In his first race ever in the Imperial County desert, Kurt Caselli roosted to victory in the AMA National Hare & Round 3 hosted by Roadrunner Motorcycle Club and Threat Racing at Superstition just outside El Centro CA. Quite ironically, Caselli will head south on Tuesday to prep for the San Felipe 250 with Ivan Ramirez to make another first: racing in the whooped out sand washes of the Baja Desert. “Yea next week is something new too”, explained Caselli, “I’m riding with Ivan and I think he’s the best partner I could have since he’s a local down there and he definitely taught me a lot this last week pre-running. I’m definitely looking forward for this next week. It should be a good race, it’ll be interesting to see you does good there.”
Purvines Racing HONDA team has been making a huge push in this series and new addition and KTM expat David Pearson was on Caselli’s tail all morning until he had a minor swap and then lost sight of him on the B loop. After 2/3 of the race, Pearson was only off by 00:25. Still, he settled in for a second place and retains the series lead by a narrow 4 points. In breaking news, just last night in Laughlin, “The” Ricky Johnson pledged to help fund Purvines Team with additional financial support. Who knows? Maybe they can make a push in SCORE for 2012.
Five time AMA NH&H champion Destry Abbott, who is 38, stayed in 3rd from start to finish and has been on the podium for all three rounds this year. He’s also eyeing the possibility of landing on a ride for the upcoming BAJA 1000 this fall, provided planets align properly. “I do want to get back down there and give it another shot. It’s something that I really want to win”, says Abbott. You might remember the closest BAJA 1000 in history in 2009 when the Penhall/ Wahoo’s/ Monster KAWI of Robby Bell lost to JCR’s Kendall Norman by close to a minute. Abbott had been pulled off the bike in the middle of his assignment in a managerial goof. That disappointment seems to linger with Abbott as the primary motivation for a hopeful return to Mexico.
Jake Argubright, Justin Morrow and David Kamo rounded out the top five in the pro class. Team JCR was expected to be on hand for this event and surprised a few people when Big Red never showed. Kendall Norman won here last year in a spectacular performance in the rain, but this year all hands are on deck in San Felipe for next week’s Baja sprint.
In a bizarre and totally un-cool move by the local authorities, Caselli’s BAJA pre-runner was cited by Sheriffs Deputies when KTM Racing sponsor Dean Pottz from Bonanza Plumbing was roosting around near the finish. When asked for registration, Pottz couldn’t produce on the spot and got the bike loaded up onto a flat rack tow truck where it was whisked away to a local impound yard.
The AMA National Hare and Hound is run by Chris and Patty Blais and is jam packed with action all season as the top 10 battle it out. Pearson and Caselli will be at it all season with Abbott nipping at their heels.
Caselli is pumped for BAJA and RDC will be on the ground next week with the most complete and accurate coverage of the bike classes as well as the cars and trucks.