PORTIMAO, Portugal – Just past the halfway point, day four of the 2019 FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) is complete and the U.S. World Trophy and Women’s World Trophy teams continue to demonstrate solidarity as they extended their lead in both divisions with a top-performing day as a team. The all KTM-mounted World Trophy Team grabbed another 15 seconds over Team Australia, where they now sit 1:27.46 ahead in the overall battle; while the Women’s World Trophy Team created a whopping 13-minute lead over Great Britain with two days remaining.
WORLD TROPHY (WT) TEAM
Similar to the previous day, early rainfall made for slick conditions as the riders took to the course for the first time on Thursday. As a result, the American riders admittedly didn’t post the best individual finishes but as a team they were able to propel themselves to almost a minute-and-a-half lead over Team Australia.
FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Taylor Robert once again led the way as the top performing American rider with third overall for the day and first in the E2 class. Robert excelled from the opening special test, claiming second-place right off the bat. He went on to nab 11th in the second special test but from there he was able to finish inside the top-four in the remaining tests.
KTM-supported rider, Steward Baylor Jr., posted his best times of the week with an impressive performance on Thursday. Baylor finished fifth overall for the day – third in E3 – with six top-10 finishes on the day’s special tests. FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell was the third rider to contribute a score to the team’s successful day, where he finished seventh overall as he continues to sit in second behind Robert in the E2 classification. Russell wasn’t able to be as consistent as he’s been in previous days but his tenacity pulled him through for a positive role in the team’s performance.
Team Manager, Antti Kallonen: “Today was maybe a little bit of an off day for some of the riders but as a team, we still pulled together and grabbed another 15 seconds over Australia. We have to be happy to extend our lead to almost a minute and a half but it’s still nothing to settle on. It’s a new course tomorrow, and new tests as well, so we definitely have to stay focused. Also, the weather is really unpredictable so we’re preparing for anything weather-wise."
Steward Baylor Jr.: “Today I finally found my flow. The 500 has so much power off the bottom and that’s been the biggest thing for me. I haven’t been able to ride the 500 as much as I’d like before ISDE, it’s not a bike I normally ride and because of the GNCCs and National Enduros, but I feel like I’m finally getting into my groove and riding like I know I can.”
KTM-supported rider Ryan Sipes finished ninth overall on the day, struggling a little bit in the rough terrain. After four days, Sipes continues to hold second-place in the E1 classification.
JUNIOR WORLD TROPHY TEAM (JWT)
It was a challenging day for the U.S. Junior World Trophy Team, as they lost some time on the Australians due to the slippery terrain. KTM-supported rider, Grant Baylor, was the highest placing American on the junior team, finishing 19th overall on the day. Baylor was able to navigate the tricky conditions well enough to stick around the top-20 overall, giving him a consistent string of finishes on the day.
As for the FMF KTM Factory Racing teammates of Ben Kelley and Josh Toth, both riders experienced issues related to the weather on day four. Kelley, who claimed a solid set of results otherwise, fell victim to the slippery course on the fourth test when he slid into a muddy ravine. It took Kelley over a minute to fight his way out, thus finishing 86th in that special test. Toth ran into a similar issue on test six when a big crash forced him to have to stop and repair his front brakes. Kelley and Toth finished 35th and 39th, respectively, on the day.
With one full day of racing, plus the final moto on Saturday, every score counts and the U.S. team will continue to fight for the top position.
WOMEN’S WORLD TROPHY (WWT) TEAM
The U.S. Women’s World Trophy Team had another powerful day, extending their lead to over 13 minutes over now second-place team of Great Britain after previous rival, Team Australia, was forced to drop out of the team battle due to another downed rider. KTM-supported Brandy Richards continues to lead the U.S. squad as she sits second overall and fighting. Richards won two special tests on the fourth day, while claiming a handful of top-five finishes. KTM-mounted Becca Sheets was the second rider to contribute to the team’s score, where she sits sixth overall in the Women’s classification.
Racing from the 2019 International Six Days Enduro will resume on Friday, November 15 with day five of six from Portimao, Portugal. For a list of complete results, please visit http://www.fim-isde-live.info.
World Trophy Classification (After Day 4 of 6)
1. USA, 10:17:38.97
2. Australia, +1:27.46
3. Italy, +8:41.13
4. Spain, +15:16.91
5. Finland, +16:00.07
Junior World Trophy Classification (After Day 4 of 6)
1. Australia, 10:27:42.95
2. USA, +8:52.50
3. Italy, +11:20.68
4. Spain, +23:53.55
5. Portugal, +1:02:42.13
Women’s World Trophy Classification (After Day 4 of 6)
1. USA, 7:54:49.22
2. Great Britain, +13:08.94
3. Germany, +16:14.00
4. Spain, +19:09.51
5. Sweden, +29:04.12