Sipes Digs to Jolly Mine Sprint Enduro Victory

Sipes Digs to Jolly Mine Sprint Enduro Victory

Wellston, OH, June 16-17, 2018 – After finishing third at the pervious round in Axton, Virginia, Rockstar/Leatt/Maxxis Husqvarna’s Ryan Sipes returned to his winning form with a solid victory at the Jolly Mine Sprint Enduro this weekend, round four of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series in Wellston, Ohio.

Sipes returned to his usual M.O. en route to his most recent win, which consists of winning all of the Cross tests, and then hanging on for dear life in the Enduro tests. Sipes said afterwards that the Ohio race was his best yet when it comes to his times in the Enduro tests, and in fact, the Kentucky rider actually won his first Enduro test of the season.

“I’m getting better at the Enduro tests with each race and I’m pleased that I was actually able to win one this weekend,” said Sipes. “I feel like I have a little more confidence in the woods and I’m actually hitting a few trees which is a sign that I’m pushing a little harder.”

Despite his improving times in the Enduro tests, Sipes almost threw it all away in the final Enduro test on Saturday.

“I was leading Steward Baylor by 14 seconds going into the final test of the day on Saturday and I fell over in a flat turn and it took me a while to get going,” said Sipes. “I ended up losing Saturday’s round by 1.4 seconds to Steward, which kind of bummed me out.”

Ryan Sipes’ woods speed is increasing as he won his first enduro test of the season. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

In spite of his snafu on Saturday, Sipes won seven of the 12 tests over the course of the two-day event (all six Cross tests and one Enduro test) and took the overall win ahead of Grant Baylor by just over five seconds.

“It feels good to get back on top of the podium,” added Sipes. “I feel like I had a good day overall, except for that one tip-over.”

Steward Baylor topped two Enduro tests en route to Saturday’s win. However, the Tely Energy KTM rider injured his knee in the opening test on Sunday, which put a damper on his bid for the overall win.

“I was riding really good on Saturday and I think I could have repeated that performance on Sunday, but in the first test I was going through one of the off-camber turns, which we were running backwards, and I caught a rut with my front wheel and I jammed my foot into the ground,” said Baylor. “My knee swelled up pretty tight and I just had to coast for the rest of the day.”

Steward finished off the day in fourth and was fourth overall for the weekend.

Grant Baylor kept it consistent all weekend and scored a 2nd-place overall finish. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

Grant Baylor was the beneficiary of his brother’s bad luck and wound up in the runner-up slot for the weekend. The Tely Energy KTM rider won three Enduro tests in all, one on Saturday and two on Sunday, but didn’t exactly get off to the best of starts.

“I was going good in the first test of the weekend and then about six turns from the finish I went down in a fast turn and the bike slid a long way, so it took me a while to get to it and get going again,” said Grant. “Other than that one mistake, the rest of the weekend was pretty good; I think I was on pace with the rest of the guys.”

Josh Strang turned in a fast and consistent performance to claim the final step of the podium in third. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider was particularly fast in the Cross test.

Josh Strang navigates one of the tricky off-camber corners on the cross test. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

“The grass track was really technical, there were a bunch off off-camber sections and you just had to be real patient,” said Strang. “Some of the dirt was dry but once you got on the gas and started to turn on it, it got really slick, which made it tricky. I felt like I was solid in both tests and it was a good weekend for me.”

After four rounds of the series, Sipes leads Steward Baylor in the overall series by 20 points with Strang another 3 points back.

Fifth overall behind Steward Baylor was KR4 Husqvarna’s Cory Buttrick, who lives in nearby Logan, Ohio, and who was riding in front of a hometown audience. Ten seconds behind Buttrick was his KR4 Husqvarna teammate Layne Michael in sixth.

Beta USA’s Jordan Ashburn ran hot and cold in Ohio and eventually settled in seventh, 21 seconds ahead of SRT Racing’s Evan Smith.

Ohio-native Cory Buttrick floats through the Jolly Mine cross test. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

KR4 Husqvarna’s Liam Draper won the Pro2 class with a ninth-place overall finish and extended his series points lead, while Coastal Racing Husqvarna’s Craig Delong rounded out the top 10.

Maryland KTM rider Billy Schlag finished second in the Pro2 class, his best finish of the season and 12th overall for the weekend and secured 3rd-place in the points in the process. Previous round winner Braxton McGee was third in the class and 13th overall on his Husqvarna and maintains 2nd-place in points behind Liam Draper.

Tayla Jones swept all 12 tests on the weekend. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

Tayla Jones blitzed to the win in the Women’s Pro class. The KR4 Husqvarna rider was perfect on the weekend, winning all 12 of the tests.

“The tests were pretty technical but I was just on a hot streak,” said Jones. “I stayed upright for the most part and I really felt good on the bike all weekend.”

Liam Draper got back to his winning ways in the Pro 2 class. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

Bonanza Plumbing/Trail Jesters KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker was second in the Women’s Pro class, with Brooke Cosner finishing third on a Yamaha.

North Carolina’s Conner Smith beat out Virginia’s Luke Ross and Indiana’s Alex Witkowski to win the Open A division, while local boy Devan Byer took top honors in the Lites A class ahead of Pennsylvania’s Dantae Ranieri and Virginiia’s Henry Symanski.

The Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series resumes action on July 14-15 for round five of the series at LL Raceway in Fairmount City, Pennsylvania. For more information on the series please visit www.sprintenduro.com.

 

Position No. Rider Class Hometown Tests Time
1 264 Ryan Sipes Pro (1) Ekron, KY 12 01:18:34.092
2 14 Grant Baylor Pro (2) Belton, SC 12 01:18:49.392
3 114 Joshua Strang Pro (3) Denver, NC 12 01:19:05.096
4 1 Steward Baylor Pro (4) Belton, SC 12 01:19:08.384
5 3 Cory Buttrick Pro (5) Logan, OH 12 01:19:39.388
6 523 Layne Michael Pro (6) Boonville, NC 12 01:19:49.578
7 2 Jordan Ashburn Pro (7) Livingston, TN 12 01:20:08.581
8 5 Evan Smith Pro (8) jefferson, GA 12 01:20:29.386
9 198 liam draper Pro 2 (1) auckaland, OS 12 01:22:10.627
10 8 Craig Delong Pro (9) Morgantown, PA 12 01:22:43.546

Josh Strang Tops Lake Sugar Tree Full Gas Sprint Enduro

Josh Strang Tops Lake Sugar Tree Full Gas Sprint Enduro

Axton, VA (May 19-20, 2018) – “This was a long time coming, and that’s what makes it special,” Josh Strang said from the podium after winning his first KENDA Full Gas Sprint Enduro overall in two years.

To be exact, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory rider last won a round of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro series on August 16, 2016, at the Rockcrusher Sprint Enduro in Young Harris, Georgia. However, the Aussie off-road star ended that long dry spell by taking the overall victory at this weekend’s Lake Sugar Tree Sprint Enduro – round three of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series at Lake Sugar Tree Raceway near Axton, Virginia.

Not long after his 2016 victory, Strang suffered a foot injury during ISDE competition, which was a major setback for him. For just over a year now, Strang has worked hard to regained the speed that once carried him to the 2010 GNCC title.

“I feel like I’ve been getting a little faster with each race, but I got off on the wrong foot this weekend and I wasn’t sure I could recover,” said Strang. “I crashed in the first test on Saturday and lost a lot of time, so I was riding from behind right from the get-go. I just kept grinding away at it and I was able to make up some time and finish second for the day.”

On Sunday, Strang was consitently in the top three throughout the six tests and he won test five outright – a Cross test, which ruined Ryan Sipes’ undefeated status in 2018 Cross tests.

After 12 tests and two days of racing, Strang took the overall win by 17 seconds over Layne Micheal. After the race, Strang revealed that he has changed a few things with his technique.

Josh Strang puts the power down on the cross test. // Photo: Shan More

“I’ve been working on a few things since the last race,” said Strang. “One of them was not using my rear brake as much. At the last race I think I needed five sets of rear brake pads and a complete brake line, and this weekend I didn’t even change pads. So I’m trying to stay off the brakes as much as I can and I think that made a big difference.”

With the win, Strang moved ahead of Steward Baylor and into second overall in the series standings.

Relentless rain on the days leading up to the race, and during Saturday’s event, left the Lake Sugar Tree course in less than desirable condition. However, the Full Gas track crew did a fantastic job of prepping the course and by the end of the weekend, and after the sun came out on Sunday, most of the riders agreed that the course was epic.

Layne Michael struggled with the muddy conditions on Saturday, but came on strong during Sunday’s event with the track tacking up. The KR4 Husqvarna rider scored two test wins on Sunday to finish just behind Strang in the runner-up slot.

“Things started off a little rough, I think I struggled with the conditions on Saturday,” said Michael, who was fifth at the end of the first day of racing. “The conditions were a lot more to my liking today. The only thing I struggled with was staying off the ground in the Cross test.”

Layne Michael goes through a g-out en route to a 2nd-place overall finish. // Photo: Shan More

The Enduro test was Michael’s strong suit and that’s where both of his wins came, although he was third in the final Cross test behind Steward Baylor and Ryan Sipes.

“Overall, I’m really happy with my result,” added Michael. “It’s progress for me; I’ve been struggling a little bit this year with comfort and consistency. I feel like today I was able to really find my groove.”

Ryan Sipes rounded out the podium 22 seconds behind Michael. The Rockstar/Leatt/Maxxis Husqvarna rider won five of the six Cross tests over the weekend, but struggled in the Enduro tests.

“I’m surprised to finish third considering how I rode this weekend,” said Sipes. “I had a few falls in the Enduro test, but even when I didn’t fall I was just off the pace. I’ve been traveling a lot lately and racing a lot of different kinds of races and I haven’t ridden in the woods in about a month, and it really showed when I got in the Enduro test.”

Ryan Sipes admittedly didn’t have the best weekend but was able to salvage a 3rd-place finish and maintain his series points lead. // Photo: Shan More

Despite the finish, Sipes still leads the overall series standings by 7 points over Josh Strang.

Fourth overall went to Grant Baylor, who battled for the lead on Saturday, however, the Tely Eenergy KTM rider struggled to stay on two wheels on Sunday.

“I was second in the first three tests on Saturday, so I was leading the race at that point,” said Grant. “After that, things went downhill. I crashed three times in the fourth test, and over the weekend I think I crashed seven or eight times.”

Despite the crashes, Grant was just eight seconds away from a podium finish behind Sipes.

Grant Baylor looked to continue his recent hot streak with a solid start to the weekend but struggles later in the race relegated him to 4th. // Photo: Shan More

Jordan Ashburn kicked off the weekend by winning the opening test on Saturday, an Enduro test. The Beta USA rider was sitting third behind Evan Smith and Josh Strang at the end of the day. Sunday was a tough day for the Tennessee rider, however, and he settled for fifth overall at the end of two days of racing.

“It was pretty muddy when we started on Saturday and I was able to win that first test, which put me in good shape,” said Ashburn. “I felt really comfortable in that first test but it ended up being shortened because of the conditions, and I think that took away my advantage, so I was trying to make up for that in the Cross test and it just didn’t happen.”

Tely Racing KTM-backed Steward Baylor rounded out the top six, finishing 24 seconds behind Ashburn. Meanwhile, Beta USA’s Mike Witkowsi claimed his best finish of the year in seventh.

Evan Smith took his first-ever day win at a Full Gas Sprint Enduro on Saturday but his stellar weekend was literally derailed when a rock bent his chain guide and his chain came off and got stuck in the countershaft sprocket. // Photo: Shan More

Ohio motocrosser Mario Testa was eighth overall on a borrowed KTM, while SRT Racing’s Evan Smith finished a heartbreaking ninth overall after winning Saturday’s round. Smith turned in his best performance of the season on Saturday and was in good shape to take the overall win for the weekend, when a thrown chain in test four on Sunday threw a wrench in the works and left him with a DNF for the test.

“That’s dirt bike racing,” Smith said after the race. “I was feeling good on Saturday and I think I just had fewer mistakes than everyone else. I felt strong and fast and I carried that momentum into Sunday’s race, but in the fourth test a rock hit the chain guide and threw the chain off and it ended up getting wrapped up in the countershaft sprocket.”

Ohio rider James Justice finished off the top 10 on a KTM.

Braxton McGee took his first Pro2 overall win. // Photo: Shan More

In the Pro2 class, Braxton McGee took top honors on a Husqvarna, finishing almost a minute ahead of KTM-mounted Cole Mattison. The win was Braxton’s first in the Pro2 class.

“It feels good to win one of these things,” said McGee. “I started off with two bad tests so I was trying to push hard to overcome that. I was battling all weekend with Cole and he was better in the Cross test, but I was able to get him back in the Enduro tests. I just kept pushing and I was able to make it happen.”

The fight for the final podium position was a close one between GasGas rider Tyler Vore and TrailPros/Ride On Moto’s Billy Schlag. Schlag, the defending Full Gas Open A Class champion, made the move to the new Pro2 class for 2018 and was able to nab the final podium position, his first of the season, by just 5-seconds over Vore at the end of the weekend.

Pro2 points leader, KR4 Husqvarna’s Liam Draper suffered the same fate as Evan Smith with a derailed chain on Saturday which took him out of the hunt for the overall. The Kiwi was able to regroup and took the win on day two and keep his championship points lead over Braxton McGee.

KR4/Husqvarna/Rockstar’s Tayla Jones came out on top of a close battle with Bonanza Plumbing/Trail Jesters KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker for the win in the Women’s Pro division. Tricker finished a half-second faster than Jones during Saturday’s round, but Jones came back with a good ride on Sunday to take the overall win.

“It was very close with Mackenzie and the track was very challenging which made it a good race,” said Jones. “I was on the ground more than I wanted to but it was a good weekend.”

Tayla Jones finished a close 2nd on day one to Mackenzie Tricker but rebounded with the day two win and the overall. // Photo: Shan More

Jones had the edge in the Cross test, while Tricker was fastest in the Enduro test.

“We were swapping back and forth and we went into the final test separated by seven seconds,” said Tricker. “I wanted to make up the deficit so I just went out and sent up but I ended up going down and that cost me a chance.”

Brooke Cosner was third overall on a Yamaha.

The Lake Sugar Tree race also doubled as an AMA ISDE Qualifier round. Eighteen Letter of Intent (LOI) riders signed up to try and qualify for this year’s ISDE in Chile.

James King of Hot Springs, Arkansas won the LOI class with an 11th overall finish. The Honda rider also won the Lites A division.

“I had a lot of back-and-forth racing all weekend with Tyler Vore,” said King. “I had one bad test on Saturday that I had to come back from but Sunday went pretty well. I tend to do better in bad conditions so Saturday my times were better, but I was able to go 1-1 in the LOI class for the weekend.”

This was King’s first time to attempt to qualify for ISDE.

Cody Pingley won the Open A class over Luke Ross. Meanwhile, Sam Forrester beat out Amel Advokaat for top honors in the Vet A 30+ class.

The Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series resumes action with round 4 of its series in Wellston, Ohio, on June 16-17. For more information go to www.sprintenduro.com.

Overall Results

Position No. Rider Class Hometown Tests Time
1 114 Joshua Strang Pro (1) Denver, NC 12 01:20:06.876
2 523 Layne Michael Pro (2) Boonville, NC 12 01:20:23.730
3 264 Ryan Sipes Pro (3) Ekron, KY 12 01:20:50.975
4 14 Grant Baylor Pro (4) Belton, SC 12 01:20:58.786
5 2 Jordan Ashburn Pro (5) Livingston, TN 12 01:20:59.416
6 1 Steward Baylor Pro (6) Belton, SC 12 01:21:23.164
7 282 mike witkowski Pro (7) north liberty, IN 12 01:24:26.121
8 217 Braxton McGee Pro 2 (1) Beulaville, NC 12 01:25:07.913
9 29 Cole Mattison Pro 2 (2) Inman, SC 12 01:26:10.148
10 17 Mario Testa Pro (8) homerville, OH 12 01:27:00.091

For complete results visit results.sprintenduro.com.

Layne Michael goes through a g-out en route to a 2nd-place overall finish. // Photo: Shan More

Grant Baylor looked to continue his recent hot streak with a solid start to the weekend but struggles later in the race relegated him to 4th. // Photo: Shan More

Sipes Edges G. Baylor at Harleywood Full Gas Sprint Enduro

Sipes Edges G. Baylor at Harleywood Full Gas Sprint Enduro

Ryan Sipes charges through a creek bed at Harleywood on his way to the overall win. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

Bristol, VA (April 29, 2018) – It was a close one, but Ryan Sipes pulled out the overall win at the Harleywood Sprint Enduro, round two of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series prestned by PRI Powersports Insurance, in Bristol, Virginia, edging Tely Energy Racing’s Grant Baylor by a mere 1.5 seconds for the victory.

A large crowd turned out for the Harleywood event, as Sipes showed his dominance once again on the Cross test. At the conclusion of two days of racing and 12 tests, the former Supercross star won all six of the Cross tests on his Rockstar/Leatt/Maxxis Husqvarna. At the series opener in Georgia, back in February, Sipes was able to suppliment his Cross test wins by running a fast enough pace in the Enduro tests to carry the win. That almost didn’t work in Virginia, as Grant Baylor managed to win just enough of the Enduro tests (3) and stay consistent enough on the grass track to give Sipes a run for his money. A pair of sixths in the Enduro test almost cost Sipes the overall.

On Saturday, the Kentucky rider was winning the Cross test by 5-7 seconds. On Sunday, when the course was much drier (and ran backwards), he was winning the Cross test by an even larger margin of 11-12 seconds.

Despite Sipes’ speed in the old school motocross style cross test, Grant Baylor managed to beat Sipes to win Saturday’s event by less than a second. On Sunday, Sipes was able to build a 14-second advantage throughout the day over Baylor. However, a couple of mistakes wiped all but 1.5 seconds of that lead away, and Sipes escaped by the skin of his teeth to claim his second win in a row in 2018.

“I made way too many mistakes in that last test,” said Sipes. “It was an emotional rollercoaster for me this weekend. I would kill ‘em in the Cross test, and then they would get me back in the Enduro test. I was a little upset about Sunday’s race, losing eight seconds in the last test. But overall, it was a good weekend. I’ve got two overall wins in two races and I think I’m getting better in the Enduro tests with every race.”

Grant Baylor put in an impressive ride scoring his first-ever Full Gas podium and only 1.5-seconds from the overall win. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

Grant Baylor claimed his best finish in the series with the win on Saturday and second overall for the weekend. Fresh off of a surgery for a broken a bone in his hand from just over two weeks ago, Baylor said after the race that the injury wasn’t a factor.

“I got off to a slow start, but I picked up the pace starting with the second Cross test,” said Grant. “I won the Enduro test twice on Saturday and I was second in the Cross test, and that was enough to take the win for the day. I started off struggling on Sunday, and I was making mental mistakes, but I managed to get it together for the final few tests and I think Ryan had a problem in that last one, which made it close. He had a good lead on me in that last test, but I knew I could beat him. I figured he would back it off a little since he had a big lead, but I came up just short, but I’m happy with second overall.”

Josh Strang took one test win and stayed consistently fast to secure the last podium spot. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

Josh Strang made the podium for the second race in a row with a third overall. Strang started strong with a second in the opening Cross test, followed by a win in the Enduro test. However, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory rider crashed in the final Enduro test on Saturday, which cost him valuable time, and perhaps a chance at the win.

“It really dried up a ton from Saturday, so the track ended up being slick,” said Strang. “We were all pretty close in the Enduro test, but it was just a bit unsettling in places. Sipes just destroyed us in the Cross test. I felt like I was riding well, but I was getting seconds and thirds. Overall, it was a good weekend, but I need to work on a few things before the next round.”

Layne Michael made a great showing in Virginia, winning one of the Enduro tests and grabbing four seconds and a third in others en route to fourth overall. The KR4 Husqvarna rider was just three seconds off of the podium behind Strang.

Layne Michael started the weekend slowly but regrouped on Sunday to nearly nab a podium spot with 4th-place overall. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

Rounding out the top five was Steward Baylor. The Tely Energy Racing KTM rider struggled on Saturday, never finishing higher than fourth in any of the tests. On Sunday, Steward was sixth fastest in the first test, but then seemed to catch fire with a pair of seconds, followed by a win in the Enduro test. The South Carolina native finished up with a third and a second in the final two tests to claim fifth overall.

Beta USA’s Jordan Ashburn scored a second on Saturday and another on Sunday en route to sixth overall. However, a pair of sixths and a couple of seventh place tests doomed the Tennessee rider.

Evan Smith brought his SRT Racing KTM in at seventh overall, while KR4 Husqvarna’s Liam Draper finished eighth overall and first Pro2 rider.

Liam Draper grabbed his 2nd-straight Pro2 overall win. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

Beta USA’s Mike Witkowski was ninth, followed by KTM-mounted JoJo Bowden in 10th. Bowden’s finish was also good enough for second in the Pro2 division.

KR4 Husqvarna’s Tayla Jones took the win in the Women’s Pro division, finishing 42 seconds ahead of Bonanza Plumbing/Trail Jesters KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker. After two days of racing, Jones won nine tests, while Tricker topped three. Becca Sheets took third on her FLY/Maxxis/Seat Concepts KTM by just 8-seconds over Yamaha-mounted Brooke Cosner, who was 3rd in Women’s Pro after Saturday’s racing. Suzuki-mounted Shelby Rolen rounded out the top five.

Tayla Jones kept her win streak alive with the overall at Harleywood. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

Conner Smith topped the Open A class with a 13th overall finish and took Top Amateur honors. Meanwhile Jason Tino was best in the Lites A division with a 17th overall finish.

The Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series resumes on May 19-20 with round three of the series at Lake Suger Tree Raceway in Axton, Virginia. For more information on the series go to www.sprintenduro.com.

Overall Results

Position No. Rider Class Hometown Tests Time
1 264 Ryan Sipes Pro (1) Ekron, KY 12 01:19:50.151
2 14 Grant Baylor Pro (2) Belton, SC 12 01:19:51.698
3 114 Joshua Strang Pro (3) Denver, NC 12 01:20:11.487
4 23 Layne Michael Pro (4) Boonville, NC 12 01:20:14.062
5 1 Steward Baylor Pro (5) Belton, SC 12 01:20:29.051
6 2 Jordan Ashburn Pro (6) Livingston, TN 12 01:20:42.620
7 5 Evan Smith Pro (7) jefferson, GA 12 01:21:47.653
8 30 liam draper Pro 2 (1) auckaland, OS 12 01:23:23.951
9 8 mike witkowski Pro (8) north liberty, IN 12 01:24:09.384
10 32 Jojo Bowden Pro 2 (2) East Amherst, NY 12 01:24:15.403

2018 Round One Race Report

2018 Round One Race Report

Blackshear, GA (February 10-11, 2018) – While most of the east coast off-road teams were training in Florida the weeks leading up to the opening round of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series, Ryan Sipes was at home with his wife Holly, who was expecting the couple’s third child. Lucky for Ryan (and bad for the competition), Holly gave birth on Tuesday, just three days before the Georgia race, giving the Rockstar/Leatt/Maxxis Husqvarna rider a “weekend pass” to attend the race.

Having ridden very little during the weeks leading up to the Georgia race, the former Supercross star and 2016 ISDE individual overall champion still managed to come out on top of a fierce battle with defending series champ Steward Baylor to claim the overall victory. It was a battle that shifted momentum several times during the weekend, however after two days of racing and 12 special tests, Sipes topped Baylor by just under 21 seconds to claim the first win of the new season.

Ryan Sipes » Photo: Shan Moore

“I had no idea what to execpt coming in here,” said Sipes. “Since my wife was expecting any time, I didn’t get to ride the last few weeks so I didn’t know if I would come in here and get smoked or win the thing.”

Sipes got off to a good start by winning the first two tests on Saturday – a Cross test and an Enduro test. He then proceeded to win all five of the remaining Cross tests, however it was in the Enduro test where Sipes sealed the deal.

“At the end of Day One, Stew was gaining on me, and he was obviously doing it in the Enduro test,” said Sipes. “So I walked that test a total of four times trying to figure out where he was gaining time on me and I think that made the difference. Stew’s lines are really good and I could see, ‘oh, yeah, he’s breaking early and turning here,’ where I was taking the main line a little too much. So, yeah, I think all the walking really helped me.”

Sipes was able to pull off the win each day in addition to the overall victory, which puts the Kentucky rider in good position heading into the rest of the season. But Baylor gave Sipes a run for his money, winning a total of four tests, all of which were Enduro tests. However, the Tely Racing KTM-backed South Carolina rider kept Sipes honest in the Cross tests en route to the runner-up slot.

Steward Baylor

Stu Baylor kept Sipes on his toes all weekend. » Photo: Shan Moore

“This weekend was encouraging for me,” said Baylor. “I’m usually down a lot further from Ryan in the Cross tests. I’m normally finishing fourth or fifth in those and then having to make up the difference in the Enduro tests. But this weekend I felt I was a lot closer to Ryan in the Cross tests, which is a result of all the moto time I put in during the off-season.”

Baylor came into the weekend carrying a lot of momentum after winning a national enduro the weekend before, and is not at all to be counted out of the championship just yet.

After winning the second Enduro test on Saturday, Josh Strang pressured Sipes and Baylor during the early going. However, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory rider struggled to find a comfortable set-up and finished the weekend in third overall, just 23 seconds off of Baylor’s pace. Strang spent the rest of the weekend blocking a challenge from Beta USA’s Jordan Ashburn, and wound up topping the Tennessee rider by 16 seconds at the finish.

Josh Strang

Josh Strang took one test win on the weekend and ended up 3rd-overall. » Photo: Shan Moore

“I think my speed was good but I wasn’t comfortable,” said Strang. “The track got a lot rougher than I expected and from start to finish we were making changes to the bike, just trying to find the setup. I think the last four tests on Sunday really showed that we found it and I was a lot more comfortable in those tests.

“I struggled at first to find that sprint speed right out of the gate. I think I was dragging the rear brake too much, and that’s just me trying to get back up to that speed, knowing that I can do it. I was down shifting too much, but in the last couple of tests I decided to leave it in a taller gear and just lug it and my times picked up.”

Ashburn, who finished second to Baylor in the championship in 2017, spent the weekend adjusting to the sand.

“We don’t have a lot of sand where I live, so we ended up learning a lot about our bike set-up for sandy conditions,” said Ashburn. “We were close all weekend, just a second here and there. Me and Strang battled both days and early on Sunday I narrowed it down to three or four seconds off his overall time. But then I think he picked up the pace and I ended missing the podium by about 16 seconds. Overall, I’m happy to come away with a fourth, but I’m looking to get back on the podium.”

SRT Racing Husqvarna’s Evan Smith edged Tely Racing KTM’s Grant Baylor by a mere four seconds to round out the top five. Smith spent the winter adjusting to a change of brands – going from KTM to Husqvarna, while Grant spent the winter recovering from shoulder surgery.

KR4 Husqvarna’s Layne Michael put in some strong rides to finish seventh overall, while a newcomer to the series, and Michael’s teammate, New Zealander Liam Draper, finished eighth overall for the weekend and took the win in the new Pro2 class.

Liam Draper

Liam Draper took the first-ever Pro2 win. » Photo: Shan Moore

“This is a lot like our enduros back home in New Zealand, but without the trail time, and I actually prefer it like this,” said Draper. “I felt a little more comfortable in the Enduro test because it’s a lot like home, with all the roots.

Beta USA’s Mike Witkowski was ninth overall on a 250RR, while 10th overall and second in the Pro2 class went to Grizzly Peaks Yamaha’s Jacob Rowland. Third in the Pro2 class and 11th overall was Cole Mattison on a Yamaha.

Jacob Rowland was 2nd in Pro2. » Photo: Shan Moore

KR4/Husqvarna/Rockstar’s Tayla Jones took top honors in the Women’s Pro division, beating out Bonanza Plumbing/Trail Jesters KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker by just over a minute. Meanwhile, Becca Sheets took third on her FLY/Maxxis/Seat Concepts KTM.

“It was a competitive weekend, we all were pretty close and it was a good battle,” said Jones. “I had a few too many crashes, but I’m happy to come out with the win. It was a good weekend. The track was hard but it was fun at the same time.”

Tayla Jones took the Women’s Pro win.

Tristian Stumbo won the Open A class ahead of Cody Pingley and Conner Smith, while the Lites A class was won by Brewer Cawley, who took home the Top Amateur honors with a 20th-place overall finish, with Devan Byer and Gary Inman in second and third.

The Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series presented by PRI Powersports Insurance resumes action with round 2 of its series in Bristol, Virginia, on March 24-25. For more information go to www.sprintenduro.com.

Overall Results

Position No. Rider Class Hometown Tests Time
1 264 Ryan Sipes Pro (1) Ekron, KY 12 01:02:17.778
2 1 Steward Baylor Pro (2) Belton, SC 12 01:02:36.336
3 114 Joshua Strang Pro (3) Denver, NC 12 01:02:59.930
4 2 Jordan Ashburn Pro (4) Livingston, TN 12 01:03:15.761
5 5 evan smith Pro (5) jefferson, GA 12 01:03:41.640
6 14 Grant Baylor Pro (6) Belton, SC 12 01:03:45.592
7 523 Layne Michael Pro (7) Boonville, NC 12 01:03:48.813
8 30 liam draper Pro 2 (1) auckaland, OS 12 01:05:08.133
9 7 mike witkowski Pro (8) north liberty, IN 12 01:05:11.189
10 26 Jacob Rowland Pro 2 (2) Hardinsburg, IN 12 01:06:02.156

Sipes Wins Race, Baylor Clinches Title at Big Buck Full Gas Sprint Enduro

Sipes Wins Race, Baylor Clinches Title at Big Buck Full Gas Sprint Enduro

Ryan Sipes won both days of the season finale to take his 4th overall win of the season. // Photo: Shan Moore

Union, South Carolina (November 12, 2017) – Costal Racing/Husqvarna’s Ryan Sipes claimed his fourth win of the season with a 24-second victory over SRT Racing KTM’s Steward Baylor at the ninth and final round of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series presented by PRI Powersports Insurance this weekend at Big Buck Ranch near Union, South Carolina.

And while Sipes won the battle, it was Baylor who won the war, his runner-up finish giving him enough points to top Beta USA’s Jordan Ashburn for the series title, making his second title in as many weeks after winning the AMA National Enduro title just the week before.

Steward Baylor clinched the 2017 KENDA Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series Championship with a 2nd-place finish at the Big Buck. // Photo: Shan Moore

“It was a hell of a year,” said Baylor. “We came in and won a couple of races right off the bat and after that we just kept it consistent, but it was a lot of work riding three series this year. The Sprint series an incredible series and it takes a lot of different skill sets to win in this type of racing, which is why I like it, and I don’t think anyone has won multiple titles in the same year except Kailub Russell, and he won a GNCC title and a national enduro title in the same year, so I’m super excited to be able to do this. [Russell also won the first-ever Full Gas Sprint Enduro Championship that season]

“Jordan and I had a heck of a battle at almost every race this year. He would win one day and I would win the other. It’s tough lining up every race knowing you’re going to have to give it absolutely everything you’ve got and it still comes down to the wire, but that’s what makes it fun. I’m looking forward to coming back and riding this series again next year, it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

Sipes, who is a former professional supercross racer, kicked off Saturday’s event with a big win in the Cross Test, beating JCR Honda’s Trevor Bollinger by four seconds and Baylor by nearly 14 seconds.

Evan Smith put in one of his best rides of the season to snag the final podium spot in 3rd. // Photo: Shan Moore

Integrity Acquisitions-backed KTM rider Evan Smith won the second test – an Enduro test – beating Baylor’s SRT Racing teammate Cory Buttrick by a little over a second, while Baylor was now getting up to speed and finished three seconds off of Smith’s time.

Sipes wound up winning all three of the Cross tests on Saturday, while Baylor came on strong at the end of the day, winning two of the three Enduro tests, with the third one going to Smith.

Sipes won Saturday’s round with a time of 00:36:12.051, edging out Baylor’s 00:36:18.481 by 6.4 seconds, and giving the Husqvarna rider a slight cushion in the fight for the overall results heading into Sunday.

Smith was third on Saturday with a time of 00:36:21.188, while Ashburn (00:36:31.424) and Buttrick (00:36:32.232) rounded out Saturday’s top five.

On Sunday, Sipes once again dominated the Cross tests, winning all three of them, however, Baylor managed to stay a little closer to Sipes’ times, making the battle for the win a tight one. Baylor managed to win an Enduro test, while Sipes finished second, fourth and third in the three Enduro tests. In the end, Sipes took the overall victory by 24 seconds over Baylor, with Smith finishing less then three seconds back in third.

Buttrick finished off the weekend in fourth overall, edging Ashburn by less than a second.

Jordan Ashburn finished 4th for the weekend and 2nd in a tight championship battle with Steward Baylor. // Photo: Shan Moore

“I knew I had to beat Steward in order to win the championship and we just came up a little short,” said Ashburn. “My times in the Cross test were good and I was finishing ahead of him, but I had a couple of bad Enduro tests and that was the bottom line.”

FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Russell Bobbitt rode a steady race to finish sixth, while Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Ben Kelley made the drive from Connecticut to finish seventh.

Anthony Frederico finished out the weekend in eighth. Meanwhile, Bollinger crashed in the Cross test on Saturday and injured his hand and shoulder, forcing him to sit out Sunday’s event. The Honda rider was credited with ninth, while Tyler McSwain also missed Sunday’s event and finished 10th overall in the pro class.

In the Women’s Pro division, Australian Tayla Jones won all 12 tests over the course of the weekend on her KR4 Husqvarna to cap off her championship-winning season. Tayla was riding a 125 Husqvarna this weekend.

“I struggled a bit on the 125 because it was slippery and rooty and I had to make sure my throttle control was good, but other than that it was good,” said Jones.

FMF KTM’s Becca Sheets was second, just two minutes off Jones’ pace, while Brooke Cosner was third, another three minutes and 20 seconds back. Brianna May took 4th-place in her first-ever Full Gas Sprint Enduro in the Women’s Pro Class.

Billy Schlag put the finishing touches on his championship-winning season with another win, beating out Zac Brown and Conner Smith for the Open A win and finishing 9th-overall and second amateur for the weekend.

Cole Mattison continued his dominance of the Lites A class with a win over Brewer Cawley and Blake Grindstaff, clinching the class championship and the weekend’s top amateur spot in the process.

The 2018 Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series presented by PRI Powersports Insurance schedule will be released in a few weeks.

Overall Results

Position No. Rider Class Hometown Tests Time
1 3 Ryan Sipes Pro (1) Ekron, KY 12 01:12:14.873
2 14 Steward Baylor Pro (2) Belton, SC 12 01:12:37.647
3 10 evan smith Pro (3) jefferson, GA 12 01:12:40.442
4 2 Cory Buttrick Pro (4) Logan, OH 12 01:12:52.721
5 9 Jordan Ashburn Pro (5) Livingston, TN 12 01:12:53.118
6 7 Russell Bobbitt Pro (6) Jefferson, GA 12 01:14:44.284
7 12 Ben Kelley Pro (7) Harwinton, CT 12 01:15:53.002
8 102 Cole Mattison Lites A (1) Inman, SC 12 01:16:37.998
9 50 Billy Schlag Open A (1) Mechanicsville, MD 12 01:17:21.141
10 51 Zac Brown Open A (2) Madison, GA 12 01:17:51.329
Buttrick Blitzes Rock Crusher Sprint Enduro

Buttrick Blitzes Rock Crusher Sprint Enduro

Young Harris, Georgia (October 21-22, 2017) – SRT Racing’s Cory Buttrick came out on top of some of the closest racing of the season, taking an impressive win at the Rock Crusher Sprint Enduro, round eight of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series presented by PRI Powersports Insurance at the Rockcrusher Farm in Young Harris, Georgia. The racing was insanely close, with first and second place finishing on the same second in four of the twelve tests. After two days of racing Buttrick took the win by five seconds, while second and third place were separated by less than a tenth of a second.

The win was Buttrick’s first of the season and it came at the expense of runner-up Jordan Ashburn and series point leader Steward Baylor.

“It was unreal how close the racing was, we were all within just a few tenths of each other,” said Buttrick. “You definitely couldn’t make any mistakes but I was able to hit all my lines and keep it pretty consistent. The track was in great shape and a couple of places got pretty rough, which I think favored my style. My riding is coming around now that we’re at the end of the season and it feels great to get the win. I just need to keep it going and get off to a fast start at the beginning of next year.”

Jordan Ashburn finished second for the weekend but dropped one championship point to rival Steward Baylor. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

Ashburn kicked off Saturday’s event by posting the fasted time in the opening Cross test, beating Integrity Acquisitions-backed KTM rider Evan Smith to the line by three-tenths of a second. However, Buttrick came back to win tests two and three and took an overall lead he would never relinquish. Baylor countered with back-to-back wins of his own in tests four and five, while Ashburn put the finishing touches on the day by posting the fastest time in the sixth and final test.

After one day of racing, Buttrick topped the time charts with a total time of 35:47.173, followed by Ashburn with 35:53.029 and Baylor at 35:53.917. FMF KTM Factory rider Russell Bobbitt and Evan Smith rounded out the top five.

Ashburn got off to another great start on Sunday, winning test one ahead of Buttrick and Smith. However, Buttrick reeled off three-straight wins and appeared to be running away from the field, though Baylor gained a bit of ground with a win in test five. Test six was a pivotal one, as Ashburn turned the fastest time, as he had done in the final test on the previous day. Meanwhile, Baylor tripped the wire a second slower to post the second fastest time. Buttrick, on the other hand, bobbled midway through the test and dropped to fifth for the test, his only finish all weekend outside of the top three.

Steward Baylor holds an 8-point leading heading into the series finale in Union, SC. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

Baylor ended up winning Sunday’s event, edging out Ashburn and Buttrick, and by doing so the SRT Racing KTM rider extended his lead in the series standings to eight points over Ashburn with just one round remaining. Buttrick, however, claimed the overall for the weekend, posting a total time of 01:11:38.485. Ashburn’s 01:11:43.168 was good enough for second overall, while Baylor’s 01:11:43.292 left the South Carolina rider solidly in third.

Smith finished the weekend in fourth while Bobbitt was fifth.

Tayla Jones continued her win streak, this time on a 125cc two-stroke! // Photo: Darrin Chapman

After wrapping up the Women’s Pro championship at the previous round, Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/KR4 Arrive-n-Ride Racing’s Tayla Jones showed up at the Rock Crusher on a 125 and claimed her seventh win of the series. Jones won 10 of the 12 tests en route to a 58-second victory over KTM Factory Racing’s Becca Sheets.

“I have my race bike up for sale so I decided to race my 125 here today and it was a blast,” said Jones. “It’s so light I could just flick it around where I wanted to and I totally enjoyed it.”

Sheets won the remaining two tests and sits fourth overall in the Women’s Pro standings behind Mackenzie Tricker and Brooke Cosner.

Becca Sheets kept Jones honest all weekend, taking two test wins on her way to 2nd-place. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

Billy Schlag extended his lead in the Open A championship standings by taking his fifth overall victory of the season. The KTM rider won all 12 tests en route to the win. Pennsylvania’s Tanner Way (KTM) was second overall in the class, while Kentucky’s Adam Froman finished third.

Billy Schlag continued his domination of the Open A class. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

RJ Cook took his first win of the season in the Lites A class and finished 7th-overall for the weekend, which had him as the 2nd overall amateur as well. Devan Byer was 2nd in class and 8th overall, with Luke Ross taking 3rd in Lites A and 9th overall.

RJ Cook on his way to the Lites A win and an impressive 7th place overall finish. // Photo: Darrin Chapman

Christy King won the Women’s Amateur class on a Honda, with Kerrie Knox (Kaw) and Nancy Sabater (KTM) in second and third.

In the Youth ranks, Garyson Smith took the class win in the 85cc 7-11 division and also nabbed the youth race weekend overall win ahead of Drew Callaway and Tyler Silvia.

The 2017 Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series presented by PRI Powersports Insurance wraps up on November 11-12 at the Big Buck Farm for the Big Buck Sprint Enduro, the ninth and final round of the series in Union, South Carolina.

Overall Results

Position No. Rider Class Hometown Tests Time
1 2 Cory Buttrick Pro (1) Logan, OH 12 01:11:38.485
2 9 Jordan Ashburn Pro (2) Livingston, TN 12 01:11:43.168
3 14 Steward Baylor Pro (3) Belton, SC 12 01:11:43.292
4 10 evan smith Pro (4) jefferson, GA 12 01:12:04.773
5 13 Russell Bobbitt Pro (5) Jefferson, GA 12 01:12:25.070
6 50 Billy Schlag Open A (1) Mechanicsville, MD 12 01:14:50.887
7 100 RJ Cook Lites A (1) Thompsons Station, TN 12 01:16:30.528
8 102 Devan Byer Lites A (2) Canal Winchester, OH 12 01:17:08.119
9 105 Luke Ross Lites A (3) Middletown, VA 12 01:17:50.950
10 13 Tayla Jones Women’s Pro (1) Mooresville, NC 12 01:17:55.880