For the second year in a row, Destry Abbott crashed hard at the Kawasaki Team Green Laughlin U.S. Hare Scrambles Championship, round two of Best in the Desert’s Silver State Series. This year, however, the Monster Energy Kawasaki off-road star and teen-aged partner Josh Morros had enough of a lead that they held on and won the most popular motorcycle-only race in the series by several minutes over perennial Laughlin favorites Russell Pearson and Nick Pearson, making for a Kawasaki sweep of the top two spots. Red Bull KTM’s David Kamo and Kyle Summers came in third.
“I actually saw it on video—some guys videoed it,” Abbott said of his first-loop crash. “You could tell it was a good one; it was fourth gear. I was a little sore getting up, but I knew if I gave the bike to Josh right away, he would do awesome.”
And that’s the way it turned out. Abbott slowly picked himself off the ground, made it to the main pit off Highway 163 about 15 miles west of town and turned the Jonny Weisman-prepped Pro Circuit/Dunlop KX450F to 16-year-old Morros, who managed to catch and pass race leader Rob Phillips, who partnered with Red Bull KTM’s David Pearson.
From there, Abbott and Morros kept it on two wheels and in front while the Pearson brothers worked into second on their Montclair Motorsports/Pro Circuit/GPR KX450F.
“I love this race! It’s so much fun with the hills and the rocks,” part-time racer Nick Pearson said. “It’s so gnarly that a good technical rider can do good here. I told Russ about three months ago, I said, ‘Russ, you need to find somebody that races all the time, somebody that does this for a living!’ He couldn’t find anybody so I was like, ‘Let’s go!’ “
Once Russell Pearson passed Kamo, the KTM racer hung close but couldn’t find the opening he needed to repass. Still, he was satisfied getting third with first-time BITD racer Summers on their factory Michelin/Motorex/KTM Hard Equipment-backed 530 XCR-W.
Though he’s also a desert novice and got lost, resulting in taking an inadvertent shortcut and incurring a five-minute penalty, Jeff Northrop nonetheless displayed his pro motocross-honed speed by taking fourth overall and the Four-stroke Pro win with Shane Esposito on their KX450F. David Pearson suffered from dehydration and would finish fifth overall, fourth Open Pro, with Phillips, though he retains the series points lead.