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Steward Baylor vs. Enduro – What to Do?
Should KTM Help Baylor Win?
Okay, here is the question for the day. Should KTM step up to help Steward Baylor win the National Enduro Championship?
Unless you have been inhaling premix in the garage all winter, you know by now that Steward Baylor is the hottest thing on two wheels at the moment. Coming off of the 2011 GNCC XC2 championship, Steward was looking strong. But his 2012 results have certainly surpassed everyone’s expectations. He has displayed utter dominance in the National Enduro series with 3 wins and a 2nd. He holds a 24 point lead in the standings, almost an entire race lead.
What may not be clear to everyone is that Steward is really a privateer, part of another family out to make it in off road racing. KTM chose to pass on giving him full support for the 2012 season, so no big budget, no factory parts. I suspect that the “back door” support has increased with his race wins, but that is not the same as getting a paycheck every week.
The word now is that the Baylor family is considering not contesting the entire enduro series, they are committed to GNCC first. But with Steward and younger brother Grant performing so well, it would be a shame to pass up a chance for such a prestigious national championship. It is starting to look like an apple that simply needs to be picked for Steward.
So should KTM step up to make this happen? For any other race team this would seem like a slam dunk. Of course you should help out the rider who is on his way to giving you a championship. But this is KTM. The problem is that Steward is giving a whooping to your own factory team. If he wins, he is just taking the win away from other KTM riders that are already paid for, so to speak.
Yesterday KTM/Husaberg took 7 of the 8 top overall positions in the Rad Dad National Enduro. There is no other manufacturer who has a shot at the championship anyway. Now the Baylor’s are facing a cross-country trip out to Wyoming to contest the June race. With fuel costs and such, it is an expensive trip and that means they have some decisions to make.
KTM is in a tough position. They have so many riders and are running so many series, that they are already spread very thin. They are short of mechanics and resources already. So what do you think? Should KTM step up or should they stay the course and support the riders they are already committed to?