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Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Soulé and VanBeekum Finish On the Podium at Primm

Irvine, Calif. (February 14, 2012) – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Justin Soulé took second overall at Round 2 of the World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS) in Primm, Nev., after going 2-3 over the weekend. His teammate Taylor Robert was on track to take the overall win, but mechanical issues on Sunday left Robert sixth overall with a 1-14 moto result. Although Bobby Garrison came into the weekend with an injured shoulder, he pushed through the pain to finish fourth overall going 6-4. Kawasaki privateer Gary Sutherlin landed his first WORCS podium of the year, grabbing third after finishing 4-2 on the weekend. On the UTV course, Muzzy’s Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Bobby VanBeekum powered his Teryx® to the top of the podium in the SXS production 1000 class.

Primed to Win
Seasoned desert racer Soulé grew up racing sandy tracks in the deserts that surround Reno, Nev., so he was feeling confident rolling into Primm. On Saturday, Soulé got off to a great start nailing the holeshot off of the dead-engine start aboard his KX™450F. He finished in the runner-up spot, only seconds behind his teammate Robert. On Sunday, Soulé got another great start and came around the first corner in third place. He finished the 90 minute plus-one lap moto in third place to finish second overall on the weekend.

“I really did my homework coming into Primm and this is the best I’ve felt in a long time,” said Soulé. “Unfortunately I had to slow down a little on Sunday to ensure a finish and salvage points. I know I can do better and I really don’t want to settle for anything less than a win moving forward. In racing you tend to lose more than you win so you really have to learn how to get the most out of your losses and find the positive side of the equation. I have 100 percent faith in my team and the bike so I know we’ll get it done in Mesquite.”

Sandblasting
After recently spending time in Mexico training in the sand, Robert was feeling at the top of his game on the sandy track at Primm. On Saturday Robert got a great start and quickly pulled into the lead. He set a fast pace on the whooped out course, leading the entire 60-minute plus one lap moto to take the checkers. In Sunday’s main event, Robert nailed the holeshot and led for the first hour of the 90-minute plus one lap race, but he had to pit for repairs almost an hour into the race. He pulled back onto the course and finished the race in 14th place. Robert took sixth overall for the weekend.

“The weekend started off great for me,” said Robert. “On Saturday I got out front on the first lap and led pretty much every lap to take the win. Sunday I was feeling even stronger. I got the holeshot and led every lap until I ran into some mechanical issues on the sixth lap and had to pull off. I came so close to going 1-1 this weekend, so I was pretty disappointed to lose the lead, but the guys on the team did a great job of getting me back on the track so I could salvage some points. I love racing in the sand and have been working hard to prepare for the next few rounds which are all sand races, which I’m confident I can win.”

True Grit
Last season Garrison took the overall win at Primm so coming into the weekend he knew he had the skills to repeat, but a shoulder injury he sustained during training a week prior left him fighting for points. On Saturday, Garrison left the starting line at the back of the pack and starting picking off riders. He was able to move through more than half of the field before finishing in sixth place. On Sunday Garrison’s shoulder was hurting and he knew the 90-minute plus one lap moto was going to be tough. He battled through the pain and worked his way into fourth before the finish. Although he could barely lift his arm following the race on Sunday, his impressive effort left him with fourth overall on the weekend.

“It went pretty good for how I felt coming into this round,” said Garrison. “During practice I had my starts dialed, but when the main started I had some problems and got bad starts. It was tough to pass out there so I just tried to play it smart. Guys kept going down so I was able to continue moving through the pack by just riding smooth and staying off the ground. I am happy with my overall result, I wish I would have been able to push a little harder and do better, but my shoulder was hurting.”

Top Kawasaki Privateer
With a top-tier contingency program in place, more privateers choose Kawasaki than any other brand for WORCS racing. On Saturday, Kawasaki-privateer Sutherlin got a mid-pack start and battled through the pack to finish sixth. On Sunday, he got another mid-pack start and started picking off riders. Sutherlin continued gaining ground with each lap of the race until he had the leaders in his sights. By the last lap he had worked his way into second place. He took second to earn his first WORCS Pro podium and finished the weekend third overall.

“This weekend proves that hard work really does pay off,” said Sutherlin. “The first round at Glen Helen didn’t go how I wanted so I have been working really hard to improve. I have been working with Ty Davis to get everything dialed in and I’m feeling good where we’re at. I battled through a little arm pump on Sunday, but just kept pushing until I caught Justin (Soulé) on the last lap. I couldn’t be happier with my Kawasaki KX450F and my team.”

What Learning Curve?
Last season, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Brandy Richards destroyed the competition, earning two WORCS titles in both the Women’s A class and the co-ed Super A class. Moving up to a new bike can be a steep learning curve for most racers, so when Richards rolled into Primm with her new KX™250F, most folks figured she would need some time to iron out the wrinkles. After the green flag dropped she amazed everyone on the paddock, powering her bike past the entire field, including all of the pro women riders, to take the overall win across the board in the women’s classes. She left the event with wins in both the Women’s A and Super A classes and currently sits at the top of the WORCS leaderboard in both classes.

Navigating the Haboob
With a record 68 UTVs lined up for competition in the SXS Production classes, VanBeekum knew he had his work cut out since he had to start from the fourth row back. When the green flag dropped for his row, VanBeekum grabbed the holeshot and started charging. It didn’t take long before he started catching and passing other racers. By the first lap he had already picked off nine UTVs and with each lap he continued gaining ground. VanBeekum powered his Teryx around the ferocious course at blinding speeds to take the overall win in the SXS Production 1000 class. He currently sits eighth overall in the points.

“That was one of the roughest tracks I’ve ever raced in my life,” said VanBeekum. “With all the UTVs on the track, sometimes you couldn’t even see because there was so much dust and sand in the air. It was like driving through a sand storm with the sun right on the horizon. The ruts were dug pretty deep since the ATVs raced the track before us, so there weren’t any consistent lines. I was pretty much racing from hole to hole because the track kept changing every lap. Line choice is so important out here and you have to drive smart. These WORCS races you have to race to finish and can’t just go full throttle all the time.”

Fresh Out of the Box
Before the race began on Saturday, Dan Kelly ran into mechanical issues that left his UTV unable to make the main event. After taking the win in the SXS Production 850 class at Round 1, Kelly knew he needed to find a way to race in Primm so he could at least salvage some championship points. At the last minute he convinced VanBeekum to lend him a stock Teryx4® pit vehicle for the race and Kelly was able to line up for the main event. Armed with a stock engine and suspension, Kelly finished the brutal course in eighth-place, leaving him in second place in the points standings.

“The track was brutal out there,” said Kelly. “It was one of the worst whoops sections I have ever raced. It was non-stop whoops from beginning to end, until you hit the short-course section of track, which is my bag of tea. I was wide-open on the rev-limiter and catching people on the short course. We took a stock Teryx4 out of the box and were able to power that baby inside the top-ten so I’m pretty happy. I was pretty impressed how this stock Kawasaki Teryx4 handled on this difficult course with all the whoops, off-camber turns, and absolutely beat up ruts.”

Mesquite
In two weeks the Monster Energy Kawasaki off road team heads to Mesquite, Nev., for Round 3 of the World Off Road Championship Series.

Motorcycle Results
World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS) – Motorcycle Round 2
Primm, Nevada
February 11-12, 2012

WORCS Pro Class Results
1. Mike Brown, Bluff City, Tenn., KTM (3-1)
2. JUSTIN SOULÉ, VICTORVILLE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI (2-3)
3. GARY SUTHERLIN, BAKERSFIELD, CALIF., KAWASAKI (4-2)
4. BOBBY GARRISON, HESPERIA, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI (6-4)

5. Kyle Summers, Florissant, Colo., Yamaha (5-5)
6. TAYLOR ROBERT, SCOTTDALE, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI (1-14)
7. RYAN ABBATOYE, RIDGECREST, CALIF., KAWASAKI (7-7)
8. ROBBY BELL, SUN CITY, CALIF., KAWASAKI (8-8)
9. COLTON HAAKER, MURRIETA, CALIF., KAWASAKI (9-9)

10. Kailub Russell, Booneville, N.C., KTM, (14-6)

WORCS Pro Class Points Standings

1. Mike Brown, Bluff City, Tenn., KTM, 87
2. TAYLOR ROBERT, SCOTTDALE, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 79
3. JUSTIN SOULÉ, VICTORVILLE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 78

4. Kyle Summers, Florissant, Colo., Yamaha, 73
5. BOBBY GARRISON, HESPERIA, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 69
6. GARY SUTHERLIN, BAKERSFIELD, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 61
7. RYAN ABBATOYE, RIDGECREST, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 56
8. ROBBY BELL, SUN CITY, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 56

9. Ross Neely, Chester, Calif., Yamaha, 47
10. COLTON HAAKER, MURRIETA, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 43

UTV Results
World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS) – UTV Round 2
Primm, Nevada
February 11, 2012


SXS Production 1000 Class Results
1. ROBERT VANBEEKUM, MESA, ARIZ., MUZZY’S MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
2. Ryan Piplic, Snohomish, Wash., Polaris
3. Phillip Martin, Reseda, Calif., Polaris
4. John Frederick, Moapa, Nev., Can Am
5. Keenan Rogerson, Bakersfield, Calif., Polaris
6. TAYLOR GEORGE, ALTA LOMA, CALIF., FUNCO MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI

SXS Production 850 Class Results
1. MATT WHITE, BAKERSFIELD, CALIF., KAWASAKI

2. John McDonald, Santa Margatia, Calif., Polaris
3. DAVID LYTLE, SAUGUS, CALIF., KAWASAKI
4. Alfredo Ramiriz, Paso Robles, Calif., Polaris
5. Kyle Melville, Acton, Calif., Polaris
8. DAN KELLY, APACHE JUNCTION, ARIZ., KAWASAKI
12. GARRETT GEORGE, ALTA LOMA, CALIF., FUNCO MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI

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