Purvines Racing Beta’s Axel Pearson enjoyed a nearly perfect day at the Moapa Valley Offroad Roundup hosted by the Darkside Motorcycle Club, the eighth and final round of the Kenda/SRT AMA West Hare Scrambles Regional Championship Series, on November 12.
Leading almost from start to finish, his second victory of the season moved him from fifth to third in final series points behind teammate Nick Burson, who finished second on the day, and IRC Tire Yamaha rider Justin Bonita, who finished fourth. The final points read Burson with 182, Bonita at 134 and Pearson on 101—all the more remarkable after three DNFs over the eight rounds.
Though not known for his starts, Pearson got a good one in Logandale, Nevada, chasing only teammate Damon Bush as they jumped into the sand wash at the end of Whipple Avenue next to the Clark County Fairgrounds. As they exited the first turn in the sand wash, Pearson was in front.
“We were both side by side and I ended up holding it on an extra second and got by and got some clean air,” Pearson said. “From there, it was pretty easy for a while. I put quite a bit of time on them the first mile or two; I looked back and I didn’t see anybody close. Nick ended up catching me about mile five or six. It was pretty quick. From then on, we were pretty close all the way to lap three or four, then I think he had a little spoke problem.”
Indeed Burson did. As he headed out for what was the sixth and last lap, he heard an alarming sound, looked down and saw a couple spokes flailing around his rear wheel. After stopping to quickly remove them, he got going again but at a more careful pace in order to finish and preserve the eventual Purvines Racing Beta 1-2, taking the checkered flag almost four minutes behind Pearson’s winning time of two hours, 51 minutes and 36 seconds. Burson was more than satisfied with the result and reviewed his season
“I won the races that I needed to that were my specialty,” Burson said. “I got out of the first half of the year [better than expected]. I was hoping to be in striking distance of the championship and I came out with a 10- or 12-point lead after all the tree rounds. With the way the schedule played out with all the desert rounds at the end instead of mixed in, it worked well for me.”
Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/Precision Concepts Yamaha’s Justin Morgan backed up his round-seven triumph with third place two and a half minutes behind Burson, his second podium to date. That put him fifth in final points at 86, defending series champion Cory Graffunder earning fourth with 92 after the SRT KTM rider missed the final three races due to conflicting EnduroCross rounds.
Bonita took fourth for the day on the IRC Tire YZ450F he’s used for the final rounds which were desert-based, acknowledging his YZ250 he used in winning round four in the woods at Shasta, California, wasn’t up to the task of staying with the big four-strokes his competitors use so successfully.
Bush put in his best ride to date and held on for fifth overall followed by Open A winner Gavin McCarthy, FMF Pro 250 winner Taylor Stevens, 250cc A winner Logan Lee, 200cc A winner Ryan Karell and sixth-place Pro Curtis Bradley.
2017 Kenda/SRT AMA West Hare Scrambles Regional Championship
Moapa Valley Off-Road Roundup
Results: November 12, 2016 (Round 8 of 8)
1. Axel Pearson-Bet (first Pro/AA)
2. Nick Burson-Bet
3. Justin Morgan-Yam
4. Justin Bonita-Yam
5. Damon Bush-Bet
6. Gavin McCarthy-Yam (first A Open)
7. Taylor Stevens-Hus (first Pro 250)
8. Logan Lee-Hon (first A 250)
9. Ryan Karell-KTM (first A 200)
10. Curtis Bradley-Bet