Sumter National Enduro Race Report 2016

A look into what really happened at the opening round of the 2016 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series in Sumter, South Carolina.

Grant Baylor, Sumter National Enduro 2016
Grant Baylor
Grant Baylor rode a consistent race to win the opening round of the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series in Sumter, South Carolina.Shan Moore

Grant Baylor picked up where he left off last season by taking a big win at the opening round of the 2016 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series in Sumter, South Carolina.

The N-Fab/Am Pro Yamaha rider grabbed his first career national enduro win at the final round of the 2015 season in Indiana, and kicked off 2016 in similar fashion. The win was a good one for Baylor since he admits he normally doesn’t do well on the tight and sandy trails of Sumter. The South Carolina rider obviously did his homework during the off-season and came into the race prepared and ready for action.

Baylor only won one test on the day (the third test) but his consistently was enough to land him the victory by 18 seconds over runner-up Russell Bobbitt.

“I’m pretty happy to come away from here with the win because I usually don’t do well in Sumter,” said Baylor. “I only won one test but I was right there all day. That win in the third test moved me up from fifth to first and I just rode a consistent race for the rest of the day.”

Russell Bobbitt, Sumter National Enduro 2016
Russell Bobbitt
Russell Bobbitt won one test and finished off a steady day for second overall.Shan Moore

Bobbitt opted for a 250F for the Sumter race, deciding the lighter weight was a better fit for national enduro competition than the more powerful KTM 350. The four-time enduro champ didn’t win a test but his times put him in the top four in every test.

“Overall, the day went just as I planned, we didn’t make a single change all day,” said Bobbitt. “I had a few problems with lappers, but other than that all was good.”

Jesse Groemm, Sumter National Enduro 2016
Jesse Groemm
Jesse Groemm gave Beta a podium with a third place finish after winning the second test of the day.Shan Moore

Jesse Groemm rounded out the podium on his Beta two-stroke. The New Jersey rider won the second test and briefly led the event. Groemm was in contention for a runner-up finish, but a couple of mistakes cost him dearly in the final test and he lost the spot to Bobbitt by just two seconds.

Last year, Groemm crashed before the opening round in Sumter and suffered a concussion, something that bothered him off and on for a couple of months.

Steward Baylor, Sumter National Enduro 2016
Steward Baylor
Steward Baylor won two tests but mechanical problems in the opening test proved to be more than he could overcome.Shan Moore

Steward Baylor, the brother of Grant and the 2012 national enduro champ, finished the day in fourth. The SRT KTM rider won two of the six tests, the only rider to win more than one, but a mechanical problem in test one put him in a hole he couldn’t dig himself out of.

Charlie Mullins rode the event with a broken foot.
Two-time national enduro champ Charlie Mullins won test one, but a broken bone in his foot kept the FMF KTM Factory rider from achieving his goal of a podium finish.Shan Moore

Charlie Mullins rounded out the top five. The FMF KTM Factory rider was making his return to racing after missing nearly two years of competition due to a pair of wrist injuries. Unfortunately, Mullins broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot three weeks ago and was riding under intense pain in Sumter. Mullins won the first test of the day, but his foot bothered him so much in the final two tests that he dropped off the pace and had to settle for fifth.

RESULTS

  1. Grant Baylor (Yam)

  2. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)

  3. Jesse Groemm (Bet)

  4. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)

  5. Andrew DeLong (Hus)

  6. Chris Bach (Hon)

  7. Josh Strang (Hus)

  8. Charlie Mullins (KTM)

  9. Cory Buttrick (KTM)

  10. Drew Higgins (KTM)