Round four of the AMA/FMF Racing National Enduro Series, presented by Maxxis, turned into a Texas turf war, and, in the end, two of the state’s favorite sons topped the field, with Cole Kirkpatrick overhauling Nick Brozovich over the final two tests to take the Lone Star National overall victory. Kirkpatrick dropped 36 points to Brozovich’s 38. Russell Bobbitt ended up third, also dropping 38, though with defending series champion Mike Lafferty out with a broken foot, Bobbitt left Fluvanna, Texas, with the series points lead over Lafferty. Similarly, Kirkpatrick’s first overall triumph enabled him to leapfrog to third in series points.
The host Lubbock Trail Riders club laid out 71.7 miles of west Texas trail, taking advantage of all the different types of terrain on the Parks Ranch. Hot, dusty and windy conditions combined with the six test sections to tax all entrants, but from the start, Zip-Ty Racing’s Brozovich and Cycle Shack of Lubbock’s Kirkpatrick set the pace. Brozovich started out by racing to the best time in the fast, flowing first test on his Malcolm Smith Motorsports/Accelerade/Moose-backed Suzuki RM250. Colorado high school student Ian Blythe was just three seconds slower on his Vickery Motorsports/Rekluse/Topar YZ250F, with Kirkpatrick another second back on his Maxxis/Enduro Engineering/Moose KTM 300 XC.
That was Kirkpatrick’s “worst” test result; the remaining five tests saw him either fastest outright or second-best.
But Brozovich, who also grew up in Lubbock, led the field through the first two tests, with Kirkpatrick sneaking into the top spot after the third test. Brozovich turned it on in the fourth test to go back to the head of the class, but a crash in the fifth test was his undoing, as he dropped seven behind Kirkpatrick and Bobbitt’s sixes.
Kirkpatrick sealed it with a six in the final test, Red Bull KTM’s Bobbitt 23 seconds behind on his Michelin/Motorex/KTM Hard Equipment 250 XC, while Brozovich went seven in that test’s third-fastest time.
Bobbitt played catch-up all day after getting held up for a while in the first test and dropping one more minute than Brozovich, Blythe and Kirkpatrick. Though admittedly out of his element, the Georgian, Bobbitt, adapted throughout the day, and in the final two tests, only Kirkpatrick had quicker times.
Blythe ended up fourth with 40 points, while Beta’s Jordan Brandt took fifth with 41 points dropped on his Dick’s Suspension/GPR/Moose 400 RR. Husaberg’s Nick Fahringer dropped 42 for sixth, followed by three riders at 44: Brad Bakken, Jeff Melik and Cameron Kirkpatrick, Cole’s younger brother and the top A overall. Veteran Texas ace Hadyn Franklin rounded out the top 10 with his 45 points.