Gary Sutherlin Makes it Two in a Row at Buffalo Bill’s
KTM mounted Gary Sutherlin comes out on top once again at round two of the 2014 Rocky Mountain MC World Off-Road Championship Series presented by Motoworks and Dirt Bike Magazine held at Buffalo Bill’s Casino and Resort in Primm, Nevada. Precision Concept’s Robby Bell claimed the second spot on the podium followed RPM KTM’s Justin rounding out the podium.
With near perfect conditions for racing, round two of the series drew over 1,200 entries, which turned the well groomed course that racers started out on Saturday and turned it into a whooped out and rutted course for the two hour long pro main on Sunday. The course was very similar to years past, but track master, Tim Shelman, added a rocky downhill along with a road jump, which attracted a large crowd of spectators out to witness the high flying action. Also, with limited daylight, both the Pro Motorcycles and Pro ATVs ran the race at the same time with the Pro and Pro 2 motorcycles taking off first followed by Pro ATV classes, which added to the traffic on the course in the final laps of the race.
The dead engine start worked in Gary Sutherlin’s favor as he quickly fired up his KTM and took off the line to grab the holeshot over Justin Jones. Sutherlin would find himself in a battle with Jones early on with the pair swapping positions back and forth battling for the lead. While focusing on each other, Bobby Bonds was able to slip past the pair at the same time to take over the lead in lap two.
Sutherlin would eventually pull away from Jones to take control of the second spot, and just like in round one, Sutherlin received a gift from Bonds when he dropped out of the race after eight laps, which moved Sutherlin into the lead. Sutherlin remained virtually unchallenged in the final laps to claim his second consecutive win to kick off the 2014 WORCS season.
“I couldn’t be happier to get my second straight win. Jones and I went at it for a while, banging here and there, and it turned out great,” said Sutherlin
Precision Concept’s Robby Bell got off to a mid-pack start after taking three kicks to get his Kawasaki fired up on the line, and he appeared stuck in the fourth spot for the first half of the race, but the brutal track took its toll on the front runners in the final laps, which allowed Bell to charge his way into the second spot by the end of lap nine, which is where he stayed to the checkered flag for another come from behind podium finish to remain in the points chase.
“I had to settle for second today, but I got some points, and I’m happy with the effort I put in today, but I just needed a little bit more speed,” said Bell.
RPM / KTM’s Justin Jones got off to a great start battling with Sutherlin for the first hour of the race, but the second hour took its toll on Jones as he dropped back to the fourth spot, but was able to salvage a podium finish when Bonds dropped out of the race. It was his second straight podium finish, which keeps Jones in the points chase.
“I’m back on the podium, and I’m okay with that being back here, and consistency is what pays off, there are a lot of rounds left and we will be there” said Jones
Motorcycle Superstore’s Eric Yorba claimed the fourth spot behind Jones, and Precision Racing’s Justin Seeds rounded out the top five.
Maxxis’ Bobby Bonds once again charged his way into the lead early on in the race and looked untouchable as he maintained a nearly 30 second lead over the second spot, but once again, Bonds would find himself out of the hunt in the final laps of the race when he went down in a turn and tweaked his bad knee, which kept him from continuing the race and ended another charge for the win.
“I just put my foot out and I twisted my knee when by bike fell on me and trapped me under it. I knew that I banged it (knee) up pretty good and couldn’t really stand on it, so I just pulled in. It’s hurt, but I don’t think it’s a big deal or anything. I’m gonna just come back stronger and hopefully finish one of these things off. I think I’ve lead more laps than anybody, probably double by now, I just need to finish,” said Bonds.
In the Pro 2 Class, it was John Burr Cycle’s Steven Gibson once again claiming the top spot on the box after an early battle with RPM / KTM’s Travis Coy. Gibson was eventually able to pull away and take the win by over a minute on Coy at the checkered flag. David Broderick rounded out the Pro 2 podium in the third spot.
“It was a pretty good race, just tried to stay consistent and ended up with the win. The John Burr Cycle’s Kawasaki and MAXXIS tires with Pro Circuit suspension was working great together. The bike was handling great with no problems and it lead me straight to the podium”, said Gibson on his win.
In the Pro 2 Lites Class, Michael Del Fante suffered a flat tire early in the race, but he put in an incredible charge to come from twelfth place to take over the lead in lap nine, which he held to take the win. Logan Chambers claimed the second spot followed by Dylan Osborne in third.
Round three of the WORCS Series heads to Lake Havasu City, Arizona at the Crazy Horse GP on March 15-16th.