Russell Bobbitt Takes Cherokee National Enduro Win
Greensboro, Georgia (May 22, 2016) – FMF/KTM’s Russell Bobbitt grabbed his first win of the season this weekend at the Boyesen 2-Stroke Revolution Cherokee National Enduro in Greensboro, Georgia – round four of the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series.
After three-straight runner-up finishes, Bobbitt, who is coming off of a shoulder separation just three weeks ago, finally put a clean race together and wound up dominating the Georgia event, winning four of the six tests and finishing the race with a minute and a half cushion over runner-up Steward Baylor.
On Saturday, the threat of rain loomed over the event, and left most of the nearly 500 riders expecting a muddy race. However, most of the bad weather missed the Greensboro area, dropping just enough moisture to leave the course with incredible conditions. The trail was so good that Bobbitt was inspired.
“The conditions were epic,” said Bobbitt. “Everyone was scared it was going to be a mud fest, but it was perfect. I felt confident with the conditions, and I was feeling good on the bike and I just missed winning the first test by a second or two and then I won the next four. The last test, I missed winning it by just a second, so I was on my game. I didn’t have any tip-overs or stalls, so it was a nearly perfect day.”
The win moved Bobbitt into the series points lead, 11 points ahead of Steward Baylor.
“This win was a confidence booster, for sure,” said Bobbitt. “I’m looking forward to the next race in Minnesota, that should be a good one too.”
Baylor won the final test en route to second overall, which moved him ahead of his brother, Grant, in the points standings.
“I hit the deck a couple of times, but all in all, it was a good day for points,” said Steward Baylor. “I just didn’t have anything for Bobbitt, he was on his game and you could tell he came into this race to win it.”
Despite ripping his rear brake pedal completely off near the beginning of the second test, Cory Buttrick overcame adversity to grab third overall, his first podium since the final race of the 2015 season.
“I thought I pretty much blew my chances when I lost my brake pedal,” said Buttrick. “But once I got through that test I strung together some good rides.”
After posting the 10th fastest time in the second test, Buttrick was third fastest in the last four tests.
Jesse Groemm won the first test of the day, but had a few tip-overs in the second test, which left him 11th fastest for that test. The Beta USA rider came on strong in the final four tests to claim fourth overall despite feeling a bit under the weather.
N-Fab/Am Pro Yamaha’s Grant Baylor, who is coming off a shoulder separation, rounded out the top five, finishing 27 seconds behind Buttrick.
Nick Fahringer claimed his best finish of the year with a sixth, just ahead of his AirGroup Racing teammate Ryder Lafferty.
First year pro Drew Higgins put his FMF/RPM Racing Team Maxxis-backed KTM into the eighth place slot, while Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Josh Strang struggled to ninth overall.
Former pro trials rider Ron Commo III rounded out the top 10 on a Suzuki.
Of course, Charlie Mullins, who announced his retirement from racing a few weeks ago, was not racing at the Cherokee, and will be sorely missed, but was on hand on Saturday signing autographs. Charlie signed the number plate that he used at his last race in Louisiana and it was actioned off at the riders meeting, bringing $500 to be donated to the Casseli foundation. Mullins won the Cherokee National in 2013.
Zac Brown dominated the action in the Rekluse Expert-AA class, beating fellow KTM rider Dylan MacRitchie by just over two minutes. Third place went to Jake Froman on a KTM.
FMF/KTM’s Kacy Martinez took another win in the Women’s A/B division, beating KTM rider Shawn Davison by just 20 seconds.
“I just concentrated on not making any mistakes, that was my goal today,” said Martinez.
Third in the Women’s A/B division went to US Women’s ISDE standout Rachel Gutish on a KTM.
The Kenda AMA National Enduro Series resumes action on June 19th in Huntersville, Minnesota for the Huntersville National Enduro. For more information on the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series check out www.nationalenduro.com.
1. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
2. Steward Baylor (KTM)
3. Cory Buttrick (KTM)
4. Jesse Groemm (Bet)
5. Grant Baylor (Yam)
6. Nick Fahringer (Hus)
7. Ryder Lafferty (Hus)
8. Drew Higgins (KTM)
9. Josh Strang (Hus)
10. Ron Commo (Suz)