King of the Motos
February 3, 2013
Johnson Valley, Ca.
Last year was the first time they’ve had this race and I would rate it up there as one of the toughest races I've ever done! I was able to pull off 3rd place, behind Graham Jarvis and Kyle Redmond with only six riders finishing. The race was around 75-miles last year and this year’s race was going to be two loops of 80-miles each! I was so beat last year, but I raced my 450 and this year I changed it up and raced my 250f! Also this year it was kind of like the ISDE where you couldn't get any outside assistance and no one could touch your bike. So if anything was wrong you had to fix it and deal with it!
The start was right at 8:00am and it was a dead engine with all the Pro's starting on the front line (probably around 40 Pro's). I had a decent jump and after the first hill section I believe I was around 5th. Right after that we had a fast section for the next 10-miles and since I had a 250f with stock gearing I couldn't go too fast. Jacob Argubright went by on a 450, and then Taylor Robert and I rode together until the alternate pit where we both had to stop for gas. Cody Webb was leading at this point, and then there were actually a good pack of riders all together after that. We had another fast section, and then we headed into the mountains where the race would really start to develop. I went into the mountains in 6th and then was able to get back by Jacob on the way up the first hill. In front of me I had Webb, Jarvis, Gruffunder, and Robert. They had a good pace going up and my plan coming into this was to not push it too hard early on, stay in a nice heart rate zone, and save my body for the 140-miles we still had left. Before I knew it I was on my own, and it was that way for the next 35-miles coming back to the alternate pit where I stopped for gas again! We had some really good sections in the 35-mile part and I was lucky enough to keep it on two wheels and basically just kept moving the whole time. After this we had another good technical section before getting into a fast section that was about 10-miles. Right towards the end of the fast stuff Jacob was right back on me and it was actually fun to ride with someone again! We were having a lot of fun hollering at each other. Then right before the end of the first loop I hit this big rocky g-out, and bent by rear brake pedal bad which made it go under my clutch cover. Luckily it was right before the main pit and I ended up taking extra time to work on it and bleed the brakes. Jacob was gone by then and now I was back on my own again in 6th place. Not far after the pit they had the Pro's ride a section no one else rode and I was able to get back on Jacob and make the pass back. After this section we headed back out on the same loop we did the first time, and to my surprise I was actually feeling a lot better then I thought I would. I stopped at the alternate pit again, and this time my skid plate was falling off and I laid my bike on its side and zip tied it the best I could. I didn't want to lose it since it was protecting the motor and frame a lot. My zip tie trick only lasted about 20-miles though, because of the gnarly rocks hitting the bottom. I ended up stopping on the course again and putting more zip ties on it. It might not have looked pretty, but this time I think it was going to hold up. The nasty mountain sections went pretty good and before I knew it I was coming into the last alternate section again. To my surprise Gruffunder was there pitting at the same time! I was pretty excited that I was going to get to race someone again. I knew we only had about 30-miles left and I figured Cory wasn't going to give up 4th to easy! Probably around 8-miles out I saw Cory just stop and I knew something must've happened. I stopped to make sure everything was ok and discovered he’d had some bad luck and derailed the chain and chain guide (I guess he had some problems earlier with it too). Now I had a solid 4th and knew Taylor was too far in front of me to try and catch. I believe I also had about a 30-minute lead on 5th. Everything was going good until I clipped a rock and my rear brake pedal bent under the bike again, so now it was no rear brakes. There really was only one big downhill left and I decided to just ride it in and be careful. That's pretty much how the rest of the race went for me. Considering it was 160-miles and over 6-hours on the bike, it was pretty uneventful for the most part (which isn't a bad thing).
I feel I came into this year’s race a lot more prepared and I believe it paid off! The three guys that beat me are all phenomenal riders and can't complain about finishing behind them! Most important I was happy with my ride even with the couple small problems I had! I probably wouldn't have conserved as much energy earlier in the race, but I thought I was going to be way more beat by the time I got to the finish! I still doubt it would've changed the way I finished anyway. I really only went down once in the race besides a couple small tip-overs, and just had a nice flow all day! To me last year was a lot tougher and this year I would’ve went with my 450 instead of the 250f. Still had a great time and hope to do it again next year!
Top 10 Pro's:
1st Cody Webb
2nd Graham Jarvis
3rd Taylor Robert
4th Destry Abbott
5th Brian Roper
6th Eric Bailey
7th Jack Field
8th Eric Rhoten
9th Don Boespflug
10th Max Gerston
After last year, I definitely put in a lot of work to get ready for this year! Had a lot of great fellow AZ riders to train with and pumped to see so many great riders starting to come out of AZ! Just in the pro class we had four guys in the top six overall (3rd through 6th).
I would say another huge factor for me this year and the way I felt was hooking up with Hammer Nutrition! By far the best stuff out there and trust me I've tried a lot of different things and I feel like a 25-year old again ;) They’re great people that support our sport too!
Another must that really helped me out was my Rekluse! Excited to have them on board this year and I know with the X Game rounds and Endurocross series they’re going to be a huge help! Worked awesome all day!
Also the guys over at Trail Tech were awesome with all of us racers and I know I was super pumped on my Voyager and how easy it was to follow the course! Just about everyone had a GPS unit that would help us stay on course. Pumped to put it on my dual sport bike and use all the goodies it comes with.
I added a few links of the KOM that you can check out:
Here’s and interview with Taylor and I before the race!
Here's an awesome video Taylor Robert's brother (Spenser) put together of Taylor, Eric Bailey, and myself training before KOM! All GoPro stuff and you can get an idea of some of the terrain we were practicing on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QstCOBh0uEQ
KOM! Is definitely becoming one of the biggest off-road races here in the states! Jimmy Lewis did a great job on the course and Dave who puts on the King of the Hammers really has been doing a great job on stepping up our M/C side of things! This race is just going to get bigger every year! Extreme riding is something I love to do and it's awesome to see it growing like it is! I just needed something like this when I was 25 not when I'm 40 :)
Both my dad and son came over to help me out. They both rode everyday and I for sure cherish these moments a lot more now and realize how great it is to have my son and dad out riding with me! Things are a lot tighter these days, but I honestly have been enjoying the moment and feel really blessed with all the people in my life!
Big thanks to Mark Samuel’s parents for letting us stay up at their motel in Pioneertown Motel just north of Yucca. Awesome place and it's like a western town! My new favorite place to stay now!
I'm not sure what my next race is going to be! It might be the X Games round in Brazil (April), but we'll have to see what happens in the next couple months and if I can get a bike in time.
I've been doing more riding schools and training lately so be sure to check that out on my site! I'm working on updating my site in the next two weeks and I'll have a lot of info on there on how to sign up for classes or training programs! Hope to see you guys signing up for some programs or classes :)
I attached some photos from Race-Dezert.com (by Jason Zindroski), Rompworld, Kenney Jones, and Megan Blackburn (Vurboffroad).
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Destry-Abbott/114746998547830?ref=ts
2013 Sponsors: Kawasaki, Thor, GPR, SIDI, Dunlop, Shoei, Hammer Nutrition, DVS, IMS, Zip-TY, Motion Pro, Airpark Bikes, Hoy-Fox Automotive, Works Connection, Dubya USA, BRP, Braking, Asterisk, Maxima, Scott, UNI, Jonre Mutimedia, Parkway Chiropractic, and ZLT.