2017 AMA Hare & Hound Caliente Muley Run Results

Mark Kariya | August 14, 2017

2017 AMA Hare & Hound Caliente Muley Run Results – FMF KTM Factory Off-road Racing Team’s Taylor Robert returned to the scene of his very first win in the Kenda/SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series⏤doing so in his series debut, no less⏤and scored his third consecutive triumph in this year’s series.

2017 AMA Hare & Hound Caliente Muley Run Results

2017 AMA Hare & Hound Caliente Muley Run Results
After following Axel Pearson for almost 30 miles, Taylor Robert saw the opening he was waiting for, passed for the lead and held it to the finish for his third straight series victory. He also won the Muley Run last year. Photography by Mark Kariya

Doing so moves him tantalizingly close to reigning series champion Ricky Brabec in series points after seven of nine rounds, 131 for the Johnny Campbell Racing (JCR) Honda rider to 129 for Robert. But they’re still more than 30 points behind Purvines DA8 Racing Yamaha’s Gary Sutherlin who took third at the Muley Run hosted by the Silver State Trail Blazers Motorcycle Club behind Robert and Purvines DA8 teammate Axel Pearson.

Robert, of course, missed two rounds recovering from injuries suffered at the King of the Motos earlier this year, and returned at round four where he finished a tentative seventh. At round five, he won⏤and did so again at round six and now round seven.

“After I started feeling better and getting back in my groove, I knew that I could keep it going,” the Red Bull/Motorex/Troy Lee Designs 450 XC-F rider declared of the beginning of his streak.

As for the Muley Run, Robert explained, “Going into that first hill [off the start], I wasn’t in that great a position; I think I was maybe eighth or something. But a bunch of people made mistakes on that hill and at the bottom of the hill. By the time I got to the top, I was in second and I was like, ‘All right, now that I’m in second, I didn’t feel like I was in a position where I had to push super-hard because Axel was right in front of me.’

“It was pretty dusty so I was like, ‘I’ll just kind of stay here until I get to an opportunity where I can really make a pass.’ That’s really exactly what I did. I just stayed calm and didn’t take any risks because I didn’t need to.”

Pearson and his John Burr Cycles/DP Brakes/THOR YZ450FX led Robert for most of the 33-mile first loop, ceding the top spot about five miles before the pits at the Caliente Motorsports Park.

“I tried to ride with him, but he rides so good!” Pearson exclaimed. “He seriously takes the best lines ever. He kind of reminds me of [my cousin] Dave [Pearson]⏤they take lines that I don’t hardly think about and they’re so smooth!”

After the more technical 44-mile second loop, Pearson ended up 31 seconds behind Robert’s time of two hours, six minutes and 10 seconds following a missed turn that got the Yamaha rider tangled in a tree for a moment.

2017 AMA Hare & Hound Caliente Muley Run Results

2017 AMA Hare & Hound Caliente Muley Run Results
Despite it being only her second H&H National and her first on a KTM that she picked up two weeks ago to prepare for the ISDE, Brandy Richards won Women A by just three seconds over points leader Kacy Martinez-Coy. Photography by Mark Kariya

For Pearson’s teammate Sutherlin, the day didn’t go as he’d hoped, though the GPR Stabilizers/DP Brakes/6D Helmets YZ450FX rider didn’t lose much of his points lead since Brabec could only manage fifth after a first-turn spill forced him to play catchup all afternoon⏤the first time the Lucas Oil/Monster Energy/Fly Racing CRF450RX-mounted rider has finished off the podium in two years, he pointed out.

“I got into fourth [place] and I just started riding and I honestly wasn’t pushing hard enough, I guess,” Sutherlin admitted. “I was being timid on the roads.”

The second loop was more to his liking, though, and he caught and passed Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Off-road Team’s Jacob Argubright to cement his spot on the podium despite a quick tip-over in the trees.

“I’m definitely not happy with it, but at the same time, it was an off day for me, and a little bit of it is we’re getting down to the end [of the series] and the championship’s on the line,” Sutherlin said. He finished in 2:09:58.

Privateer Skyler Howes and the Fastheads/Lake Powell Off-road Association/Fly Racing CRF450X that he raced in the Baja 500 held off Brabec for fourth followed by Purvines DA8 rider Nick Burson, Argubright (who had to deal with a shorting kill switch), Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/Precision Concepts Honda’s Justin Morgan, Monarch Honda’s Tuffy Pearson and SRT/Rick’s Custom Shutters and Blinds Yamaha’s Ryan Smith.

Chidester Transport Racing Yamaha’s Tyler Lynn picked up his third victory of the season in the FMF Pro 250 class (putting him 11th overall) to pad his points lead over Klim KTM-mounted Braydon Bland who could only manage sixth today. Notch Peak Racing KTM’s Nick Tolman and Fasthouse Yamaha rider Chance Fullerton rounded out the class podium.

Fly Racing/Bell Helmets-backed Brandy Richards traded her usual Yamaha for a KTM 250 SX-F Factory Edition two weeks ago since she’ll be riding a KTM at the ISDE. The switch didn’t faze her as she won Women A in only her second National, followed three seconds later by FMF KTM Factory Off-road Racing Team’s Kacy Martinez-Coy (who’ll also be on the U.S. Women’s Trophy team at Six Days). Bell Helmets KTM rider Britney Gallegos finished third but remains second in points to Martinez-Coy, 191-173.

2017 AMA Hare & Hound Caliente Muley Run Results

2017 AMA Hare & Hound Caliente Muley Run Results
Though he didn’t get the greatest start, Brennan Watson worked his way up to lead the Pee Wee race after about 30 minutes and held off Breckin Beard by two seconds for the win. Photography by Mark Kariya

2017 AMA Hare & Hound Caliente Muley Run Results

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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.