2020 Chaparral Motorsports Precision Concepts Kawasaki Primm WORCS Race Report
Primm is a popular destination on the off-road and grand prix circuit. So, in a bid to change things up, the WORCS crew made two distinct adjustments for the season opener. First, they didn't touch up the majority of the course after Saturday's racing. This left the track quite rough and choppy, especially by the time the pro race got underway. Second, WORCS added a pro-only section where riders had to hop over two sets of K-rails. The section received quite a bit of attention and mixed opinions, though there was a longer alternate option for those riders that didn't want to attempt the steep obstacles.
For Chaparral Motorsports, Precision Concepts, Kawasaki team rider Zach Bell, he was aiming to build off of the solid performance at he opening NGPC round and start the WORCS season off up front. At Adelanto, Clay Hengeveld had learned his wrist still isn't where it needs to be. With doctor follow-ups the week after Primm, Henge made the decision to race to try to earn some points in the Pro 2 class. Then, he and the team will see where things stand with his wrist moving forward. Like Zach, JP Alvarez was looking to continue his NGPC momentum and start off his WORCS Pro 2 Lights championship bid on the podium.
Zach Bell - DNF
The start procedure for the Pro race was dead-engine, which gives a few moments of deafening, anticipatory silence before the thunderous roar of 450 machines fire to life and tear down the starting-line. Zach Bell's KX450 ignited quickly and he was able to solidify the lead position through the second corner. From there, Zach put in his typical sprint in a bid to pull away from the pack. Towards the end of the first lap, Bell noticed an issue with the way his bike was running. He nearly pulled into the pits at the close of the first lap, but the issue seemed to sort itself out. During that moment in the pits, Taylor Robert passed into the lead and Zach funneled in behind in second. Bell was able to hang right with Taylor for half of the second lap, but unfortunately something internally let go and his bike wouldn't continue. He was forced to pull out of the race with a DNF.
Clay Hengeveld - 15th place Pro 2
As the field of Pro 2 riders fired their motorcycles and tore off the starting line, Hengeveld's bike took a few moments to come to life. Clay left the line at the back of the pack of over twenty riders, but his racing craft was on display early. Quickly, Henge was able to knife through the field and passed up to the edge of the top-ten within the first few straightaways. Early in he lap, the course arrived at the pro-race-only K-rail section. With Clay still fighting he pain in his wrist, he and the team had decided it best for him to take the alternate. In taking the longer route, he lost a few positions, but again was quick to charge back past numerous riders.
"Unfortunately, after a few laps, the pain in his wrist was turning into a numbness and it was beginning to become difficult for him to hold onto the bars, let alone charge. Clay did the best he could to gut out a top-fifteen in class to earn some points before learning more about the state of his wrist in the coming week.
JP Alvarez - 2nd place Pro 2 Light
Though he was one of the few kick-start bikes on the Pro 2 Lights line, JP's KX250 fired first kick and he screamed down the start-straight inside the top-five. From there, Alvarez used his early-race intensity to pass up to second place by the time the course turned into the K-rail area. As the leader took the alternate, JP was left with clear course ahead. JP lead the next lap, but as he came back around to the pro section, he was momentarily held up. Alvarez had committed to one of three K-rails, but the rider ahead had briefly stuck himself on top. In that delay, JP lost the lead, but he set out hard to take it back. He succeeded in that pursuit within a few minutes, as the leader made a small mistake and allowed Alvarez to motor past.
"After taking the lead, the Kawasaki-mounted rider would race with Tyler Lynn for the point position. From there, the two showed great pace, distancing themselves from the rest of the Pro 2 Lights field. Over the next hour of racing, Lynn was just able to edge away from Alvarez. Still, JP put in a great effort to cross the line in second, getting his 2020 WORCS campaign off to a great start.
Robby Bell, Team Manager
"As a team, we experienced quite a bit this weekend! I'm devastated for Zach. He had the speed to challenge for the win, and showed his versatility and adaptability by nailing the K-rail section so well. We'll diagnose what happened to his machine, and be better for it moving forward. But it's disappointing to see him in such a hole in the championship so early. I do have to say Zach was a true professional in handling the situation. He showed a great attitude and I have no doubt he'll bounce back.
"Clay's shown the heart he has over the last two weekends, racing through the pain and subsequent numbness in his hand. He didn't know one-hundred-percent where his wrist stood until getting out in the racing action. It's just such a bummer it's taking this long to get better. He has a couple follow-up appointments this week to see what the best course of action is moving forward. The main thing is to get him back to one-hundred percent.
"JP was definitely a bright point this weekend. His pace was good and he minimized any mistakes. It was great to see him attack the K-rails as well. This was a great starting point from which to build. So, hopefully he can maintain the upward trajectory."