CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLES HEAT UP IN VERNAL AS GROSSE WINS.
Summer break has finally ended, as the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC WORCS Crew brings the racing action to a brand new venue in beautiful Vernal, Utah. This 8.5-mile course brought quite the challenges, with big jumps in the motocross section and deep pockets of silt through the Offroad section. That didn’t scare off too many riders as the best of the best lined up to battle it out with three rounds remaining in this year’s championship season. Torey Matajcich continues her outstanding season as she wins in women’s pro. In Pro, Braxton Grosse showed the older guys the new generation by winning his second of the season, and Gage Leaver won his first-ever Pro-Am in dominant fashion.
The women’s pro class lined up on Saturday afternoon, ready to battle it through the hills and desert. Heidi Colman grabbed the holeshot and led early, as clean air was pivotal in this race. Once she caught up to the following line, she got caught up with a few different riders and got stuck, causing her to fall out of the lead.
She would keep pushing, finishing just off the podium in 4th place. Points leader Matajcich took advantage of the miscues, allowing herself to slide into the front position, with Layne Friar also pushing hard to reach that top spot. Multiple riders found themselves in situations where they had to push their quad from being high-centered in some of the deep silt pockets of the course. As the dust settled, it was Matajcich on the podium’s top step, with Friar finishing second and Donna Espensen third.
On Sunday, the 90-minute pro race was held, and a bit of a breeze started to pick up to increase some visibility, but the silt was still thick and caused its fair share of problems. In Pro, Braxton Grosse would show just how vital the holeshot was as he could get fresh air early and grab a lead early on. Points leader Beau Baron was on the opposite side of this as a rough start made the work cut out for him, having to pass multiple riders to get himself back on the box. A big part of this race would be how each rider and his team strategized the pits, as some opted for a filter change while some tried extra cover instead of changing.
Travis Damon kept Grosse from getting too far ahead as he would slowly reel him in after his pit, where he changed the filter while Grosse did not. This allowed Grosse to separate himself far enough to bring home his second win of the season in his rookie year. Damon and Baron have been battling all season, both finishing on the podium in all but one race this year, and the points show it as they get even closer, with Damon only 9 points behind with two rounds to go. Baron put the hammer down as he started from the back but found his way throughout the race to push himself into third to minimize the damage and keep himself secured in the championship points. Max Lindquist and Logan Huff had quite the battle, putting bar-to-bar action over multiple laps with another one of the many battles during this race.
Gage Leaver showcased his speed in his rookie year of Pro-AM racing by leading this race from start to finish with a lead of over 3 minutes by the time the checkered flag flew. At the start, Leaver and Rylan Steadman came into the first turn side by side, but Leaver came out on top and took advantage of the visibility and clean air to separate as he set sail early on. The points leader coming into Vernal Cole Fryar, had quite the day with a last-minute fix on the line to get the race going. Over one of the jumps in the motocross section, his axle broke, leaving him on three tires, but luckily, he could stay on the machine and come out of the accident healthy. After finishing second in the women’s Pro class, Layne Fryar also found herself in third place in the Pro-Am class. With the win, leaver moves into first in points with the last two rounds being up 19 points in the championship.
Rocky Mountain ATV/MC WORCS wants to thank all the riders, staff, and volunteers for coming out and supporting round 7 of the season and we can’t wait to see everyone at Mesquite on October 6th-8th.