With an all-day rain shower stalling over the area and creating the worst of conditions, round two of the WORCS series was challenging. However, GasGas North America teammates JT Baker and Jake Alvarez were more than up for the challenge on their GasGas XC 300s, with Baker coming away with an impressive win in the Pro2 division (and ninth overall), while Alvarez followed with a solid fifth place finish.
Baker had to pull off his goggles early in Saturday’s qualifier and was riding nearly blind when he closed in on the leader late in the race, but had to settle for second at the finish. However, in Sunday’s final, Baker snuck around the inside of the first turn at the start of the race and was sitting in third place heading into the first lap. By the end of the lap, Baker had worked his way into the lead, only to lose it when he pitted for fuel. Leaving the pits in second place, Baker put his head down and was able to catch and pass the leader with a mile left in the race to take the win.
Alvarez suffered a nasty crash in the 450 A qualifier on Saturday and was forced to transfer to the final through the last chance qualifier. Once in the final, Alvarez started mid-pack and despite a couple of tip-overs in the more technical parts of the course, he was able to work his way up into fifth place at the finish.
JT Baker: It was pouring down rain all day and it made the conditions really challenging. I went through my goggles right away in the qualifier and I got in behind the leader, but I couldn’t see so I qualified second. In the final, I worked up to the lead but then I lost it when I pitted. I just put my head down and started catching the leader and with about a mile to go I caught him in one of the single line ruts but I was able to make a new line on the side of a hill and get around him to win it. This was my first win in the WORCS series and I’m super pumped.
Jake Alvarez: We were expecting it to be sunny on race day and it ended up being super muddy. I like to mud, though, and I had a great time. The conditions tend to make your goggles fog up, so it’s always a struggle trying to see in the rain and mud, but I’m pleased with how things turned out. My bike worked great in the mud and I was able to get fifth, so I’m super excited.
Young Mateo Olivera took a very impressive 2nd place in the Pro Lites class as well, aboard his XC250.
GasGas North America teams return to action on February 9-10 in Gaston, South Carolina for the opening round of the Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series.
PRO 2 RESULTS
1. JT Baker (GG)
2. Austin Serpa (KTM)
3. Noah Kepple (HQV)
4. Alex Dorsey (KTM)
5. Jake Alvarez (GG)
6. Chance Fullerton (BTA)
7. Tallon Lafountaine (HON)
8. Tate Dyer (KTM)
9. Austin Walton (HQV)
10. Bobby Schott (TM)