Russell Bobbitt Takes 2009 Enduro Title - Dirt Rider Magazine

Russell Bobbitt Interview, Photos by Kenneth KingYesterday, the day after winning his third Enduro Championship, I got on the horn with Russell Bobbitt. Good thing I acted quickly, because he was just about to board a plane to Portugal.Pete Peterson: Congratulations on the championship. What was the highpoint of the season?Russell Bobbitt: The Marquette round just before this last one because that was a pivotal race to get a lead coming into the final round.PP: Did you have any major problems this season?RB: In the early part of the year we had some shock issues, but we got that sorted out. Other than that the only real mechanical failure was a rear brake lock up in Louisiana, and I probably smashed about fifty pipes, but other than that everything was solid.PP: With a close championship, consistency is important. You were never off the podium. How do you balance the need to win versus backing off at some events to fight another day?RB: Definitely consistency is what got me the championship this year. There are some rounds where you're on your game and you can push it to the limit and see the results come from it, and then other days when you aren't quite as competitive and can't match the pace of one of the other competitors, and you have to understand that it's not going to happen maybe, and just not do anything that's out of the realm of your comfort zone. You just have to take it how it is and ride smart.PP: Do you base that on how you feel, or are you watching your positioning during the event?RB: It can be a factor from both of those. I know pretty much how I'm doing based on how I'm riding. But it does affect you when you know how you're doing and then I can relate that to how I feel I'm riding, and I can kind of just tell from that.PP: Do you have courses that you expect to win on, others you go into with lower expectations, going for points and not necessarily the win?RB: I always go for the win for sure. There are a couple rounds where it seemed like I knew I was going to have more of a struggle. But I don't ever think that I'm not going in for a win. I always plan on coming out with victory. I don't want to set myself up to fail.PP: What, if any, advantage does your teammate Mike Lafferty have over you?RB: He's definitely got a lot of experience. When it gets to really... In certain situations he can kind of bulldog his way through some terrain a little bit better than I can, and he is a pretty talented rider in the rocks.PP: What advantages do you have over him?RB: I think my stand-up riding style leads to a more fluid ride, and I think my riding style's just a little bit less forceful and more tactical.PP: How have you two gotten along all season?RB: We get along fine. We don't maintain a really close relationship outside of the races, though. If it wasn't for how competitive the both of us are, we would be closer friends. But we're both going after the same title so it's always a little bit of... kinda grinding of the gears when it comes down to it.PP: At the final round, how much was the pressure affecting you?RB: I didn't feel pressure going into the race. But the last section was a really long test and I knew I had to just finish and ride smart through it and it just seemed like it took forever. So the pressure was kind of building within that section, but other than that I didn't really feel too much pressure. I just had fun and it wasn't a big deal.PP: What are your plans for the rest of 2009?RB: I leave tomorrow for the ISDE over in Portugal. I'll be on the Junior Team with David Kamo, Cory Buttrick, and Jamie Lanza. I think we've got a good shot of doing real well. Then I might hit the last Endurocross.PP: What are your plans for 2010?RB: I'm going to defend my title again riding for KTM, and hit a few other select events like the GNCCs, possibly an Endurocross here and there, I'd like to do Six Days again, and just some other select events that KTM wants me to do that we find interesting.PP: Last question - Why a 2 stroke?RB: Because it's the most fun bike I've ever ridden. It's just great handling, and power-wise it's just killer to ride. And the reliability of it. It takes less work, less maintenance, and it's just a solid foundation.Bobbitt wanted to be sure to thank his sponsors, who made the championship possible: KTM, Shock Doctor, Muscle Milk, KTM Hard Equipment, GPR Stabilizers, Troy Lee, Sidi, Scott, Skull Candy, Rockwell Time, and Hydrapack.Check out Russell's site at