KTM’s Dante Oliveira and Taylor Robert recorded victories during the Rocky Mountain ATV-MC WORCS Series, Presented by Polaris RZR and Dirt Bike Pro Motorcycle, doubleheader at Glen Helen Raceway, September 19-20. The two-race weekend represented rounds four and five of the 2020 season. Mateo Oliveira, Tyler Lynn and Brandy Richards won both rounds of the Pro 2, Pro 2 Lights and Women Pro classes, respectively.
The events were held on Glen Helen’s circuit that features extensive hills, off-road sections and a world-class motocross track. On Sunday, officials added two special Pro technical rock sections. Temperatures were warm all weekend, making fitness key during each day’s 75-minute-plus-one-lap races.
In Saturday’s Pro race, Dante Oliveira took the holeshot and held the lead until he pitted one lap before Robert. Meanwhile Robert was not having a good race. After crashing on the second lap, he attempted to hold the lead throughout his pit stop and left early, spilling fuel all over himself and his bike. That handed Oliveira the lead and he went on to win. Robert was second, ahead of Austin Walton.
“I’m pumped; that was an awesome win,” said Oliveira after recording his first victory in the class.
“That definitely wasn’t my finest performance,” said Robert. “Dante was riding phenomenally, and I didn’t have much room for mistakes. I was digging myself out of a hole the entire race. He was going to pass me in the pits, and I got a little antsy and pulled a rookie move and took off too soon with the dump can still in. I spilled fuel all over myself and then it flooded out the bike. So, that threw my race away.”
Rough conditions, along with the warm temperatures, definitely took their toll on Walton, though it wasn’t obvious, as the Nevada rider scored his second podium of the season.
In Sunday’s race, Robert was focused on redemption. Oliveira took the holeshot again, but Robert rode an aggressive first lap making up two slots to take the lead. From there, he ran his own pace to score his fourth victory of the season. Walton was second, followed by Dante Oliveira.
“I had to be pretty aggressive and made some passes on the first lap,” said Robert. “I got out front and I was able to control the race from there. Austin and Dante were riding really well, and they kept me honest.”
Walton’s comfort level was much better in Sunday’s race and it showed. After taking second from Oliveira early, he made several charges at Robert and held on to second. His third podium of the season moves him to within six points of Oliveira, who sits second in the championship.
Dante Oliveira couldn’t repeat on Sunday. After several crashes, he held on to finish third. “I just made too many mistakes today,” he said. “I went down once in the rocks and again in the pits. You can’t do that with these guys because they are on it.”
In Pro 2, points leader Mateo Oliveira swept the weekend, winning his fourth and fifth consecutive races. Tallon Lafountaine and Carlen Gardner completed the podium on Saturday, while Colton Aeck and Mason Ottersberg finished second and third, respectively, on Sunday.
The heat was on for Lafountaine who was charging hard at the end of Saturday’s feature race, despite being in significant pain from cramps and from the rough conditions. He soldiered through, though, and after making a charge for the lead he settled for second, earning his second consecutive podium.
Gardner was filling in on the Beta and he looked like he was old hand at this type of racing, despite it being his first start. He came into the event with an open mind and an excellent attitude and it paid off with the final spot on the box on Saturday.
Aeck also made himself look like a veteran, despite the weekend representing his first and second starts in the series. On Saturday he finished fourth. He backed that up with a runner-up finish on Sunday. Aeck competed in the race at the urging of his uncle.
Ottersberg had to fight hard for that final step on the podium on Sunday. He overcame brake issues that started early in the race and fought hard to finish third.
In Pro 2 Lights, Lynn’s sweep of the weekend is quickly making the championship chase interesting. The victories, along with a seventh-place finish on Saturday by points leader Jake Alvarez has moved him to just a single point out of the championship lead. Strangely, Lynn explained he had an off weekend.
Thomas Dunn finished second in Saturday’s race. The first-year Pro won the 250A race and then topped it off with a podium finish. Dunn followed Tyler throughout Saturday’s race and is definitely beginning to learn the ropes in the class.
Angus Riordan finished third on Saturday. The finish marked his fourth podium in a row. Combined with a fourth on Sunday, he is now in a mathematical tie with Lynn for second in points.
In Sunday’s race, Alvarez rebounded to finish second. Will Riordan, Angus’ older brother, was third. Alvarez has been struggling with throat issues all season. Through the sickness, he has stayed in the points lead and will be a strong competitor when it comes down to the wire.
Sibling rivalry came into play on Sunday as the elder Riordan was swapping positions early with his younger brother. That drove him to earn his second podium of the season.
In Women Pro, Brandy Richards continued her winning ways, earning victories in both races. She has won every race going back two seasons and seems pretty much unstoppable.
Kaitlyn Jacobs and Lauren Woods swapped spots on the podium both days with Woods finishing second on Saturday and then third on Sunday. Jacobs has spent significant time on her fitness. Leaner and meaner, she was pleased with her weekend, especially because she was riding a lower horsepower 250.
Woods took the holeshot in both races and battled Jacobs throughout the weekend.
2020 WORCS Championship
Glen Helen Raceway
RESULTS (September 19-20, 2020)
Race One (Saturday)
1.Dante Oliveira(KTM)2.Taylor Robert(KTM)3.Austin Walton(Hus)4.Cole Martinez(Hon)5.Ryan Surratt(Hus)
Race Two (Sunday)
1.Taylor Robert(KTM)2.Austin Walton(Hus)3.Dante Oliveira(KTM)4.Trevor Stewart(Hon)5.Ryan Surratt(Hus)