2017 Owyhee M.C. Sprint Enduro Qualifier Results

Mark Kariya | March 13, 2017

2017 Owyhee M.C. Sprint Enduro Qualifier Results – Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/Precision Concepts Honda rider Justin Morgan won day one and claimed second on day two to unofficially top the overall Letter of Intent (LOI) class at the Southwestern Idaho Desert Racing Association (SIDRA)/Owyhee Motorcycle Club (OMC) Sprint Enduro Qualifier, round two of the AMA ISDE West Qualifier Regional Championship Series, March 11-12.

2017 Owyhee M.C. Sprint Enduro Qualifier Results

2017 Owyhee M.C. Sprint Enduro Qualifier Results
Despite guessing wrong on suspension setup and choosing a setting that was too stiff, Justin Morgan won E2 on both days to emerge the overall LOI winner in Idaho. Combined with his E2 runner-up and third overall at round one, he appears a lock for Team USA in France. Photography by Mark Kariya

E3 (500cc two-stroke/650cc four-stroke) winner Nick Stover and fellow E2 (250cc two-stroke/450cc four-stroke) class rider Anthonee Gibbs were second- and third-fastest for the weekend’s LOI riders with Stover winning his class both days while going 3-1 in LOI overall, Gibbs 2-2 in class and 2-3 overall LOI.

However, the absolute overall fastest times for the weekend’s 16 total special tests didn’t belong to one of the LOI rider but to the top two A/AA riders, MX/SX specialist Ben Evans and SCORE Baja champ David Kamo, who both grew up racing in the area. Though semi-retired, they proved that locals aren’t always pushovers.

At first, though, everyone took a back seat to early leader Cody Webb, the FMF KTM Factory Off-road Racing Team star proving his overall runner-up result at round one was no fluke.

“I think I won the first three [tests], but I’m not sure—that’s what my mechanic [Cody Richeldorfer] said,” the Red Bull/Motorex/Troy Lee Designs 300 XC-W rider reported.

2017 Owyhee M.C. Sprint Enduro Qualifier Results

Unfortunately for the observed trials and EnduroCross champ, a slick hard-packed section of the predominantly sandy course caught him off guard, and he crashed heavily after a big swap, leaving him with a tweaked back, knee and ankle, as well as a headache.

After laying there for what felt like an eternity, Webb said, “I wanted to get back [to the pits] so I hopped on one leg to my bike and I finished the rest of the [test], thinking maybe I had a chance of finishing out the day. But I was worried about my health and the rest of the year so I had the medics check me out.”

Though advised that he wasn’t in physical danger, being unable to put his boot back on Webb called it a weekend, though he returned the next day to hand out posters and sign autographs.

With Webb on the sidelines, Morgan took over the LOI race and dominated aboard his FMF/Maxxis/MSR-backed CRF450X, his time/score for the day’s eight tests 39 minutes, 30.46 seconds. That put him 40 seconds ahead of Gibbs, who clocked 40:10.62 aboard his trusty Kenda/Fly Racing YZ450F with Stover the fastest of the E3 riders and third overall LOI at 40:18.70.

But it was Evans who was the absolute fastest of the entire field, scorching the eight tests in 37:50.10 on his Carl’s Cycle Sales/Zach Evans Construction/Gear Slinger KTM 450 SX-F with Kamo impressively fast at 38:57.80 on his PCI Race Radios/TBT Racing/Shot KTM 450 XC-F.

On Sunday, Gibbs and Morgan battled for LOI supremacy over the first couple times around the tests with Stover lurking close behind on his RaceElite.com/STI Tires/Clean Suspension-sponsored TM 300 MX, hampered initially by arm pump.

2017 Owyhee M.C. Sprint Enduro Qualifier Results

2017 Owyhee M.C. Sprint Enduro Qualifier Results
Semi-retired Supercross pro Ben Evans felt right at home on the MX course at OMC as well as the trails used for the two special-test courses Photography by Mark Kariya

“Going out for the second loop, I felt good and just started picking it up from there and constantly had better and better [test] times,” Stover observed, jokingly adding, “I had one and a half Pop Tarts before the start of that fourth loop, so I think that was the key to really powering through at the end there.”

Stover’s score/time on Sunday was 38:14.26, five seconds faster than Morgan with Gibbs another seven seconds back.

“A few tests I thought that I rode better than ever and then a couple I made some pretty costly mistakes and just wasn’t as consistent today,” Morgan admitted.

“I still think I’m looking pretty good [for making Team USA] with a second [overall LOI].”

But even though Evans has no plans to try for the team going to France in August, his speed in Idaho suggests he has the potential to qualify in the future, even given his familiarity with OMC.

“There’s only a limited amount of trails here and I’ve hopped on them at least a few times [over the years],” he said. “I at least had a good general scope of where the track was kind of going, but they had a lot of surprise corners on the first test where you had to be really cautious—a turn right after a hill, for instance—so I still had to be careful and follow the ribbon the first couple tests.

“Honestly, we’ve been off all winter so I didn’t know how well I would do. We had one of the worst snow years here in Idaho since, like, ’86, I think.

“That hometown feel—I was able to ride loose and didn’t tighten up. I think this suited my style of racing better, having a motocross/supercross background.” His time/score on Sunday was an unmatched 36:11.59, Kamo posting a 37:39.38.

2017 Owyhee M.C. Sprint Enduro Qualifier Results

2017 Owyhee M.C. Sprint Enduro Qualifier Results
It’s hard to imagine a more visually appealing—or hillier—venue than OMC. It was chosen because the original site was covered by too much snow less than a month before. Photography by Mark Kariya

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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.