Red Bull KTM's Mike Lafferty emerged from a three-way tie to win the Mosquito Classic National Enduro in Harrison, Michigan, hosted by the Buzzards Motorcycle Club, August 5.
Round six of the AMA/FMF Racing National Enduro Series found Lafferty, defending series champion Russell Bobbitt and GNCC racer Barry Hawk all ended up dropping 34 points for the day, so the three emergency checks decided the day. In them, Lafferty topped the trio with his tie-breaking score of 927 seconds to Bobbitt's 944 and Hawk's 993.
Though he suffered a small crash and wasn't entirely satisfied with the way he'd set up his Michelin/Enduro Engineering/Arai-sponsored 450 XC-W, Lafferty managed to match Bobbitt and Hawk's pace in the early miles. Lafferty made a few small adjustments that improved his bike, and, "The race started coming around a little bit more [and] I started feeling a little more comfortable, for sure," he said.
From there, Lafferty padded his lead, aided by Red Bull KTM teammate Bobbitt getting lost midway through the day and dropping a minute more than him and Hawk.
But, Bobbitt said, "I didn't give up at all; I started, probably, trying a little bit harder."
In fact, in the final two sections, Bobbitt and his Motorex/GPR/Troy Lee Designs-backed 250 XC edged Lafferty and Am Pro Yamaha's Hawk. Unfortunately for Bobbitt, it was too little too late and served only to preserve a runner-up finish for the fifth race in a row.
Conversely, Bridgestone/FMF/MSR YZ250-mounted Hawk admitted, "I’m just disappointed today - in the last section I made two mistakes that probably cost me about 10 seconds. Basically, I think if I'd have had neither one of those mistakes I probably would've won, because I would've had a 33 and Lafferty and Bobbitt had 34s."
Though not an enduro regular, Michigan's Aaron Wegner claimed fourth overall on his Kenda/WER/O'Neal YZ250 with a 37 and KTM-mounted Dustin Gibson finished fifth at 38.
Unofficially, Lafferty now leads the series with 166 points, while Bobbitt has 155 with two rounds remaining.