Vegas-to-Reno: Pearson, Kamo Take Early Lead

Mark Kariya | August 21, 2009

Shock Doctor/Muscle Milk KTM factory racers David Kamo and David Pearson didn’t let an early problem with the rear brake prevent them from eventually taking the lead and going on to win the first of three days of the TSCO Vegas-to-Reno desert race, round four of Best in the Desert’s American Off-Road Racing Series.

Billed as the longest off-road race in the country and called “The Long Way,” day one, sponsored by McMillin Racing, started in Beatty, Nevada, at 5:45 a.m. and ended 332 miles later in Tonopah. Pearson was second off the line on his Michelin/Motorex/KTM Powerparts 530 XC-W, one minute behind the RPP Racing/RTT/Recon MX WR450F of Jerry Parsons and Anthony Westbay. But Pearson found himself unable to move out of the privateers’ dust due to a minor problem with the rear brake.

“I forgot to tell the guys at the [first pit] that I was having a problem, because it wasn’t really obvious right then,” Pearson confessed. “So I went from pit one to pit two and I lost all my brakes!”

Fortunately for the KTM duo, speedy work at pit two rectified the situation and permitted Pearson to pull within an estimated seven seconds when he handed the bike to Kamo at pit three (the ever-popular Cottontail Ranch location), 99 miles into the race.

Kamo took an inside line in a turn a few miles later, giving them a lead they’d stretch to the finish.

The Parsons/Westbay team would also run into problems when a wire came loose in the bike’s stator. Fortunately, it happened about a quarter mile from pit four, so they weren’t too far from the necessary tools to fix it, but they lost a lot of time, giving Kamo/Pearson even more room.

Taking the unofficial win for the day, Kamo/Pearson finished in an unofficial five hours, 37 minutes and 41 seconds. Ricky Brabec and Robert Underwood took the Four-Stroke Pro win and second overall, unofficially, on their Hemingway Sheet Metal CRF450X after chasing down most of the Open Pros who started ahead of them.

The Adam Thissen/Cody Wallis team, fourth off the line, earned third overall, unofficially, in 5:59:59 on their Speed Technologies KTM 505 XC-F that ran rough in the latter stages. Fellow Open Pros Sean Berryman and Cory Vannoy on a KTM 530 XC-W and Over 30 Pros Rex Cameron and Michael Johnson on their CRF450X rounded out the unofficial top five.

Mark Kariya | Contributor

Kariya spends way too much time in the desert, but we’re glad he does as he’s the man who gets us our coverage of all things sandy.