2017 AMA West Hare Scrambles Round 6 Race Report


There are certain places where some folks are just plain hard to beat. For the Pearsons, that place would be most of Nevada, but it’s especially true in the Caliente, Panaca and Pioche areas. After all, they grew up riding in the area.

“I’ve always ridden well here,” Axel Pearson said. “This is where I won my first race ever, is up here.”

As his Purvines DA8 Racing Yamaha teammate Nick Burson pointed out, “I don’t think I’ve beat him up here in a long time, a couple years even! Last year he beat me at the hare & hound and he beat me at the hare scrambles.

“He goes really fast here and he’s confident. I know that feeling in Ridgecrest, [California, where I grew up].”

But in a fairly event-filled Sawmill Run, hosted by the Silver State Trail Blazers in Pioche, Burson enjoyed a day where most things went his way. In doing so, he became the first two-time winner in the Kenda/SRT AMA West Hare Scrambles Regional Championship Series where he carries the number one plate on his YZ450FX.

Arguably, however, Pearson was faster, which he demonstrated by catching him several times, only to cartwheel after hitting something in the dust.

“I was kind of pushing a little too hard in the dust, I think,” he admitted. “But I feel like I had to try and give it my all.”

Knowing that he held the advantage by being out front, Burson didn’t have to push as hard as he could have and finally beat Pearson on his home turf. In doing so, he also put himself back at the top of the points over Beta’s Max Gerston, 132-125.

The Sawmill Run proved to be an jaw-dropping experience for Gerston, who insisted he’d never gone that fast on his 390 RR before despite spending lots of the race trying to punch through walls of dust created by lappers.

“I didn’t even know I got third!,” he exclaimed. “I thought I was fourth or fifth or something.”

Six Five O Racing Gas Gas EC 300-mounted Joey Fiasconaro told a similar tale after getting the jump off the line at the start but being outpowered by Burson on the asphalt. However, Fiasconaro managed to finish a creditable fourth in the unfamiliar conditions followed by Axel’s brother, Tuffy.

Austin Garcia, Purvines DA8 Racing rider Ryan Marshall (who ended up sacrificing a great start to help Burson when the race leader got stuck in a closed gate after the start) and FMF Pro 250 racers Cole Conatser, J.T. Baker and Tayson Weeks rounded out the top 10 overall.