Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Colton Haaker survived five brutal hours of racing to come away with a strong fourth overall at the Tough Like RORR AMA East Extreme race in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania.
Quickly deemed as one of the toughest rounds of the circuit, the Tough Like RORR showcased a three-race format, with two 20-minute qualifying races on Saturday and one big Main Event on Sunday. Haaker started on row three for Saturday’s qualifiers, claiming the holeshot in his row in the first race and from there, he worked his way up to a fifth place finish. In the second race, he grabbed a second-place start and despite a couple crashes, he fought his way to a fifth-place finish.
With near perfect conditions throughout the day on Saturday, Sunday’s weather quickly took a turn as rainfall came down hard for about 30 minutes prior to the start and into the first few minutes of the race. With obviously slick conditions early on, Haaker rose to the challenge as he claimed the Main Event holeshot and early lead before settling into third early on. A mistake in the panama section caused him to drop back to fourth and he continued to battle inside the top-five through the first loop. With a clean pit, he set off into the second loop and that’s when he made a big charge into podium contention, battling back-and-forth for the third-place spot. Haaker made a mistake late in the race that ultimately cost him a podium position but he put forth an impressive ride to secure a respectable fourth overall on the day.
“It was pretty brutal out there today,” Haaker said. “Last year I got heat stroke here so this year I was just trying not to lose my mind. The weather was nicer this year but the rain was pretty brutal and it made the race quite a bit harder. I stuck it out pretty good though. Five hours of cramping and I just kept it going. It wasn’t pretty a lot of times but we kept it going, stayed up and survived to live and fight another day.”
Husqvarna Motorcycles-supported rider Ryder Leblond had a standout day, finishing just ahead of Haaker on the podium with third.
Next: Donner Hard Enduro – July 10 and 11 – Norden, California
Overall Pro Results – Tough Like RORR
1. Cody Webb, Sherco
2. Trystan Hart, KTM
3. Ryder Leblond, Husqvarna
4. Colton Haaker – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
7. Jordan Ashburn, Husqvarna
11. Daniel Lewis, Husqvarna