Steward Baylor has won the opening ground of the 2018 AMA Enduro Championship.
KTM stole all three main event podium positions at Sunday’s Sumter National Enduro in Wedgefield, South Carolina. Baylor edged out Josh Toth for the win with Ben Kelley a career-best finish of third.
Baylor commanded an early lead as he won the opening test at Sumter’s sandy-course. With a series of consistent top-three test finishes (2-1-1-3-2) the KTM rider controlled the day finishing 18 seconds ahead of Toth on the overall time.
Thad DuVall challenged Baylor early on, finishing second in the first test. However, an electrical problem in test three forced the West Virginia rider out of the race.
Toth finished third in test one, which set the tone for a consistent day of racing from there (1-2-3-1-1). Baylor and Toth would swap test-wins throughout the rest of the afternoon, each rider taking three for the day.
Toth said after the race: “I rode well all day and stayed in control and consistent, which is pretty tough at the enduros. I am super excited to have such a good race today and feel so comfortable on the bike. It definitely brings me a lot of confidence moving into the season.”
Despite a few challenges along the way, Ben Kelley was able to bag himself a career best third. Kelley bagged top-ten positions in each of the six tests, where he finished as high as third in tests two and three.
More than 850 riders entered the Sumter event, which is a series record. Riders from as far away as Quebec, Canada and both coasts of the United States for some South Carolina sand riding.
Photo Credit: Shan Moore
Ryder Lafferty claimed the win in the new NE Pro2 class, edging Nathan Ferderer by 13 seconds. Third place finisher Zach Hayes was another minute back.
In the Women’s Elite class MacKenzie Tricker got off to a great start to the season with a solid win, topping last year’s champ Tayla Jones by almost a minute and a half. Eden Netelkos was third ahead of Jennifer Sheppard and Jocelyn Barnes.
The Kenda AMA National Enduro Series returns to action with the Cajun Classic, round two of the series on March 4th in Forest Hill, Louisiana.
Pro Class Results:
Steward Baylor Jr., KTM, 2:19:35.237
Josh Toth, KTM, 2:19:53.612
Ben Kelley, KTM, 2:22:06.894
Trevor Bollinger, HON, 2:22:26.523
Cory Buttrick, HQV, 2:23:00.710
Evan Smith, HQV, 2:23:05.862
Drew Higgins, HQV, 2:23:14.257
Grant Baylor, KTM, 2:23:39.959
Ricky Russell, YAM, 2:24:19.953
Andrew Delong, GAS, 2:25:17.128
Women’s Elite Results:
Mackenzie Tricker, KTM
Tayla Jones, HQV