THR MONSTER KAWASAKI’s David Pearson clears the air about what happened at Sunday’s AMA National Hare and Hound championship finale:
“I want to apologize to all my sponsors, fans and organizers for this. They (THR Motorsports, Bob Bell and my team) put a lot of time and money into me winning the AMA Championship. I think this experience was costly but I can learn a lot from it as a rider and a person. I saved a couple of seconds but it cost me an entire championship. The way the race turned out, I would’ve been fine without doing it. I wasn’t cutting the course or doing anything dishonest. I simply made a bad decision and gave the championship away in doing so. I never would’ve done it if I knew the repercussions. I also want to apologize to the club for putting their future races in jeopardy and also to National Hare and Hound for putting their reputation out on the line if for some reason, when I dumped the can, if it caught on fire, it would give the BLM a reason to shut desert racing down. The desert is about all we have. I love racing and I love winning.
On the first loop Kamo got around me and didn’t stress too much because I thought I could get around him. It was dusty and the wind wasn’t blowing so I tried everything I could to pass him early. I didn’t want the same thing to happen on the second loop. I have thought about the strategy (fueling on the fly) but never practiced it or tried it in a race. I’ve looked in the AMA rulebook and didn’t find anything against fueling in motion. But obviously after getting the penalty I realize I shouldn’t have done it. In my head, all I wanted to do was get the job done out in the desert. I was trying to give 120% and be creative. It was in the heat of the moment and I didn’t want to have to look in the mirror the next day and say, “I should’ve tried something different”. Obviously I regret what I did. I am sincerely sorry.
Kurt (Caselli) did an awesome job all year long, my hats off to him for coming back after his injury. He’s a great competitor.
I’m going to put what happened behind me an focus entirely on helping Robby and THR win the SCORE BAJA championship plate.
-David Pearson, THR Motorsports
It was a great race: Fast and tight between the top contenders KTM, THR KAWI and JCR HONDA, a virtual pre-curser to the upcoming showdown at the BAJA 1000 in 3 weeks. With Kurt Caselli and David Pearson fighting for a AMA championship, any mishap could spell doom for either team’s hopes in Mexico.
The final round of the AMA National Hare & Hound Series came down to a 3 point spread between THR MONSTER KAWASAKI’s David Pearson and KTM’s golden boy Kurt Caselli out at the 100’s Motorcycle Club District 37 in Lucerne Valley
Pearson is a top contender in both Best in the Desert and SCORE with team wins in the last Vegas to Reno and BAJA 500,. He only had to finish 2nd or better in this final to edge out rival Kurt Caselli for the title.
Right out of the gate Caselli and Pearson went 1 and 2 on the “bomb run” start with JCR’s David Kamo close behind. After a short 17 mile loop Caselli led by only 10 seconds. On this loop, Pearson is reported to have gone into a ditch as well as doing some bush whacking, giving Kamo the edge with a long loop remaining.
Before the final loop, Pearson pitted for gas with Caselli and Kamo just ahead. In his very own version of “self serve”, Pearson dropped the clutch, rolled off his mat while holding the dump can with his left hand and continued to fuel his bike while riding down pit row. He dropped the empty gas can out of harms way toward the end of the pit, took off and immediately passed Kamo within ¼ mile of exiting.
At this point, Caselli had a 00:40 second lead on Pearson. Meanwhile Kamo had a rear brake issue that caused him to drop off the pace. By the time they crossed the finish, Caselli’s lead widened to a few minutes and Jacob Arubright settled into 3rd spot. Kamo trialed in 4th with his brake issue.
Within minutes of the finish, the tension began to build throughout podium area with Announcer Dude George Antil buying time with the crowd while District 37 officials took up jurisdiction on the matter. A D-37 rep pulled Pearson into the official tent to lower the boom and access a 5 minute time penalty, which automatically placed Pearson outside of his necessary 2nd place.
In a very subtle manner both Caselli and Pearson, along with their handlers adjourned back to their trailers where they began packing up. This left the Announcer Dude and the rest of the fans waiting, until event organizers finally gave the word that Caselli was the official race winner, and that the championship was to be determined after AMA reviewed the results. Pearson is said to have launched a formal appeal to have his penalty thrown out. As of press time it is not known wheather or not he has withdrawn his appeal and conceded the title to Caselli.