KTM’s Mike Brown (pictured) put on a come-from-behind performance to win his very first World Off-Road Championship Series race in Adelanto, California, yesterday. The victory, along with his fifth-place finish at round one, moves “Brownie” into the 2009 point’s lead.
Brown’s teammate Justin Soule also delivered a best-ever performance, as he came up from an eighth-place place start to lead much of the race. Soule, who’s best WORCS finish prior to this one was a fifth, led for over the first hour of the race. In the final 45 minutes, Brown caught and battled Soule for several laps. Brown eventually made the pass and took the win, with Soule earning a hard-fought second.
Third place went to Team FMF Suzuki Off-Road’s Nathan Woods who also had to come from the back to earn the final podium slot. Woods gated well, but a few bobbles and some ill-luck early in the race had him back in seventh before the two-time WORCS Champion put on a charge that eventually carried him up to third place at the checkered flag.
Fourth place went to JCR’s Honda’s Tim Weigand who got the holeshot and looked as though he might run away with the race, but Weigand’s water system came loose before getting caught in the front forks and breaking off. By that time Weigand had lost the leaders and had to make up ground to get into fourth.
Team Valli Motorsport’s Bobby Bonds rounded out the top five. Bonds, who was riding with torn ligaments in his thumb, put on several charges, but the pain and the brutally tough course kept him off the box for the first time in nine races.
Round-one winner, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ricky Dietrich led early as well, but a loose radiator hose caused his bike to overheat, forcing the former champion to pit early for repairs. The overheating caused engine damage and Dietrich was forced to nurse his bike around the track well below his usual pace. He 24th, earning one point.