Thad DuVall claimed his first national enduro win of the 2017 season at the Cajun Classic National Enduro in Forest Hills, Louisiana this weekend – round three of the 2017 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series presented by Moose Racing.
- Thad DuVall claimed the overall winner Husqvarna.
- As runner-up, Steward Baylor maintains championship lead.
- Defending champ Russell Bobbitt finished third.
- Standout rider for Expert AA winner Thorn Devlin in fifth overall.
- Tayla Jones topped the Women’s classification.
- Torrential overnight rain ensured a mud race.
Torrential rains on Saturday night made for a muddy course on Sunday morning and forced the event to be shorted to four tests, but gave DuVall the perfect opportunity to utilise his mud riding skills.
The West Virginia rider dominated the event, winning all four tests and taking the overall victory by a minute-and-ten-seconds over runner-up Steward Baylor. DuVall won the opening test of the day by seven seconds and then increased his lead with each successive test.
“I’ve been working really hard on a few things at home and I think it paid off this weekend,” said DuVall. “I’ve got a track at the house I’ve been practicing on and I feel like I was better in the tight woods because of the work I’ve been putting in on that track. The tests were gnarly and the rain really made things interesting. It was muddy and there were a lot of ruts and I like that kind of stuff, so everything worked out for me this weekend.”
Photo Credit: Shan Moore
Baylor extended his point lead in the series standings to 13 points with his runner-up finish. Like DuVall, the SRT Racing KTM rider was consistent, finishing second in each of the four tests.
“Thad was on rails and there was just no beating him today,” said Baylor. “I didn’t make too many bad mistakes considering the conditions, just a few minor things in each test. I got stuck a couple of times, but we haven’t have a mud race in a long time, so I guess I wasn’t as sharp as I needed to be and we all know Thad is a killer mud rider.”
Baylor now has three national enduro podiums in a row, including a win at the series opener in South Carolina.
Russell Bobbitt was third on his FMF KTM Factory Racing 250 XC-F, the Georgia rider making amends for his 10th place finish at the previous round.
“It was definitely tough conditions and I’m happy to be back on the podium,” said Bobbitt. “I knew Kailub (Russell) and I were close on time going into the final test and I just kept pushing and I was able to finish ahead of him.”
Bobbitt actually fell in a couple of times in the final test, but still managed to beat out Kailub by 30 seconds for the final podium position.
Kailub Russell finished fourth despite riding through the pain of a hard crash in test two.
“I felt good in the first test but I went over the bars in the second test and I just struggled after that,” said Russell. “I just wasn’t able to be as precise in the last two tests.”
Photo Credit: Shan Moore
Fifth went to Rekluse Expert-AA rider Thorn Devlin, who took advantage of an earlier row to lay down some fast times before the tests got two rutted. The AirGroup/Enduro Engineering Husqvarna rider was 21st in the first test, but came on strong in the final three tests, with times that put him sixth, fifth, and fifth. In the end, Devlin finished 40 seconds behind Russell and 30 seconds ahead of SRT Racing KTM’s Cory Buttrick, who was sixth overall.
Seventh went to Alligator National Enduro winner Grant Baylor on his KR4/Arrive-n-Ride Husqvarna. Grant struggled in test three after losing his rear brakes right after the start and then later crashed and went over the bars, which left him 17th for the test. He was third, fifth and fourth in the remaining three tests.
Tyler Vore, another Rekluse Expert-AA rider, slipped into the top 10 in eight overall on his AirGroup/Enduro Engineering Husqvarna. Vore was making his first ride for the team as a fill-in rider for the injured Andrew DeLong.
New Jersey’s Jesse Groemm was ninth on his Solid Performance KTM, while a third Rekluse Expert-AA rider, Chase Hayes, rounded out the top 10 on a KTM.
After three rounds, Steward Baylor leads the series standings with 80 points, followed by Thad DuVall with 67 and Kailub Russell with 58.
Australia’s Tayla Jones grabbed her third-straight win in Women’s Elite division, although the KR4 Husqvarna rider admitted that she struggled in the mud.
“I had a hard time with the deep ruts and I think I lost about 10 minutes in one of the tests,” Jones said. “It was a tough event but it was still a good day, but I think I need to practice riding in the mud, for sure.”
Ashlee Applewhite finished second in the Women’s Elite division on a KTM, while Jessica Delee was third also on a KTM.
The 2017 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series presented by Moose Racing resumes action with round four of the series on June 4th in Greensboro, Georgia for the Cherokee National Enduro.
For more information on the series check out www.nationalenduro.com.
Photo Credit: Shan Moore
1. Thad DuVall (Hsq)
2. Steward Baylor (KTM)
3. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
4. Kailub Russell (KTM)
5. Thorn Devlin (Hsq)
6. Cory Buttrick (KTM)
7. Grant Baylor (Hsq)
8. Tyler Vore (Hsq)
9. Jesse Groemm (KTM)
10. Chase Hayes (KTM)
US ContributorShan Mooreshan@tandenews.com