KACY MARTINEZ AND THE 2014 MAXIS GNCC SERIES AND ENDURO CROSS

IMG9506787086_bcd_4629

Introduction

After three straight years as the women’s professional WORCS champion on the west coast, 22 year old Kacy Martinez went back east last year to contest the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series (GNCC). A member of FMF/KTM  Off Road Racing Team, Martinez lost the championship to teammate Maria Forsberg. During the series in 2013 it was Forsberg and Martinez battling bar to bar in front of the pack with Forsberg eventually taking the overall series win and Martinez taking second. Forsberg who was the perennial women’s professional cross country champion retired at the end of the year.

This year (2014) with eight overall wins out of nine rounds, Kacy Martinez, secured her first career GNCC series championship at Round 9 at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia. Very few of the other professional women cross country racers were capable of staying with when she took the checkered flag. Without Forsberg she was in a league of her own, The next race is the September 6-7 Unadilla New Berlin, NY.

The pressure is off Martinez with the GNCC championship already in the bag with four rounds to go, but she is not going to slow down and will push hard at each of the remaining races. It should be exciting and so stay tuned. The following is a description of each round of the 2014 GNCC series as well as selected GEICO AMA Enduro Cross and X-Games stadium races.

I have included descriptions of the XC1, XC2 and XCW races because they are all dedicated professionals and the racing is fast and furious in every class.

Round 1 Moose Racing Mud Mucker

The 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis and sanctioned by AMA, kicked off its 13-round series with the inaugural running of the Moose Racing Mud Mucker GNCC on March 9th in Bunnell, Florida.

The race, an all-new event, was held on a privately-owned track of about 11,000 acres in north central Florida (not far from Daytona). There was actually some clay and topsoil mixed in with the sand. The course, a mixture of tight woods and open fields, took place in some of the most grueling conditions we have seen in GNCC racing.

After three hours of battle, Factory FMF/KTM’s Charlie Mullins edged out a stacked field of XC1 Pros to capture the first overall win of the 2014 season.

In the two-hour morning race, the WXC Women’s Premier class fell to Factory FMF/KTM’s Kacy Martinez, with Mandi Mastin and N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Jessica Patterson rounding out the podium. This is the first year that Kacy is riding with all the benefits and responsibilities of a full factory ride.

IMG_5181IMG954048

The General in Washington, GA Round 2 of the GNCC Series

It was slick conditions and mud at Round 2 of the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series on Sunday March 16, 2014. On the day of the race heavy rainfall infiltrated the grounds of Aonia Pass MX Park in Washington, Ga., creating extreme conditions.

Reigning champion Kailub Russell emerged victorious after battling it out for the overall lead with defending XC2 Pro Lites Champion Grant Baylor in the final moments of the race.

Factory FMF/KTM’s Kacy Martinez grabbed her second consecutive victory in the WXC Premier Women’s Class, while N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Becca Sheets and teammate Jessica Patterson rounded out the WXC podium.

The overall women’s point standings so far in the series for the women’s (WXC) class are Kacy Martinez in first place with 40 points and Jessica Patterson in second place with 36 points. The season has only just begun and already Kacy Martinez is fulfilling our high expectations.’

IMG954047IMG_4045

Round 3 Steele Creek Morganton, NC
The third round of the 2014 GNCC series took place on March 29-30 at Steele Creek in Morganton, North Carolina. It was sunny on Sunday when everybody woke up on the morning of the race but conditions were muddy because a lot of rain had fallen the day before. There were plenty of creek crossings, mud bogs and rocks. The course wound back and forth through the creek and then traversed up and down steep, difficult trails in the hills. As the race wore on the tree roots became exposed making for rough and slick conditions.

With the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background this event is a favorite among contestants and spectators alike. Where the course winds through the sandy creek it  got rougher and rougher as the race wore on leading to some wild rides. For the spectators the best part is where the track  crosses the creek near the pits and they get to see the racers as they duck their heads to get under a concrete bridge and then struggle as they ride up the steep muddy bank.

In the Steel Creek XC1 overall results Factory FMF/KTM pilot Kailub Russel took his second win of the season and the points lead. Russel got out to an early lead and when his FMF/KTM team mate, Charlie Mullens made his way into second place, Russell was long gone and Mullens had to settle for second. Am/Pro Yamaha’s Josh Strang came up through the pack to finish third.

Trevor Bollinger from North Carolina won the XC2 Pro Lites class for the first time of his career and won by leading every lap of the race.

“This is a dream come true,” he said. “This is what I’ve been working toward for so many years and I still can’t believe I finally proved to myself that I could do it and that I belong here.”

Raines Riding University/Yamaha’s Ricky Russell finished second, followed by Factory FMF/KTM’s Grant Baylor in the XC2 class. Maxxis/Klim/DirtWise KTM Team rider Rory Mead was in the hunt for a runner-up finish when he fell and suffered a spinal injury.

010414Bollinger7744_182

2014 Steele Creek GNCC Overall Results (both XC1 Pro and XC2 Pro Lites combined):
Kailub Russell – KTM
Charlie Mullins – KTM
Josh Strang – Yamaha
Thad Duvall – Honda
Steward Baylor – KTM
Jordan Ashburn – Yamaha
Andrew Delong – Husqvarna
Trevor Bollinger – Honda
Chris Bach – Honda
Ricky Russell – Yamaha
Grant Baylor – KTM

In the WXC class, Factory FMF/KTM’s Kacy Martinez took her third win in a row. At this point she she remains undefeated. She was in a league of her own at Steel Creek and finished over 7 minutes ahead of second place Becca Sheets and KTM’s Sarah Baldwin in third.

Initially the slick track, some bad luck and then later getting around the numerous lappers caused Sarah to fall back but she was able to get up front and snag third in the end.

Kacy’s victory helped her increase her lead in the point standings to 6 points (60 points). Becca Sheets is second with 54 and Mandi Maston is third with 48 points. See: http://ultimatemotorcycling.com/2014-steele-creek-gncc-results-ktms-kailub-russell-takes-win/

With three overall wins this year, Kacy Martinez is building up a good lead. Her speed has been good especially in the mud.

“I was happy riding to the start line that it wasn’t raining. The track was physically demanding and with all the sticky mud, my bike felt like it weighed a thousand pounds. I worked my way through all the bottlenecks to take the class win – just hope I can keep the streak rolling as we head into Round 4.”

“I’m really happy to get another win,” added Martinez. “I feel really fortunate to be on the factory team this year and I am happy I am up on the top step of the podium. I’m also happy to win another mud race but it would be nice if we could get a break from all this mud at the next round.”

KTM is a major sponsor of professional cross country racing and has developed some amazing athletes over the years. Maria Forsberg who retired last year was one of their greatest professional women cross country and extreme enduro racers. Now Martinez is taking her place on the factory team and giving KTM the wins it so richly deserves.

Martinez is young and graceful as well as being fast and fearless. She excels in tough conditions and in finding lines around bottlenecks and flowing through sections that intimidate  her competitors. Riding a factory FMF/KTM is just icing in the cake.

martinez 17743_187

2014 Steele Creek Overall Results WXC Class:

Kacy Martinez – KTM
Becca Sheets
Sarah Baldwin – KTM
Felicia Robichaud – KTM
Mandi Mastin – KTM
Samantha Steiner – KTM
Rachel Gutish – KTM
Brooke Cosner – KTM
Ashley Copeland – KTM
Karlynn Beam – KTM

Round 4 Big Buck Union

Round 4 of the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series, the 18th Annual VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC in Union, South Carolina was a break from less than favorable conditions in the previous 2014 GNCC races. With sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70s conditions were great for the spectators but brutal for the riders with dry and dusty conditions. The course was littered with large tree roots and square-edged bumps which created challenging conditions for all.

In the Pro race Factory FMF/KTM riders Charlie Mullins and Steward Baylor had the best jump off the line. Russell also had a good jump but when another rider went down in front of him he had to come up from the back of the pack and pick off other riders one by one in dusty conditions. He took the lead from Mullins on the third lap and battled with his teammate until Mullins made a couple of mistakes and fell back.

“I clipped a lapper and ended up hitting a tree and hitting my hand pretty good,” Mullins said. “The last few laps were pretty tough but I just did the best I could and didn’t really make up any time.”

Russell took the checkered flag and Mullins hung tough for second overall. Josh Strang rode hard and finished third.

8501_russell_pml_6748!8487_strang_(1_of_1)

In the XC2 Pro Lites class, Grant Baylor got a good start and came off the line in 3rd place, but Ricky Russell led five laps until he crashed on the final lap which allowed Baylor to get by for the win in front of his home state crowd. Russell held on to finish second, while North Carolina’s Trevor Bollinger, rounded out the podium for a third place finish.

In the WXC Class Kacy Martinez’s win streak was broken when Jessica Patterson took the checkered flag ahead of Martinez. After leading the race for two laps, Kacy Martinez was battling Jessica Paterson on the third lap when they made contact and Martinez went down. She quickly got back on her bike but was unable to catch back up to Patterson and finished the race in 2nd place. Ashley Copeland rounded out the podium for a third place finish.

8500_martinez_aaa_9038!jessicapatterson1013182_525501887498976_477794608_n-600x400

Big Buck GNCC XC1 Event Results:

  1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
  2. Charlie Mullins (KTM)
  3. Josh Strang (YAM)
  4. Andrew Delong (HSQ)
  5. Paul Whibley (YAM)
  6. Jordan Ashburn (YAM)
  7. Steward Baylor (KTM)
  8. Jason Thomas (KTM)
  9. Ryan Sipes (KTM)
  10. Takeshi Koikeda (HON)

Big Buck GNCC XC2 Event Results:

  1. Grant Baylor (KTM)
  2. Ricky Russell (YAM)
  3. Trevor Bollinger (HON)
  4. Layne Michael (HON)
  5. Jesse Groemm (KTM)
  6. Callan May (YAM)
  7. Sam Evans (YAM)
  8. Shane Hufford Jr (KTM)
  9. Jedediah Haines (YAM)
  10. Mark Heresco Jr. (KTM)

Big Buck GNCC Overall Results WXC

  1. Jessica Patterson
  2. Kacy Martinez – KTM
  3. Ashley Copeland – KTM
  4. Mandi Mastin – KTM
  5. Becca Sheets
  6. Kendall Lafollette – KTM
  7. Brooke Cosner – KTM
  8. Karlynn Beam – KTM
  9. Felicia Robichaud – KTM
  10. Samantha Steiner – KTM

http://gnccracing.com/2014/04/14/ktm-race-report-from-big-buck-gncc

jessca pattersonimagesShe_Races_Jessica_Patterson_TWMX_330-600x399

In 2013 N-Fab.com, Rockstar, Yamaha Jessica Patterson announced that she would retire from motocross after the final round at Southwick. She went out on top, winning Southwick and earning her seventh AMA Women’s Pro National Championship. She is also a former X-Games silver medalist but at age thirty this veteran from Tallahassee, Florida quit motocross to dedicate the 2014 season to the GNCC series. With her first win at the VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC this last weekend she is showing serious speed in the longer format of the rough and tumble cross country series.

Round 5 Dunlop Limestone 100 GNCC

Round 5 of the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, took place under sunny skies and perfect conditions in the Lawrence County Recreation Facility. The soil is a mix of loamy topsoil and grey clay with a few rocky sections thrown in to challenge the riders There was something for everybody from tight single track to fast flowing trails and steep hill climbs.

N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley  got the holeshot in the three hour CX1 race, but Factory FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell  passed the other riders and took the lead with Whibley, Mullins, Baylor, Thad DuVall and Jordan Ashburn in tow and within striking distance if Russell made any mistakes. After leading the race for three laps Russell crashed hard. His bike was damaged and he had to stop at the pits while his crew exchanged his damaged exhaust pipe. Mullins took over the lead on Lap 4, while RideMPS.com/AMSOIL/Honda’s Thad DuVall moved into second. Mullins rode his own race to take the checkered flag and in the process moved into first overall for the season.

mullens5throundgnccwinnerrussell 5throundgncc2014WD-4-3A30-3A14-004

Duvall was behind Mullins and finished a season best second overall for the day. Russell charged towards the front where a crash by Duvall let him catch up. He battled with Duvall for a while but in the end settled for third.

Raines Riding University/Atlas Cycles’ Ricky Russell had a great day when he secured his first career victory in the XC2 Pro Lites class. Russell and XC2 competitor Maxxis/KLIM/DirtWise KTM Race Team’s Jesse Groemm set a fast pace early on and they were able to follow Kailub Russell who was moving up through the pack quickly after his crash. In the end  Ricky Russell won the XC2 race and Grant Baylor finished in second with Groemm rounding out the podium.

In the Pro Women’s class, Factory FMF/KTM’s Kacy Martinez took her fourth win of the season and in the process grabbed second overall for the day. It wasn’t all easy sailing although. She got a bad jump off the start in tenth position but caught and battled for the lead within the first lap. But it wasn’t until the second lap when she took over the lead for good and started to increase her gap over second place, Mandi Maston.  Ohio’s Mandi  Mastin, no stranger to the podium got second, one half a minute behind Martinez, while N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Becca Sheets finished third.

martinez5throundgnccWD-4-3A30-3A14-0055throundgncckacimartinez

Overall National Championship Point Standings:
1.    Charlie Mullins – 125
2.    Kailub Russell – 118
3.    Josh Strang – 90
Overall GNCC XC2 Pro Lites Point Standings:
1.    Ricky Russell – 123
2.    Grant Baylor – 121
3.    Trevor Bollinger – 105
Overall Point Standings WXC Class:
1.    Kacy Martinez – 99
2.    Becca Sheets – 88
3.    Mandi Mastin 65

First round of the GIECO Enduro Cross Series and The Loretta Lyn Round of the GNCC Series

Kacy Martinez has been busy proving that she is the best woman cross country racer with a win at the GEICO EnduroCross Season Opener and on the next weekend a win at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Hills, Tennessee in the 6th round of the  AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series.

GEICO EnduroCross May 2, 2014

On May 2nd in Las Vegas Nevada Round one of the 2014 GEICO AMA EnduroCross series, fueled by Monster Energy and presented by Lucas Oil took place on Friday night inside the Orleans Arena.

Beta USA/GEICO/Stillwell Performance’s Cody Webb took the overall win in the men’s class and Kacy Martinez stood on the top step of the podium in the women’s class.

The Pro Main Event.

550_14_EX_Vegas_Taddy 550_14_EX_Vegas_Webb

Bel-Ray/FMF/Moose/Husqvarna’s Mike Brown worked his magic and took the $500 NEXEN Tire Holeshot award beating the rest of his competitors out of the first turn. .As the front runners raced around in the first lap Cody Webb moved into the lead.

Behind him and battling for position were Lucas Oil/Rockstar/JCR Honda’s Colton Haaker, Factory KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak and CYCLENANO/Everrev/FMF/Kenda’s Kyle Redmond and Gary Sutherlin. By the end of the first lap it was Webb, Taddy Blazusiak and Kyle Redmond. Both Redmont (bike problems) and Brown (a hand injury) had to pull off the track

The race turned into an exciting battle between heat winners Webb, Blazusiak and Haaker. and the crowd was on its feet cheering as the field gave chase behind Webb who put down 12 flawless laps to stay out front until the checkered flag. For the rest of the race it was Blazusiak and Haaker  fighting for second behind Webb. Blazusiak was ahead initially but then Haaker passed him, but by the end of the 2nd lap, Blazusiak passed Haaker and moved back into second.

By the 6th lap Blazusiak stumbled in the rocky corner allowing the hard charging Haaker to get back into second. Then Blazusiak made a charge back towards the front and into second once. Meanwhile Webb was moving smoothly through the pack lapping up to fourth place by lap nine.

In the final laps, Haaker gained on Blazusiak who stalled again in a rocky corner when he tried to move around lapped traffic.  Meanwhile Geoff Aaron, Sutherlin, Taylor Robert and Bobby Prochnau were battling to be in the top five. In the end Haaker made a last-lap pass on Blazusiak for second.

Webb rode a nearly flawless race to take the win without ever really being challenged after the second lap and took the win with Haaker in second and Blazusiak in third.

Afterwards Cody Webb said that “I only made a few mistakes the whole main event”. Adding that “I have been practicing just racing the track at home and when I passed Taddy on the first lap, I just focused on the track for six laps and did not even know how much of a lead I had”.

Colton Haaker was happy to get second place and said  “I won in Las Vegas a few years ago and I did not even know how I won so this second feels better because I have been working really hard to get everything dialed in on that big 450” Haaker said.

Taddy Blazusiak was happy with third and said “Third was an OK way to start the season because I think we are going to have to be consistent to win the championship”.

550_14_EX_Vegas_Haaker550_14_EX_Vegas_Men 2014_Podium

Las Vegas, Nevada GEICO AMA EnduroCross Main Event results:

1.  Cody Webb Beta
2. Colton Haaker Honda
3. Taddy Blazusiak KTM
4. Bobby Prachnau KTM
5. Taylor Robert KTM
6. Geoff Aaron KTM
7. Gary Sutherlin KTM
8. Cory Graffunder KTM
9. Bryan Roper KTM
10. Jamie Lanza Husqvarna

Pro Women

The women’s class was just as exciting as the men’s event. It looked like defending champion Chantelle Bykerk would continue her domination with a first-round win. However, X Games medalist Tarah Geiger had other ideas and grabbed the holeshot. Factory FMF/KTM’s Kacy Martinez took over the lead on the first lap and battled back and forth with Shelby Turner. Geiger fell out of the top three on lap two.

In the end the top three battled back and forth with Kacy Martinez making a last-lap pass on Shelby Turner in the tricky rock section before the finish line. Second went to Turner and third was taken by Morgan Tanke.

Kacy Martinez said “This is my first EnduroCross main event win after trying for so many years” Martinez said. “I have been racing the GNCC’s and the first two were mud races so that really helped me in the slick track”.

550_14_EX_Vegas_MartinezMartinez-Vegas-EnduroCross-2014

1st        KACY MARTINEZ
2nd        SHELBY TURNER
3rd        MORGAN TANKE
4th        RACHEL GUTISH
5th        LEXI PECHOUT
6th        CHANTELLE BYKERK
7th        TARAH GIEGER
8th        MELISSA HARTEN
9th        RILY ELLINGER
10th        JESSICA PATTERSON
11th        KRISTIE MCKINNON

Stay Tuned for the coming Rounds of the GEICO AMA EnduroCross

The next round of GEICO AMA EnduroCross is June 6 as EnduroCross heads to the X Games in Austin, Texas followed by the third round in Sacramento, California on June 21st. The 2014 schedule will see two new rounds of racing held in Atlanta, Georgia and Salt Lake City, Utah as the cities host their first EnduroCross events. The traditional EnduroCross finals in November will now be held Nov. 22 in Ontario, California.

Round 6 GNCC Racing at Loretta Lynns

This weekend, May 10 and 11, the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, makes its return to the legendary Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee for the 33rd running of the Parts Unlimited Loretta Lynn’s GNCC.

It is the oldest race on the GNCC circuit, and it draws both riders and spectators alike. The property is owned by the world famous Coal Miner’s Daughter, Loretta Lynn.

The soil is a unique mix of clay, rock, and sand, so it gets whooped out. Some sections are covered in small shale. A national-level motocross track is also included, but the jumps are tamed down a bit for the GNCC.

As with previous GNCCs, the weather played a key role in determining the condition of the 11 mile track. Dry and sunny weather gave way to a large rainstorm, which soaked the track an hour prior to the race making for a wet and slippery racetrack and then came the heat and humidity. It was a real test of the riders’ skill and determination.

XC1 Pro Class

This time it was Russell who got the holeshot followed closely by his teammate Mullins. The two riders battled back and forth for the entire race. Russell led until mile eight where he stopped for clean goggles which dropped him back to 5th place. He caught back up to Mullins by the end of the second lap for 2nd place behind Mullins.

Russell got out front when Mullins stopped for gas but then Russell crashed which allowed Mullins to catch up. Then on the final lap Mullins made a pass for the lead causing Russell to go down. Mullins took his third win of the season with Russell a close second.

“It was a tough battle today,” stated Mullins. “Kailub (Russell) rode a strong race as he always does and we battled the whole time. I am happy to get a win here and gain a few more points toward the championship.”

9653_russell_bcc_2094-2Mullins-Loretta-Lynns-GNCC-2014

XC2 Pro Lites Class

In the XC2 Pro Lites class, Grant Baylor did not get a good start but quickly moved up to 3rd place by the end of the first lap. He made a pass for the lead on the second lap and went on to win his class over 2n place Ricky Russell. Baylor now holds the points lead heading to the next round.

9649_baylor,_grant_bcc_2436-2

XC Women’s Class

In the WXC class, Factory FMF/KTM’s Martinez beat the rest of he pro women around the first turn and stayed in the lead until the checkered flag.  She led all four laps to take her fifth win of the series over fellow KTM rider Sarah Baldwin. In addition, Martinez also got second overall for the day.

She now holds an 18 point lead in the championship standings. Sarah Baldwin made her return to the WXC podium this season with a second places, while N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Jessica Patterson finished a respectable third.

Martinez said that “I didn’t get a good jump off the start, but by the second turn I was in the lead! Since we are the first row and I was leading, I was the first one into the new single-track section! It was very fun and I believe I was able to break away from there!”

9650_martinez_bcc_2049-2

Overall Results Loretta Lynn–
1.    Charlie Mullins – KTM
2.    Kailub Russell – KTM
3.    Josh Strang
4.    Chris Bach
5.    Jordan Ashburn
6.    Andrew Delong
7.    Paul Whibley
8.    Grant Baylor – KTM
9.    Ricky Russell
10.    Takeshi Koikeda

Overall Results XC2 Pro Lites Loretta Lynn –
1.    Grant Baylor – KTM
2.    Ricky Russell
3.    Layne Michael
4.    Jessie Groemm – KTM
5.    Chris Douglas – KTM
6.    Jedediah Haines
7.    Samuel Evans – KTM
8.    Callan May
9.    Trevor Bollinger
10.    Shane Hufford – KTM

Overall Results WXC Loretta Lynn –
1.    Kacy Martinez – KTM
2.    Sarah Baldwin – KTM
3.    Jessica Patterson
4.    Mandi Mastin – KTM
5.    Brooke Cosner – KTM
6.    Karlynn Beam – KTM
7.    Samantha Steiner – KTM
8.    Allie Spurgeon
9.    Becca Sheets
10.    Taylor Gray

Overall Point Standings XC1 –
1.    Charlie Mullins – 155
2.    Kailub Russell – 143
3.    Josh Strang – 111

Overall Point Standings XC2 Pro Lites –
1.    Grant Baylor – 151
2.    Ricky Russell – 148
3.    Trevor Bollinger – 117

Overall Point Standings WXC –
1.    Kacy Martinez – 119
2.    Mandi Mastin – 101
3.    Becca Sheets – 100

http://gnccracing.com/2014/05/12/ktm-race-report-mullins-wins-loretta-lynns-gncc

The Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run GNCC – Round 7 in Masontown, West Virginia.

http://gnccracing.com/2014/05/26/kailub-russell-dominates-rocky-mountain-atvmc-mountaineer-run-gncc

Pro XC1 Class

In the ProXC1 Class Reigning Champion Factory FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell got out in front winning his second consecutive $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award and led the three-hour race from start to finish adding a fourth win to his results so far this season.
On the opening lap he was closely followed by his teammate Charlie Mullins. The KTM duo led  N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn, Factory Husqvarna’s Andrew Delong and Maxxis/KLIM/DirtWise KTM Race Team’s Jason Thomas.

round7kaleb_russell_apl_7033round7_mullins_apl_6878

In the end Russell was dominant and led the race from start to finish increasing his gap on Mullins after Mullins crashed in the third lap until he finished one minute and 47 seconds ahead of Mullins to capture the round seven victory.

The exiting action took place behind Russell and Mullins where Ashburn and Delong battled for third all afternoon. They were later joined by Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Josh Strang who had to fight through the pack after a bad start. It became a three way battle for third.

On the final lap Ashburn was ahead in third place when Strang caught up to his N-Fab AmPro Yamaha teammate and they fought back and forth until the finish line where Strang took third place by less than a second. Delong held on for Fifth place.

round7strangashburnround7ex1podium

Russell told the interviewer after the race that: “I tried to sprint the first three miles because I wasn’t sure who was behind me and wanted to get a gap. Once I saw it was Charlie (Mullins), I was able to pace myself and then sprinted again once we got into lappers.”

Russell added, “I had a pretty uneventful day, which was good for a change. My factory services motor got me off to a good start and I was able to lead the whole race to take the win.”

Mullins was happy with his second place finish: “Overall my day was a solid performance. I got a good start and was looking to get into the lead. I had a really bad crash on the third lap, after that I just tried to stay steady and went into damage control. I was able to get second and keep the points lead.”

With the Factory FMF/KTM riders finishing in the top two spots for the day, Mullins will maintain a 7 point lead over Russell heading to the next round. “The next race is in Ohio which is where I grew up. I am looking forward to that event and hopefully getting another win,” stated Mullins.

Pro XC2 Class

Raines Riding University/Atlas Cycles’ Ricky Russell put in an impressive race in the XC2 Pro Lites Class leading the race from beginning to end and in the process taking over the points lead. Behind Russell XC2 Pro Lites rookie Trevor Bollinger got a good top five start and battled with reigning XC2 Champion Grant Baylor for three hours. They traded second and third throughout the afternoon but Bollinger edged out Baylor at the end. It was a close nail-biting finish with only one second separating Bollinger and Baylor. Baylor finished third and now sits six points down in the championship standings.

round7_baylorround6xc2podium.image

Pro WXC Class

Factory FMF/KTM’s Kacy Martinez grabbed her sixth win in the WXC Class, followed by Mandi Mastin in second and Sarah Baldwin rounded out the WXC podium with third for the day. Another win increased Kacy Martinez’s lead in the point standings.  Afterwards she reported that she was happy with her race and liked the dry conditions.

round7kacy

“It was a beautiful day for racing, not too hot and not too cold and the woods were perfect. I went into the first corner in third and out of the second turn in first and into the woods. I enjoyed the track a lot better then last year, it was very slippery last year and not so much this year. My factory KTM was working great and I really enjoyed the course layout.”

XC1 Event Results Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run:
1.    Kailub Russell (KTM)
2.    Charlie Mullins (KTM)
3.    Josh Strang (YAM)
4.    Jordan Ashburn (YAM)
5.    Andrew Delong (HSQ)
6.    Chris Bach (HON)
7.    Jason Thomas (KTM)
8.    Paul Whibley (YAM)
9.    Ryan Sipes (KTM)
10.    Tom McCormack (YAM)
*Overall National Championship Standings:
1.    Charlie Mullins (180)
2.    Kailub Russell (173)
3.    Josh Strang (132)
4.    Jordan Ashburn (111)
5.    Paul Whibley (99)
6.    Grant Baylor (91)
7.    Ricky Russell (89)
8.    Andrew Delong (86)
9.    Steward Baylor (71)
10.    Chris Bach (65)
XC2 Event Results Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run:
1.    Ricky Russell (YAM)
2.    Trevor Bollinger (HON)
3.    Grant Baylor (KTM)
4.    Nick Davis (KTM)
5.    Jesse Groemm (KTM)
6.    Jedediah Haines (YAM)
7.    Kevin Benavides (KTM)
8.    Travis Teasdale (KTM)
9.    Kenneth Gilbert (YAM)
10.    Chris Douglas (KTM)
XC2 Series Standings:
1.    Ricky Russell (178)
2.    Grant Baylor (172)
3.    Trevor Bollinger (142)
4.    Layne Michael (100)
5.    Shane Hufford Jr (96)
6.    Callan May (91)
7.    Jesse Groemm (86)
8.    Sam Evans (73)
9.    Chris Douglas (72)
10.    Jedediah Haines (64)
Overall Results WXC Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer Run
1.    Kacy Martinez – KTM
2.    Mandi Mastin – KTM
3.    Sarah Baldwin – KTM
4.    Becca Sheets
5.    Brooke Cosner – KTM
6.    Rachel Gutish – KTM
7.    Felicia Robichaud – KTM
8.    Ashley Copeland – KTM
9.    Samantha Steiner – KTM
10.    Karlynn Beam – KTM
Overall Point Standings WXC –
1.    Kacy Martinez – 139
2.    Mandi Mastin – 120
3.    Becca Sheets – 117

June 6, 2014 – X Games Circuit of the America’s – Austin, Texas

Enduro X favorite and defending champion Taddy Blazusiak collected his fourth X Games gold medal  on Friday after a hard fought battle to keep the lead. Mike Brown took the inside line out of the first turn, but Blazusiak  doubled through the water obstacle to take over the lead.

He stayed out in front until mid-race then went down in the rocks. Colton Haaker jumped in behind Blazusiak and chased his wheel until lapped traffic allowed Blazusiak to get out in front when Hakker got caught up in downed riders in the rock pile eventually ending up fourth. With two laps to go Blazusiak continued to stretch out his lead and he went on to seal his fourth X-Games gold medal. Cody Webb took silver, followed by Alfredo Gomez in bronze.

“I had to give it everything I had,” Blazusiak said. “It was such a close race and a gold medal again. That’s the fourth one I’m going to hang on the wall, so what can I say … I’m super happy.”

enduro-x-xgames taddy-xgames

“It feels great to win another X-Games gold,” stated Blazusiak. “I struggled a little this morning with some of the jumps in practice, but the main is where it counts.”

Martinez takes gold in Women’s Enduro X – Factory FMF/KTM rider Kacy Martinez was thrilled to earn her first-ever X-Games gold medal. She launched her KTM off the start of the women’s event to grab the holeshot and never looked back, leading every lap of the six-lap race. Spain’s Sandra Gomez kept it close throughout on her Husqvarna and took the silver medal and KTM rider Rachel Gutish finished third for the bronze.

kacyraceingmartinez-x-games-gold-2014

“I got a good start, got out in front and just led it from there and tried to stay smooth,” Martinez said. “I’m just so pumped right now. I worked so hard for this.”

http://xgames.espn.go.com/video/11044696/the-best-women-enduro-x-final

Overall Results Men’s Enduro X:
1, Taddy Blazusiak (KTM)
2, Cody Webb
3, Alfredo Gomez
4, Colton Haaker
5, Max Gerston
6, Taylor Robert (KTM)
7, Cory Graffunder (KTM)
8, Ty Tremaine (KTM)
9, Geoff Aaron (KTM)
10, Kyle Redmond (KTM)
11, Chris Hollis
12, Mike Brown

Overall Point Standings Men’s AMA EnduroCross Series:
1, Taddy Blazusiak – 47
2, Cody Webb – 46
3, Colton Haaker – 43

Overall Results Women’s Enduro X:
1, Kacy Martinez (KTM)
2, Sandra Gomez Cantero
3, Rachel Gutish (KTM)
4, Chantelle Bykerk (KTM)
5, Shelby Turner
6, Emma Bristow
7, Tarah Gieger (KTM)
8, Kristie McKinnon
9, Lexi Pechout
10, Morgan Tanke

Jun 7-8 Round 8 Wiseco John Penton GNCC

XC1 Class

Through the first seven rounds of the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series it has been a fierce battle for the Championship between Factory FMF/KTM teammates Kailub Russell and Charlie Mullins. In Ohio reigning champ, Charlie Mullins, was absent due to a recent injury, and Russell took over the points lead with a dominant win.

On and off again rain made conditions somewhat slippery. Russell got a third place start coming around the first corner behind Steward Baylor and Paul Whibley. Russell quickly moved into the lead on the first lap and went on to lead every lap of the to take the win with a 2 minute and 34 second gap over second place

Josh Strang came from behind on the opening lap and found his way into second by the end of the five-lap race. He led a three-way battle on the Sunday Creek motocross track on the last lap before the checkered flag. Despite being challenged by Jordon Ashburn, and Paul Whibley, Strang was able to hold them off to capture a season-best second place finish in the XC1 Pro Class.

Whibley and Ashburn were bar-to-bar in the final turns and in the end it was Ashburn who edged out Whibley to take third place in the XC1 Class.

“I always like this race,” stated Russell. “I felt good all day and made some solid line choices to put a gap on the rest of the field. I’m happy to stretch my points lead heading to the next round.”

kalebrusselround8-1round8strang-1

XC1 Event Results top ten John Penton:
1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
2. Josh Strang (YAM)
3. Jordan Ashburn (YAM)
4. Paul Whibley (YAM)
5. Steward Baylor (KTM)
6. Chris Bach (HON)
7. Thad DuVall (HON)
8. Andrew Delong (HSQ)
9. Takeshi Koideka (HON)
10. Jason Thomas (KTM)

round8xc1podium-1

XC2 Class

After an eighth place start Grant Baylor moved through the pack to take over the lead by the 2.5 mile marker. After taking over the lead Baylor crashed and came through the pack to get back into the lead again. He pulled a large lead over the rest of the pack and moved up to second place overall in the series.

In just his third XC2 race of this season, KR4 Performance-backed Nick Davis overcame a couple of big crashes early on in the race to take second place finish in the XC2 Class.

Raines Riding University/Atlas Cycles’ Ricky Russell began the race outside the top ten but was quickly made his way through the pack to third place on the final lap. Baylor now holds a three-point lead over Russell in the XC2 Pro Lites championship standings.

round8nickdavis-1round8xc2podium-1

XC2 Event Results top ten John Penton:
1. Grant Baylor (KTM)
2. Nick Davis (KTM)
3. Ricky Russell (YAM)
4. Trevor Bollinger (HON)
5. Layne Michael (HON)
6. Sam Evans (KTM)
7. Michael McGinnis (KTM)
8. Derrik Allen (KAW)
9. Chris Douglas (KTM)
10. Ryan Lojak (YAM)

WXC Class

Factory FMF/KTM rider, Kacy Martinez, took another win in the WXC class in Ohio. Coming straight from an X-Games Gold Medal win in Austin, TX she showed what she was made of at the Penton GNCC with an overwhelming win. She got a great start with her factory KTM and won her class by five minutes and stayed ahead of the field to also win the morning overall.

Virginia’s Ashley Copeland finished second in the WXC Class, while N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Becca Sheets rounded out the class podium in third place.

round8wxcpodium-1

Results WXC top ten John Penton
1.    Kacy Martinez
2.    Ashley Copeland
3.    Becca Sheets
4.    Mandi Mastin
5.    Sarah Baldwin
6.    Brooke Cosner
7.    Felicia Robichaud
8.    Samantha Steiner
9.    Karlynn Beam
10.    Cassidy Brown

Round 9 of the Maxix GNCC Series at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia

In the upscale ski resort of Snowshoe West Virginia this last weekend was one of the toughest most spectacular races on the GNCC circuit. Deep mud bogs, massive tree roots and steep hills challenged the racers. Snowshoe’s starting procedure is unique in that the riders liine up on a paved road in groups of five based off the overall point standings with each row taking off 10 seconds apart. It is the last race in the series before the summer break. The next race is in September.

round9snowshoestartround9showshoedelong

XC-1 Race

FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell won Snowshoe getting one step closer in his attempt of becoming a back-to-back champion, a feat that has not been done since David Knight of the UK dominated in 2008 and 2009 and Rodney Smith won in 2001 and 2002.

Russell took off on the first row of the unique live engine start, alongside Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Josh Strang, N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn and KTM Support rider and XC2 Pro Lites points leader Grant Baylor. Russell led the front-runners in the opening laps and in the end by the checkered flag extended his lead to more than three minutes ahead of the pack to capture his third straight win of the season.

Back on the third row RideMPS.com/AMSOIL/Honda’s Thad DuVall made his way into the second. Factory Husqvarna’s Andrew Delong exchanged positions with DuVall and Ashburn throughout the first three laps. On the fourth lap DuVall broke into the overall lead on adjusted time, but began to experience mechanical problems causing him to drop out of the race.

As track conditions deteriorated as the afternoon progressed the top three contenders kept up the pace in the front. Russell maintained an untouchable lead while Jordon Ashburn chased down the leader for second place and Andrew Delong broke into the top three with a third place finish.

“I had a lot of fun out here today,” stated Russell. “I really like this course and am excited to get my second win here and to increase my win streak to three in a row. I hope to keep this momentum going for our return after the summer break.”

XC1 Snowshoe Results:

1. Kailub Russell (KTM)

2. Jordan Ashburn (YAM)

3. Andrew Delong (HSQ)

4. Steward Baylor (KTM)

5. Chris Bach (HON)

6. Josh Strang (YAM)

7. Jason Thomas (KTM)

8. Paul Whibley (YAM)

9. Jesse Robinson (YAM)

10. Ryan Sipes (KTM)

russellround9snowshoe_4800round9snowshoerusselpodium

XC-2 Class

KTM Support rider Grant Baylor had taken over the points lead in the XC2 Pro Lites class coming into the 9th Round at Snowshoe, where he continued to battle with Raines Riding University/Atlas Cycles’ Ricky Russell for the title.

The battle for the lead in the XC2 Pro Lites class was exciting, as Grant Baylor and Trevor Bollinger battled back and forth for the class win. By the checkered flag it was the reigning XC2 champ Baylor who emerged victorious in the XC-2 class while securing a fourth overall. Bollinger came in second in the XC2 class, with a sixth overall. Nick Davis put his KR4 Arrive-N-Ride KTM atop the XC2 Pro Lites podium for third place with an impressive battle through the pack late in the race.

XC2 Snowshoe Results:

1. Grant Baylor (KTM)

2. Trevor Bollinger (HON)

3. Nick Davis (KTM)

4. Jesse Groemm (KTM)

5. Ricky Russell (YAM)

6. Chris Douglas (KTM)

7. Zach Love (KTM)

8. Jedediah Haines (YAM)

9. Sam Evans (KTM)

10. Layne Michael (HON)

snowshieround9xc2podium

WXC Class

In the WXC Class, it was Factory FMF/KTM’s Kacy Martinez who stood atop the podium with her eighth win of the season.  With eight wins out of nine rounds Martinez was able to secure her first career WXC Championship this weekend with four rounds to go before the last round.  KR4 Arrive-N-Ride’s Brooke Cosner captured her first career podium with a second place finish, while Sarah Baldwin rounded out the podium with a third place finish.

I’m so excited to wrap this championship up early,” stated Martinez. “We are also working on the EnduroCross Series Championship, so I am glad to win this one and now focus on the other during the break. I want to give a big shout out to my team for all of their hard work; none of this would be possible without them.”

Snowshoe Results WXC:

1.    Kacy Martinez – KTM

2.    Brooke Cosner – KTM

3.    Sarah Baldwin – KTM

4.    Becca Sheets

5.    Cassidy Brown – KTM

6.    Felicia Robichaud – KTM

7.    Amanda Maheu

8.    Samantha Steiner – KTM

9.    Karlynn Beam – KTM

10. Heather Cosner

ronud9showshoexc2podium

See “Martinez Clinches GNCC Championship” by Motosports Newswire: http://motorsportsnewswire.wordpress.com/tag/kacy-martinez/

Washington WORC

Kacy Martinez used the summer break in the GNCC series to race closer to her home at the Washington WORCS at Straddleline ORV.  With a live engine start she grabbed the hole-shot leading into the motocross track. She increased her advantage as the track wound through the tight woods and as the race progressed sprinted to a five minute lead over second place and the overall.

See: http://www.ktm.com/us/news-events/news/all/details/martinez-tops-womens-pro-class-at-washington-worcs.html

Sep 6-7 Unadilla New Berlin, NY GNCC

The 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, came to New York’s legendary Unadilla Valley Sports Center on Sunday for the tenth round of the 13-race GNCC series.

Pro XC1 Class

In the Pro XC1 class N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s, Paul Whibley grabbed the hole-shot, but was quickly overtaken by Factory FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell  when they reached the famed Unandilla motocross track. Then Russell, the points leader, pulled away for good and took the checkered flag 27 seconds ahead of a hard charging Thad Duval.

russellanadilla

It was Russell’s seventh win of the season and he now enjoys a commanding lead in the championship. Russell’s victory also gave the 2013 National Champion his 20th career overall victory as he continues his bid for a second straight title in 2014 with a 50-point lead over second place.

“I’m glad I was able to get the win today and increase my points lead heading into the final three rounds,” Russell said. “I’m already looking forward to a rock race in a couple weeks in Pennsylvania, it’s going to be fun!”

RideMPS.com/AMSOIL Honda’s Thad DuVall went down in the opening lap, got going again in tenth place and charged back into the frontrunners. Duvall worked his way into the second place by the halfway mark. Then a four-way battle evolved between Thad DuVall, JCR Honda/Rockstar Energy’s Chris Bach, Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Josh Strang and Factory Husqvarna’s Andrew Delong. When they came upon a group of lappers DuVall got though cleanly but Bach got caught up in the slower moving lappers and went down, allowing Strang to catch up and pass him for third.

By the checkered flag DuVall had charged up to second place only a short distance behind the leader. He attributed his success to getting used to the bigger bike. “I usually don’t feel as comfortable on the 450 as I did on the 250F but we spent all summer testing the 450 and raced it at a local race and now I love it,” DuVall said. “Especially on this Unadilla track, I was able to ride in a higher gear and I think it helped out a lot.”

Strang’s third place finish allowed him to move into second place in the championship standings, where he now sits 50 points back from Russell. In the end Russell led every lap of the race; further extending his points lead in the XC1 Pro class as the series approaches its final three rounds of racing.

“Third place isn’t where I’d like to be obviously but I’m glad to finish on the podium and keep working to get that win this season,” Strang said.

XC2 Pro Lites winner Grant Baylor (KTM) finished fourth overall and Honda rider Chris Bach rounded out the top five despite running second for a majority of the race. Bach finished fourth in XC1 and fifth overall for the day after a series of crashes caused him to drop back late in the race. Delong finished six overall, followed by Whibley in seventh, Japan’s Takeshi Koikeda in eighth and Ashburn in ninth after having to race through the pack to salvage a top ten finish.

Pro XC2 Class

XC2 Pro Lites points leader Grant Baylor once again turned heads as he came within three seconds of finishing atop the overall podium in Sunday’s event. Early on Baylor engaged in a battle with XC2 rookie Trevor Bollinger as they quickly worked their way into the XC1 front-runners on time adjustment. Bollinger kept the pressure on Baylor but in the second half of the race Baylor set a pace that couldn’t be matched by the North Carolina native and Bollinger took second place in the XC2 class.

KR4 Arrive-N-Ride KTM’s Nick Davis had a bad start and had to pick his way through the pack. By the mid-way point, Davis was in third and held his position by the checkered flag to claim his third consecutive podium finish this season.

Baylor’s victory marked his third consecutive win this season, where he now enjoys a 29-point lead over Raines Riding University/Atlas Cycles’ Ricky Russell in the XC2 championship standings. Bollinger currently sits third place in the championship standings with two consecutive podium finishes this year.

unandiallxc2poduim

Pro Woman’s  Class

In the morning race, it was an all-out battle between WXC competitors Kacy Martinez and Sarah Baldwin for the overall win. After dicing back and forth, it was Factory FMF/KTM’s Martinez atop the podium once again in the Pro Women’s class and first place overall.

KR4 Arrive-N-Ride’s Sarah Baldwin actually led Martinez for a portion of the race as they fought back and forth for the lead. But she dropped back a little when Martinez upped the pace at the end. Baldwin finished a career-best second overall, as well as second place in the WXC division. N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Becca Sheets rounded out the WXC podium with a third place finish in the class.

MARTINEZ-UNADILLAkacy andilla2014

Car Mate Mountain Ridge GNCC in Somerset, Pennsylvania

XC1 Pro Class

The rocky soil presented a challenge at the Car-Mate Mountain Ridge GNCC in Somerset, Pennsylvania, Sunday where Factory FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell became the seventh rider in AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country history to earn back-to-back National Championship titles when he earned his fifth consecutive win of the season at the Car-Mate Mountain Ridge GNCC in Somerset, Pennsylvania, Sunday.

september21ashburnseptember21delong

But it was N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley who got the holeshot  and took the early lead, followed by Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Josh Strang. N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn crashed at the start nut had taken over the lead early in the first lap. Meanwhile Russell who was running in fifth place at the beginning upped his pace and by the second, lap was challenging Ashburn for the lead.

Russell eventually took over the lead when the two laps to go board went up with Ashburn still in second at the checkered flag. Strang was in third place when he had to drop out after the first gas stop (gas splashed into his lap)and Factory Husqvarna rider Andrew DeLong who had battled back from eighth place took over third. However, XC2 Pro Lites race leader Grant Baylor had, moved all the way up to second place overall on adjusted time.

sept21russelseptember21 factory km

“It feels great to get the championship wrapped up early,” Russell said. “My team worked so hard to help me accomplish this goal, and I am so grateful for their hard work. I hope to continue my win streak at the next two rounds to finish the season off with a couple more victories.”

XC1 Event Results:

1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
2. Jordan Ashburn (YAM)
3. Andrew Delong (HSQ)
4. Ryan Sipes (KTM)
5. Paul Whibley (YAM)
6. Jason Thomas (KTM)
7. Chris Douglas (KTM)
8. Takeshi Koikeda (HON)
9. Thad DuVall (HON)
10. Chris Bach (HON)

XC2 Pro Class

KTM Support rider Grant Baylor extended his lead in XC2 Pro Lites with a fourth straight victory in the class. At the beginning, XC2 rookie Trevor Bollinger held on to the pace of Baylor and they battled back and forth for the lead.  Later in the race Baylor picked up his pace dramatically, where he rode to yet another win in the XC2 class, as well as an impressive second place overall finish.

Bollinger was able to hold onto second, while KR4 Arrive-N-Ride KTM’s Nick Davis after getting the holeshot ended up finishing third.

septmeber 21 baylorseptember21xc2podium

XC2 Event Results:

1. Grant Baylor (KTM)
2. Trevor Bollinger (HON)
3. Nick Davis (KTM)
4. Michael McGinnis (KTM)
5. Sam Evans (KTM)
6. Mark Heresco (KTM)
7. Zach Love (KTM)
8. Callan May (YAM)
9. Derrik Allen (YAM)
10. Mat Herrington (KTM)
Women’s Pro Class

KR4 Arrive-N-Ride’s newest team member, Sarah Baldwin, captured her first victory of the season, followed by Factory FMF/KTM’s Kacy Martinez in second, and KR4 Arrive-N-Ride’s Brooke Cosner came in third place.

september21womenpodium

The next generation

South Carolina’s Cole Mattison made it eight-in-a-row on Sunday with yet another Youth overall victory, as well as the Super Mini (14-15) class win.

Oct 4-5 Powerline Park St. Clairsville, OH

The penultimate round of the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, was full of excitement as 18 of the world’s best off-road racers lined up in the  XC1 Pro class. In a come-from-behind fashion, it was 2010 GNCC National Champion Josh Strang who emerged victorious to capture his first GNCC win since 2011.

However Strang’s victory was not without a good fight as two-time champion Kailub Russell aboard a 150cc KTM two-stroke banged bar with Strang in a battle for the lead. Defending XC2 Pro Lites Champion Grant Baylor rode uncontested all afternoon to wrap up his second straight title in the class.

XC1 Pros

As the green flag dropped for the XC1 Pros, N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley and Factory FMF/KTM’s Russell got a jump on the rest of the field but Whibley prevailed once again to capture another $250 All Balls Racing XC1 Holeshot Award.

In just his first race back from injury, Factory FMF/KTM’s Charlie Mullins took over the lead on the opening lap with Russell hot on his tail. N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn took over third place, with Steward Baylor, Andrew Delong, Whibley and Thad DuVall running close together on the first lap.

By the second lap, Russell fought  his way to the front, with his KTM teammates Stu Baylor and Mullins close behind. Meanwhile, Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Josh Strang cut his way through the pack after a miscue on the start caused him to take off after the pack had left the start.

“I started falling on the starter before the flag flew and the bike just started,” Strang said. “I knew I was in trouble so I tried to make as many passes as I could because I knew I was going to get a penalty.”

ohioxc1leaderpowerlinexc1

Race officials held Strang for 15 seconds after the first lap to reflect a penalty from the start, and the Aussie native used that time to fuel his fire and then put on a hard charge toward the front of the pack. Strang laid down the $150 KR4 Performance fastest lap of the race on lap three as he focused on closing Russell’s lead. When the two-lap card fell, Strang was within striking distance of Russell and the excitement rose as the two battled for the lead.

“It was really rough, especially in the open stuff and not having enough power to go up some of the hills and through the bumps,” Russell said. “But I saw Josh [Strang] coming and he was riding well. We kind of came together over by pro pits, but I wasn’t going to let up, this is racing.”

Russell and Strang battled for the lead throughout the remainder of the race, and the tension rose on the final lap just before the pro pits. Russell came charging through first but was forced to stop for fuel and a repair on his brake pedal and that is where Strang was able to make a clean break for the lead. This allowed Strang to maintain a comfortable gap into the finish.

“Like Kailub said, he’s on a 150 and I’m on a 450 so when I caught him I had so much more power,” Strang commented. “He was just trying to protect the line and we got a little close but it’s alright, it’s racing.”

Strang carried his lead into the finish, where he claimed his first victory since the 2011 season, a bittersweet moment for the past champ.

“It’s been a really long time since my last win so it feels good to get up here,” Strang added. “Kailub was obviously on a 150 today, so yeah he was riding awesome considering it was such a little bike. I’m happy I won either way. It’s good to be up here, it’s a relief.”

The battle for third was between Ashburn, Mullins, Steward Baylor and JCR Honda/Rockstar Energy’s Chris Bach who exchanged positions all afternoon. After leading the opening lap, Mullins settled into the third place for most of the race. But in just his first race back from a double wrist injury over the summer, Mullins admittedly struggled toward the end of the three-hour race and that is when Ashburn began making moves. On the final lap he got by Mullins and Ashburn the checkered flag for a third overall ahead of Mullins. Ashburn now sits only eight points behind Strang for third place in the championship standings.

“I felt like I really needed be on the podium points wise,” Ashburn said. “Going into the second-to-last lap I knew I needed to make up some time. On that last lap, I pushed real hard and when I came up on the guys I knew I had to get in front and get out.”

Pro XC2 Lites

powerlineohio

Ending his XC2 Pro Lites career with a commanding victory, KTM Support rider Grant Baylor was crowned with his second straight XC2 championship. Baylor put on a hard charge finishing seventh overall for the day.

It was a battle for second place in the XC2 Pro Lites class between KR4 Arrive-N-Ride KTM’s Nick Davis and RideMPS.com/AMSOIL Honda’s Layne Michael. They battled back and forth all afternoon but on the final lap when they came to a hill climb they came together and Michael made it through and went on to get second place, while Davis finished nearly one minute back in third.

Pennsylvania’s Michael McGinnis captured the $100 DigitalOffroad.com XC2 Holeshot Award, finishing eighth for the day.

XC Pro Women

KR4 Arrive-N-Ride’s Brooke Cosner captured her first-ever WXC victory, finishing sixth overall for the day. The N-Fab AmPro Yamaha duo of Becca Sheets and Jessica Patterson rounded out the WXC podium with second and third respectively.

The already crowned WXC Champion, Kacy Martinez, had a great start as she led the first lap of the women’s class. She pulled her lead to one minute by the second lap before crashing on the next lap and injuring her right leg and knee. Martinez tried to continue racing but the pain was too much and the team pulled her off for a medical evaluation. Martinez returned home and hopefully heal enough to take part in the final round of the series.

XC1 Event Results:
1. Josh Strang (YAM)
2. Kailub Russell (KTM)
3. Jordan Ashburn (YAM)
4. Charlie Mullins (KTM)
5. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
6. Chris Bach (HON)
7. Daniel Milner (YAM)
8. Paul Whibley (YAM)
9. Takeshi Koikeda (HON)
10. Andrew Delong (HSQ)
*Overall National Championship Standings:
1. Kailub Russell (318)

XC2 Event Results:
1. Grant Baylor (KTM)
2. Layne Michael (HON)
3. Nick Davis (KTM)
4. Scott Grills (KAW)
5. Trevor Bollinger (HON)
6. Craig DeLong (HSQ)
7. Callan May (YAM)
8. Michael McGinnis (KTM)
9. Ian Blythe (KTM)
10. Justin Sode (BET)

The Ironman GNCC in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Sunny and warm weather conditions presented a great ambiance for the newly renovated Ironman Raceway motocross facility where almost 2,300 riders showed up to compete in America’s premier off-road racing series over the course of two days. The 2014 AMSOIL Ironman GNCC posted the highest rider count that GNCC has ever seen in its 40-year lifespan.

XC1 Class

Factory FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell secured his 22nd career victory in the Ironman GNCC with his  nineth overall win this season. Russell clinched the National Championship two rounds early, so he set his sights on winning on a KTM 150XC two-stroke. Many fans didn’t think it was possible on the small two-stroke, but Russell led four of the six laps and captured the 2014 AMSOIL Ironman GNCC Overall.

Factory FMF/KTM Charlie Mullins got the early lead, with Rockstar Energy/WMR KTM’s Ryan Sipes close behind. The KTM duo swapped back and forth throughout the first couple laps but it was Sipes who led the first two laps. Mullins experienced a setback that caused him to slowly drop outside of podium contention as a result of a previous injury. Russell made his way up to the lead battle and made the pass to take over the lead by the third lap where he stayed until the checkered flag.

Sipes continued to stay strong but was joined by a hard-charging battle between Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Josh Strang and JCR Honda/Rockstar Energy’s Chris Bach. The three-way battle for second place continued until just before the two-lap card fell when a mechanical problem removed Bach from that equation. From there, it was a battle between the former motocross/supercross racer Sipes and the 2010 GNCC National Champion Strang for second place. They swapped positions several times throughout the final two laps.

ironmanryansipseironmanstrang

Strang was able to take over second place position on the final lap but Sipes put on a last-minute charge to finish only six seconds behind Strang.  Strang’s second place finish gives him a number two ranking heading into next season.

“Today was fun and I’m happy to end the season on top of the podium,” Strang said. “The last time I came into a season with the number two I ended up winning the championship [in 2010] so I’m looking forward to it.”

Sipes’ impressive third place finish marked his first career podium finish in his rookie season of GNCC Racing.

“It feels really good to finally get a podium finish here in GNCC,” Sipes said. “I led for two and a half laps and it’s just good to know I can charge at the end of a race and not get tired like I was at the beginning of the season. I had a good day and I’m just really thankful to end the season this way.”

Russell was in a league of his own for a majority of the three-hour race, where he ultimately finished a minute and a half ahead of second place, aboard a KTM 150XC. Despite being underpowered with the smaller engine size, Russell was able to capture the $150 KR4 Performance fastest lap award on lap two, which is an impressive feat in itself.

“I want to thank everyone who told me I couldn’t win on a 150, because you gave me the motivation to come here and do my best,” stated Russell on the podium. “I am so excited to win on this bike and that it has helped raise a lot of money for Rory Mead. Thank you to everyone who participated in the raffle.”

Ironman-2014russellIronmanxc1Podium-2014

XC2 Pro Lites

With two-time champion Grant Baylor graduating into the XC1 Pro ranks, the XC2 Pro Lites podium was up for grabs. KR4 Arrive-N-Ride KTM’s Nick Davis cametook the $100 DigitalOffroad.com XC2 Holeshot Award, but it was RideMPS.com/AMSOIL Honda’s Layne Michael who passed him for the lead on the opening lap. Michael led the way for the first two laps, with Davis and Factory Husqvarna-supported rookie Craig Delong joining in the three-way battle for the lead before the end of the second lap.

Davis took over the lead by lap three and created a gap between him and the second place battle between Michael and Delong where they came together for an exciting battle in the final two laps of racing. However it was Michael in the end held off the rookie Delong and capture second place in the class. Delong, the recently crowned 250 A Champion, maintained his position to finish on the podium in just his second XC2 Pro Lites appearance since making the move from 250 A.

ironman-xc2davis2014ironmanxc2podium

WXC Champion Kacy Martinez

WXC Champion, Kacy Martinez, started on the Four-Stroke Lites A class. Her consistent lap times earned her a 15th place finish overall in her class.

“It was definitely more tiring racing in the Four-Stroke Lites A class today,” Martinez said.

“I had a lot of fun but the track was rough and it got pretty challenging near the end of the day. It was still a great experience and I am glad for the opportunity.”

XC1 Event Results:

1.    Kailub Russell (KTM)
2.    Josh Strang (YAM)
3.    Ryan Sipes (KTM)
4.    Andrew Delong (HSQ)
5.    Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
6.    Jordan Ashburn (YAM)
7.    Takeshi Koikeda (HON)
8.    Paul Whibley (YAM)
9.    Grant Baylor (KTM)
10.    Charlie Mullins (KTM)

Overall National Championship Standings:
1.    Kailub Russell (348)
2.    Josh Strang (241)
3.    Jordan Ashburn (223)
4.    Charlie Mullins (208)
5.    Grant Baylor (202)
6.    Andrew Delong (178)
7.    Paul Whibley (177)
8.    Steward Baylor Jr. (134)
9.    Chris Bach (123)
10.    Ricky Russell (117)

XC2 Event Results:
1.    Nick Davis (KTM)
2.    Layne Michael (HON)
3.    Craig DeLong (HSQ)
4.    Scott Grills (KAW)
5.    Sam Evans (KTM)
6.    Alex Teagarden (YAM)
7.    Mark Heresco (KTM)
8.    Ian Blythe (KTM)
9.    Lucas Statom (YAM)
10.    Mat Herrington (KTM)

XC2 Series Standings:
1.    Grant Baylor (322)
2.    Trevor Bollinger (253)
3.    Ricky Russell (233)
4.    Layne Michael (177)
5.    Nick Davis (162)
6.    Callan May (151)
7.    Sam Evans (141)
8.    Jesse Groemm (119)

Overall Point Standings WXC Class:

  1. Kacy Martinez – 180
  2. Becca Sheets – 162
  3. Brooke Cosner – 155
This entry was posted in Racers. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s