Consistency prime for Yamaha-mounted Aussie in the US.
Josh Strang has raced to another podium finish in the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series in the Big Buck GNCC at Union, South Carolina, on Sunday.
Factory FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell extended his winning streak to three-in-a-row at the fourth stop of the 13-round series, topping his teammate and closest competitor Charlie Mullins by approximately one minute in the end.
However, like his other two wins this season, Russell had to work for this one. N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley secured the $250 All Balls Racing XC1 Holeshot Award, while his teammate Jordan Ashburn grabbed the lead on the opening lap.
While the rest of the pack was rounding the second corner, Russell was just getting through the start straight after another rider went down in front of him. From there, Russell charged his way through the pack, eventually taking over the lead from Mullins on lap three.
Mullins kept the pressure on Russell throughout much of the race, but a couple of mistakes cost him a substantial amount of time in the final laps of the three-hour race.
Russell’s round four victory will give the reigning champ the overall points lead and white number plate background for the first time this season, with only a two-point advantage over Mullins heading into the fifth round.
Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Strang ran into issues firing his bike up on the start, where he immediately tucked in behind Russell on the opening lap.
Strang made his way into the third place position and set his sights on Mullins for second place. Just as he reeled the KTM duo in, Strang had a crash that set him back a little further. Despite a valiant effort on the final lap, Strang wasn’t able to catch the leaders in time for the chequered flag.
“I caught Charlie and he picked up the pace and I couldn’t hang there at the end of the race,” Strang said. “I used a little more energy trying to catch those guys. I wanted to give it a go and I nearly did at the end but once I had that crash I was pretty much done.”
Factory Husqvarna’s Andrew Delong put forth the best ride of his XC1 Pro Class rookie season in South Carolina for fourth, followed by Whibley in fifth.
The 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes 26-27 April with the Dunlop Limestone 100 in Springville, Indiana.
2014 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series
Round four – Union, SC
1. Kailub Russell
2. Charlie Mullins
3. Josh Strang
4. Andrew Delong
5. Paul Whibley
6. Jordan Ashburn
7. Grant Baylor (XC2)
8. Steward Baylor
9. Jason Thomas
10. Ricky Russell (XC2)
XC1 championship standings:
1. Kailub Russell 102
2. Charlie Mullins 96
3. Josh Strang 81
4. Jordan Ashburn 69
5. Paul Whibley 68
6. Steward Baylor 60
7. Thaddeus Duvall 51
8. Ryan Sipes 50
9. Andrew Delong 48
10. Takeshi Koikeda 45