AGILITY & POWER
» Electric Start
» Adjustable Power Valve
» Dual Map Selection
» Hydraulic Clutch
» Automatic Oil Injection
» Easy Access Air Filter Box
» Sachs ZF Forks with Tool-less Adjustability
» Off-Road Light & Meter Package
» Similar Weight to 125 model but with added Torque
2-Stroke - 200
BUSTO ON TOP!
GasGas's Jaime Busto made an outstanding start to the 2023 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship, taking the top podium in Spain.
GIRROIR WRAPS IT UP EARLY
Congratulations to Johnny Girroir for wrapping up the USSE championship win at Round 6 - Promised Land MXPHOTO BY SHAN MOORE
FEATURED ARTICLESPG 52 - TRIAL GP, RDS 1 & 2 PG 32 - STRA TURNS 50! PG 82 - NEPG BLACK BUFFALO PG 134 - AHRMA MID-ATLANTIC PG 68 - USSE PEARLS POND PG 96 - GNCC TIGER RUN
The Mecatecno factory has been producing the Dragonfly electric trials bikes for over a month now with deliveries to many countries. The bikes are working very well, as my test/demo has been since I received it last November. The bike is very light (132 lbs) and easy to ride with the option of three modes of power that will suit the requirements of any rider. The clutch, if needed, is very soft and the battery will provide five hours of moderate speed riding with a 2.5 hour re-charge time. Retail price is $11,299, not including shipping to your destination. The first container of 24 bikes is due to arrive at my warehouse around May 24th. They are almost all sold out, so contact me to order and for any further information.
• The T-18 Dragonfly is direct-drive from the motor to the rear wheel
• An easy-pull diaphragm clutch for maximum control and traction
• New M4 39mm Aluminum AIR FORKS are the lightest on the market
• Linkless Ohlins shock direct to the swing arm
• 5 hour+ quick change and fast charge battery
• Weight 132 pounds
• Seat can be added for trail riding comfort
THROTTLE BODY GUARD
One of the key components on the new 2023 2-Stroke KTM/ Husqvarna's is their use of Throttle Body Injection for fuel delivery to the engine. Bullet Proof Designs noticed that the location of the throttle body left the wires and connectors in harm's way. With the Throttle Body being where the engine intakes fuel, keeping it protected is a must. The factory Throttle Body Cover is made from inexpensive plastic prone to impact/breaking leaving a vital component out in the open.
The BPD Solution: Our New Bullet Proof Designs TBI Guard provides ultimate protection for the Throttle Position Sensor and wires on your new TBI bike. Replace the plastic OEM cover with our Billet Aluminum Guard for added safety against any damages to ensure worry-free riding.
125-300 SX/XC, TC/TX
Current Price: $69.00
BETA USA METER GUARDS 2020+
Machined from aluminum for a perfect fit. Featuring the Beta B logo. Available in black and red. Fits 2020+ RR/XT Models.
Current Price: $81.99
ASV C6 LEVERS
Unbreakable lever with pivot design. On-the-fly adjustable reach with 4 inches of range.
Micro-indexing dial reach adjuster. CNC-machined from 6061 billet aluminum. Anodized and laser-etched. Chrome silicon high-tension spring. Stainless-steel fasteners.
Current Price: $120.00
GREASE GUN CADDIE, SILVER V2
The Pit Posse Grease Gun
Caddie Silver V2 is proudly engineered and manufactured in America. Grease guns can be messy and hard to store but thanks to this item they are stored away with ease. With a notched hole to secure your grease gun hose, 2 grease catch cups to prevent spills, and grease gun stand off to prevent your grease gun from sitting in grease. Built with predrilled mounting holes and hardware included for a quick and easy installation.
Current Price: $39.95
MOBIUS X8 WRIST BRACE
The X8 Wrist Brace incorporates the CCRS (Continuous Cable Routing System), Mobius’ innovative patent pending technology, which provides maximum support across the wrist joint, allows more mobility and progressively resists hyperextension and minimizing the risk of injury to the ligaments and bones.
The unique design dynamically changes the tension in the cable throughout the wrist’s full range of motion preventing excessive bending (lateral and medial) and hyperextension. The tension adjustment dial achieves the desired support with ease and the degree of extension can be limited from 0-70 degrees with a simple adjustment screw. Brace weighs 4oz.
Current Price: $219.95
BETA KINDER 16 PRO
Beta has released the newest addition to their youth balance ebike line-up, the Kinder 16 Pro model. Keeping with the aluminum frame, three speeds, disc brake, and mag wheels seen on the Kinder 16 model released in 2022, the Pro
model expands capability to support growing riders.
The Kinder 16 Pro adds front suspension, more power, higher frame strength, and better battery life.
May - contact your local Beta dealer today!
• VECTOR INVERTER
BRUSHLESS MOTOR: the motor has a new magnetic steel design, helping to minimize high-speed rotation noise
• 15 MPH TOP SPEED: with three speeds to choose from, you can easily choose which speed suits your child's skill level
• 1 METER DRY BRAKING DISTANCE
• IMPROVED BATTERY LIFE: providing up to 20 miles, the upgraded lithium battery allows for more riding between battery swaps
• CHARGING METHODS: battery charging can be done either directly with the battery outside of the chassis, so the spare battery can be plugged in while your little one continues to ride, or you can plug into the bike itself
ON THE HORIZON
SHERCO 250 SE - ZACH PICHON REPLICA
Inspired by the 2022 Junior Enduro World Champion's machine, the new 250SE Pichon Replica will only have 101 units made, with availability starting in mid-May.
It differs from the standard production model by the following components:
• unique number on the frame
• Akrapovic silencer
• Pichon Replica graphics kit, gold enhanced number plates with World Champion crown on the front
• Number plates 101
• AXP Racing engine guard
ON THE HORIZON 2024 KTM XC AND XC-F
The KTM XC and XC-F range enters the 2024 model year with a lineup of READY TO RACE machines representing the ultimate in Cross Country excellence, complete with all-new suspension.
With almost a decade's worth of back-to-back championships, KTM is no stranger to winning premier cross-country racing titles. For 2024, the KTM XC and XC-F range is set to continue that trend with a line-up of precision machines built to deliver trophies.
At the top of the range, the KTM 450 XC-F dominates the 4-stroke stable, with the equally impressive KTM 350 XC-F and KTM 250 XC-F rounding off the line-up. These are flanked by three 2-stroke models, namely the KTM 125 XC, KTM 250 XC, and the new open-class contender, the KTM 300 XC.
All 2024 XC and XC-F models benefit from Electronic Fuel Injection, along with a map select switch as standard, while the 4-stroke XC-F range gets additional Traction Control, Launch Control, and Quickshifter features.
Upfront, an all-new WP XACT Closed Cartridge fork provides faster and more consistent
damping characteristics, thanks to a new mid-valve piston concept that optimizes the oil flow within the cartridge. This setup avoids unwanted foaming of oil which can lead to an unwanted change of damping characteristics and less consistent damping behavior.
On the rear, the WP XACT rear shock provides advanced damping characteristics for unsurpassed traction and energy absorption. It also features less overall length and less weight compared to the previous generation while keeping the suspension travel unchanged with 300 mm.
From an adjustability standpoint, both ends feature easy-to-use hand clickers that allow riders to change settings on the fly without needing any special tools.
The 2024 KTM cross-country range of motorcycles is a confidenceinspiring line-up catering to riders at any level. With dramatically improved handling characteristics, easy suspension adjustment, and the very latest in dirt bike technology, the 2024 KTM XC and XC-F range sets the standard when it comes to competitive crosscountry racing.
available: April 2023
ON THE HORIZON
• electronic fuel injection
• map select switch
• traction control, launch control, quickshifter (4-stroke XC-F only)
• improved front suspension - WP XACT closed cartridge fork with revised fork protection rings - features easy-to-use hand clickers
• improved rear suspension - WP XACT rear shock - features easyto-use hand clickers
Earlier this year, we introduced a new initiative from Abigail Buzzelli called the 10x12 Challenge, designed to get more people on the pegs, riding motorcycles. We're back to celebrate everyone who completed their second month's challenge - riding at least 10 days in the month of April
Congratulations to the following riders:
Toni Proffer Roach
If you don't see your name on the list, visit www.10x12challenge.com to see the challenge rules and get your April swag.
EP 23.4 | Andrew Sort, A Down-to-Earth Badass
Andrew Short jumps on as a guest of the Seat Time podcast so we can talk about his recent injury, being a Moto Dad, the KTM 350, and MUCH MORE! I had a lot of fun chatting with Andrew, he’s such a down to earth dude with a great perspective. We’re hoping Andrew has a speedy recovery and that he and Hudson have a great time racing and spending time at the track together!
STRA Celebrates 50 Years
Southeastern Trials Riders Association celebrated it’s semicentennial with heartfelt memories at a memorable banquet.words ABIGAIL BUZZELLI
After a fun day and a muddy trial at RockCrusher Farm in Young Harris, Georgia, STRA members and champions present and past gathered at a local community center in Blairsville, Georgia, to celebrate all the years of motorcycling in the Southeastern Trials Riders Association. The Southeastern Trials Riders Association (STRA) is excited to announce their 50th anniversary in 2023.
The STRA was founded in late 1972, after a group of enthusiastic trials riders recognized the need for a formal organization to organize and sanction observed trials events. The first year of the STRA saw a series of 12 trials events, culminating in a year-end business meeting, banquet, and awards ceremony in December 1973. Since then, the club has continued to grow and prosper, thanks to the dedication of its members and officers.
The weekend of celebrations tied to the banquet was a highlight of the 50th-anniversary festivities. After awards, Jimmy Garmon, Steve McNeal, and Brock Sattelmeier all shared stories about the development and early years of the club.
Jimmy is the son of Ronnie Garmon, who founded the club and became the club’s first president.
Jimmy Garmon, 1978, 340 Montessa, Alabama
Jimmy rode through the early years of the club as a teenager and went on to race Enduro in France as an ISDE rider, crediting his success to those years of riding trials with the STRA. After his successful enduro career, Jimmy moved on to have a successful stock car racing career.
He was pleased to see the success of the club and moved to see his father’s dream realized. “To say the least, it was very emotional for me but I’m so proud of this club, this group.”
Jimmy Garmon won in the Sportsman class on both Saturday and Sunday of the two-day trial.
The weekend event tied to the banquet had more than 90 participants, showcasing the continued growth and enthusiasm for the sport.
The STRA now has ten different classes that ride six unique lines at any given event. The club championship for 2022 was won by Alexander Niederer, who now has ten championships, tying him with Steve McNeal for the highest number of championships in the club’s history.
At the award ceremony, Curt Comer Jr. presented the Comer Cup, named for Curt Comer Sr., his father, to Alexander. “Pretty impressive
that Steve McNeal and now Alex Niederer are now tied with 10 STRA championships a piece. To be asked to present the championship award to Alex is an honor. To have two people in the room who have ten each, was pretty cool,” remarked Curt.
Curtis Comer Sr., was instrumental in founding the club, having been bit by the trials bug in the prime of the trials boom in the 70’s.
“All of us were young when this first started, I was high school aged. My dad rode trials even before me in the late 60s and early 70s and it was all Bultaco, Montessa, and Ossa. In the early 70’s the big four became
popular (Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda, and Suzuki.) If you went into any motorcycle shop, for the first time they had trials motorcycles.”
“When I was coming along and when the STRA was formed was a really exciting time for trials in the United States. Of course, I was goal oriented, I had the vision of trying to be somebody. It was a good time as well because all the manufacturers had teams. There were paid rides and it was good to be that way. How good can I be rather than the social aspect and the comradery. Me and Jimmy [Garmon] traveling across the country together.”
Curt has not only won 7 STRA championships between 1974 and 2001, but also won the NATC championship in 1981. This was the beginning of a very competitive streak for the STRA in the national scene. Steve McNeal describes the atmosphere, “I’d go to an STRA event and there’d be 5-6 champ riders at the national level there. Literally people were moving there to ride against us. Dave Pyle moved from Oregon to work at the Fantic importer just to ride in the STRA. Jack Stites came down from NE in ‘79.
“I’d go to the national and there’d be all the same guys from STRA. Curt Comer, Brock Sattelemeier, Gary Hoover, Don Wrenn, Jeff Farley, Jimmy Garmon, David Cato, Mike West, Freddy Steele. STRA was dominant. It was truly a hotbed in the nation,” continued Steve.
Over the years, the STRA has been a driving force in promoting and developing observed trials in the Southeastern United States. The club has also played host to numerous national, most recently the 2022 NATC round at the Trials Training Center, which was voted the number one national event of 2022.
Steve McNeal, whose father, Glenn McNeal had put on the first STRA hosted NATC Round on Labor Day weekend in 1978 recalls “I grew up with this whole club mentality, particularly my dad, Dan Faulkner, Glenn McNeal, Ronnie Garmon, and Curt Comer Sr. ,talking about making the events the best that they can because they’ve got to win the best trial award.“ And in 1978, much like 2022, they did win the best NATC trial of the year.
As the STRA looks forward to the next 50 years, it will continue to promote observed trials and provide a welcoming and supportive environment for riders of all ages and abilities. Congratulations to the Southeastern Trials Riders Association on their 50th anniversary, and here's to many more years of success and growth.
“The smiles. The competition. The spirit is the same.” – Steve McNeal
Sherman Smith III
VINTAGE SPORTSMAN CLASS
VINTAGE NOVICE CLASS
VINTAGE INTERMEDIATE CLASS
Youth A CLASS
Youth B CLASS
Youth C CLASS
Lee Capenter. His father, Bob Carpenter won the unofficial SE championship in 1972, the year before the STRA was formed. Bob was a top STRA rider for years.
Doug Kensie, TL 125. He bought the bike new and won second in the expert championship in 1973 on the same TL 125. 50 years later, here he is winning Vintage Novice on the same bike.
Brock Sattelmeier, who spoke at the banquet. The only rider to ever be the club champion and president.
2023 Ryan Young Training Schedule @ TTC
Trials have always been my passion and my livelihood. Throughout the years I have learned so much and I became a 6x National Champion and then a Teacher, I love sharing all of my Knowledge, Techniques and experiences as well as riding trials and meeting new people to encourage and help them become a better rider whether you ride a Trials Motorcycle, Enduro motorcycle or any type of motorcycle. I just enjoy supporting the motorcycle community and their Clubs. I have been perfecting my trials schools over the past 35 Years teaching all around North America. My Trial Schools cover every Trials Technique needed to become a CHAMPION, I will be covering over 20 Techniques that are extremely well broken down, methodically taught, instructed and demonstrated. It is a step by step process working your way from the basics to the most advanced techniques. I will watch you perform each Technique taught and critique you so you get a better understanding of the technique and performance. Ryan Young's Trials schools have produced many National Champions in many different classes over the years. I'm looking forward to teaching the next champion! -RyanYoung
Learn to Zapby TOM TRANTOW
WHAT IS A ZAP?
A motorcycle trials technique to get over obstacles that jumps the back tire up to the obstacle. Using a small wheelie, the front tire is driven into the backside of the obstacle and the rider compresses both the front and rear suspension preparing to jump. The rider has built up stored energy by revving the engine during the wheelie so that when they jump, they also pop the clutch causing the bike to lift upwards so that the rear tire lands on the obstacle.
WHEN IS A ZAP USED?
This technique is best used when an obstacle is undercut and a ride up or double blip will not work. Most often this is done on suspended logs or rock ledges where the rear tire can not ride up the face of the obstacle. The difference between a zap and a double blip is that the double blip drives the rear tire into the face and then up the obstacle, while a zap jumps the rear tire onto the obstacle.
HOW IS A ZAP DONE?
The zap can be elusive to newer riders because there are so many smaller subset skills required and the timing of them all has to be extremely precise.
1 - THE WHEELIE
The wheelie into the obstacle has to be low enough on the face to significantly compress the suspension to cause the bike to redirect it's energy upwards. Psychologically it is very hard to drive your front tire into an obstacle. Most often newer riders place the front tire too high. We all have a natural survival instinct to keep us from ramming into obstacles with our front tire. Where you target the front tire to impact depends on the shape and height of the obstacle. I find it is usually around 2/3 of the way up a suspended log and the wheelie is initiated about a bike length back from the obstacle.
2 - BUILDING RPM
There is a need for you to build up RPM as stored energy in the bike. Often, riders are inexperienced with building up stored energy in the flywheel or subconsciously afraid to rev the engine. In addition, popping the clutch with the RPM built up can be scary. The taller the obstacle, the more RPM that is needed.
3 - JUMP AND CLUTCH POP
This is where the magic happens. During the wheelie, you will want to be crouched low and ready to jump so that as soon as the front tire hits, you are making your jump move. You jump earlier than you might think. The downward force of your jump occurs simultaneously and adds to the suspension loading from the wheelie impact. The clutch pop needs to occur when the suspension reaches the bottom of its stroke. This will cause the bike that has been wedged into the obstacle to pop up and forward. The window of time for the jump and clutch pop takes place in just 200 milliseconds so the timing has to be perfect.
4 - UNLOAD
Once the bike is starting to lift up, you will want to unload, or bend your knees and sit your hips back, allowing the bike to rise up under you. This will help the rear tire track up the face of the obstacle. You may need to slip the clutch or apply the rear brake depending on how high the front tire is and how much energy you carried up onto the obstacle.
The prerequisite skills required to zap need to be honed in and most often a rider's lack of precision with the controls and body movement will result in hours and hours of frustration when trying to learn. It is nearly impossible for your brain to focus on all of the above at the same time. Like baking a cake, you need each of the ingredients to be accurate for the whole recipe to come out right. You need to dial in many smaller micro skills in order to be able to put together all the pieces for zap technique.
instance, if you can do a wheelie and hit the obstacle correctly, then you can start to think and work on the jump.
I know when I 1st started to learn to zap, I was lacking in a lot of the basics. I spent way more hours working on it in my backyard than I can count. Beginners do not need this skill although it may look cool. But intermediate and above riders can follow a path to learn the needed skills through guided drills and repetitions. What we have created is a structured plan to help riders get the needed pieces dialed in and then put together.
TOP 5 REASONS YOU CAN'T ZAP
1. Front Tire placement (usually too high)
2. Timing of the Jump (typically too late)
3. Timing of the clutch pop (often too early)
4. Not enough RPM built up
5. Stiff legs on top
The above reasons seem to be the most common errors that I have seen and experienced myself. Each rider will have their own way of screwing up a zap, (or multiple). What is needed is for the basic foundations to be at a point where you can start to automate certain aspects of this technique. For
With the help of Pro-Rider Sam Fastle, we have created an online course that is free to On The Pegs readers where you can work through each of the needed micro-skills in order to learn to zap.
This course is free during the month of May and will continue to be available at www.trialsprogression.com.
We are also trying something new with this course in that we are providing a private facebook group where students in the course can post videos and get feedback on their zap attempts.
To sign up and learn more, go to www. trialsprogression.com/zap
BUSTO V BOU
words STEPH VETTERLY photos FUTURE7MEDIA
The 2023 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship kicked off the first two rounds of the seven-round season, complete with some new venues and some new rules.
In March, Trial GP announced that a few changes would be made to the upcoming season, in an attempt to make the sport more competitive and accessible to both amateurs and professionals alike. The first change was the implementation of a Parc Fermé, a security-controlled location where all competition bikes would be stored after and inbetween competition days, as seen
in the ISDE. The second, and more important change, was announced that minders would not be allowed in 50% of the sections. The reasoning behind this? The goal was to make the riders more independent. For obvious reasons, this raised some concern with a significant number of trials fans. While the Trial GP events typically consist of more high-technical sections than here in the US, riders are still launching at tall obstacles, sometimes from very precarious locations. It was not announced exactly how the organization would determine the sections in which minders were not
permitted, but unfortunately, the first victim was claimed on the opening round.
Starting in Arteixo, on the northwestern tip of Spain, 58 riders across four different competition classes took to the rocks at the first of two new venues for this season. With fair weather following some rain on Friday, the sections were a bit slippery, and the defending champions struggled to keep a strong start in their respective classes. Defending TrialGP champion, Repsol Honda’s Toni Bou, took nine points on the opening lap,
dropping to second place behind GasGas’s Jaime Busto, who dropped only two points. Coming around for the second lap, Busto made only a single mistake, taking a full fivepoint penalty. Despite finishing the day with only seven points, it was enough to take the win over Bou, who finished with 13 points. Bou’s teammate Gabriel Marcelli kept a strong start to the first loop with cleans in the first four sections. Cutting his second-loop score in half, he was able to keep a hold on the final step of the podium.
Sections were reworked overnight to increase the difficulty, and once again, it was Bou in close competition with Busto. Section 3 proved to be one of the most difficult sections, with every rider in the TrialGP class taking full marks – with the exception of Busto and Beta’s Aniol Gelabert, who were each able to clean the section once. Keeping consistent results, it was Bou on top, finishing the day with only 14 points. Despite a massive improvement on his second loop, taking only a single point, Busto finished with 17 points, settling for second place. It was a close battle for third place with only two points separating TRRS’s Adam Raga (32 points) and Marcelli (34 points). Unfortunately for privateer Toby Martyn, section 5 had his name. This section was one in which minders were not permitted, and after failing to make one of the obstacles, Martyn fell backwards into a pile of sharp rocks, landing on his back. Withdrawing from the weekend’s competition, an MRI showed that he fractured two vertebrae in his lower back from the fall, forcing him to sit out of the sport for the near future. [We wish Toby a speedy recovery.]
“It’s been a really great weekend for me,” explained Busto. “I didn’t expect it to be this good. Yesterday, I got the win, and it was amazing from section one, and I felt incredible on the bike. I was able
to make it happen on day one and this was a perfect way to start the season. Unfortunately today, I made a mistake in one of the sections and as it was a low-scoring trial, it was impossible to recover from that. I pushed until the end and was able to pull some points back, so that’s good. I had an amazing feeling.”
“I’m very happy with the weekend and with the vistory,” said Bou. “In today’s race, I felt better. I still have some discomfort in my arm [from the second loop yesterday], but we were able to fight at an impressive level. It is a victory that is very valuable, because our rivals didn’t make it easy at all. Now it’s time to recover well after the weekend. We are tied on points with Jaime
overall, and we have seen that he is at a very high level, and both races have been very close. We will have to be strong in Portugal, but the first thing now is to recover and get back to 100% fitness.”
In the TrialGP Women’s class, it was Scorpa’s Berta Abellan who drew first blood on her home turf over defending champion, Sherco’s Emma Bristow. Aboard a brand-new 300cc Sherco, Bristow found herself in third place after the first loop, behind Abellan and Beta’s Andrea Rabino, both of whom dropped only two points. Abellan kept consistent, again dropping another two points in section 4, to finish on the top step of the podium, with Rabino in second with nine points and Bristow Berta
rounding out the top three with 10. On day 2, Bristow came back swinging, but Abellan was still on top of her game, finishing on only five points for the day, a full six points ahead of the British rider. GasGas’s Naomi Monnier rounded out the top 3 with 17 points. USA’s own Maddie Hoover, sponsored by GasGas, took 56 points on day 1 for a top-10 finish. After sections had been changed around a bit, it was a score of only 61 points on day 2 for an 11th-place finish.
The following weekend, it was back to competition with the second round of the series at the scenic venue of Gouveia, on the edge of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park in Portugal.
Tied on 37 points each, all eyes were on the battle between Busto and Bou. Poor weather once again preceded the competition, leading to high water levels in the creek crossings. Section 5 proved the biggest challenge with its triple rock steps, as none of the TrialGP class made it through with anything less than a full 5-point fail. Bou was the only rider to complete the first loop with less than 10 points, putting him 17 points ahead of teammate Marcelli in second place.
The second loop proved to be more of a challenge, with Bou taking fails in three of the first five sections. However, despite dropping 17 points, a score of 26 was enough for Bou to get back on the top
step of the podium. Busto made significant improvements on loop 2, but with an opening loop score higher than Bou’s total, a win wasn’t in the cards, and Busto finished second with 39 points, with Marcelli rounding out the podium with 44 points.
Not content with losing, Busto was set on reclaiming the win. After an opening loop score put him tied in second place with Marcelli behind Bou, he made an outstanding recovery, dropping only a single point in section 2. Despite some mechanical issues near the end, it was enough to take the win, finishing with 13 points to Bou’s 14 points. Raga would finish in fourth, and Vertigo’s Matteo Grattarola would round out the top five.
“For me, it’s been an incredible weekend,” said Busto. “Not the easiest because I’m not used to this much water, and on Saturday it caught me a bit off-guard – I wasn’t feeling so good, but I managed to fight and got a second place. Today from the beginning I was feeling much better, and I just kept my head clear, did what I had to do, and got the win. I had a lot of pressure, but I felt so good on the bike and it feels great to leave Portugal on the same points as Toni at the top of the championship.”
“Overall it was a good race,” said Bou. “We knew that today would be more difficult, that all the other
riders would make fewer mistakes, and that’s how it went. A mistake on the first lap meant that we dropped a few points, but then we were able to come back. On the second lap we were four points ahead, and I made a mistake in a river area. We were riding on the limit. The position is good for the championship. The next round is in Japan where it is always a special race for our team. We have achieved great results there and we will be very motivated in a tight series, so we will give 100%.”
“Fifth is good, but we wanted more,” said Grattarola. “I want more. I have
to keep training, that’s obvious to me. I want to be steadier, more consistent and ride the trial I want to do. I don’t think I’m that far from the podium so I think it’s possible. We will train and compete in Italy before going to Japan, where I hope I can keep improving in the standings.”
In the TrialGP Women’s class, Berta Abellan had a rough start to Saturday’s competition, failing two of the opening three sections. She was able to improve on the rest of the sections, finishing in third behind Bristow and GasGas’s Naomi Monnier. Having a better
grasp of the sections, loop scores improved for the second loop, but despite cutting her score in half, it wasn’t quite enough, and Bristow took the win with 17 points on the day. Abellan finished second with 24 points, with Monnier finishing in third with 28. Maddie Hoover had a well-fought battle, and with less than 10 points separating seventh through twelfth place, she was able to keep a solid hold on ninth, finishing with 55 points.
Day 2 was a significantly better for many of the women. Opening loop scores for Bristow (3) and Abellan (5) put all eyes once again on the pair, who tied points on the second loop. With a better opening loop score, Bristow was able to
take another win, but just barely. Scorpa’s Alice Minta would finish in third with 34 points, with Beta’s Andrea sofia Rabino in fourth (36) and TRRS’s Huldeborg Barkved rounding out the top five (40). Maddie Hoover would keep very consistent loop scores (26, 25) to finish the day with 51 points, earning another top 10 finish (eighth).
TrialGP will return May 19th for round three in Japan.
1. Jaime Busto (GG)
2. Toni Bou (MON)
3. Gabriel Marcelli (MON)
4. Adam Raga (TRRS)
5. Aniol Gelabert (BET)
6. Matteo Grattarola (VER)
7. Jorge Casales (SCO)
8. Jeroni Fajardo (SHE)
9. Luca Petrella (GG)
10. Benoit Bincaz (SHE)
TRIALGP WOMEN STANDINGS:
1. Berta Abellan (SCO)
2. Emma Bristow (SHE)
3. Andrea Rabino (BET)
4. Naomi Monnier (GG)
5. Alice Minta (SCO)
6. Huldeborg Barkved (TRRS)
7. Alessia Bacchetta (GG)
8. Kaytlyn Adshead (TRRS)
9. Keity Meier (TRRS)
10. Maddie Hoover (GG)
2023 KTM 300 XC
2023 KTM 300 XC
2023 KTM 300 XC
FUEL-INJECTED FREIGHT TRAIN
No matter how gnarly the trail is, you’ll stay in complete control with the all-new 2023 KTM 300 XC. Amplified by low maintenance costs and smooth, linear power delivery, this new 300 cc 2-stroke powerhouse provides more choice for racers looking for maximum power at the least possible weight.
Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scene. Always wear protective safety gear and ride in a responsible manner. The illustrated vehicle may vary in selected details from the production models and may feature optional equipment available at additional cost.
UNWAVERINGPhoto: M. Emery www.kiska.com
GIRROIR WINS PEARLS POND FARM SPRINT ENDUROwords and photos by SHAN MOORE
US Sprint Enduro Series
April 8-9, 2023
Pearl’s Pond Farm
It was a fight to the finish, but Johnny Girroir came out on top of a two-day battle with RPM Racing
KTM’s Angus Riordan and Babbitts Online Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Lyndon Snodgrass, as the FMF/KTM rider got in the last punch to claim the overall win at this weekend’s Pearl’s Pond Farm Sprint Enduro, round five of the US Sprint Enduro Series Presented by Moose Racing in Arvonia, Virginia.
In all, Girroir won six of the twelve tests over the weekend and eventually topped Riordan by 28 seconds to take the win. The Connecticut rider also won both individual days, beating Riordan by just 1.4 seconds on Saturday.
Riordan went into the final test on Saturday with a 12-second lead over Girroir, but an unfortunate crash cost the Aussie 13 seconds and the KTM rider went down to defeat to Girroir.
“Yesterday was a nail-biter,” said Girroir. “Gus was ripping. He had
me by twelve seconds going into the last test. Unfortunately, he had a crash, and I kept it on two wheels and had my best enduro test of the day and took the overall by just a little bit. I came into today knowing that I had to go fast and it was the other Aussie that was going fast, Lyndon (Snodgrass). We had a good battle all the way down to the final test. Layne Michael was on it, too. He crushed that last enduro test that he got me by a second. We all finished super close. Going into the last enduro test, we were all seven seconds from each other, so it was really anyone’s race. One mistake and it could have been over. Just happy with a mistake-free weekend. Rode good and got it done.”
Riordan, who won three tests in total (all on Saturday) was second overall and first in the Pro 2 division, despite having a round day on Sunday. Riordan was second behind Girroir on Saturday, but finished fourth on Sunday.
“Yeah, I started off good, sort of feeling fairly comfortable and I think I had a twelve-second lead on the overall coming into the last test, but I just had a stupid little mistake, which cost me the overall,” said Riordan. “I hit a root. It was running diagonal across, parallel to the rut. I tried getting out of the rut earlier, and the rest is history. Today I was off the overall pace a little bit, but it was good. A bit sketchier but it was fun.”
Babbitt’s Online Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Lyndon Snodgrass, who was riding his first sprint enduro in two years, was third on Saturday and third on Sunday (behind Girroir and FXR/GasGas’ Layne Michael) for third overall for the weekend, three seconds behind Riordan.
“I started off a little slow after yesterday morning, but picked up the pace, although I wasn’t quite with Johnny or Gus,” said Snodgrass. “Today started off good. Got the first cross test win and then was sort of just a little bit off Johnny again today. But all in all, it was a good weekend of racing.”
Michael came on strong in the end, winning the final test of the event and putting himself into fourth overall for the weekend.
“I just kind of shifted my bike up a gear and just kind of smoothed out,” said Michael. “I think I was trying to be too aggressive in the beginning tests today. Yesterday I had a pretty good day overall. I just crashed in the last enduro test and kind of lost touch, but today was better. I obviously struggled a little bit in the first enduro test, but once I kind of figured out to shift the bike up a gear and let the bike do the work for me, it was a lot better.”
Phoenix Honda Racing’s Ruy Barbosa, of Chile, was second in the Pro 2 class with a fifth overall.
“Yesterday I started really good in the beginning, although I had a small crash in the cross test,” said Barbosa. “Today was a different day, more dry. I felt pretty good, but I need to improve with my speed in enduro test. I think I lost the race in enduro test.”
Barbosa’s Phoenix Honda Racing teammate Cody Barnes rounded out the Pro 2 podium with a sixth overall finish after getting off to a rough start.
“Saturday was rough for me,” admitted Barnes. “I just didn’t ride like myself and really struggled to find comfort and speed. Those guys put it to me Saturday. Today, I just kind of changed my mind set and changed some stuff on the setup for the bike. I kind of stiffened my stuff up and that made a big difference.”
Top ProAm rider was Precision Offroad Racing’s Dominik Morse in seventh overall. Fellow Husqvarna rider Jason Tino and Kawasakimounted Chase Colville were eighth and ninth, which rounded out the podium in the ProAm class. Meanwhile, Tely Energy Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM’s Ben Nelko rounded out the top 10 overall for the weekend.
Yamaha’s Zach Osborne made his return to racing after injuring his elbow early in the year, however, the AmPro Yamaha rider injured his ankle and DNFed the race to get it
checked out. “I think I’m okay,” said Osborne. “I just wanted to make sure for next weekend.”
Top Amateur was Zack Toth, who won the Open A division in 14th. “It was a good weekend,” said Toth. “It was probably the most fun track of the series this year. I was able to stay off the ground, for the most part and take home the win. It was a good weekend.”
In the Women’s Pro division, Enduro Engineering GasGas’ Mackenzie Tricker put a whoopin’ on the field, taking the overall win by three minutes after winning 11 of 12 tests.
“Honest to God, I’m kind of speechless,” said Tricker. “I know if I ride like I know how to, I don’t see why I shouldn’t ride like this all the time but it’s easier said than done. I just really tried to focus on being smooth and opening up my turns and riding a taller gear. Just coming from moto, I used to just ride second gear on the limiter all the time. My bike works a lot better in a taller gear. Honestly, just I had a little chip on my shoulder after getting hurt at the second round, so it kind of put me out of the championship for this series. So, I kind of wanted to come back for some redemption. So, I’m super happy. It’s Easter. It was a great weekend.”
On the flipside, AmPro Yamaha’s Rachel Archer had a weekend she’d rather forget about.
“It was a pretty rough weekend,” said Archer. “Day one was very slippery and you had to be patient. I had zero patience yesterday and crashed twice in the first test and again in the enduro. I was just struggling being smooth and Kenzie was smoking me. Then I finally won the last enduro test after I switched to an AT81 rear tire. Today I rode a lot better. I had sorted out my lines and stuff. Kenzie was just on rails all weekend and I couldn’t seem to figure out this track. So, on to the next one.”
Over and Out Racing’s Rachel Gutish rounded out the Women’s Pro podium.
In the Youth Divisions, Austin Tsakanikas was once again the overall winner for the weekend and first place in the Super Mini Senior (14-15) class. Tsakanikas beat out Caleb Johnson by six minutes and 21 seconds. Rylan McCullough finished third for the weekend.
Mason Tsakanikas went 3-1 to beat out Michael Meyer for the overall win in the Super Mini Junior class. Ryder Reick was third overall for the weekend.
Brenan Mazzola won the overall in the 85 Senior division by over six minutes. Tyler Yost was second overall, while Noah Hertzler was third overall.
Maddox Hudnall took a big win in the 85 Junior division ahead of Nathaniel Oswald and Nolan Hudson.
Rylan Roberts claimed his second overall win in a row in the 65 Senior class, beating out Dylan Yeckley and Maddix Wiggins.
Sisters Lola and Josie Grozbean fought it out in the Girls (10-16) division, with Lola getting the best of Josie for the win. Nicole Rupert was third.
In a repeat of the previous round, Colt Chaney topped Aubrey Tsakanikas and Mason Ramsey to win the 65 Junior class.
Maci Ryan got the win the Trail Bike class, beating out Ryder and Myla Stephens.
Maura Tsakanikas was tops in the 50 Senior (7-8) division, beating Oliver Stewart and James Dietrich for the overall win.
In the 50cc Junior division (4-6) Ryder Baricska beat Carson Zink and John Dietrich for the overall win. Zink was second, while Dietrich was third.
GRANT BAYLOR WINS BLACK BUFFALO NATIONAL ENDURO
words and photos by SHAN MOORE
2023 Magna1 Motorsports AMA
National Enduro Series presented by Moose Racing Round 3
April 23, 2023
Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Grant Baylor became the first multiple winner of the 2023 Magna1 Motorsports AMA National Enduro Series presented by Moose Racing, after topping his second race in the first three rounds at this weekend’s Black Buffalo National Enduro, round three of the series in Kingston, Arkansas.
Grant won four of the six tests and took the victory by 25 second ahead of Coastal Racing GasGas’ Ryder Lafferty.
“It was a good day,” said Grant. “It was my first time riding here and I didn’t really know what to expect. My brother, Stew, came out here early and got some riding done and he told me to put atrials tire on the
rear and I think that was the ticket. I just tried to stay consistent all day because the trail was super rocky and it could jump up and bite you real quick. I think I hit the ground two or three times. Just a couple little tip-overs, but it was a really good day.”
Lafferty crashed pretty good in the first test and again in the last test. “Other than that, it was a pretty good day,” said Lafferty. “I just tried to stay smooth and consistent.”
Lafferty changed things up a little bit and rode a 250 instead of his usual 350. “I’ve been riding the 250 for the GNCC’s and instead of switching back and forth, I figured this was a good race to try the 250 for an enduro. It worked out all right. We didn’t win, but close.”
Coastal Racing GasGas’ Ricky Russell finished third despite ripping his radiator off in test four.
“I like the rocks,” said Russell. “It was rocky and gnarly right off the get-go. I made a mistake the fourth test, and I busted up the radiator and had a big crash. I lost some time on that test, unfortunately, to Grant. Still rode okay, just lost some time with that big crash.”
Enduro Engineering GasGas’ Josh Toth, who won the previous round in Texas, was fourth at the new venue.
“I kind of struggled and went down, just dumb mistakes in the beginning of the day,” said Toth. I also had some big collisions with lappers. Just found myself on the ground or into people too often. Everyone else was riding super good, so it’s hard to make any kind of mistake and be competitive.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Craig DeLong struggled a bit with the rocky terrain, but still managed fifth overall.
“It was an okay day; I tried to stay off the ground but I didn’t quite do that,” said DeLong. “This was a new venue, so it was new to me and it turned out to be rockier than I expected."
FMF/KTM’s Ben Kelley was sixth in his first enduro back since breaking his leg at round one.
“It was an okay day. Just getting back to the enduros, trying to get back up to speed and get more comfortable reading the trail, just sending it,” said Kelley. “I just was a little uncomfortable all day. Maybe we had a bit too stiff of a setting, but kind of softened it up each test and felt like I slowly got more comfortable throughout the day. Just all in all, an okay day.”
Tely Energy Racing/Rocky Mountain
ATV/MC KTM’s Steward Baylor came into the race a little under the weather and settled for seventh.
“It was a rough day,” said Steward. “I just haven’t been able to stay healthy this year. Just stayed sick pretty much from round one this year. Epstein Barr will do that. I’ve been able to manage it in years past, but this year it just hasn’t been as easy.”
AmPro Yamaha’s Liam Draper, of New Zealand, was eighth and first in the NE Pro2 class.
“Test one started off awesome,” said Draper. “I felt super good from the world go, although they had to throw the test out. Other than that, I think I crashed every other test, but I still managed to ride good.”
KTM’s Will Sievenpiper and Trail Jesters Racing KTM’s Craig Davis rounded out the top 10 and were second and third, respectively, in the NE Pro2 class.
Enduro Engineering GasGas’ Mackenzie Tricker won three of the four tests in the Women’s Elite division, and beat Over and Out GasGas’ Rachel Gutish by just over four seconds.
“It was super rocky and technical,” said Tricker. “A little more rocky than I like, but I just tried to go as fast as I could and try not to crash. Unfortunately, I ended up crashing every test except test four. I thought I threw it away in test five. I kind of got stuck behind some people and then ended up going down, but it was good to get the win.”
Gutish won the other test, while Trail Jesters Racing KTM’s Kori Steede rounded out the podium.
Hunter Higginbotham (KTM) took the win in the Futures class ahead of Davin Shike and Brody Amos, both on Husqvarna’s.
The AMA National Enduro Series resumes action with the Dragon’s Back National Enduro on May 14th in Arrington, Virginia, for round four of the nine-round series.
1. Grant Baylor (Kaw)
2. Ryder Lafferty (GG)
3. Ricky Russell (Yam)
4. Josh Toth (GG)
5. Craig DeLong (Hsq)
6. Ben Kelley (KTM)
7. Steward Baylor (KTM)
8. Liam Draper (Yam)
9. Will Sievenpiper (KTM)
10. Craig Davis (KTM)
words and photos courtesy of BRIAN PIERCE
The 2023 Black Buffalo National Enduro was an experience for the record books. The Wilderness Buffalo Ranch gave us picturesque views of rolling hills that had the richest green grass and deepest blue skies. The peace and quiet we found atop our basecamp perch was accompanied by the rustling sounds of grazing Buffalo. Those sights lulled us into a sense of calm that would be quickly ripped away 100 yards into the first test of the day.
What you couldn’t see from our humbling vantage point were the 55 miles of rocks that awaited us racers. From the very beginning, it felt like I had decided to WD40 my tires because I enjoy that much suffering. The moss covered rocks in Test 1 were slick, stealing momentum while weighing heavy on my Sunday morning soul. As the day progressed, the single track hidden in these Central Arkansas hills flowed us up, over, and across all manor of rocky terrain. The trails
were reminiscent of Sargents, CO, a teeth-chattering experience that I would normally drive 14 hours for. But today, I was lucky enough to have only driven 6.
As if all the tree dodging, side-hilling, and rock ricochets weren’t enough for one day of racing, Test 6 put it all together to wrap the day in a proper enduro bow! All the A racers who stayed upright on the downhills to the start of the test were excited to see what we were about to be offered. The slick boulders we bounced our way through stole all
momentum, forcing us to leverage every ounce of energy left in our upper bodies. The Enduro Gods were smiling down on us this day, some with a pretty wide shit eating grin. Personally, I think the race should have had 10-15 more miles added to it somewhere throughout the day, but I enjoy those times where true attrition sets in. We need more National Enduros like this, where technical prowess on the bike breaks up the speed and pace of WFO trails.
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2023 MotoTrials Series Schedule
Eastern Series – Rounds 1 & 2 March 25 & 26
Webster, FL www.floridatrials.net
Western Series – Rounds 1 & 2 May 27 & 28
Canon City, CO www.rockymountaintrials.org
Western Series – Rounds 3 & 4 June 3 & 4
Tillamook, OR www.cotatrials.com
Eastern – Rounds 3 & 4 July 29 & 30
Exeter, RI www.ritrialsclub.com
Next Gen Youth Trials Fri & Sat at each event presented by OSET
2023 YOUTH NATIONALS
Western Youth Nationals, Kingman AZ (CAT), June 16‐18
Eastern Youth Nationals, Trials Training Center, June 30 - July 2
Ricky Russell Earns First Win in 2023
April 2, 2023
The Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, (GNCC Racing) concluded round four, Dunlop Tires Tiger Run, on Sunday April 2, 2023, in Union, South Carolina. The day saw sunny and warm conditions throughout the day, a very different scene from the previous round of racing.
As the green flag waved and the bikes fired up, it was Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Josh Strang grabbing the $250 All Balls Racing XC1 Holeshot Award. Yet it wouldn’t take AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell long to make his way into the early lead.
Russell would continue to hold the lead for the duration of the race, coming through to earn his first victory of the 2023 season. Behind Russell the positions were constantly changing throughout the three-hour race, but it would be Rocky Mountain/Tely Energy KTM Racing’s Steward Baylor making a last lap pass for the second place position after working his way up front from a fifth place start to the day. Magna1 Motorsports/ Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn would cross the line in third overall, rounding out the podium, after running second for majority of the race.
As he came through scoring in ninth on the opening lap, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig DeLong would battle his way towards the front only to crash and work his way back up through the pack. DeLong would go back-andforth between third and fourth for the last couple of laps, ultimately coming through fourth to finish the day.
After making a mistake early in the race FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Ben Kelley would find himself working his way up for majority of the race. Kelley would end up fifth overall on the day, maintaining his second place position in the points standings.
Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/
Kawasaki Team Green’s Josh Strang would come through third on lap one after earning the holeshot, but he would have a setback on lap two forcing him to battle towards the middle of the pack for most of the race. Strang would come through sixth overall at the fourth round of racing. FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Jonathan Girroir would finish seventh on the day after a rough start put him at the back of the pack. Girroir would continue to push for the duration of the race, as he continues to improve each week.
Making his way up to eighth overall after an eleventh place start to the day in his home state of South Carolina was the Babbitt’s Online/ Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green-backed racer, Grant Baylor. Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Thad Duvall would have an up-anddown day as he continued to push, crossing the line ninth in XC1 and 14th overall.
Rounding out the top 10 in XC1 was GASGAS/FXR/Scott Goggle’s Layne Michael. However, Michael was only able to complete three of the laps and was forced to push his bike back to his pit area. Michael was having a great run, coming through second and then in the third place position before his machine quit.
As the XC2 250 Pro class took off it was Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Mason Semmens grabbing the $250 Steel City Men’s Clinic Holeshot
Award, however the racing action behind him was heating up as the racers made their way through the woods on the opening lap. AmPro Yamaha’s Liam Draper would hold the early lead, but he would soon have Phoenix Racing Honda’s Ruy Barbosa right behind him ready to make a pass for the lead.
Barbosa would make a pass for the lead, but he would find himself engaged in a heated battle with Draper for majority of the race as the two swapped the lead position back-and-forth. Barbosa’s teammate, Phoenix Racing Honda’s Cody Barnes would enter the mix upfront and make a pass for the lead later in the race. Barnes would hold the lead for two laps, but a mistake on the last lap would let Barbosa make the pass stick for the first place position. As they emerged from the woods it would be Barbosa coming through to earn his first-ever XC2 class win. Barnes would finish second, with Draper coming through to round out the XC2 top three.
Current points leader FMF RPM KTM Racing’s Angus Riordan would finish fifth on the day, as the defending champion Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Lyndon Snodgrass had a rough day coming through seventh in class. The Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ryder Lafferty, XC2 class front-runner earlier this season, would suffer from mechanical issues through the day.
In the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class it would be Beaver Creek Cycles/Bells Electric/Wossner Pistons’ Toby Cleveland battling his way up through the pack to take home his third win of the season and extend his points lead in the class. Hall’s Cycles/Enduro Engineering/ Moose Racing’s Jhak Walker would make his way onto the podium once again as he came through second in the class. Carolina XC/Moose Racing/ KTM’s Zack Hayes would round out the top three in the FMF XC3 class on the day. FXR/X Brand Goggles/6D Helmet’s Dakoda Devore would earn the $100 Lojak Cycle Sales XC3 Holeshot Award to start the race.
Earning the Tiger Run Top Amateur honor was Michael Delosa who came through 18th overall, and first in the 250 A class. Coming through second on the Top Amateur podium was second place 250 A finisher, Jason Tino who came through 20th overall, while Joseph Cunningham rounded out the Top Amateur podium and 250 A top three finishers on the day. Cunningham would come through 24th overall.
When the WXC class took off for the morning race it was GASGAS/Over and Out/RG Factory Racing’s Rachel Gutish
jumping off the line to grab the $100 Trail Jesters WXC Holeshot Award. However, when the pack of racers came through timing and scoring on the opening lap it was Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Korie Steede leading the way.
However, it would not take long for AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer to close the gap and make the pass into the lead position. Archer would continue to push and place a gap over the field, crossing the line first and earning her second win of the season while taking over the points lead in the class after four rounds of racing.
GASGAS/Over and Out/RG
Factory Racing’s Rachel Gutish would continue to push, coming through to earn second in the class. Rounding out the WXC podium was KTM/FXR/Enduro
Engineering’s Shelby Turner as she battled her way up to third as the white flag came out. Turner would put her head down and push, earning her first podium finish of the season. Unfortunately for Steede, she would fall back to third and fourth before being unable to take the checkered flag due to a mechanical issue.
XC1 PRO EVENT RESULTS:
1. Ricky Russell (YAM)
2. Steward Baylor (KTM)
3. Jordan Ashburn (HQV)
4. Craig DeLong (HQV)
5. Ben Kelley (KTM)
6. Josh Strang (KAW)
7. Jonathan Girroir (KTM)
8. Grant Baylor (KAW)
9. Thad Duvall (GAS)
10. Layne Michael (GAS)
OVERALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
1. Steward Baylor (98)
2. Ben Kelley (92)
3. Craig DeLong (85)
4. Ricky Russell (69)
5. Jordan Ashburn (64)
6. Grant Baylor (55)
7. Josh Strang (53)
8. Angus Riordan (43)
9. Ruy Barbosa (40)
10. Lyndon Snodgrass (38)
RUY BARBOSA TAKES OVERALL WIN AT PROMISED LAND MX
words and photos SHAN MOORE
US Sprint Enduro Series
April 29-30, 2023
FMF/KTM’s Johnny Girroir wrapped the US Sprint Enduro Series Championship
Presented by Moose Racing in the Pro class one race early with a second overall finish at this weekend’s Promised Land MX US Sprint Enduro, round six of the US Sprint Enduro Series in Oldtown, Maryland, however, it was Chile’s Ruy Barbosa who took the overall win on his Phoenix Racing Honda in very difficult conditions.
During the two-day event, Saturday was a free-for-all, as four riders went into the final test with a legitimate chance to win the day but it was RPM Racing’s Angus Riordan who came from behind to take the victory by .6 seconds over Phoenix Honda Racing’s Cody Barnes, both Pro 2 riders – quite different circumstances from the previous race. At the previous race in Virginia, Riordan held a 12-second lead going into the final test and threw it away when he took a nasty crash. This weekend, he entered Saturday’s final test trailing
Barnes by four seconds but emerged the victor by .6 seconds. Four riders stood within five seconds of each other entering the final test.
“The final enduro course was getting really rutted and it was really rocky with a lot of exposed roots and in that last time through I just slowed it up a bit and rode smooth and I think I actually went faster,” said Riordan. “I just got outside of the main lines and tried to square everything up and be smooth.”
Current Pro-class points leader, FMF/KTM’s Johnny Girroir, was fourth overall on Saturday, but first Pro rider and that was more than enough to wrap up the series title.
“It’s good to get the title out of the way,” said Girroir. “I was probably riding a little too cautious in the beginning. I was 1.2-seconds down going into that last test and I missed a line and got sideways in the rocks and they got me. I think I missed the overall by 4 seconds today, which is nothing. There’s still lots of racing tomorrow. The title is the main objective, and we got that. It feels good to get it wrapped up and I can relax tomorrow. It looks like it’s gonna be muddy.”
Indeed, rain all night and through the morning left Sunday’s course a slippery mess forcing the day to be shortened to four tests instead of six.
On Sunday, Barbosa won three of the four tests (two cross tests and one enduro test), to take the day win plus the overall win for the weekend, not to mention winning the Pro 2 division.
“Today was a really different day because all last night and this morning it was raining,” said Barbosa. “I was just smart with the lines and got a good gap on the guys. I was on a 250 but I fight with the bike and I fight with the track and I get a good time and I win. I was riding really smart on the bike.”
Girroir was second on Sunday, followed by Riordan and Barnes.
“The enduro test was pretty tough,” said Girroir. “I rode conservatively, maybe too conservatively, but we had the title and that’s what matters.”
Overall, the order was Barbosa first overall, with Girroir in second, Riordon in third and Barnes in fourth.
Husqvarna rider Gavin Simon was fifth overall and top ProAm rider. “I feel like I’m a mud rider and I just held it open all weekend and hoped for the best. I kind of zig-zagged across the ruts and just went for it,” said Simon.
The next four riders were ProAm riders, Jason Tino (Hsq), Precision Offroad Racing’s Dominik Morse, Cole Forbes (KTM) and Tyler Braniff (Yam).
Sam Forrester (Hsq) was the top Open A rider in 10th overall. AmPro Yamaha’s Zach Osborne was 11th overall.
Jeff Leatherwood was the top B rider.
Over and Out Racing’s Rachel Gutish won the Pro Women’s division by over a minute ahead of Am Pro Yamaha’s Rachel Archer.
“I had a really strong ride this weekend, it was very technical and that is my strong point,” said Gutish. “There was a rock garden and a lot of roots and I felt comfortable in those conditions. I felt I made up a lot of time in those areas and considering the amount of rain we got, I think it was a case of Archer having a lot of problems.”
Gutish won three of the four tests on Sunday and four of the six tests on Saturday.
In the Youth Divisions, rising star
Austin Tsakanikas was once again the overall Youth winner for the weekend and first place in the Super Mini Senior (14-15) class, taking the victory on Saturday by almost three minutes over Austin Bittinger, with Tyler Yost another seven minutes back in third. Tsakanikas cleaned house on Sunday as well, winning, by two and a half seconds over over Austin Bittenger to claim the overall. Austin frazier was third on Sunday.
Tsakanikas also rode in the afternoon and took top amateur B results.
Mason Tsakanikas topped Ryan Smith by 2.7 minutes on Saturday to win the Super Mini Junior (1213 division) and then returned on Sunday to top Yost again for the overall with Trace Yost finishing third.
Brenan Mazzola beat Logan Shafer by almost three minutes to win the 85 Sr (12-15) division in the dry on Saturday, On Sunday, in the mud, Mazzola was first ahead of Shafer with Daniel Moore in third,
Brody Boland topped the 85 Junior division on Saturday by 1:41 minutes over Noland Hudson with Nathaniel Oswald in third, another four seconds back. On Sunday, in the rain, it was Broland, Oswald and Hudson, giving Broland the overall.
Rylan Roberts topped Rylan Engle on Saturday to top the 65 Senior class by nearly nine minutes, with Donnie Ryan another three-anda-half minutes back. On Sunday, the results came in the same order, Roberts, Engle and Ryan,
Lola Grozbean took a big win over Nicole Rupert by 22 seconds to win Saturday’s Girls (10-16) division, while Kate Ansley rode hard to finish third another two minutes back. On Sunday, Lola took the win again over Rupert, but this time Josie Grozbean was third.
In the 65 Junior class, Colt Chaney topped Aubrey Tsakanikas on Saturday with Mason Ramsey in third, Sunday was an exact duplicate of Saturday’s results.
The Trail Bike class is growing and on Saturday, Jackson Mackenzie took the win over Eli Ketterling and Jaxon Bittinger. On Sunday,Gavin Frazier took then win over Mackenzie with Ketterling in third. In one of of the largest morning classes, the 50 Senior (7-8) division, James Dietrich took Saturday’s win over Oliver Stewart and Maura Tsakanikas. On Sunday, Tsakanikas came on strong to get the win over
The 50cc Junior division (4-6) class was a battle between Carson Zink and John Dietrich, with Zink getting the win. On Sunday, Zind won agina with Dietrich in second and Gracelyn Bunch finishing third.
The US Sprint Enduro Series resumes action on May 27-28 for the High Voltage Sprint Enduro in Dilliner, Pennsylvania, for round seven of the series.
1. Ruy Barbosa (Hon)
2. Johnny Girroir (KTM)
3. Angus Riordon (KTM)
4. Cody Barnes (Hon)
5. Gavin Simon (Hsq)
6. Jason Tino (Hsq)
7. Dominik Morse (Hsq)
8. Cole Forbes (KTM)
9. Tyler Braniff (Yam)
10. Sam Forrester (Hsq)
GRANT BAYLOR EARNS HIS FIRST WIN OF 2023 SEASON
words courtesy of KAYLA BOLTON
photos KEN HILL
April 16, 2023
Society Hill, SC
Round five, the FMF Camp Coker Bullet, of the 2023 Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, (GNCC Racing) concluded Sunday, April 16 at Moree’s Sportsman’s Preserve in Society Hill, South Carolina. GNCC Racing saw its fifth different winner in just five races, with Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Grant Baylor battling to earn his first win since the 2021 season.
As the race got underway, it was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig DeLong jumping off the line first to grab the $250 All Balls Racing XC1 Open Pro Holeshot Award and the early lead as the racers headed into the woods. DeLong would continue to lead the way, but Baylor would begin to reel him in and by the five lap mark would make the pass for the lead. DeLong would continue to push, but Baylor would put his head down and try to place a gap between the two. Baylor came through to the checkered flag with a 36 second gap back to DeLong would hold onto second overall on the day in South Carolina.
FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Ben Kelley came through fourth on the opening lap but would soon make his way into third on the second lap. From there Kelley would remain for the duration of the race. Kelley continued to push through the challenging conditions, but he was ultimately unable to catch Baylor and DeLong at the front. Kelley now takes over the points lead in the National Championship standings.
Defending Champion and Magna1 Motorsports/Husqvarna-backed racer, Jordan Ashburn would battle throughout the day, finishing just shy of the podium in fourth in the XC1 Open Pro class and fifth overall on the day. Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Josh Strang would come through after working his way up from an eighth place start to round out the top five in the XC1 Open Pro class at the FMF Camp Coker Bullet.
After getting off to a good start in South Carolina, AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell would come through in second on the first couple of laps. On the third lap Russell would fall back to fifth and then sixth where he would remain for the remainder of the race. The FMF/KTM Factory Racing-backed rider, Jonathan Girroir would move up through the field after a 10th place start to the day. After a small injury set him back before the race, he pushed through the pain to finish seventh in the XC1 class.
Unfortunately for Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/Tely Energy KTM Racing’s Steward Baylor, he was only able to complete four laps after having to return to his pits for a bike issue that seemed to linger, ultimately ending his day earlier than expected. As for his teammate, Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/Tely Energy KTM Racing’s Benjamin Nelko, he would have a great start to the day but as he headed out onto the third lap would suffer a leg injury ending his race as well. Both GASGAS/FXR/Scott Goggle’s Layne Michael and Canada KTM Racing’s Alexandre Gougeon would also only complete one lap in South Carolina at the fifth round of racing.
Coming through to earn his secondstraight XC2 250 Pro class win was Phoenix Racing Honda’s Ruy Barbosa. Barbosa would get a good jump off the line, behind Phoenix Racing Honda’s Mike Witkowski who snagged the $250 Steel City Men’s Clinic XC2 Holeshot Award. Barbosa would remain in the lead for the remainder of the race, virtually unchallenged by the rest of the XC2 field. Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Mason Semmens would battle his way through the class as he came through seventh on the opening lap. Semmens would steadily pick off the riders and make a last lap pass to take over second place in the class.
Phoenix Racing Honda’s Cody Barnes would have his work cut out
for him as he had to battle with Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ryder Lafferty for the last couple of laps for the final podium position. Barnes would be able to hold off Lafferty, coming through to round out the podium with Lafferty in fourth. FMF/RPM KTM Racing’s Angus Riordan would battle back from a 10th place start on the day to round out the XC2 250 Pro top five finishers.
In the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class it was Hall’s Cycles/Enduro
Engineering/Moose Racing’s Jhak Walker jumping off the line first to grab the $100 Lojak Cycle Sales XC3 Holeshot Award. However, it would not take long for Beaver Creek Cycles/Bells
Electric/Wossner Piston’s Toby Cleveland to put the pressure on Walker and make a pass for the lead on the opening lap. Cleveland would come through timing and scoring first, and he would remain there for the duration of the race. Walker would remain in second for the entire three-hour race as Carolina
XC/Moose Racing/KTM’s Zack Hayes would battle back in third to round out the FMF XC3 class podium.
Earning the Camp Coker Bullet Top Amateur Honors was 250 A racer, Brayden Nolette as he came through to earn 17th overall and his class win. Nick DeFeo would
earn the 4-Stroke A Lites class win and come through 18th overall to sit second on the Top Amateur podium. Earning second in the 4-Stroke A Lites was Caleb Baltimore as he came through to earn third on the Top Amateur podium with a 19th place finish.
As the WXC class took off it was Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Korie Steede grabbing the $100 Trail Jesters WXC Holeshot Award and the early lead. Steede would continue to hold the lead for the first two laps of the race, but she would have company from both AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer and GASGAS/Over and Out/RG Factory
Racing’s Rachel Gutish as the race wore on. Archer would make the pass stick for the lead, with Gutish tailing behind her making the pass on Steede as well to take over second in the WXC class. Archer would push for the remaining two laps, with Gutish running behind her and Steede holding onto third as they crossed the finish line.
XC1 PRO EVENT RESULTS:
1. Grant Baylor (KAW)
2. Craig DeLong (HQV)
3. Ben Kelley (KTM)
4. Jordan Ashburn (HQV)
5. Josh Strang (KAW)
6. Ricky Russell (YAM)
7. Jonathan Girroir (KTM)
8. Steward Baylor (KTM)
9. Benjamin Nelko (KTM)
10. Layne Michael (GAS)
OVERALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
1. Ben Kelley (113)
2. Craig DeLong (110)
3. Steward Baylor (98)
4. Grant Baylor (85)
5. Jordan Ashburn (80)
6. Ricky Russell (78)
7. Josh Strang (68)
8. Ruy Barbosa (58)
9. Angus Riordan (54)
10. Cody Barnes (50)
Rocketing into '23
Success breeds success, or so it’s said. Certainly, AHRMA’s MidAtlantic (MA) region hopes this to be true in 2023 as it conjures yet another improvement to the race program to build upon recent season’s successes. Building on the introduction of a three-race crosscountry (CC) format a few years ago, the MA team brought two new approaches to the schedule last season; the addition of several twoday events to optimize the travel-tofun ratio, and the incorporation of a motocross (MX) series intertwined in the typical ten-round CC series. Each of these iterative innovations were a gamble, and sure to encounter an occasional struggle at the outset but have proven to be wildly successful as the series once again experienced growth through the ’22 season. Changes formulated for the coming season look to build on recent momentum by expanding the full-weekend format and the breadth of both the MX and CC series. If you factor in cooperative events with the neighboring Northeast region, every round of the 2023 schedule can be enjoyed for an entire weekend. The vast majority of the events will be formatted with MX one day and CC the next, while the event count increases to ten and twelve respectively.
All the preamble leads us to round one, where the opening statement gets put to the test. As per tradition, Rocket MX in Three Springs, Pennsylvania gets the call to host the opening round. But, with the new format this is the first time that the vintage racing crowd would settle into the facility for an extended stay and the first time they would get a chance to rip around the gorgeous MX circuit housed on the property. As the pit area began to fill with trucks, RVs, trailers, a rainbow of two-wheeled eye candy, and friends reunited after the offseason, the excitement was building toward the first gate drop Saturday morning.
As riders headed to sign up Saturday morning, descending the hill from the main pit area toward the office building, the scene of the track crew working hard to prep the course for the day’s action was a beautiful sight. The track lies in a shallow valley, with the foreground and most distant part of the circuit at the highest elevation with a continuous rise parallel to the valley throughout the center. The facility uses this elevation change to great effect with the route snaking back and forth in wide sweeping turns over the mound where impressive tabletop jumps live on each ridge. In fact, while a fully modern MX course, Rocket MX incorporates a majority of vintage friendly tabletop obstacles rather than larger gaps. Of course, a few double and triple jumps do exist,
with several riders able to execute an uphill double heading toward the finish line, while the steepest triple jump was bypassed in the name of safety.
Sadly, another sight that couldn’t be missed on the stroll to sign up was the looming dark clouds which ultimately would not be denied as they unleashed a brief but intense downpour right before the scheduled rider’s meeting. Practice was delayed for approximately an hour to wait out the rain, but there would be no avoiding the mud once bikes hit the track. Practice and early motos encountered very slick conditions with several inches of slop coating the entire surface and ruts migrating continuously as each bike carved its own path; often times making a straightaway into a series of random, meandering esses. Track-owner Corey Noll and his track crew had assured the crowd that he preemptively groomed the course in anticipation of the rain and was certain the track would improve as the day progressed. As dominant lines formed in the turns, a few spots started to show dry ground beneath the upper layer. Toward the end of moto one races, the entire track began to tack up quite well. The composition of the ground was quite extraordinary as it dried and began clinging to boots and tires like freshly chewed Juicy Fruit to the carpet of your new car. I can imagine the moisture retention
properties of this mixture are a huge benefit in controlling dust on drier days than this. As moto one came to an end, Corey and team worked some wizardlevel magic with the heavy equipment, because as moto two commenced, that track was near prime. Watching the second half action, it was obvious that the smile quotient per rider increased dramatically redeeming the day and making the event as successful as can be hoped given the conditions.
While Saturday was impacted by the rain, with recent dry conditions in the region, Sunday’s CC course was in dire need of that moisture, and by the time the morning’s vintage race took the green flag, the earth had absorbed the rain to create conditions so heavenly a top fuel dragster could hook up in the loam. Considering Rocket has been the longest tenured event on the MA schedule, the trails here are often familiar, fun, and well established, with a juggling of direction and connection each year to keep it interesting. MA regional coordinator Dave Kutskel and volunteers added a few fresh cut sections of singletrack this year for variety and to bypass some beat up areas from prior action.
From the start area adjacent to the pits, the riders enter a relatively rockstrewn portion of woods which quickly transitions to flowier singletrack headed toward lower elevation and a twisting grass track section where some fun passing opportunities are presented while testing the flexibility of
your throttle hand. Shooting back into the woods after a rumble of small whoops exiting the grasstrack, the course settles into a groove of great twisting trails with plenty of elevation changes, off-cambers, roots, and a particularly sweet section of undulating trail with multiple lane choices on the edge of the property shadowing Starr Road. Toward the end of the nearly five-mile trek, the course navigates two “better hope your (drum) brakes are working” downhills before approaching the spectator-lined infamous Rocket hillclimb. While there is a fun bailout path to the right, the climb is equally fun and far quicker if executed properly. With the great traction on this day, plenty of riders were able to tackle the hill’s various lines with gusto. A cool up/ down corkscrew followed and led the riders into the last bit of trail prior to the scoring tent.
On this weekend, success breeds success appears to be true, as the participant count was solid on the MX gate and in the rows of all three CC races. Despite the poor weather to kick off the first day’s action, the overall vibe of the weekend experience was exceedingly positive. With a solid ’23 schedule packed with action and cool venues; the anticipation is the success will continue! However, one negative to the weekend that everyone hopes will not continue is an unusual glut of injuries that struck several riders.
Thankfully the MA family has plenty of quick reacting and selfless racers and medical teams that jumped into motion to help those in need. Best wishes on a speedy return to health and action for Carol Bailey, Sarah Huth, Jim Reitz, and Keith Folmar. Recent news suggests all will be just fine with a variety of recovery plans and duration. Obvious thanks to those folks that helped these riders, and thanks to the tireless army of volunteers that push the MA series to new heights each year. Undoubtedly, much appreciation is also directed toward the sponsors of the series Potomac Vintage Riders, Preston Petty Products, Stainless Cycle, Grove Printing, KMI Printing, Horizon Homes, and new to the MX sponsorship side, M3One.
Please visit www.ahrma.org/ahrmamid-atlantic-region to see the results for the entire weekend and the upcoming schedule to make plans to join us!