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Bobbitt Claims Huntersville National Enduro In Minnesota

Bobbitt-2

By Susan Voss 

Huntersville, MN (June 19, 2016) – For District 23 Enduro racers, it was only the first race of the season. For those following the NEPG National Enduro series, it was already the fifth event of the nine round series. The Huntersville State Forest, full of sandy whoops and pine trees, has been home to numerous enduros hosted by the River Valley Enduro Riders. This year was the event’s first year as a national, which resulted in an even larger rider turnout than normal. With temperatures nearing the high eighties and high humidity in the air, many of the 420 riders struggled to finish the challenging 68 mile course. 

One Huntersville first timer was Russell Bobbitt. Bobbitt is perhaps one of the most well established racers on the circuit. Since 2006, Bobbitt has won four championships. Every year since then, he has finished in the top three (minus 2014, where a ruptured disk in his back ended his season early.) At Huntersville, Bobbitt tackled the sandy terrain on his Factory KTM with ease. Winning three of the six tests and placing second at the others, he came home with an overall time of 141 minutes and 52 seconds, along with his second win of the season. Bobbitt currently leads the series by 16 points.

Bobbitt had one little crash in the fifth test, but other than that the Georgia rider had a clean day. “I just hooked a little tree and knifed it over, but I got going pretty quick so I didn’t lose a lot of time,” Bobbitt said of his tip-over in test five. “This place is a lot like what I ride at my house, so I felt comfortable today.”

Baylor

Second in current season points and second on the day was SRT KTM’s Steward Baylor. Although he only managed to win one test, Steward was the closest to catching Bobbitt. With an overall time of 143 minutes and 14 seconds, Steward was less than two minutes behind Bobbitt. “It was kind of a rollercoaster ride for me today,” said Baylor. “I was second and third most of the day, but we started having an issue with the bike at the start of the fifth test and that dogged us the rest of the event. Russell had us covered, though, so I don’t think it made a difference.”

Only seconds behind Steward was Jesse Groemm and Grant Baylor, Steward’s younger brother. Groemm trailed only 20 seconds behind the eldest Baylor, while Grant missed the podium by a mere 11 seconds. “Grant and I were about five seconds apart going into that final test and I actually went down at one point, but I just tried to stay calm and push and I was able to hold him off at the finish,” said Groemm. “This was a pretty tough event with the heat and the way the sand kind of whooped up. It was one of the toughest Enduros we’ve had this year.”

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Many of Minnesota’s own riders made a statement at the race and brought home many impressive finishes. One rider who excelled was multi-time District 23 off-road Champion, Nate Ferderer. The 63 machine won the Expert AA class by over four minutes, but what was equally impressive was the fact that he placed sixth overall, beating many seasoned professionals.“I enjoyed the trail and I think that made the difference,” said Ferderer. “I had two tip-overs but other than that I was comfortable out there.”

Another Minnesota native to dominate his class was Matt Stavish. In the 45+ A class, Stavish won by a whopping 17 minutes.

In the 250 A class, Minnesota Native Tim Nienow (who now resides in Virginia) won his second straight National Enduro. Last month, Nienow placed first in the 250 A class at the Cherokee National in Georgia. The rider who finished second behind Nienow at both the Cherokee and Huntersville race was yet again another Minnesota rider, Nick Swenson. Both have been following the NEPG series, both have wins, and both are in title contention.

Racers chasing both series will have to wait until the end of July until their next races. Minnesota racers will head back to the infamous Mora Enduro, while the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series heads to Pennsylvania for the Rattlesnake National Enduro, round six of the series in Cross Fork, PA on July 24th. For more information on the series check out www.nationalenduro.com.

RESULTS

1. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)

2. Steward Baylor (KTM)

3. Jesse Groemm (KTM)

4. Grant Baylor (Yam)

5. Drew Higgins (KTM)

6. Nathan Ferderer (Yam)

7. Ian Blythe (KTM)

8. Josh Strang (Hus)

9. Nick Fahringer (Hus)

10. Tim Nienow (Hon)

 

ALL CLASSES