2020 Primm 2 WORCS Report —
The winding desert terrain of Primm, NV was once again the race venue, hosting the penultimate round of the 2020 WORCS series. Though Primm is a common event location, racers said this weekend’s course felt different compared to the norm. The WORCS crew put a lot of effort in to the layout and laying down water. As a result, the course developed a harder, choppier base in spots. On top of that, the pro motorcycles raced earlier in the day, which made for better conditions and closer racing. Additionally, the WORCS staff added a tricky rock section for Sunday’s pro main event. The technical section definitely had a part to play in the two-hour finale.
Zach Bell – 3rd place Pro
As the green flag waved to signal the start of the two-hour pro race, Zach’s KX450 instantly fired to life. He rocketed down the start straight and into the lead. From there, Bell held the pole position for much of the first lap. Then, a rock momentarily wedged itself into his rear brake pedal. Zach took the time to kick the rock out, which allowed both Taylor Robert and Dante Oliveira to pass by. Zach slotted into third as the lead trio quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the pack. Through an hour of racing, Zach still sat in third position, within six-to-eight seconds of the leader. Just after the pit rotations, Bell passed into second place when Robert made a mistake. As he closed in on the leader, Bell’s clutch lever was unfortunately damaged by a rock. Thanks to the Rekluse Radius auto clutch, Zach was still able to hold a strong pace. However, without the use of his clutch lever through the rock section, Bell couldn’t quite maintain the same pace deep into the race. He settled into third and crossed the line to take his first WORCS podium finish of the season.
In His Own Words
“The whole weekend went smooth. We made some bike changes early, but went back to the original settings and it paid off. [In the pro race] I got off to the hole shot, my KX450 just jumped off the line and got me the lead. I had a rear brake issue the first lap with a rock getting stuck in the pedal. I got that fixed and just rode in third for the first hour. Right after the pit I made the pass into second and was charging up to Dante for first. I got up close to him and a rock came up and hit my clutch lever and broke it. Thankfully, I had the Rekluse [Radius auto clutch], but it was still tough in the rocks. I couldn’t get through them as well and was falling a lot. But I was able to salvage a third. My body’s feeling better. I’ve been changing up my training and focussing on my body in different ways and it’s working. So, I’m feeling better and better each weekend and just excited to keep racing.”
Clay Hengeveld – 5th place Pro 2 / 3rd place 450 A
Like his teammate, Clay’s KX450 ignited instantly and he rifled down the first straightaway in the lead. Hengeveld held a tight grip on the top spot before settling into third through the rock section. From there, Clay found himself locked into a tight battle with fellow Kawasaki rider Todd Sibell. The two were nose-to-tail, trading positions through an hour. Then, just after the pit rotations, Clay looked to make the pass back into third through the rock section. Hengeveld made a small mistake while trying to overtake, coming to a momentary stall in the rocks. While trying to maintain his balance, Clay was hit from behind by another rider. The impact popped his shoulder out of socket. Hengeveld was able to get his shoulder back in within a minute or so and rejoined the race in fifth. Over the final forty-five minutes, Clay stayed steady and held onto his first top-five finish in the Pro 2 class this year.
In His Own Words
“Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good day. I got the hole shot and led all the way to the rock section. Honestly, I kind of struggled in the rocks through the race. I was running third for a majority of the race, but I had some issues in [the rocks]. I’m happy to salvage a top-five, but that obviously wasn’t my goal for the weekend. But all-in-all a good day for me. I know where I need to be, and I’m feeling more and more confident each race. So, overall a good weekend and I’m ready to head back to 29 Palms [for NGPC]. It’s one of my favorite tracks, so I’m hoping to do really well there.”
JP Alvarez – 2nd place Pro 2 Light / 1st place 250 A
Primm was JP’s first race on the all-new 2021 KX250X. Alvarez was slightly trigger-happy on the dead-engine start, tapping the button prematurely. He quickly had to kill his engine, which threw off his starting rhythm. The flag waved just after that, and JP’s bike was a little slower to re-fire. He headed down the start straight toward the back of the Pro 2 Lights pack. Alvarez quickly set to work moving forward through the field. In an impressive recovery, he was able to come around the first lap in fifth. From there, Alvarez made more methodical progress forward, passing into third place just before the hour mark. He then found himself embroiled in a back-and-forth battle with Will Riordan for the second spot. JP showed his speed in the sandier parts of the track, but Riordan was a little stronger in the rock section, capitalizing on any mistakes from Alvarez. With just thirty minutes left, JP finally claimed second place for his own. By that time, the leading Tyler Lynn was too far ahead to make any further progress. In the end, it was a great effort for JP to recover from his start and land on the podium.
In His Own Words
“I’m actually pretty happy with the weekend. You know, I had a dead-last start and was able to work my way up. Being able to get up to second, I couldn’t ask for much more. The rock section was good. Some laps, I’d make it through just fine. Then, other laps I had mistakes through it, but more often I’d come out pretty decent. I love the new KX250X. It has a lot more power. And coming into corners, I’m really able to corner the way I want to with the bike. So, I feel like I can just do more of the things I want to do with it. Heading back to 29 Palms [for NGPC] in a couple weeks, I’ll be looking for a win. Last time there, I won by a pretty good gap. So, I’m definitely hoping we can do it again.”
Robby Bell, Team Manager
“All-in-all, it was a really good day at Primm WORCS. Just from the fan point of view, it was great to watch the top-three pro’s all within just a few seconds for the first hour of racing. Zach looked really strong and I was interested to see if he could make a push the second hour. He was able to get into second, but that unfortunate damage to his clutch lever held him back in the end. Still, he said his body felt really good, and the speed was there. So, it was all positives for his weekend.
“In my opinion, Clay had a bit of that leap forward we’d been hoping for. He was able to finish third in Saturday’s 450 A qualifying race, which was great. More than that, there was increased aggression in his riding, which shows his strength and confidence is growing. He was battling hard for the podium on Sunday [in Pro 2] before his shoulder popped out. To have that happen and still finish fifth was a solid day. He finally got that top-five finish in Pro 2. But like any competitor, he’s more disappointed in not getting on the podium. So, it’s good to see the hunger for more improvement.
“JP looked really good on the new KX250X. He was a little antsy on the dead-engine start, but his first lap recovery from the poor start was pretty impressive. His speed overall was fantastic. I think he’d just lose a little time in the rocks when he didn’t have a smooth run. But for his first effort on the new bike to be a podium finish, that’s a successful day in my opinion.”
2020 Primm 2 WORCS Results
Click the link to view results:
• Pro Race Results
• Pro 2 Race Results
• Pro 2 Lights Race Results
• 450 A Race Results
• 250 A Race Results
• Pro Championship Standings
• Pro 2 Championship Standings
• Pro 2 Lights Championship Standings
• 450 A Championship Standings
• 250 A Championship Standings
View more results from the weekend by clicking here to visit the WORCS scoring site.
2020 Primm 2 WORCS Photos
Credit: Dirt Nation Magazine
2020 Primm 2 WORCS GoPro Footage
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