Charlie Mullins claimed win number five on the year and extended his lead in the Rekluse/AMA National Enduro Series with an impressive performance at the Inyan Kara Enduro, round seven of the series in Upton, Wyoming. In all, the Obermeyer/AM Pro/FMF Yamaha rider won four of the six checks and finished the event a full minute ahead of runner-up finisher Cory Buttrick.
"I had a good race today - I don't think I fell all day," said Mullins. "Once I got the lead I just tried to ride smart and not blow it."
Mullins has been on a roll since DNFing the Florida round earlier in the year, and his win in Wyoming marked his fourth-straight of the series.
Buttrick was in the hunt all day, winning two tests on his FMF/KTM. The 18-year-old Ohio native turned the fastest time in the opening section, as well as in the final section, but struggled in between.
"It always feels good to come out strong in the first test. I just felt really smooth," said Buttrick. "The first section was really slick and nice, the second section was on a hillside and really dusty and the remaining sections were tighter with a load of trees and rocks."
Buttrick fell twice in the dust in the second section, but countered with a strong push at the finish.
"After I lost some time in the second test, I was anxious to make it up in the third test and rode a little over my head. I finally calmed down in the fourth and fifth test and by the sixth test I had my groove back.”
Finishing out the podium was Husaberg's Mike Lafferty. The eight-time national champ was fast all day but couldn't quite stay with Mullins and Buttrick.
"I felt more comfortable on the bike today than I have all year," admitted Lafferty. "Mullins and Buttrick just have a bit faster pace and I just didn't have what it takes to get the win today, but I am happy to still finish on the podium. I know where I need to improve and I'm determined to get back up on the top step of the box."
Defending Series Champ Russell Bobbitt finished fourth, despite still suffering the effects of a separated shoulder. Bobbitt battled most of the day with Lafferty and would finish 25 seconds behind the New Jersey rider.
"The fifth test was pretty rough," said Bobbitt. "It was really tight and the branches didn't move. It was painful through those trees and I lost some time through there."
Rounding out the top five was Husvarna's Glenn Kearney, while Husaberg's Nick Fahringer, who is suffering from a foot injury, finished sixth.
1. Charles Mullins (Yam)
2. Corey Buttrick (KTM)
3. Mike Lafferty (Hsb)
4. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
5. Glenn Kearney (Hsq)
6. Nick Fahringer (Hsb)
7. Cole Kirkpatrick (KTM)
8. Ian Blythe (KTM)
9. Brad Bakken (KTM)
10. Andrew Delong (KTM)
Next Event: Jack Pine Enduro - Moorestown, MI - Round 8 - July 25, 2010