It’s Official: Kurt Caselli Is Champion

Kit Palmer | November 1, 2012

It’s confirmed: Kurt Caselli is indeed the 2012 AMA Hare & Hound National Champion. The title was in question for a few days when, after the final race of the 2012 Kenda AMA National Hare & Hound Series in Lucerne Valley, California, October 28, David Pearson made a request to appeal the results, but that request was today officially denied by the AMA

A release from the AMA stated: The AMA has certified the provisional results of round 10 of the AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series held Oct. 28, 2012, in Lucerne Valley, California. The results were pending an appeal by David Pearson of Panaca, Nevada. Pearson was assessed a five-minute penalty for failure to adhere to rider fueling guidelines. Pearson’s appeal has been denied. With the certification of the results, Kurt Caselli of Palmdale, California, is the 2012 AMA Hare & Hound National Champion.

While running second to Caselli in the race, Pearson entered the designated pit area to refuel, and did so on the fly, without stopping, discarding the fuel container on the ground before heading back out on the course. One of the fueling guidelines is that a rider must refuel over a BLM-mandated mat.

“I want to apologize to all my sponsors, fans and organizers for this,” said Pearson in response. “They (THR Motorsports, Bob Bell and my team) put a lot of time and money into me winning the AMA Championship. I think this experience was costly, but I can learn a lot from it as a rider and a person. I saved a couple of seconds, but it cost me an entire championship.”

Pearson needed to finish second to Caselli to wrap up the 2012 title and actually crossed the finish in second place, seemingly winning the championship, but the five-minute penalty knocked him pack to sixth in the race standings and ultimately second in the championship.

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.