With the 2012 GEICO AMA EnduroCross championship getting underway inside the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas it was Colton Hawker (Kawasaki) that claimed the first win of the series. Avoiding the trouble in the first corner the would see defending champion KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak fall foul of, Haaker controlled the race from the front of the field. Fending off the challenge of eventual runner up Kawasaki’s Justin Soule, Haaker won the 12-lap main event by almost two seconds.
After missing out on a direct transfer through the main, Blazusiak qualification through the semi heat left him with a poor gate pick. Getting pushed wide off the start, the KTM rider collided with the track markings. Loosing almost 20 seconds, Blazusiak remounted dead last. Charging his way through the field he finally worked his way into third place finishing just three seconds shy of Haaker.
Beta’s Cody Webb finished fourth ahead of Taylor Robert (Kawasaki) who rounded out the top five. Mike Brown, Cory Graffunder, Kyle Redmond, Kevin Rookstool, Brobby Prochnau and Destry Abbott completed the top eleven riders that made the main event.
The Women’s class was won KTM’s Maria Forsburg. Kacy Martinez passed Forsburg and led for a little while to make it interesting but a mistake forced her to settle for second. Louise Forsley finished third with Chantelle Bykerk fourth and Nicole Bradford rounding out the top five.
Beta's Cody Webb had a strong ride to finish fourth ©D. Ruiz
Taddy Blazusiak: “It was an eventful night to say the least and unfortunately didn’t quite go how I planned. But generally I’m pleased with the outcome. Initially I found the course to be a bit of an issue - it was quite slow and technical. It didn’t really suit my style and I ended up missing out on a direct transfer to the main. After a couple of changes to the bike I felt more comfortable on the track and easily made it into the main through the semi’s, which gave the fifth gate pick for the main event.
“I knew it would be tough to get a good start from the outside of the gate but I managed to get a good jump and almost had a strong start. Until I got pushed wide and crashed into the logs lining the side of the track that is. The front wheel got wedged between them and it took almost 20 seconds to get going again. By that time I was half a lap behind. I charged as hard as I could and was able to work my way up to third by the end of the race.
“Although the result isn’t what I hoped for I’m still pleased with the result. My riding was good in the final and I posted the fastest lap of the race while working my way through traffic. I have a couple of weeks to prepare for the next round of the championship where hopefully I can improve on this result.”
EnduroCross – Round One
1. Colton Haaker Kawasaki
2. Justin Soule Kawasaki
3. Taddy Blazusiak KTM
4. Cody Webb Beta
5.Taylor Robert Kawawaki
6. Mike Brown KTM
7. Cory Graffunder Husqvarna
8. Kyle Redmond Husqvarna
9. Kevin Rookstool Honda
10. Bobby Prochnau KTM
11. Destry Abbott Kawasaki