MARCH 10– Lafferty stomps at the Georgia GNCC

MARCH 10– Lafferty stomps at the Georgia GNCC

Washington, Georgia – KTM’s Mike Lafferty came back following a lackluster performance at the opening round of the AMA Grand National Cross Country Series by taking a dominant win at GNCC round two, the General GNCC in Washington, Georgia. Warm sunny weather on Sunday served as a welcome change from the swampy conditions at the season-opening Hurricane, GNCC in Palatka, Florida, but the course ended up being just as tough as the Florida event. The General had also taken on a tremendous dose of rain earlier in the week, and with over 800 motorcycle racers pounding the soft red clay, the course because a muddy, rutted mess.

While the five-time AMA National Enduro Champion crashed out in the mud of GNCC round one, and he came to Georgia with revenge on his mind. It paid off when he pulled a one minute lead on the rest of the field in a dominating performance on a very tough race track.

FMF Suzuki’s Steve Hatch took the General GNCC holeshot, but Lafferty was soon into the lead by the end of lap one. Defending Series Champ Rodney Smith and Yamaha-mounted Jimmy Jarrett challenged Lafferty early, but by the halfway point the enduro ace had the gnarly conditions mastered, and the tougher it got, the better he rode. Lafferty swerved his big KTM 450 around the course with ease, while most of the record number of riders struggled in the soft, rutted conditions. Most of the ruts grew too deep for the riders to plow through, which led to stuck bikes everywhere and hundreds of new lines opening up around them.

The course was actually just as tough as the gnarly season opener, which fell into the hands of last week’s winner, Am-Pro Yamaha’s Barry Hawk. Hawk came from deep in the pack to take second place and extend his series points lead. Hawk rode fourth for most of the race before putting on an amazing last-lap charge to catch FMF Suzuki’s Rodney Smith and Kawasaki’s Fred Andrews and snag the runner-up spot. Smith held on to third while Andrews suffered engine problems and struggled to seventh. The Yamahas of Jason Raines and Robbie Jenks took fourth and fifth place.

The GNCC Series resumes in two weeks at The Steele Creek GNCC in Morganton, North Carolina.
Top 20 Overall
General GNCC
Washington, Georgia March 9, 2003

1 Michael Lafferty Millville, NJ KTM
2 Barry Hawk, Jr Smithfield, PA YAM
3 Rodney Smith Antioch, CA SUZ
4 Jason Raines Belfair, WA YAM
5 Robbie Jenks New Straitsville, OH YAM
6 Steve Hatch Scottsdale, AZ SUZ
7 Fred Andrews Salem, OH KAW
8 Randy Hawkins Travelers Rest, SC YAM
9 Brian Garrahan Boulder Creek, CA KTM
10 P A Allen Vanleer, TN KAW
11 Doug Blackwell Parkersburg, WV         HON
12 Brett Zofchak Washington, PA KAW
13 Ben Bouwens Newark, NY YAM
14 Russell Bobbitt Fayetteville, GA GAS
15 Chris Gallt Eagle, MI KAW
16 Scott Watkins Leetonia, OH KAW
17 Tommy Veator Warner Robins, GA         KTM
18 John Bennett Allison, PA SUZ
19 Dustin Gibson Cumberland Frnce, TN KTM
20 Kurt Caselli Palmdale, CA KTM


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