2018 GNCC in Washington, Georgia featured another KTM versus Husky battle

Kailub Russell and Thad Duvall Battle at The Maxxis General GNCC
Ben Kelley Earns Second-Straight XC2 250 Pro Class Win

WASHINGTON, Ga. (March 19, 2018) – Round three of the 2018 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, an AMA National Championship took place in Washington, Georgia at Aonia Pass MX on Sunday, March 18. A battle would ensue all day long between FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell and Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Thad Duvall. K. Russell would cross the line 2.4 seconds ahead of Duvall to earn his third-straight win of the season. 

Russell got a good jump off the line, and earned himself the $250 All Balls Racing XC1 Holeshot award, and as they headed into the woods Duvall would have a small bobble in the third corner. Coming through on lap one, AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell would find himself in the number one spot. After holding off the rest of the XC1 Pro class, misfortune would strike the Yamaha rider and he would have to retire for the remainder of the race. 

Kailub Russell earned his third-straight win at The Maxxis General GNCC in Washington, Georgia. 

– Ken Hill

As the racing continued, it was JCR/Honda’s Trevor Bollinger and BETA USA’s Jordan Ashburn who would be battling it out on the second lap. Coming through pro row on lap two, the riders were a mere second apart from each other. Tely Energy Racing/KTM’s Steward Baylor Jr. made his way through the pack, ultimately pulling ahead at the end of the three-hour race with Bollinger hot on his heels for the third place position. S. Baylor would end the day on the podium in third place while Bollinger would hold on to finish fourth.

Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Josh Strang had another impressive ride at The General. Even though Strang started mid-pack, he would work his way through the field and run in the fourth place position during lap four. Strang would finish the day out in the fifth place position, and he currently sits sixth overall in the National Championship points. 

Running with the lead pack early, Jordan Ashburn would have the best ride of his season so far and end the day sixth place in the XC1 class and seventh overall. KR4/Husqvarna’s Layne Michael would continue his consistent season thus far to finish the day seventh in the XC1 class and eighth overall while Tely Energy Racing/KTM’s Grant Baylor would round out the top ten overall.

Ben Kelley (center), Pascal Rauchenecker (left) and Nick Davis (right) rounded out the XC2 250 Pro class podium.

– Ken Hill

Fresh off the first XC2 250 Pro class win of his career at the previous round, Trail Jesters/KTM-backed rider, Ben Kelley would make it two in a row as he would once again claim the class win and sixth overall. After an early battle with FMF/KTM Factory Racing Josh Toth and Coastal Racing/Husqvarna’s Pascal Rauchenecker, Kelley was able to pull away in the late stages of the race to claim the win. Rauchenecker would hang on to finish second place in the XC2 250 Pro class and ninth overall while Factory GasGas/FAR’s Nick Davis would claim his first podium finish of the season in third. 

The FMF XC3 Pro-Am class would see an all-out battle in the early stages of the race as Jacob Rowland would grab the $100 Wiseco FMF XC3 Holeshot and lead the opening lap. As the race wore on, it would be a three-rider battle between Raines Riding University/Yamaha’s Jason Raines, MC Racing’s Cody Barnes and FMF/Maxxis/RPM KTM’s Jesse Ansley. When the checkered flag flew, it would be Barnes taking his first-ever FMF XC3 Pro-Am class win ahead of Raines and Ansley rounding out the podium in second and third, respectively. The FMF XC3 Pro-Am class has seen three different winners in three rounds thus far in 2018, making it one of the most exciting classes to watch. 

Cody Barnes earned his first win in the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class.

– Ken Hill

The 10 a.m. amateur race would see defending WXC class champion, and KR4/Husqvarna rider, Tayla Jones come away with the class and overall win once again, continuing her win streak in the 2018 season. Former WXC champion, FLY Racing/Maxxis/SeatConcept’s Becca Sheets, would put together an excellent performance challenging Jones for the lead throughout the middle portions of the race. In the end, Sheets would end the day second place in WXC and second place overall. BETA rider, Rachel Gutish would round out the WXC class podium in third while Sportsman A class rider, Zach Beverly rounded out the overall podium in third. 

In the 8 a.m. youth race it would once again be Peyton Whipkey claiming the YXC1 class and overall win. Whipkey remains undefeated thus far in 2018, as he has claimed the class and overall win in all three rounds. Tyler Palmer would ride to his first overall podium of the 2018 season as he claimed second place in the YXC1 class and second place overall. Max Fernandez would round out the podium in third place overall. 

Kailub Russell rocketed off the starting line to earn the All Balls Racing XC1 holeshot award.

– Ken Hill

Trevor Bollinger came across the finish line 1 second behind S. Baylor taking the fourth place position.

– Ken Hill

XC1 Open Pro Event Results: 

  1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
  2. Thad Duvall (HQV)
  3. Steward Baylor Jr (KTM)
  4. Trevor Bollinger (HON)
  5. Josh Strang (HQV)
  6. Jordan Ashburn (BET)
  7. Layne Michael (HQV)
  8. Grant Baylor (KTM)
  9. Jesse Groemm (KTM)
  10. Russell Bobbitt (KTM) 

*Overall National Championship Standings: 

  1. Kailub Russell (90)
  2. Thad Duvall (71)
  3. Steward Baylor Jr (67)
  4. Trevor Bollinger (51)
  5. Ben Kelley (47)
  6. Josh Strang (44)
  7. Layne Michael (40)
  8. Pascal Rauchenecker (37)
  9. Josh Toth (31)
  10. Craig Delong (28) 

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

XC2 250 Pro Event Results: 

  1. Ben Kelley (KTM)
  2. Pascal Rauchenecker (HQV)
  3. Nick Davis (GAS)
  4. Craig Delong (HQV)
  5. Evan Smith (HQV)
  6. Jonathan Johnson (YAM)
  7. Ryder Lafferty (KTM)
  8. Jonathan Girroir (SUZ)
  9. Tegan Temple (KTM)
  10. Zack Hayes (KTM) 

XC2 250 Pro Series Standings: 

  1. Ben Kelley (75)
  2. Pascal Rauchnecker (61)
  3. Josh Toth (55)
  4. Craig Delong (51)
  5. Liam Draper (35)
  6. Austin Lee (34)
  7. Zack Hayes (31)
  8. Evan Smith (31)
  9. Ryder Lafferty (30)
  10. Jonathan Johnson (29) 

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