Kailub Russell To E2, Layne Michael To E1 For ISDE In Spain

Steward Baylor remains on Junior Trophy

Kailub Russell, ISDE Spain 2016
Kailub Russell will move up from E1 to E2 for next week's ISDE in Spain.Photo By Shan Moore

US ISDE team manager Antti Kallonen made his final decision on Thursday evening regarding a replacement rider for the injured Ryan Sipes. As we reported earlier, with less then 24 hours notice, Kallonen flew Coastal Racing’s Layne Michael to Spain earlier in the week to be part of this year’s team.

Kallonen said that there was “a lot of stress on finding a rider that is not only fast but can be on the plane on Monday morning and fly with the rest of the team to Spain.” It was also important that the rider could race a Husqvarna and have other logistical and paperwork items, not to mention enough gear to last six days.

According to Kallonen, Michael, who was on the Junior team last year, will take Kailub Russell’s place in the E1 division, riding a 250, while Russell will bump up to the E2 class and ride a KTM 350XC-F. That way, both riders will be riding the bikes they are most familiar with from this year’s GNCC competition. This will also preserve the Junior team, which consists of Steward and Grant Baylor, and Trevor Bollinger, as they go after their goal of re-claiming their win from 2014.

Here is what Kallonen said about the decision.

“The tests are dry and fast with some loose rocks and nothing too technical and this is a terrain where Layne can do well,” said Kallonen. “I’m going to place Layne in the Trophy team in E1 class to race a Husqvarna FC250 and will move Kailub up to E2 class to race a KTM 350XC-F. Kailub was originally placed in E1 class to race a 250XC-F but after talking to the riders it was clear to me that it would be best if Kailub can race a bike he is used to in U.S. and this way he can be faster than what he would be on the 250XC-F and placing Layne in the E1 class to race an FC250 which is also his normal bike in the U.S. makes the most sense. Obviously this is a bigger risk than moving a more experienced rider like Steward Baylor up to the Trophy team and putting Layne in the Junior team, but this scenario would have not allowed Kailub to move up to race the 350XC-F and also Layne would have had to race a less familiar FC350. With this structure our Trophy team goal hasn’t changed, we are here to win. Sometimes you just have to take a risk to win.”

Be sure to stay tuned to www.dirtrider.com for the latest news from this year’s ISDE in Spain.