Kailub Russell Team shot628

Photo credit: Ken Hill

Kailub Russell has won his fifth consecutive Grand National Cross Country title by winning the penultimate round of the championship at St Clairsville, Ohio.

The FMF / KTM Factory racing backed rider worked his way to the front of the race and didn’t look back.

A small crash in which Russell lost his front mudguard didn’t hold him back for long and despite momentarily losing the lead to Jordan Ashburn, he was soon back in front.

"Today was a good day,” told Russell. “It looked like it was going to be really awesome this afternoon before it started raining and got slick.

“I made a dumb mistake and fell over and broke my front fender off, and then I was just roosting myself out. But yeah, it's been a great a year and I'm happy to get number five and tie the all-time win record today."

Grant Baylor Holeshot

Photo credit: Ken Hill

The day’s racing started at 1pm. A sprinkling of rain helped to make the already muddy track even worse. Husqvarna's Grant Baylor didn't let the rain bother him when he raced his way to the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award.

Baylor maintained the lead through the endurocross section with Husqvarna Racing's Josh Strang, Beta USA's Jordan Ashburn and KTM's Kailub Russell in tow.

Baylor cruised through timing and scoring on the first lap still in the lead, while Strang went from second to fourth just one turn before the checkpoint, allowing for Russell to move into the runner-up position with Ashburn behind him in third.

Yamaha's Ricky Russell had worked his way into third, but also had issues at the creek jump allowing Baylor to move back up to retake the position. Russell seemingly ran his own race up front and came to the finish 1:13.500 ahead of Strang who had one of his best rides of the season in second.

Russell Bobbitt

Photo credit: Ken Hill

Russell's win was enough for him to wrap-up his fifth-straight title in addition to tying Scott Summers on the all-time win list.

KTM's Russell Bobbitt was continually pushing through the pack and was in fourth when the two-lap card came out. Baylor looked to be in a good position for the podium until taking a bad line through the creek jump just one mile before the finish.

Bobbitt took the main line and made the pass on Baylor to land his first ever podium finish in third. Baylor followed in fourth, with R Russell in sixth overall. Jonathan Girroir rebounded from two different crashes on the first lap to have his best finish to date with ninth overall.

XC2 Class

When the green flag waved for the second row, RPM/KTM's Mike Witkowski grabbed $100 Hot Cams XC2 250 Pro Holeshot Award, but Husqvarna's Layne Michael quickly took the lead. Michael led the majority of the race in an overall podium position until he had a small tip-off just before the white flag came out.

Craig Delong

Photo credit: Ken Hill

Michael's teammate, Craig Delong, was right there to make the pass and continued leading until the chequered flag - claiming his first win of the season. Michael and Yamaha's Josh Toth finished second and third. KTM Racing's Ben Kelley and Witkowski rounded out the top-five in the XC2 250 Pro division.

XC3 Class

Coastal Racing's Jack Edmondson barely edged out Husqvarna's Tayla Jones for the $100 Wiseco Holeshot Award in the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class. Edmondson continued leading from start to finish for the class win, with his team manager Barry Hawk racing his way to second, followed by Devan Welch in third.

125 Podium

Photo credit: Ken Hill

Eleventh overall earned Husqvarna's Alex Teagarden top amateur honours. Matthew Keefer and Jojo Bowden finished second and third respectively.

WXC Class

KTM's Mackenzie Tricker secured her first WXC win of the season along with the 10 a.m. overall. Becca Sheets was second, with 125 B/C class winner Randall Ervin finishing an impressive third overall. Brooke Cosner capped off the WXC top-three.

Womens Podium

Photo credit: Ken Hill

Youth Class

The 8 a.m. youth race kicked off the day with some exciting race action where each lap had a different leader. At the end of the race it was Mack Riemer standing in the middle of the box claiming his first win of the season. Max Fernandez and Shawn Myers rounded out the overall podium.

Zack Davidson missed the podium, but his sixth overall finish allowed him to secure the overall youth championship.

Zack Davidson youth

Photo credit: Ken Hill

Results

XC1 Open Pro Event Results:

  1. Kailub Russell (HSQ)
  2. Josh Strang (HSQ)
  3. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
  4. Grant Baylor (HSQ)
  5. Ricky Russell (YAM)
  6. Jonathan Girroir (KTM)
  7. Trevor Bollinger (HON)
  8. Ryan Sipes (HSQ)
  9. Andrew Delong (HSQ)
  10. Jordan Ashburn (BET)

*Overall National Championship Standings:

  1. Kailub Russell (290)
  2. Thad Duvall (202)
  3. Ricky Russell (199)
  4. Steward Baylor (193)
  5. Josh Toth (180)
  6. Grant Baylor (162)
  7. Trevor Bollinger (137)
  8. Craig Delong (130)
  9. Layne Michael (130)
  10. Russell Bobbitt (122)

*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2017 National Champion. 

XC2 250 Pro Event Results:

  1. Craig Delong (HSQ)
  2. Layne Michael (HSQ)
  3. Josh Toth (YAM)
  4. Ben Kelley (KTM)
  5. Mike Witkowski (KTM)
  6. Zach Nolan (KTM)
  7. Sam Evans (KTM)
  8. Jesse Groemm (KTM)
  9. Triston Landrum (YAM)
  10. Ryder Lafferty (KTM)

XC2 250 Pro Series Standings:

  1. Josh Toth (322)
  2. Craig Delong (268)
  3. Layne Michael (262)
  4. Mike Witkowski (211)
  5. Ben Kelley (177)
  6. Austin Lee (168)
  7. Jesse Groemm (164)
  8. Zack Hayes (138)
  9. Sam Evans (114)
  10. Zach Nolan (109)

FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am Event Results:

  1. Jack Edmondson (HSQ)
  2. Barry Hawk (HSQ)
  3. Devan Welch (YAM)
  4. Chris Venditti (YAM)
  5. Shawn Page (KTM)
  6. Hunter Neuwirth (HSQ)
  7. Mark Heresco Jr. (KTM)
  8. Jaryn Williams (YAM)
  9. Tayla Jones (HSQ)
  10. Josh Adkins (YAM)

FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am Points Standings:

  1. Jason Thomas (292)
  2. Hunter Neuwirth (232)
  3. Mark Heresco Jr. (219)
  4. Jack Edmondson (208)
  5. Jaryn Williams (150)
  6. Josh Adkins (148)
  7. Devan Welch (132)
  8. Paul Whibley (117)
  9. Nate Smith (62)
  10. Dustin Gibson (61)