News 30 May 2016

Russell extends, Strang second at John Penton GNCC

Jones makes it two Aussies on the podium with WXC runner-up.

Image: Ken Hill.

Image: Ken Hill.

The seventh round of the 2016 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, took place on Sunday, with The 27th Annual Wiseco John Penton GNCC at the popular Sunday Creek Raceway in Millfield, Ohio.

At the end of the grueling three-hour race FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s defending champion Kailub Russell would find himself in the middle of the box further extending his win streak to five in a row.

Once the green flag waved to signify the start of the Pro race, Russell would find himself in the lead grabbing the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award and leading the way into the Ohio woods.

Russell would maintain the lead as he checked in to timing and scoring for the first time, with Westfield Powersports KTM Presented by Moose Racing’s Jordan Ashburn and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing/Bel-Ray’s Josh Strang behind him in second and third.

After overshooting a corner and getting tangled up in the trees Russell handed over the lead on the second lap to Ashburn. His mishap also allowed Strang to take over the second place position.

However, it would not take long for the defending champion to recover and take back over the lead by the time the second lap concluded. Once Russell was back into the lead he slowly began to pull away, leaving a battle for second between Strang and Ashburn that would last through the second lap until Strang was able to clear the way and set his sights on Russell.

After getting a good jump off the start but getting knocked down in the second turn Rocky Mountain ATV MC/KR4/FAR Racing Husqvarna’s Thad Duvall was busy working his way up from fifth, and Duvall’s hard work would pay off when he made the pass for third on the third lap.

After suffering from an illness the week prior to the race, Strang would slowly begin to fade once the two-lap card came out. Duvall would continue turning quick lap times and get within 20 seconds of Strang before coming together with a lapped rider allowing for Strang to maintain the second place position.

With a good amount of time between the top three racers, Obermeyer/MCS Racing Suzuki/Kenda/Fly Racing’s Ricky Russell found himself riding a consistent race in fifth, but was able to capitalise on Ashburn’s unfortunate mechanical issue and have his season best finish with fourth overall. SRT/KTM/Kenda Tires’ Steward Baylor took home fifth in XC1 Pro and ninth overall.

FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kacy Martinez stood on the top spot of the WXC podium taking home the victory and the overall win, while Australian N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Tayla Jones finished second overall.