By Erek Kudla
This year marks the return of the AMA International Six Days Enduro Qualifier series of old: seven rounds–three in the East, three in the West and one three-day finale. Six riders have qualified from each of the regional series, so we are going into the final three-day event in Tennessee to qualify our final six riders. From there, the ISDE committee will select one more club team, based on series participation, and once again select the World Trophy, Junior Trophy and Women’s Trophy teams from our fastest off-road riders.
On the East Coast, multi-time ISDE medalist Mike Pillar started with the overall win, edging Jake Rowland at Round 1 in Florida.
Once the series moved a little farther north to South Carolina and Georgia, the competition picked up, with Ty Tremaine, Brendan Riordan, A.J. Lehr and Alex Witkowski joining the fight for a qualifying spot.
After three rounds and six individual days, RPM/KTM’s Tremaine emerged on top, followed by Rowland in a close second. Riordan, Pillar and Witkowski rounded out the qualified riders after Lehr pulled out due to a severe concussion sustained earlier on the West Coast. Brian Storrie again qualified to represent our 40+ riders in the club division.
On the West Coast, the battle continued all the way to the final tests. The series started in Southern California, where most riders were out of their element. FMF/KTM’s Cody Webb finished second and was eager to make a club team. “I’ve always wanted to participate in ISDE,” Webb said. “I really don’t even know what I’m getting myself into, so qualifying for a club would be the best for sure.” Webb has participated in the Trials de Nations nine times.
Precision Concepts’ Justin Morgan finished a strong third at Round 1, but it was his win in Round 2 in Idaho that solidified his efforts qualifying in second place.
Webb crashed out of Round 2 and had to put it all together in Washington at the finale. With multiple racers hailing from the Pacific Northwest, it was not easy, but Webb was able to take the overall win and qualify first for the ISDE in France. Both Anthonee Gibbs and Devan Bolin kept Webb honest, qualifying third and fourth, just 5 points behind after six days of battling.
TM-backed Nick Stover took second in Idaho and qualified fifth for his first trip to ISDE. Rick Emerson, a multi-time Olympic skiing medalist, will be joining Storrie on the 40+ Club team.
In their final chance to qualify for the club teams, the riders head to I-81 Motorsports Park in Greenville, Tenn., on May 12-14. The first two days of the event are enduro tests, with a tire flip before the final day of moto test.
The Factory KTM and Husqvarna rigs, along with many of the World, Junior and Women’s Trophy riders, will be joining the event as a training “boot camp” for the incoming ISDE participants. Hosted by Full Gas Sprint Enduro, this one-off-standalone event will take all of the most important parts of ISDE and throw them into one weekend.
“I fell in love with the format of the ISDE after seeing it in person back in 2012, and I’m so excited to bring a three-day version with a similar format to the United States as part of this year’s AMA ISDE Qualifier Series,” said Full Gas owner/operator Jason Hooper. “The event will take the ISDE-style special tests that we’ve been emulating in the Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series for the last two seasons, then add in impound, work periods, transfer trail and a final motocross for a real Six Days feel.”
Go to www.sprintenduro.com/2017-three-day-enduro-ama-isde-qualifier/ for more information on the ISDE three-day qualifier.
Erek Kudla is the AMA Off-Road Racing Manager