2019 Moccasin Creek Full Gas Sprint Enduro Race Report

Kailub Russell grabs second overall victory of the season in Georgia

Kailub Russell
Kailub Russell has established himself as the man to beat in the Pro class, having won both rounds held so far in the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro series.Darrin Chapman

FMF KTM Factory Racing's Kailub Russell grabbed his second overall victory of the season at the Moccasin Creek Sprint Enduro, round 2 of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro series in Blackshear, Georgia. Heavy rains before the race forced organizers to modify the course, shortening the two tests, which made racing even more competitive. Russell remained relatively mistake-free over the course of the two-day event and ultimately won seven of the 12 tests to finish 19 seconds ahead of second-place-finisher Josh Strang.

“It was pretty close racing, but overall it was a pretty uneventful weekend for me,” Russell said. “I didn’t have any mistakes to speak of and I felt pretty good both days.”

Josh Strang
Josh Strang is looking more and more comfortable on the Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/Kawasaki bike. The Georgia race was just Strang’s second race on the Kawasaki after spending the last few years racing a Husqvarna.Darrin Chapman

Russell extended his lead in the championship standings with his win, and now sits seven points ahead of Strang (55 to 48), with FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Josh Toth in third with 41 points. Strang claimed two wins, one each day, en route to second overall. The race was the Australian’s second as a member of the Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/Kawasaki team.

“The times were pretty close between the top five or six guys, so there was little room for mistakes,” Strang said. “Unfortunately, I had a couple of silly ones on Saturday and that was frustrating, but overall the weekend was good.”

Thad Duvall
Coming into the year, Thad Duvall had committed to riding a West Coast off-road series along with the GNCC series. However, he missed the first round of the West Coast series because he wasn’t fully recovered from an injury he suffered last year, so he has decided to race the entire Full Gas Sprint Enduro series instead.Darrin Chapman

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thad Duvall rounded out the podium, finishing 13 seconds behind Strang. After starting slow on Saturday, Strang picked up the pace on Sunday and beat out Duvall for the second day win. Toth is still adapting to the Sprint Enduro format, but demonstrated how far he has come by winning the final test of the weekend. The Connecticut rider was just nine seconds out of third on Sunday. Babbitt’s Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jordan Ashburn rounded out the top five, the Tennessee rider making a big improvement over his debut ride with the team at round 1.

Josh Toth
Josh Toth is part of the new wave of young riders who are starting to push the established pros. The KTM rider made a statement by winning the final test of the weekend.Darrin Chapman

Evan Smith won the Pro2 class with a sixth place overall finish on his Husqvarna/Max Motorsports/FXR FC 250. The Georgia rider now has two wins in the class and is sitting on a solid lead in the standings. Trail Jesters Racing KTM’s Ben Kelley was seventh overall, finishing 13 seconds behind Smith. Meanwhile, Andrew Delong put his Phoenix Racing Honda into eighth.

Beta USA teammates Cody Barnes and Mike Witkowski rounded out the top 10, respectively. Witkowski won the Pro2 class on Saturday, but popped his shoulder out of place on Sunday and gave way to Barnes and Smith.

Cody Barnes
Cody Barnes finished ninth overall and second in the Pro2 class, which is his best finish to date.Darrin Chapman

Husqvarna-backed Tayla Jones took the overall win in the Women’s Pro class by 48 seconds over MEP MX KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker. Ohio’s Becca Sheets on a Maxxis-sponsored KTM was third, with Shelby Rolen in fourth on a Kawasaki.

The new Pro-Am class, which serves as a steppingstone for amateur riders to move into the pro classes, was won by RJ Cook on a KTM. Brewer Cawley finished in the runner-up spot on his Yamaha while Conner Smith rode his Husqvarna to third place.

Tayla Jones
Tayla Jones made a clean sweep of the event, winning all 12 tests during the two days of competition. She also holds a 10-point lead over Tricker in the class standings after two rounds.Darrin Chapman

The Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series returns to action on April 6-7 in Greeneville, Tennessee for round three of the series. For more info on the series go to sprintenduro.com.

Thorn Devlin
Thorn Devlin has been a consistent top-five finisher in the Pro2 class aboard his GasGas.Darrin Chapman

2019 Moccasin Creek Sprint Enduro Overall Results

Position Rider Brand
1 Kailub Russell KTM
2 Josh Strang Kawasaki
3 Thad Duvall Husqvarna
4 Josh Toth KTM
5 Jordan Ashburn Kawasaki
6 Evan Smith Husqvarna
7 Ben Kelley KTM
8 Andrew Delong Honda
9 Cody Barnes Beta
10 Mike Witkowski Beta

2019 Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Championship Point Standings

Position Rider Brand Points
1 Kailub Russell KTM 115
2 Josh Strang Kawasaki 94
3 Thad Duvall Husqvarna 80
4 Josh Toth KTM 74
5 Ben Kelley KTM 63
6 Jordan Ashburn Kawasaki 61
7 Craig DeLong Husqvarna 60
8 Cory Buttrick Husqvarna 50
9 Liam Draper KTM 30
10 Andrew DeLong Honda 29