Monster Energy Kawasaki Riders Help Team USA To Fifth Place Overall At ISDE

2009-10-21 03:01
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Destry Abbott and Damon Huffman survived a grueling week of sandy terrain in the beachfront city of Figueira Da Foz, Portugal helping give the USA trophy team a final boost on Day 6 to earn fifth overall amongst 16 countries at the 83rd International Six-Day Enduro. With six days of unexpected twists and turns, the Trophy Team was able to capture a well-earned top-five. Kawasaki’s Jamie Lanza helped the Junior Trophy Team to secure a third-place podium finish for the young riders after scoring second in class during the final day’s motocross test. In the overall individual finish, Abbott claimed 25th, Lanza 54th, and Huffman finished 59th while battling tendonitis in both forearms.

Up and Down
Abbott’s week started out with good special test times that put him 21st overall, but a big crash on Day 2 pushed him down the list. He returned with consistent scores all week, moving him back up the charts to finish 25th overall.

“I usually don’t start off that strong on the first day and I ended up going down pretty hard on Tuesday that pushed me back quite a bit,” said Abbott. “After that, I tried to be smooth and consistent and it paid off. I was really bummed to go down in the final moto, but I finished 25th overall, which is good considering all that I seemed to go through during the week.”

A Rough Start
The start to the week proved it would be an uphill battle for the USA team. After only one special test, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ricky Dietrich was forced out of the race when he “houred-out” after experiencing bike issues. Riders are only allotted a certain amount of time to a checkpoint and if they go beyond an hour, their week is finished.

“It was really unfortunate to have this happen, especially so early in the week,” said Dietrich. “I am really disappointed with the situation, but I can’t do anything about it. It’s really hard to sit on the sidelines and not be able to help the team.”

Sandy Tests to Sand Whoops
The two biggest trials the riders faced were the sandy special tests throughout the week and a long trail of sandy whoops in a transfer section on days three, four, and part of five.

“The sand whoops were the gnarliest I have ever ridden,” said Abbott. “The first time we went through them, it was kind of fun. Then as the day passed and all the riders had gone through them, it got rougher and rougher. They really took a toll on us, but we survived.”

First timer Damon Huffman rode consistent all week and even rode through painful tendonitis in both his forearms that started flaring up on Wednesday. When it was at its worst on Saturday, Huffman took advantage of his motocross background to move up through the pack from 11th to finish 5th in the Day 6 moto.

“This was by-far the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my career,” said Huffman. “Along with being challenged everyday by the special tests and the sand, I had to come back and change tires at the end of every day. I knew I could do it, but the pressure of an allotted time frame makes things very stressful. I am proud that I made it through the whole week.”

Lanza’s First Time
Along with Huffman, Lanza was racing in his first ISDE event. The 21-year-old Kawasaki rider rode steady and hard each day, finishing out the week 54th overall.

“It’s been a lot harder than I thought, but my goal is to be consistent throughout each day to bring home a good score for the team,” said Lanza. “We all wanted to prove we could do well and I think third place in the junior trophy class is a real accomplishment.”

Never Quit Attitude
Both the Trophy and Junior teams were faced with both physical and mechanical issues, but their never-quit attitude helped each one advance as high as possible by the end of the event. The Trophy team was pressured to ride good every day since the lowest score was already going to Dietrich after he went out on Day 1. They also faced injuries to Abbott, Weigand, and Huffman throughout the week. The team’s attitude never dulled all week as they eventually came from behind to finish fifth overall.

“It really is amazing that the Trophy team ended up where we did with as many problems we encountered,” said Abbott. “It’s easy to say ‘what if’, but we really did the best with what we were presented. I’m proud of the team for that. It would have been easy to have a defeatist attitude, but we didn’t.”

29 Years And Counting
51-year-old Jeff Fredette completed his 29th career ISDE event in Portugal, with his club team finishing 17th and Fredette taking 51st in his C2 class.

“After 20 years, I was thinking that I had been racing the event for a long time, but now it’s really unbelievable,” said Fredette. “It’s always fun and challenging to me. Each year I get to help the young guys that come to the event, which has brought on new meaning for coming. It’s definitely fun to beat the guys that are younger than me.”

The Last Day
The final and sixth day of the week consisted of a trail ride out to the motocross track Agueda MX for one final motocross test. Junior rider Lanza rode to a second-place finish in the E1 class, while Huffman worked his way up to fifth. In the E2 class, Abbott was running in fifth when he went down in a downhill corner, but made it back to seventh despite painfully hurting his left ring finger in his crash.

“Everyone came through on the final day,” said Abbott. “I know everyone wasn’t 100 percent, but we went out and rode like we had 100 percent in us. Maybe it was because we could see the end was so close and all we had to do was finish strong. I personally wished I would have done better in the moto, but we made it back up to fifth overall with our results, so I’m happy with that.”

International Six-Day Enduro
Figueira Da Foz, Portugal
October 12-17, 2009

World Trophy Team Progressive Overall (FINAL)
1. France
2. Italy
3. Finland
4. Australia
5. USA
6. Portugal
7. Great Britain
8. Netherlands
9. Poland
10. Germany

Junior Trophy Team Progressive Overall (FINAL)
1. Spain
2. France
3. USA
4. Italy
5. Sweden
6. Portugal
7. Germany
8. Czech Republic
9. Slovakia
10. Argentina

USA Overall Individual Standings (FINAL)
Kurt Caselli- 7th
Russell Bobbitt- 33rd (Junior)
Nate Kanney- 38th
Timmy Weigand- 43rd
JAMIE LANZA- 54th (Junior)
Cory Buttrick- 62nd (Junior)
David Kamo- OUT

USA E1 Class Standings (FINAL)
Timmy Weigand- 13th
JAMIE LANZA- 17th (Junior)
Cory Buttrick- 20th (Junior)

USA E2 Class Standings (FINAL)
Russell Bobbitt- 15th (Junior)

USA E3 Class Standings (FINAL)
Kurt Caselli- 4th
Nate Kanney- 10th
David Kamo- OUT (Junior)

Source: Monster Energy Kawasaki

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