Ricky Brabec Wins Silver State AMA Hare & Hound

Aug. 26, 2014 By Mark Kariya
Ricky Brabec has had the lead less than 200 yards here, but once out front, he moved steadily away from early leader and eventual runner-up Skyler Howes and the rest of the field to take his second win of the season and the points lead for the first time.

Ricky Brabec went nearly wire to wire in winning the Silver State Trailblazers Muley Run, round eight of the SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series, in Panaca, Nevada.

Though only his second career National triumph, his performance carried several key ramifications. Most important of those was the fact that it moved the THR Motorsports/Monster Energy/Precision Concepts Kawasaki racer past Purvines Racing Beta’s Nick Burson for the series points lead, 193-183, unofficially.

“The points lead, that’s a dream right there!” Brabec exclaimed.

Runner-up Skyler Howes earned $300 for being the winner of the Speed Freaks Bomb Run Award. This was his first podium.

For Burson, the day was all about damage control. He’d spent much of the summer break recovering from hand surgery (a plate and 13 screws in his broken clutch hand), and had only ridden twice in the week leading up to the race. “I couldn’t ride hard, just rode super-smooth,” he said while soaking his hand in ice water following his fourth-place finish.

Like Howes, Axel Pearson earned his first trip to the podium. Coincidentally, it was the first time the third-place finisher had raced a 498 RR instead of his usual 450.

Blais Racing Services KTM’s Skyler Howes got things off to a great start by nabbing the Speed Freaks Bomb Run Award worth $300, but his lead was short-lived as Brabec saw a line through the sage brush to make the pass less than two miles into the race.

With basically no riding in four weeks after surgery to plate his clutch hand, Nick Burson knew it could be tough going, but a good start helped immensely. He rode a smooth, controlled race to place fourth, giving up the points lead but still staying in the hunt for the championship. If he wins the last two rounds, it’s his.

From there, Howes could only watch Brabec slowly disappear as they tackled the varied terrain of the 87-mile-long, two-loop race in central Nevada. “He ended up putting a big gap on me real quick so I settled in real fast and just rode a smooth, fun race the rest of the way,” Howes shared.

Things didn’t go as planned for Ivan Ramirez. Instead of adding a third consecutive win, he suffered a bad start after tangling bars with first Nick Burson then bouncing off to do the same to a rider on his other side. He then ran into someone who’d crashed in a ditch--all on the bomb run. From there, it was all catch-up, which he did well, finishing a strong fourth.

Though Brabec gapped the rest of the field, things were much closer for others like Purvines Racing Beta’s Axel Pearson who’s from nearby Pioche, making him the local favorite. Racing a 498 RR for the first time instead of the 450 he’s employed to this point, he made good use of both the power and familiarity with the area to finish third, just eight seconds behind Howes. It was the first podium for either, Pearson exclaiming, “It’s definitely fun to get the first [podium finish] here!”

Jacob Argubright also had a poor start when his bike balked at lighting up right away. Somehow, he charged his way to fourth but then ran out of fuel before the end of the first loop. Naturally, that put him far back so he stopped twice on the second loop to assist fallen riders, eventually finishing ninth Pro, 13th overall.

FMF/KTM Factory Off-road Racing Team’s Ivan Ramirez entered the race with a lot of momentum, having won round six and seven. But the start killed that streak as he first bounced off Burson then a couple other riders on the bomb run, putting him far back in the pack. But last year’s third-place finisher (behind Kurt Caselli and David Pearson) didn’t panic, instead patiently picking off one rider after another all the way to the finish where he was fifth, just four seconds ahead of Purvines Racing Beta’s Justin Morrow.

Jarett Megla put on a flying last lap to nip Jaden Settles for the Super Mini victory. A couple hours later on his YZ125, Megla got a great start and went on to win 200cc B, placing sixth overall B.

Ryan Smith took the 250cc A win, finishing seventh overall, while Max Eddy, Jr., was seventh Pro and eighth overall followed 250cc A runner-up Steve Kirk III and Brandon Prieto, the eighth Pro.

Jack Anderson ripped the holeshot in the Micro Mini 65cc class and went on to win for the second time this season, but runner-up Eric Burdell (in second here) remains clearly at the top of the points chase.

1. Ricky Brabec (Kawasaki KX450F)
2. Skyler Howes (KTM 300 XC)
3. Axel Pearson (Beta 498 RR)
4. Nick Burson (Beta 498 RR)
5. Ivan Ramirez (KTM 450 XC-F)
6. Justin Morrow (Beta 498 RR)
7. Ryan Smith (Yamaha YZ250)
8. Max Eddy, Jr. (Kawasaki KX450F)
9. Steve Kirk III (Yamaha YZ250)
10. Brandon Prieto (KTM 450 XC-F)

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