Delong-Gncc-husqvarna-3-18-13Corona, CA – March 18, 2013 – A mere four days after having dominated the opening round of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series, XC2-class racer Andrew DeLong backed it up with another victory, this time at The General GNCC in Washington, Georgia.

Much like the season opener in River Ranch, Florida only days earlier, the win was a tough fight for DeLong. This time he had Grant Baylor to duel with in the battle for the XC2 class lead. True to form, DeLong let his training do the talking. With two laps left, AD came in for fuel, where his mechanic, Joe Maurer, said, “It’s time to see who’s in shape!”

An all-out sprint in the last laps of the three-hour race saw DeLong with a 23-second lead at the white flag. He pushed hard to the finish, leaving Baylor and factory motocross racer Zach Osborne to battle for second.

Salley, SC – Factory FMF/KTM rider Charlie Mullins earned his second victory of the season at the second round of the AMA National Enduro Series after winning 5 of the 6 special tests.

Mullins arrived at the location full of confidence as he was fresh off a win from the opening round. Mullins tied for the win in the first special test and went on to win the next four in a row after that. Heading into the final test he had a 1 minute and nearly 30 second lead over the rest of the field.

“I was definitely feeling confident today and my KTM 350 XC-F has been working perfectly so far this season,” remarked Mullins. “Unfortunately, I suffered two small crashes in the final test that kept me from earning a solid time in that section. After the crashes, I told myself to just relax and ride in safe so I could take home the win.”

Maplesville, AL – Factory FMF/KTM rider Russell Bobbitt ended his season in the best way possible after capturing the win at the final AMA National Enduro round.

Bobbitt rode strong through all six special tests. Throughout the day, Bobbitt was able to earn three of the six special test wins and held the lead from the second test through the finish.

“I had a really fun time riding today,” remarked Bobbitt. “The rain helped keep what was going to be a really dusty race into perfect race conditions. There were a lot of tight sections that I really enjoyed and I am happy to walk away with the win at the end of the season.”

Cross Fork, PA – KTM rider Steward Baylor claimed his fifth victory of the season after taking the win at the seventh round of the AMA National Enduro Series with a 2 second margin over 2nd place finisher Mike Lafferty.

Baylor proved his strength has returned as he lined up for the start of the Rattlesnake Enduro now almost completely healed from his early season wrist injury. Baylor started the race well, matching Lafferty for the 2nd fastest time in the first special test.

In the second test, Baylor topped the charts and moved into the lead. He then finished inside the top three on the next three tests, matching Lafferty again on the fifth test. Heading into the final test, Baylor trailed Lafferty and knew he had to throw down a great time in order to come out with the win. Baylor succeeded at his task and set the fastest time in the final test to win with a 2 second margin over Lafferty.

Baylor’s win helps strengthen his points lead on the series. With three rounds remaining, Baylor now has a 23 point lead in the championship standings.

Overall Results
1.    Steward Baylor
2.    Mike Lafferty
3.    Nick Fahringer
4.    Jesse Groemm
5.    Andrew Delong
6.    Thad Duvall
7.    Russell Bobbitt
8.    Grant Baylor
9.    Brad Bakken
10.    Tanner Thomas

Overall Point Standings
1.    Steward Baylor – 191
2.    Mike Lafferty – 168
3.    Russell Bobbitt – 131

Lafferty and Fahringer Podium at Rattlesnake National Enduro

 

Cross Fork, PA – Husaberg Factory riders Mike Lafferty and Nick Fahringer both landed on the podium at the seventh round of the AMA National Enduro Series finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.

After taking a win at the Wyoming round, Lafferty was eager to repeat his success at the Rattlesnake Enduro. Lafferty got off to a great start in the first test section matching the second fastest time with KTM rider Steward Baylor. Lafferty and Baylor would remain close in times on the next two tests.

It was Fahringer who picked up the pace in the fourth test. “I rode overly cautious in the first few tests and finally stepped up to the plate at the end of the race,” commented Fahringer. The Husaberg rider turned the fastest time in the fourth test to take the section win with Lafferty finishing 2nd and Baylor in 3rd.

Sumter, SC – The 17 year-old, Steward Baylor, continues to impress off-road fans with his fast-speed and technical abilities on his KTM motorcycle at such a young age. Today he stepped up his game again when he took his first-ever pro career AMA National Enduro Series win.

Baylor has been setting records throughout his teenage years in the GNCC Series and he was most recently crowned the GNCC XC2 Lites Champion in 2011. He took the past two and half months that made up the off-season and trained hard to come out to the opening round of the AMA National Enduro Series in Sumter, SC and make himself and his Ride PG/KTM Team a threat for the championship.

The Georgia native was impressive from the start to the end of the race. He took three of the six special test wins in order to claim his first victory. He was strong in each section only making a mistake in the fourth test where he hit his head on a tree branch that he wasn’t able to duck under. Luckily, he was okay and came back to finish second fastest in the fifth special test and first in the final test.

“It feels great to come out to the first round and get the win,” remarked Baylor. “I have been training really hard over the past year to increase my sprint speed and I think it shows today. I’d like to thank my team and my family for their help to get me to this level in my racing.”

Joining Baylor on the podium was 8-time National Enduro Champion Mike Lafferty finishing in the runner-up position and fellow KTM rider Charlie Mullins who put his FMF/KTM on the final podium step.

KTM earned two spots on the podium at the eighth round of the GNCC Series as KTM support rider Nate Kanney earned 2nd overall followed by FMF/KTM rider Charlie Mullins who finished 3rd.

Both riders started the race inside the top ten and quickly moved up through the pack. Kanney and Mullins came across the first lap in 2nd and 3rd place. Mullins moved into the lead at one point early in the race before he became tangled with a lapper and lost precious time. When he recovered he had fallen to 5th place and he spent the remaining three laps working his way back onto the podium.

Kanney started 2nd and remained in 2nd to earn his best finish this season. “I love this race and am very excited to finish on the podium here. It was a tough ride today but I had a lot of fun,” remarked Kanney.

Mullins commented, “I am excited to get 3rd here. I have always had bad luck at this race and to land on the podium is great news.”

Mullins’ teammates, Kailub Russell and Cory Buttrick earned spots within the top ten finishing 6th and 8th overall.

In the XC2 class, KTM support rider Steward Baylor rode his most impressive race of the season. Baylor put his KTM two-stroke in the lead early on and went on to take a huge win. In addition to winning his class he placed 3rd in the overall combined finishes.

“My bike worked great today,” remarked Baylor. “The course was so muddy and challenging but the two-stroke handled it well. I had no issues and put in a great ride.”

Continuing her winning trend, RPM/KTM rider Maria Forsberg, took another win in the Women’s Pro class. Forsberg lead every lap of the race and went on to win by eight minutes.

Next Event: Millfield, OH – July 10, 2011

Overall Results XC1 Class –

1)     Josh Strang

2)     Nate Kanney – KTM

3)     Charlie Mullins – KTM

4)     Rory Mead

5)     Paul Whibley

6)     Kailub Russell – KTM

7)     Nick Fahringer

8)     Cory Buttrick – KTM

9)     Thad Duvall

10) Kenneth Gilbert – KTM

 

Overall Results XC2 Class –

1)     Steward Baylor – KTM

2)     Jesse Robinson – KTM

3)     Andrew Delong – KTM

4)     Zack Nolan – KTM

5)     Scott Watkins

6)     Zackery Smith – KTM

7)     Morgan Moss

8)     Justin Williamson – KTM

9)     AJ Stewart

10) Peter Weiss

Snowshoe, W. Va -FMF/Makita Suzuki’s Josh Strang claimed the $5,000 top prize at this year’s Motosport.com Snowshoe GNCC by taking a narrow victory over WMR Off-road/Clockwork/FMF/Planet Fitness KTM’s Nate Kanney after an exciting, race-long battle in what turned out to be an extremely difficult event.

Snowshoe GNCC is considered “America’s Toughest Race” and this year was tougher than usual after scattered showers turned the rooted and rocky mountain course into an extremely treacherous one. And due to the many mud holes and slippery climbs found along the trail, several riders held the lead at one point or another, as one rider would lead only to get stuck or fall and hand the spot over to someone else. In all, Am Pro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley, FMF/KTM Charlie Mullins, JG Racing/GEICO Powersports Honda’s Rory Mead, Am Pro Yamaha’s Thad DuVall and KTM rider Stu Baylor, along with Strang and Kanney, all held the lead somewhere during the three-hour race.

Heading into the fifth and final lap, the lead group consisted of Baylor, Mullins, Strang, and Kanney, however, Mullins and Baylor got stuck part way into the lap, leaving Kanney with the lead and Strang in second.

Near the end of the final lap, Strang got by Kanney in a mud hole and managed to stay out of trouble for the rest of the race. At the finish, Strang edged Kanney by just two seconds to take the win.

“I was just hoping to finish up front and I was happy to follow Nate, he’s had some good rides here the last few years,” said Strang. “If I could have followed him over the line I would have been happy, so to get in front of him there at the end and get the win was fantastic.”

Kanney, who was the 2010 Snowshoe winner, was hoping to capitalize on a late mistake by Strang, but the opportunity never presented itself.

“On the last lap, I knew Strang was there and I knew he was going to be strong and I didn’t really want to be leading at that point – it’s not necessarily good to be leading here on the last lap,” said Kanney. “So I thought if Strang passed me I was going to let him have it let him take all the risk. After he went around me we put the hammer down and we got through everything clean. He got really close to getting stuck in one place but he didn’t, and after that I never had a chance to catch him.”

With the win, Strang extended his lead in the 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Series to 11 points over Mullins, who ended the day in third.

“It was pretty challenging out there and I made a mistake on the next-to-last lap and lost a lot of time,” said Mullins. “I was able to charge back and catch Baylor, but by then Nate and Josh were gone. I’m pretty disappointed but I think this is the best I’ve ever ridden here, so I feel good about that.”

Fourth in the XC1 division went to Mead, a New Zealand native who just recently moved to the States to give the GNCC series a try. Meanwhile, fifth went to fellow Kiwi Paul Whibley, who threw his chain several times over the course of the race.

FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell ran with the lead pack early, but eventually finished sixth ahead of factory Husaberg rider Nick Fahringer.

Cory Buttrick put his FMF/KTM into eighth, ahead DuVall and KTM rider Kenny Gilbert.

Each year the Snowshoe GNCC awards a generous overall purse, which this year was courtesy of St. Lawrence Radiology Group and Friends of Coal.

After challenging for the overall win, Stu Baylor ended the day third in the overall standings and he won the XC2 division, his fourth class win of the year.

“It was crazy out there,” said Baylor. “I just kept pushing and found myself in the overall on the last lap, and about miles from the end I made a mistake in a mud hole and my glove was covered in mud and I just couldn’t hold on and I just kept dropping back. But I knew I was winning my class and I just held on.”

After nearly winning the overall last year, WP/RidePG KTM rider Jesse Robinson settled for second in the XC2 division this year.

“Just making it through this race with your bike in one piece is a plus,” said Robinson. “There was nothing pretty about my ride, I just held on to the handle bars and took it to the finish.”

Rounding out the podium was Pennsylvania KTM rider Andrew DeLong, who struggled with suspension problems for most of the day.

KTM rider Zack Nolan was fourth, some 45 seconds behind DeLong, while JG Off-road/GEICO Powersports Honda’s Scotty Watkins was fifth, another 12 minutes back.

Zachery Smith was sixth on a KTM, with FAR Husqvarna’s Morgan Moss nailing down the seventh position.

Justin Williamson (KTM), AJ Stewart (Yam) and Peter Weiss (Yam) rounded out the top 10.

In the A.M. race, six-time National Hare Scrambles Champ Jason Raines (Yam) battled with Brandon Higgins for most of the race, but came on strong to take the overall and Sportsman A class wins.

Randall Riggs (Yam) topped David Fallas (KTM) and Adam Cable (Yam) to win the Masters A (50+) class, while Maria Forsberg (KTM) beat out Nina Cobb (Hon) and Dawn Silvia (KTM) to take the Women’s class win.

In the Youth race, Gary Myers (Yam) edged Anthony Stone (KTM) to win the overall and the Super Mini (14-15) division.

Austin Lee (KTM) was third overall and first in the Super Mini (12-13) class.

The 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series heads to Millfield, Ohio for the Wiseco John Penton GNCC on July 9 & 10. ATV racing will take place on Saturday, followed by bike racing on Sunday. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.

 

XC1 Results:

1. Josh Strang (Suz)

2. Nate Kanney (KTM)

3. Charlie Mullins (KTM)

4. Rory Mead (Hon)

5. Paul Whibley (Yam)

6. Kailub Russell (KTM)

7. Nick Fahringer (Hsb)

8. Cory Buttrick (KTM)

9. Thad DuVall (Yam)

10. Kenny Gilbert (KTM)

 

XC1 Standings:

1. Josh Strang (153/2 wins)

2. Charlie Mullins (142/2 wins)

3. Paul Whibley (119/2 wins)

4. Nate Kanney (97)

5. Cory Buttrick (94)

6. Kailub Russell (84)

7. Chris Bach (72)

8. Mike Lafferty (64)

9. Jimmy Jarrett (53)

10. Garrett Edmisten (46)

 

XC2 Results:

1. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)

2. Jesse Robinson (KTM)

3. Andrew DeLong (KTM)

4. Zack Nolan (KTM)

5. Scotty Watkins (Hon)

6. Zachery Smith (KTM)

7. Morgan Moss (Hsq)

8. Justin Williamson (KTM)

9. AJ Stewart (Yam)

10. Peter Weiss (Yam)

 

XC2 Standings:

1. Steward Baylor Jr. (151/4 wins)

2. Jason Thomas (117/1 win)

3. Andrew DeLong (112)

4. Jesse Robinson (102/1 win)

5. Brad Bakken (90)

6. Scotty Watkins (85)

7. Jordan Ashburn (81)

8. Morgan Moss (71)

9. Shane O/Banion (69)

10. Zachery Smith (63)