Gorman VCMC ISDE Qualifier Results

Mark Kariya | January 30, 2017

Gorman VCMC ISDE Qualifier Results – Purvines DA8 Racing Yamaha’s Nick Burson isn’t planning on going to the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in France this year and the AMA West ISDE Qualifier Regional Championship Series, therefore, isn’t one he’s following.

Gorman VCMC ISDE Qualifier Results


Gorman VCMC ISDE Qualifier Results
Nick Burson topped both days at the VCMC two-day Gorman ISDE Qualifier. PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK KARIYA

However, despite that and the fact that the events don’t even have Pro payouts, Burson couldn’t resist spending an off weekend at the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) for the Ventura County Motorcycle Club’s (VCMC) ISDE Qualifier, round one of the series, where he won both days to take the overall and E2-class (250cc two-stroke/450cc four-stroke) victories. After six tests each day, he totaled 2803 points on Saturday and 3836 on Sunday.

That, of course, might not be too surprising considering how many hundreds of hours he’s spent there in a previous job doing durability testing and development for Kawasaki. What was fairly surprising was seeing FMF KTM Factory Off-road Racing Team’s Cody Webb line up, the EnduroCross star beating Burson in a couple tests to end up second overall and the E3 (500cc two-stroke/650cc four-stroke) winner. His points totals were 2845 on Saturday and 3879 on Sunday.

Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/Precision Concepts Honda rider Justin Morgan rounded out the top three overall with 2906 on Saturday (the same score as E3 runner-up Devan Bolin) and 3919 on Sunday for second in E2.

Approximately 300 entries for the weekend found the trails and tests blessed with perfect conditions after rain and snow the week before. The VCMC laid out a 20-mile loop with special tests of three and seven miles, the loop ridden by Letter of Intent (LOI) riders three times for six total tests. Sunday’s loop was slightly shorter at about 18 miles, much of it on the same trails but run in the opposite direction; it, too, featured one shorter test and a longer one with LOI and most championship classes riding the loop three times for six total tests again.

Despite Burson’s familiarity with the terrain, Webb fired first, setting the fastest time in the short first test on Saturday aboard his Red Bull/Dunlop/Troy Lee Designs 300 XC-W (his EnduroCross practice bike, with the only changes firming up the compression damping a few clicks). Coming from row 14, Webb blitzed the test along Pronghorn Trail in 270 seconds (points), with Morgan second-quickest at 273 on his FMF/Maxxis/MSR-backed CRF450X and Burson third at 274.

Gorman VCMC ISDE Qualifier Results

Burson scorched the second test with a 676 on his John Burr Cycles/DP Brakes/THOR YZ450FX to put him at the top of the leader board for the rest of the weekend. Webb ended up winning two tests on Saturday and two on Sunday, but Burson outdistanced him in the other eight tests over the weekend.

“I expected him to be fast,” Burson admitted. “I haven’t seen him ride in a long time, but it seems like he rides a lot of moto now and a lot of tracks other than just EnduroCross. To be that talented on a bike with EnduroCross stuff, you know he’s got to be fast.

“But [how he did in] the high-speed test really surprised me that he was that close. I expected some of the other guys to even beat him, but he rode really well.”

Burson continued, “For me the first test both days, I struggled a little bit because it always takes me a little bit to get going, especially because they were right out of the gate.”

Webb shared, “To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect [at my first-ever Qualifier]. I figured I’d probably be a top-five guy.

“After the first day, I was hoping to step it up a little bit, but Burson pretty much gapped me about the same amount today as yesterday.

“I felt a lot better today, a little more comfortable, but that first test was really fast and I was losing a lot of ground there. It’s just not my style. I gave it my all and my times weren’t bad, but Nick was really strong on that stuff.”

He concluded, “It was really fun. I learned a lot and honestly now, after hitting this round, I’m excited to hit the rest of them and see the difference and basically just get some valuable experience to hopefully be on a Club team [in France].”

Morgan had a rear-brake problem after hitting a tree on Saturday, so he lost a little ground before replacing a few parts, but he was satisfied with his third overall and hopes to back that up with another couple of good days at another Qualifier. “I would love to go race the ISDE on a Club team!” he exclaimed. “It would be a big one to check off my list. I’m a huge fan of the race so at least one time I need to make it!”

Dillon Shepard topped the E1 class (125cc two-stroke/250cc four-stroke) on both days aboard his 707 Suspension/MSR YZ250FX; he was 15th overall on Saturday and 10th on Sunday.

Likewise, Rick Emerson won E4 (40 years and older—strictly an American class) both days aboard his Full Factory Off-road/Kenda/Fly Racing KTM 350 SX-F and former Team USA ISDE rider Jamie Wells was the E5 (Women) winner on her 707 Suspension/Richmond Ramblers M.C./Moose Racing KTM 200 XC-W.

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Mark Kariya | Contributor Kariya spends way too much time in the desert, but we’re glad he does as he’s the man who gets us our coverage of all things sandy.