One of the biggest story lines from the weekend was Jason Thomas showing up on a new KTM. See a little from him and some video in the Maxxis race report. We did not get a race report from AmPro this week, so sorry that I don’t have anything on Whibs. With his second place finish, he still keeps the points lead for the series, Chilly
From Husky:Proving that he is back up to racing form, Fred Andrews Racing (FAR) Husqvarna’s Andrew DeLong mounted a come-from-behind charge to finish second in the XC2 class at round four of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series.
DeLong got out to a poor start, allowing the competition to have a three-turn lead by the time he got his TC250 off the line. “I was just really excited,” DeLong explained. “I kicked and nothing happened then I kicked and kicked to no avail. When I realized that I just needed to relax, it lit right up and I went to work.” A lack of moisture in the area meant dusty conditions, but that didn’t hold up DeLong as he worked his way through the field. By the end of the first lap Andrew had moved into fifth in the XC2 class. He pushed hard on the last lap, actually making up time on the leader, but ultimately settled for second on the day. “We made some changes in the last week and it really helped,” DeLong commented. “My TC250 ran flawlessly and I just felt great on the bike. I’m not 100 percent yet, but I am getting back to where I was before I got hurt. I’ve worked hard these last two weeks and it really paid off. I’m looking forward to the next GNCC!” “We were really proud of how Andrew rode today,” team manager Fred Andrews explained. “When he came into the pits, he wanted to know how far ahead the leader was. Then he told us he was having a lot of fun and took off in pursuit. It’s a good thing to know that your rider is into it out on the track; the feeling of stress gets replaced with excitement.” DeLong wasn’t the only Husky on the podium at the Big Buck GNCC. Husqvarna support rider Vance Earl took the overall win in the A.M. race, topping the 50+ class, as well. In his first GNCC event of the year, the South Carolina native put on a show and captured the overall win by over a minute.
From Maxxis: In only his second race since his recovery from a broken collar bone, FAR Husqvarna’s Andrew Delong took second place in XC2 Pro Lites at Round 4 of the GNCC motorcycle series. Delong was seventh overall in the race, held April 15 in Union, South Carolina.
Delong overcame a bad start to take his place on the podium. “They were about three corners ahead of me, but other than that I just felt great,” he said. “The bike was working good, the tires were working great, and I was just hooking up.” Delong rode the Maxxcross SI front and rear at Round 4.
Riding the Maxxcross SI rear and the Maxxcross SM front, privateer Jason Thomas joined Delong on the XC2 podium, taking third place in the class and ninth overall. “I was just a little bit jittery and just went at it a little too hard and made a bunch of mistakes. I crashed on the hill and crashed in the mud hole. I found myself way back there and started picking people off one at a time, and was able to get third coming into the last lap,” Thomas said. “The terrain was super-hardpacked and slick, but the tires worked awesome. I run that spikey front tire [Maxxcross SM], and everyone questions why I do it, but I get so much feeling through it and it lasts so good that it’s the best tire for me.”
Maxxis rider Jesse Robinson finished fifth in the class and 11th overall after leading the class through the woods early in the race. Robinson, Thomas and Delong are second, third and ninth in class points. Maxxis congratulates Andrew Delong, Jason Thomas and Jesse Robinson on their fine performances.
From Beta: Factory Beta racers had an up and down weekend at the Big Buck GNCC this past weekend. The up side saw Open A rider Justin Sode winning his first event for the season.
The 17 year old from Ohio had a huge crash early on however found the determination to push his Beta 350 to the front and take the win by almost two minutes over his closest rival.
|Justin Sode on his Beta 350 RR (offroadviking.com photo)|
“Temperatures were in the low 80’s on Sunday. The track was very rough and offered everything from roots, creek jumps, and hill climbs. The dust made for poor visibility in certain sections. I got a decent start, had a pretty bad wreck on the first lap. I caught back up to the front of the pack quickly. With about an hour left of the race I made the pass for the lead. I just put my head down and pushed to gain a lead by 2 minutes”. Sode explains.
XC1 pro rider Chris Bach had an off day first getting stuck in a mud hole for more than 15 minutes which ended his chances for a podium. After getting the bike free, the Indiana native put his head down and pushed hard until the third lap when he ripped the rear brake pedal off ultimately ending his day.
From KTM:Factory FMF/KTM rider Kailub Russell increased his win streak to three after taking his third consecutive win of the season at the Big Buck GNCC, round 4 of the GNCC Series.
Russell came into the fourth round with the confidence of someone who has found where he belongs. “Once you win and remember what it takes to win; it comes easy,” remarked Russell. “It always takes me a little while to adjust when I move into a different class but once I find my way and learn what it takes to win I can run with the best of them.”
That statement proved true as Russell once again got off to a great start sitting inside the top five around the first corner alongside his teammate Cory Buttrick. The third member of the team, and the reigning GNCC XC1 Champion, Charlie Mullins had worse luck and rounded the first corner in second to last position.
By the end of the first lap Russell had moved into the lead while Mullins had made a remarkable run through the pack to sit in 3rd with Buttrick one spot back in 4th. Mullins made the pass on Paul Whibley to take over 2nd place on the next lap and began to pressure Russell for the lead. The two riders pulled from the field before both made a mistake on the fourth lap.
Russell had a big crash when he high-sided after hitting a rock he couldn’t see because of the dust on the course. Meanwhile Mullins lost time getting hung up in one of the courses large mud holes. Luckily, Russell recovered quickly and was able to maintain his lead while Mullins lost one position to Whibley. The next lap, the riders stopped for gas and Russell got the energy burst he needed to return to the race and pull from the pack.
“When I stopped for gas it gave my body a few seconds to recover and when I returned to the race I felt better than I did in the first half. From there, I just focused on riding a good pace out front and by doing so I was able to increase my lead and take the win.”
Russell crossed the checkered flag one minute ahead of Whibley who just edged out Mullins for the 2nd place position. Buttrick went on to finish the race in 7th place after a crash mid-way through had caused him to lose his top five result.
Now four rounds into the series Russell is only two points behind Paul Whibley in the championship standings. “I hope to continue my streak at the next round and hopefully move into the lead in the overall point rankings,” stated Russell.
Another rider who has been on fire all season long is KTM support rider Steward Baylor who remained undefeated in the XC2 class after capturing his fourth win of the season. Baylor has been dominating the GNCC XC2 class this season and proved he is a step ahead of the field after winning the Big Buck GNCC by four minutes. The young rider now has a 36 point lead on the rest of the competition.
Next Event:Park City,KY– April 29, 2012
Overall Results XC1 Class –
Overall Results XC2 Class –
Overall Point Standings XC1 Class –
Overall Point Standings XC2 Class –