Nathan Woods notched another win onto the fuselage of his Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F by winning round nine of the World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) yesterday in Monticello, Utah. Woods beat points leader Kurt Caselli (Red Bull KTM), who took second, and defending WORCS Champion Ricky Dietrich (Monster Energy Kawasaki), who took third.
Ryan Hughes (Team FMF Suzuki Off-Road) was not present in Monticello. Hughes, who led the first half of the WORCS season with three wins and two podiums, is out with nerve damage resulting from last year's broken arm, and when he aggravated the injury with a get-off in the eighth round in Washington just two weeks ago. Also missing from the line-up was Mike Kiedrowski (Team FMF Suzuki Off-Road), who injured his wrist and thumb in Saturday practice and returned to California.
Dietrich got the holeshot and immediately pulled away from the field, gaining more than a full minute lead early in the race. Bobby Garrison was second off the line, but would not stay there very long. Woods also started well and quickly moved into second, while Caselli started out of the top 10, but moved through the field of Pro riders and established himself in third before the end of the first lap.
Dietrich maintained his lead past the first hour, while Woods continued to push and close the gap. Caselli also put on a charge and both riders passed Dietrich at about the one-hour, 15-minute mark. Pit stops became a critical factor with the Monster Energy Kawasaki team getting both Woods and Dietrich in and out quickly, as did the Red Bull KTM Team with Caselli.
Woods seemed to get stronger in the second hour, territory usually dominated by Caselli, who is usually faster in the second half of a WORCS race. Woods would pull away and Caselli would close in. Then Woods established a large gap and Caselli seemed to settle for second (the smart move with a 20-point lead in the championship). Dietrich also settled into third. And that is how they finished, with Woods taking his third win in a row, with Caselli second (now with a 15 point lead in the series) and Dietrich third.