Having grown up in the high deserts of southern California, Kurt Caselli isn't supposed to be fast in tight woods and deep mud, but the FMF/KTM rider was just that - very fast - and more so at round eight of the WORCS series in Olympia, Washington, August 8.
Heavy rain leading up to the race left many parts of the course a quagmire, but that didn't seem to bother Caselli. Actually, it might've inspired him. After passing teammate Mike Brown, who had run off the course, on the first lap, Caselli took command of the race and never looked back, stretching out his lead with every turn.
Caselli gave all the credit to his team and his bike, but this was clearly a case of a rider that simply decided he had to win to take the title.
"I thought making the podium every race would earn the WORCS Championship," said Caselli. "But going into the summer break we were behind, so we figured that we had to start winning races to win the championship."
The remaining two spots on the podium were up for grabs and weren't fully decided until the checkered flag came out. Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ricky Dietrich ended up taking runner-up honors, crossing the finish line about 15 seconds ahead of third-place finisher, Kawasaki rider Justin Soule.
Dietrich, who grew up in Washington and had hoped to take the win in front of his friends and family, has plans of his own where the title is concerned.
"The next round is at Glen Helen," said Dietrich. "That's Kurt's home track. I'll just have to beat him there and see how he likes losing in his backyard."
Brown worked his way up from seventh to finish fourth, about a minute and 20 seconds behind Soule. About a minute and 30 second later finished Husqvarna's Bobby Garrison.
Sixth place went to Brenden Ritzman, followed by Kevin Rookstool, Gary Sutherlin, Colton Udall and Robby Bell.
Caselli's victory extended his points lead over Dietrich to four. Caselli currently has 175 points (three wins), and Dietrich has 171 points (three wins).