Knight Rolls at Can-Am Unadilla GNCC


New Berlin, NY – David Knight’s luck is good again. The Red Bull KTM rider dominated the Can-Am Unadilla round of the Grand National Cross Country Series, topping FMF Suzuki teammates Jimmy Jarrett and Josh Strang. His title rival Barry Hawk struggled to sixth, while Red Bull KTM’s Justin Williamson led wire-to-wire to win the XC2 Lites class and take over the points lead.

            ‘Yeah this one was good,’ said Knight. ‘On the first lap we were all back and forth, there were so many lines. And then we hit the backmarkers and you would hit one line that really worked out, and then you hit a bad one and a bunch of guys would go past you. You just had to be patient and hope it worked out. The course was good, though.’

            As Knighter began to pull away from the pack after two laps, a friendly battle for second broke out between Strang, the young Australian, and his veteran teammate, roommate and training partner Jarrett. On the last lap, Jarrett got away.

            ‘I’m getting used to being up here,’ said Jarrett, with four podiums in the last five races. ‘The conditions were perfect, it was tacky and a little technical. It was fun battling with Josh, but I when I got away from him on the last lap, I put on a little burst to get away from him.’

            With a podium at 19 years old, Strang, a rookie in the US, was ecstatic. ‘If I let all my emotions out right now, I would really embarrass myself,’ said Strang, who collected the Racer X Holeshot Award and stayed up front all day. ‘It just feels unreal, I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do up here! I got the holeshot, and I thought the pace was really fast early on and I wouldn’t be able to stay up there. But I did it. I don’t know, I didn’t do anything different, it just worked out for me.’

            The other member of the FMF Suzuki team, Glenn Kearney, rode solid for fourth, with Parts Unlimited Moose Honda’s Paul Whibley in fifth. The title contenders struggled, as Hawk took sixth.

            ‘I don’t know,’ said Am-Pro Yamaha’s Hawk. ‘I felt like I was riding okay, but I was going backwards. I do know I didn’t have as much confidence as a normally do in the forks. I couldn’t square up the corners like I normally do and avoid the rough stuff. Maybe that was it.’

            Charlie Mullins had trouble, too. The young Ohio rider actually led the first lap of the race with Knight, but then suffered from chain problems again, with his chain eventually damaging his shift lever. He would soldier on to seventh, just seconds ahead of Walpole Trucking/Action Kawasaki privateer Garrett Edmisten.

            In XC2, Williamson made short work of the long race by grabbing the Holeshot, checking out early and never letting the pack get close.

            ‘Just had a good day,’ said Williamson. ‘I like racing here in New York, the fans are always good and help cheer. I’ve been racing races up here for years, they’re always good events. Seems like everything is starting to work out now.’

            The GNCC 200 A Champion, Kailub Russell, moved up to XC2 in his pro debut, and ran second early on his Powersport GrafX KTM 125SX. He eventually succumbed to the challenge of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/FAR Kawasaki teammates Josh Weisenfels and Scott Watkins, who took second and third. Then Dustin Gibson rounded out the field in fourth, with Russell ending up fifth in his debut.

            XC2 Pro Lites points leader Rodney Smith failed to finish his second race in a row with a groin injury. Smith drops to third in class points on his FMF Suzuki RM-Z250, but the class does offer two throw away scores, which keeps Smith in the hunt.

             Knight rode with extra motivation, as his close friend Colin McCrea, multi-time World Rally Champion in cars, was killed in a helicopter crash the day before the race. ‘After that you realize that with the bad luck I’ve been having, it’s still only motorcycle racing,’ said Knight. ‘But I wanted to do it, and it game me that extra focus. When I would be behind the backmarkers, I just wanted to push it to keep up front.’

            Knight now holds a 20-point lead in the chase for the overall GNCC title.

The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series continues in two weeks with the Yadkin Valley Stomp GNCC in Yadkinville, NC on September 29 and 30.

Photos by Jason Hooper: [email protected]


Can-Am Unadilla GNCC

New Berlin, NY

September 16, 2007

XC1 Pro

1          David Knight               Isle of Man, UK           KTM   02:53:44

2          Jimmy Jarrett               Beloit, OH                    SUZ     02:58:19

3          Joshua Strang               Australia,                      SUZ     02:58:44

4          Glenn Kearney Australia                      SUZ     02:59:59

5          Paul Whibley               New Zealand,               HON   03:00:29

6          Barry Hawk, Jr Smithfield, PA YAM   03:00:58

7          Charles Mullins Hamilton, OH               YAM   03:02:34

8          Garrett Edmisten           Vero Beach, FL           KAW   03:02:38

9          Jesse Robinson Connellys Spg, NC       KAW   03:04:09

10        Brian Garrahan Boulder Creek, CA      YAM   03:06:53

11        Jason Raines                 Belfair, WA                  YAM   03:08:34

12        Jason Gilleland Vale, NC                     KTM   03:13:52

13        Michael Cole               Bethlehem, CT KTM   03:05:12

14        Matthew Crouch          Pittsburg, TX               YAM   03:21:46

15        Shane Watts                 Australia                      KTM   02:21:56

16        Robbie Jenks               New Straitsville, OH     KTM   00:43:35

17        James Roberson           Bel Air, MD                 HON   01:07:45

XC2 Pro Lites

1          Justin Williamson          Sanford, FL                  KTM   03:02:05

2          Josh Weisenfels            Fort Smith, AR KAW   03:03:41

3          Scott Watkins               Leetonia, OH               KAW   03:04:57

4          Dustin Gibson               Cmbrlnd Frnce, TN      KTM   03:08:43

5          Kailub Russell               Kingston, OH               KTM   03:11:19

6          Scott Decosta               Acushnet, MA              SUZ     03:12:57

7          Wallace Palmer            Atco, NJ                      KAW   03:14:40

8          Guy Giroux                   Canada,                      SUZ     03:16:29

9          David Oettell               Cadiz, KY                    HON   02:54:41

10        Brian Lawson               Adams, MA                 YAM   02:54:56

11        Eric Bailey                    King George, VA        KTM   02:55:52

12        Ryan Echols                 Fairmont, WV              YAM   02:59:12

13        Thaddeus Duvall           Williamstown, WV       YAM   03:01:46

14        Jake Korn                    Brookline, NH              KTM   03:04:23

15        John Day                      Norton, MA                 HON   03:14:57

16        Rodney Smith               Antioch, CA                 SUZ     01:59:37

17        John Bennett                 Allison Park, PA           YAM   02:09:30

18        Cole Calkins                 East Sparta, OH           KTM   01:42:33

19        P A Allen                     Charlotte, TN               KAW 01:15:31

Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series Standings

(After 10 of 13 rounds)


1. David Knight 209/5 wins

2. Barry Hawk, Jr 189/2 wins

3. Charlie Mullins 166/1 win

4. Garrett Edmisten 156

5. Jimmy Jarrett 154

6. Glenn Kearney 148

7. Paul Whibley 124/1 win

7. Joshua Strang 124

9. Jesse Robinson 108

10. Shane Watts 92

XC2 Pro Lites

1. Justin Williamson (173/2 wins)

2. Scotty Watkins (164/1 win)

3. Rodney Smith (161/3 wins)

4. Dustin Gibson (152/2 wins)

5. Josh Weisenfels (150)

6. Thad DuVall (130/1 win)

7. John Barber (117)

8. Brian Lawson (103)

9. John Bennett (83)

10. Wallace Palmer (79)

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