2019 Cajun Classic National Enduro Race Report

Despite recovering from reconstructive shoulder surgery, Grant Baylor won big at round 3

Grant Baylor races at the National Enduro Race Report
After the race, Grant Baylor talked about the status with his shoulder injury. “In Florida, I wasn’t really 100 percent,” Grant said. “I would say I was more like 70 percent. This weekend, I’d say I’m closer to 95 percent—still not 100, but we’re getting there. It’s awesome to be back up in the center of the box.”Shan Moore

Grant Baylor made it three different winners in three races with his come-from-behind victory at round 3 of the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series in Forest Hill, Louisiana. The Tely Energy Racing KTM rider got off to a slow start at the Cajun Enduro, turning in the fifth-fastest time in the first test of the day, which was won by Gnarly Routes Racing KTM's Russell Bobbitt. However, after finishing second to Bobbitt in test two, Grant picked up the pace in a major way and won the remaining four tests to claim the overall win. The win was somewhat of a surprise since Grant is still recovering from reconstructive surgery during the off-season to repair his injured shoulder.

“The race started out a little slow for me,” Grant said. “I think I was just a little nervous and overthinking everything, so I ended up beating myself—just making too many mistakes. We picked it up in the third test; I think I won it and got into the overall after four tests.”

Steward Baylor racing at the 2019 Cajun Classic National Enduro Race
Steward Baylor talked about how tight the Cajun Enduro tests were. “It wasn’t as tight as it’s been in years past,” Steward said. “Test four was really bar-banging tight, and I enjoyed it. I was wanting to see more of it, honestly. That’s my favorite stuff, old-school enduro and that stuff. Grant and I grew up riding that stuff, and Russ too. It was always bar-banging tight. We always enjoy that. I have fun with that. but it wasn’t as tight as in years past.”Shan Moore

Like his brother and Tely Energy Racing KTM teammate, Steward Baylor also started slow. And he came up 52 seconds short in his bid to reel in Grant at the finish, giving the older sibling second in the final standings.

“I just had a slow start,” Steward said. “I made a few mistakes and got turned around a couple times. I think the last three tests I rode really well; I just couldn’t do anything with Grant going into the last test. I knew I had moved into a solid second place, so I just tried not to make any mistakes.”

Bobbitt appeared to be the early bet to win the Cajun Enduro, having won the first two tests. However, both Grant and Steward upped their games in the later tests, while Bobbitt simply maintained.

“I was not making mistakes really (in the last four tests), but I wasn’t really flowing super great either,” Bobbitt said. “But then everyone else just kind of elevated their game throughout the day and I just maintained. It came down to the last test. I was down a little bit on Stew, and then Evan [Smith] and I had a real tight battle again, just like at Gator. I think he had a little crash, so I was able to capitalize.”

Max Motorsports/FXR Racing/Husqvarna’s Evan Smith pushed Bobbitt hard throughout the race for the final podium spot, especially in the final few tests. Smith came up just short when he crashed in the final test.

“I really wanted to beat Russell [Bobbitt] and I was just pushing too hard,” Smith said.

Thorn Devlin races at the Cajun Classic National Enduro Race.
GasGas North America’s Thorn Devlin finished fifth in his first race on the new XC 300. “I’m so happy to be back on the 300,” Devlin said. “I thought I could ride the 250 and be more aggressive on it, but I have to work too hard shifting up and down, up and down. I just keep [the 300] in third gear. I’m so much more smooth on it, so I feel back at home.”Shan Moore

GasGas North America’s Thorn Devlin finished fifth in his first race on the new XC 300.

“We decided to try something new by not worrying about the score,” Devlin said. “Every time you come in, you check your tests and everything. We didn’t check any tests. I actually left my phone here and we just rode. We didn’t talk about tests [and] didn’t talk about winning. I guess it worked.”

Cody Barnes and Liam Draper battle it out at the 2019 Cajun Classic National Enduro Race
Left: Cody Barnes had a good battle with Tely Energy Racing's Liam Draper. "Me and Liam were super close all day," Barnes said. "I think we swapped maybe twice or something. Then going into the very final test, I was a second up on him and I was able to actually come out with the win, so it was a great day for me. Hopefully we keep this momentum rolling to the next ones." Right: Draper posted a solid seventh after battling with Barnes for the entire race.Shan Moore

Beta USA teammates Cody Barnes and Mike Witkowski finished sixth and seventh overall, respectively. Barnes also took first in the NEPro2 class with his sixth-place finish.

“I won the first test and made some mistakes in the second,” Barnes said. “Overall, the day was good. I didn’t make too many mistakes; I think only two crashes. I was pretty good throughout with limiting mistakes and stuff.”

Cory Buttrick races at the Cajun Classic National Enduro Race.
Cory Buttrick made his return to the National Enduro scene with a nice 10th-place finish.Shan Moore

GasGas rider Ron Commo III used his trials skills to finish ninth overall. Meanwhile, Cory Buttrick filled the XC Gear/Enduro Engineering/Husqvarna seat vacated while Logan Lowery was out with an injury and posted a 10th-place finish.

Mackenzie Tricker races in the Women's Elite class for the Cajun Classic National Enduro Race.
Mackenzie Tricker took advantage of a couple of mistakes by Tayla Jones in the final test to win the Women’s Elite class.Shan Moore

Mepmx/Fly/Grizzly Peak/Traveler’s Rest Speedway/KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker came back from a 36-second deficit to win the Women’s Elite class by 46 seconds over Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Tayla Jones.

“I knew it would be tough, but I went into the last test with the aim of winning, and it was my best test of the day,” Tricker said. “I think Tayla had a few issues, but it was a hard-fought win and I’m very pleased.”

AmPro Yamaha’s Rachel Archer was third, 17 seconds behind Jones.

2019 Cajun Classic National Enduro Overall Results

Position Rider Brand
1 Grant Baylor KTM
2 Steward Baylor KTM
3 Russell Bobbitt KTM
4 Evan Smith Husqvarna
5 Thorn Devlin GasGas
6 Cody Barnes Beta
7 Mike Witkowski Beta
8 Liam Draper KTM
9 Ron Commo III GasGas
10 Cory Buttrick Husqvarna

2019 Kenda AMA National Enduro Point Standings

Position Rider Brand Points
1 Steward Baylor KTM 80
2 Russell Bobbitt KTM 76
3 Evan Smith Husqvarna 60
4 Mike Witkowski Beta 45
5 Grant Baylor KTM 44
6 Liam Draper KTM 41
7 Cody Barnes Beta 39
8 Zach Hayes Sherco 35
9 Thorn Devlin GasGas 32
10 Tegan Temple KTM 29