Russell Tops Rocky Mountain GNCC

21092016_KalibER

The FMF/KTM rider continued his hot run of form claiming his eighth win from 11 rounds this series.

21092016_KalibER
pic – Ken Hill

By Hayden Gregory

Racing for round eleven of the 2016 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series got underway with a holeshot to Ricky Russell earning the $250 All Balls Racing XX1 Pro Holeshot award in the process. Unfortunately the lead was shortlived however as a small mishap allowed Cory Buttrick to move to the front. Championship leader Russell suffered from a poor start but eventually began to move though the pack as expected.

Buttrick was soon caught by the champ before also falling into the clasps of Thad Duvall. Out in front Kailub began to pull away and looked certain to secure his eighth win of the season. A few minor issues over the closing stages didn’t seem to faze Russel as he cruised to victory by 54 seconds.

“As easy as it may look sometimes, it’s never easy,” said Kailub Russell. “The track was pretty brutal with the dusty and hard-packed conditions, and it really takes a toll on your body and you just have to be patient. I got a terrible start and I was just impatient after that and continued to push through.

Duvall was able to hold on for second place despite some late pressure from Ricky Russell in third.

“The course was rough and I felt a little off all day,” said Duvall. “I just couldn’t ride my bike the way I wanted to. I decided to slow down and ride my own race to feel safe and keep it off the ground. When Ricky caught up to me I realized I wasn’t ready to get third again so I just put my head down and charged pretty hard the last few laps.” 

Despite leading early, a crash hampered Ricky Russell’s chances and he was forced to play catch ups for the remainder of the race, ultimately claiming third.

I got off to a great start and then just got a little wild in the third corner and went down,” said Ricky Russell. “I got back up and was mid-pack trying to work my way through the dust. I crashed a few more times and then I started picking my lines and slowly worked my way through everyone. It’s been a rough year with ups and downs but it just feels good to finally make it happen.”

Kailub Russell now leads the 2016 GNCC championship by 50 points over injured Australian rider Josh Strang. Trevor Bollinger is the next closest competitor in third, 131 points behind Russell.

The series will now head to Clairsville, Ohio for round twelve next weekend, October 1st and 2nd.

XC1 Pro Event Results:
Kailub Russell (KTM)
Thad Duvall (HSQ)
Ricky Russell (SUZ)
Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
Jordan Ashburn (KTM)
Cory Buttrick (KTM)
Josh Strang (HSQ)
Johnny Aubert (BET)
Ryan Sipes (HSQ)
Chris Bach (HON)

*Overall National Championship Standings:
Kailub Russell (286)
Josh Strang (236)
Trevor Bollinger (155)
Jordan Ashburn (143)
Steward Baylor Jr. (134)
Thad Duvall (130)
Craig Delong (127)
Ricky Russell (120)
Grant Baylor (117)
Chris Bach (105)
*Indicates that the Overall National

Damien Ashenhurst
About Damien Ashenhurst 1723 Articles
Managing Editor of DIRT ACTION magazine. Damo doesn't like cheese or ISIS. Can often be found riding in mud because it's closest to the natural environment of a squid.