The first round of the 2013 AMA/Rekluse National Enduro Series is in the books, with Factory FMF/KTM’s Charlie Mullins taking the early points lead after winning the Cherokee National Enduro in Greensboro, Georgia. Trailing Mullins by 39 seconds was Husaberg rider Nick Fahringer in second with his teammate, Russell Bobbit following close behind in third.
Mullins returns after suffering a frustrating season in 2012, one plagued with injuries that left him 11th in the championship. One of the biggest changes he made for 2013 was to hop off the 450 SX-F
he rode last year in favor of the easier-to-handle KTM
“I had some bad luck last season and I am really looking to turn things around this year,” said Mullins. “I have been working really hard during the off season and it is great to be back racing and finally 100% healthy.”
Mullins led through the first two tests, placed second in the next two and finished third through the final two. He’d built up enough of a gap on the field to ride more conservatively toward the end, which proved to be extremely helpful after snapping off his rear brake pedal on a tree root.
Fahringer was right on Mullins’ rear tire for most of the day, with a high point in the final test where he came through as the fastest rider. Bobbitt earned a win in the fifth test and maintained within the top-five throughout the other five sections.
Obermeyer Yamaha’s Brad Bakken rode his YZ250F
into fourth-place, followed by Bobbitt’s and Fahringer’s teammate, Michael Lafferty, in sixth. Am-Pro Yamaha’s Jesse Groemm finished in seventh with FAR Husqvarna
’s Andrew DeLong trailing in eighth.
Current National Enduro Champion, Steward Baylor Jr., continues to recover from a crash last season in which he injured his wrist. The KTM rider got on his bike for the first time in 14 weeks at the Cherokee National, getting through the first three tests before deciding to pull out of competition to avoid any further injury.
Round 2 of the National Enduro series is set for March 3, 2013 in Salley, South Carolina.
Cherokee National Enduro Results 2013:
1. Charlie Mullins (KTM)
2. Nick Fahringer (Husaberg)
3. Russell Bobbitt (Husaberg)
4. Brad Bakken (Yamaha)
5. Michael Lafferty (Husaberg)
6. Jesse Groemm (Yamaha)
7. Andrew DeLong (Husqvarna)
8. Grant Baylor (KTM)
9. Shane Hufford Jr. (KTM)
10. Thad DuVall (Honda)
11. Samuel Evans (KTM)
12. Ian Blythe (KTM)
13. Tanner Thomas (KTM)
14. Zach Ingram (Yamaha)
15. Paddy Holloway (KTM)
National Enduro Series Points 2013:
1. Charlie Mullins, 30
2. Nick Fahringer, 25
3. Russell Bobbitt, 21
4. Brad Bakken, 18
5. Michael Lafferty, 16
6. Jesse Groemm, 15
7. Andrew DeLong, 14
8. Grant Baylor, 13
9. Shane Hufford Jr., 12
10. Thad DuVall, 11