2017 AMA Western Hare Scrambles Gorman Results

Mark Kariya | March 20, 2017

2017 AMA Western Hare Scrambles Gorman Results – Purvines DA8 Racing Yamaha’s Nick Burson didn’t always like racing at the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area and Quail Canyon MX Park. Unless you’re lucky enough to hit it after a rare SoCal storm, the trails tend to be very hard-packed, slick and dusty, often with steep cliffs to ride off should you overshoot a turn or make another mistake.

2017 AMA Western Hare Scrambles Gorman Results

2017 AMA Western Hare Scrambles Gorman Results
Nick Burson led from start to finish at the AMA WHS Series round at Gorman. Photography by Mark Kariya

But after many, many hours of testing when he worked for Kawasaki, he came to grips with the area and got very good negotiating its trails.

Thus, it was no surprise to see him walk away with the Prospectors Motorcycle Club’s Gorman Hare Scrambles, round three in the Kenda/SRT AMA West Hare Scrambles Regional Championship Series. Leading from green flag to checkered, he finished four minutes ahead of Beta’s Max Gerston while Axel Pearson rebounded from wrapping himself around a tree early on to give Purvines DA8 Racing Yamaha a 1-3.

“I hated this place when I first started racing here,” Burson admitted. “It’s slippery and hard to know.

“I’ve raced here so many years now, you [get to] know the terrain, you get comfortable with it—blue groove, slippery—so you get used to letting the bike slide around. It feels like you have a flat. You can’t go forward unless you’re a gear high.”

Taking those lessons learned, the reigning series champ outran the field on his FMF/Precision Concepts/THOR-sponsored YZ450FX.

2017 AMA Western Hare Scrambles Gorman Results

“I nailed the start. I surprised me,” he said. “We were running the Works Connection holeshot devices that we’ve never run. We locked that down, I was over the front and I didn’t spin, I didn’t wheelie—I just went straight to the first turn. I think a couple other guys got a little better jump than me, but I just motored by everybody.

“I just tried to sprint [after that], then just backed it down. I knew it was going to be long and rough, and it got really rough today!”

Gerston got going well early to hold second on his Motul/Kenda/Klim 390 RR after a somewhat disappointing sixth in the mud of round two on a 300 RR two-stroke.

“I thought it’d be a little better for the hard-packed stuff and it was!” he exclaimed. “Nick was definitely hauling. I tried on the first lap to kind of gauge off him a little bit, but he was definitely on the gas. At that point, I figured, ‘Well, he’s really getting after it and I don’t want to push and take myself out on the first bit.’ I kind of learned the track a little bit then I started turning it up, but by then he was gonzo so it was tough at that point [to make up any ground].”

Burson’s teammate Pearson had a pretty good start and found himself running in the top five early, right behind series points leader Joey Fiasconaro’s IRC Tires/Six Five O Racing Gas Gas EC 300.

“I would catch him, like within two bike-lengths in some sections, then get dusted out and I’d have to back off,” Pearson explained. “I just wanted to push as hard as I could to get by him, and then I’m coming around a corner and there’s a big old tree and I slid right into it. It pushed my whole radiator, guards and everything out. It looked bad and I thought it had a leak or something, but I stopped and looked at it and everything was good so I was able to keep going.”

Though he dropped a few spots, Pearson worked his way back up, passed Fiasconaro and was into third place to stay just over an hour into the race.

After spending time with TBT Racing during the week to get new suspension settings, Ryan Smith had his SRT/Rick’s Custom Shutters and Blinds/O’Neal YZ450FX flying—but only after a somewhat lackluster first hour when he seemingly had no energy.

But Smith shook off the blahs to charge over the last half of the race, climbing from eighth to sixth with two laps to go, then passing two more before the white flag and finishing a strong fourth ahead of Fiasconaro. Troy Vanscourt enjoyed his best finish to date, claiming sixth on his Garrett Off-Road Racing CRF450X, a slim three seconds ahead of first-time FMF Pro 250 winner Cole Conatser. Steven Godman, Trystan Hart and 250cc A winner Gabe Ellis rounded out the top 10 overall.

2017 AMA Western Hare Scrambles Gorman Results

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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.