Gerston Slips and Slides to Prairie City West Hare Scramble Win

Reigning AMA KENDA / SRT West Hare Scramble Champion Max Gerston negotiates slimy conditions to win the opening round of the WHS Series at Prairie City SVRA in Northern California.

Round 1 of the Kenda AMA / SRT West Hare Scramble Championship series presented by Mojo Motorsports took place in Prairie City SVRA. Hosted by Polka Dots MC, it featured terrain that probably could not have been any more moist due to the fog that lingered throughout the weekend.

Prairie City
Max Gerston got his AMA West Hare Scrambles title off to a good start with a win at the 2018 season opener at Prairie City SVRA in Northern California. PHOTO BY KAELEY PORTER.

Not only was the Prairie City start line jam packed with the best of the best, but the racers were prompted to start the race with the sound of a shotgun. Racers were sent off the start line and immediately dragged through the slick mud and quick turns, which put some time gaps between the thick line of competition. The racers then hit the pavement to soon be taken to the super moto track where the pavement seemed to be even more slick than the wet mud. Being faced with slick pavement, slippery rocks, thick mud, and even a sand track, these racers had a challenge awaiting them from the very beginning.

Beta’s Max Gerston, who sat at the top of the Prairie City Pro podium, had no problem conquering the tough course terrain while racing to defend his 2017 Championship title. Although Gerston placed first overall, it was not an easy journey to that position. Coming from Arizona, Gerston found himself struggling with the constant changes of terrain, making his victory that much sweeter.

Prairie City
Trystan Hart finished second overall aboard his 250cc two-stroke. PHOTO BY KAELEY PORTER.

The 2017 Pro 250 Champion, Team SRT-Husqvarna-backed Trystan Hart was not going to let Gerston get away with an easy win. Throughout the entire race, Gerston and Hart battled for the lead. Wrapping up the first lap, Gerston ran first with Hart trailing. It was not until the second lap that Hart was able to make a pass on Gerston. Seeing Hart gain time, Gerston found his motivation. Taking each section as a lesson in traction and throttle control, Gerston found his groove just in time for Hart’s first pit stop of the race. The two racers continued their fight for first place. After gaining too much speed and blowing a turn, Hart found himself in the bushes, giving up his battle with Gerston, who was able hold the lead lead for the remainder of the race. Due to lack of seat time in the break between seasons, Hart fought to hold onto his second-place position, as his competitors were not too far behind him.
Holding a steady pace behind Hart, RPM Racing backed Dante Oliveira made his mark on the Pro class. Coming in third overall, Oliveira struggled for the first half of the race with bike difficulties but made a comeback after a quick pit stop. Oliveira had a battle with Gas Gas’s Joey Fiasconaro and Travis Coy.

Not too far behind, racers in the Pro 250 class were reaching for a battle with the AA class. Jeremy Wilton struggled with throttle control on the slick Prairie City rocks, which posed a challenge for every racer out on the course, but Wilton was able to hold nice time gap on runner-up Dan Capparelli, who struggled with visibility in the muddy terrain. Nathan Gibson was third.

Prairie City
Kaitlyn Jacobs won the Women’s class. PHOTO BY KAELEY PORTER.

There was a new turnout for the podium positions in the Women’s class at Prairie City, with Kaitlyn Jacobs sitting on top, Sharon Mowell in second place and McKenna Cheff in third. After stealing the holeshot, Mowell stumbled upon some difficulties while Jacobs dominated the race. Striving for a solid finish Mowell landed second place. Cheff used her familiarity with muddy terrain to her own advantage to finish third.