Dunlop Tires Tiger Run: Motorcycle Race Report

Ricky Russell (AmPro Yamaha) earned his first win of 2023 at the Dunlop Tires Tiger Run. Photo: Ken Hill


The Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, (GNCC Racing) concluded round four, Dunlop Tires Tiger Run, on Sunday April 2, 2023, in Union, South Carolina. The day saw sunny and warm conditions throughout the day, a very different scene from the previous round of racing.

As the green flag waved and the bikes fired up, it was Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Josh Strang grabbing the $250 All Balls Racing XC1 Holeshot Award. Yet it wouldn’t take AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell long to make his way into the early lead. Russell would continue to hold the lead for the duration of the race, coming through to earn his first victory of the 2023 season.

Behind Russell the positions were constantly changing throughout the three-hour race, but it would be Rocky Mountain/Tely Energy KTM Racing’s Steward Baylor making a last lap pass for the second place position after working his way up front from a fifth place start to the day. Magna1 Motorsports/Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn would cross the line in third overall, rounding out the podium, after running second for majority of the race.

As he came through scoring in ninth on the opening lap, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig DeLong would battle his way towards the front only to crash and work his way back up through the pack. DeLong would go back-and-forth between third and fourth for the last couple of laps, ultimately coming through fourth to finish the day.

After making a mistake early in the race FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Ben Kelley would find himself working his way up for majority of the race. Kelley would end up fifth overall on the day, maintaining his second place position in the points standings.


Steward Baylor (Rocky Mountain/Tely Energy KTM Racing) battled back to earn second overall and extend his points lead. Photo: Ken Hill


Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Josh Strang would come through third on lap one after earning the holeshot, but he would have a setback on lap two forcing him to battle towards the middle of the pack for most of the race. Strang would come through sixth overall at the fourth round of racing. FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Jonathan Girroir would finish seventh on the day after a rough start put him at the back of the pack. Girroir would continue to push for the duration of the race, as he continues to improve each week.

Making his way up to eighth overall after an eleventh place start to the day in his home state of South Carolina was the Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green-backed racer, Grant Baylor. Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Thad Duvall would have an up-and-down day as he continued to push, crossing the line ninth in XC1 and 14th overall.

Rounding out the top 10 in XC1 was GASGAS/FXR/Scott Goggle’s Layne Michael. However, Michael was only able to complete three of the laps and was forced to push his bike back to his pit area. Michael was having a great run, coming through second and then in the third place position before his machine quit.

Ruy Barbosa (center) earned his first-ever XC2 250 Pro class win. Cody Barnes (left) and Liam Draper (right) rounded out the top three. Photo: Ken Hill


As the XC2 250 Pro class took off it was Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Mason Semmens grabbing the $250 Steel City Men’s Clinic Holeshot Award, however the racing action behind him was heating up as the racers made their way through the woods on the opening lap. AmPro Yamaha’s Liam Draper would hold the early lead, but he would soon have Phoenix Racing Honda’s Ruy Barbosa right behind him ready to make a pass for the lead.

Barbosa would make a pass for the lead, but he would find himself engaged in a heated battle with Draper for majority of the race as the two swapped the lead position back-and-forth. Barbosa’s teammate, Phoenix Racing Honda’s Cody Barnes would enter the mix upfront and make a pass for the lead later in the race. Barnes would hold the lead for two laps, but a mistake on the last lap would let Barbosa make the pass stick for the first place position. As they emerged from the woods it would be Barbosa coming through to earn his first-ever XC2 class win. Barnes would finish second, with Draper coming through to round out the XC2 top three.

Current points leader FMF RPM KTM Racing’s Angus Riordan would finish fifth on the day, as the defending champion Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Lyndon Snodgrass had a rough day coming through seventh in class. The Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ryder Lafferty, XC2 class front-runner earlier this season, would suffer from mechanical issues through the day.

Toby Cleveland (Beaver Creek Cycles/Bells Electric/Wossner Pistons) earned his third win of the season in the FMF XC3 class. Photo: Ken Hill


In the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class it would be Beaver Creek Cycles/Bells Electric/Wossner Pistons’ Toby Cleveland battling his way up through the pack to take home his third win of the season and extend his points lead in the class. Hall’s Cycles/Enduro Engineering/Moose Racing’s Jhak Walker would make his way onto the podium once again as he came through second in the class. Carolina XC/Moose Racing/KTM’s Zack Hayes would round out the top three in the FMF XC3 class on the day. FXR/X Brand Goggles/6D Helmet’s Dakoda Devore would earn the $100 Lojak Cycle Sales XC3 Holeshot Award to start the race.

Earning the Tiger Run Top Amateur honor was Michael Delosa who came through 18th overall, and first in the 250 A class. Coming through second on the Top Amateur podium was second place 250 A finisher, Jason Tino who came through 20th overall, while Joseph Cunningham rounded out the Top Amateur podium and 250 A top three finishers on the day. Cunningham would come through 24th overall.

Rachael Archer (center) earned the WXC class win, with Rachel Gutish (left) and Shelby Turner (right) rounding out the top three. Photo: Ken Hill


When the WXC class took off for the morning race it was GASGAS/Over and Out/RG Factory Racing’s Rachel Gutish jumping off the line to grab the $100 Trail Jesters WXC Holeshot Award. However, when the pack of racers came through timing and scoring on the opening lap it was Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Korie Steede leading the way.

However, it would not take long for AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer to close the gap and make the pass into the lead position. Archer would continue to push and place a gap over the field, crossing the line first and earning her second win of the season while taking over the points lead in the class after four rounds of racing. GASGAS/Over and Out/RG Factory Racing’s Rachel Gutish would continue to push, coming through to earn second in the class. Rounding out the WXC podium was KTM/FXR/Enduro Engineering’s Shelby Turner as she battled her way up to third as the white flag came out. Turner would put her head down and push, earning her first podium finish of the season. Unfortunately for Steede, she would fall back to third and fourth before being unable to take the checkered flag due to a mechanical issue.

Ryan Amancio grabbed his second youth overall win of the season. Photo: Ken Hill


In the morning youth race, it would be Ryan Amancio coming around first to earn the Youth Overall and YXC1 Super Mini Sr. class win in South Carolina. This is Amancio’s second win of the season, he currently sits second in the points standings behind Austin Tsakanikas. Caleb Wood would come through to earn second overall, and first in the YXC2 Super Mini Jr. class, followed by Brayden Baisley coming through third overall in the youth race and second in YXC2. Canyon Richards and James Jenkins would round out the top three in the YXC1 class, while Jiggs Fustini rounded out the YXC2 top three.

In the 85 Big Wheel (11-15) class it was Colton McQuarrie taking home the win, while Travis Lentz earned his fourth-straight win in the 85 (12-13) class. Ace Tokar earned the 85 (7-11) class win, and Evan Porter came through first in the 65 (10-11) class. After earning the win in Saturday’s Micro Bike race, Maverick Boyer earned the 65 (9) class win. Tripp Lewis would win the 65 (7-8) class and Addison Harris kept her win streak alive by earning the Girls Super Mini (12-16) class win. Sahara Robinson took the Girls 85 (7-13) class win, and Paisley Harris earned her second win in the Girls 65 (7-11) class. Cale Dejarnett won the Youth Trail Rider (7-15) class at Tiger Run.

Broc French was awarded the AMSOIL Moto Hero honors at Tiger Run. Photo: Ken Hill


The AMSOIL Moto Hero was awarded to Broc French at this weekend’s Tiger Run GNCC. Broc is from Southport, Florida and serves in the United States Air Force. Broc has been in the USAF for 15 years and has served in 4 deployments to the Middle East. Broc received numerous leadership awards while in the service and has nominated over 25 times by family, friends and fellow racers in the series. It was said in almost every nomination that Broc is what a true moto hero is all about. Broc received a $250 AMSOIL Shopping spree, a set of Kanati Truck Tires courtesy of GBC Tires, a commemorative American Flag and gift certificate from Columbia Sign and Company as well as a camouflage pair of 100% Goggles.

Ricky Russell (center), Steward Baylor (left) and Jordan Ashburn (right) rounded out the top three overall finishers at the Dunlop Tires Tiger Run. Photo: Ken Hill


Dunlop Tires Tiger Run Results and Points Standings
Union, South Carolina
Round 4 of 12
Sunday, April 2, 2023

XC1 Pro Event Results:

  1. Ricky Russell (YAM)
  2. Steward Baylor (KTM)
  3. Jordan Ashburn (HQV)
  4. Craig DeLong (HQV)
  5. Ben Kelley (KTM)
  6. Josh Strang (KAW)
  7. Jonathan Girroir (KTM)
  8. Grant Baylor (KAW)
  9. Thad Duvall (GAS)
  10. Layne Michael (GAS)

*Overall National Championship Standings:

  1. Steward Baylor (98)
  2. Ben Kelley (92)
  3. Craig DeLong (85)
  4. Ricky Russell (69)
  5. Jordan Ashburn (64)
  6. Grant Baylor (55)
  7. Josh Strang (53)
  8. Angus Riordan (43)
  9. Ruy Barbosa (40)
  10. Lyndon Snodgrass (38)

*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2023 National Champion.

XC2 250 Pro Event Results:

  1. Ruy Barbosa (HON)
  2. Cody Barnes (HON)
  3. Liam Draper (YAM)
  4. Mason Semmens (KTM)
  5. Angus Riordan (KTM)
  6. Grant Davis (KTM)
  7. Lyndon Snodgrass (KTM)
  8. Michael Witkowski (HON)
  9. Jesse Ansley (KTM)
  10. Nathaniel Tasha (KTM)

XC2 250 Pro Series Standings:

  1. Angus Riordan (83)
  2. Ruy Barbosa (81)
  3. Ryder Lafferty (78)
  4. Lyndon Snodgrass (75)
  5. Cody Barnes (74)
  6. Liam Draper (73)
  7. Mason Semmens (59)
  8. Evan Smith (56)
  9. Grant Davis (48)
  10. Michael Witkowski (47)


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