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Peoria, AZ – Taylor Robert rode his KTM to his second consecutive victory in the AMA Sprint Hero Racing Series during the most recent round at Canyon MX. Padding his points lead in the Pro class, Robert just beat out Zach Bell. Gary Sutherlin was third, followed by Colton Haaker and Dante Oliveira.
Sprint Hero features a unique format that pits racers against the clock on different course segments called tests. The two-day event featured three tests each day on two different courses—motocross and enduro—for a total of 12 tests. Heavy rain on Friday made for perfect racing conditions during the weekend with excellent visibility and track conditions. Despite going up against several Arizona area races, there was still a decent turnout, including all of the major Pro racers.
Robert scored top honors and remains perfect this season, though Bell showed the work he put in between races has paid off. Robert credited Bell for his excellent weekend and used his competitiveness to drive him.
“He was on it and he surprised me yesterday,” said Robert. “He lit a fire under me and I knew I had to be perfect today to beat him. It shows he’s been doing his homework and riding more technical stuff. That will just make it harder on me in the future.”
Interestingly, Robert was seriously injured at this track last year, so the victory was redeeming. Nearly a year ago to the day, a collision with another rider during practice nearly ended Robert’s 2018 racing season. Robert has fought injuries the last two seasons, so he hopes to stay healthy this year. “It was almost exactly a year ago to the day here that a kid a hit me and broke both of my arms,” said Robert. “To be able to come back from that and keep winning feels pretty good.”
Bell won several tests on his Kawasaki. New to the bike this season, Bell is getting more comfortable on the machine and it showed, especially in the technical sections of the endure course. “I’m learning more and more and getting used to this Kawasaki has been key,” said Bell. “I’m learning about this rock stuff and I’m getting better. It was pretty fast, so you always had to be on your toes.”
Sutherlin caught a stomach virus and suffered his way through the weekend. Despite his health issues, Sutherlin rode consistently on his KTM and came home with his second podium of the season. “It was a rough weekend, but we pushed through on got on the box,” said Sutherlin. “I’m just happy to salvage what I could on a bad day. The course was awesome and they did a great job.”
In what is becoming one of the most competitive classes on the tour, Cooper Abbott won the Open A class, riding a KTM. JT Baker was second, ahead of Clayton Hengeveld. Abbott had trouble with consistency on day one, but made up for on day two, while both Baker and Hengeveld suffered from a mistake on the same test.
“I didn’t ride super well on the first day, but I picked it up on day two,” said Abbott. “JT and Clay are riding really well, but both of them made a mistake in one test, which allowed me to pull away a little bit. JT and I are tied in points right now, so we’re just going to keep the ball rolling into Mesquite.”
Baker rode his 2-stroke Gas Gas, using the machine’s torque to power through the rock sections and sand whoops. Baker won the season opener with consistency throughout, but that consistency left him on day two here and put him second in the final tally. “Yesterday I won more tests than today,” said Baker. “I made a lot of mistakes today. I’m happy with the Gas Gas. We’ve made a few changes since the last race, and I’m getting more comfortable with it.”
Hengeveld finished third for the second straight time. He had issues on day one, but powered his way back onto the podium on the second day. “I struggled all day long yesterday, but I pulled my head together today and rode pretty decent,” said Hengeveld. “I’m definitely going to learn from this one and keep pushing.”
In Lites A, Mateo Oliveira won his second race in as many rounds. Oliveira made his way through the rocks and bravely kept it pinned through the backstretch whoops section of the motocross course. Oliveira was riding a 2-stroke Gas Gas. Tyler Nicholson and Blake Donatelli rounded out the podium.
“It was super rocky and slick, so I just tried to stay as consistent as possible,” said Oliveira. “the straightaway in the back with the whoops had a lot of people crashing and it was sketchy for me a couple of times. I just had to go wide open through it to put down a good time.”
The next AMA Sprint Hero Racing Series event is scheduled for May 11-12 at Mesquite MX.
Devore, CA (1/6/2019) – Starting the season healthy for the first time in recent memory, Taylor Robert dominated the opening round of the AMA Sprint Hero Racing Series at Glen Helen Raceway. Riding in the Pro class, Robert beat out Gary Sutherlin to net the victory. Zach Bell was third, ahead of Ty Tremaine and Dante Oliveira.
Sprint Hero Racing features a unique format that pits racers against the clock on different course segments called tests. Each day riders had three tests of two different disciplines: Moto, which was run on Glen Helen’s motocross track, and Enduro, which was held on a large off road course set up throughout the venue. Times were combined for a total of 12 laps of racing for the overall winner.
Temperatures in the 50s with clear skies during the race days made for perfect racing. It stayed dry all day Saturday with rain that evening, making for a perfect track on Sunday. Bike counts were nearly double what they were at last season’s opener and there was a great mix of manufacturers participating including factory riders on Kawasaki, KTM, Beta, and Gas Gas as well as many privateers.
This year’s course included some additional segments, including a long rock and log section, where the smoothest line was along the K rail. There was also more single track added at the back of the sprawling facility.
Robert dominated on his brand new factory KTM 450, especially in the enduro sections, winning all six of those tests. While Bell won every one of the moto tests, the additional length of the enduro tests paid big for Robert. “Zach was moving in the moto tests, but the race was really made or lost in the enduro tests,” said Robert. “I was giving up a second or two on the moto tests, but I was able to make up 20 seconds in the enduro tests.”
Robert was happy to see the growth in bike count. He was impressed with the way the track was setup and the way the new owners are running the series. He sees growth in the series once the word really gets out. “I really hope we can get this thing to grow because it’s really incredible,” said Robert. “You have to learn to not make any mistakes. It’s really tough out there, but that’s part of the game. I’m stoked at everyone that came out. We had quite a few pros, so hopefully we can make it bigger.”
Sutherlin had a great run going on Saturday, but fell just short on Sunday and finished second in overall time. Sutherlin, who was making his first start in the series, said he enjoyed the unique challenge the series offers. Sutherlin also made the switch to a KTM this season.
“I never got up there and won a test and these guys were killing it out there,” said Sutherlin. “Zach was ripping the moto tests and Taylor was killing the enduro tests. It’s fun to change it up, push yourself, and try to be perfect every time. I really like the format and I’m looking forward to doing some more of them.”
Bell ran away with the moto tests on his Precision Concepts Kawasaki, but with only two weeks on the bike prior to the event, he couldn’t match Robert in the enduro tests. Still, he finished just 31 seconds behind Sutherlin.
“I had a few mistakes on the last enduro test,” said Bell. “I’ve only been on the bike for a few weeks, but I grew up on Kawi so that’s where it is. I like this type of racing. I just have to pick up the pace a little bit. The whole layout was a lot better than last year. It was a really good event.”
Tremaine was riding a factory Beta 300 and appreciated its light weight, especially through the long rock and log section. He was flying over the logs on his 2-stroke ride. “It was a good weekend and a good way to get the year started,” said Tremaine. “I was bunny hopping the logs, and the bike works really well in the rocks. This is, by far, the most fun you can have while racing. The Beta is a really comfortable bike and it sounds good.”
In Open A, JT Baker beat out Cooper Abbott and Austin Serpa to win the class. Riding a factory Gas Gas XC 300 2-stoke, Baker has only been on the new ride for three weeks prior to the event, but he made it look easy.
“I only have three weeks on the bike, but I loved it and the bike handled amazing,” said Baker. “The 2-stoke is great and it’s not as tiring as the 450. I love the Sprint Enduro format.”
In the Open A Lites class, Mateo Oliveira rode his Gas Gas to victory. Tyler Nicholson and Preston Campbell completed the top three.
“The enduro and the tight single track were my favorite parts,” said Mateo Oliveira. “I just went all out in every test and try to put down a fast time.”
The Sprint Hero Racing series next heads to Canyon MX in Arizona. That race is scheduled for February 16-17th.
REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR ROUND 3 OF 2019!
Head over to the online registration portal and get signed up today for the Third round at Mesquite MX. It’s an amazing year!
Don’t forget, new for this year, you get to select a charity of your choice. Be a hero. Race. For list of charities and descriptions, click here.
Sprint Hero is excited to announce the charities for 2019.
Part of Sprint Hero’s mission is to give back. A portion of every race entry fee will be donated to some amazing charities. Be A Hero. RACE!
You will now have the opportunity to choose between four different charities when you register for your race. Pick the one that is closest to you!
For 2019, you will be able to choose between:
Mile Markers Therapy – Helping special needs kids and families of all ages.
Wounded Warrior Project – Providing programs, services and events for wounded veterans of the military actions.
Make-a-Wish – Arranges experiences described as “wishes” to children diagnosed with critical illnesses.
Breast Cancer Research Foundation – Supporting clinical and translational research on breast cancer at medical institutions in the United States and abroad.
Spring Hero Racing is excited to announce the pro payout schedule for the 2019 Sprint Hero Racing Season.
100% PAY BACK TO BE SPLIT
1st – 50%
2nd – 30%
3rd – 20%
GET READY TO BEAT THE CLOCK
(Printable pdf down below)
All AMA Sanctioned Events
January 5-6 / Glen Helen Raceway – Devore, CA
February 16-17 / Canyon MX – Peoria, AZ
ROUND 3 – ISDE Qualifying Round
May 11-12 / Mesquite MX – Mesquite, NV
June 8-9 / Cinder Hills, AZ
August 24-25 / MMX, CA
Taylor Robert Dominates Sprint Hero Finale, Shondeck Nabs Championship
Peoria, AZ (4/15/2018) –Taylor Robert returned to off road competition for the first time since breaking both arms and dominated the Sprint Hero race at Canyon MX. Robert, who was injured in February, won all 12 tests on the weekend to score the victory on his Red Bull KTM, ahead of Cole Shondeck, who clinched the championship. Dalton Shirey rounded out the top three.
Riders competed on full-length loops called “tests.” Riders were started on each loop in 20-second intervals and were challenged to run a full-out lap, followed by a break. This event featured motocross tests on the facility’s motocross track. The enduro test was an ISDE-style track with single track, virgin trails, and a copious mix of terrain. There was a special section that went down into a wash and up the other side. A few of the Pros quickly figured out how to jump the entire thing, making for spectacular air
Robert had only been cleared to ride a few days prior to the event. Looking at the unique format, he figured it would be a nice way to return to competition without overstressing his body or risking further injury. Plus, it was his home track and the same place he sustained his most recent injuries.
“It felt really good to be back on the bike in my natural habitat,” said Robert. “It was a perfect way to get back into racing because you only have to run for five or eight minutes at a time and then you get to take a break. I really enjoy this style of racing.”
Shondeck finished second and edged out Justin Jones by two points to take the championship. Jones was leading the points going into this round, but a mechanical issue made him miss the final test on Saturday, which cost him the championship.
“Taylor won them all and put a spanking on us, but I got a few seconds which was cool,” said Shondeck. “It was easy to make a lot of mistakes, but you could also make up a lot of time. I fell in one of my tests, rode hard after that and I had my best time of the weekend.”
Jones just missed the championship, but said he thoroughly enjoyed the series. He said the Canyon race brought out a lot of pros and the competition was fierce, something he likes. “This is my favorite type of off road racing,” said Jones. “I think I would have been there, but that’s racing in general, so I’m looking forward to next season.”
Shirey participated in his first Sprint Hero race and he was competitive enough to snag the final spot on the podium. He enjoyed the instant gratification of knowing almost immediately where he made up, or lost, time on the track.
Destry Abbott finished fourth, just missing the podium by 20 seconds. Abbott, 45, said the format suits his age and health limitations. He was happy with the results and hopes the series will continue next season.
“I’m going to be 46, I’m still doing chemo and dealing with cancer, so I can’t be too disappointed,” said Abbott. “I think the series is awesome, and I hope Sean sticks with it. I want to see the series grow because it’s awesome. I would like to do some WORCS and some Hare and Hounds, but my body won’t work for two hours at that pace so this format is perfect for me.”
Mitch Anderson completed his sweep of the Open A title chase, winning here. The CST KTM rider said the series was perfect for up-and-coming racers like himself. “I had a really good year and put it all together,” said Anderson. “I’m happy to see the speed is there, and I’m looking forward to moving up to Pro soon.”
The inaugural season of the Sprint Hero Racing Series was a success, and each round attracted more racers, so next year the series should be bigger and better as Shondeck plans to return to defend his number one plate.
Justin Jones Wins Sprint Hero Race, Takes Points Lead
Cedar City, UT (3/11/2018) – Justin Jones won the Sprint Hero Racing Series held at Iron Mine Raceway. Jones, riding his Monster Energy Honda, beat out Cole Shondeck and Destry Abbott for the victory and took the points lead in the process. The event was the second of three being held this season.
Weather was dry on Saturday with slick and dusty conditions. Rain overnight brought the track surface around nicely on Sunday with perfect racing conditions. Jones, who finished second in the first race at Glen Helen, had to play catch up after a hard tumble during Saturday’s race. He came back on Sunday and took the win.
“On Saturday, Destry and Cole Shondeck were really going fast and I didn’t make it easy on myself,” said Jones. “I made a lot of mistakes and went down hard once. I rebounded on Sunday and conditions couldn’t have been better. We had a decent amount of rain last night and I came out on top.”
Jones enjoys the new series as it offers something for everyone. Not only does it feature 22 classes, the format also allows people of all fitness and experience levels to challenge themselves on the different tests.
“This is favorite type of racing because you have competition in your class, but you’re really racing against yourself and the clock,” said Jones. “You can really turn yourself inside out in minutes and it shows raw speed off road.”
After finishing fifth in the opener, Shondeck decided to run the whole series and was rewarded with a runner-up finish, just behind Jones. A veteran motocross racer, Shondeck said the format has helped him really come up to speed in off-road racing.
“It was an awesome weekend. The Enduro Test was super cool. The single-track section was tight and completely different than the rest of it. The GP sections were fast, but they were fun. You get a little bit of everything out here. I grew up doing motocross and I’m a little bit new to the off road stuff,” said Shondeck.
Forty-five-year-old Destry Abbott finished third on the weekend, just ahead of his son Cooper. Despite fitness levels challenged by chemotherapy, Abbott was able to put in competitive runs both days. He said the new format allows him to continue racing.
“This series is for everybody,” said Abbott. “My fitness isn’t all there. I’m still dealing with chemo and being 45 isn’t the best, so this style is really the best for me right now. You can be young or old and this is a great style of racing. This series is really going to take off. You come in, talk to your buddies and have a good time. Then you go out and do another test.”
The Sprint Hero Racing Series finishes its season at Canyon MX in Peoria, AZ. That event is scheduled for April 14-15.
Sprint Hero Racing Utah Results
1. Justin Jones
2. Cole Shondeck
3. Destry Abbott
4. Cooper Abbott
5. Steven Gibson
6. Brad Goolsby
7. Mitch Anderson
8. Bryce Shondeck
9. Austin Phillips
10. Jackson Watson
Can’t race or stay all weekend but still want to get a day in of the hottest new racing format on the West Coast?
Single day racing is now available for Sprint Hero.
Come to the track for Saturday or Sunday racing!
$55 for all classes.