For the Eighth Annual Last Dog Standing, presented by AOMC, at Glen Helen Raceway Park in San Bernardino, California, the Prairie Dogs Motorcycle Club might have devised its most difficult challenge yet. Run in a moto format, the third and final heat called Last Dog 3 (LD3) proved to be more than most of the field could handle due to temperatures in the 90s, lingering dust in the narrow canyons, and the most technical terrain the club could find in the hills around the park.
After winning LD2 (only the Sportsmen raced LD1), FMF KTM Factory Off-road Racing Team’s Taylor Robert appeared to be the favorite for LD3 (which was two laps of a loop about 8 miles long) and the overall triumph, but a couple of crashes put him into catch-up mode, forcing him to expend more energy than expected, and he had to resort to teaming up with SRT Husqvarna’s Trystan Hart in order to surmount some of the most difficult sections—this after waiting for the dust to clear after Hart’s SRT Husqvarna teammate Kyle Redmond slipped past and into the lead early in LD3.
“Kyle got up a hill that Trystan and I had to help each other up, and he was gone—he was riding really good,” Robert said. “Trystan and I got to the top and we were smoked; we just went into full survival mode.”
Hart explained, “Kyle was in front so we let him go. Taylor and I just chilled out and got off our bikes because it was so dusty! At that point, we were so hot we just decided to help each other and we wasted a lot of energy doing that because you’re doing double the bikes, basically. We were just fried and we just coasted, basically, in on that [first] lap, then I got a little boost of energy, I would say, and I charged that second lap.”
And Redmond added, “We were all together just kind of pushing our bikes and getting roosted by each other. I was like, ‘I’ve got to get out of here!’ So I found a good line at the top of one of [the climbs]; Trystan was pushing his bike and I slipped around him and never saw him again. It was tricky. The race was tough. The first lap [of LD3] was really hard and the second lap was quite a bit easier.”
Interestingly, Robert, Hart, and Redmond all had identical final scores, but Redmond earned the overall and biggest chunk of the $10,000 purse with his 3-1 tally followed by Hart’s 2-2 and Robert’s 1-3. Sherco rider Mitch Carvolth was the fourth and final rider to complete both laps of LD3 within the allotted time, that and his 6-4 giving him fourth overall.
GasGas rider Noah Kepple took fifth after getting to check four on lap two with SRT Husqvarna’s Wally Palmer, Trials Training Center KTM-mounted Josh Rooken-Smith, FMF/Maxxis/RPM/KTM Racing’s Spenser Wilton, Topar KTM’s Ryan Wells, and Turner Motorsports TM rider Ryan Gouveia rounding out the top 10.