MESQUITE – WHERE ENDUROCROSS & FMX COLLIDE!
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you mix EnduroCross with Freestyle Motocross? Neither have we. But someone in Mesquite, Nevada obviously wondered enough to put together the Mesquite Off-Road Weekend.
The Beyond Pro course split up at one point, steering the freestylers to a 75-foot jump where they did a trick on each lap, while the off-roaders took an EnduroCross section before the course brought them back together. Crazy!
What happens when you throw these two diametrically opposed disciplines together? Well, so far, “Cowboy” Kenny Bartram has won it every time. He took his third victory in the annual crossover event, besting Husqvarna’s Mike Brown for the big win, and the lion’s share of the $20,000 purse.
“That was absolutely the most intense race! Much more than the last two years,” Bartram said. “I was racing for everything I had to catch Brownie. During the race I almost under-rotated a backflip and died! It took me a second to regroup and breathe after that, but somehow I rode it out.”
“Brown and I were neck and neck and I just couldn’t get around him,” Bartram continued. “But he got caught up in some lapped traffic. That’s unfortunate because I don’t like to win like that, but a win is a win. It was intense, that’s for sure.”
The Enduro Challenge provided another opportunity for Pros to vie for a chunk of the prize money. A 3.5-mile GP-style course took riders through motocross, EnduroCross and off-road sections, and Pros completed two 20-minute motos. Brown was once again a front-runner, and sped to a 1-1 finish ahead of Kawasaki-mounted Destry Abbott.
“In the last race of the Pro class my bike didn’t start real quick so I was dead last off the start,” Brown said. “Destry got a good start, so it was a good race trying to catch up to him and get around him.”
© Simon Cudby
Abbott held on for second in both motos for a 2-2 finish and second overall ahead of Beta USA’s Max Gerston (4-3). SRT/KTM’s Cory Graffunder barely missed the podium with his 3-4 tally while Tucker Larrieu rounded out the top-five with a pair of fifths.
Colton Haaker came into Mesquite as a heavy favorite, but unfortunately the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider had a rough time in the Enduro Challenge. A practice crash during the week left him banged up and sore, but he made the trek to Nevada in hopes of competing. Haaker started the first moto, but pulled off commenting that he “tried to stomach [the pain], but it was too much.”