GNCC-Mullins-3-13-13River Ranch, Fla. (March 12, 2013) – Factory FMF/KTM’s Charlie Mullins topped a stacked field of riders at the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country season opener in River Ranch, Florida. The win wasn’t exactly handed to the 2011 GNCC champion, though, as teammate Kailub Russell and former XC1 champ Josh Strang and Paul Whibley contested Mullins throughout the full three-hour battle, presenting a lethal combination of some of the roughest and highest speed terrain on the 13-race circuit. XC2 Pro Lites winner Andrew DeLong made waves from the second row, finishing fifth overall in front of an exciting battle for second between reigning XC2 champ Jason Thomas and Pro Motocross star Zach Osborne.

The Moose Racing Westgate River Ranch GNCC historically kicks off the GNCC season in a big way, taking place just a couple hours south of the infamous Daytona Bike week festivities. But perhaps more importantly is the fact that the season opener also serves as an industry hub for all types of off-road racing to meet up for a spectacular weekend of cross-country racing, scouting and networking.

St. Clairsville, OH -Making it look all too easy, FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell claimed his first-ever XC1-class victory with a dominating performance at the ITP Powerline GNCC in St. Clairsville, Ohio – round 12 of the 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Series.

On a day when most of the focus centered on the two main contenders for the 2011 title, Russell put in a statement ride that served notice to the competition that his intention is to be a regular visitor to the center step of the podium. In his first season of XC1 competition, Russell has landed himself on the podium several times this year – finally getting a win over his veteran competition.

On a fast and slippery course – one that also had its share of treacherous mud holes and unforgiving hills – Russell passed FMF/KTM teammate Charlie Mullins on the opening lap when Mullins stalled his bike. After that, the two-time XC2 champ put the hammer down and began building a lead that stood at over a minute by the end of the three-hour race.

The victory not only marked the first-ever win for Russell in the XC1 class, but it was also the first win for the new KTM 350 XC-F, which Russell has been riding all year.

Morgantown, W. Va. (October 4, 2011) – FMF KTM’s Charlie Mullins has set into a favorable two-race win streak in the title chase for the 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series. Mullins holds the largest points margin of the season, now commanding FMF Makita Suzuki’s Josh Strang by seventeen points. But thirty points are available for a GNCC race-win and there are still four points-paying events left in the series, this title is still up for grabs.

Factory FMF/KTM rider Charlie Mullins earned his third win of the season at the tenth round of the Grand National Cross Country Series held at Unadilla Raceway in New Berlin, NY, and more importantly, put his KTM back on top of the XC1 point standings.

Rain earlier in the week had caused major flooding on certain portions of the course which caused the track officials to shorten the loop to 9 miles. The course averaged 20 minute lap times which made GNCC history when riders completed nine laps in the 3-hour race marking the most laps ever completed at a GNCC event.

Mullins got off to a great start rounding the first turn in 2nd position. He was followed closely by his FMF/KTM teammates Kailub Russell and Cory Buttrick. Mullins was able to get around holeshot winner Paul Whibley and was then passed by Buttrick and Josh Strang. Shortly into the first lap, Buttrick and Strang came together when Strang went for a double jump and landed on Buttrick. Both riders went down. The crash ended Buttrick’s race as he was sent to the hospital with a concussion while Strang sat sidelined in the pits for three laps before his bike was repaired. The incident left Mullins and Russell up front to battle for the lead.

Millfield, OH (July 10, 2011) - Paul Whibley (right) used a dramatic last-second pass to claim an exciting win at the Wiseco John Penton GNCC, round nine of the 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Series in Millfield, Ohio.

The New Zealand off-road star put his Am Pro/FMF/Yamaha YZ450F into the lead at the start of the race, claiming the $250Motosport.com Holeshot Award in the process, and then proceeded to lead most of the three-hour contest. However, heading into the final hour, FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell drew even with Whibley, as the two locked into a battle that would see them trade the lead several times over the next two laps.

Russell held the advantage heading into the motocross section for the final time, which made up last few hundred yards of the course. However, with two turns to go before the finish, Whibley made a spectacular pass over the final jump to steal the lead – and the win – away from Russell.

The win was Whibley’s third of the year and it helped to tighten up the three-way battle for the 2011 series title.

SNOWSHOE, WV – FMF Makita Suzuki’s Josh Strang edged out the competition and piloted his FMF Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 to take the checkers at the sixth round of the 2011 Grand National Cross Country Series at the Snowshoe Mountain resort in Snowshoe, WV on Sunday. Strang rode strong throughout the entire three-hour race to pull off the race win and extend his championship points lead.

After a grueling, race-long battle, Strang moved his FMF/Makita Suzuki around the leader on the final lap of the three-hour race and avoided any mishaps over the final few miles to take the victory, his second of the year. The Snowshoe GNCC is billed as America’s Toughest Race, and Strang was pleased to come out on top at this year’s event.

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)

Snowshoe, W. Va. – The eighth round of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series heads to the beautiful mountains of Snowshoe, W. Va. this weekend for the spectacular MotoSport.com Snowshoe GNCC. Arguably one of the toughest races on the circuit, Snowshoe always presents a challenging course that only the toughest racers survive.

Constructed around the famed Blackwater 100, participants start live engine on a paved road in groups of five, every five seconds, making for a spectacular scene. This particular GNCC has always fared as a favorite for racers and families as well as fans because of the amenities Snowshoe Mountain has to offer.

Although he hasn’t won the most races, FMF Makita Suzuki’s Josh Strang leads the points chase after landing consistent top five finishes every weekend so far. FMF KTM’s Charlie Mullins trails by a mere two points to Strang after finishing third behind the Aussie in the last round of racing in Pennsylvania.

AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley captured his second win of the season in the rocky Pennsylvania terrain, with high hopes of sealing another win in the rocky grounds of Snowshoe this weekend. WMR’s Nate Kanney captured the win here at Snowshoe a year ago. The New Yorker is experienced in the rough and tough conditions of Snowshoe and is highly favored heading into the weekend.

The XC2 Lites class has provided nothing short of bar banging action this year as riders like Steward Baylor Jr., Jesse Robinson, Jason Thomas and Jordan Ashburn have battled it out to the end every weekend. With three wins on the season, Baylor inches out Thomas for the points lead while Andrew DeLong and Brad Bakken sit close behind.

Wednesday, June 22 kicks off the 4th Annual GNCC University, presented by Yamaha Racing. The three-day riding school takes place in the trails of Snowshoe Mountain and students of all skill levels will learn from Yamaha Racing’s multi-championship winning staff on both ATVs and motorcycles.

On Friday, the 9th Annual GNCC Golf Tournament returns to the picturesque Ravens Club for a day of fun and relaxation before a weekend of racing. Top racers, sponsors and fans will participate in four-person teams for a list of prizes and a spot on the coveted traveling trophy. The golf tournament is open to anyone and everyone. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. on Friday at the Ravens Club, followed by a tee time of 9 a.m. The cost is $300/team and all proceeds will benefit the Brain Injury Research Institute at West Virginia University.

Spectator passes run $20 for the full weekend, with pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge. On both Saturday and Sunday, youth riders race at 8 a.m., beginner riders race at 10 a.m., and the top amateurs and the pros race at 1 p.m.

For directions to Snowshoe Mountain, please click HERE. For more information, check out the official series website at www.GNCCRacing.com or call 304-284-0084.

FMF/KTM Factory rider Charlie Mullins earned his fourth podium finish of the season with a 3rd place result in the GNCC XC1 class at the fifth round of the GNCC Series held in Patton, PA.

This round, originally scheduled as the seventh round of the series will count as the fifth race after the previous two rounds have been cancelled due to unruly rain storms that damaged the courses and warranted them unrideable on race day. Finally, the third attempt at a fifth round was successful as riders geared up for a race which would prove to be the complete opposite in terms of track conditions than the previous two attempts.

“The weather was very hot today, completely unlike any of the other GNCC races this season,” remarked FMF/KTM rider Cory Buttrick. “It was also extremely rocky and fast. There were rocks everywhere, some planted in the ground and others loose on top of the hard-packed course.”