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Grant Baylor Comes From Behind To Win The Rattlesnake National Enduro
Cross Fork, PA (July 26, 2020) – FactoryONE Sherco’s Grant Baylor came from way down the order to edge FMF/KTM’s Josh Toth by the narrowest of margins to claim the victory at the Rattlesnake National Enduro in Cross Fork, Pennsylvania, round three of the 2020 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series.
Toth led the race at the midway point of the six-test event, but went into the final test tied with Baylor, after Baylor made an intense comeback during the later stages of the race.
Baylor turned in a very quick time in the final test, while Toth crashed, allowing Baylor to take the win by just over five seconds.
“I didn’t start out the best,” said Baylor. “But I wasn’t too far off. In the first test I think I was five seconds off the pace and it was mostly grass track. I just had arm pump a little bit and wasn’t riding myself. After that, I went onto test two and three and just was off the pace a little bit. I made a couple little changes to the bike, made some suspension changes then swapped the tire. Put a different compound tire on the back tire. I think my tests picked up about thirty seconds per test. So, I went from losing by about fifteen seconds to winning by fifteen seconds. It was just enough to edge Josh out there at the end. I edged him out by about five and a half seconds for the overall, which is awesome and moves me into the points lead for the championship, which is a first for me.”
Baylor was obviously happy with the win.
“In test five I had a really good run,” added Baylor. “Toth had me by 26 seconds going into test five. I brought it down to just half a second going into the last test. So I had the pressure on him going into that last test. I actually ended up falling over in that last test and making a few mistakes. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get him, but it was just enough to get the job done.”
The Rattlesnake Enduro marked the second race in a row where Toth lost the lead in the final moments of the race.
“I started off just really consistent, staying top three in each test,” said Toth. “But it was tricky with how dry it was in spots, and then also it was kind of wet, slick with the black dirt. It was a really tricky track to find traction. It seemed to be really tight this year. But overall it was super tight racing between a handful of us. It came down to the last test between me and Grant. We were tied going into it. I felt like I rode really good, but I ended up having one crash at the end and probably would have been enough or really close. Either way, I put it all out there on the last test and Grant was laying it down too, so props to him.”
Andrew DeLong, who won the 2014 AMA National Enduro Championship, put his Phoenix Honda Racing into third overall, which was amazing, having not raced an enduro in over a year.
“The first test I had a good test going and I stalled it. I probably lost five, ten seconds there,” said Andrew. “I probably would have won that test. Then the second test I was all over the place. I don’t know what I was doing. I think I won three or four, one of them was test two, by a pretty good amount. But I felt really good. I changed tires and the rest of the tests were pretty good. Six was a struggle, but overall it was a good day. I wish I would have put it more together for the win, but I fell apart at the end.”
Although he had suffered all week with a stomach bug, FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Ben Kelley still managed a fourth-place finish, after leading at one point.
“Test one and two were good and I was leading the day and then just kind of fell apart in test three,” said Kelley. “I had three crashes, just stupid things like back to back to back. That took some time out of my lead. Then again in test four. I felt pretty good but had a crash. The rest of the day I just kind of rode it in. I haven’t been able to eat or drink since Monday. So, I just had no energy at the end of the day. Can’t eat, can’t drink, was just exhausted. It was all I could just to ride through. Frustrating, because I know I have the speed and this is a good track for me, but just didn’t end the day well.”
After parting ways a few months ago with Sherco, Steward Baylor, rounded out the top five on a privateer Husqvarna. It seems Steward is testing different bikes in order to make a decision on a team for next year, when he plans on making a comeback. The South Carolina rider won the opening test of the day, but having been of the bike a few months showed in the end
XC Gear/Enduro/Engineering/Husqvarna’s Ryder Lafferty had high expectations coming into the race, but left Cross Fork with a disappointing sixth-place finish.
“My day was not very good, to be honest,” said Lafferty. “Out of all the years here at Cross Fork, this is usually a good one for me. I just didn’t feel comfortable today. Really tight. I got lost in test three like a lot of people. Just frustrated and struggled with the bike. I’m not pumped at all. Not happy with it, at all.”
Beta USA’s Thorn Devlin was seventh overall after struggling at the start of the day.
“Every year this is always a tricky race,” said Devlin. “We struggled a good bit in the beginning of the day. Then we started clicking, getting the bike setup a little better. By the time I started feeling good, I was already too deep in the hole. It’s points, though, which is good.”
First in the Pro 2 class and eighth overall was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Craig DeLong.
“I think the row that I had at 22 kind of hurt me a little bit for the overall because we were kind of breaking trail a little bit later in the day,” said Craig. “But that’s just part of it. I was competitive and pretty solid all day long which was good. That’s what I needed to do. Happy to get a win and gain some points.”
Beta USA’s Cody Barnes was ninth overall and second in the Pro2 division.
“I struggled kind of in the beginning,” said Barnes. “There were a lot of slick rocks and just I kind of struggled to get a flow. But towards the end I was able to ride good and snag the test win. In a lot of tests, I ended up second to Craig and he was riding really good. Just kind of struggled today, but hopefully I will rebound for the next one.”
Brian Dussault rounded out the top 10 on a Beta, topping the AA class, while Ben Nelko was 11th overall and third in the Pro2 class on a 760 Racing Husqvarna.
Enduro Engineering/ Mepmx/Fly/Grizzly Peak/Traveler’s Rest Speedway/KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker won the Women’s Elite class, ahead of FactoryONE Sherco’s Brooke Cosner.
Tricker took the win by just over two minutes.
“Today went pretty good,” said Tricker. “I think I might have won all of the tests. I just tried to keep it off the ground and just be consistent.”
Tricker did, indeed, win all of the tests, while Cosner rode a consistent race, take seconds and thirds all day.
“Today was mistake city,” said Cosner. “I couldn’t stay off the ground today, but I managed a second which was good. I had a good day.”
Shyann Phelps grabbed her first podium with a third-place finish, while FMF/KTM’s Brandy Richards was fourth in class.
Eric Douglass won the Open A division on a KTM, topping second-place finisher Zach Toth (Josh’s younger brother), on a Husqvarna. Third in Open A was Cameron Harris on a Husqvarna.
The Kenda AMA National Enduro Series resumes on August 2nd for the Little Racoon National Enduro in Wellston, Ohio for round four of its series. For more information on the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series go to www.nationalenduro.com .
OVERALL RESULTS 1. Grant Baylor (Shr) 2. Josh Toth (KTM) 3. Andrew DeLong (Hon) 4. Ben Kelley (KTM) 5. Steward Baylor (Hsq) 6. Ryder Lafferty (Hsq) 7. Thorn Devlin (Bet) 8. Craig DeLong (Hsq) 9. Cody Barnes (Bet) 10. Brian Dussault (Bet)
Report Shan Moore