U.S.D.R. Desert Championship Series
2010 U.S.D.R. Round 1
“Pearson Storms to U.S.D.R. Victory”
By Dave Earll
Photos by Tony Lamping/off-roadphotos.com
And Kinny Jones
RIDGECREST, CA. 02-07-10
With a new year comes change, and change was in the air at Round One of the 2010
U.S.D.R. Championship series. For only the second time in its history, rain all day
Saturday would provide perfect conditions as a record field of nearly 400 competitors
took to the track for some incredible bar to bar, dust free racing! Leading the way, David
Pearson would take full advantage of the rain soaked desert and score a dominating win
for KTM, their first in over two years.
With a stacked field of both Pro and Expert racers, the anticipation was at a fever pitch
as the green flag dropped. Taking the early lead, Pearson would have his hands full as
he was feeling the pressure from top W.O.R.C.S. racer Ryan Abbatoye and 2009 series
champion Nick Burson.
Some great back and forth racing would continue between the leaders until the special
“technical section” just after check one. Not often seen at a U.S.D.R. event, the 1.5 mile
long rock section would present some challenges for even the best racers. Burson would
be the first to suffer problems in the section. “I stalled the bike while trying to pass
Pearson,” said the Husqvarna rider. “I sat kicking for 5 minutes!” Burson would finally
get going again, but Kawasaki rider Ryan Kudla would not be so lucky, as a crash would
leave him with a destroyed radiator and a long, slow ride back to the pits.
Heading back to the start/finish line to complete lap one, a surprised crowd would see
some new faces running up front. Pearson was leading of course, but not by much. Right
on the factory KTM rider’s tail was first time U.S.D.R. racer Abbatoye, followed by 16
year old Colton Sanders and fellow KTM rider Morgan Crawford. Now back in fifth,
Reigning champion Burson would have his work cut out for him as he would need to put
in some great laps in order to catch the leaders.
Lap two would make Bursons job a little easier as a hard crash by Sanders would allow
the Zip-Ty Racing sponsored rider to gain two positions. “I saw Sanders down and
Crawford was stopped with him,” said Burson. “It looked bad but we were very close
to a check.” The young Thousand Oaks KTM rider would get up and continue on, but a
concussion would leave him with very little memory of the race.
By lap three it was beginning to look like Burson may have settled for third and some
points. Not so for Abbatoye however, as the Kawasaki rider was determined to chase
down Pearson.”I was leading after the pit rotation, “said Abbatoye. “It felt great while it
lasted!” Pearson would soon make his way back to the front but the gap between first and
second would stay close throughout the remainder of the race.
At the checkered flag it was Pearson taking his third U.S.D.R. victory. “I had a great time
today,” Said the KTM factory rider. “The course was rough, but that gives me some great
practice for the National H&H Series.” Coming home in Second, a very happy Abbatoye
was pleased with his performance. “I loved the harder course,” said the Kawasaki rider.
“I felt really good today.” Third would go to a consistent, but slightly disappointed
Burson followed by a “dizzy” Sanders in Fourth. Rounding out the top five, Open Expert
class winner Jason Parsons put together a fantastic ride to top Cooper Hall, Morgan
Crawford and former Lites class champion Danny Modica.
While the Pro race saw its share of action, some of the best racing of the day took place
in the 9:00am morning race. With non-stop lead changes and over 220 bikes on the
course at the same time, it was “thrills and spills” all the way! Senior 2 class champion
Steve Williams would be the big winner as he was able to overcome the challenges of
fellow 50 + class racers Bernard Unhassobiscay, Charlie Barney, John Sides and James