WORCS round 4

Lake Havasu City, AZ
March 24/25, 2012

                  The race course at the Crazyhorse campground in Lake Havasu, AZ has always been one of my favorites.  It’s usually a pretty demanding track with a mix of sand whoops, a choppy motocross track and just enough rocks to make the roost something vicious that you definitely want to avoid.  This year the WORCS crew made a few changes to the layout of the course and the general consensus throughout the pits was that it was the best Havasu course yet, offering a better flow from previous years.
                  My recovery had gone pretty well from the flyer of a crash in San Felipe, thanks in large part to my massage therapist Lorrie at Elemental Healing Touch, as we tried to get my back and neck muscles to loosen their strangle hold on my spine.  I hadn’t ridden since Baja, but I love racing in Havasu too much not to give it go and figured I wouldn’t forget how to ride in two weeks.
                  Practice went well enough and I felt pretty decent on the dirt bike, but I was struggling with the muscles on either side of my spine in my middle back.  Any sharp impact would send some pain through my back and make breathing super deep a bit of a chore.  Luckily, I thought to myself, the track’s mostly sand whoops so I’ll just stand up the whole way and send it.
                  It’s tough to really get up for a race when you know it’s going to hurt, but I put on the brave face and headed up to the line for the first moto.  With the lack of a starting gate, it was a dead engine start and as the green flag lifted my bike took two kicks to start.  I went into the first turn around ninth, but right away I could tell I wasn’t quite up for it.  I tried to push, but I was also being cautious not to hit anything too hard and jar my back and with the quality of riders around me, I quickly got shuffled back to eleventh.  From there I put in a good pace, flirting the line between pushing and protecting my body, and started to pass a couple riders.  On the second lap I made it by Ross Neely and Justin Soulé, who was also carrying an injury into the weekend, putting me up to ninth.  Bobby Garrison was just ahead of me and I did my best to latch on to him as he pulled me through Colton Haaker and Blake Savage.  At around the halfway point I was running in seventh, but I was starting to feel the effects of the race.  My back was getting really tight and making it difficult to take really deep breaths, so to compensate I had to breath really shallow and quickly.  This was leading to oxygen debt as my breathing wasn’t keeping up with my output and I started to feel light headed on the bike.  My fingers and toes started tingling and once my vision started to go a little spotted I decided to pull into the pits to recover as the risk of making a mistake and crashing was greatly rising.  Once I was able to get my breath back and calm down I went back out to ride around and collect some points, but I realized I was a bit ambitious in thinking I could come out and run hard so soon after such a bad crash.  I finished eleventh.
                  Sunday morning came, and with it, the soreness through my neck and back.  I decided to sit out the second moto on Sunday so I didn’t take a huge step backward with my recovery as my race schedule this year doesn’t lend me too many breaks.  I helped in the pits and got to see the race from a spectator’s point of view, which was cool, but at the same time almost unbearable as I really wanted to be out there racing.  It was interesting seeing the ebb and flow of the race: watching Kyle Summers and Taylor Robert sprint out front early and put on a good show for over half the race; seeing Mike Brown pace himself as he worked though some arm pump, holding off the initial charge of Bobby Garrison, and then staying solid late in the race to work his way past a fading Summers and into second; and watching Ryan Abbatoye come from nearly last to fourth by putting in consistent laps and picking riders off one at a time as they began to tire.  Being a spectator definitely gave me some motivation to work hard to get back out there as I had the racer’s itch the whole time I was watching.
                  I’m really bummed, not only for myself, but my team as well that I wasn’t able to go out there and mix it up with those guys.  I’ve been building this whole year, but setbacks and injuries are a part of racing; I’m just thankful to have such a great team behind me with THR Motorsports, Monster Energy, Precision Concepts Kawasaki, as well as all of the team sponsors and my personal sponsors: Fox and Asterisk.  Next weekend is round three of the Big Six series at Twenty-nine Palms and I’ll be doing my best to recover my body and get back to full fitness for the weekend full of racing.  Thanks to everyone this weekend for all the support and well wishes, they’re much appreciated.


Thank you to all the team sponsors:   THR Motorsports,  Monster Energy, Precision Concepts, Kawasaki, FMF Racing, Hoosier Precision Machining, BRP, Renthal, Dunlop, VP Racing Fuels, IMS Products, Kalgard, DT1 Filters, Hinson, Matrix Concepts, ZLT, QTM, RK/Excel, Acerbis, Works Connection, Zip-Ty Racing.

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