Factory FMF/KTM Team riders Russell Bobbitt and Charlie Mullins topped the podium after an all day battle at the sixth round of the AMA National Enduro Series.

From the first test to the final test Bobbitt and Mullins ran a tight race. Both riders tied for the fast time in the first test. In the second section Mullins, the winner of last year’s Upton Enduro, came out with a slight advantage while Bobbitt and Thad Duvall rallied for second fastest time. Mullins continued his win streak into the third test where he again took the section win and was up 25 seconds on Bobbitt heading to the fourth.

As the two riders prepped for the fourth test, Bobbitt stepped up his game. He won the fourth test by 2 seconds over Mullins to close his gap to 23 seconds. He knew he had a large deficit to overcome so he turned up the heat in the fifth section to tie Duvall for the fast time. Heading into the final section, Mullins still had 11 seconds on Bobbitt. The section was said to be a smooth and fast section but it was one of the longer tests at 9.5 miles in length which meant anything could happen.

Mullins came into the check first and seemed to turn a pretty decent time. It wasn’t long after when fans heard the distinct sound of Bobbitt’s 250 XC two-stroke screaming through the trees. Bobbitt crossed the line in a time 24 seconds faster than Mullins. His last section win gave him the overall for the day while Mullins would end up 2nd after a very close battle.

With three section wins a piece it was a remarkable day for the FMF/KTM Team. The third rider of the FMF/KTM Team, Cory Buttrick, struggled with a stomach virus throughout the day but still pulled off a decent ride with a 4th place finish behind the 3rd place of Thad Duvall.

With six rounds in the books, Bobbitt regains the points lead over Mullins holding a 2 point lead. “It feels great to get a win here and regain the points lead. I had some issues with my wrist at the last round but if felt fine all day today. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the series,” stated Bobbitt.

Overall Series Points:

1)     Russell Bobbitt – 152

2)     Charlie Mullins – 150

3)     Cory Buttrick – 124

4)     Nick Fahringer – 108

5)     Mike Lafferty – 88

Union, SC – Charlie Mullins got win number two on the year at the Pirelli Big Buck GNCC in Union, South Carolina, the Ohio rider making amends for a crash in the final turn at the previous round in North Carolina where he threw away a certain victory.

Mullins was not about to let anything get in the way of a win in South Carolina, and grabbed the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award to start the race before leading FMF/KTM teammates Kailub Russell, Russell Bobbitt and Cory Buttrick into the opening lap.

On lap three, Russell took the lead when Mullins stalled his bike in a tight turn. However, Mullins regained the top position after Russell slowed up on pit lane.

With one lap to go, FMF/Makita Suzuki rider Josh Strang made good on a race-long charge that carried him to within 30 seconds of Mullins. However, Strang came up short in his quest to catch Mullins, and Mullins took the checkered flag with 14 seconds to spare.

“This feels pretty good,” said Mullins. “It’s a little bit of redemption after what happened at Steele Creek. Luckily, I had a bit of a cushion on the last lap and I was able to cruise in for the finish.”

Mullins had a scare when he hit a rock and got sideways with less than a mile to go, but he was able to save it and avoid another last lap disaster like Steele Creek.

“I’m just lucky I didn’t go down,” said Mullins. “I couldn’t take another finish like that.”

For Strang, it was a case of too little too late.

“I caught up with Charlie fairly easy there on the last lap and I think I should have won it,” said Strang. “I felt good today but I just let those guys get away too much early on. I just ran out of time and had too much distance to make up at the end.”

Russell finished the day in third, the first podium of his XC1 career, despite feeling the effects of a sinus infection.

“I got out front early with Charlie and we kind of checked out,” said Russell. “But I’ve been sick and couldn’t breathe good and after that I started fading pretty bad.”

Buttrick made a late race pass on Bobbitt to claim fourth, with Bobbitt taking fifth ahead of Am-Pro/FMF/Yamaha’s Paul Whibley.

WMR/Planet Fitness/KTM’s Nate Kanney finished seventh, while Beta’s Chris Bach, JG Off-road Racing/GEICO Powersports Honda’s Jimmy Jarrett and factory Husaberg rider Michael Lafferty rounded out the top 10.

With four rounds in the books, Mullins sits atop the series points standings with 100 points, compared to Strang at 98. Whibley is third with 73.

Steward Baylor Jr. came out on the winning end of a fierce two-way battle with Am-Pro/FMF/Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn to win the XC2 class, the KTM-mounted Baylor getting the nod by 35 seconds at the finish. It might have been closer but Ashburn fell within a half mile of the finish, leaving Baylor to take the checkers uncontested.

Baylor led early on, but Ashburn came on strong in the second half of the race to set up the last-lap showdown.

“Steward passed me on the last lap and I passed him back,” said Ashburn. “He got me again about halfway into the lap and it was neck-and-neck after that. I had a pretty hard crash just before the finish, but it was a great race anyway.”

FAR Husqvarna’s Jason Thomas rounded out the podium despite injuring his toe in the first hour.

“I was riding good at the start but I came into the tight section and there was a lapper in front of me and I made a mistake and hit a tree wide open,” said Thomas. “After that I couldn’t get back up with those guys.”

Fourth went to Pennsylvania KTM rider Andrew DeLong, while JG Off-road/GEICO Powersports Honda’s Scotty Watkins was fifth.

Virginia Hare Scrambles Champ Brad Bakken was sixth on a KTM, followed by FAR Husqvarna’s Morgan Moss and Yamaha rider Cody Cragg.

R2W/Pro-Action KTM’s Shane O’banion was ninth and also took home the $100Motosport.com Holeshot Award.

Meanwhile, Zachery Smith rounded out the top 10 on a KTM.

Baylor regained the XC2 points lead with the victory, however Thomas has been on the podium at every race and his consistency leaves him just four points back in the standings.

Top Amateur in the afternoon was Christopher Meadows, finishing 23rd overall on a KTM.

In the A.M. race, six-time National Hare Scrambles Champ Jason Raines capitalized on a great start to take the overall win, beating out fellow Yamaha rider Tyler MacDonald and KTM-mounted McKinnon Welborn.

Dennis Decker rode a Suzuki to first place in the Super Senior A (45+) class with Eric Gill finishing second on a KTM and Hunter Houck finishing third on a Yamaha.

In the Women’s division, KTM’s Maria Forsberg took the win over Mandi Mastin (Hsq) and Hanna Otto (KTM).

In the Youth race, Anthony Stone held the early lead but fellow KTM rider Austin Lee made a pass on the final lap to claim the overall victory. Lee also took the win the Super Mini (12-13), while Stone topped the Super Mini (14-15) class.

Jonathan Johnson took the 85 (14-15) win on his KTM, beating out Kawasaki riders Christopher Williams and Nick Lujan.

In the 65 (10-11) class, KTM riders filled the podium with Zachary Ponder getting first ahead of Chase Hayes and J.C. Bates.

The 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series heads to Hurricane Mills, Tennessee for the Parts Unlimited Loretta Lynn’s GNCC on April 30 and May 1. ATV racing will take place on Saturday, followed by bike racing on Sunday. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.

 

XC1 Results:

1. Charlie Mullins (KTM)

2. Josh Strang (Suz)

3. Kailub Russell (KTM)

4. Cory Buttrick (KTM)

5. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)

6. Paul Whibley (Yam)

7. Nate Kanney (KTM)

8. Chris Bach (Bet)

9. Jimmy Jarrett (Hon)

10. Mike Lafferty (Hsb)

 

XC1 Standings:

1. Charlie Mullins (100/2 win)

2. Josh Strang (98/1 win)

3. Paul Whibley (73)

4. Cory Buttrick (72)

5. Nate Kanney (58)

6. Kailub Russell (53)

7. Chris Bach (48)

8. Garrett Edmisten (46)

9. Mike Lafferty (46)

10. Jimmy Jarrett (43)

 

XC2 Results:

1. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)

2. Jordan Ashburn (Yam)

3. Jason Thomas (Hsq)

4. Andrew DeLong (KTM)

5. Scotty Watkins (Hon)

6. Brad Bakken (KTM)

7. Morgan Moss (Hsq)

8. Cody Cragg (Yam)

9. Shane Obanion (KTM)

10. Zachery Smith (KTM)

 

XC2 Standings:

1. Steward Baylor Jr. (101/2 wins)

2. Jason Thomas (97/1 win)

3. Andrew DeLong (76)

4. Brad Bakken (69)

5. Jordan Ashburn (61)

6. Jesse Robinson (58/1 win)

7. Scotty Watkins (55)

8. Shane Obanion (52)

9. Morgan Moss (49)

10. Zachery Smith (42)

 

MotoSport.com $250 XC1 holeshot – Charlie Mullins

MotoSport.com $100 XC2 holeshot – Shane Obanion

The Factory FMF/KTM Racing Team had their best weekend so far this season when all three team riders landed on the podium at the second round of the Rekluse/AMA National Enduro Series in Forest Hill, LA.
FMF/KTM rider and reigning National Enduro Champion, Charlie Mullins, won the first three tests by a slim margin over teammate Russell Bobbitt. Also remaining close was the third member of the team, Cory Buttrick.

The three teammates continued to turn in impressive times throughout the six tests, pulling away from the other riders. In the final three tests, Bobbitt took his turn at the front of the pack winning the fourth and fifth tests. At the start of the sixth test he and Mullins were only one second apart. Unfortunately, Mullins suffered a crash in that section and allowed Bobbitt to run away to an easy win. Mullins finish time earned him 2nd overall while Buttrick would round out the podium in 3rd.

In addition, to the three KTM riders on the podium there were a total of six KTM’s in the top ten, marking a great day for the FMF/KTM Team and KTM brand.

“We are very excited with the teams finish today. We know we have the best riders and they are all capable of being on the podium each weekend and they proved that today,” remarked FMF/KTM Team Manager Antti Kallonen.

Next Event: Kalgary, TX – April 3, 2011

Overall Results
1. Russell Bobbitt – KTM
2. Charlie Mullins – KTM
3. Cory Buttrick – KTM
4. Nick Fahringer
5. Thad Duvall
6. Brad Bakken – KTM
8. Andrew Delong – KTM
9. Shane Hufford – KTM

The FMF/KTM Team went to Georgia for the final test session before the 2011 GNCC Series.

The FMF/KTM Factory Team produced a video of the action, which provides an inside look into the final prep and testing of the team before the kickoff of the Grand National Cross Country Series next week.

The action features riding and interviews with team riders such as Kailub Russell, Russell Bobbitt, Charlie Mullins and Cory Buttrick.

FMF/KTM rider Russell Bobbitt started the AMA National Enduro season in the best way possible – with an event win!

Bobbitt, a 3-time National Enduro Champion, is no stranger to winning. After struggling with a separated shoulder throughout the majority of last season, he is back to top form for 2011. It’s no secret that Bobbitt has revamped his training routine since last October to focus more on speed training and overall fitness. All of his hard work paid off when he captured the win at the opening round in Salley, SC.

Not only did Bobbitt win the first race, he dominated the first race. He turned the fastest time in the first three sections before having his first hiccup. “I crashed once in the fourth test which cost me some time and I ended up with the fifth fastest time,” remarked Bobbitt.  Despite his crash, Bobbitt still maintained the lead after the fourth test.

FMF/KTM rider Russell Bobbitt placed 2nd overall after leading the majority of the race at the fifth round of the OMA Winter Nationals held in Nashville, TN.

Bad weather in the Nashville area convinced all riders to weather-proof their bikes heading to the Nashville OMA. “I had prepped for the worst. I changed my tires to Dunlop 31’s, added roll-offs to my goggles, and wet weather prep my entire bike,” commented Bobbitt. “When it was all said and done, I should have spent less them weather-proofing my bike and more time prepping it for the extremely rocky conditions.”

Race day turned out to be a nice day for racing with only a few slick spots. Bobbitt got off to a great start nailing the holeshot aboard his FMF/KTM. KTM rider Shane O’Banion was putting up a fight in the beginning but dropped back about 30 seconds near the halfway mark. The course was five miles long with a mix of open, loose-rock and grass track plus some tight single-track with slick flat rock.

With only one lap to go, Bobbitt felt secure with his lead and was unaware that O’Banion had begun to close the gap. O’Banion soon crept up on Bobbitt and was able to make a pass for the lead after a bad line choice by Bobbitt. The two riders were elbow to elbow all the way to the checkered flag but Bobbitt was unable to find his way around. O’Banion took the win, followed by Bobbitt and KTM rider Dustin Gibson finished 3rd making it a KTM podium sweep.

Bobbitt’s next race will be the National Hare Scramble in Georgia this weekend before he heads to Salley, SC for the first round of the AMA National Enduro Series on February 26th.

Overall Results –

  1. Shane O’Banion
  2. Russell Bobbitt
  3. Dustin Gibson
  4. Hunter Williams
  5. Zach Klamfoth
  6. Ryan Morphew
  7. Micah Seale
  8. Chris Huddleston
  9. Harvey Whitaker
  10. Nathan Thornhill