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Jun 20, 2018

Brad Morris Wins UtahSBA King Of The Mountain Race At UMC

Brad Morris (93) leading Josh Bronfman (824) and Michael Bradshaw (96) at Utah Motorsports Campus. Photo by Steve Midgley, courtesy of UtahSBA.

Brad Morris wins exciting UtahSBA Round 2 KOM Race!

June 16 and 17, 2018, at the West Track configuration of the Utah Motorsports Campus located in Grantsville, Utah

One of the most exciting races in recent memory happened this weekend during the Masters of the Mountains Combined KOM race, sponsored by The Moto Station and Rickdiculous Racing. The KOM grid was headed by Joshua Bronfman and Michael Bradshaw, two favorites in the GTO class. Bronfman edged Bradshaw to the pole position by an extremely narrow tenth of a second in qualifying, so everyone was expecting an epic 14 lap battle. Justin Delong and Brad Morris rounded out the top four for the starting grid. Kory Cowan was running his first race of the season, and was gridded in 5th, which doesn't sound terribly impressive until you looked a little closer at his bike and realized he was riding a Yamaha R6. Cowan has always been tremendously fast on that bike, and starting the Combined KOM race on the second row this round reaffirmed that for anyone that may have forgotten. Duncan Biles, piloting a Yamaha R1, started in 6th, and Ryan Richardson was the second GTU bike in the grid at 7th. There were 9 more riders behind them, so it promised to be a good race, with lots of action around the entire track.

When the red light went out, it was a mad dash to turn one, with four riders already starting to edge away from the crowd. To little surprise, it was the four riders that were gridded in front. By the end of the first lap, Delong had fallen behind by just a few bike lengths, and although his times were fast, the other three were laying down some blistering lap times. By the end of lap two, the top three were well outside striking distance for Delong, although a mistake by any of the top three, no matter how minor, could see him back in the top three again. For seven laps, it was a three way battle between Bronfman, Bradshaw, and Morris, with all three threatening to make a pass in almost every corner. Halfway through lap 8, disaster struck for Bradshaw as he came through turn 4 and onto the back straight and his motor let go. From the grandstands, it looked like someone had fired a rocket horizontally across the ground due to all the smoke and the speed that he was carrying. Luckily, he was uninjured, and due to his experience on the bike, he immediately knew what happened, and was able to get his bike off the track before any oil contamination of the track occurred. Unfortunately for Bradshaw, who won the round 1 Combined KOM event, his race was over. Bronfman continued to lead the race, with Morris attached to his rear wheel, however, as the race wore on, Morris made several challenges in the last corner, only to be re-passed by Bronfman into turn 1. Bronfman took the white flag for the final lap with a small gap in front of Morris, and everyone was holding their breath, wondering if Morris would be able to offer up a last lap challenge. Bronfman knew that Morris was still a threat, even this late in the game, and never let up the pace. Unfortunately, disaster claimed its second victim as Bronfman was coming through turn 7, a section of three left corners called Demon, Devil, and Diablo, or "The D's". This section of the track is a fairly high speed section as the three lefts are formed in such a way that they can be taken as one big, long sweeper. It looked like he had negotiated just over half the corner when his back tire slid out, causing a race ending crash. The rider was a little shook up, but relatively uninjured. These two events left the door wide open for Morris, who took the KOM GTO win, followed by Justin Delong and Duncan Biles. Kory Cowan took the win for the KOM GTU class by a handy 8 seconds over second place finisher Genaro Lopez. Ryan Richardson rounded out the podium in third position without being challenged by anyone behind him.

Technical issues plagued the weekend with the trifecta of network, software and hardware issues each rearing their heads at various points during the weekend. As a result, official results are not available at the time of publication, but will be available shortly at www.utahsba.com.

The rest of the races were just as action packed, and could literally fill 30 pages with accounts of the superb riding put on display by the riders in the various classes. Saturday's races were just as spectacular, and were a harbinger of what was to come Sunday. Not only was the racing fantastic but several riders showed their mettle and class under less than ideal circumstances. For example, Michael Bradshaw most likely saved a bunch of his fellow competitors when he suspected his engine blew and exited the track immediately, negating the need for the race to be red flagged. When asked about it, someone mentioned how much smoke there was, and he just kind of shrugged, grinned, then asked if they saw dollar signs floating away too. He then proceeded to take a borrowed bike to his next race and dominate it. Every time a rider crashed, the entire community gathered around to make sure that he or she was ok, and to ensure that they had all the help they needed to get all their equipment loaded up. This past round was an affirmation of what an amazing community has formed around racing here in Utah in the form of the Utah Sport Bike Association, and we at the UtahSBA appreciate all of our competitors, sponsors and fans!

Round 3 of the Law Tigers UtahSBA Masters of the Mountains race series will be held July 14 and 15 on the East track configuration of the Utah Motorsports Campus.

The Utah Sport Bike Association is a Utah Non-Profit dedicated to promoting education, safe riding and competition in the Intermountain West. You can find more information about the UtahSBA upcoming events, and schools at www.utahsba.com or find us on Facebook at www.utahsba.com