Ryan Sipes won a dramatic LL Raceway Sprint Enduro in Fairmount, Pennsylvania at teh weekend, coming from behind in the final test to edge out Steward Baylor and Josh Strang – who crashed in the final corner. 

 

After struggling with the conditions on Saturday, Ryan Sipes entered Sunday’s round 22 seconds out of the lead but the Rockstar Energy/Leatt/Maxxis Husqvarna rider turned things around for an incredible cliff hanger finish to Sunday’s race. 

Winning all three of Sunday’s Cross tests and finishing with two seconds and a third in the Enduro tests, Sipes cut Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Strang lead right back. A crash by Strang within sight of the finish in the last test of the weekend sealed the win for Sipes and dropped him to third overall behind Tely Racing’s Baylor in the final results. 

“I was a little bit too cautious on Saturday and that put me down in the start order, which meant I was riding in the dust,” said Sipes. “I had kind of given up on winning the overall, but then when I won that first Cross test this morning it put me in a good spot and I was able to overcome the deficit.”

 

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Photo Credit: Shan Moore

 

On Saturday, Strang came out on top of a tight battle with former motocross star Broc Hepler to lead the event after day one. The Aussie off-road star finished Saturday with a 12-second advantage over Hepler who had to pull out of day two after twisting a knee. Sipes, on the other hand, was way back in fifth, 22-seconds behind.  

On Sunday, Sipes cut five seconds from Strang’s lead in the first test. Baylor won the next test, an Enduro test, with Sipes in second and Strang down in sixth. Sipes won the next Cross test with Strang in second and Baylor in third.

Sipes went on to win the final Cross test and finish second in one of the remaining Enduro tests, leaving him 0.4s ahead of Strang going into the final Enduro test. After two days of racing and 11 tests, the overall came down to the final test.

 

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Photo Credit: Shan Moore

 

Sipes was first to ride and turned in a strong time before waiting at the finish line. Strang also had a good test but lost his front end in a soft berm within sight of the finish: “Going into that last Enduro test I figured I could go faster than Sipes. I was feeling good and I think I was on a good run but I just buried the front wheel in a soft berm and the front tucked and that was it.”

Baylor moved into second with the help of Strang’s crash, finishing three seconds faster than the Husqvarna rider. “I just never could get a break to get up front,” said Baylor. “It was really tight racing and whoever was up front and out of the dust had the advantage. Strang and I went back and forth all weekend.”

 

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Photo Credit: Shan Moore

 

Grant Baylor, riding the momentum of a big win at last weekend’s national enduro in Georgia, finished fourth, eight seconds off of Strang’s time. Layne Michael capitalized on a win in the final Enduro test to take fifth, 17 seconds behind Grant Baylor. 

Pro 2 Class

 KR4 Husqvarna’s Liam Draper finished ninth overall, which was good enough to give him the win in the Pro2 division. North Carolina’s Braxton McGee was 10th overall and second in the Pro2 class. 

“It was a good weekend, but tough, with the heat and the dust,” said Draper. “Ryder Lafferty and Braxton McGee pushed me all weekend, so it feels good to come out on top.” 

 

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Women’s Pro Class

Bonanza Plumbing/Trail Jesters KTM rider Mackenzie Tricker took the win in the Women’s Pro division, beating out KR4/Husqvarna’s Tayla Jones. Tricker won eight of the 12 tests and finished 28 seconds ahead of Jones.

“It was a good weekend,” said Tricker. “It was a pretty flawless weekend and I didn’t have any mistakes to speak of. It was pretty dry out there, but I’d rather it be dry than wet, so it was all good.”

Becca Sheets took third on a FLY/Maxxis/Seat Concepts KTM. 

 

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Connor Smith won the Open A class ahead of Luke Ross and Eric Scarborough, while the Lites A class was won by Michael McGee, with Alex Witkowski and Devan Byer in second and third.

 

The Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series resumes action with round 6 of its series in Campbellsburg, Indiana on August 11-12.

More information: sprintenduro.com

Top 10 overall results:

  1. Ryan Sipes (Hsq) 
  2. Steward Baylor (KTM)
  3. Josh Strang (Hsq)
  4. Grant Baylor (KTM)
  5. Layne Michael (Hsq)
  6. Evan Smith (Hsq)
  7. Jordan Ashburn (Bet)
  8. Ben Nelko (Kaw)
  9. Liam Draper (Hsq)
  10. Braxton McGee (Hsq)

 

 

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Shan Moore
North America Correspondent
shan@tandenews.com