Mike Kiedrowski made his return to the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC World Off-Road Championship Series a good one. At the opening round of the WORCS series at Speedworld MX Park in Phoenix, Arizona, January 16, the 2002 WORCS champ took the win in the hotly contested two-hour Pro race, thus giving Team Suzuki Off-Road the distinction of being the first to give the brand-new RM-Z450 four-stroke its first taste of victory in the U.S.
Team Green's Lance Smail led the early going before surrendering to the "MX Kied" and ended up 30 seconds behind for second place on his KX250, while defending series champ Nathan Woods took his Montclair Yamaha/Zip-Ty Racing YZ450F to third, another 30 seconds back. Tim Weigand, fresh off a 15th place finish in the previous night's 125cc Supercross West-class race, was fourth on his CRF250R, while local favorite Destry Abbott rounded out the top five on his Team Green KX250.
"Suzuki had a real good weekend with the Supercross in the 125s and 250s [won by Suzuki racers Broc Hepler and Ricky Carmichael]," Kiedrowski said, "now, the WORCS race. I'm really happy with the bike. When I got on it and rode it halfway through the year [last year] with R&D, I knew we'd have a good bike. I like riding a bigger-size bike; I ride them well. I just tore up my hands with blisters - all of us had blisters! It was a rough track, real rough."