Welcome to The Weekly Dirt, the place to go each Wednesday to catch up on the latest happenings in the realm of off-road motorcycling. This week, it’s a wrap for the Enduro series and Motocrossers Gone Wild.
The Rekluse/AMA National Enduro Series wrapped up its 2011 season in Upland, Indiana, this past weekend, concluding one of the most exciting championship battles in some time. Russell Bobbitt and Charlie Mullins came into the race separated by a single point in the series standings, which meant that the title would be decided at the final race with all the marbles going to whichever rider finished ahead of the other. Bobbitt decided to make a last minute change, adding a 300cc kit to his KTM 250 XC, which he felt gave him an edge in Indiana. At the end of the day, Bobbitt won every test and finished off the 65-mile race over a minute faster than Mullins to take the win and the title, his fourth in the past six years.
Nick Fahringer has had a surprising year, winning three-straight national enduro rounds after switching from his four-stroke Husaberg FE450 to the two-stroke FE300 near the end of the year. His final win came while riding with a torn ACL, which he recently had surgery on to repair. ‘Ringer was at the Indiana race cheering on teammate Michael Lafferty and to renew his contract with KTM/Husaberg team manager Antti Kallonen after the race. Fahringer says he’s not about to hurt his chances of a full recovery by getting back on the bike too early, but you can bet he will be in the saddle come the opening round of the 2012 series in January.
Plenty of stuff going on in the world of motocross/supercross, and perhaps the most notable is the not-so-surprising announcement that Ryan Dungey has signed with KTM. Some think it’s a bold move by Dungey, but money talks in this industry and, for sure, the well-mannered Minnesotan wanted to be reunited with Roger DeCoster. “The Man” took a chance on Dungey when he was an unknown Amateur a few years ago, and perhaps Dungey is returning the favor. Should make for an exciting year. In the meantime, Andrew Short and Honda were reunited after Shorty’s a one-year stint with KTM via a contract with the new Larry Brooks/Jeremy McGrath team. Meanwhile, Justin Brayton left Joe Gibbs Racing for the factory Honda team. This begs the question, “where will James Stewart end up?” Some theorize he will go to JGR to ride a yellow bike, along with Brett Metcalfe, but that’s another one of those rumors.