South Carolina Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Race Report 2016

Daniel Milner takes series opener in South Carolina at the 2016 Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro.

Daniel Milner, South Carolina Sprint Enduro
Daniel Milner
N-Fab Am Pro Yamaha’s Daniel Milner won five of the 12 tests to take the win at the opening round of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series in South Carolina.Photo By Shan Moore

N-Fab Am Pro Yamaha’s Daniel Milner didn't let the bitter cold bother him as he claimed the top spot at round one of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series in Gaston, South Carolina, finishing 12 seconds ahead of second place.

The temperature dipped down in the low 30s on Saturday and near 20 degrees on Sunday as over 350 riders attacked two sandy tests (a Cross test and an Enduro test), which were ridden three times each day during the course of the two-day event.

Milner, who led Team Australia to an upset victory at last year’s International Six Days Enduro in Slovakia, came into the South Carolina event as one of the heavy favorites to win, along with fellow Aussie Josh Strang, who finished the event in third. Both riders excel in the “World Enduro” format and did not disappoint by collectively claiming eight of the 12 test wins on the weekend (five for Milner and three for Strang).

Thad Duvall, South Carolina Sprint Enduro
Thad DuVall had a spectacular day on Saturday, including a 3.5-second win in the final test.Photo By Shan Moore

DuVall didn’t win a test on Sunday, but his performance was consistent enough for the runner-up slot.

“It was close racing between me and Daniel and Josh today,” said DuVall. “We’ve been testing the air forks this year and I don't know what happened but halfway through the first test my front fender was touching my front tire, so that was a problem getting through the first test. After the test we put different forks on the bike and it took me the next test to get used them. I didn’t want to go out and charge as hard as I could because it wasn’t something I had been riding on. But once I figured them out we made a few clicks and they were right there.”

Josh Strang, South Carolina Sprint Enduro
Josh Strang
Josh Strang won two tests on Sunday and finished off the weekend in third.Photo By Shan Moore

Strang won three tests on the weekend: one on Saturday and two on Sunday, as the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory rider rounded out the podium in third despite losing some time in the final test.

“There was some bunting down and I over-shot a couple of corners and that cost me,” said Strang. “Other than the last test, I felt like I rode pretty good but I’m still trying to just get time on the bike. The cold weather has made it difficult to get in a lot of quality time on the bike. So I think I just need to get time on the bike.”

Jesse Groemm, South Carolina Sprint Enduro
Jesse Groemm
Jesse Groemm has been a consistent performer the last two weekends, finishing third at last week’s National Enduro and fourth this weekend at the Sprint Enduro.Photo By Shan Moore

Beta USA’s Jesse Groemm finished as high as second place in two tests and put his two-stoke into fourth overall. Meanwhile, Bobbitt sat in third after Day One, but struggled on Sunday on the rougher course and ultimately settled for fifth.

Russell Bobbitt, South Carolina Sprint Enduro
Russell Bobbitt
Russell Bobbitt sat third after Day One, but struggled on the rough course on Sunday, finishing off his weekend in fifth.Photo By Shan Moore

OVERALL RESULTS

  1. Daniel Milner (Yam) 1:08:20.295

  2. Thad DuVall (Hus) 1:08:32.655

  3. Josh Strang (Hus) 1:08:37.993

  4. Jesse Groemm (Bet) 1:09.01.201

  5. Russell Bobbitt (KTM) 1:09:06.699

  6. Jerry Robin (Yam) 1:09:33.008

  7. Ryan Sipes (Hus) 1:09:42.341

  8. Cory Buttrick (KTM) 1:10:03.959

  9. Evan Smith (KTM) 1:10:26.967

  10. Jason Thomas (Yam) 1:10:44.907