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Off-Road | 9/16/2012
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Justin Soulé Rounds out the Podium at Ontario EnduroCross
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Justin Soulé Rounds out the Podium at Ontario EnduroCross
Irvine, Calif. (September 16, 2012) – In his first race back from injury, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Justin Soulé finished where he left off, on the podium at Round 4 of the AMA Endurocross Championship Series. Citizen’s Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., was a hometown race for Soulé as he took his heat race win on his KX™250F and battled to finish third overall in front of many family and friends. Teammate Taylor Robert had to transfer from the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) and battled briefly for the podium, but finished fifth for the night, while Destry Abbott rode consistent to finish eighth overall.
Back on the Podium
After crashing at Round 2 back in June and injuring his shoulder, Soulé made his return to the track in Ontario. During the hot lap qualifying, he was unable to put in a clean lap and was 17th fastest going into the heat races. Undeterred, he got up front and was able to take the win in his heat race. When the gate dropped for the main event, Soulé rounded the first corner within the top five. From fourth place he put constant pressure on the rider in third, forcing the rider ahead into a mistake and handing over the position to Soulé. In the closing laps he attempted to close the gap on the leaders, but would cross the finish line in third.

“I was prepared to come here and win,” said Soulé. “I came up a bit short on my goal, but I’m still happy with third. This was the type of track where if you pushed it too much, you could cost yourself positions. I rode a little conservative, but stayed off the ground and it paid off.”
Taking the Long Road
Robert’s night in Ontario was one he would love to do over again. After setting the fourth fastest hot lap, Robert had the speed to battle for the win, but bad luck and crashes cost him every time he hit the track. After failing to qualify through the heat race or semi, he was able to grab the last spot out of the LCQ. In the main event, Robert got a great jump on his KX250F, but came together with his teammate in the first corner and went down. Charging from the back, Robert’s lap times matched the leaders, but every time he would close up he would have another mishap. Robert finished the night with a fifth place finish and sits fourth in the points standings.

“I got my money’s worth tonight,” said Robert. “I think I rode every race of the night! In the heat race, I got taken out on the start, but was recovering well until I lost the bike from under me over the tire jump. I was doing a superman 10-feet in the air and came slamming into the ground. In the semi, I was in the process of making a pass for the lead when the leader got sideways and cleaned me out. That sent me to the LCQ, where I just wanted to make sure I made it to the main. More bad luck came in the main event as I came from last up to third place briefly, before bobbling in the rock pile and finishing ended up fifth. The track had some great racing lines, but was super tricky tonight.”
Feeling at his Best
Abbott has not committed to a certain series this year, but has grown fond of endurocross. With top-10 finishes at the last two rounds, he rode consistent to an eighth place finish in Ontario. Abbott got the holeshot on his KX250F in his heat race and battled for the lead before eventually finishing second and transferring directly into the main. He had a great jump off the start of the main event until getting cleaned out by another rider, which forced him into Robert and took the both of them down. From last place, Abbott began picking riders off and finished strong in eighth.

“I’m really happy with how I’m riding,” said Abbott. “I was riding Bobby Garrison’s bike, but the Kawasaki is so good it only took a few adjustments for it to fit me. I really enjoy endurocross and it’s my favorite thing to do right now. It feels great to be up battling with the best, but I’m still disappointed because I know I’m better than my finishes show. I’m healthy and know I can be on the podium, so I hope to finish off the rest of the season.”
Finicky
Every rider tends to have little things about their bikes, gear, or race day routine that set them apart. For Soulé, he is extremely finicky about his levers on his bike. He will spend 10-15 minutes on race day, making sure they are exact and in the perfect position, and sometimes even comes back and makes another adjustment. To ensure no one moves them once he is happy with their position, he places a sign to insure they are not touched. Also, lately Soulé has also been running not one, not two, but three sets of grip donuts on his handlebars.
In a Pinch
The Monster Energy Kawasaki team had to work much harder than the average race weekend in Ontario, as every time Robert hit the track, he came back with something damaged. In endurocross, the races are very fast paced and if you do not qualify you’re almost immediately back on the gate, leaving very little time for repairs. The technicians were on top of their game and were able to replace things like clutch levers, shifters, number plates, and radiators, which had been damaged from crashes. Robert made it to the gate every time and finished the night in one-piece.
Anything Two-Wheels
Soulé is very devoted to his training regime, which includes plenty of bicycling both on the road and mountain biking. He loves training on his bicycles so much that the day following the endurocross, Soulé competed in a mountain bike race where he won his division. To top it off, during the break before the next endurocross, Soulé will also compete in his first triathlon.

“I’m a racer dude,” said Soulé. “It’s what I love to do. Riding and racing bicycles not only acts as great training off the motorcycle, but it also allows me to step out of the regular routine of race weekends and try something different and exciting.”
ISDE
While the EnduroCross series does not resume until October 6, 2012 in Denver, Colo., Abbott and Robert left for Germany following the Ontario round to represent Team USA at the FIM International Six Days Enduro. Abbott will be representing Team USA for the ninth time and is considered the team captain. He and Robert hope to lead the team to their first ever victory at ISDE.
Results
AMA EnduroCross Championship Series – Round 4
Citizen’s Business Bank Arena – Ontario, Calif.
September 16, 2012

EX Pro Results

1. Taddy Blazusiak, Poland, KTM
2. Cody Webb, Watsonville, Calif., Honda
3. JUSTIN SOULE, VICTORVILLE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI

4. Kyle Redmond, Lake Hughes, Calif., Husquavarna
5. TAYLOR ROBERT, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
6. COLTON HAAKER, GILROY, CALIF., KAWASAKI

7. Mike Brown, Bluff City, Tenn., KTM
8. DESTRY ABBOTT, PEORIA, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI

9. Ryan Rodgers, Dover, Penn., Honda
10. GARY SUTHERLIN, BAKERFIELD, CALIF., KAWASAKI

EX Pro Points Standings

1. Taddy Blazusiak, Poland, KTM, 99
2. Cody Webb, Watsonville, Calif., Honda, 82
3. Mike Brown, Bluff City, Tenn., KTM, 75
4. TAYLOR ROBERT, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 73
5. COLTON HAAKER, GILROY, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 66

6. Cory Graffunder, Vanvenby, BC, Canada, Husquavarna, 54
7. Kevin Rookstool, Klamfath Falls, Oregon, Honda, 53
8. DESTRY ABBOTT, PEORIA, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 49
9. JUSTIN SOULE, VICTORVILLE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 46

10. Kyle Redmond, Lake Hughes, Calif., Husquavarna, 43
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