FMF/KTM rider Russell Bobbitt started the AMA National Enduro season in the best way possible – with an event win!
Bobbitt, a 3-time National Enduro Champion, is no stranger to winning. After struggling with a separated shoulder throughout the majority of last season, he is back to top form for 2011. It’s no secret that Bobbitt has revamped his training routine since last October to focus more on speed training and overall fitness. All of his hard work paid off when he captured the win at the opening round in Salley, SC.
Not only did Bobbitt win the first race, he dominated the first race. He turned the fastest time in the first three sections before having his first hiccup. “I crashed once in the fourth test which cost me some time and I ended up with the fifth fastest time,” remarked Bobbitt. Despite his crash, Bobbitt still maintained the lead after the fourth test.
“I got back into my rhythm in the fifth test and had a lot of fun,” stated Bobbitt. The final test took the riders back to the second test, only this time they had to run the loop backwards and also incorporate sections of the third loop. Bobbitt reported, “The sixth test was definitely beat down since it was the loop we had used for previous tests. It was really fast and sandy with quite a bit of single-track. I was definitely glad to be on my two-stroke as it was very easy to rip through the single track and put in a fast time.”
Also riding a two-stroke was KTM support rider Brad Bakken who won the fourth test and finished 2nd overall behind Bobbitt. Husaberg rider Mike Lafferty rounded out the podium while three more KTM riders followed behind, Cory Buttrick, Steward Baylor and Charlie Mullins.
“We are very happy with Russell’s performance today as well as the other six KTM riders that finished inside the top ten. It was a great day for KTM,” stated FMF/KTM Team Manager Antti Kallonen.
Husaberg Factory rider Mike Lafferty put his Husaberg on the box at the opening round of the AMA National Enduro Series with a 3rd place finish.
The eight-time National Enduro Champion was happy with his overall result, commenting, “I am excited to finish on the podium at the opening round. This is a much better start to my season than last year’s opener and I feel I have put myself in a good place to start the year.”
Lafferty had a slow start to the day turning section times in the bottom five before really coming to life in the second half of the race. “I assumed the course was going to be much sandier than it was and I had set my bike up too aggressive in the beginning which hurt me in the first few sections. I was also a little nervous at the start of the race and rode tighter than I should have been,” remarked Lafferty. He continued, “After the third section we switched some settings on the bike which made it work perfect in the sand and I really felt comfortable. I loosened up immediately and it showed with an overall improvement in my lap times.”
In the fourth section Lafferty was able to turn the second fastest time behind Brad Bakken. Lafferty went on to win the fifth section and then turned the third fastest time in the final section to bump him and his Husaberg to third overall.
Lafferty’s Husaberg teammate, Nick Fahringer, also put in a decent ride finishing inside the top ten with a 7th place result. “I rode a smooth and consistent race throughout the whole day. Unfortunately, my speed was off slightly and that was where I lost a lot of time. I didn’t really struggle with anything particular I was just off the pace in a few sections. I know what I have to work on and I plan to focus on riding more enduro-style terrain and improving my sprint speed over the next few weeks,” commented Fahringer.
The next AMA National Enduro event is scheduled for March 20, 2011 in Forest Hill, LA.
2011 AMA National Enduro Round 1 Results:
1. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
2. Brad Bakken (KTM)
3. Mike Lafferty (Husaberg)
2011 National Enduro Round 1 podium (from left to right): Mike Lafferty, Russell Bobbitt and Brad Bakken.
4. Cory Buttrick (KTM)
5. Steward Baylor (KTM)
6. Charlie Mullins (KTM)
7. Nick Fahringer (Husaberg)
8. Thaddeus Duvall (Yamaha)
9. Shane Hufford (KTM)
10. Zach Klamfoth (KTM)
2011 AMA National Enduro Championship Points:
1. Russell Bobbitt, 30
2. Brad Bakken, 25
3. Michael Lafferty, 21
4. Cory Buttrick, 18
5. Steward Baylor, 16
6. Charles Mullins, 15
7. Nick Fahringer, 14
8. Thaddeus Duvall, 13
9. Shane Hufford, 12
10. Zach Klamfoth, 11