Dante Oliveira Clinches WORCS Title at Dramatic Primm Finale
Primm, NV – The Rocky Mountain ATV MC WORCS Series Presented by Polaris RZR and Dirt Bike season finale was expected finish the 2021 season in dramatic fashion and it didn’t disappoint. While Cole Martinez made a last-lap pass to win the Pro 450 race, Dante Oliveira finished second, and more importantly in front of KTM teammate Taylor Robert, to snag the championship. Tallon Lafountaine clinched the Pro 250 title with his victory, and Brandy Richards won the Pro Am race to cement her championship. The events were held at Buffalo Bill’s Resort.
WORCS officials always come through with impressive Pro sections and this circuit had one of the best of the season. Featuring K-rails, it made for challenging and exciting racing throughout the classes.
In the Pro 450 race, Martinez had settled into third late in the race on his Honda, and looked to add another podium to his tally. Then he caught Taylor Robert and the race was on. On the final lap, he passed both Robert and Oliveira to earn the victory, his second of the season. Oliveira finished second, ahead of Robert. “I charged down to the wire, and took the win,” said Martinez. “This is excellent because I crashed twice in the Pro section today; my bars and my levers are bent. To come from behind and make the move on two title contenders makes for a sweet ending.”
Oliveira turned a bad start into a competitive run. On the first lap, many riders in front of him got tangled up and he and Robert took advantage. Battling Robert through the first hour and a half of the two-hour race, Oliveira finished second and clinched the championship by a scant two points. In all, Oliveria scored four victories this season, and finished on the podium in every round.
“Taylor and I went back and forth for the last four rounds and I’m stoked with the results,” said Oliveira. “I got a bad start in the race and the guys in front of me were dicing it up, and I didn’t want to get T-boned. I just stayed calm, made a few moves and Taylor and I went at for the first hour and a half.”
Though dejected with missing the championship. Robert was pleased with Team KTM’s success. Robert nearly equaled Oliveira’s results, but a fourth-place finish in round eight put him just behind in the final tally. “I gave it everything I had and that’s all I could ask for,” said Robert. “Dante was riding great and Cole made us both look like amateurs on that final lap so my hat is off to him. Dante was just a little bit better than I was today. I left it all out there on the track and that’s all I can ever do. This is great for the team.”
In Pro 250, Lafountaine took the lead on lap two when Mateo Oliveira went down in the Pro section. From there, he put in a consistent and quick ride on his Honda to score his second victory of the season and clinch the championship. Mateo Oliveira was second on his KTM, ahead of Yamaha of Mason Ottersberg.
“I just tried to be smart today,” said Lafountaine. “I tried to avoid any battles and ride my own race. I hit all of my lines and I hit the Pro section well every laps. I have come a long way this year and I’m proud of my effort.”
Mateo Oliveira sprinted so much during the race, that his second-place effort was a testament to his fitness. He fell twice more during the race, and sprinted back up to second each time. “I got off to a good start, but I didn’t grease the Pro section like I wanted to and went from first to fourth on lap two,” he said. “I put on a charge, went down again. Then I made it up to second, and went down again. So, I had three mistakes that took some time, but I had the pace to get the job done.”
Ottersberg scored his third podium of the season with his finish. He hopes to carry this momentum and step it up next season. “It was nice to close out the season on a good note,” said Ottersberg. “This is the closest I’ve been to these guys and I felt strong all race. I’m looking forward to carrying this into next season.”
In Pro Am, KTM rider Brandy Richards continued to show male-dominated class how it’s done to clinch the championship with her second victory of the season. Alex Morgan was second on his Husqvarna, ahead of the similar bike ridden by Max Shapiro.
“I’m pretty stoked on this. I practiced some K-rails all this week so I was confident in the Pro section,” said Richards, who also won every Women Pro race to clinch the title in that class, as well. “I rode super smooth and sprinted as much as I could. I felt good all year, and I’m looking forward to next year.”
Morgan consistently battled Richards all season and this race was no different. After dicing it up several times throughout the race, he finished second. “We had an awesome race,” said Morgan. “I can always trust Brandy; she’s a good clean rider and I can always trust her. We went bar to bar a few times, and she got me. It was a good year. We got a lot of wins and a lot of podiums, and I was there every race.”
Shapiro was running just his fourth race of the season and came away with his first career WORCS podium. After having issues getting his bike to turn over at the start, Shapiro turned a dead last start into a career finish. “I got a dead last start because my bike didn’t start,” said Shapiro. “I did really well in the K-rails and my fitness really paid off.”
The WORCS motorcycle classes are set to kick off the 2022 season January 21-23 in Primm, NV.