Nick Burson Blasts Gorman West Hare Scramble

Nick Burson shows no mercy at round three of the Kenda/SRT AMA West Hare Scrambles Regional Championship Series in Gorman, California.

After a subpar result at muddy round two, defending Kenda/SRT AMA West Hare Scrambles Champion Nick Burson knew he could turn things around at round three of the Kenda/SRT AMA West Hare Scramble Regional Championship Series on Sunday.

Gorman West Hare Scrambles
After finishing a disappointing 11th at round two of the series, defending AMA West Hare Scrambles Champion Nick Burson dominated round three, the Gorman West Hare Scramble, in Gorman, California, Sunday. PHOTO BY MARK KARIYA.

The Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area and Quail Canyon MX Park near Gorman, California, had, after all, been very good to the Purvines DA8 Racing Yamaha rider over the last few years and he continued that streak by winning round three, the Prospectors Motorcycle Club’s Gorman Hare Scramble.

As a result, he vaulted to third in points at 56, unofficially, behind round-one winner Joey Fiasconaro (64) who was fifth at Gorman and Beta’s Max Gerston (58), the day’s runner-up. Burson’s Purvines DA8 Racing Yamaha teammate Axel Pearson likewise improved his position to fourth at 48 after finishing third for the second consecutive round.

The race belonged entirely to Burson, who nailed the start thanks in part to employing a Works Connection holeshot device for the first time on his YZ450FX.

“We locked that down, I was over the front and I didn’t spin, I didn’t wheelie—I just went straight to the first turn,” he said. “I think a couple other guys got a little better jump than me, but I just motored by everybody. just tried to sprint [after that], then just backed it down. I knew it was going to be long and rough, and it got really rough today!”

2017 Gorman West Hare Scrambles
Though he didn’t get the best start, Cole Conatser quickly made his way to the front of the FMF Pro 250 class and ran away from his competition for his first triumph of the season while finishing seventh overall. PHOTO BY MARK KARIYA

Gerston’s start wasn’t quite as good, but he quickly made his way into second place on his 390 RR. Once there, however, he found himself unable to keep pace with Burson on what amounts to Burson’s home ground.

“Nick was definitely hauling,” Gerston conceded. “I tried on the first lap to kind of gauge off him a little bit, but he was definitely on the gas. At that point, I figured, ‘Well, he’s really getting after it and I don’t want to push and take myself out on the first bit.’ I kind of learned the track a little bit then I started turning it up, but by then he was gonzo so it was tough at that point [to make up any ground].”

After a pretty good start, Pearson moved into position behind Fiasconaro, but was unable to make a pass while sitting in the Gas Gas EC 300 rider’s dust, which likely led him to make a mistake.

2017 Gorman West Hare Scrambles
Mud-hater Mason Matthies reveled in the fast, dry, slick conditions at Gorman and easily won the Big Wheel class for the second round in a row before heading back to San Diego to cheer on his high school basketball team. PHOTO BY MARK KARIYA.

“I would catch him, like within two bike-lengths in some sections, then get dusted out and I’d have to back off,” Pearson explained. “I just wanted to push as hard as I could to get by him, and then I’m coming around a corner and there’s a big old tree and I slid right into it. It pushed my whole radiator, guards and everything out. It looked bad and I thought it had a leak or something, but I stopped and looked at it and everything was good so I was able to keep going.”

Ultimately, Pearson recovered to end up third with SRT Yamaha’s Ryan Smith fourth and Fiasconaro fifth, a bit gassed after a hare scrambles in Northern California the day before.

Troy Vanscourt claimed a best-to-date sixth on his Baja Dad Race Prep CRF450X followed by FMF Pro 250 winner Cole Conatser, Steven Godman, Trystan Hart and 250cc A winner Gabe Ellis.

2017 Kenda/SRT AMA West Hare Scramble Championship
Prospectors Motorcycle Club
Hungry Valley SVRA/Quail Canyon MX Park
Gorman, California
Results: March 19, 2017 (Round 3 of 10)

1. Nick Burson-Yam (first Pro/AA)
2. Max Gerson-Bet
3. Axel Pearson-Yam
4. Ryan Smith-Yam
5. Joey Fiasconaro-KTM
6. Troy Vanscourt-Hon (first A Open)
7. Cole Conaster-KTM (first Pro 250)
8. Steve Godman-KTM
9. Trystan Hart-Hus
10. Gabe Ellis-KTM (first A 250)
11. Brett Sage-Hus
12. Shane Bowen-KTM
13. Jordan Gamboa-KTM
14. Lochian Campbell-KTM
15. Corey Fletcher-KTM
16. Ryan Karell-Yam
17.JT Baker-Hus
18. Daniel Galligan-KTM (first B 250)
19. Brad Rosbach-KTM (first A Senior)
20. Brandon Wright-Yam