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Off-Road | 10/8/2012
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert Battles to the Podium in Denver
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert Battles to the Podium in Denver
Irvine, Calif. (October 7, 2012) – Although temperatures dropped below freezing in Denver, Colo., the racing was heated at the National Western Complex for Round 5 of the AMA Endurocross Championship. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert battled through an exciting 10-lap main event to finish in second place. Robert has yet to finish outside the top-five and now sits second in the points standings. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Justin Soulé climbed back from a crash in the second corner to finish an impressive fifth place, passing many riders in the closing laps.
Consistency
Fresh from a gold medal performance and finishing as top American at the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE), Robert was excited to get back on his KX™250F and back on the endurocross track. He qualified by putting in a near flawless hot lap that landed him third overall going into the night show. In his heat race Robert grabbed the holeshot and smoothly pulled away from the field, cruising to the win and first gate pick for the main. When the gate dropped for the main event, Robert tucked to the inside and came around the first turn in third. A few early mistakes dropped him back from the leaders, but by the half-way mark, he was able to capitalize on the mistakes of those in front of him and secured second place. Robert’s second podium and consistency throughout the season have allowed him to jump into second place in championship standings and is now on the verge of getting his first endurocross win.

“You have to keep it real consistent in order to win championships,” said Robert. “I qualified well and had a pretty eventless heat race win. In the main I was playing cat and mouse with the leaders, but had a little mishap in the log matrix. Once I got going I worked my way into second and just played it smart. I kept an eye on the gaps in front and behind me.”
High Expectations
Soulé is known for his technique and skill at endurocross and he expects to be in the hunt for the win at each round. In his heat he had to push through a few riders to get to the front. He made his way into second and started closing on the leader, but ran out of laps. Soulé knew he had the speed for the win, but the start is crucial on the small, tight endurocross courses. He blasted out of the gate on his KX250F and railed the outside to come out in second. The outside led to the inside line on the leader, but another rider forced him into a rock boulder marking the corner and he rounded the next corner close to last. Soulé put his skills to work and began his charge for the front. He sat in the seventh position for most of the 10 laps, but in the closing laps was able to make some passes and crossed the finish line in fifth. After missing two rounds, Soulé sits eighth in the championship standings.

“It’s a fine line between pushing and making mistakes,” said Soulé. “When I was coming from behind I would make up time one lap, then the next lap push a bit too hard, make a mistake and loose time. I feel great physically and know my speed is there, so I’m happy with where I’m at and will come out next round with the same mindset.”
True Competitor
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Destry Abbott had no sooner returned from ISDE Germany, where he helped Team USA to fourth overall, and he was back on the road on his way to Denver for Round 5. Abbott was not slated to compete an entire endurocross season, but enjoys it so much that he couldn’t resist. He’s not the only one who enjoys endurocross, as the field is stacked with fast riders. Every heat race, semi, and LCQ looks like it could be a main event. Unfortunately for Abbott, he was out qualified in the heat races and in the LCQ was taken out by a large first turn pile up, ending his night. Abbott stuck around to cheer on his fellow Monster Energy Kawasaki teammates and will be competing in the remaining endurocross rounds.

“It’s a bummer to watch from the sidelines,” said Abbott. “Endurocross is super tough and the completion is so stiff, that’s why I love it. It’s a challenge for me and I love riding the KX250F. I’m going to be doing the last few rounds and hope to put my Kawasaki up on the box.”
Braving the Cold
Hailing from California and Arizona where the temperature is a beautiful 70-degrees, Soulé and Robert were a bit out of their element when they arrived to 30-degree temperatures in Denver. The riders spent much of their time hibernating in the trailer when they weren’t out on the track. While jackets and beanies were a must, Soulé went the extra mile wearing ski-mitts while he was staging for his heat race. With the amount of down time between the heat races and the main event, it is important for the riders to keep their core temperatures high.
Proof Nation
The National Western Complex was nothing but a sea of green in the concourse. Second to Southern California, the Colorado market is the next highest selling market for KX™ models. Four dealerships from around the region had full displays for the fans and the Kawasaki community was present in full. Soulé and Robert signed autographs for over an hour prior to the start of the show for Kawasaki riders young and old.
Keep the Ball Rolling
With only three rounds remaining in the AMA Endurocross Championship series, Robert looks to continue his consistency and close the gap on the points leader, while Soulé is hungry to make up ground on those just ahead of him. Round 6 brings Monster Energy Kawasaki to the Comcast Arena in Everette, Wash., on October 20, 2012.
Results
AMA EnduroCross Championship Series – Round 5
National Western Complex -Denver, Colo.
Saturday, October 6, 2012

EX Pro Results

1. Taddy Blazusiak, Poland, KTM
2. TAYLOR ROBERT, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI

3. Mike Brown, Bluff City, Tenn., KTM
4. Geoff Aaron, Bailey, Colo., Honda
5. JUSTIN SOULE, VICTORVILLE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI

6. Cory Graffunder, Vanvenby, BC, Canada, Husquavarna
7. Kyle Redmond, Lake Hughes, Calif., Husquavarna
8. GARY SUTHERLIN, BAKERFIELD, CALIF., KAWASAKI

9. Wally Palmer, Mullica Hill, N.J., Honda
10. Cody Webb, Watsonville, Calif., Honda

EX Pro Points Standings

1. Taddy Blazusiak, Poland, KTM, 129
2. TAYLOR ROBERT, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 98

3. Mike Brown, Bluff City, Tenn., KTM, 96
4. Cody Webb, Watsonville, Calif., Honda, 93
5. COLTON HAAKER, GILROY, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 74

6. Cory Graffunder, Vanvenby, BC, Canada, Husquavarna, 69
7. Kevin Rookstool, Klamfath Falls, Oregon, Honda, 62
8. JUSTIN SOULE, VICTORVILLE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 62

9. Kyle Redmond, Lake Hughes, Calif., Husquavarna, 57
10. DESTRY ABBOTT, PEORIA, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 52
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