Ryder Lafferty also had a shot at the win , but a couple of tip-overs in the final test were just too costly for the Coastal Racing GasGas rider and he ended up fourth .
“ I lost a bit of time in the last one , but all in all , I feel better than I did in Indiana ,” said Lafferty . “ I feel good . I feel like my normal self . It sucks that it ’ s so close like that to come up short . But , all good . I ’ m healthy . So , just keep plugging forward and use it fuel to the fire .”
Ricky Russell had some good test times , but inconsistency plagued the Coastal Racing GasGas rider and he settled for fifth .
“ I started right out third in the first test and wasn ’ t far off the pace ,” said Russell . “ Then I literally struggled the second test . I think I got fifth or sixth and just lost twenty to thirty seconds right there . Then I came back in the third test and was able to do decent again , but it was like every other test for me . I had a good test , bad test , good test , bad test . So , I don ' t know . When I was riding good I felt like I was in the mix , but I was just to hit and miss .”
Sixth went to Craig DeLong , who was not pleased with his day .
“ I just kind of struggled today ,” admitted DeLong . “ I struggled here last year , too . I came in with a different attitude , this year , expecting to do better but still just kind of struggled . Something about the open fields with the hidden rocks . I don ’ t really care for that . I have my limit , and in that type of conditions I ’ m not really willing to go over that .”
DeLong ’ s Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Thad DuVall wasn ’ t a fan of the terrain either and settled for seventh .
Eighth was Trail Jester ’ s Racing KTM ’ s Jesse Ansley , who is returning from a couple of injuries / illnesses , but looked good en route to eighth overall . Meanwhile , Beta USA ’ s Evan Smith was consistent on his way to a ninth-place finish , going 9-8-9-7-8-9 in the six tests .
Tenth overall and first in the NE Pro 2 class was Beta USA ’ s Jonathan Johnson .
“ Ben Nelko beat me in the first test , but from there on out , I just won the rest of the tests ,” said Johnson . “ I made one mistake , but still ended up winning that test , too . So , just being consistent paid off today .”
The Women ’ s Elite class was another nail biter , like the Pro class was , with AmPro Yamaha ’ s Rachel Archer nipping Enduro Engineering / Fly Racing KTM ’ s Mackenzie Tricker by . 6-tenths of a second . Tricker won the first two tests , but them Archer picked up the pace and won the final three .
“ It started off a little slow ,” said
VOL . 7 ISSUE 11 - NOVEMBER 2022 // PAGE 109