Taylor Robert returns to WORCS with a win. PHOTOGRAPHY HARLEN FOLEY.
So far the 2013 World Off-Road Championship Series has been all about Robby Bell and Taylor Robert. Round seven at Glen Helen was no different, but this time it was Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Robert who would come out on top with a win followed by Gary Sutherlin and Justin Jones to round out the pro podium.
Taylor Robert’s busy racing schedule has kept him from competing at the WORCS series since March, but he wasted no time proving why he has the number-one plate after taking over the lead from Justin Jones a few turns into lap one. Current points leader Robby Bell moved in to challenge Robert for the lead, which had the duo recording a second lap time over 20 seconds faster than the next closest competitor for the entire race. Unfortunately, the epic battle came to an end as quickly as it started when Bell hit a rock in the dust on lap three and went over the bars.
“Robby and I had a really good pace going and we kind of pulled ourselves away from the pack the first three laps, and then I guess he wrecked in the sand wash on lap three or four,” said Robert about his battle with Bell. “I put it on cruise control, didn’t want to push it too hard because I wasn’t feeling too hot.”
Once Robert extended his lead to over a minute on Sutherlin, he put it in cruise control to conserve energy, and Robert held the lead to the checkered flag for his third win of the season.
“I have traveled a lot this year and have a lot more cool places to go, but it’s always fun to come back to my roots at the WORCS races,” Robert said. “I still enjoy it and it’s just pure fun racing.”
Sutherlin also returned to the line-up and he secured his third podium finish of the season with a solid second-place finish. With the WORCS race near Sutherlin’s hometown, he built a Kawasaki for the event in hopes of cashing in on their great contingency for the series.
“It was a last minute thing on Tuesday to decide to put this bike together and I have been kind of changing brands like underwear,” Sutherlin said. “It keeps it fun and interesting, but I like the Kawi and they have a great contingency program with WORCS, and I am happy to be on the box.”
RPM/KTM’s Justin Jones claimed his third straight podium finish with a third place result. Jones grabbed the holeshot, but both Robert and Bell passed him on lap one. The first two laps, Jones would go down hard in the sand wash, but fortunately, he wasn’t injured went to secure a podium finish.
“I actually went down the first two laps pretty good,” said Jones. I am actually surprised I am up on the podium because of how hard I went down. I’m just stoked to be up here again.”
Precision Concept’s Bell had to return to the pits to replace a broken throttle cable after his third-lap crash in the sand wash during his battle with Robert. This dropped him back several laps on the leaders, but after putting in some blistering fast lap-times for the remainder of the race he ultimately finished seventh. Bell leaves Glen Helen within striking distance of wrapping up the WORCS pro championship at Honey Lake in September.
“I caught up to Taylor and followed him for like a lap and a half and felt confident,” Bell said. “I had the speed but maybe a little impatience on my part. I had him lined up in the wash, I felt like I could pass him. I was maybe a little bit to close and was in the dust, never saw the rock, clipped it, went sideways and straight over the bars. I actually ended up breaking my throttle cable in the crash. I couldn’t actually twist the throttle to bring the bike back, so I had to pull on the cable to get the bike back into the pits. My crew did an awesome job getting me back out as soon as possible. Changing the cable and then from there just trying to put in some fast laps to prove to myself that I had the speed today because I felt that I did.”
Bobby Garrison made a surprise appearance at Glen Helen after he announced he was moving to Texas after his Pala win, but several companies including Moose Racing stepped up to help Garrison finish out the season.
“My parents and everyone are going to help me out and get me to the last few races,” Garrison said. “I wasn’t sure that I would be back, but I am glad to be. It’s really good to be back, Moose really wanted me to finish out the season and they stepped up and helped me. Everything worked out well and I’ll be able to finish the last three.”
Garrison was in the hunt for another podium finish before he dropped out of the race in the final laps with issues, which dropped him back to a sixth-place finish.
Eric Yorba gets it done in the PRO 2 class. PHOTOGRAPHY BY HARLEN FOLEY.
In the Pro 2 class it was All American KTM’s Eric Yorba who claimed his fifth win of the year at Glen Helen. After charging his way past Justin Morgan - who grabbed the holeshot and led the first two laps - Yorba cruised to the win over his teammate, Starr Savage, and Chuck Ramsey Jr who followed in second and third respectively.
“It was definitely fun with a little taste of Baja,” Yorba said about the track. “High speed whoops, bunch of rocks but tried to keep it safe. For the most part the rocks were pretty exposed so you were able to move around and miss them, but it was a fun course,”
Round eight of the WORCS Series heads to Honey Lake in Milford, California on September 14-15th.
2013 Glen Helen WORCS PRO Results:
1. Taylor Robert (KAW)
2. Gary Sutherlin (KAW)
3. Justin Jones (KTM)
4. Tyler Renshaw (KAW)
5. Justin Seeds (KAW)
2013 Glen Helen WORCS PRO 2 Results:
1. Eric Yorba (KTM)
2. Starr Savage (KTM)
3. Chuck Ramsey Jr (KTM)
4. Justin Morgan (HON)
5. Jason Ramsey (YAM)