Conditions-wise, it was business as usual in southern Ohio for round four of the AMA National Championship Enduro Series yesterday in Wellston, as heavy rains on Thursday made the tight, technical course muddy and hot, humid weather took its toll on the riders.
Results-wise, however, there was a bit of news, as defending champ Mike Lafferty was defeated for the first time this season. Riding his KTM, Lafferty finished second to Randy Hawkins’ Yamaha, with Yamaha riders Robbie Jenks and Barry Hawk Jr. going three and four, respectively. Fred Hoess took fifth on his Husqvarna.
The Appalachian Dirt Riders prepared a relatively easy course for the first three-quarters of the event, according to a press release from Lafferty’s mechanic, Alan Randt. Then they threw their nastiest stuff at the A riders after the Bs split off.
The largest points-taking section of the day came just before the second gas, where a large hill caused many riders to get stuck and create a big bottleneck. Lafferty lost some time to his competitors, having to take three attempts at the hill before getting over it and carding an 11 compared to the 10s of Hawkins and Hawk and the nine of Jenks.
As they when into the final loop, Hawkins had Lafferty by one, while Jenks and Hawk were just a few points back. The finishing order would stay the same, as Hawkins picked up one more on Lafferty and Jenks, while Hawk slipped back just a bit.
Lafferty still holds a comfortable lead over Hawkins in the series as they wait for the next round in Colarado on July 14.