Round nine of nine of the Magna1 AMA National Enduro Series, presented by Moose Racing, took place at the Perry Mountain Motorcycle Club grounds in Alabama for the Gobbler Getter National Enduro, October 29. Abnormally warm and dry conditions for the final weekend of October combined with long test sections poised a challenge for the riders. After 64 miles of trail, with approximately only five miles being transfer sections, Steward Baylor came out on top for his fourth win in a row to close out the season.
Steward, on the Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/Tely Energy KTM, came into the event having studied what his competition had done better in previous years at this event. After Josh Toth won all six tests last season at the Gobbler Getter, Steward was trying to emulate, and it appeared to pay off for him. Riding standing up, carrying momentum and getting into a flow helped Steward take the final win this season.
“Josh always does well at this event, and I know I need to ride like him to do well here,” Baylor said. “One of the hardest things in the National Enduro Series is adapting to all the different terrains we have. Adapting to other rider’s styles at places they do well is what I always try to do.”
With younger brother Grant Baylor having already clinched this year’s title, the Baylor brothers now have eight combined total championships, the last seven coming consecutively. “I may not have all the wins that Randy Hawkins has or all the championships that Mike Lafferty or Dick Burleson have, but between me and Grant, now my dad does; he has eight championships.”
Babbitts Online Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Grant Baylor kept big brother Steward honest all race long. Grant was able to take one test win and finish second overall. After four tests, Grant was just three seconds back but Steward stayed strong in tests five and six to win by 41 seconds.
Grant said, “I came here with the championship already wrapped up but wanted to try to get some bonus money and win the race. After I tweaked my leg, I thought I needed to run smoothly to get through the season healthy, but I knew I needed to finish ahead of Josh Toth for Steward to finish second behind me in the championship.”
The Enduro Engineering GasGas rider, Toth, finished third overall to make it two podiums in a row and six on the season. Toth topped test three, which was his highlight of the day. Tosh’s third on the day netted third overall in the championship.
Thorn Devlin won the NE Pro 2 class on his Bonecutter GasGas. Devlin started the day by topping the first test and later topped the fifth test en route to a 29-second win in the class. Devlin finished off the year with seven podiums and four wins to put him second overall in the class championship.
“It felt good to battle with Liam [Draper] all year, basically being my own mechanic and working on my own bike,” said Devlin. “To be able to come in second for the season feels pretty good.”
Draper, on the AmPro Yamaha, took the Pro2 number-one plate after finishing second on the day. “I’ve heard if you surround yourself with good people, good things happen. I have great people in my corner this year and being part of the Yamaha team, where they want to win every weekend, has really helped this season,” Liam said.
Nicholas Drywall KTM rider Steve Nicholas III finished on the podium for the first time in the NE Pro2 class since this race last year.
Enduro Engineering GasGas rider Mackenzie Tricker won the Women’s Elite class for the sixth time this season. She clinched her fifth championship in a row a round earlier. On the day, Tricker won all five tests. “It was nice to wrap up the championship early so that I didn’t have to push as hard as I normally would,” Tricker said.
Mackenzie added that this is her final time racing the National Enduro Series.
Brooke Cosner, riding a KX450 borrowed from her boyfriend Grant Baylor, had a season-best finish with a second place in the Women’s Elite Class. Rounding out the Women’s podium was Husqvarna rider Sheryl Hunter, marking her first National Women’s Pro Podium finish. “I have been chasing after a podium for quite a while now,” Hunter said.
The Beta Cup was decided in the final round of the season. There were two riders who had a near-perfect season in each of their classes. With throw-away races factored in, both Emma Hasbell of the Women Amateur class and James Jenkins of the B 200 class had perfect seasons going into the final round. Having tied in points, wins, and test wins, the deciding factor came down to the total average margin-of-victory time for the season. Emma held a slight advantage over James, and after winning all four tests at the Gobbler Getter, Hasbell became the 2023 Beta Cup Champion. She will be choosing a free Beta two-stroke motorcycle of her choice, courtesy of Beta USA.
- Steward Baylor Jr (KTM)
- Grant Baylor (Kaw)
- Josh Toth (GG)
- Ricky Russel (Yam)
- Evan Smith (Bet)
- Craig DeLong (Hus)
- Ben Kelley (KTM)
- Thorn Devlin (GG)
- Liam Draper (Yam)
- Steve Nicholas III (KTM)