Ryan Sipes kicks off Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro season with win at Moccasin Creek.
The former Supercross racer and 2016 ISDE individual overall champion Sipes came out on top after a battle with defending series champ Steward Baylor.
Ryan’s wife Holly had in fact given birth to their third child on Tuesday, just three days before the Georgia event. Just enough time a “weekend pass” to attend the race.
After two days of racing and 12 special tests, Sipes topped the sheets by just under 21 seconds to claim the first win of the new season: “I had no idea what to except 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.”
“I walked that test a total of four times trying to figure out where he [Baylor] was gaining time on me and I think that made the difference.”
Baylor won a total of four enduro tests: “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.”
After winning Saturday’s second enduro test, Josh Strang pressured Sipes and Baylor during the early going and finished third overall, 23 seconds behind Baylor. Jordan Ashburn was just 16 seconds further behind in fourth.
New Zealander Liam Draper finished eighth overall and won the new Pro2 class in the process. 10th overall and second in the Pro2 class went to Jacob Rowland. Third in the Pro2 class and 11th overall was Cole Mattison.
Tayla Jones took top honors in the Women’s Pro division, beating Mackenzie Tricker by 35 seconds. “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.” Becca Sheets took third.
Tristian Stumbo won the Open A class ahead of Cody Pingley and Conner Smith, while the Lites A class was won by Brewer Cawley, with Devan Byer and Gary Inman in second and third.
Ryan Sipes (Hsq)
Steward Baylor (KTM)
Josh Strang (Hsq)
Jordan Ashburn (Bet)
Evan Smith (Hsq)
Grant Baylor (KTM)
Layne Michael (Hsq)
Liam Draper (Hsq)
Mike Witkowski (Bet)
Jacob Rowland (Yam)
The Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series round two heads to Bristol, Virginia, March 24-25.
Shan MooreNorth America Correspondent