Officially, Beta USA contracted Max Gerston to compete strictly in extreme enduros and the AMA EnduroCross Championship Series this year. But after winning round 2 of the Kenda/SRT AMA West Hare Scrambles (WHS) Regional Championship Series, presented by MojoMotorsport.com, and moving into the series point lead, Gerston is considering adding that to his schedule as well, at least for a few rounds. The last time the 2017 series champ won a round was round 1 last year, and after a somewhat unlucky season he finished the 2018 series third in points. “I almost hate to admit that was [my last WHS win], but that might’ve been it,” he admitted.
The Field Craft Survival Rough Rider 100, the Arizona Off-road State Championship, in Prescott Valley, Arizona, proved to be a chilly, windy affair, though storms really only affected the races on Saturday. For the main event on Sunday, the 9-mile course offered practically perfect conditions, encouraging close, on-the-ragged-edge racing due in part to the $5,000 earmarked for the winner.
“What a day it was today!” Gerston declared. “I started off in the lead then got lost major and then dropped way back, but after that I kind of went crazy and put on a massive charge and was able to work my way all the way back to the front. Oh, man, that was a lot of hard work! But I’m super, super stoked; that was a hard-fought win! All my competitors were on point today, so they didn’t make it easy on me. Man, I’ll probably sleep good tonight because I left it all out there. I gave it pretty much 100 percent the whole time.”
Although Gerston, eventual runner-up Ricky Dietrich, and third-place Joe Wasson’s battle moved them away from the rest of the pack as the race wore on, several others ran with them at the front in the early going. As Gerston mentioned, getting lost in the early stages (due to a ribbon being ripped down and affecting all of the Pro and Pro II riders) set him back, but in the end, the fastest riders with the fewest problems prevailed.
After his runner-up finish at round 1, Gerston now leads Wasson in points, 55–51, so even though it’s not in his contract, Gerston will ride at least a couple more rounds. “I’ve done both [rounds] so far and now I’m in the point lead, so maybe I will,” he said.
Zane Roberts triumphed in Pro II for his first series victory, also moving him to the top of the points chase in that class.
“We’ve podiumed in all three races—two seconds (at round 1 of both hare & hound and WHS) and got the win this time—so I’m really happy so far,” the factory Beta rider said. “I didn’t have these Betas for very long before that first race, but I adjusted really quickly. Now that I’m getting more used to it, I think we’ll be running up front more often.”
Running up front in Pro 250 took him up to 10th overall, making him eligible for an extra $250 in addition to the $500 for the class win.