Irvine, Calif. – After six grueling days over a variety of off road landscapes, Team USA had their best finish in more than 30 years to finish second overall at the 2013 International Six Days Enduro in Sardinia, Italy. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert led the team as the top finishing American in sixth overall and fifth in the E2 class to collect a gold medal. Robert was consistently in the top-10 each day throughout the various tests and achieved his first career special test win on Day 1. Second overall marks the U.S. Trophy Team’s best performance since 1982 at ISDE.
Last year’s World Off Road Championship Series winner and 2013 X Games Munich Gold medalist Robert, had plenty to prove as he returned to the six-man U.S. Trophy Team. Robert was the top finishing American at last year’s ISDE and was ready to compete against the best off road riders from around the globe. On Day 1 Robert progressively got more comfortable on the Italian soil and was able to score his first career special test win on the final test of the day. Day 2 was even better as he never finished worse than sixth on any test and moved into third in the E2 class. Crashes on the third day knocked him back to seventh, but Robert regained his momentum in the second half of the competition, and climbed back to finish fifth in the E2 class and sixth overall. Robert was awarded a gold medal for finishing within 10% of the overall winner’s finishing time.
“I had a great six days in Sardinia,” said Robert. “I concentrated mostly on staying consistent but was also able to win my first special test and score a couple other top-three finishes. It’s an honor to finish as the top American and I’m so proud to be able to help Team USA to second overall and our best finish in over 30 years.”
One Man Show
The ISDE is a unique event in that the rider must complete all work to his motorcycle on his own. Everything from basic maintenance to emergency parts changes. Robert had to get to work right at the kickoff of the event as he was unable to fly with his suspension. Luckily it arrived before racing began and he was able to swap everything out. Crashes on Day 3 also left him with a damaged front brake which he again was able to repair on the fly and still salvage his day.
“My KX™450F was solid all week,” said Robert. “On Day 3 I clipped a tree and snapped my brake line, so that set me back. But I was able to get it replaced and still finished the day decent. Aside from that, my KX was awesome and handled great on the different soils we had to race on.”
Never Too Old
At age 55, Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green rider Jeff Fredette competed in his 33rd ISDE in Italy. The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer looks forward to the ISDE every year aboard his Kawasaki KX450F and is one of few, if not the only rider to 100-percent complete 33 ISDE events. Fredette’s team finished 24th overall out of more than 130 club teams.
Back State Side
Without skipping a beat, Robert returned to his home in Arizona to transition back to his KX™250F and prepare for the next round of AMA EnduroCross. Sitting third in the points standings, Robert is looking to carry his momentum from ISDE to the EnduroCross podium. Round 4 takes place October 12th at National Western Complex in Denver, Colo.