2017 Glen Helen WORCS Results

| June 19, 2017

2017 Glen Helen WORCS Results – Taylor Robert won his second consecutive Rocky Mountain ATV MC WORCS Series, present by Maxxis and Dirt Bike, Pro Motorcycle race. His latest success came at Glen Helen Raceway, June 18-19. The FMF KTM Team rider, Robert, dominated the race and finished ahead of Trevor Stewart and Blayne Thompson. Points leader, Gary Sutherlin, had mechanical issues early in the event hurting his results and tightening the points chase going into the summer break.

2017 Glen Helen WORCS Results

Taylor Robert won again at the Glen Helen WORCS. Photography by Harlen Foley.

With afternoon temperatures expected to hit triple digits, the Pro Motorcycle race was started early in the morning and the race was shortened slightly from two to one and a half hours to avoid heat-related issues for the racers. The track featured a great mixture of motocross, off-road and endurocross sections. A tight off-road section was added at the back of the circuit. There was an endurocross section with logs, telephone poles and other tight obstacles, as well as a near-vertical drop-off where racers dropped down the hill in front of the Glen Helen sign.

Robert took the lead from the start and like he had three previous times this season he ran away with the event.

“It was a good day,” said Robert. “I’ve always done well here and the heat is my friend. The three pro sections they added made it a lot better. Yesterday, it just seemed like the track was just a fast SXS track. But the new sections broke up the fast sections. That endurocross section got me twice.”

Robert now heads into training to attempt to repeat his victory in the International Six Day Enduro. Teamed with Kailub Russell, Thad Duvall and Layne Michael, Robert helped hand the Team USA its first victory in the storied race’s 102-year history. This year’s race is being held in Brive-la-Gaillard, France.

The battle for second was intense as Thompson and Stewart fought it out throughout the race. Thompson tangled up with Stewart on the big downhill and fell, handing Stewart his first WORCS podium.

Stewart returned to WORCS after missing two races and earned his first WORCS podium. Having grown up in nearby Rancho Cucamonga, Glen Helen is Stewart’s home track and he put his experience here to good use. He just held off Thompson on the final lap.

“I’ve struggled at WORCS this year, but I knew I could make a good run here,” said Stewart. “I grew up racing here, so I know how to get around it. I died out a little bit at the end trying to chase down Taylor. Blayne is a hard charger and then he made a mistake on the last lap. I got a little buffer and rode my own race from there. I’ve been itching to get a podium here and I’m just blessed to get this one.”

Thompson also grew up near Glen Helen in Phelan, California. He made up time during the second half of the race and was gaining on Stewart before he crashed on the final lap.

2017 Glen Helen WORCS Results

2017 Glen Helen WORCS Results
Trevor Stewart was runner-up in the Pro class.

“I had problems in the endurocross on the first four laps,” said Thompson. “I started gaining on it on the last five laps, I got a run on Trevor and was right on his butt, but I hit his back tire and ended up crashing. I did my best to catch back up after that. We were doing some of the outdoor races and missed the last two WORCS events. The track was great and I can’t wait for the next one.”

Robby Bell was seriously injured in a crash during a Big 6 race in April. Despite still not being 100% in his conditioning, he held off Travis Damon to snag the fourth spot. With Damon charging on the final lap, Bell sailed through the endurocross section to net the top five.

“To be honest, I got a little tired at the end,” said Bell. “Thankfully I had enough to hold off Travis because he’s a bulldog late. On the final lap, I just sent it through the endurocross. I was either going to crash or make it through. I made it through and finished fourth. I just want to get back to 100% during the break. I haven’t been able to do much of anything since the crash.”

Damon endured a tough race to come back and challenge Bell at the end. Damon battled Bell on the final lap, but a slight miscalculation in the endurocross section put him fifth at the finish.

“It was a tough race,” said Damon.” There were some loose rocks in that canyon and I went down a few times. Then I was banging tires with Robby. It was a good time out there. I knew it was the last lap, but I had a little bobble on that three-stack log in the endurocross section and he got away from me. The layout was a lot more technical than normal and I enjoyed it a lot.”

Sutherlin experienced cooling system issues right at the start on his Yamaha. After pitting and changing the radiator, he charged hard and held onto the points lead going into the summer break. Though not happy with the results, he is ready to finish strong in the last two races.

“On the first lap, we had an issue with coolant steaming out of the radiator cap,” said Sutherlin. “After that it was trying to stay up there until the pits opened. It took some time to change a radiator and that ruined my day. Championships are won on your worst day. We still have the points lead and we have seven weeks to bust our butts to get everything bike-wise and rider-wise ready. We’re going to push harder than ever in the last two races. We’re not giving up hope, that’s for sure.”

2017 Glen Helen WORCS Results

2017 Glen Helen WORCS Results
Kyle Mericier (247) took top honors in Pro 2.

In Pro 2, Kyle Mercier won his first race of the season. Riding a KTM, Mercier charged from the start and was challenging points leader Dante Oliveira for the lead when a flat tire slowed Oliveira, handing the lead and the victory to Mercier. Noah Kepple was second on a Gas Gas and Oliveira kept his podium streak alive by finishing third on his KTM.

“I got the jump, dove to the inside and took the lead on the first lap,” said Mercier. “Dante had the speed on me today, but he blew out his back wheel and I took advantage. From there I went as fast as I could. This was one of the best tracks this season.”

Kepple is an endurocross specialist and he particularly enjoyed the tighter sections of the course. After earning his first Pro 2 podium, Kepple is looking forward to returning to WORCS after the summer break.

“I don’t usually do the fast stuff, nor do I enjoy it that much, but Glen Helen and WORCS put on a great event here,” said Kepple. “I’m excited to come back after the summer and see what we can do.”

Oliveira had a rare instance of bad luck here. Despite the issue, he recovered to finish third. Oliveira has finished on the podium in every race this season, and has four victories. Despite his misfortune here, Oliveira enjoyed the unique Glen Helen track.

“I had a problem with my rear brakes and a flat,” said Oliveira. “Kyle and Noah ended up passing me. I’ve had a great season.”

2017 Glen Helen WORCS Results

2017 Glen Helen WORCS Results
Austin Serpa (572) won the Pro 2 Lites class for the first time.

In Pro 2 Lights, Austin Serpa made it look easy on his KTM. After starting third, he took the lead at the end of the first lap and was never seriously challenged from there. It marked his third victory of the season. Chance Fullerton was second, ahead of Cooper Abbott’s Yamaha.

“I didn’t have a good jump off the gate, but I got to the turn and took second,” said Serpa. “At the end of first lap I had the lead and ran away with it. I made a few mistakes in the middle of the race, but I got it out of my head, focused and got it done.”

Fullerton started last and crawled his way through the field. He passed Abbott on the final lap to score the runner-up finish.

“I had a good jump, but I was dead last at the start,” said Fullerton. “I had a whole lot of places to make up. I ended up passing Cooper on the last lap and made it to second.”

Abbott came into this race second in points and rode a consistent race. His third-place finish marked his fifth podium of the season.

“I got a good start, took second and Serpa was riding well,” said Abbott. “I rode decent, and then Chance got past me on the last lap. I came in behind him in third.”

WORCS now heads into its annual summer break. The series will return to Glen Helen for its next race September 8-10.

2017 Glen Helen WORCS Results

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