U.S. SPRINT ENDURO OPENER: GIRROIR TOPS ZACH OSBORNE

Johnny Girroir: “I can’t believe how tight it was on Sunday, it was just five-hundredths of a second separating us going into that last test. I knew Zach had a problem there on Saturday  and got stuck in the mud. But overall, he was flying.”

 

Story and photos Shan Moore

 

FMF/KTM’s Johnny Girroir dominated the first day of competition at the opening round of the 2023 US Sprint Enduro Series held at the South of the Border MX facility in Hamer, South Carolina, topping FXR GasGas’ Layne Michael by nine seconds. AmPro Yamaha’s Zach Osborne, who came out of retirement after hanging it up at the end of the 2021 motocross season due to a back injury, came on strong the following day, winning Sunday’s event by a mere .005 seconds over Girroir.

“I was extremely nervous about this first race,” added Osborne. “So, to be back at a professional level, it means a lot more to me to race this weekend than most people will ever know, just from where I was in the last year and a half as far as my health and stuff goes. It’s just a huge, huge shot in the arm for me.”

 

After the times from the two days were combined, Girroir claimed the overall win, beating out Osborne by 11 seconds, thanks to his strong performance on Saturday. Enduro Engineering GasGas’ Josh Toth, who was third on each day, also finished third overall. Toth is the defending US Sprint Enduro Champion and came into the event with strong hopes, despite being on a new team and a new bike.

Josh Toth “The course had very moto-like tests, although the enduro test got gnarly and rooty and rough and it was pretty one-lined and fast so there was nothing to separate all of us, so that made for super tight racing.

 

 

Layne Michael looked strong on Saturday and was in contention most of the weekend, but one of the early tests on Sunday did him in.

 

Layne Michael, who was the 2021 US Sprint Enduro Champion, was fourth overall after making some impressive rides. Like Toth, he too was coming into the year on a new team and a new bike.  Phoenix Honda Racing’s Cody Barnes won the Pro 2 class with a fifth overall finish, despite getting off to a slow start. Sixth overall and second in the Pro 2 class was RPM KTM’s Angus Riordan, who surprised everyone by turning in the fastest time of all class on the cross test to kick off the weekend.

The Women’s Elite class, Trail Jesters Racing KTM’s Kori Steede split day wins with  AmPro Yamaha’s Rachel Archer, with Steede taking the overall win by 11 seconds over Archer at the end of the two-day event after a 1-2 performance.

OVERALL RESULTS

  1. Johnny Girroir (GG)
  2. Zach Osborne (Yam)
  3.  Josh Toth (GG)
  4. Layne Michael (GG)
  5.  Cody Barnes (Hon)
  6.  Angus Riordan (KTM)
  7.  Thad DuVall (GG)
  8.  Ruy Barbosa (Hon)
  9.  Bubz Tasha (KTM)
  10. Dominik Morse (Hsq)

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