Photos by Justin Kosman
Hailing from the soggy trails of Jefferson, GA, the four-time AMA National Enduro Champion Russell Bobbitt flew into sunny (and dry) California recently to help photomodel on Dirt Rider’s 2013 Husaberg 300 TE, the same model he is currently racing. In the 2013 National Enduro series, Bobbitt has only finished off the podium once (as of press time) and is really showing his speed and dedication. He is also contending the OMA Nationals and has dominated both rounds of that series and looks forward to even more victories.
Dirt Rider: First off, how do you like riding out here on the dry and dusty California trails?
Russell Bobbitt: It’s fun, man. I never get to ride anything like this in Georgia. Plus I never get to just ride for fun, it’s usually testing and practicing so, being out here is great.
DR: How’s the National Enduro series going for you?
RB: It’s going good. This year we got a couple different venues and it’s a little bit different than last year’s series, but everything’s been going well so far. I get my bike working better at each round. We’ve really been able to dial in for different conditions. And I think my consistency is what is keeping me in the second spot right now. I’m still searching to get the first win – I was really close in Texas, like, six seconds away from the lead.
DR: What about the Texas round made it a good race for you?
RB: It was actually a really good race for me, especially considering I generally struggle there. But I think the bike, this year, worked extremely well and I was riding it better than normal, it seemed like. We really nailed the bike setup on tires and everything, and it things were just clicking for me.
DR: What are you doing, practice or setup wise, for the new and different rounds this year?
RB: We do have some of the rockiest runs coming up in the near future and we are doing some more testing on suspension and tires before that just to really come up with the best setting that we can have. The team will be behind me with that and WP [suspension] will be helping out with what we need to do to get some wins.
DR: You’re also racing the OMA Nationals, which are a little different than the Enduro races, correct?
RB: Yeah, it’s typically a Midwest series, kind of in the northern part of the Midwest. I won the first two rounds there. Kailub Russell joined the series this year and we’ve always had Paul Whibley and Nick Fahringer so we’ve got some good competition. It’s a pretty cool series, you know, I really like riding it. Bill Gusse, the promoter, puts in a lot of technical single track that really challenges, not just the average rider, but the pro riders as well and makes for some interesting racing.
DR: So, you prefer the tight, technical terrain?
RB: Yeah. You know, I grew up riding tight single track. I think it’s one of my specialties. I seem to do the best when it gets one lined and I just pin it while I read the trail.
DR: While we were riding yesterday, I heard you mention that you couldn’t hit things as hard with your back wheel as you were used. Is that because you typically run bib mousse inserts or are you just not used to California high desert rocks?
RB: Yes, we run the foam inserts, which I’ve actually been running for the last six years. When we where out riding yesterday it was one of the first things I noticed. I was like, “OH! I can’t go and just hit these rocks dead on like that.” I’m pretty sure I was really close to getting a flat within the first quarter mile. We have to run those just to make sure that we finish races, we just can’t afford to get a flat.
DR: Who would you like to thank?
RB: I just want to thank my sponsors, Husaberg USA, SIDI Boots, Troy Lee Helmets, Scott Goggles, Cyclenano, Dunlop, FMF, Motorex, and Enduro Engineering.
For more on Russell Bobbitt check out his blog at www.russellbobbitt.wordpress.com and for more on the series he’s contending go to www.nationalenduro.comwww.unitedoffroadracing.com.”> and www.unitedoffroadracing.com.