The 2018 AMA EnduroCross series season started with a bang in Prescott Valley, Arizona with FMF KTM’s Cody Webb and Rockstar Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker battling for the win. Ultimately Webb got the win ahead of Haaker with SRT Husqvarna’s Trystan Hart rounding out the podium.
With the Prescott Valley Event Centre packed to capacity the crowd was treated to a full night of exciting racing. The afternoon started with the hot laps to determine the heat race gate picks and Webb set the fastest time, followed closely by Haaker. Gas Gas backed Noah Kepple finished a solid third. Kyle Redmond and Cooper Abbott rounded out the top five.
The night show started with the two pro class heat races and both were exciting. Webb won the first heat race with a last lap pass on Hart. Ty Tremaine, on the Alta electric bike, Beta’s Max Gerston, Dustin McCarthy and Cooper Abbott rounded out the top six.
In heat two, Haaker took the win over SRT Husqvarna’s Kyle Redmond after a back and forth battle. Gas Gas backed Geoff Aaron, Beta rider Ty Cullins, Mason Ottersberg and South American Benjamin Herrera also transferred to the main event. Haaker and Webb each earned a bonus championship point for the heat race wins.
The top four from each of the above heat races faced off in head-to-head bracket races. Haaker advanced to the final while Webb was eliminated by Redmond. Haaker then beat Redmond in the bracket final to take another bonus point and the first gate pick for the main.
When the gate dropped in for the main event, Webb stormed to the front followed closely by Haaker, Ottersberg, Cullins, Redmond and Hart. Webb led the first two laps but then Haaker managed to pass for the lead, then gave it back a lap later. Webb opened a twelve second lead but then a few mistakes and a crash handed the lead back to Haaker for laps thirteen through fifteen of what ended up being a nineteen-lap race.
But Haaker got held up by lapped riders several times and then crashed in an uphill rock section, handing the lead back to Webb who maintained the lead to the finish to take the opening round.
“The opening round was awesome.” Said Webb. “This was the coolest most, fun race yet. Colton and I were going back and forth. The course was so nasty, and this was what EnduroCross is supposed to be. People were crashing everywhere, including Colton and me, and the crowd was so into it. This was a great way to get the season started.”
In the dramatic race Colton Haaker wasn’t completely comfortable with the Prescott indoor track and had to settle for second: “The track was really slippery tonight with a lot of water getting dragged around the whole course, so we lapped a lot of riders and Cody lost out on some lappers and I got into the lead, then I lost out on some lappers again. And it ended with me in second. It was a brutal one. I am looking forward to Costa Mesa and an outdoor arena and maybe a little more room.”
Hart was as far back as ninth at the completion of lap one but worked his way to third place and maintained it to the finish to get his season off to a good start. His teammate, Redmond, also had a strong night and finished the main in fourth position. Ty Cullins rode his Beta to a fifth-place finish, his best result since his rookie pro season in 2016.
“I had a good start and then got shuffled back in the rocks on the first lap.” Explained Hart. “When I got into third I took the Joker lane and knew that I was in third. I saw the halfway mark and thought it should have been just about over, so it was a tough race. But in the end, I got third, so it was a good day.”
Aaron finished sixth on his GasGas, Tremaine finished seventh on the Alta, Gerston was eighth on the factory Beta, Abbott rode his RPM KTM to ninth and Kepple rounded out the top ten on his Gas Gas.
2018 Prescott Valley AMA EnduroCross main event results:
- Cody Webb, KTM
- Colton Haaker, Husqvarna
- Trystan Hart, Husqvarna
- Kyle Redmond, Husqvarna
- Ty Cullins, Beta
- Geoff Aaron, Gas Gas
- Ty Tremaine, Alta
- Max Gerston, Beta
- Cooper Abbott, KTM
- Noah Kepple, Gas Gas
- Benjamin Herrera, Beta
- Dustin McCarthy, Yamaha
- Mason Ottersberg, Beta
- Spenser Wilton, KTM
FMF KTM’s Kacy Martinez took an exciting Women’s class main event win. She only led the final lap after passing 2017 champion, Shelby Turner. Turner recovered for second on her KTM and Morgan Tanke rounded out the podium on her Beta.
Destry Abbott won the Vet class on his KTM despite two big crashes in the rock section. Dan Hayakawa finished second and Michele De Mas rounded out the podium.
Joshua Bridge made a long drive from Canada pay off with a win in the Open Amateur class. Hawaii’s Grayson Gonsalves finished second and Gavin McCarthy rounded out the podium.
In the Amateur B class, Branden Petrie, another Canadian took the win over James Thomas and Nick Tolman.
Fifteen-year-old Cole Cherick took the TrialsCross main event win. Coleman Johnson and Nicole Bradford took second and third, respectively.
The special AMRA main event win for the local club that organizes a lot of the Arizona off-road events was won by Nick Saia. Wayne Dickert and Dan Hayakawa rounded out the podium.
2018 AMA EnduroCross Championship Schedule:
August 25, 2018 - Prescott Valley, AZ - Prescott Valley Event Center
September 15, 2018 - Costa Mesa, CA - Racetrack at OC Fairgrounds
September 22, 2018 - Reno, NV - Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center
October 20, 2018 - Denver, CO - National Western Events Center
October 27, 2018 - Everett, WA - Angel of The Winds Arena
November 3, 3018 - Nampa, ID - Ford Idaho Center
Photo Credit: Tanner Yeager
More information: endurocross.com