XC2 PRO CHAMPION JASON THOMAS SENDS A MESSAGE AT STEELE CREEK
DirtWise Schools/ KTM-Parts.com/ Maxxis team racer Jason Thomas sent a very clear message to his rivals at this weekend’s GNCC race that he is still the one that they will need to beat should they want to be crowned Champion at the end of the 2013 season.
Following solid performances at the first two rounds of the series, where Thomas was still finalizing his preparations for 2013, Jason came out and unleashed the intensity that all others will be faced with for the remainder of the year. Showing the poise and experience of being the defending Champion, and the No. 1 contender for this year’s title, the Welsh native clicked off steady laps throughout the race at the front of the pack, leading the way, eventually building up a 30 second lead part way into the last lap. Unfortunately at that point the mousse tube in his rear tire disintegrated meaning he had to essentially ride the completion of that final lap to the finish with a flat tire. This not only allowed 2nd placed rider Aaron Plessinger to close the lead gap, but also resulted in a high side crash for Jason in one of the final few corners during the mad dash to the finish. Quickly remounting, Thomas crossed the line an agonizing 0.2 seconds behind the XC2 Pro winner, Plessinger, but still also good enough for 5th overall in the race.
“For sure, it is disappointing to lose the race at the very end like that, but I suppose that’s one of the chances we have to take when on a very limited race budget like ours and therefore having to use very old mousses,” Thomas lamented at the finish line. “The race was a total blast with the perfect conditions, and I really enjoyed rubbing elbows out there with some of the guys on the skinny trails while passing them! I just rode steady out there and had the others covered all day – I can’t wait for the next race so as to go do it all again and start building a lead in the Championship.”
Team owner, and former GNCC Overall Pro Champion, Shane Watts added, “Today’s end result was just one of those things that sometimes happens with the tough economics conditions racing presently has, but Jason certainly gave notice with his control of the race, and mastery of the rough and tough conditions, that he is the rider to beat in 2013. I’m stoked for him and I really look forward to him getting on a win streak at Round 4.”