The following is an industry press release...
SUMTER, S.C. – The 2017 AMA National Enduro Series kicked off on Sunday with the Sumter National Enduro in Wedgefield, South Carolina. KTM-supported rider Steward Baylor Jr. captured the first victory of the season, followed by FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell in 2nd.
Baylor came out swinging as he captured the first test-win of the day aboard his KTM 350 XC-F. Baylor went on to capture one more test-win and a series of consistent finishes to earn the Round 1 victory in South Carolina.
Russell, who won the 2015 AMA National Enduro Championship before taking the last season off due to injury, posted a 5th place finish in test one before coming back to win test two aboard his KTM 250 XC-F. Russell continued to put in consistent rides throughout the day where he turned up the pace in the final test of the day. Heading into the sixth and final test of the day, Russell was 11 seconds down from the leader, where he came back to finish only one second back for 2nd place.
Russell: “I had a fun day of racing with some tight battles in every section. I had a couple small mistakes in the beginning but other than that it was a solid day trying to work my way back into the lead.”
Five-time reigning AMA National Enduro Champion Russell Bobbitt ultimately finished 4th for the day, where he kicked things off with three top-five finishes. Bobbitt maintained a top-three overall position for a majority of the day before a mistake in test five dropped him just outside a podium position.
Bobbitt: “Despite getting 4th place I actually felt really good all day and my bike worked awesome. I just rode within my comfort zone and didn’t really push the envelope where I think I needed to up the intensity a little bit to make it on the podium, but all in all I’m happy with how the day went and I’m looking forward to improving on being up there at the next one.”
SRT/KTM’s Cory Buttrick finished 7th overall for the day, while Solid Performance KTM-Supported rider Jesse Groemm came in 9th.
Next Event: Round 2 – Daytona Beach, Florida – March 19, 2017
1. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
2. Kailub Russell (KTM)
3. Thad DuVall
4. Russell Bobbitt – KTM
5. Andrew DeLong
6. Trevor Bollinger
7. Cory Buttrick (KTM)
8. Grant Baylor
9. Jesse Groemm (KTM)
10. Josh Toth