Russell-GNCC-Off-Road-7-1-13SNOWSHOE, W. Va. – It was a picture perfect day for racing in eastern West Virginia as Round 9 of the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series took place at Snowshoe Mountain Resort on Sunday. In a grueling three-hour battle to the finish, Kailub Russell came from behind to secure his third consecutive win of the season at the AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC, closing the points gap on his teammate Charlie Mullins in the National Championship chase. In the XC2 Class, Grant Baylor claimed his third win of the season where he maintains the points lead heading into summer break.

Russell started on the front row alongside Charlie Mullins, Chris Bach, Paul Whibley and Josh Strang, but a crash on the opening lap set the Factory FMF/KTM rider a ways back from the lead pack. Mullins put himself out front right away, where he led the first two laps of the race.

Springville, IN – Factory FMF/KTM rider Kailub Russell collected his fourth win of the season at the sixth round of the GNCC Series at the series newest Indiana venue.

Russell earned a mid-pack start behind his teammate, Charlie Mullins, who rounded the first lap in 2nd place. Russell quickly moved through the pack and soon found himself battling with Mullins for the lead. The two riders quickly pulled from the rest of the pack while swapping for the lead through the first half of the race.

On the fourth lap while battling for the lead, Mullins encountered a mechanical issue at the farthest point of the 10.5 mile course. His team rushed to him in order to provide assistance. He eventually received the help he needed but found himself one lap down and in 13th place when he reentered the course. With two laps left to make up positions, he set to work. He eventually made up two more positions and finished 11th overall for the day.

Meanwhile, Russell began to pull a larger lead over the XC1 class as each lap progressed. At the end of the 7 lap race he finished over a minute ahead of the 2nd place ride of Paul Whibley. Russell’s win moved him up in the overall point standings. Now six rounds into the series, he is tied for the championship points lead with Whibley.

KTM XC2 rider Steward Baylor suffered his first loss of the series. After working his KTM to the front of the pack from a bad start he suffered a mechanical issue while leading that cost him a lap. He eventually returned to the racing action and was able to salvage a 10th place result. Baylor still maintains a comfortable lead in the series point standings.

Factory FMF/KTM rider Maria Forsberg dominated the Women’s GNCC class once again. She walked away with her sixth win of the series to remain undefeated in the Women’s class. “It feels great to get another win,” remarked Forsberg. “The goal is to go undefeated in the women’s class and also capture the overall win the in the morning class. The team is behind me 100% and I believe both goals are within reach.”

Union, S.C. (April 16, 2012) – It’s no longer a matter of earning stripes for Factory FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell, who locked down his third consecutive XC1 Pro class victory at Sunday’s VP Racing Fuels Big Buck GNCC, one of the most rugged stops on the 13-race circuit. Russell has already proven he’s got what it takes to hang with former GNCC champs Charlie Mullins (2011) and Paul Whibley (2010); but after growing up through the GNCC youth ranks, the 22-year-old is quickly becoming the rider to beat in the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series.

Whibley once again grabbed the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award on his AmPro Yamaha YZF450, but it was Russell who set the early pace on his KTM 350, as he led the avenging duo of Whibley and Mullins who haven’t been able to beat Russell since Whibley took the opening round in Florida over a month ago.

Russell put a sizeable gap between himself and the Mullins/Whibley battle about midway through the three-hour race and he especially turned it up as the two-lap card fell. And that’s when the major twists started to take place for Mullins and Whibley, as they took turns getting stuck in the mud hole on the final two laps. Russell capitalized on their mistakes to extend his lead even more, as he seemed to have ridden a nearly flawless race through the rough and tumble South Carolina obstacles.