The silty soil in the Little Sahara Recreation Area near Jericho, Utah, used for the Sugarloafers Motorcycle Club’s 58th Cherry Creek Hare & Hound creates huge clouds of blinding dust when disturbed by a tire.
It only takes a few bikes to create a veritable wall of dust and that’s what FMF KTM Factory Racing Team’s Taylor Robert found himself looking at when the banner dropped and his 450 XC-F didn’t start right away for the race serving as round 5 of the Kenda/SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series, Presented by FMF.
While Purvines Racing Yamaha’s Nick Burson, Pro Circuit Honda’s Kendall Norman, SRT Husqvarna’s Ryan Smith and the rest of the first line sped away, all Robert could do was tread gingerly through the first miles of the race.
“I couldn’t see five feet in front of me. I was going down the [bomb run] like third gear, half throttle—maybe,” Robert said.
But he went to work quickly and after some 30 miles of that fast 40-mile first loop, he slipped past Smith for third, though he didn’t even see dust from Norman and Burson.
So he charged. Before he reached the end of the first loop, he’d passed Burson for second and a few miles into the tighter 40-mile second loop, he nailed Norman for the lead and went on to score his third win of the season.
Norman eventually ceded second to Burson, revealing that he’d hurt his thumb in a crash the week before and couldn’t hold on very well, but third place was enough to keep him atop the points, 127 to Burson’s 107. After missing two rounds due to injury, Robert is solidly third at 90.