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Ricky Brabec Wins Hare & Hound Title
National Hare & Hound Championship
The last round of the 2014 National Hare and Hound championship headed out to the ever-familiar desert of Lucerne Valley for a three-loop, 100 mile long finale. It was a classic course design with the first two loops being a little faster, while the third and final loop tested the racers’ skill in the more technical, rocky terrain. Precision Concepts’ racer Ricky Brabec came in to the race with a fifteen point advantage over Nick Burson, needing a fifth place finish or better to secure his first ever Hare and Hound title. Max Eddy has also been showing great form as of late and looked to put himself inside the top five at the final round.
There was no denying a little extra pressure would be on Ricky’s shoulders as he was so close to earning the championship, but he did his best to focus on the race at hand. “All the way up to the race I was fine, but then once everyone [started] talking about what I had to do [to get the title] I was getting more nervous. When the banner went up just before the start I think my heart rate had to have been over 200! I [really] needed that one-kick start.” And when the banner fell Ricky got off to his best start of the season, the bike igniting before he had even finished his first kick, and he was first to the bomb, nothing but clean air ahead of him. “My starts have been crazy this year! Either starting dead last, or first, [but] this was my best start of the year. Within half a kick the bike fired, I got the hole shot and was dust-free.”
Ricky has begun to assert his dominance as of late at the Hare and Hounds, showing he has the speed to pull away from the field and after grabbing the hole shot, Ricky never looked back. He stretched out nearly two minutes on the first loop, then more than doubled his advantage on the second loop and continued to put time on everyone behind him to the finish “I couldn’t believe I was doing it. I was riding [really] well, [wasn’t making] any mistakes, and before I knew it the checkered was waving!” As he crossed the finish line, Ricky took a commanding win over Ivan Ramirez and Nick Burson, and with it, his first ever National Hare and Hound championship.
“[Over] the last five years I never thought I’d be here with a number one Hare and Hound plate and man does it feel great! It’s just wild, a day later and I still don’t know what to do, I’m just so happy!” I’d really like to thank all of my friends and family because without any of them this wouldn’t have been possible, and all of my supporters: Hoosier Precision Machining, THR Motorsports, Precision Concepts, ZLT, O’neal, SIDI, FMF, Leatt, Eksbrand goggles, A’ME grips, MotoXXX, Bonanza Plumbing, EVS, Renthal, Dunlop, IMS, Acerbis, PCI race radios. I can’t wait for 2015 to go race the Hound and Hound series again!”
Max’s race didn’t get off to the best of starts, taking two kicks to fire his machine, and he was right around the edge of the top twenty at the end of the bomb run. “I didn’t a great start…[but] the course was faster than I thought it would be, which played into my favor for the first two loops. My bike handles really well, which helped me get to the front, and at the first gas pit, I was [already] in 6th overall.”
Not long into the second loop Max was able to make his way into fifth. “I had a really fast gas stop [after the first loop] and came out of the pits right behind fifth place, making the pass a few miles later. I had a really good second loop, [with] no mistakes and caught fourth, but I couldn’t quite make the pass.” The third loop was tight and much more technical, making it harder for the riders to pass, and also making it tougher on the equipment, as Max would get and untimely rear flat. “About halfway through the third loop I suffered a puncture to the rear tire. I was able to keep going, but 4th place pulled away from me a little bit. About five miles from the finish I dropped into a sand wash and saw that 4th place, Axel Pearson, had gone down hard. I stopped to help him and lost two spots [in the process], dropping me to sixth.”
Top 10 Overall:
1. Ricky Brabec
2. Ivan Ramirez
3. Nick Burson Top five final standings:
4. Brandon Prieto 1. Ricky Brabec – 253
5. Justin Morrow 2. Nick Burson – 229 (-24)
6. Max Eddy Jr. 3. Ivan Ramirez – 210 (-43) 7. Axel Pearson 4. Axel Pearson – 145 (-108)