Kurt Caselli took charge at the Cherry Creek Hare & Hound. Photography by Mark Kariya
For the second time this season, FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team teammates Kurt Caselli and Ivan Ramirez finished 1-2 in a round of the AMA Racing/FMF/GPR Hare & Hound National Championship Series. The latest Caselli-Ramirez romp came at round five, the Sugarloafers Motorcycle Club’s 53rd Annual Cherry Creek National at the Little Sahara Recreation Area near Jericho, Utah, May 18.
Though Western Design Racing TM’s Tuffy Pearson led the early going, his final race before leaving on a church mission ended early with a broken engine. Ramirez took over at that point and led through the first 40-mile loop and continued to break trail out front on the more technical second 30-mile loop. All the while, Caselli sat close behind in second place, studying Ramirez’s moves to see how well he was applying the lessons Caselli teaches him during the week. As they headed out on the 42-mile final loop, Caselli decided he’d seen enough, passed his student and went on to collect his fifth consecutive series victory.
Ramirez hung on easily for second place, matching his career best from earlier in the series, and Purvines Racing Beta’s Nick Burson claimed third for the third straight round, which chipped away at the gap in points between him and Off-Road Support/Kawasaki of Simi Valley’s Jacob Argubright, who is second in points and was fourth on the day.
KTM-mounted Levi Hutchings won the 250cc A class for the second time this season and placed a best-to-date fifth overall; unofficially, that’s enough to move him into the class points lead. Open A winner Irving Powers, Open A runner-up Tallon Taylor, Vet A winner Dan Capparelli and Open A’s Taran Taylor (no relation to Tallon) and James Rhodes rounded out the top 10 overall.