AMA: Lafferty clinches third AMA FMF Racing National Enduro Series title
26 August 2000
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Michael Lafferty of Millville, N.J., clinched his third AMA FMF Racing National Enduro Series title one round early, and it sounds like he's not ready to give up any time soon. The 2000 title adds to Lafferty's wins in 1997 and '98 and the 24-year-old rider now admits it has him thinking differently about his career. "I never really did before, but now with three titles, I do kind of think about the record book," said the factory KTM rider. "It'd be nice to keep doing this for a while and keep on winning." That's bad news for competitors, especially to six-time enduro champ Randy Hawkins, who served as Lafferty's chief competition all year. Hawkins won the first two rounds of the series, but Lafferty then went on to win four straight, despite starting the season with an injured wrist. "This was a long, long season," Lafferty said. "It definitely makes for a good feeling to win it, since you really had to prove yourself in new ways." Lafferty was referring to this year's series in which six of the 14 rounds also counted as qualifiers for the U.S. team to the International Six Days Enduro. So besides having to stick to a wicked time schedule from checkpoint to checkpoint in the woods, riders had to compete in "special tests," where all-out speed is the bottom line. "It was a really different year. You had to be good not only at maintaining a good average speed but you really needed to finish every race. A DNF could really kill you." The series concludes Sept. 17 in Wolverine, Mich. Hawkins, of Travelers Rest, S.C., sits comfortably in second place 31 points behind Lafferty with 272 and three wins, followed by David Lykke of Bellingham, Wash., with 171 points; Brian Garrahan of Boulder Creek, Calif., with 157; and Garrahan's brother Patrick, also of Boulder Creek, rounds out the top five with 148.