Fortunately, KTM’s Steward Baylor Jr. had the 2012 AMA/Rekluse National Enduro Series title wrapped after winning the penultimate Muddobbers National Enduro round because he was sidelined from competition in the final show-down due to a broken collarbone sustained in practice. From the sidelines Baylor Jr. watched his KTM teammate Russell Bobbitt earn his first Enduro Series win of the year at The Gobbler Getter in Maplesville, Alabama. Husaberg’s Nick Fahringer trailed Bobbitt by 24 seconds in second-place while Yamaha rider Brad Bakken rounded out the podium.
“I had a really fun time riding today,” said Bobbitt. “The rain helped keep what was going to be a really dusty race into perfect race conditions. There were a lot of tight sections that I really enjoyed and I am happy to walk away with the win at the end of the season.”
Bobbitt came out on top in three of the six test sections, extending his advantage after a tough start saw him sitting third after the first test. Fahringer won two tests himself after struggling through the first section. He placed seventh in the first test after arm pump kept him from pushing up the ranks and though he was unable to score an overall win this season, he was pleased with his performance in Alabama.
Nick Fahringer took second in the Gobbler Getter National Enduro after overcoming arm pump issues early in the race.
“Obviously I’m disappointed that I didn’t get a win this year, but I felt like I proved myself at the end of the year,” said Fahringer. “The pressure was off today and I just went out and had a good time and I ended up riding a good race.”
Bakken set the pace early on, taking the win in the first test, but he struggled in the second section and placed 10th. A succession of third and second-place finishes through the subsequent tests moved him up to third, 14 seconds ahead of Fahringer’s teammate Mike Lafferty in fourth.
Lafferty lost some steam in the final sections, bobbling a few times and losing time on the lead pack. Despite being disappointed about his performance in Alabama, Lafferty finishes the season second overall behind Baylor.
“I am disappointed in my overall performance today,” said Lafferty. “I wish that I could have been on the podium. Despite my finish today, I am happy with my overall result in the series and glad that I could finish 2nd in the point standings.”
KTM’s Jesse Groemm finished the day in fifth, followed by Husaberg rider Shane Hufford Jr. in sixth. KTM’s Grant Baylor took seventh and Husqvarna’s Andrew DeLong held to eighth.
Bobbitt ends the year in third overall behind Baylor and Lafferty. Fahringer finished fourth in points with Groemm trailing in fifth.
Gobbler Getter National Enduro podium with Russell Bobbitt (center) in first, Nick Fahringer (left) in second and Brad Bakken (right) in third.
Gobbler Getter National Enduro Results 2012:
1. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
2. Nick Fahringer (Husaberg)
3. Brad Bakken (Yamaha)
4. Michael Lafferty (Husaberg)
5. Jesse Groemm (KTM)
6. Shane Hufford Jr., (Husaberg)
7. Grant Baylor (KTM)
8. Andrew DeLong (Husqvarna)
9. Geoff Braico (KTM)
10. Ian Blythe (KTM)
National Enduro Championship Points 2012:
1. Steward Baylor Jr., 242
2. Mike Lafferty, 225
3. Russell Bobbitt, 197
4. Nick Fahringer, 171
5. Jesse Groemm, 146
6. Brad Bakken, 129
7. Andrew DeLong, 103
8. Grant Baylor, 97
9. Shane Hufford Jr., 94
10. Cory Buttrick, 91