Shane Watts, who has been plagued by injuries for nearly two years, got back on track Sunday, easily winning round four of the WORCS East Series at the Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota, yesterday. Watts last stood atop a podium back in 2001 when he won the Elsinore Grand Prix on November 11th.
Watts said, "It's been a tough road. It feels good to be back on top. I think my last win was like 20 months ago. I've just been struggling with injury after injury. I'm still not fully recovered and still have a long way to go. This is the fist sign that I'm coming back."
Watts came from behind after an eighth-place start to eventfully pass Ty Davis, Scott Sheak, Brian Garrahan and Jimmy Jarrett, the top five finishers. Watts finished with a time of 2:08:33. Davis finished 28 seconds back, while Sheak, Garrahan and Jarrett finished with times of 2:11:03, 2:11:26 and 2:11:32, respectively.
Watts, the 30-year-old Australian said, "After a mediocre start I was able to start working my way up to the front. By the end of lap one I was only a minute behind Ty and something like 30 seconds behind Jarrett and Sheak. I could tell I was making time on them so I just rode my own race."
Davis, who led for over six laps of the seven-lap race said, "I could tell Shane was coming on strong. But I had picked a pretty good pace myself and with the heat and humidity I didn't want to burn myself out.
"I missed the white flag [on the last lap] and didn't realize that when Shane passed me, that was my last chance to stay with him," Davis said.
"I'm glad I took my time and just let the race happen instead of forcing it,” the KTM rider, Watts, said. “When I caught Sheak and Jarrett [on lap five], I knew I could catch Ty."
Sheak and Jarrett had their own dual going, the two riders swapping places back and forth three or four times. Both riders were riding with injuries that had happened in separate riding incidents earlier in the week.
"This is my first trip out east and only my third off-road event,” Sheak said. “I crashed in practice pretty hard yesterday and bruised a couple of ribs. I came a long way to get here and I wasn't going to not race today. I just had to suck it up."