The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Offroad team headed to Johnson Valley, California this past weekend for the kick-off event for the 2017 King Of The Hammers, King Of The Motos race.
Colton Haaker was ready to take on one of the toughest offroad moto races in the country aboard his Husqvarna TX 300. The race consisted of 3 races where scores were combined for the overall outcome. The 3-race format started Saturday night. This was a 10 km long loop with a land rush start. Haaker rushed off the start and worked his way up the infamous Chocolate Thunder, cresting the mountain trail in 2nd. The dark grew troublesome with the dust, making navigation to hit virtual checkpoints difficult. Colton rode smart in order to hit these checkpoints and not loose time due to penalties. He finished race #1 in 4th place.
Racing continued to Sunday with race #2 starting at 9am. This loop was around 35.5 km and consisted of one of the hardest hill climbs of the race. Colton Haaker got a bad jump off of the line but rode fast to catch the leading pack. Colton came into 3rd place when he came up on a downed competitor who was unconscious. The rest of the racing pack had caught up to Colton, and stopped as well. This closed the pack together and shortened Haaker’s lead. As the race continued, he rode fast and hit every checkpoint. He physically finished 3rd, but was given 1-minute of time back for stopping and helping to aid the recovery of a fellow competitor. After corrected time, he finished in 2nd.
The third and final race took place Sunday afternoon and consisted of a 19.5 km loop. The land rush start was extremely sandy and rocky. Colton Haaker crested the hill in about 5th. The extreme enduro course fit well with Colton’s riding style. He navigated flawlessly and was awarded 1st place after the actual leader was found to have missed a checkpoint. This first place finish resulted in Colton’s overall win of the 2017 King Of The Motos.
King Of The Motos Results:
1. Colton Haaker (HSQ)
2. Max Gerston (BET)
3. Mitch Carvolth (KTM)
Photo: TANNER YEAGER