By Sandy Cesselli
After an extremely successful 2010 Hare Scrambles/Off Road Racing season in the Junior Over category Tharon Cesselli says he recognized it was time to step up and challenge the Intermediate Class in 2011.
Tharon had originally planned to move up in the Okanagan Hare Scramble Series (OHSS) and remain in the Junior Over class for the Pacific North West Motorcycle Association (PNWMA) series. He later reconsidered his decision and chose to test himself in the competitive PNWMA series Intermediate Class. By doing so, this Barriere hometown guy says he knew he would be racing a full hour longer than in 2010 and alongside highly skilled riders from all over the Pacific North West.
On April 24th, Tharon participated in his first race of the 2011 season in Kamloops at “The Big Kahuna VII” (PNWMA series).
Having previously experienced this event in 2010, he knew the trail section would be short, the track section would be dusty, and the Enduro section would be extreme. When asked how he expected to do on this first race of the season, Tharon replied, “I hope to land in the top 10, but I don’t expect to bring home an award.”
The Intermediate Class began with the riders standing about 10 meters behind their bikes; then, when the air horn sounded the riders bolted to their bikes, jumped on, and fired them up. Then, in a cloud of dust the 32 riders registered in the largest class of the day launched off the start line.
Tharon rode 91 km completing the 7 km course 13 times within the two-and-a-half hour agenda. His first lap was also his longest lap time, taking him 13:28 to complete while later in the race his shortest lap time was 11:24.
Tharon says he cruised through his first lap getting a ‘feel’ for the course and on his second lap he “took on” the optional Enduro section.
Typically a good run through the Enduro will shear considerable time off a lap as opposed to the alternative longer route.
However, this would not be the case for Tharon’s first time through it as he rode into a bottle neck of racers caught up in a difficult section.
He then resisted the Enduro for the remainder of the race until his final lap where he appeared to effortlessly breeze through it and finsihed in 13th place. He says he is quite pleased with the standing considering the quantity and quality of riders he rode with.
Since Tharon’s 2010 season report he has acquired two Kamloops sponsors, Canadian Tire and Raw Performance, and the young rider says he is very grateful for their support to help him live his dream.
With financial and mechanical assistance provided by the sponsors Tharon was able to acquire and display in time for his first race, a head turning custom graphic kit for his 2009 KTM 300 XC.
Tharon says recognizing the number of volunteers that make the races possible is important, and as always he is appreciative of friends and family who attend to cheer for him and take their turn at the pit tent.
Tharon’s next scheduled race is to be held on Sunday, May 15th in Salmon Arm.