Round eleven of the 2018 GNCC series produced hard-fought results with Thad Duvall claiming the overall and Tayla Jones clinching her second WXC National Championship.
The 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series hit Mount Morris, Pennsylvania at Mathews Farm this weekend and saw Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Thad Duvall put in a hard-fought win at the three-hour race.
XC1 Open Pro class
It was Duvall who got a good jump off the line to earn the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award, with FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell right behind him.
When the pack made their way through timing on lap one it was Tely Energy Racing/KTM’s Steward Baylor Jr. leading the way from JCR Honda’s Trevor Bollinger with Duvall three seconds behind him in third.
The battle was on as the race wore on, Duvall had worked his way into the second place on lap two and set his sights on Baylor Jr. As they made their way around on lap four Duvall would make the pass and hold onto the lead until the chequered flag flew.
Holding onto second was Baylor Jr., while Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Josh Strang worked his way through the pack to earn a third place in the XC1 Open Pro class and fourth overall. K. Russell would have an uncharacteristic rough day as he came around on lap one in sixth then working his way up to the fourth place in his class, but fifth overall finish on the day.
Coastal Racing/Husqvarna’s Pascal Rauchenecker made his debut in the XC1 Open Pro class on Sunday. Rauchenecker found himself in the fifth position throughout the race, and when the chequered flag flew he had earned his first XC1 top five finish. After running at the front of the pack earlier in the race, Bollinger found himself in the sixth by the finish.
Tely Energy Racing/KTM’s Grant Baylor finbished seventh after starting just inside the top 10. AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell had a good start coming around in fourth, but he would fall back as far as tenth before working his way back up to eighth by the final lap. KR4/Husqvarna teammates, Layne Michael and Cory Buttrick rounded out the top 10 in XC1 Open Pro.
XC2 250 Pro class
The XC2 250 Pro saw some great battles throughout the race with Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Ben Kelley and FMF/KTM Racing’s Josh Toth back and forth the whole day. It was Kelley who upped his pace and manage to land his first career overall podium position on adjusted time at the finish. Toth held onto second and sixth overall on the day.
MCS Racing/SIDI/Arai-backed rider, Jonathan Girroir worked his way through the pack making a last lap pass to secure his second XC2 podium finish of the season. Coastal Racing/Husqvarna’s Craig Delong was running in third for the majority of the day, but after Girroir’s last lap pass, grabbed a fourth place class finish. Beta USA’s Mike Witkowski found himself inside the top five throughout the entire race day. Witkowski would battle up in fourth before finishing the day out in the fifth place position.
XC3 125 Pro-Am class
FMF/Maxxis/RPM KTM’s Jesse Ansley found himself at the front of the pack in the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class as the chequered flag flew. Ansley earned his fifth win of the season after a rough day of racing in Pennsylvania. Coastal Racing/Husqvarna and Pennsylvania native, Alex Teagarden earned the $100 Wiseco FMF XC3 Holeshot Award before taking second position as the race concluded. Teagarden also moves up into second in the points standings heading into the last two races. Tely Enery Racing/KTM’s Zach Nolan rounded out the podium with his first third place finish in the class.
Women’s win for Sheets, Championship for Jones
As the 10 a.m. race took off conditions were steadily improving throughout Mathews Farm. Fly Racing/Maxxis/Seat Concepts/KTM’s Becca Sheets worked her way into the lead as she came through timing and scoring on the third lap – a position she held to the flag.
KR4/Husqvarna’s Taylor Jones lead initially but fell as far back as fourth in class at one point in the race before turning it around for second by the flag.
After earning six wins, three second place finishes and one third, Jones clinched her second-straight WXC National Championship with two rounds still to race. KTM/Bonaza Plumbing/Trail Jesters’ Mackenzie Tricker rounded out the Mason-Dixon WXC podium in third.
As conditions began to improve from the rainfall earlier in the week, the youth division took to the track at 8am with Pennsylvania’s Max Fernandez earning the overall win and the YXC1 Supermini Sr. (14-15) class.
Tyler Palmer came through in second followed by Brayden Nolette rounding out the top three. Joseph Cunningham took the YXC2 Supermini Jr. (12-13) class win, with Canon Kuneff earning the 85cc (12-13) class win. Prestin Raines came away with another Girls (8-15) class win, while Haley Phillips and Trinady Warinner rounded out the Girls top three.
GNCC Racing will resume in two weeks with the Powerline Park GNCC in St. Clairsville, Ohio on the weekend of October 15 and 16.
The 1pm Bike Pro race was broadcast LIVE in its entirety on RacerTV.com and can be viewed as archived video online by visiting the GNCC LIVE page online. A highlight show featuring the event will be aired on the NBC Sports Network on Saturday, November 10 at 3:00pm.
More information: gnccracing.comReport: GNCC/Kayla OlliverPhoto Credit: Ken Hill