad and it has two really big cracks on each side. I also bit through my lip and was told I might need stitches, but I just used super glue and called it good.”
Red Bull KTM’s David Pearson pushed hard to make up ground on the final loop after getting his Michelin/FMF/Renthal 540 XC from partner Matt Gosnell in second place. Having started first, they knew they had to beat the Kawasaki by at least 30 seconds in order to win it. Though Pearson passed Abbott, he could not put that kind of time on their rival, and they would end up third overall in 4:22:36.6, unofficially, having had a lengthy pit stop to replace a broken clutch perch.
Honda’s Robbie Bell and Kendall Norman, who also took a turn at the front, would place fourth overall in an unofficial 4:23:50.4 on their Precision Concepts/Pro Honda Oils/Dunlop CRF450X. Four-stroke Pro winners Jamie Lanza and Joshua Morros from Team Green rounded out the top five overall in 4:24:19.9, unofficially, on their Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Dunlop KX250F.