From KTM – Factory FMF/KTM rider Kailub Russell took the win at the tenth round of the GNCC Series after an all-day battle with teammate Charlie Mullins. Russell’s win at the Unadilla track allows him to take over the championship points lead as they head to the next round.
The two factory riders have been racing close since the opening round of the GNCC Series back in March. Despite their constant nail biting performances, the two riders managed to finish in an even tighter battle than usual – this time crossing the line just a second apart.
It was Mullins who grabbed the holeshot at the start of the race and was able to lead the first lap. Russell made a pass on Mullins for the lead at the beginning of the second lap but Mullins never fell back. The two riders remained within 5 seconds of each other for the eight lap race. After the halfway mark, they were joined by the third place ride of Josh Strang who had stepped up to challenge for the lead position. The three riders continued their close battle.
Despite being pressured the entire race, Russell was able to hold on to take the victory while Mullins held off Strang to secure second place. Now ten rounds into the series, Russell leads the championship point chase by 5 points over Mullins.
“It feels really good to get the win here today and take over the point lead,” stated Russell. “As usual, Charlie gave me a good battle the whole day and I am happy I was able to come out on top.”
KTM support rider and current GNCC XC2 Pro Lites point’s leader, Grant Baylor, grabbed the holeshot off the start of the XC2 race but crashed in the second corner. When he recovered, he was nearly dead last and had to spend the rest of the race trying to catch the leaders. At the end of the race, he was able to move up to 4th position. He still holds a 37 point lead on the championship.
Factory FMF/KTM rider Maria Forsberg put together her sixth win in the Women’s GNCC class. She was challenged by fellow KTM rider Kacy Martinez for the first half of the race before Martinez suffered a crash and lost some time to Forsberg. Forsberg went on to pull a 3 minute lead on the pack before crossing the checkers to take the win in her class, but also the overall for the morning class of a recording-breaking 715 riders. Martinez joined her on the podium earning second overall for the morning class.
From Husky – Guess who’s back! Andrew DeLong returned to his winning ways over the weekend where he not only dominated the XC2 Pro class, but also climbed into the top-five overall in the P.M. race at the Unadilla GNCC. DeLong and his Fred Andrews Racing (FAR) Husqvarna TXC250R tackled the New York terrain, including the infamous Unadilla Raceway motocross track, and controlled nearly the entire race to emerge victorious.
“I’ve been working hard the whole break and it showed today,” said Andrew, who had been fighting to regain his fitness after suffering a broken hand earlier in the season. “I want to thank my team and sponsors for sticking with me. I had a lot of fun today and all my hard work paid off.”
DeLong had his hands full fending off hard-charging pro motocrosser Zach Osborne, who pressured Andrew on the motocross track nearly every lap. The two remained close up until late in the race when Andrew’s mechanic told him to “put the hammer down!” From there Andrew relied on his conditioning to propel him to a two-minute lead in the last two laps of the race, and also break into the top-five overall.
“I’m really proud of AD today,” commented FAR Husqvarna’s Fred Andrews. “His training really came through today and he rode the wheels off his TXC250R!”
Overall Results GNCC XC1 Class –
Kailub Russell – KTM
Charlie Mullins – KTM
Rory Mead – KTM
Jonathan Girroir – KTM
Chris Bach – KTM
10. Takeshi Koikeda
Overall Results GNCC XC2 Pro Lites Class –
Grant Baylor – KTM
Shane Hufford – KTM
Ian Blythe – KTM
Jason Klammer – KTM
Layne Michael – KTM
10. Samuel Evans – KTM
Overall Results Women’s Class –
Maria Forsberg – KTM
Kacy Martinez – KTM
Sarah Baldwin – KTM
Ashley Copeland – KTM
Felicia Robichaud – KTM
Hannah Otto – KTM
Mandi Mastin – KTM
10. Brooke Cosner
Overall Point Standings GNCC XC1 Class –
Kailub Russell – 260
Charlie Mullins – 255
Josh Strang – 174
Overall Point Standings GNCC Pro Lites XC2 Class –