PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK KARIYA
FMF KTM’s Ivan Ramirez kicked off the AMA Hare & Hound season with his first ever win in the series at the 47th Annual Winter Classic in Lucerne Valley, California. And Ramirez did so in dominating fashion, grabbing the holeshot and leading all the way to the finish line. Teammates Justin Morrow and Nick Burson rounded out the podium, finishing second and third respectively.
Both Morrow and Burson got good starts to put them in the lead pack, but they weren’t the only ones fighting for the remaining spots on the box. Privateer Gary Sutherlin was looking to repeat last weekend’s Cinderalla-story win on a magazine test bike at the WORCS season opener. Sutherlin was chasing down Ramirez, but unfortunately as he was closing in on the leader – around the halfway point – his engine seized, bringing his race to an end.
With Sutherlin’s absence, Ricky Brabec then took over second place. Brabec’s return to the National series was going well until he broke his front brake caliper and had to resort to limping the bike home into fifth place.
Purvines Racing Beta’s Morrow and Burson then found themselves in the battle for second. Morrow was just able to hold off Burson’s last-corner pass to best his teammate and force Burson to settle for third.
Their other teammate, Axel Pearson followed them in fourth, making it a great day for the Purvine Racing Beta team. Brabec soldiered on in fifth, followed by last year’s Veteran Expert Champion Morgan Crawford in sixth.
In seventh was Blais Racing Services KTM’s Skyler Howes. Following Howes was the 250cc Expert winner, Ryan Smith in eighth and Bradley Pace in ninth.
Ramirez’ cousin, Brandon Prieto made his return to the series after being sidelined with a broken leg from last year’s race to round out the top ten.
2014 AMA Hare & Hound Round One Results
1. Ivan Ramirez
2. Justin Morrow
3. Nick Burson
4. Axel Pearson
5. Ricky Brabec
6. Morgan Crawford
7. Skyler Howes
8. Ryan Smith
9. Bradley Pace
10. Brandon Prieto