2019 Taft WORCS Results

| October 14, 2019

Zach Bell pulled off his first win of the season in the Rocky Mountain ATV MC WORCS Series Presented by Polaris RZR and Dirt Bike during a dusty racing weekend at Honolulu Hills Raceway. Taylor Robert finished second and clinched the championship with still one round left on the schedule. Dante Oliveira was third. Austin Walton won the Pro 2 race, and Mateo Oliveira clinched the Pro 2 Lites title with a victory.

Zach Bell Wins Taft WORCS

2019 Taft WORCS Results
Zach Bell takes the checkered flag at the Taft round of the 2019 WORCS Championship. Photos: Harlen Foley

The race was held on the Honolulu Hills’ motocross course, as well as the hills and desert surrounding the circuit. Dry conditions made track preparation difficult, and dust was definitely a factor in the racing. So much so that officials wisely closed down the uphill and downhill Pro sections that were becoming troublesome during the Pro events.

Robert snagged the holeshot on his KTM, but Bell collided with Robert within the first mile of the race, which sent Robert to the dirt and Bell into the lead. From there, Bell rode a smooth and steady pace on his Kawasaki to net his first victory of what has been a tumultuous season.

Robert, meanwhile, spent several laps trying to get back into his groove. After falling back in the field, he used pit strategy to take second from Oliveira two laps from the finish.

Wisely riding a conservative pace earned Robert the WORCS Championship, a mark he has been chasing for the last three years. Robert was dominating the title runs in 2017 and 2018 before injuries took him out of the hunt. This year, he was determined not to get hurt, and he made it happen.

“It’s been a great year,” said Robert. “This is what I’ve been looking for during the past two years, but due to injuries and bad luck, I wasn’t able to make it happen. This year, we did what we had to do to get it done.”

Robert Clinches WORCS Title

2019 Taft WORCS Results
Taylor Robert clinched the 2019 WORCS Championship.

Oliveira came out of the first turn in third and then moved to second when Robert crashed. He held a comfortable spot in second for most of the race before falling to third when he pitted. It marked Oliveria’s sixth podium in what has become a breakout season for the out of Hollister, California.

Former WORCS champ Gary Sutherlin ran a decent race on his KTM but just missed the box and finished fourth. Sutherlin described a survival mentality during the event that came at the end of what has been one of his more demanding seasons.

In Pro 2, Walton won his fourth straight race and unofficially unseated Austin Serpa at the head of the championship points. Walton put in a hard sprint early on his Husqvarna and rode the gap to the finish. Tallon Lafountaine was second, followed by Walton’s teammate Noah Kepple.

Lafountaine got a slow start on his Honda, and that kept him in second for the entire race. Lafountaine is using these last two races as preparation for his planned move to the Pro class next season.

Walton rode a drama-free event to finish third. It marked his second podium of the season and his first since round three.

Mateo Oliveira rode his two-stroke GasGas to another dominating victory, his sixth of the season. Australian racer Will Riordan and Thomas Jones finished second and third, respectively, on their KTMs. Oliveira clinched the Pro 2 Lights title with the win.

The WORCS motorcycles will finish off the 2019 season at Buffalo Bill’s Resort and Casino in Primm, Nevada, November 22-24. CN

– Harlen Foley

209 WORCS Championship

Round 8

Honolulu Hills Raceway

Taft, California

RESULTS: October 13, 2019

OVERALL

  1. Zach Bell (Kaw)
  2. Taylor Robert (KTM)
  3. Dante Oliveira (KTM)

PRO 2

  1. Austin Walton (Hus)
  2. Tallon Lafountaine (Hon)
  3. Noah Kepple (Hus)

PRO 2 LITES

  1. Mateo Oliveira (GG)
  2. Will Riordan (KTM)
  3. Thomas Jones (KTM)

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By Contributor