KTM Riders 1-2 at AMA National Enduro Season Opener
Round 1 - AMA National Enduro Series - February 3, 2019
WEDGEFIELD, S.C. – The 2019 AMA National Enduro Series kicked off on Sunday in Wedgefield, South Carolina and KTM-mounted riders Russell Bobbitt and Steward Baylor Jr. dominated the race, splitting all six test-wins between the two of them to claim the top two overall positions for the day.
It was Team Gnarly Routes’ Bobbitt who ultimately came out on top, blitzing his way through the first three tests aboard the KTM 300 XC. The multi-time AMA National Enduro Champion built up a solid lead early on before finishing out the day with three top-five finishes. In the end, Bobbitt’s performance was good enough to secure the overall victory by 16 seconds over Baylor.
Russell Bobbitt: “I had limited time on the bike but we dialed it in well this last week. It was super fun to be back on the two-stroke and I felt like I had never left it today. The first three tests went really well with no mistakes and honestly, they came easy to me. The wet sand conditions make up some of my favorite style terrain to ride. I caught a flow early on and rode well all day. The last three tests went well, too, with good times and I was stoked to be in the top five. Rain held off despite some little drizzles, but I managed to keep my goggles on and bike upright to finish out the day strong.”
Tely Energy Racing/KTM’s Steward Baylor Jr. got off to a slower start than his KTM counterpart, finishing 2-4-5 in the first three tests. It wasn’t until test four that Baylor fell into his stride as he rode his KTM 450 XC-F to the final three test-wins of the day. His strong performance late in the race gave the 2018 AMA National Enduro Champion a positive boost of confidence but it wasn’t enough to best Bobbitt for the win at Round 1. With a solid runner-up finish, Baylor puts himself into a favorable position to begin the championship chase in 2019.
Steward Baylor Jr.: “I started the day off riding very tight and almost with a mental block and I really found myself struggling in the first half. But for the final half of the race, I was able to turn the day around and win the final three tests but it just wasn’t enough to close the gap that I had lost in the first three.”
Next Round: March 24 – Ormond Beach, Florida
NE Pro1 Results
1. Russell Bobbitt, KTM, 2:12:32.31
2. Steward Baylor Jr., KTM, 2:12:48.141
3. Evan Smith, HQV, 2:13:04.551
NE1 Pro Championship Standings
1. Russell Bobbitt, 30 points
2. Steward Baylor Jr., 25
3. Evan Smith, HQV, 21