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Steward Baylor Wins Rattlesnake National Enduro
Steward Baylor got back on the winning track at this weekend’s Rattlesnake National Enduro, round five of the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series in Cross Fork, Pennsylvania. It was the AmPro Yamaha rider’s first win since opening the 2022 series with a victory at round one in Sumter, South Carolina.
Steward topped series point leader Coastal Racing GasGas’ Ryder Lafferty by 7 seconds to take today’s win. The South Carolina rider only won two of the six tests, but his performance in the rocky fifth test made the difference and allowed him to surpass Lafferty with one test remaining in the race.
“We were all really close all day, but that fifth test always stands out for me here,” said Steward. “It’s just one of those tests and it kind of played into my favor. I knew that test was coming and I just made sure I rode really good. I actually pushed the front end and lost ten or twelve seconds, and still I think I put more than thirty seconds on the rest of the guys in that one. That was just the advantage we needed.”
Lafferty rode a solid and consistent race all day, except for the fifth test, where he actually went down and lost several seconds.
“The only one I didn’t feel myself in was the fifth test,” said Lafferty. “I had a crash in that one, but still was pretty good. It was just that Stew crushed it.”
Lafferty had three wins on the day and he still had a chance to move back into the lead with a good ride in the sixth and final test, which he won by five seconds over Steward, but it was not enough.
“I won that last test, so it was a good day,” said Lafferty. “I just felt solid. I wanted some redemption after the fifth test, so it was good.”
Lafferty’s Coastal Racing GasGas teammate Ricky Russell turned in his best performance of the series with a third.
“I felt like I made so many mistakes in the first test, but when I came in I saw that I finished second and I was one second from winning it, so I was like, ‘oh, everyone is struggling too’,” said Russell. “After that, I just kept my head down. In the third test, I think I was fourth, and then I just got consistent thirds the rest of the day.”
REV Motorsports GasGas’ Grant Baylor finished fourth overall despite two big crashes.
“It was kind of dry and dusty today, so it made it real slippery with the powder on the course and the rocks underneath,” said Grant. “So, it was kind of a treacherous track, to say the least. The second test I went down and I thought I broke my hand. It started to swell up and it was throbbing and had some sharp pains. It felt like it was broken. But then the next test I got going and it got loosened back up. I think I just bruised it real bad or something. Then another big wreck in the fourth test. I just need to keep it on two wheels and I think we could have had a better result.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Craig Delong, who won the first test, a grass track, finished seven seconds behind Grant to take fifth.
“I won the first test, but in the second test, I had a tip-over and had to pull my bike out from behind a tree, so I lost a couple seconds there,” said DeLong. “I feel like I would have been ten seconds faster, which would have put me in third. I was just kind of a little bit off, but I was a little bit hesitant, just with the rocks. When it’s dry like this, you can carry a lot of speed and the rocks all blend in when it’s like this. So, it was kind of hard to see what was a rock and what was a smooth rock as opposed to a jagged one.”
FMF/KTM’s Josh Toth was still recovering from a bought of Covid and didn’t have the energy to finish higher than sixth.
Beta USA’s Evan Smith finished seventh in five of the six tests and finished seventh overall. It was the Beta USA’s first time to race a two-stroke in the rocks.
“I struggled a little bit more today than I wanted to, but this place, I’ve always had either good or bad days here,” said Smith. “So, it’s one extreme to the other. But I’d say today was in the middle. I didn’t really feel great. Didn’t light the world on fire; I think I only fell once. I just tried to keep it on two and keep it moving.”
Magna1 Motorsports Husqvarna’s Brody Johnson won the NE Pro 2 class with an eighth overall finish. The win was Johnson’s second in a row.
“Today was actually the first time I started on the front row, since I won the last race,” said Brody. “So, that was a little different. I had them chasing me all day. I don't think I fell over or anything all day. Just a nice, smooth day.”
Brody’s brother, Beta USA’s Jonathan Johnson, was just over a minute behind in ninth overall and second in the NE Pro 2 class.
“I just made some stupid, little mistakes and got down a little bit on Brody,” said Jonathan. “The last two tests, I didn’t do so hot. So, back to the drawing board. We’re going to see what we can work on and improve and see if we can’t take it to Brody next weekend.”
Hard Enduro ace Ryder Leblanc rounded out the top 10 overall for third place in the NE Pro 2 division.
Enduro Engineering/Fly Racing KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker topped AmPro Yamaha’s Rachel Archer to win the Women’s Elite class. The two riders went back and first for most the first race.
“In test four, I went down twice, but only lost the test by four seconds,” said Tricker. “Then we went into the last test up five seconds on Rachel, so I knew it was going to be close. It was super rocky and we went into that first rock garden and there were some lappers stuck in there already from the row ahead. It was a super demanding test, honestly. I didn’t crash or anything, but I was smoked by the end of it. I don’t normally do great in rocks, so really to be honest, this is a great day for me. So, I’m stoked.”
Archer finished second with Bonanza Plumbing GasGas’ Rachel Gutish finishing third.
Jason Tino beat out fellow KTM rider Justin Lafferty to win the AA class, with Gavin Sievenpiper (KTM) finishing third.
Jhak Walker (GG) took the win the 250A class ahead of Chase Landers (Hsq) with Zack Toth (KTM) finishing third.
Tom Truxell (Hon) beat Josh Cetto (Hon) and Brian Maco (Shr) to win the 30A division.
The Kenda AMA National Enduro Series resumes on August 21st for the Grassman National Enduro, round six of the series in Chandlersville, Ohio.
For more information go to www.nationalenduro.com
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