Wow, what a wild few weeks we’ve had. It’s been a while since I’ve been at home to write the 411 and it’s nice to be able to sit down and kind of reflect over what’s gone down since this season has started. This time last year all the buzz was about the two consecutive GNCCs that were rained out, but this year the buzz is about riders and teams parting ways. Neither are great headlines, but at least this season so far it seems like the riders that lost riders or left for the most part of landed on their feet, which is definitely a good thing.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that is still wrapping his head around the dominating performance but in by Rory Mead at the Mammoth GNCC. Rory showed up on the KTM 300 XC 2-stroke that he broke out for the Steele Creek GNCC but had a lackluster performance finishing 11th and off of the lead lap. We’ve seen some riders struggle switching back and forth between bikes (Charlie Mullins in last year’s Enduros and GNCCs comes to mind) so I was kind of curious that Rory went back to the 2-stroke for the race. The conditions did become rather technical and gnarly in some spots, but given the way he rode I’d say he would’ve won on either the 350 or the 300, he was just the best rider that day, period. The win is massive for Rory for sure and equally as huge for the entire WMR team who will definitely like having a podium and a win (with the possibility of more on the way) when pitching sponsors for the 2013 season.
It was good to see Chris Bach’s debut on the Obermeyer Yamaha YZ450F go pretty darn well considering the very little time he had on the bike. Chris is keeping things realistic right now regarding his results, but I saw him ride last night on the bike at a small moto track and he looked pretty darn comfortable. Bach is planning on hitting the MidEast race this weekend to see if the suspension testing he did during the week with JGR has him on the right track. I know he’s wanting to put in a solid result next weekend in his home state but at the same time realizes there is a learning curve with a new bike.
Speaking of new bikes and learning curves, how about FAR/Husqvarna’s new acquisition Nick Davis finishing a solid 4th-place in his debut for the team? I know a lot of people were questions Fred Andrews’ decision to add Nick to the team but after that ride Freddy is looking pretty smart! I had never really talked to Nick before last weekend but he is a really nice kid and super stoked to get the opportunity to ride for a team.
Davis’ teammate Andrew DeLong seems to be on the right track landing his second podium in a row and battling for the lead with Steward Baylor for the majority of the race. Baylor was fighting a sprained wrist but I think with DeLong still recovering from his broken collarbone and collapsed lung we saw closer to an even playing field. Steward has a really healthy points lead right now (45 points) and unless something crazy happens he’ll more than likely win his second straight XC2 title but it would be nice to see some guys like DeLong make him earn it!
Not to stay on the Husky train too long, but as I’m sure most of you have seen, Ricky Dietrich and the CH/Husqvarna team have officially parted ways for this year’s World Enduro Championship. There had been rumors for the past few weeks about this happening and the official release finally came out this week stating it was the case. The timing is kind of ironic as Racer X has a feature in its latest issue about how Dietrich had turned his life around and was back on the right track, which doesn’t appear to be the case after all.
The EnduroCross series kicks off this evening in Las Vegas. It’s unfortunate that it’s scheduled on the same weekend as a National Enduro as we’re flying to Louisiana in the morning to cover that but we should have some EX coverage for you next week from our man Ben Baucum. If you’re wanting to know what’s going on you can check out their live timing and scoring here: http://endurocross.tracksideresults.com/liveresults.asp
Josh Strang will be making his EnduroCross debut tonight on a KTM 350 for the RPM/FMF/KTM Team Maxxis. Strang has been able to put in a bit of practice the last week but is coming in with his expectations low which is understandable.
That’s it for me this week, time to pack up for my 6:30am flight tomorrow morning! I’ll do my best to Tweet updates from the National Enduro but I have no idea what cell service is like there. Happy Cinco de Mayo!
One last little tidbit, as far as we can tell Rory Mead’s GNCC overall win was the first 2-stroke overall since Nate Kanney’s win at the 2008 Ironman GNCC aboard a KTM 300. If any of you history buffs can prove me wrong, let me know! For all of you that love the sweet sound of a 2-stroke, check out this video of Kanney’s win back in 2008: