KTM’s Mike Lafferty came another step closer to winning his seventh enduro title with a convincing win during round five of the AMA National Enduro Series during the 23rd Leadbelt National Enduro.
Lafferty, who broke his right collarbone in two places during a GNCC event in South Carolina on April 17th, dominated the 12 check, 93.2 mile event by consistently posting the lowest scores all day. Only runner up finisher Throttlehead.com/Kawasaki rider Steve Hatch was able to beat one of Lafferty’s scores when Lafferty admitted to “Running out of steam,” at the end of the day. Lafferty carded a 21 while Hatch finished with a 24. Third place finisher Honda mounted Matt Stavish scored a 25.
“My shoulder actually felt pretty good all day considering the doctor just gave me the okay to ride again four days ago,” Lafferty said. “Since my surgery [three and a half weeks ago], where they pinned and plated my collar bone, I’ve only been able to do some limited physical therapy to keep my upper body in shape.”
“I didn’t come here to win, just to ease back into the series,” Lafferty said. “All day Al [Randt, Lafferty’s mechanic] and Melissa [Randt’s wife] told me to just keep riding. They kept telling me not to worry about anything and just take it one step at a time. That was the best advice.”
Lafferty, who sat out most of last year’s National Enduro Series after having knee surgery, has opened up a commanding lead in the eight race series, with an overall series points lead of 136 points to Hatch’s 109.