DELONG WINS US ENDURO ROUND SIX
Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Andrew DeLong claimed his first win of the season this weekend at the Loose Moose National Enduro in Marquette, Michigan.
Report: Shan Moore
DeLong finished the 77-mile race with a one-minute-and-four-second advantage over runner-up finisher Steward Baylor for round six of the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series, presented by Moose Racing.
DeLong got off a quick start on the sandy Michigan trail, winning the first three tests as a light rain fell over the event. FMF/KTM teammates Mike Lafferty and Steward Baylor Jr. were among DeLong’s early challengers, with AirGroup Racing’s Nick Fahringer also making a move to the front by posting the second-fastest time in test three after getting off to a slow start in test one.
Jesse Groemm joined the front-runners at the midway point of the race, tying DeLong for the fastest time in test four, and then posting the second-fastest time in test five. A crash in the final test, however, dropped the Maxxis/Klim/Dirtwise/KTM rider all the way down in eighth in the final results.
Fahringer appeared to be making a move when he won test five, however, Baylor was fastest in the final test, giving him a leg up over Fahringer and Baylor in their three-way battle over second.
When all was said and done, DeLong finished up the race with a well-deserved win, while Baylor grabbed the second place spot ahead of Fahringer to round out the podium.
“It was pretty much a perfect day,” said DeLong. “I’m meshing with the bike now and that’s the big difference. The team has been putting in a lot of hard work and it’s finally paying off.”
Baylor’s runner-up finish was impressive, considering he missed the last two races due to a concussion.
“I started off kind of slow,” said Baylor. “I ate something this morning that didn’t sit well with me and I was puking after the first test. I was struggling out there and then I kind of got things going in the third test and I just rode as hard as I could the rest of the day and it paid off.”
Meanwhile, Fahringer’s podium moves the Ohio rider into the series points lead with four rounds remaining on the schedule.
“The first section was really over-grown and I was really uncomfortable riding race-pace and not being able to see and I ended up going down and I was sitting around 10th heading into the second test,” said Fahringer. “We made a few adjustments and started to get back into a groove and in the fourth test I started to work my way back up.”
Fourth place went to the younger of the two Baylor brothers, Grant, the KTM support rider topping N-Fab/Am Pro Yamaha’s Brad Bakken by just 15 seconds.
After starting the event in the top three, Lafferty ended the day in sixth overall, with Beta USA’s Cory Buttrick finishing seventh ahead of Groemm.
Virginia’s Paddy Holloway cracked the top 10 for the second race in a row by grabbing a ninth place finish. Meanwhile, AirGroup Racing’s Ryder Lafferty rounded out the top 10, finishing 22 seconds behind Holloway.
Craig DeLong is starting to stamp his name on the Rekluse AA-Expert class championship, the Husqvarna rider grabbing his fourth win of the series. DeLong topped Drew Higgins by one-minute-and-44 seconds. With Thom Devlin finishing third another two-and-a-half minutes back.
The Kenda AMA National Enduro Series now moves to Cross Fork, Pennsylvania on July 27thfor round seven of the 10-rounds series. For more information on the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series, powered by Moose Racing, please go to www.nationalenduro.com.
1. Andrew DeLong (Hsq)
2. Steward Baylor (KTM)
3. Nick Fahringer (Hsq)
4. Grant Baylor (KTM)
5. Brad Bakken (Yam)
6. Mike Lafferty (KTM)
7. Cory Buttrick (Bet)
8. Jesse Groemm (KTM)
9. Paddy Holloway (KTM)
10. Ryder Lafferty (Hsq)