Defending series champ FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Johnny Girroir remained undefeated in the 2024 U.S. Sprint Enduro Series after topping round two at Silver Hawk Plantation in Union, South Carolina. Although AmPro Yamaha’s Liam Draper, who is still coming to grips with his 450, didn’t make it easy on Girroir. Draper won the first test of the weekend to kick off Saturday’s event and then went on to win two more on Sunday (though he was just seconds behind in others), losing the battle to Girroir over the course of the two days by a minute and 15 seconds.
“Yesterday, I struggled in the cross, like I always do,” said Girroir. “But I was able to make up some time in the enduro test. I was just feeling good, flowing nice. I brought the intensity again on day two and was able to have a good weekend. Liam was riding well, and Craig [DeLong] started riding well towards the end there. It was just a good, fun weekend. The cross test was awesome, and the woods test was gnarly.”
Draper took advantage of his woods riding skills since he rode the enduro series last year to pick up a pair of enduro wins on Sunday. “I was battling with Johnny for the first half of both days and got a little lead a few times each day, so that was cool,” said Draper. “It’s definitely been a good start on the 450, and I’m enjoying it. I got some testing to do this week, but other than that, I felt good all day. I struggled a little bit towards the end there. The track just got super rough. I just kind of brought it home in second, but it was a good weekend.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Craig DeLong rounded out the podium after getting off to a slow start on Saturday.
“I was struggling with some things,” said DeLong.” I was just going slow. I had a crash yesterday and ended up sitting on my header pipe. I got two burns on my butt. So, I lost some time yesterday. I probably would have had third yesterday, but I had a crash and lost some time. Today I struggled a bit in the morning. I was messing with my bike and got it working a lot better there halfway through the day. For the cross test, I picked up a little bit of time, but for the enduro test, I was able to pick up some more time. I was feeling more like myself. So, that was good. It’s good for my mental side. Just put me in a happier spot.”
Phoenix Honda Racing’s Cody Barnes and Husqvarna rider Jason Tino battled back and forth all weekend, with Barnes getting fourth and fourth Pro 1 rider, while Tino took fifth overall and won the Pro 2 class.
Landers KTM Racing’s Gus Riordan was second in the Pro 2 division and sixth overall.
“I was pretty slow,” Riordan said. “I was still able to get second, but Tino was on it. He rode well, just cruised along. The cross tests I didn’t mind, but the woods test, I felt like I was at a national enduro. I’ve never done one, but it was too tough for my liking. But it was good.”
Enduro Engineering rider Josh Toth (Honda) had a rough day and finished seventh.
Babbitts Off-Road Kawasaki’s Joseph “JoJo” Cunningham was eighth overall and first Pro-Am rider, topping Pro-Am runner-up Husqvarna rider Gavin Simon, who was 10th overall.
“Yeah, it wasn’t too bad,” Cunningham said. “I struggled the first couple of tests. Coop [Pro-Am rider Cooper Jones] must have eaten something good this morning. He was all over us. The track was getting way worse, way rougher. I knew I had a good lead.
“I just figured try to ride smooth and clean through the last test and just keep it out front all weekend. Coop got in front of me, I think the last test or two tests something. I just figured I’d try to chase him in the enduro. I got him, so two Saturday wins, Sunday win. Not too bad.”
Jones ended up third in the Pro-Am class and 11th overall for the weekend. Ninth overall was the third Pro 2 rider, Jack Edmondson.
FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Brandy Richards dominated the Pro Women’s division, winning 10 of 12 tests in the process.
“I was stoked on the cross test, having some bumps out there,” said Richards. “It was super flowing. The enduro test, I was a little hesitant going into it just because that’s probably the tightest stuff I’ve ridden all year. But I’m extremely happy with how I felt in it and how I progressed all weekend. These girls are fast. They’re ripping. Every test I go out there, I have to be on my toes, and I push it. It was a good weekend. Super happy with it.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Korie Steede was second in class, finishing approximately two minutes off Richards’ pace.
“The enduro test was super fun. I like the tight stuff,” Steele said. “I’m always happy to come away with a test win here and there. I definitely struggled on the cross test, so I got to figure out how to not let that happen quite so much. But all in all, solid weekend.”
FactoryOne Sherco’s Rachel Gutish gave Steede a good race, beating her in two of the 12 tests and taking third in class, another two minutes in back of Steede.
Trevor Jones was the lone rider in the Pro Electric class. Jones rode a Stark Varg to 65th overall.
New for 2024 is the FMF Fastest Test Awards. These specialty awards are given to the racer of the fastest cross test and fastest enduro test over the weekend in the Youth/Amateur and Pro divisions. The weekend’s recipients were Caleb Wood, Chase Landers, JoJo Cunningham and Girroir.
- Johnny Girroir (KTM)
- Liam Draper (Yam)
- Craig DeLong (Hus)
- Cody Barnes (Hon)
- Jason Tino (Hus)
- Angus Riordan (KTM)
- Josh Toth (Hon)
- Joseph Cunningham (Kaw)
- Jack Edmondson (GG)
- Gavin Simon (Hus)