FULL GAS ENDURO ISDE QUALIFIER: THAD DUVALL BESTS OUR BEST
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thad DuVall took home top honors at this weekend’s KENDA Full Gas Three Day Enduro presented by Moose Racing, in Greeneville, Tennessee – the final round of the 2017 AMA ISDE Qualifier Series, and the last chance for riders to qualify for club teams competing in this year’s ISDE in France.
The event was designed by organizer Jason Hooper to replicate an International Six Days Enduro as closely as possible, from the 10-minute work period at the end of each day before impounding the bikes overnight, to the final-day motocross test. In addition to World, Junior and Women’s Trophy team hopefuls, a number of riders hoping to qualify for the final few clubs team slots were present to test their skills.
Adding to the “Six Days” flavor, World, Junior and Women’s Trophy Team hopefuls changed tires at the end of the day in their respective pits, while Letter of Intent (LOI) riders were able to “flip” tires under the Kenda tent to get a taste of changing tires under the pressure of competition. Special thanks go to Kenda Tires, SRT Racing, Beta and Rabaconda for suppling the tires, wheels, mousses and tire changers, respectively, used by the LOI riders.
Most of last year’s ISDE-winning World Trophy Team competed in the Tennessee event, with the exception of Kailub Russell. Despite Russell’s absence, 2016 ISDE overall individual winner Taylor Robert was present, along with last year’s teammates Thad DuVall, and Layne Michael. Ryan Sipes, who won the 2015 overall individual ISDE award, and who last year was forced to miss Six Days due to a last minute injury, was also on hand in Tennessee.
Heavy rains fell off and on during Friday’s event, making for some pretty rugged conditions, however, DuVall and Costal Racing Husqvarna’s Ryan Sipes faired the best in the slippery terrain and accounted for most of the test wins, with Sipes winning all four Cross tests and DuVall winning three of the four Enduro tests. Am Pro Yamaha’s Josh Toth claimed the remaining Enduro test win. DuVall was the most consistent of the three riders, and finished the day sitting atop the leaderboard ahead of his teammate Josh Strang, SRT Racing’s Cory Buttrick, FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Russell Bobbitt and Coastal Racing Husqvarna’s Layne Michael.
More rain overnight meant more slippery conditions on Day Two, but DuVall still controlled the event, winning three of the six tests, while KR4 Husqvarna’s Grant Baylor won two tests, and Sipes won one. Though he didn’t get an outright test win, Buttrick stayed consistent all day and was sitting in second overall behind DuVall after two days of racing
The final-day motocross test typically doesn’t change the standings very much unless someone falls and the results remained pretty much intact after 10 laps of racing. Sipes won the moto 12.3 seconds ahead of DuVall, with Layne Michael finishing third ahead of Taylor Robert and Strang. After the three days of competition were tallied, DuVall took the overall win ahead of Buttrick, with Toth rounding out the podium.
“It was a good event for me,” said DuVall. “It was some of the slickest terrain I’ve ever ridden, but I was able to ride that fine line between being on the edge and going fast and that allowed me to build up a big lead beginning with Friday. It was a really good three days for me, and I think I only hit the ground one time all weekend.”
In the Women’s division, KR4 Husqvarna’s Tayla Jones took the win ahead of FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Kacy Martinez and KTM-supported Becca Sheets. Jones is no stranger to ISDE competition, and has led Team Australia to four-straight ISDE Women’s Trophy Team victories in addition to winning the Women’s overall individual award twice.
US ISDE team manager Antti Kallonen felt the Full Gas Three Day Enduro was a great way to prepare for this year’s ISDE, not only for the World team riders, but also for aspiring club riders.
“Overall, I thought this was a good test for our riders,” said Kallonen. “It gave them a chance to practice the things that are required at Six Days that we don’t have in our series here in the States, like changing tires at the end of the day. Plus, the weather was extreme with all the rain, and chances are no one is going to go out and practice under these conditions, so our guys are a little more prepared now because of it.”
The Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series will resume action on June 17-18 at Crow Canyon in Uhrichsville, Ohio. For more information on the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series presented by PRI Powersports Insurance go to www.sprintenduro.com.
- Thad DuVall (Hsq)
- Cory Buttrick (KTM)
- Josh Toth (Yam)
- Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
- Josh Strang (Hsq)
- Grant Baylor (Hsq)
- Layne Michael (Hsq)
- Jordan Ashburn (Bet)
- Taylor Robert (KTM)
- Evan Smith (KTM)