Bell Edges Toward Big 6 Title with Viewfinders GP Win

Zach Bell claims the Viewfinders Grand Prix win, fortifying his AMA District 37/Maxxis Big 6 Grand Prix Series points lead.

Attrition removed two past winners in the early going of the $2000, 90-minute, AMA Big 6 West Coast Grand Prix (WCGP) Series feature race at the Viewfinders Motorcycle Club’s Viewfinders Grand Prix.

Big 6
Despite being sick, Zach Bell ended up being in the right place at the right time to take the lead and eventually win the Viewfinders GP, stretching his points lead in his first season of AMA D-37/Maxxis Big 6 GPs. PHOTO BY MARK KARIYA.

First, Fasthouse Honda rider Blayne Thompson hit something that taco’ed his rear rotor for a DNF while reigning series champ Eric Yorba ran out of fuel on his Maxxis/FMF/RPM Racing Team KTM and lost much time pushing back to the pits to get gas.

All this time, current series points leader Zach Bell lurked just behind, perfectly positioned to take advantage of their misfortune. Once out front just past the one-hour mark, he sailed to his third win of the year at round six of the AMA District 37/Maxxis Big 6 Grand Prix Series in Ridgecrest, California, the Ox Motorsports Honda rider leading Johnny Campbell Racing (JCR) Honda’s Trevor Stewart by 36 seconds while Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/Precision Concepts Kawasaki-mounted Justin Seeds came from a mediocre start for third, his first podium this season.

“[Eric] Yorba and Blayne [Thompson] got by me the first lap and I just kind of let them go at it [to] see what they were doing,” Bell said. “[Yorba] had a 26-second lead, and I just kind of put my head down and clicked off my laps. He ran out of gas, and I feel bad for him. That was his race, so I give it to him and his team.”

Big 6
Mitch Anderson, shown here leading teammate Beau Baron, worked his way into the lead on the second lap of the WCGP and held it for his first Pro II victory of the season, extending his class points lead over reigning champ Baron, who was third in class for the day. PHOTO BY MARK KARIYA.

What most didn’t know was Bell managed to win despite being so sick that he vomited during the race.

Stewart echoed Bell’s view.

“I know Blayne and Eric had some bad luck and that’s really unfortunate for them because it was their race today,” Stewart said. “At least Eric’s race to win today. A super-big bummer, but I capitalized on it and came out second. I wish I had a little more time to try and catch Zach, but he was on fire today.”

The victory added five points to Bell’s points lead over Stewart; unofficially, it’s 154-130.

Seeds also revealed he was under the weather, making his first podium appearance this season even more surprising.

“I’ve been sick for probably the last month and a half, I think, and I don’t know what it is,” Seeds said. “I can’t figure it out, but I just keep pushing through it.”

Perry Concepts Honda rider Travis Damon finished fourth, six seconds ahead of Ox Motorsports Honda rider Mark Samuels who had run out of fuel due to missing his pit stop while eyeing a potential podium finish.

Big 6
It didn’t take long for class points leader Clayton Roberts to go to the front and easily win the Super Mini race for only the second time this year. PHOTO BY MARK KARIYA.

Michael Del Fante raced a KTM for the first time this season and claimed sixth place followed by CST KTM’s Mitch Anderson, who earned the WCGP Pro II win for the first time this year. Not far behind him were fellow Pro II riders Clay Hengeveld aboard his Northland Motorsports Kawasaki and CST Honda-mounted Beau Baron, the current class champ.

2017 AMA District 37/Maxxis Big 6 Grand Prix Series
Viewfinders Grand Prix
Ridgecrest, California
Results: October 1, 2017 (Round 6 of 8)

1. Zach Bell-Hon
2. Trevor Stewart-Hon
3. Justin Seeds-Kaw
4. Travis Damon-Hon
5. Mark Samuels-Hon
6. Michal Del Fante-Yam
7. Zach Spano
8. Austin Meyers-Yam
9. Eric Yorba-KTM

1. Mitch Anderson-KTM
2. Clay Hengeveld-Kaw
3. Beau Baron-Hon
4. Chance Fullerton-Yam
5. Jordan Gamboa-KTM
6. Jake Alvarez-Hus
7. Trevor Hunter-Yam
8. Preston Campbell-Hon