Josh Strang claimed his second overall victory of the 2018 Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro season with an impressive 28 seconds victory over Thad DuVall in Campbellsburg, Indiana. 

 

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider, Strang kick-started the two-day Sprint by winning the opening Cross test. The Aussie added two more test wins but it was his consistently fast second and third places over the weekend that clinched the victory at round six.

“It was a good weekend,” said Strang after the event. “I enjoyed Sunday the best because I was out in front of the dust and I was able to use lines that other people didn’t use. I picked lines that put me in the grass instead of in the silt and I was able to make up a lot of time – it was good.”

Ryan Sipes held the series point lead going into the Indiana event, however the Kentucky rider skipped the event to present himself as a member of the Puerto Rico Motocross des Nations team and race a spot of Flat Track. Sipes’ absence opened the door for Strang to take over the series point lead with his win. 

“I hate it that Ryan wasn’t at this event, but I’m pleased to have the point lead and I’ll do my best to keep it,” said Strang.

 

thad IND National Sprint Enduro Enduro21 560

Photo Credit: Shan Moore

 

Thad DuVall’s appearance however was a surprise. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider was using the event to get back in the swing of things after sitting out a few weeks due to a wrist injury and his entry was unexpected. 

DuVall, who won the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro championship in 2016, won six tests en route to second overall this weekend, and was in contention for Sunday’s win until a mishap in the final test cost him too much time. 

“I’ve been off the bike for a month and a half and I just wanted to come out and have some fun and see where I was at, but it quickly turned into a competition to try to win,” DuVall said with a smile. 

“I had a blast, I really love these events. I was in the mix until the final test, but I fell into a deep rut and got stuck for a long time and that put me out of the running.”

 

layne IND National Sprint Enduro Enduro21 560

Photo Credit: Shan Moore

 

Layne Michael rounded out the podium. The Coastal Racing Husqvarna rider won one of the Cross tests and was in contention to win a few others.

“I started off well; Saturday was good for me,” said Michael. “Grant (Baylor) and I were close going into Sunday and I just tried to do what I did on Saturday, but I had a few bad rides in the Enduro test, but I was able to overcome it. I had a fast time going for me in the final test but I ended up falling and I thought maybe I gave up a place but I was able to hold onto third. Overall, it was a good weekend for us.”

Fourth overall went to Tely Energy KTM’s Grant Baylor. The South Carolina rider was two seconds behind Michael heading into Sunday’s event and he was just 0.4 of a second behind Michael after Sunday.

Defending series champion Steward Baylor rounded out the top five. The Tely Energy KTM rider got off to a slow start on Saturday due to a poor tire choice, but turned up the heat on Sunday with different rubber and moved ahead of Jordan Ashburn and into fifth in the final results. 

“I put myself in a really bad position on Saturday,” said Baylor. “I made a bad choice of front tires and I couldn’t figure out why I kept ending up on my head so I went back to the tire I was used to and that fixed the problem. I spent the rest of the weekend making up for that mistake.

“Day two was a lot better; I usually ride better on the second day anyway because the course is usually rougher and that suits my style. My lines really worked well on Sunday and even though I had three crashes I just missed out on winning the day by 0.2 seconds.”

Jordan Ashburn put his factory Beta into sixth overall: “Sixth is not quite where we wanted to be, but overall it was a decent weekend,” said the Beta USA rider. “I had some top-five times on Saturday, but the track got really dusty and a little sketchy on Sunday and those guys picked it up a little.”

SRT Racing Husqvarna’s Evan Smith grabbed seventh place, 12 seconds behind Ashburn. 

 

pro2 podium National Sprint Enduro Enduro21 560

Photo Credit: Shan Moore

Pro 2 Class

Liam Draper finished eighth overall, which was good enough to give him the win in the Pro 2 division. The KR4 Husqvarna rider won 10 of 12 tests. 

“I struggled in the Cross test, but I made it up in the Enduro test,” said Draper. “I really liked the Enduro test, the woods were awesome and I think it was the best Enduro test of the year. I just need to work on my Cross test skills.”

North Carolina’s Braxton McGee was ninth overall and second in the Pro2 class. Meanwhile, Beta USA’s Mike Witkowski made a short drive from his home in North Liberty, Indiana, to finish 10th. 

Austin Lee was 11th overall and third in Pro 2.

 

tayla IND National Sprint Enduro Enduro21 560

Photo Credit: Shan Moore

Women's Class

In the Women’s Pro division, KR4/Husqvarna’s Tayla Jones claimed another win, topping Bonanza Plumbing/Trail Jesters KTM rider Mackenzie Tricker by just under two minutes.

“The track got extremely tough with the dry, silty conditions, but I stayed off the ground for the most part and had a good weekend,” said Jones. “I got the win both days so it was good points and I’m looking forward to the next round.”

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

 

Missouri rider Kole Hensley took the win in the Open A class with a 12th overall finish: “I’ve never done one of these races before and it’s crazy how one little mistake can put you on the ground,” said Hensley. 

“There were a couple of times where I was in the top 10 overall, so I’m pretty pleased with my weekend. I still need to find a little speed in the woods but I was pretty competitive with the Pro2 riders in the Cross test.”

Conner Smith was second in the Open A class, with Tristan Stumbo in third. 

 

OVERALL TOP 10 RESULTS:

  1. Josh Strang (Hsq)
  2. Thad DuVall (Hsq)
  3. Layne Michael (Hsq)
  4. Grant Baylor (KTM)
  5. Steward Baylor (KTM)
  6. Jordan Ashburn (Bet)
  7. Evan Smith (Hsq)
  8. Liam Draper (Hsq)
  9. Braxton McGee (Hsq)
  10. Mike Witkowski (Bet)

 

The Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series resumes with round seven at Big Buck Farm in Union, South Carolina on September 2-3. 

More information: sprintenduro.com

 

shan moore bio enduro21 09a 1200

Shan Moore
North America Correspondent
shan@tandenews.com