Irvine, Calif. (September 10, 2012) – At the final round of the 2012 World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS) at Honolulu Hills Raceway in Taft, Calif., Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert sealed off his championship season aboard his KX™450F with a seventh win after going 1-1 on the weekend. Teammate Bobby Garrison finished seventh with a 5-7 moto result and wrapped up the season with second overall on the championship podium. Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Brandy Richards battled until the last moto to secure the co-ed Super A championship and also capped a perfect season in the Women’s A class, taking home two titles. At the awards banquet that followed, Robert stood at the top of an all-Kawasaki championship podium with teammate Garrison in second and top-Kawasaki privateer Robby Bell in third.
Although Robert had already secured the WORCS championship at the previous round at Cahuilla Creek MX, he came to Honolulu Hills Raceway looking to notch one more win in his belt. In the 60-minute plus one-lap Saturday moto, he got a good start and pulled his KX450F to the front of the pack within the first few turns. Robert quickly put a gap on the field and never looked back, taking the win by almost 50 seconds. Despite arriving at the track on Sunday still suffering from an allergic reaction that sent him to the hospital on Saturday night, he jumped on his Kawasaki and threw down even faster lap times than the previous day to command the win for a second day in a row and end the season on top of the podium.
“I was really pumped on the whole season, it couldn’t have gone better,” said Robert. “Seven out of ten wins isn’t bad. In Taft, I really didn’t get challenged so I just did my own thing and ended up going 1-1 to finish out the season. The track at Taft was really good, it is my style of track and similar to the one I ride near my home in Arizona with pretty hard dirt and square edges, and I love all the jumps too. On those kinds of tracks you have to find good lines or they can beat you up. I actually only rode my KX450F once the week prior to the race, I have been spending more time on my KX™250F getting ready for Ontario EnduroCross. We still have a lot of EnduroCross races left and I really want to do well in that series too. Right now I know I am one of the top guys in the field, but I want to be the top guy.”
Coming into the final round of the season, Garrison knew he had second place in the championship standings locked up and despite an injured shoulder, he still wanted to ride the final motos of the season. On Saturday, he got a good jump off the start and as he rocketed around the outside of the first corner his rear wheel lost traction and he went to the ground. Before he could get up he was run over by another racer and pounded back into the ground. Despite the pounding, Garrison got up, dusted himself off and jumped back on his KX450F to finish the race in fifth place. On Sunday, Garrison hoped his shoulder would hold up for the 90-minute moto, but after the first lap knew his shoulder wouldn’t last and pulled off the course.
“It went pretty rough out here in Taft,” said Garrison. “In the first corner I went down and (Timmy) Weigand ran right over me, hitting me with his front wheel, case and then rear tire. Luckily I came out of it without breaking anything. The rest of race went alright, but I was so far back at that point I felt like I was riding by myself in no man’s land. I just kept clicking off laps and finished in fifth place. After the race I iced my shoulder and stretched it out hoping it would be good for Sunday. On the first lap of the Sunday moto I was feeling fine at first. I was pushing on the top five guys right in front of me as we entered the EnduroCross section, but somehow I tweaked it going over the obstacles. I decided to pull off because I didn’t want to further damage my shoulder and knew it wouldn’t last the entire 90 minutes. I am going to get it checked out this week before we head to Ontario EnduroCross.”
Since Monster Energy/THR Motorsports/Kawasaki’s Bell secured the SCORE Baja 500 win, he has been all over the country competing in the last few rounds of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship before coming to Taft for the final round of the WORCS. Even though he missed the WORCS Pro Saturday race to compete in the outdoor national at Lake Elsinore MX, Bell arrived on the paddock Sunday morning prepared to battle for third in the WORCS championship standings. Off the start, Bell got funneled to the middle of the pack and he began working his way through the field. On the final lap, he got around fellow Kawasaki rider Ryan Abbatoye to finish fourth, earning enough points to secure third in the championship standings by just three points. During the awards banquet, Bell was presented a check from Monster Energy Kawasaki Off Road Team Manager Jason Smigel for earning the Top Kawasaki Privateer.
After wrapping up a second-consecutive, perfect season in the Women’s A class, Team Green’s Richards came to Taft looking to secure her second title of the season in the co-ed Super A class. With the championship on the line, Richards needed to win the final moto of the season to take the title. Sunday morning before the race, she glued the torn calluses on her hands shut and rolled to the line for her final moto of the season. Once the gate dropped she went to work on her KX™100, commanding the win by nearly two minutes to earn her second-consecutive Super A championship. Currently, Richards is the winningest rider in the history of the WORCS series, in both men’s and women’s classes.
After the dust settled for the final WORCS moto of the 2012 season, Kawasaki riders swept the Pro class championship podium with Robert on top, Garrison in the number two spot, and Bell in third. Richards also took home two more championships for Team Green while teammate Justin Seeds scored the 450A championship aboard his KX450F. Several Kawasaki privateers also took home slices of championship pie like Logan Chambers who earned the 85 A championship aboard his KX™85. In the 250 A class, Brandon Leith powered his KX™250 the top of the podium. Tallon Taylor earned the Open A title and Kris Goolsby took home the 50+ A title, both aboard their KX450F race bikes.
During the WORCS awards banquet that followed the final motos Sunday in Taft, several changes were announced for the upcoming 2013 WORCS race season. Next year, the format for the Pro class will go back to the one-day, two-hour moto format. In addition, each WORCS weekend will consist of ‘Super Events’ which will host Motorcycle, ATV, and SXS racing, all in the same weekend.
Next weekend, the Monster Energy Kawasaki Off Road team jumps back on their KX™250F endurocross bikes to compete in Round 4 of the AMA EnduroCross Championship at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. Justin Soulé will also be returning to the series after a three month hiatus due to an injured shoulder he received at Round 2 of the series in Sacramento, Calif.
2012 World Off Road Championship Series – Round 10 of 10
Honolulu Hills Raceway – Taft, Calif.
September 8-9, 2012
Pro Class Results
1. TAYLOR ROBERT, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI (1-1)
2. Tim Weigand, Honda (2-3)
3. Josh Strang, KTM (4-2)
4. RYAN ABBATOYE, KAWASAKI (3-5)
5. ROBBIE GOOLSBY, KAWASAKI (6-6)
6. ROBBY BELL, MONSTER ENERGY/THR MOTORSPORTS/KAWASAKI (DNS-4)
7. BOBBY GARRISON, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI (5-7)
Pro Class Championship Standings
1. TAYLOR ROBERT, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 465
2. BOBBY GARRISON, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 351
3. ROBBY BELL, MONSTER ENERGY/THR MOTORSPORTS/KAWASAKI, 311
4. RYAN ABBATOYE, KAWASAKI, 308
5. GARY SUTHERLIN, KAWASAKI, 260
6. JUSTIN SOULE, MONSTER ENEGY KAWASAKI, 211