GREENSBORO, Ga. – After four months off from racing, the AMA National Enduro Series resumed its 2020 championship on Sunday with Round 2 in Greensboro, Georgia. FMF KTM Factory Racing Team’s Josh Toth made his National Enduro season debut with a statement victory in the NE Pro1 division. His teammate and Round 1 winner, Ben Kelley, returned from injury to finish just off the podium in fourth.
Track conditions were perfect on Sunday with rainfall taking place earlier in the week. Toth, who missed the opening round of the series due to a leg injury, came out swinging for Round 2 as he captured the first four test-wins of the day. Toth’s impressive performance through the first four rounds set him up with a sizeable lead heading into the final two tests of the day. On test five, Toth experienced two crashes but he was still able to finish second and carry a minute-and-a-half lead into the final test of the day. As a “Pro and A class only” section, the sixth test was super tight and technical, giving Toth a run for his money as he went down in the rock section and damaged his bike a little bit. Despite the setback, he was able to battle through the test with a fourth-place finish, which was good enough to give him the overall victory by 45 seconds.
Josh Toth: “I’m so pumped to get the win today! In test five, I made a few mistakes and ended up losing it by one second. Test six was crazy tight and I had a big get-off and thought I might have thrown it away but luckily, I had a little cushion. It was a brutal day with the heat but I felt so comfortable on my bike. Thank you to my mechanic Chuck and the whole team for taking care of me and my bike all day!”
Team Manager, Antti Kallonen: “I’m very pleased with Josh coming back so strong for enduro. He’s already raced a couple GNCCs and we’re working on his fitness and race craft a little bit to get him up front there but he basically bounced right back into the hunt here at the NEPG and it’s a good building block for the rest of the season.” Ben Kelley made a solid return to racing after recovering from a shoulder surgery that took place earlier in the season. He maintained a solid pace throughout the day, where he logged three fourth-place finishes, a sixth and a seventh. Things were going smoothly for Kelley until the final test, where he experienced a hard crash in the tight and technical terrain. Despite the setback late in the race, Kelley was able to push his way through to the end where he continues to lead the way in the championship standings after two rounds.
Ben Kelley: “It was good to get back racing after a long absence. It was a long and hot day for my first race back, I only got back on the bike two weeks ago, so it was expected that it will take some time to get back up to speed. Overall, I’m happy with the day and my shoulder held up good even with one pretty hard crash in the last test.” KTM-supported rider, Mackenzie Tricker, continues her title defense with an undefeated streak as she claimed the Women’s Elite class victory at Round 2.
Next Round: July 26 – Cross Fork, Pennsylvania
NE Pro1 Results
1. Josh Toth, KTM, 2:07:47.363
2. Grant Baylor, SHR, +46.189
3. Ryder Lafferty, HQV, +01:51.122
4. Ben Kelley KTM
5. Russell Bobbitt, KTM
NE1 Pro Championship Standings
1. Ben Kelley, 48 points (1 win)
2. Grant Baylor, 46
3. Josh Toth, 30 (1 win)