MARCH 10– Lafferty stomps at the Georgia GNCC
While the five-time AMA National Enduro Champion crashed out in the mud of GNCC round one, and he came to Georgia with revenge on his mind. It paid off when he pulled a one minute lead on the rest of the field in a dominating performance on a very tough race track.
FMF Suzuki’s Steve Hatch took the General GNCC holeshot, but Lafferty was soon into the lead by the end of lap one. Defending Series Champ Rodney Smith and Yamaha-mounted Jimmy Jarrett challenged Lafferty early, but by the halfway point the enduro ace had the gnarly conditions mastered, and the tougher it got, the better he rode. Lafferty swerved his big KTM 450 around the course with ease, while most of the record number of riders struggled in the soft, rutted conditions. Most of the ruts grew too deep for the riders to plow through, which led to stuck bikes everywhere and hundreds of new lines opening up around them.
The course was actually just as tough as the gnarly season opener, which fell into the hands of last week’s winner, Am-Pro Yamaha’s Barry Hawk. Hawk came from deep in the pack to take second place and extend his series points lead. Hawk rode fourth for most of the race before putting on an amazing last-lap charge to catch FMF Suzuki’s Rodney Smith and Kawasaki’s Fred Andrews and snag the runner-up spot. Smith held on to third while Andrews suffered engine problems and struggled to seventh. The Yamahas of Jason Raines and Robbie Jenks took fourth and fifth place.
The GNCC Series resumes in two weeks at The Steele Creek GNCC in Morganton, North Carolina.
1 Michael Lafferty Millville, NJ KTM