By Mark Kariya
Red Bull KTM’s Russell Bobbitt notched his second win in a row—and third of the season—when he edged teammate Mike Lafferty by a point at the 40th Annual Moose Run National Enduro in Duquette, Minnesota. In doing so, Bobbitt added five more points to his series points lead and now leads Lafferty 202-184. Cycle Shack of Lubbock racer Cole Kirkpatrick made it an all-KTM podium with his third-place finish to maintain third in series points at 139.
The top three set the pace from the start with Bobbitt leading the way on his Tony Hall-prepared Michelin/Motorex/FMF 250 XC. He broke it open by making the flip in the fourth test, going 9/564 while Lafferty and Kirkpatrick both dropped 10 there. A half-dozen competitors went 11, but at that point Bobbitt had it won—though he certainly wasn’t counting on his lead holding up, especially considering how strongly Lafferty came back in the race’s final three tests where he beat Bobbitt’s times by a total of 37 seconds.
That, however, wasn’t enough to erase the minute Bobbitt gained in that fourth section and Lafferty and his Enduro Engineering/Renthal/KTM Hard Equipment 450 XC-FW had to settle for the runner-up spot at the event put on by the Straight Arrow Enduro Riders. ‘That :02 is gonna haunt me the whole month of September!’ Lafferty quipped, referring to the number of seconds he missed making the flip by in the fourth test. ‘All in all, we’re good. We ended up well, we rode well so I can’t be too disappointed.’
Despite winning, Bobbitt wasn’t resting on his laurels: ‘I think maybe I need to work on my afternoon performance a little bit.’
But, he added, ‘It’s definitely good to get a win, for sure, with two rounds left.’ Jeff Melik battled back from incorrect suspension settings on his Yamaha of Warren.com YZ250 to edge local hero Dylan Debel for fourth overall, 51/2989- 51/3113. Still, Debel won the Open A division easily on his Donohue Harley Motorsports Husaberg FE450e.
Similarly, in a battle of high schoolers, Ian Blythe and his Topar Racing YZ144 salvaged sixth overall despite smashing his right foot against one of the many stumps. Blythe’s 52/3049 narrowly bested the 52/3058 that local 16-year-old Nathan Ferderer carded on his Larson’s Cycles Racing YZ125. Ferderer, who rode on Lafferty’s minute, still took the 200cc A win while Blythe was the fifth Pro.
Tim Nienow took the 250cc A class and was eighth overall with Chris Gallt and multi-time Moose Run winner Craig Holasek rounding out the top 10.
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