Getting his 2016 AMA EnduroCross campaign off to the best possible start, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Colton Haaker delivered the goods at a fast and technical series opener to put his FC 350 on the top step of the podium. Teammate Mike Brown made it a memorable night for Husqvarna Motorcycles by bringing his FC 250 home in fifth.
Determined to get his season off on the right track, SuperEnduro World Champion Haaker produced a near flawless 15-lap main event to secure the win. Setting the fastest time in the night’s Hot Lap session ensured Haaker the first pick of the starting gate.
Rounding the first corner in second, he then passed Taddy Blazusiak for the lead on lap two and never looked back. Riding calm and confident out front, Haaker controlled the pace for the remainder of the race to take the win and with it an early three-point lead in the championship.
Racing his way back up to fitness following a troubled off-season with injury, Brown brought his Husqvarna home in fifth. Placing sixth for the first halfway of the main event, he showed that his fitness is up to scratch by overtaking Kyle Redmond on lap eight of 15 to move into fifth, where he stayed until the chequered flag.
The AMA EnduroCross Championship continues with round two in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Sept. 3, 2016.
Colton Haaker commented: “I’m pumped to get the season off to a winning start. You just never know how things are going to turn out at round one so I’m more than happy that it all came together like this. I felt things started a little shaky during my practice and heat race but in a way that sort of ironed things out for me. When the night programme came around I won the Hot Laps and I knew with a solid start I could be in the hunt. I stayed out of trouble during those first two laps of the main event, got around Taddy cleanly and then went to work. To pick up the EnduroCross series where I left off the SuperEnduro Championship by winning is fantastic and I’m excited for the rest of the season.”Mike Brown said: “I’m happy with tonight. Of course I want to be on the podium but I still feel a little behind where I know I should be. My off-season has been about recovering from injury so I didn’t have many race miles coming in here. But the more laps I turned, the better I felt and to get a top five result is pretty good. And with round two coming next weekend I know I will improve and put myself in contention for the podium.”
2016 Atlanta AMA EnduroCross results:
1. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna)
2. Cody Webb (KTM)
3. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM)
4. Max Gerston (Beta)
5. Mike Brown (Husqvarna)