Competitive Edge Area Qualifier

April 7, 2008 Race Report Loretta Lynn Area Qualifier 2008
Contributors: Brent Stallo
Photos: Brian Wilkinson //  Words:  Wes Williams 
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  The official Vurb Headquarters for the past two weeks has been located in sunny southern California, Riverside to be exact, at our good friend Jack Rowe's house.  We've been jumping at the bit to get out and shoot at every track possible, and what better chance to get up to Competitive Edge with the Loretta Lynn's Qualifier taking place.  Although we were only able to make the trip up for Saturday; we still got to see some good, close racing.

 
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Trent Pugmire #96, pictured left, is coming off multiple top 10 championship finishes at the Texas Spring Nationals.  His confidence is high, especially in his home state of California, and we can tell Mr. Pugmire is looking to improve his performances in Vegas and get on the box.  He ripped every single holeshot on Saturday, and despite a flat tire in one moto, he ran away with huge leads in 3 remaining motos.  Competition was fierce with guys like Michael Hall,pugmire_9883.jpg Ross Johnson, Hunter Hewitt, and Chris Johnson, just to name a few, but that didn't intimidate Trent the slightest.  If he can keep this kind of speed in Vegas, he'll be a huge title threat.

 

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Ross Johnson #128, pictured above, was the closest guy to Pugmire, along with Michael Hall(pictured right).Hall_9924.jpg   Ross did quite well in Texas for the amateur nationals, pulling good starts and staying close to the front.  He came out with a slew of top 15 finishes, which in this year's A class is a great feat.  On this western soil, Johnson may be able to get a bit closer to the front of the pack in Vegas.  If this weekend was any indication, we should see some great things from him in Vegas.

Michael Hall #424 is still recovering from his broken ribs he suffered at Oak Hill.  He managed to qualify at the Arizona Cycle Park qualifier last weekend, and you can check out a video of him here (thanks to James Bolen).  Michael mentioned to us that he hasn't been riding at all during the week to allow his ribs to heal to their fullest to ensure he will be ready for Vegas.  Hall_9916.jpg Getting time on the gate is his main concern, as everyone saw how important it is to get starts in the A class, especially with the short 4-5 lap motos.  Nonetheless, Hall looked extremely smooth, as usual, and stayed consistent throughout the day.  He even took home a win, and never finished off the podium.

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Sean Borkenhagen#87 is still one very close to our hearts.  A little over a year ago, Borkenhagen suffered a near career ending injury that left his arm paralyzed for almost half a year.  He wasn't sure he would ever regain feeling, but he never lost touch of his dream of riding again (Click Here for an interview with Sean a fewPennington_9889.jpg months ago).  Miraculously, Sean's arm came back slowly but surely, and as soon as he was safely able, he began riding again.  Bork raced at Lake Whitney, and holeshotted his very first race back.  His determination and relentlessness to come back has inspired so many people within this industry, and we feel privledged to be such good friends with a guy like Sean.  Pictured right, Jason Pennington #661  holds off the Bork in the A Lites Moto, which was quite the battle.

 

Lieb_9988.jpg Michael Lieb #170 has been back in action for a solid 2-3 weeks.  He's a great rider that's been plagued with some bad luck, but he's determind to stay healthy and show the world what he can do in the intermediate classes.  Michael was extremely fast this weekend, and with this kind of speed he should be able to do some great things at the World Mini.  Brady_9860.jpg Brandon Brady #205, pictured right, was a guy that kept Lieb honest all day.  There was quite the buzz about Brady in the pits, so we're guessing he's been showing California how to get it done as of late.  We're not sure if Brandon will be in Vegas, but if he shows up he may certainly be one of those sleepers in the B classes.  He has the speed, and definitely stayed consistent this weekend; hopefully, we'll see this kid do some big things in the near future.

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Tyler Sjoberg #385, pictured left, started riding a few weeks ago as well.  Tyler is one the top propects of the Intermedite classes this year, and unfortunately started his 2008 season rough with two collarbone breaks in a row.  He raced at Honey Lake last weekend, and backed that up by coming to Competitive Edge as well.  Sjoberg has the speed, and knows that it's all about getting as much time on the gate before Vegas as possible.  Sjoberg ripped multiple holeshots, and took home a few moto wins.  We're looking forward to see what he does next week at World Mini.  There is an interview with Tyler that you can check out at the Xtreme Team Green Website.

 

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Everett Holcomb #273 is a very fast southern California local.  We spotted him last year on our first annual roadtrip, and haven't overlooked him since.  He's changed his number and bike brand since the last time we've seen him, so it took a bit to figure out who the #273 yamaha was out front winning the 14-15 and supermini classes.  Holcomb's supermini sounded mint, and we had a blast watching and hearing him rip around the track.  If memory serves correct, Holcomb walked away with every win on Saturday.

 

Here's a few more photos to enjoy from our weekend.

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Chris Johnson #254, is back to racing the WORCS series, which is why we didn't see him in Texas.  Regardless, this kid knows how to rip around a motocross track as well.  Chris is going to try and race at the upcoming pro nationals, but if things don't go to plan, he will have Loretta's as a back up.   

 

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We did quite the bit of filming with Red Bull's Kyle Engle #134 this past week.  We watched him throw down disgustingly fast lap times at Perris, and then throw insane whips in the Reche Canyon hills the very next day.  You can check out our Hills feature here .

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As Hunter Hewitt #26 gets more and more time back on the bike, he becomes a bigger and bigger threat.  Hunter's laptimes in Texas were up to par with all the big dogs, he just couldn't get off the gate to save his life.  He mentioned to us that he's getting alot more comfortable on the gate, and seems to be heading to Vegas with some good confidence on his shoulders.  Hunter took home multiple moto wins in the Pro Class on Sunday.

 

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Nick Paluzzi #117 has been extremely impressive as of late.  We caught up with him to do a video interview at Competitive Edge earlier this week as he prepared for the Area Qualifier.

End Race Report 

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After Scuba Steve tagged me with a Sharpie, we had quite a good time having a marker battle.  Then we decided to take it into the pits to see who else we could get.
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(Scuba Steven Clarke, left, and myself, Wes Williams, right)

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Kyle Engle getting tagged!

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Jack Rowe, our awesome friend from England, getting some love from Scuba Steve.

 

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Michael Lieb resisting as hard as he possibly could.

 

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Mark Samuels looked way to cute to get sharpied.