Yamaha’s Russell Pearson finished the 2007 AMA/FMF Racing National Hare & Hound Series the way he started: by winning at Lucerne Valley, California. It couldn’t have gone better for the former series champion as he nailed the start of the 40th Annual Johnson Valley Championship, hosted by the 100s Motorcycle Club, and simply rode away unchallenged on his Montclair Yamaha/Pro Circuit/Moose-sponsored YZ450F. It marked a happy conclusion to a frustrating year as bad luck seemed to haunt him at all the rounds in between.
“I won the first round then I had [two] DNFs so this summer we really worked hard to get some bugs out of [my bike], and I think we’ve finally got them out,” he said after the seventh and final round of the season. “It was a lot of homework.”
At the end of the bomb run, Pearson led with cousin David Pearson in second and Destry Abbott third. The Pearson 1-2 continued until near the end of loop two when a hole in the radiator of the Red Bull KTM 540 XC spelled a premature finish for David Pearson. Fortunately for him, he’d already wrapped up the series championship–his first–at the previous round.
So, Abbott took over second place for the final 30-mile loop on his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/THOR KX450F, though Russell Pearson was too far ahead at that point to consider catching. Thus, the defending series champ settled for a runner-up finish, both in the race and in final series points.
David Kamo, who will be taking a spot on the factory Red Bull KTM off-road squad next year, sped to third place on his RPM Racing/Precision Concepts/KTM Hard Equipment 525 XC. It marked the first podium visit for the young man from Idaho who will be part of the U.S. Junior World Trophy team in Chile next month.
Yamaha-mounted Carl Maassberg and Kawasaki rider Nick Burson rounded out the top five.