Clayton Roberts Race Report, AMA Youth National Hare & Hound, Johnson Valley!


AMA Youth National Hare & Hound Series
Johnson Valley OHV, Ca.
April 29, 30


Going into the weekend I was already sick and not feeling the best. I had a rough time on Friday at school with being on the verge of getting sick. Of course the only time out of the year that I am sick it had to be on the weekend of the Youth National Hare and Hound hosted my SoCal mc. Lately the youth races have been starting at the weirdest times, well at least the local ones. My race wasn’t going to be starting until 4:00 P.M. on Saturday, which I thought was crazy, but at least I could sleep in and try to get better before the race.

We got out to the desert at about noon and got everything dialed in on pit row. We unloaded the bike and I got geared up to go get some riding in before the race. I didn’t want to ride too much because I didn’t want to waste the little energy I had since I was sick. I put the bike under the canopy and just tried to relax before my race. Once the 65cc race started I went and put my bike on the line so I could get the spot I wanted. After that race was over I walked over to my bike and got ready.

Finally the banner was up. I was shaking because I knew how important it was for me to get a good start so I wouldn’t be sucking dust, especially since I was sick. Once the banner dropped I gave it a good kick but I whiffed. My kickstarter went back into the bike and I had to reach down and pull in out again. My bike started first kick once I actually kicked it, but everyone already had at least 50ft on me. I managed to make it to the end of the bomb in fifth. I settled in and then made my way around the rider in front of my putting me into forth. I didn’t feel like I had any adrenaline or even like I was racing from the start. It was sort of like a bad racing dream where it feels like you just can’t go fast. Towards the end of the loop I got passed and was sitting a solid fifth after the first loop. I told myself just to keep it on two wheels and ride smart. It felt like I was on a trail ride, but I just tried to push through it.

When I came into the pits I asked my dad how I was running. He told me I was in 4th because someone had crash that was ahead of me. He gave me a guesstimate of how far ahead third was because even though I was sick, I still wanted to do go. I left the pits with some fire and tried to put in a hard push. That was short lived and I quickly felt like I had zero energy so I was forced to ride a steady pace again. After the 1 hour and 30 minute race I ended up with a fourth overall. It wasn’t the worst, but definitely not how I was hoping to preform going into the race. I’m very grateful that I was able to keep it on two wheels, and get some more seat time in the desert. I just had to look at the positive, the course was great and I still had fun.
Photo Credit: Mark Kariya


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