After leading for much of the first half of the Best In The Desert Laughlin Hare Scrambles in Laughlin, Nevada, on March 7, Gary Sutherlin crashed his Zip-Ty Racing Husqvarna TC 450, allowing David Pearson, of the Shock Doctor/Muscle Milk/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team, to scoot past and turn the bike over to partner David Kamo for the final loop. Kamo managed to keep Sutherlin’s partner, Ty Davis, at bay over the final 21 miles to win the Laughlin U.S. Hare Scrambles Championship Team Race, round two of Best in the Desert’s American Off-Road Racing Series.
Morgan Crawford and Kevin O’Donnell topped the Four-Stroke Pro class to claim third overall on their Blais Racing KTM.
“We just rode pretty consistent,” Pearson said. “The Huskys were giving us troubles all day — they were ahead of us, then we were ahead of them for a little bit; it was back and forth all day.”
Husqvarna’s Kevin Rookstool and Kevin Urquhart took second place in the Four-Stroke Pros for fourth overall, while Nick Burson and Matthew Henderson took third Open Pro and fifth overall, also riding a Husky.
However, the biggest buzz surrounded the efforts of first-time entrant Jesse James. Despite logging many desert racing miles in his Trophy truck, the custom chopper builder and reality television star had never raced a motorcycle in the desert. So, for his upcoming series “Jesse James in a Dead Man” in which he tackles various “extreme” tasks, he borrowed a Blaisracing.com KTM 530 XC-W and rode Ironman Expert with a crew of about a dozen cameras (including a helicopter) filming his every waking moment.
Unfortunately, a bad crash while training at Jeremy McGrath’s private track a few days before left him with a tweaked back and other possible injuries, and James completed only one of the two laps required for Ironman racers.
With wife Sandra Bullock looking on, the disappointed James sat in the back of a box van recounting his adventure for the cameras and said, “You know, I have a whole new respect for bike guys now.”