|PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ (October 23, 2021) – Rockstar Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker fired back with a dominant win at round four of the 2021 GEICO AMA EnduroCross series in Prescott Valley, Arizona. The defending champion finished second at the previous round but came back to win all three motos in an exciting night of racing. RPM KTM’s Cooper Abbott finished second overall with 4-3-2 moto scores and Max Gerston rounded out the podium on his GasGas with 3-7-3 moto finishes. |
FMF KTM’s Trystan Hart, the previous round winner and Haaker’s closest championship rival, finished second in the first moto but ended his night with a dislocated thumb in the second moto, resulting in a thirteenth overall finish.
The top fourteen pro riders ran hot-laps during the opening of the evening program to earn their gate picks for the first of the three motos and Hart set the fastest time of 34.456. Haaker was a close second with a 34.515 and TM rider TY Cullins put in an impressive 35.809 for third. SRT Offroad Yamaha rider Cory Graffunder was fourth with a 35.889 and Gerston rounded out the top five with a 36.771.
Haaker got the jump on the field to start the first moto followed by Gerston and Hart. Hart got past Gerston before the end of the first lap to go after Haaker. The two front runners stayed close for the whole moto but Hart was not able to make any serious challenges for the lead. Gerston was a strong third. Abbott had to make up for a bad start to finish fourth. Graffunder rounded out the top five.
The second moto inverts the first moto finish positions for gate picks, so the top riders start on row two. Will Riordan took the holeshot ahead of Spenser Wilton. Abbott was third entering the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Rock Garden but he got taken down in a multi-rider pile-up that included Gerston. Riordan led a couple of laps before Haaker made the pass for the lead and eventual moto win. Riordan, a teenager from Australia latched onto Haaker and held the spot for a career-best second place in the moto. Abbott rebounded from his first lap crash to finish third. Wilton hung on for fourth and Cullins rounded out the top five in the moto.
Abbott took the lead to start moto three ahead of Cullins, Haaker and Riordan. Haaker got by Cullins on lap two and managed to pass Abbott for the lead as they neared the halfway point. Abbott put up a good fight for a couple of laps that included nearly landing on Haaker with a tighter pivot over a huge log, but Haaker edged away for his third moto win of the night. Abbott finished second to secure second overall. Gerston passed Cullins early in the moto and rode a lonely moto to finish third and earn his first overall podium finish of the season. Pennsylvania’s Ryder LeBlond put in his best moto of the season for fourth, which also earned fourth overall. Graffunder rounded out the top five in the moto.
Haaker’s 1-1-1 gave the Husqvarna rider the overall, his third in four races so far this season. Abbott was second overall with 4-3-2 scores on his KTM. Gerston was third overall with 3-7-3 scores.
LeBlond’s 6-6-4 earned the Husqvarna rider a career-best fourth overall and the top Junior class ranking for riders 21 and under.
Riordan, another rider eligible for Junior class points finished fifth overall on his KTM with 9-2-7 moto finishes.
Graffunder was sixth overall on his Yamaha with 5-9-5 finishes. German rider Tim Apolle was seventh overall on a Beta with 7-8-6 moto scores. Cullins was eighth on his TM with 8-5-8 motos. Wilton finished ninth on his GasGas with 12-4-12 results and Anthony Johnson rounded out the top ten on a Sherco with 13-12-9 moto finishes.
Haaker was happy with his results and renewed enthusiasm from the fans for EnduroCross. “I felt like tonight I was back in the zone and the tight track meant we had a lot of lappers so that was difficult. I liked the track, I liked the fans and I liked the show. The promoters stepped it up with the light show and fog and cool intro and the Prescott fans were really into it. So I appreciated all of that.”
Abbott had another strong night for second overall. “Second overall is awesome and that is a good finish, but the night started off rough with a fourth in that first moto and then getting landed on during the first lap of the second moto. I finally put it together in the final moto for a holeshot and I actually got a little nervous out front. I need to ride better at these next two races in Denver next week.”
Gerston was proud of his first EnduroCross overall podium of the season. “I have been working really hard for this and I am proud of myself because of the level of competition this year. There are a lot of really good athletes out here so I am stoked to be up here and on my program I put together this year with my family and a lot of really good sponsors helping me do what I love.”
2021 Prescott Valley, AZ AMA Super EnduroCross Round 4 Overall Results
1. Colton Haaker, 1-1-1, Husqvarna
2. Cooper Abbott, 4-3-2, KTM
3. Max Gerston, 3-7-3, GasGas
4. Ryder LeBlond, 6-6-4, Husqvarna
5. Will Riordan, 9-2-7, KTM
6. Cory Graffunder, 5-9-5, Yamaha
7. Tim Apolle, 7-8-6, Beta
8. Ty Cullins, 8-5-8, TM
9. Spenser Wilton, 12-4-12, GasGas
10. Anthony Johnson, 13-12-9, Sherco
11. Brandon Petrie, 11-13-10, KTM
12. Nick Thompson, 10-11-13, KTM
13. Trystan Hart, 2-16-16, KTM
14. James Flynn, 14-10-11, GasGas
15. Dustin McCarthy, 15-14-14, KTM
16. Noah Kepple, 16-15-15, Husqvarna
Shelby Turner took her third win of the season in the Women’s main event. The KTM rider dominated on the difficult track. Louise Forsley finished second on her Sherco. Morgan Tanke rounded out the podium on her Beta.
Nathan Rector won the intermediate class for the second race in a row on his KTM. The Missouri resident is rapidly improving his EnduroCross skills. Colman Johnson took another podium finish on his Sherco. And Uta’s Nick Tolman rounded out the podium on a GasGas.
The amateur class was won by David Stirm on a Yamaha. Arizona native Dan Hayakawa made a last-lap pass to finish second on a Husqvarna. Frederick Parr rounded out the podium on a TM
Hawaiian Ryan Gouveia came out on top of a large field of Vet 35+ riders riding his TM. David Kamo put in a good charge from the second row to finish second on a KTM. Craig Thompson kept his podium streak alive with a third on his Yamaha.
Thirteen-year-old Murphy Aaron won the Junior Trials class on his GasGas in his first-ever EnduroCross event. Jack Williford challenged Aaron for the entire race but had to settle for second on his GasGas. Dylan Lozano rounded out the podium on his Sherco.
Round five and six of the 2021 GEICO AMA EnduroCross series will be a doubleheader in Denver, Colorado on Friday, October 29th, and Saturday, October 30th.
|Colton Haaker (center) took his third EnduroCross win of the season with a three-moto sweep in Prescott Valley. Cooper Abbott (right) finished second overall and Max Gerston finished third. (Jack Jackson photo).|
|Haaker rebounded from a second place finish at the previous round to take a dominant overall win in Presscott Valley. (Jack Jackson photo).|
|Abbott put in another strong rider for second overall but was a little disappointed with his first two motos. (Jack Jackson photo).|
|Max Gerston made his local fans and family proud with a third overall finish in Prescott Valley. (Jack Jackson photo).|
|Shelby Turner (center) took her third Women’s EnduroCross win out of four races so far. Louise Forsley (right) finished second and Morgan Tanke rounded out the podium. (Jack Jackson photo).|
|Shelby Turner mastered the tough Prescott Valley track. (Jack Jackson photo).|