BEN KELLEY WINS DRAGON’S BACK NATIONAL ENDURO

Ben Kelley: “I wasn’t really so prepared for the first round, but I still gave it my best and it was a seventh. So, I wasn’t too stoked on that. I’ve just been riding good lately and I rode the past two days in some tighter hard-pack trail, just trying to get better at these. I think that helped.”

 

After a disappointing seventh-place finish at the opening round of the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series in Sumter, South Carolina, FMF/KTM’s Ben Kelley dominated the action at this weekend’s Dragon’s Back National Enduro, round two of the series in Arrington, Virginia.

Last year’s Dragon Back winner, Grant Baylor (REV Motorsports GasGas), won the opening test of the day before Kelley took control, winning the remaining five tests to outdistance Grant by over 44 seconds for the victory.

Grant’s win in test one was the only downer for Kelley’s impressive day. Enduro Engineering is offering a bounty for any rider who can win all six tests at any round and for the Virginia round the bounty was up to $2000. Grant took home an extra $500 for playing the role of spoiler. Since Grant spoiled Kelley’s payout, the bounty will reset for round three back to $1000.

Coastal Racing GasGas’ Ryder Lafferty continues to impress and added a third overall finish to go with his runner-up finish at the opener in Sumter, South Carolina. FMF/KTM’s Josh Toth had a bad second test when he clipped a tree and smashed his hand, which might have cost him a podium. He still had a solid day for fourth overall.

Stew Baylor: “I want to say this is my worst finish at a national enduro in maybe four or five years, or at least tied my worst, so I’m not really stoked on it, but given the circumstances and the amount of time on the bike, I think I’m happy with it.”

 

A surprise entry was Steward Baylor, who is just 11 weeks out from breaking a vertebra in his neck. The AmPro Yamaha rider’s main plan was to salvage some points for now and then come on strong when he’s a little healthier, but he surprised a lot of people with a fifth overall finish.Steward won the first round in Sumter, so he was the point leader coming into the Virginia round.

AmPro Yamaha’s Rachel Archer won every test to claim the win in the Women’s Elite class.

 

OVERALL RESULTS

1. Ben Kelley (KTM)

2. Grant Baylor (GG)

3. Ryder Lafferty (GG)

4. Josh Toth (KTM)

5. Steward Baylor (Yam)

6. Craig DeLong (Hsq)

7. Trevor Bollinger (Hsq)

8. Ben Nelko (Hon)

9. Evan Smith (Hsq)

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