2023 IRC Tire EnduroCross Series dished-up a classic nail-biter finish with Trystan Hart coming out on top of Colton Haaker and Jonny Walker for maiden championship title in Reno.

FMF KTM Factory rider Trystan Hart entered the sixth and final round of the IRC Tire EnduroCross Series presented by Progressive in the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center sitting second in the series standings, seven points behind defending champion factory Beta rider Jonny Walker of Great Britain.

However, the odds were against him. Even if Hart won all three motos, he would need help to top Walker for the title from another rider who would have to finish between Hart and Walker to win the championship. 

That was just the start. The math got even more complicated as the evening progressed.

To kick off the evening, Walker once again posted the fastest time during the Hot Lap qualifying session while Hart, who had won rounds 3 and 4, was fourth-fastest.

Walker came into the finale holding a seven-point lead over Hart, with Haaker another five points behind, making for a similar situation as last year, where the championship came down to the final round.


Moto one

When the first moto kicked off, it was Haaker who quickly moved to the front and comfortably held the position to the finish. After a top-five start, Hart was able to work his way into second behind Haaker by the finish, although a lapper kept him from a chance at the lead.

Walker, who wasn’t as lucky on the start, rode a brilliant race from mid-pack to finish third.

Moto two

The inverted gate sees the top finishers in moto one get the last picks and RPM Racing’s Angus Riordan took advantage to grab the early lead. FactoryONE Sherco’s Cody Webb quickly moved through the pack to take over the lead, with Hart and Haaker in tow.

Haaker got around Hart in the matrix section and set out after Webb, taking over when Webb bobbled. Hart settled into third, but a crash sent him to the back of the pack, although he still managed to work back up into third.

The moto finished with Haaker taking another win, followed by Webb, Hart and Angus Riordan. Meanwhile, after some bad luck, Walker could only muster a seventh, setting up a winner-take-all scenario in the final moto.


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Moto three

FactoryONE Sherco’s Cooper Abbott squeezed through the first turn in the final moto to grab the early lead in the decisive moto. He was followed by the title contenders, Hart, Haaker and Walker.

Of the three it was Hart who took the bull by the horns, taking control early on in the final moto but it was super-close behind with seconds separating the top four of the action-packed race, with Walker’s finishing position crucial.

At the finish Hart was first, Cooper Abbott in second, Webb in third, and Walker not doing enough in fourth.


2-3-1 one finishes on the night claimed the overall fand a maiden AMA Endurocross title for Hart: “I needed a little help as far as points to win the title,” said Hart. “But after the first two motos it got a little complicated and I was trying to figure in my head.

“Honestly, at the start of the year, I got two fifths, and winning a championship wasn’t even really in the equation,” said Hart. “Then I really picked my socks up and got two wins and a second. Then coming here, it was still not easy because I needed someone in between me and Jonny. So, it was not going to be easy.

“But the whole night didn’t go the way I thought. I thought I was going to do a little more winning. The first one I lost on the last lap because of a lapper. Then the second one, I went into third on the first lap from the second row, crashed, and went back to last.

“In that last one, I didn’t know. The math was so confusing. I just knew that I had to be near the front and Jonny couldn’t be close to me, and there was a chance I was going to win. I honestly didn’t even know I won. My mechanic was cheering and I just started doing a burnout. I’m like, surely I won. The gods wouldn’t have done this to me.”

“Nightmare” second moto throws it away for Walker

The Reno round was a wicked twist of fate for Walker, who came into last year’s finale trailing Hart in the title chase and wound up winning it all; a juxtaposition to this year.

“I came in with a seven-point lead,” said Walker. “I knew I had to finish third to win the championship. The first race was good, I finished third. In the second race, just had a bit of a nightmare. A few things went wrong, and I ended up seventh. That’s what kind of threw it away. I got a good start and I was like, oh sweet, we’re on for it now. I knew I just had to beat Cooper Abbott and Cody, and I was in front of them. Then I went into the pipes and went over the handlebars, which was the worst thing I could have done. Jumped straight in, straight over the handlebars. I was like, oh no.

“But it’s racing. We’ve done what we could. It’s difficult to come over here. Obviously, I’m not happy with second. You don’t want to be second. But it’s racing. I did exactly the same to Trystan last year. I came in, points down, managed to beat him on the night and take the championship. So, it’s the same again.”

“Chaotic” night for Haaker

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker was second on the night and until late in the final moto, appeared to be on his way to a sweep of the program after winning the first two motos.

“I won the second moto despite screwing up in the pipes; we all got super tangled up in there. It was pretty chaotic.,” said Haaker. “I didn’t go down, but I was stuck behind Trystan and Jonny and everybody else. It was pretty crazy. The last moto, we were just training out there. It was just five guys all together. It was a good night, but I would have liked to have won, but it is what it is. But the last moto, I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time a couple too many times. So, I think I was actually making good moves and doing my thing, but just at the wrong place, wrong time.”

Best till last for Abbott

FactoryONE Sherco’s Cooper Abbott turned in his best performance of the season, with a third overall for the night after a 5-5-2 performance and leading half of the final moto.

“I felt like I got definitely better each moto,” said Abbott. “In that third moto, I think I got around Trystan on lap two or three and then I led until a lap to go. I made a little mistake and he got around me. He was riding really well. That’s how I was riding coming into the year and how I felt practicing, and I just wasn’t able to translate it to the race. Better late than never at least with that last moto. Hopefully, next year we’ll bring that intensity and speed into next season.”



FactoryONE Sherco’s Cody Webb was still in with a shout of the title heading into the final round, or a podium at least, but the chaos on the night got him.

“I made a really bad lap two laps from the finish,” said Webb about the second moto. “I dug a big hole that first moto and just ghost-rode my bike to the sky. I felt like Ricky Bobby throwing around. I don’t know where I was. So I had to come back from dead last and just pick them off. Then I finished second and third and almost won the second moto. Almost got Cooper at the end of that last moto, but I was happy for him to get a podium and end out of the season.”

Webb was 8-2-3 for fourth overall, just ahead of Walker’s 3-7-4. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Ryder LeBlond was 4-8-5 for sixth overall. RPM Racing’s Will Riordan went 6-9-7 for seventh overall, while German Dominik Olszowy (Rieju) posted a 9-6-9 score for eighth.

A 7-11-8 moto tally put Arizona GasGas rider Max Gerston into ninth, ahead of RPM Racing’s Angus Riordan who finished fourth in the second moto. He added a 13th and an 11th to round out the top 10.

The final championship standings went Hart in first with 147 points; Walker second with 140, and Haaker third with 137 points.


ISDE to EnduroCross – EX Women’s Pro title for Gutish

Over and Out Racing/GasGas’ Rachel Gutish was tops in the EX Women’s Pro division, winning the main event and the Women’s Championship. Gutish was also part of the US team that won the Women’s Trophy division at the ISDE in Argentina.

“It’s just been an amazing season all the way around for me,” said Gutish. “My first EnduroCross win was 10 years ago and it took me this long to finally get my title. It’s something I’ve worked for off and on for years and years now. So to finally reach the moment I’ve dreamed of, feels pretty damn good.”

Second place went to Mellisa Harten (Bet), who led at one point in the race, while third was Hallie Marks (Sherco).  


1. Trystan Hart, KTM, 2-3-1

2. Colton Haaker, Hsq, 1-1-6

3. Cooper Abbott, Sherco, 5-5-2

4. Cody Webb, Sherco, 8-2-3

5. Jonny Walker, Beta, 3-7-4

6. Ryder LeBlond, Hsq, 4-8-5

7. Will Riordan, KTM, 6-9-7

8. Dominik Olszowy, Rieju, 9-6-9

9. Max Gerston, GasGas, 7-11-8

10. Angus Riordan, KTM, 13-4-11

Final Championship Standings

1. Trystan Hart, 147 points

2. Jonny Walker, 140

3. Colton Haaker, 137


Words Credit: Shan Moore

Photo Credit: Jack Jaxson