Johnny Campbell Racing Honda’s Kendall Norman rebounded from his runner-up finish at round five to lead round six from start to finish at the Vikings Motorcycle Club’s Virgin Voyage, round six of the AMA Racing/Kenda National Hare & Hound Championship Series. Though it was his third time to triumph this season (as well as in his career), it marked his first victory in his District 37 “back yard,” the popular Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area near Lucerne Valley. The series points leader also saw his championship aspirations jump after rival Destry Abbott crashed late in the race, breaking his collarbone; the Monster Energy Kawasaki racer started the race just three points behind Norman.
Norman enjoyed a great start and led to the bomb aboard the Lucas Oil/Affliction/Red Bull CRF450X that JCR’s Eric Siraton finished building on Friday night. Abbott slid into second place and tried keeping the flying red machine in sight, but FMF/KTM Factory Off-road Race Team’s David Kamo would take that spot on the second and final loop of the two-loop, with teammate David Pearson holding off Kawasaki of Simi Valley’s Jacob Argubright for third place. Gary Sutherlin recovered from a poor start and sliced through the field to claim fifth on his Volcom Motorsports KX450F, followed by 250cc winner Justin Imhof, Zip-Ty Racing Husqvarna’s Nicholas Burson, JCR Honda’s Quinn Cody, Brett Saunders and Colton Sanders.
“I’ve had some success in this series and I really wanted to win one on my home turf,” Norman shared afterwards. “I grew up racing desert out here and enduros, and I just thought it’d be so cool to [finally win one here].
“I didn’t know if I had a good lead or not, but it felt really good and it was good to have clean air. I knew with these dusty conditions–because we haven’t had much of that this year–it was going to be really good [to leaad].”
Norman now has 149 points with Kamo moving to second with 133. Abbott, who will now get his shoulder operated on earlier than expected, slips to third at 116 while Pearson is fourth with 101 and Argubright fifth at 83.
The start was delayed an hour and a half due to the ambulance crew responding to a call nearby. Two males in a trailer were apparently overcome by carbon monoxide poisoning after leaving a heater on in their trailer. One was declared dead at the scene; the other was airlifted to a hospital and his condition was not available. As they were members of the Desert Motorcycle Club, many fellow club members opted not to compete.
See video coverage of the Vikings M/C Virgin Voyage National Hare & Hound in Lucerne, California at ProMoto.tv or http://promoto.tv/10H&HRND6.html