Steward and Grant Baylor dominate the final round of the 2018 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series in Stanton, Alabama.
Grant Baylor claimed his second win of the 2018 season – his second in a row – while older brother Steward clinched the 2018 national title with a third place finish. Steward’s title marked his second in a row and the third of his careerin the series.
In all, the Tely Energy Racing-backed brothers combined to win seven of the nine rounds held during the 2018 season, while FMF KTM’s Josh Toth and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Thad DuVall won the remaining two.
Grant got off to a fast start at the Gobbler Getter, winning the opening test by 14 seconds over Steward, while Toth was not far behind in third. From there, Grant went on to claim two more test wins, extending his lead to 29 seconds at the finish.
“Today was awesome,” said Grant. “The track was a bit slippery and it was hard to get stopped in places. I fell over in a few turns, but after I won that first test I just tried to be smooth and not lose the advantage.”
With Grant the clear leader after the first test, a battle ensued over second place between Toth, Steward Baylor and SRT Husqvarna’s Evan Smith.
Smith won test two and took the lead in the battle over the runner-up slot. However, Steward won test five and closed to within five seconds. Neither could hold off Toth in the sixth and final test, however, as the Connecticut rider won the test by 19 seconds over Steward and 25 seconds over Smith to cement second overall for the day.
“Steward and I were literally tied for like three tests in a row, so it was close racing all day,” said Toth. “I was fourth going into the final test behind Grant, Steward and Evan, but I just ripped it and was able to make up enough ground to move into second.”
Steward edged out Smith for third by just two seconds.
“Obviously you would like to win the race with you wrap up a title, but I knew going into the final test that I just needed to ride smooth and not make any mistakes and the title was mine,” said Baylor. “I didn’t try to hang it out there and risk a crash, I just did what I needed to do.
“I’m really happy with the season. This made my ninth podium in nine rounds, so it’s been a consistent season. It just feels good to add another championship.”
For Smith, the race was bittersweet, having missed the podium by such a small margin. However, his test win was more than enough reward for a hard-fought season.
“I won a grass track test last year in Tulsa, but this is my first “real” enduro test win, so I’m pretty excited,” said Smith. “I ran second from the second test to the fifth test and I really thought I could finish second overall but Stew and Josh were riding well. I’m still happy with the day.”
Trail Jesters Racing KTM’s Ben Kelley rounded out the top five; while Solid Performance KTM’s Ryder Lafferty topped the NE Pro2 division with a sixth overall finish.
“I started off pretty rough; I had two crashes in the first test and I was really struggling,” said Lafferty. “After that, we changed a few things with the bike and just tried to regroup and I was able to come back.”
Andrew DeLong, the 2014 National Enduro Champion, put his FAR Racing GasGas North America XC300 into seventh place, finishing just five seconds behind Lafferty. Meanwhile KR4 Husqvarna’s Liam Draper was eight overall and second in the NE Pro2 class.
Central Florida Powersports KTM’s Jesse Ansley turned some heads with a ninth overall finish and first in the AA class, while Pennsylvania’s Thorn Devlin rounded out the top 10 on a GasGas.
Beta USA’s Mike Witkowski finished 11th overall, edging out KTM-mounted Nathan Ferderer. Ferderer’s 12th overall was good enough for third in the NE Pro2 class.
KR4 Husqvarna’s Tayla Jones swept all five tests to win the Women’s Elite class by 21 seconds ahead of Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Mackenzie Tricker. Jones won seven rounds in 2018 to claim this year’s title.
“The dirt was perfect with all the rain we had leading up to the race and I had a good day,” said Jones. “I like the Enduro series, and I think I adapted to the format pretty well over the course of the season.”
Viator Performance Racing’s Jessica Delee was third in the Women’s Elite on a KTM.
Martin Howell won the A 30+ class, beating out fellow KTM riders Bryan Henson and Mitchell McRee. Meanwhile, Trale Henderson won the 200A class on a Yamaha, with KTM riders Chris Cornell and David McCool finishing second and third.
- Grant Baylor (KTM)
- Josh Toth (KTM)
- Steward Baylor (KTM)
- Evan Smith (Hsq)
- Ben Kelley (KTM)
- Ryder Lafferty (KTM)
- Andrew DeLong (GG)
- Liam Draper (KTM)
- Jesse Ansley (KTM)
- Thorn Devlin (GG)
For more information on the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series: nationalenduro.com