JUSTIN HOEFT WINS IN BLISTERING BLYTHE
On Easter Weekend, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC brought the action to Shorty’s Sports Park in Blythe, California, for the 4th round of the 2023 Season. The Track crew designed a challenging but fun course with lap times in the 7-8 minute range. Weather played a part in this weekend’s racing as the cold finally subsided, and we got a quick glimpse of what’s to come with temperatures hovering in the 90s for the entire weekend. Justin Hoeft backed up his win in Lake Havasu as he finished first in Blythe; Kade Tinkler-Walker won in 250 Pro; Hayden Florez, Travis Damon, and Kaitlyn Jacobs all bring home hardware as winners in their respected pro classes.
Travis Damon and Tristun Alvarez put on quite a show in the 125 Pro Class on Saturday. Alvarez grabbed the holeshot and the early lead with his RPM KTM-backed 125, but Damon ensured he didn’t get too far as he would pass him rather quickly in the early stages of the race. Fans cheered them on as they swapped leader positions throughout the entire moto, but as the checkered flag flew, it would be Damon getting his second win of the season and regaining his points lead. In 3rd place, Quentin Pahi raced this week with a roughed-up ankle but powered thru to grab the final podium spot.
Also on Saturday, The Women’s Pro Class raced in the afternoon as Lauren Woods and Kaitlyn Jacobs raced with Brandy Richards still recovering from her crash. Jacobs, on her RPM FMF KTM, blasted out of the starting line as she grabbed the holeshot and, from there, slowly pulled away from Woods. This track was rough as the day went on, and in the back, with all the sand, each lap could form new lines forcing the riders to be on high alert at all times. On her Reezen Kilmartin Racing machine, Woods executed each lap as she brought her bike across the finish line in second.
The weekend’s final race lined up at 11:35 on Sunday; with the sun beating down already and lack of wind, it was set to be a grueling 2-hour race. Tallon Lafountaine, on his SLR Honda, took the holeshot and led early on in the race keeping the likes of Zach Bell, Justin Hoeft, Trevor Stewart, and even teammate Cole Martinez at bay for the first part of this race. Purvines Racing had quite the round as Hoeft made a pass on Lafountaine, and from there, he took off with times being over a minute and a half ahead of second and finished in 1st place, stretching his points lead for the season. Behind Hoeft, Martinez and Stewart were challenging each other as time passed for what podium spot they landed on. Martinez finishes in second after tough finishes in both Delano and Havasu. It was great to see him back up where he belongs. Martinez said, “I am a little under the weather this week, so it was nice to be able to land on the podium with all that being said.” Stewart finished in 3rd as Purvines Racing Yamaha had a rider on every spot of the box, with Jack Simpson in 2nd place in 250 Pro.
With a stacked field in the 250 Pro class, it was Kade Tinkler-Walker showcasing that Canadian speed winning his 2nd consecutive WORCS Race and mounting a hard charge for the points even though he missed the first round this season. Jack Simpson held the early lead as he tried to put a gap between himself and Tinkler-Walker as he did, but it wouldn’t be enough to stop him. In the middle of the race, Tinkler-Walker started slowly chipping away at Simpson as they separated from the competition and had a battle among themselves. The SLR Honda factory rider was able to get around Simpson on his way not only to a 1st place finish in class but a 2nd place overall based on time during the pro race. Heartbreak occurred on the final lap for RPM FMF KTM rider Jake Alvarez who solidified his spot in 3rd as a mechanical issue occurred, causing him to be towed in by the track crew and unable to finish the race. This allowed 3Bros Husqvarna rider Kai Aiello to slide into the 3rd place spot and his 3rd podium of the season, keeping Simpson in his sights as he leads the points heading into Glen Helen for round 5.
Pro-AM, which has one of the most extensive lineups of racers all weekend, took off with Mason Decunzo leading the way as Hayden Florez and others hot on his trail. Early on a big pileup before the pro section, which saw 4-5 riders go down, one of which was Tyler Jones. Florez and Decunzo fought hard for most of the race as Florez made a pass on him midway through the moto and kept it that way as the race finished. Jones fought from the back of the pack and clawed his way back onto the podium for 3rd place. That was your podium and, as of round 4, how the season points lineup.
Rocky Mountain ATV/MC WORCS Racing wants to thank all of the riders, racers, sponsors, and volunteers who came out and supported the race this easter weekend, and we hope to see everyone at Glen Helen on May 5th-7th.
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