Taylor Robert, who closed out the 2009 World Off-Road Championship Series with his first ever win in the premier class, opened the 2010 WORCS Championship with his second career victory in Phoenix, Arizona, January 31.
Now riding for Valli Motorsports, Robert, aboard a 2010 Yamaha YZ450F, jumped out to an early lead and never let go of it, taking the win 20 second over defending WORCS Champion Mike Brown and Brown's KTM teammate Kurt Caselli.
"I got the holeshot and then just relaxed and rode at my own pace," Robert said. "I felt great all day and I really like this track, so it couldn't have gone better."
Brown struggled early in the race with arm pump before working his way up through the pack and taking second place.
"I won the Championship last year through consistency," said Brown. "So I'm very pleased with a second in the opener. It's a long season and I want to be on the podium every race, so this is a good way to start."
Caselli also had to work his way about after getting off to a midpack start.
"I'm really glad to be racing out west again," said Casselli who rode the GNCC Series in 2009. "I had a nice battle with Ricky and Timmy to get up on the podium, so I'm happy with a third today. But you know I like winning a lot more."
Fourth place went to JCR Honda's Tim Weigand, while fifth went to Kawasaki's Ricky Dietrich.
Maxxis Kawasaki rider Bobby Bonds, the 2008 WORCS Champion, was threatening to get on the podium when his bike ran out of gas, costing him 20 minutes. Kyle Summers, Robert's Valli Motorsports teammate, was also challenging for a spot on the podium when his 2010 YZ450F ran out of gas.