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Bell & Abbatoye Win Glen Helen 6 Hour
Photos Sean Renshaw
After experiencing what I personally consider a tough start to my 2014 season, the six-hour race at Glen Helen offered a perfect opportunity to have a bit of fun in a race-like setting. The six-hour is always a pretty laid back event and riding it with a teammate makes for plenty of riding while falling shy of being too physically demanding on the body. My knee was starting to feel a bit better and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to team with my best friend (and sponsor) Ryan Abbatoye.
Ryan and I decided on having Ryan start; more accurately I said I really didn’t want to start meaning he was the only remaining option. I wanted to set the casual mood of the day in my prerace pep talk with Ryan, so I made sure to tell him it was just for fun, there’s no pressure, but I’m not going to get on the bike unless you’re in the lead. Ground rules: check.
Fortunately for Ryan he was able to get into the lead and after his first set of three laps he brought the bike to me with around about thirty seconds advantage. We pitted the bike quickly and I headed out for me first look at the course.
I’m always a fan of the course that Ron Lawson, Gary Jones and the SRA crew lay out for these endurance events and the six-hour course was no exception. I was quick to get into a rhythm and my knee felt pretty solid as I got into the flow of the course. I did have one mishap when I stalled the bike in one of the tight canyon sections of the track on my last lap; I tried restarting in gear but to no avail and after what was probably another ten kicks in neutral, the bike finally fired back to life and I was on my way again. I brought the bike in to Ryan having lost most of the advantage he had built and the two-stroke 250 team of Blaine Thompson and Justin Seeds were right on my tail with a two-stroke KTM team right behind them.
Ryan had a great ride and pulled out almost a minute’s lead as he gave me the bike and having felt pretty good during my first stint I decided to pick up the pace a bit this time around. I felt fantastic on the bike for the first time in over a month and was really feeling the flow of the course, apart from a small high side crash on my last lap that has actually left my wrist slightly swollen as I write this. Both of the two-stoke teams had some issues as well; Blaine and Justin dropped out of the race with an impressive hole blown in their exhaust pipe and the KTM team suddenly dropped eight minutes back.
From that point on Ryan and I really enjoyed the race with Ryan showcasing some of his impressive goon riding skills; I tried a little to goon it up a little, but I was getting tired and it’s surprisingly taxing to goon ride. After what ended up being exactly six hours of racing, we crossed the line and took the win.
It may not have been a national event, but it does feel really good to get back to winning ways this year. I’d like to thank Ryan Abbatoye for teaming with me and carrying the team; thanks to all of my personal sponsors: Precision Concepts, Kawasaki, THR Motorsports, MSR, Shoei, Sidi, Spy, Focus Apparel, EVS, USWE, Alamo Alarm, FMF, BRP, Northland Motorsports, Ryan Abbatoye Designs, ATP Mechanix and Jan’s Towing; also, thanks to my mechanic Phil and my wife Katie and coor’s corner boys for cheering like madmen!
Now I have a few weeks to get some fitness back before the next WORCS race so I’ll be looking to build some strength and momentum leading in to Utah. I definitely feel I need to find my form so I can represent the number one that’s on my bike properly.