Cycle News

Cycle News 2016 Issue 35 September 7

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 20 of 129

IN THE WIND P20 BURSON WINS LUCERNE AMA WEST HARE SCRAMBLES N ick Burson proved to be untouchable in the California desert yet again, taking his sec- ond overall victory of the year on September 4, and bumping his points lead to 44 with just two rounds remaining in the 2016 AMA West Hare Scrambles Championship. Out of the gate, Nick Burson and his Purvines Beta 480RR were on a mission to show the rest of the West Hare Scrambles players that this was his home turf. With fast names on the line like Gary Sutherlin, Justin Morgan and Dalton Shirey, just to name a few, it was a perfect start that propelled Burson to the front of the pack. "This is what I have been waiting for," said winner Burson. "I have fought through the mud, the trees, been ahead in points on their soil, and I wanted to come home and do just that here—lead start to finish." The surprise of the day, how- ever, came in the form of two new faces on the NHHA po- dium, as round six proved to be a coming of age of sorts for two of Southern California's top up- and-coming desert racers. Ryan Smith, who has been riding his Rick's Custom Shutters and Blinds-backed YZ450F to top- five finishes for over two years finally kept pace with the leader and physically paced Burson for the first three laps. Riding within 30 seconds of the lead for three 17-mile laps, Smith was ecstatic at the finish. "It was good to get that second-place start behind Nick, and I stayed just out of his dust for the whole first loop," Smith said. "From there I just rode my pace and pushed right to the end. On the last lap, I was starting to get tired and knew if I could hold on and keep my pace I was going to finish second." Smith could have stopped for a sandwich and still finished second, as the Burson/Smith pace was nearly five minutes ahead of the rest of the competi- tion. Next to cross the line was a visually exhausted Ox Motor- sports/City Service Paving- Nick Burson topped the Lucerne round of the AMA West Hare Scrambles Championship. PHOTOGRAPHY BY RYAN SANDERS

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