Three rounds, three different winners. Red Bull KTM’s Mike Lafferty added his name to the short list of those who have taken the overall in this year’s AMA/FMF Racing National Enduro Series when he topped the 42nd Annual Greenbrier National Enduro in Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, put on by the Tri-County Sportsmen Motorcycle Club. And by winning, Lafferty also pulled within three points of teammate and defending series champion Russell Bobbitt, 80-76. Lafferty dropped 35 points over the 66.2 ground miles of sandy, typical tight New Jersey pines on his Michelin/Motorex/Arai 450 XC-W, while Bobbitt lost 37 on his Michelin/Motorex/TLD 250 XC; New Jersey’s Wally Palmer finished third on his Motorcycle Factory, Inc./FMF/Moose-sponsored KX250F with his 42.
In the first of five test sections, Bobbitt and Lafferty set the fastest times, both dropping 11 with Bobbitt a bit faster on tie-breakers. Palmer and Rich Lafferty, the eventual fourth-place finisher, went 12 while eventual fifth-place finisher Stephen Edmondson alone dropped 13.
Mike Lafferty finally opened up a gap in the fourth test, dropping eight to Bobbitt’s nine, and sealed it in the final section, going two”the only rider to do so”to Bobbitt’s three.
“I just couldn’t get into a rhythm,” Lafferty said. “I felt like I couldn’t get used to things. When I got started, I whacked a few trees which got me a little timid, where it kind of grabbed a root and pulled me into a tree, twice in the first section. It kind of startled me a little bit, and I just never found my rhythm from there. I mean I felt good, I rode okay, the bike worked really well.”
Round one winner, Bobbitt, accepted his runner-up finish with a positive outlook.
“I think it’s the closest I’ve ever been to Mike here,” said Bobbitt. “I think it means I’m improving, I hope.”
Round two winner Brian Garrahan suffered through a miserable day, ending up 15th overall on his Valli Construction/Maxxis/Moose YZ250. Still feeling the effects of hurting the leg he broke at the beginning of last year and hurt again last month at a GNCC, he could never get rolling and simply tried to do the best he could.