Morehead, KY – Round 1 of the 2016 ATVA MX Nationals was held at Underground MX in Kemp, Texas. This is the 2nd year the series has held a race at this facility and with huge air, a 40 foot wide track and sandy soil it makes for one of the best race tracks on the circuit. The only downfall to opening the series in Texas is that most of our racers live east of the Mississippi thus making it hard to justify the extra cash and time off work to make such a long trip. We did have a good portion of our team on hand for the opener and they didn’t disappoint.
Brandon Cesaroni used his Illinois Powersports motor to rip his way to the front of the pack in both the 450B and Production B class on Saturday. Brandon found his groove (thanks in part to his Lonestar suspension and Fox Shocks) and rode a strong consistent moto in both classes to take his first 2 national moto wins of the season. Sunday’s moto 2 in both classes proved to be more of a challenge with a full gate of the nation’s fastest B riders. Cesaroni managed to place 4th in 450B to earn a 3rd overall and then backed that up by placing 2nd in the Production B class for 2nd overall. The #243 machine should be a staple at the front of the B class this season and we expect to see big things from him as the season progresses.
Part 2 of the BZ Racing combo is Zach Kaczmarzyk. Zach won the 16-24 class in 2015 and decided that he was ready to rub wheels with the big boys in 2016. He built himself a custom Illinois Powersports CRF450/Honda TRX machine to make sure he was bringing the right weapon to the battle. Zach used that rocket ship to launch out of the gate in Saturday’s Pro Sport class. The Pro Sport Rookie rode a strong and consistent moto to take a 2nd place! The 2nd moto wasn’t as kind to Kaczmarzyk as he fought a flat front tire most of the moto and took home a 9th which was still good enough for 4th overall! Pro-am on Sunday saw the #41 Honda earn an impressive 5th place in his heat but mother nature’s wrath on the race track led to a 12th in the main leaving Zach with 12th overall in his first Pro-Am race. This hard working and super confident rider should find himself near the front of the pack at each round this season and it wouldn’t surprise us if he lands on the podium a few times before the year is over.
Most of us complain about driving more than 5-6 hours to attend an ATV National…enter Juan David Lopez. Juan doesn’t drive all the way from Colombia for each round (that’s not even possible) but he is a long, long way from home, family and friends to pursue his dream of racing in the United States. Lopez came to us in January of this year and asked for help to make his dream a reality, we’re doing everything in our power to make that happen! The racing is a little more intense and the competition is a huge step up from what the Colombia native is used to though. Juan ran the 450B class and managed to qualify for the main event and take a 19th overall, we look for Juan to get more and more comfortable racing at a faster pace and on longer, rougher tracks than he’s had to in the past.
Sometimes making the jump from B class to A class isn’t as easy as some riders have made it look in the past. Tennyson, Indiana’s Michael Perkins found this out at round 1. Perkins has more than enough speed to run up front after showing he could win in the B classes a season ago but sometimes luck just isn’t on your side. The higher up in class you go there is less room for error and starts become more critical with each step up you make. Perkins eared a very respectable 6th place in Saturday’s moto 1 of Production A, but that room for error got the best of him on Sunday as he crashed trying to make up for a bad start and finished with a 16th overall. Michael also rode his tail off in the 16-24 class after horrible starts in both moto’s he finished up 6-6 for 7th overall. If there is one word that describes the #94 rider it’s the word resilient as he has proven to us over the last 3 seasons that the word quit or give up is not in his vocabulary.
Our youth riders also showed promise as both Kazin and Kobe VanFossen put in solid rides in Texas. Kobe VanFossen scored a 6-3 for 3rd overall despite blowing up 2 motors in practice on Friday and racing the 90 shifter class to a podium finish on a borrowed engine! The younger of the VanFossen duo is Kazin VanFossen. Kazin put in 2 solid motos going 5-4 in the 70 shifter class and earned himself a 3rd overall as well. Both these youngster show the potential to make noise in the youth ranks this season, they should only get faster as they are getting tutored by former pro class racer and NEATV champion Travis Moore.
Round 1 is in the books and with Texas in our rear view mirror our series shifts to the home base of Victory Sports in Muddy Creek Raceway just over a week from now. The soil is different as this track isn’t sand it gets hard and blue groove almost resembling a TT track in sections so it offers a whole host of new challenges for riders and teams. Muddy Creek has a history of living up to it’s name so here’s to hoping for great weather and awesome racing! See you there…
2016 Texas National
Moto Wins: 2
Moto Podiums: 5
Overall Podiums: 4
Overall Top 5s: 5