Michael Lafferty claimed a hard-fought win over Red Bull KTM teammate and defending series champion Russell Bobbitt at the Missouri Mudders-hosted Leadbelt National Enduro, round four of the 2007 AMA FMF Racing National Enduro Series held at St. Joe State Park, near Park Hills, Missouri, yesterday.
After the two riders finished the 75-mile event deadlocked at 20 points each, Lafferty edged Bobbitt by just 40 seconds in the tie breaker giving him his second win in a row.
Lafferty’s win was significant in that it moved him into the lead in the series standings, ahead of Bobbitt, as the seven-time champ continues to gain momentum after missing most of last year with a devastating knee injury.
“It was close but I am happy with it,” said Lafferty. “A first by a couple of seconds is better than a second. We are definitely improving more and more each week and that’s what I am happiest about. My speed is coming around and at least I am in contention. It is going to be a good battle this year. Russell is a good kid and he has got the speed so it is going to be good for the series.
“I feel better on the bike every time I ride,” added Lafferty. “And every time I train, my knee feels better and better. I am not doing nearly as many races as I have done in the past and my body is not getting beat up as much and I am recovering a lot quicker.”
Finishing out the podium for the second-straight round was New Jersey’s Wally Palmer. Palmer rode the Missouri event with a broke toe, which he sustained the week before at a hare scrambles, not to mention several broken ribs, received at the GNCC event two weeks ago. But despite being banged up, Palmer’s score of 24 topped New York KTM rider Stephen Edmundson by a single mark for third.
Finishing out the top six were Colorado youngster Ian Blythe, riding a Yamaha, and Gas Gas-mounted Nick Fahringer of Ohio.
1. Michael Lafferty (KTM)
2. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
3. Wally Palmer (Kaw)
4. Stephen Edmundson (KTM)
5. Ian Blythe (Yam)
6. Nick Fahringer (G-G)
7. Brian Garrahan (Yam)
8. Cole Kirkpatrick (KTM)
9. Jason Thomas (Yam)
10. Travis Green (Hus)