From KTM – Factory FMF/KTM rider and the reigning National Enduro Champion, Charlie Mullins, secured his third win in a row to remain undefeated in the Rekluse AMA National Enduro Series.
The weather was around 55 degrees with overcast skies for the third round of the series. The hard-packed, red clay terrain was very slick for the riders but the moisture in the air allowed for minimal dust during the six tests.
Mullins did not get off to the positive start he hoped for after losing his rear brake a mile into the first test section. He rode the remaining miles without rear brakes and still managed to salvage a 9th place time.
His team quickly went to work to repair the brakes before the second test. Mullins times immediately improved and he won the next two test sections. Small crashes on the fourth and fifth test kept him from earning the top time but he still finished in the runner-up spot. With a small lead heading into the final test section, Mullins raced with caution to ensure he did not make a small mistake that would cost him the overall win. He was able to finish with the third fastest time which earned him the overall win for the day and his third consecutive victory of the season.
“Today was the closest race I’ve had this season,” stated Mullins. “I didn’t get off to a great start with the brake issue so I am thankful my team was able to get the problem sorted quickly and I could go back out and make up the time. I have a comfortable lead in the series right now, and I hope to continue to increase it at the next round and hopefully keep my win streak alive.”
DirtWise/KTM rider Jesse Groemm finished fourth overall for the day, while Mullins teammate, Steward Baylor rounded out the top five. Eight-time National Enduro Champion, Mike Lafferty, was running inside the top five for the first half of the race until a stomach bug caught the best of him and hindered his results for the second half of the day. He was able to salvage a seventh place finish despite his health issues.
The final member of the team, Grant Baylor, also had his struggles early on. He had a bad crash in the third test and lost three minutes time while recovering. Although he was able to compete the rest of the day, he had a large deficit to make up and was able to catch back up to 11th position at the end of the final test.
Now three rounds into the series, Mullins has a 34 point lead in the championship chase. The riders will now take a break until round 4 which will be held in Park Hills, MO on May 18, 2014.
From Husky – Rain just before the weekend left behind “perfect” conditions for racers at the Rad Dad National Enduro in West Point, Tennessee. Factory Husqvarna’s Andrew DeLong started his day strong aboard his FE 350, and maintained a solid top-three position through the first four tests of the day, but had to settle for sixth overall after crashes on the last two tests.
“We were gunning for the podium today,” commented Race Team Manager Andy Jefferson, “and it looked like that’s exactly where Andrew was going to end up. He was definitely on his game today but mistakes ended up costing him.”
A crash on test four and another on test five cost Andrew valuable seconds in his overall score. Fortunately he was able to regroup and finish both tests, but not before he was relegated to sixth overall.
“It’s definitely not the result we were hoping for,” Andrew lamented. “I was feeling really solid today and my FE 350 is running great so we should have been on the podium. The electric start was really valuable in getting me going after those crashes so I’m grateful for that.”
At the end of the day, however, there was a new Husqvarna on the overall podium at the Rad Dad National Enduro. AirGroup Husqvarna support rider Nick Fahringer piloted his TE 300 to a strong third-place finish in Tennessee. Congratulations to Nick and the AirGroup Racing team!
DeLong and the Factory Husqvarna Off-road Team are already looking forward to next weekend where they will be back in action at the Big Buck GNCC in South Carolina.
From Dirtwise – Maxxis/KLIM/DirtWise KTM team rider Jesse Groemm scored a decent result with a 4th place finish, despite heaps of crashes, at Round 3 of the National Enduro series, held in perfect conditions over the weekend. Groemm still remains 2nd Overall in the 2014 Championship standing.
Groemm produced some scintillating speed throughout the day, starting off with 1st and 2nd placings in the first two tests despite crashing two times in each test. For tests 3 through 5 Groemm still showed top speed but couldn’t stay off the ground, as he endured some spectacular crashes and hit the floor at least two times per test again, which set him back on the leaderboard. With a change of plan for the 6th and final test Groemm backed it down a few notches which achieved his goal of not crashing but this also produced a relatively slower time than expected.
“I’m very happy with the speed that I was able to ride at today, but disappointed with how many times I crashed. I suppose I’d much rather be fast but crash some like today instead of not crashing and being slow and sucking like I was at the last round in Texas. I had a great week of training with Charlie Mullins in the lead up to this race which really helped me out. Now I just have to keep this speed but stay on two wheels!”