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Pearson Pulls Off Desert MC National
David Pearson takes his Purvines Honda to victory
Caselli Comes Up Just Short
At the Desert MC National Hare and Hound in Lucerne Valley, Factory KTM rider Kurt Caselli lead for 89 miles. Unfortunately it was the last mile that he found to be the hardest. The final stretch of valley proved to be very difficult as his 450xc-f decided to call it a day one mile short of the finish line. While it has been reported that he ran out of gas, no amount of fuel was going to coax the KTM back to life and Kurt had to gut it out and push his bike to the line.
That allowed Honda mounted David Pearson to cruise by for the win. David had lurked just beyond Kurt’s dust for the entire race and had built a comfortable gap on all other chasers. Pearson was debuting his new Purvines sponsored Honda 450x. David’s new bikes are built by Berkley Honda with suspension by Precision Concepts Bob Bell. David comes into this season with plenty of motivation and on a win streak that he will now extend to the next round.
Third across the line was perennial desert favorite Destry Abbott on his Kawasaki KX450f. Rounding out the podium was local up and comer Jake Argubright, continuing to build on his successes from last season.
The annual Hare and Hound season opener, put on the by the Desert MC club, is usually a tough one. This year they went well beyond that, laying out the toughest desert race I have ever seen. The first loop featured the usual fast valleys and plenty of rocky trail.
I got off to a slow start when my foot slipped off the kickstarter on the KTM 350 xc-f. So everyone go a jump on me off the line. The bomb run was long and fast and I found myself constantly in the dust. Even at that there were still times when I was going as fast as I wanted to ever go. As we funneled down to the first trail I was mired somewhere around 45th overall, not a very good start.
But I knew the day was going to be long and difficult so the only choice was to be patient and make passes when I could. Even that far back I found myself riding around other riders with enough speed that I was just stuck in the dust for a long time.
By the start of the second loop things were opening up. I battled with a couple of riders, but after we went through the first couple of difficult sections they dropped back and I started to make my way forward. There were two difficult hills in the loop. Fortunately the 350 does very well on them. It has enough power to climb, but not enough torque to spin the wheel excessively. Even at that I had to abuse the clutch a couple of times, but that was only when I had to navigate around stuck riders.
The third loop was the craziest thing I have seen in the desert. It was so hard that the club did not even ride sections of it, they actually walked it to lay it out and hang the ribbon. I got stuck on one bad climb, again trying to get around another rider. I had to push the 350 about six feet up over a ledge. We were both smoking by the time I got to the top. A few minutes of riding let me recover and then it was into the next boulder strewn ravine. Many sections of this loop had never seen a tire track prior to the race. Update:The club sent me a note to clarify that they did actually ride the loop, although maybe not all a the one time. Not that I am complaining, I loved the whole thing.
Did I mention it was hard? Anyway, it all went well for me. I was able to pass a bunch of riders by the finish. The 350 was the perfect partner for the day. It feels so light in the really tough sections, but still has plenty of power for the fast stuff. In the long valleys I never ran short of power. There were a few sections were it lacked just a little on acceleration, but the great handling manners more than made up for that over the course of the day. I think I finished 24th overall and 5th in the vet pro class.
Our friend Beau Cottington has a great video clip out: Promoto.tv