Taylor Robert kept his undefeated streak alive in the 2019 Rocky Mountain ATV-MC WORCS Series, presented by Polaris RZR and Dirt Bike. The FMF/KTM Team rider stretched out his winning streak to six with his latest Pro-class victory at Mesquite MX, in Mesquite, Nevada, May 26.
Robert Tops Mesquite WORCS 2019
Robert didn’t get off to the best start, but he quickly worked his way into second on the opening lap. He trailed Zach Bell (Precision Concepts/Kawasaki Team Green) early on before making his move into the lead by the end of lap two. From there, Robert continued to extend his gap over the rest of the field. After 12 laps of racing, he was able to claim victory by over two-and-a-half minutes.
The track combined motocross with desert off-road, and dry conditions made things tough on the racers.
“The track was super rough and really physically demanding,” Robert said. “Everybody after the race was just saying how exhausted they were, including myself, but it felt good to set myself ahead of everyone else on a track like that. This is a track that separates the men from the boys because it’s definitely the most physically demanding track in the series. This year it was no joke, and I’m happy to come away with another win.”
Bell was the early but steadily lost ground to Robert after the KTM rider passed him on the second lap. Bell eventually took the checkered flag two minutes and 40 seconds behind Robert for second place.
Bell’s runner-up finish marked his first podium since the opening round and gives him a nice jump in points going into the summer break.
“He [Robert] passed me, and I tried to stay with him, but he was consistent,” said Bell. “My back was sore all day, so I played it safe and rode it to the finish line. I’m looking forward to a break to get my body healed up and get going again.”
Dante Oliveira (KTM) increased his streak of consecutive podiums to five here, and he remains the only rider still within a competitive distance of Robert’s points lead. He ran third the entire race. Oliveira crossed the finish approximately a minute behind Bell.
“The track was gnarly, and I am beat,” Oliveira said. “Half of the track was all silt ruts, and you just had to pick a line and hope to make it through cleanly.”
Dalton Shirey (Husqvarna) held down fifth place for the first half of the race before getting around Andrew Short (Husqvarna). From there, Shirey steadily pulled away from Short and took fourth, leaving Short to collect fifth.
Honda rider Ricky Dietrich took sixth.
Hengeveld Wins Pro 2
In Pro 2, Clay Hengeveld (Precision Concepts/Kawasaki Team Green) scored his second victory of the season. He made a last-lap charge past Tallon Lafountaine to score the win.
Lafountaine (Honda) held on to second just ahead of Austin Serpa (KTM).
“I’ve had a few ups and downs this year; I won the first round, and I had a couple seconds, so it feels good to be back,” said Hengeveld. “Lafountaine had to pit on the second-to-last lap, and I caught him. So I put my charge on, passed him, and I pulled away.”
Lafountaine had to make two stops due to the smaller fuel tank. Leading the entire race and a crash two laps from the finish took their toll on Lafountaine, and he admitted he was getting tired on the final lap.
“It was so easy to make big mistakes, and the bumps took it right out of me,” said Lafountaine. “Pitting twice really screwed up my rhythm. I had a crash on the second-to-last lap, and that took it out of me. I put in everything I had.”
Austin Serpa (KTM) scored his fifth podium of the season. He, like many other competitors, said the track definitely wore him out. “Podiums are what I am looking for,” said Serpa. “The sand was just eating me up.”
Oliveira Claims Third Pro 2 Lites Win
In Pro 2 Lights, Mateo Oliveira rode his two-stroke GasGas to his third victory of the season, extending his points lead in the process. After starting fifth, he sprinted past Thomas Jones on the first lap and was never headed from there. Jones was second, ahead of Brandy Richards, both on KTMs.
“I sprinted for the first five laps so I could build the biggest gap I could because I knew I was going to get tired,” said Oliveira. “The track was super rough.”
Along with winning her sixth consecutive Women Pro race here, Richards earned her fourth podium of the season in Pro 2 Lights. After a midpack start, Richards made up a bunch of ground on lap one in the off-road section and came home third.
“I didn’t get the greatest start, so once we got to the off-road I made a few moves, and a couple of kids went down, so I got into fourth,” said Richards, who heads into the summer break second in points. “I was up to third pretty quickly after that. My goal is to podium in the championship this year, so I’ve been working really hard in this class.”
The WORCS motorcycle classes now head into the annual summer break. The series returns to action July 30-August 3 at Grays Harbor in McCleary, Washington, for a doubleheader event.
2019 WORCS Championship
Mesquite MX Park
RESULTS: May 26, 2019
- Taylor Robert (KTM)
- Zach Bell (Hus)
- Dante Oliveira (KTM)
- Dalton Shirey (Hus)
- Andrew Short (Hus)
- Clayton Hengeveld (Kaw)
- Tallon Lafountaine (Hon)
- Austin Serpa (KTM)
- Shane Logan (Hus)
- JT Baker (GG)
PRO 2 LITES
- Mateo Oliveira (GG)
- Thomas Jones (KTM)
- Brandy Richards (KTM)
- Dallas Serpa (KTM)
- Tyler Nicholson (KTM)