Cory Buttrick won the battle but Russell Bobbitt won the war at the John Zink National Enduro on the John Zink Ranch in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, home of the U.S. ISDE in 1994. The event was organized and hosted by the Tulsa Trail Riders, who did a fantastic job and even kicked off the event with a grass track test in the same location as the grass track used at the Six Days in ’94. Buttrick’s win was his first in four years in the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series while Bobbitt left town with a fifth national enduro title in his back pocket after finishing the day in sixth overall.
The last time Buttrick won a national enduro was in 2012. After that, the Ohio native suffered several injuries, which have kept him on the comeback trail for the last few years. This year, however, Buttrick has remained relatively healthy and he has worked hard to build back his speed and his conditioning. It all paid off in Oklahoma where Buttrick won two of the seven tests and never finished lower than third fastest in any of the remaining tests, giving him the win by 21 seconds.
“This is incredible,” said Buttrick. “It’s kind of funny because I didn't really think I was riding all that great. I was getting frustrated at all the lines I was missing and I was just doing silly things and that kept me mad all day, which I think kept me motivated. Getting the win was a big relief. It’s been a long time coming and at times it’s been a frustrating struggle.”
Heading into the final test of the day, Buttrick held a 22-second lead over Specialized Performance KTM’s Jesse Groemm. Like Buttrick, Groemm is an interesting story in that he suffered a seizure just a few weeks before the race, which the doctors think was related to a concussion he suffered two years ago. The New Jersey rider was cleared to get back on a motorcycle just two weeks ago and this weekend he kicked things off by winning the opening two tests. He had a few problems in the fifth test, though, which allowed Buttrick to pull a small gap heading into test seven, which Buttrick held to the finish.
Third place went to Buttrick’s SRT KTM teammate Steward Baylor, who has been in contention for the title all year. Baylor competed on the US Junior Team at this year’s ISDE in Spain along with his brother Grant and both were still a bit jet-lagged in Oklahoma.
“We just finished over 1000 miles of racing in six days and I just didn’t feel I had any flow to my riding,” said Steward. “I was sixth or seventh after the first two tests, but I made some adjustments and started to move up a bit near the end of the race. The bike I rode this weekend was different from the one I rode in Spain and it just took a while to adjust.”
Fourth was Colorado KTM rider Ian Blythe, who was hot off a second consecutive off-road title in Brazil. Blythe won the final test of the day and was second in tests one and five.
Newly signed Beta USA rider Drew Higgins finished fifth, his best national finish yet. Higgins seemed to like the terrain and said it was similar to what he rides at home in Texas.
Bobbitt was sixth and knew he only needed a solid finish to wrap up the title and was hesitant about taking any risks on the notoriously rocky Sand Springs terrain. The FMF/KTM rider turned his best time with a fourth in the final test.
Andrew DeLong, who is coming off a long road to recovery from a wrist injury, finished in the seventh spot, just ahead of Am Pro Yamaha’s Grant Baylor. Meanwhile, RPM Racing’s Evan Smith and AirGroup Racing’s Nick Fahringer rounded out the top 10.
In the final series standings, Bobbitt claimed the title with 214 points, while the Baylor brothers, Steward and Grant, were second and third, respectively, with 203 and 184 points.
In the Rekluse Expert-AA class, the championship results are still to be determined by the AMA, however Nathan Ferderer (Yam) won the Rekluse Expert-AA award. On the day, Dillon MacRitchie (KTM) won the class with Ferderer in second and Tyler Vore (Hsq) in third.
FMF/KTM’s Kacy Martinez won the Women’s A/B class ahead of KTM riders Kristina Zmuda and Kristi Grote. Martinez wrapped up the title at the previous round in Missouri.
The Tulsa round marked the end of the 2016 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series, however, for more information and next year’s schedule check out www.nationalenduro.com.
1. Cory Buttrick (KTM)
2. Jesse Groemm (KTM)
3. Steward Baylor (KTM)
4. Ian Blythe (KTM)
5. Drew Higgins (KTM)
6. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
7. Andrew DeLong (Hsq)
8. Grant Baylor (Yam)
9. Evan Smith (KTM)
10. Nick Fahringer (Hsq)
SAND SPRINGS, Okla. – Round 9 of the AMA National Enduro Series took place on Sunday in Sand Springs, Oklahoma where FMF KTM Factory Racing Team’s Russell Bobbitt wrapped up his fifth-career National Enduro Championship at the season finale. Additionally, SRT/KTM’s Cory Buttrick put forth an impressive ride to earn his first-career victory in the series as he led a KTM-podium sweep with Jesse Groemm in 2nd and KTM-supported rider Steward Baylor Jr. in 3rd.
The Zink Ranch National Enduro showcased ideal racing conditions for the final round as the rich Oklahoma soil lent a hand in maintaining low levels of dust on the course. With a total of seven tests, the race day started and ended with a 3-mile grass track section, with plenty of technical obstacles in between.
Heading into the final round, Bobbitt held a 17-point lead over Steward Baylor in the championship standings, which gave the Georgia native a comfortable position in the final head-to-head battle. Bobbitt maintained a conservative pace throughout the day aboard his KTM 250 XC-F; where he kicked things off with a top-five finish in test one. Bobbitt experienced two big crashes during tests three and four, which set him back as he was forced to stop and straighten out the front-end of his bike.
From there, Bobbitt kept his head down and charged ahead to ultimately finish 6th overall for the day, which was good enough to capture his fifth career championship – his first since 2011 – in the final round of racing.
Bobbitt: “I’m really pumped to get five National Enduro Championships and to get this one 10 years after my first! The track was technical and difficult but we did what we needed to do to make it happen.”
Team Manager, Antti Kallonen: “It wasn’t the best result for Russell today but he got it done under big pressure and that’s what matters in the end. The team is pleased that he was able to win his fifth championship and we were also happy to see a KTM sweep on the overall podium and in the Women’s A/B Class with Factory Team member Kacy Martinez on top. Congratulations to all KTM riders on a great 2016 season.”
SRT/KTM riders Cory Buttrick and Steward Baylor Jr. stood atop the podium together for the first time as Buttrick earned his first career-victory in Oklahoma. Buttrick came away with two test-wins and solid top three finishes throughout the day as he bested the 2nd place rider of Jesse Groemm by 23 seconds. Baylor also had an impressive performance, where he claimed two test-wins and 3rd overall for the day.
FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Kacy Martinez, the recently crowned Women’s Class Champion, captured her sixth victory of the season on Sunday. Martinez dominated the class in each test, where she finished almost 10-minutes ahead of the 2nd place rider Kristina Zmuda (KTM). Kristi Grote (KTM) rounded out the podium to create another orange-sweep for the class.
- Cory Buttrick – KTM
- Jesse Groemm – KTM
- Steward Baylor Jr. – KTM
- Ian Blythe – KTM
- Drew Higgins – KTM
- Russell Bobbitt – KTM
- Andrew DeLong
- Grant Baylor
- Evan Smith – KTM
- Nick Fahringer
Women’s A/B Results
- Kacy Martinez – KTM
- Kristina Zmuda – KTM
- Kristi Grote – KTM
- Megan McGowan – KTM
- Kerrie Swartz – KTM
Overall Championship Standings
- Russell Bobbitt – 214
- Steward Baylor Jr. – 203
- Grant Baylor – 184
- Josh Strang – 139
- Jesse Groemm – 134
- Cory Buttrick – 117
- Drew Higgins – 114
- Nick Fahringer – 105
- Ryder Lafferty – 88
- Dylan Macritchie – 56
Women’s A/B Championship Standings
- Kacy Martinez – 205
- Shawn Davidson – 156
- Ashlee Applewhite – 124
Get a 1 in 60 chance to win a FREE Bell helmet for just $5, winner will be announced at the riders meeting at the Zink Ranch Enduro this week end. Do not have to be present to win.
The Kenda recommended tire for the NEPG Tulsa Trail Riders enduro at Tulsa, Oklahoma is the Washougal II DC, this tire is great in intermediate conditions from loam to hard clay. The alternate tire will be the Triple with its sticky compound and dimpled knobs. The Kenda rider support boxes will be at this round, they will be at the first and second gas truck. The boxes contain a supply of Kenda Tuff-Tubes, bike stand, tools, tire spoons and air compressor. The tubes are on the honor system, just stop by after the race and pay for what you use. The support boxes are for all riders regardless of the brand tires you run. Tim Anderson the trackside vendor for Kenda tires will have a large selection of Kenda tires, Super Tuff Tubes and Tuff Tubes including the Washougal, Triple and Millville 2 tires. You can reserve your tires at email@example.com, please include tire sizes or call Tim at (248) 431-7506 before 10 PM EST. Mounting is available on Saturday, we do a very limited number of tires on Sunday because we are on row 38. A limited selection of Kenda youth tires and Tuff-Tubes will also be available. Stop by the Kenda tent under the giant inflatable Kenda tire and say hello.
The 9th & final round of the 2016 Kenda National Enduro Series will take place at the 40K acre Zink Ranch just north west of Tulsa Oklahoma. The Tulsa Trail Riders have been working all year preparing for the event, laying out a nearly 100% new course. The first section will be a natural grass track right near the starting area, then its off into the ranch for section 2-6. Rider access will be available in between sections at a central location just a few miles down the road.
KTM will have many of their 2017 models on hand for demo rides from 10am-4pm on Saturday right near the starting area. KTM will also be sponsoring the year end award dinner taking place directly after the event. A food vendor will be on site all day Saturday and Sunday.
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Since this is a private ranch the following hours are when the gate will be open Friday Oct. 21st Noon-8pm, Saturday 7am-10pm, Sunday 6am-8pm. If you arrive late Friday or Saturday night there will be a temporary parking area that can be used until the gate opens the next morning.
Hey All, The October issue of On The Pegs is live on the internet and ready to read. This month there is coverage of the Lead Belt National Enduro in Missouri and a report from the Trial des Nations in France. There is also an interview with Colton Haaker plus a review of Jitsie’s new trials gear. Dan Fahey also continues he excellent series on trials training.
- Feb 5th Sumter, SC
- March 19th Daytona Beach, FL
- April 30th Forest Hill, LA
- June 4th Greensboro, GA
- July 23rd Cross Fork, PA
- August 20th Matthews, IN
- Sept 17th Park Hills, MO
- Oct 15th Sand Springs, OK
- Nov 5th Stanton, AL
Beta USA has signed young Drew Higgins to race the 2017 NEPG/AMA National Enduro Series. Higgins lives in Texas and currently sits sixth in the points. It has not been decided if he will race a 250 or 300 RR as testing will begin at the end of this season.
Higgins is looking forward to being a part of the squad, "I'm really excited to be joining Beta USA for the 2017 season racing the National Enduros. I'm looking forward to see what me and the team can accomplish together, and go after race wins. I can't thank Tim Pilg and Zack Huberty enough for giving me an opportunity to race for them. With Beta adding Rodney Smith to the team as a riding coach, adds a whole new level to the program. I look forward to spending next season aboard a Beta!"
Team manager Zack Huberty has this to say, "We're building a strong team going into 2017 and Drew's addition will be a great representation of Beta in the National Enduro series. I'm looking forward to working with Drew and helping him get on the podium."
For more information about Beta motorcycles, go to www.betausa.com
Once again the Bucher and Mastin family businesses have graciously donated to the Expert-AA year end purse, THANK YOU!