Cross Fork, PA (July 27, 2014) – Round seven of the Rekluse AMA National Enduro Series saw a first-time winner on top of the podium, as New Jersey rider Jesse Groemm took an impressive victory at the Rattlesnake National Enduro this weekend in Cross Fork, Pennsylvania.
In all, the Maxxis/KLIM/Dirtwise KTM rider won four of the six tests and took the overall win by 54 seconds over FMF/KTM’s Steward Baylor. Baylor put on a late charge in the final test to beat out Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Andrew DeLong for the runner-up spot by six seconds.
Nick Fahringer came into this weekend’s event holding a six-point lead in the series standings, however, the AirGroup Racing Husqvarna rider crashed while practicing at a local area on Friday and an MRI at nearby Penn State University revealed that he had torn the MCL in his left knee.
Fahringer went ahead and suited up on Sunday and tiptoed his way in for a 10th place finish, salvaging 11 precious points, although despite his efforts Fahringer gave up the series point lead to DeLong.
Mike Lafferty had one of his best races of the year, the eight-time national champ turning in an inspired ride for fourth. The FMF/KTM rider was in a tight battle with Baylor for third at one point, but Baylor turned in an amazing ride in the final test and jumped ahead of DeLong to take second, while Lafferty finish fourth 29 second behind DeLong.
The younger of the Baylor brothers, Grant, finished fifth after getting off to a slow start in sections one and two. Meanwhile, Virginia KTM rider Paddy Holloway posted a personal best sixth overall finish after turning in a steady ride on the slick and rocky terrain.
N-Fab/Am Pro Yamaha’s Brad Bakken edged AirGroup Racing’s Ryder Lafferty by 10 second for sixth, while Craig DeLong, Andrew’s younger brother, finished out the day in ninth overall, with Fahringer in 10th.
With just three rounds remaining, Delong now leads the standings with 140 points, with Fahringer dropping to second just three points back at 137. Groemm moves up to third in the standings after his win, at 132 points, with Bakken in fourth at 129.
“It feels good to finally get a win, this is what I’ve been working so hard for,” said Greomm. “Not I just have to keep the ball rolling and see what I can do at the next round in Colorado.”
Craig DeLong’s ninth place finish was good enough to give the Husqvarna support rider the win in the Rekluse AA-Expert class, beating out Tegan Robert Temple and Sherco support rider Jeff Melik.
“The day went really well, actually,” said DeLong. “I started off well, turning the fourth-fastest time in the first test, but I was pretty tight and had to sort that out. After that, I settled into a steady pace and managed to take the win.”
DeLong now leads the Rekluse AA-Expert standings by 29 points over Drew Higgins.
1. Jesse Groemm (KTM)
2. Steward Baylor (KTM)
3. Andrew DeLong (Hsq)
4. Mike Lafferty (KTM)
5. Grant Baylor (KTM)
6.Paddy Holloway (KTM)
7. Brad Bakken (Yam)
8. Ryder Lafferty (Hsq)
9. Craig DeLong (Hsq)
10. Nick Fahringer (Hsq)