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Off-Road | 10/22/2012
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert Scores a Podium at Everett EnduroCross
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert Scores a Podium at Everett EnduroCross
Irvine, Calif. (October 22, 2012) – Round 6 of the AMA EnduroCross series took place in front of a capacity crowd at Comcast Arena in Everett, Wash., on Saturday. After transferring into the main event through the semi’s, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert took over second place in the closing laps to secure his second-consecutive podium finish on his KX™250F. Teammate Justin Soulé took the long way to the main event by transferring from the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). Soulé battled for his spot on the podium all the way through the last lap when he dove to the inside of third place but was unable to make the pass stick, eventually finishing seventh. With two rounds remaining Robert and Soulé sit second and seventh in the points standings, respectively.
Minimizing Mistakes
After finishing a close second at the previous round in Denver, Colo., Robert carried that momentum into Everett. In the qualifying hot laps, Robert put in a solid time to land fourth fastest, which gave him a good gate pick for his heat race. In the heat, he got off to a second-place start and held pace with the leader all the way until the last lap. The rock pile section had been giving riders problems all day and Robert joined the list on the final lap, handing over his transfer position and forcing him to the semi. In the semi, Robert was able to jump out front and ride mistake free for the win and a spot in the main event. Despite having to start from the outside, he was able to get the jump on everyone and rounded the first turn in second. However, another bobble in the rock pile dropped him to fifth after the first lap. From there, Robert worked to minimize his mistakes and stay out of the carnage on his way back to the front. Once he reached the rider in second, Robert was able to pressure him into a mistake and inherit the runner-up spot for his second-consecutive podium finish. Robert now holds sole possession of second place in the points standings with two rounds remaining.

“The track was super tricky this weekend,” said Robert. “The rock pile was definitely the hardest part and really could make or break your race. I’m really excited about getting another second-place finish and now just need to grab a win. The key for me is to stay mistake-free, especially the first couple laps. I’ve made some major improvements this year and am ready for the top step of the box.”
Always Confident
Soulé may not be the guy who’s fastest in practice, but he always shows his speed when it counts. Soulé got plenty of track time on Saturday, but not for the right reasons, when mistakes in his heat race and semi forced him to head to the LCQ. The depth of the EnduroCross Series boasts so much talent that even the line up of the LCQ is full of podium contenders. Soulé was able to get the holeshot on his KX250F and maintain the lead to grab one of the final two spots in the main event. He was forced to start in the second row, but snuck around the inside off the start and came out within the top-five. Soulé battled for the podium throughout the 10-lap race and made his move for third on the last lap. He tried an aggressive line through the rocks to make the pass, but he ended up getting stuck and fell back to seventh at the checkered flag. Soulé sits in seventh overall in the championship standings.

“I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Soulé. “The rock section was giving everyone fits all night, myself included. There was one main line and every lap someone seemed to get stuck right in front of me. On the last lap I made a dive-bomb pass through the rocks but ended up crashing and losing three spots. I had to take the chance and try to get on the podium, but it ended up being costly.”
The Rock Pile
The track in Everett featured an elevated rock pile section that was downright treacherous. Nearly every rider made a mistake through the section in their hot laps, which made it evident that it would play a major factor in the outcome of the evening. Unlike most rounds where the rocks have multiple lines, Everett’s rock pile barely had one line that riders could navigate through without getting stuck. In the end, the rock section claimed every single rider in the main event at least once and delivered some of the most dramatic moments of the season.

“The track was fun and pretty fast, but the rock pile was super nasty,” said Robert. “There was really only one line up the middle. The edges of the section were super sketchy and guys were falling from the top of the section all night. If a rider was down in the middle, you would have to try and ride the edge and a lot of riders were tipping over and dropping from the top of the pile. The lines all had big holes in them and even the good line in the middle wasn’t easy.”
Two to Go
The EnduroCross season is coming to a close and only two rounds remain. Robert sits 36 points out of the championship lead, but with the unpredictability of the series, his deficit could change in one weekend. Round 7 brings the Monster Energy Kawasaki team to the Idaho Center in Boise, Idaho where Robert and Soulé will look to return to the podium.
AMA EnduroCross Series – Round 6
Comcast Arena – Everett, Wash.
October 20, 2012

EX Pro Results

1. Taddy Blazusiak, KTM
3. Bobby Prochnau, KTM
4. Mike Brown, KTM
5. Kyle Redmond, Husqvarna
6. Cory Graffunder, Husqvarna
8. Jamie Lanza, Honda
9. Geoff Aaron, Honda
10. Cody Webb, Beta

EX Pro Points Standings

1. Taddy Blazusiak, KTM, 159
3. Mike Brown, KTM, 114
4. Cody Webb, Beta, 104
5. Cory Graffunder, Husqvarna, 84

8. Kyle Redmond, Husqvarna, 73
9. Kevin Rookstool, Honda, 71
10. Geoff Aaron, Honda, 60
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