Sumter, SC: The riders and fans could not have asked for a more beautiful day to start off the first round of the AMA National Enduro Series. The weather was sunny with temperatures in the mid 50′s as the riders geared up to tackle the course.Defending National Enduro Champion Mike Lafferty took the early lead in the first of four special tests on the course. Lafferty’s Red Bull KTM teammate and runner-up in last year’s championship chase, Russell Bobbitt, came into the first check only 2 seconds off of Lafferty’s time. It was evident the two teammates were embarking on another year as each other’s toughest competitor.The two continued to push each other through the sandy course. Soon it was the end of the second 20 mile special test. Unbelievably, both riders tied. Now with the course half way complete, only 2 seconds separated the hard charging Red Bull KTM teammates.As the day progressed, the course became increasingly more rough and challenging for the riders. Lafferty finished in a good time at the third check point. Bobbitt was not as fortunate and lost approximately 40 seconds to Lafferty when he got lost on the loop.The fourth and final test began and Bobbitt, eager to catch back up, was on the gas putting in his best run of the day. Lafferty was holding his own on the fourth test until he crashed. Lafferty was unharmed and remounted his bike to continue on to the finish. Bobbitt won the final test 15 seconds ahead of Lafferty.Although Bobbitt’s last minute charge was a valiant effort, it was not enough to win the overall for the day. Lafferty, the eight-time National Enduro Champion, took the overall, by less than a minute over Bobbitt making it a great day for the Red Bull KTM Team. “I’m excited to come out on top,” declared Lafferty at the finish. He continued, “Russell (Bobbitt) rode strong through the whole race, pushing me the whole way. With him and the other tough competitors here (some who came from the GNCC circuit), I am proud that I was able to take this win.”Look for more exciting battles as the series continues on February 24 in Greensboro, GA for the second round of the National Enduro Series.