Michael Lafferty (pictured) claimed the win at the opening round of the 2008 AMA FMF Racing National Enduro Series in Sumter, South Carolina, today, with a one-point victory over KTM teammate Russell Bobbitt.
Lafferty and Bobbitt were evenly matched through the first two sections of the fast and sandy 77-mile course with Lafferty holding a two second advantage after the first section of the race. Amazingly, both riders turned in identical “double zeros” in the second section.
However, the race was won (or lost) in the third section of the event, when Lafferty gained 40 seconds on Bobbitt after turning in an exceptionally fast ride. Bobbitt retaliated in the fourth section, gaining back 12 seconds from the eight-time champion, but it was too little too late as Lafferty took the win by a thirty-second margin, dropping 18 points to Bobbitt’s 19.
Yamaha’s Barry Hawk, who was riding the event to get ready for the upcoming GNCC opener in Florida, finished third with 22 points.
Fourth went to fellow Yamaha rider and defending Hare Scrambles champ Jason Raines. Raines is riding the first three rounds of the National Enduro series and plans to, ‘see how it goes’, before deciding if he will finish out the series.
Fifth went to local Kawasaki rider and up-and-coming GNCC whiz Jesse Robinson, while veteran KTM rider Shane Watts finished sixth after running among the front-runners during the early part of the race.
The SERMA-hosted event was a huge success for the series in general and the National Enduro Promoters Group, since it was the first National Enduro to be scored totally by electronic means. Riders were issued transponders and at each check the rider’s times were transmitted to a hand-held PDA and then downloaded to a main computer for final scoring. The scorings was fast and flawless.
1. Michael Laffery (KTM)
2. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
3. Barry Hawk (Yam)
4. Jason Raines (Yam)
5. Jesse Robinson (Kaw)
6. Shane Watts (KTM)
7. Dustin Gibson (Yam)
8. Cole Kirkpatrick (KTM)
9. Cory Buttrick (KTM
10. Brad Bakken (KTM)