OFF-ROAD RACING 2020, WHO’S ON TOP: THE WRAP–UPDATED

The year 2020 is finally drawing to a close, and the various off road race championships that were postponed and rescheduled have, for the most part, played out. When the smoked cleared, most of the them had shortened schedules–but the good news is that they happened. There were some outright cancellations like the ISDE and the Virginia City GP, but the big championships took place or, in some cases, are taking place.

Each year about this time Dirt Bike names its list of the top 25 off-road riders riders in America, with the number one rider getting his  name inscribed on the Caselli Cup. That story appears in the February print issue, but we are compiling the list of candidates right now. Going in , Kailub Russell is a clear favorite. He’s the winningest GNCC rider of all time and he wrapped up the 2020 title two rounds early. He also won the Full Gas Sprint Enduro championship.  In 2021, Kailub will ride select events with KTM factory support, but he will not contest the GNCC championship. The points (with one round remaining) appear below. Who will win the XC1 class in 2021? KTM is banking on Ben Kelley, while AmPro Yamaha has just made Steward Baylor a full-time team member.

Kailub Russell has clinched two off-road championships in 2020. He missed the final GNCC with knee surgery. Photo by Ron Lawson.

XC1–FINAL
1 KAILUB K RUSSELL 295
2 JOSH V STRANG 253
3 JORDAN ASHBURN 206
4 STEWARD BAYLOR JR 188
5 BENJAMIN M KELLEY 178
6 GRANT BAYLOR 170
7 LAYNE MICHAEL 114
8 JOSHUA M TOTH 81
9 ANDREW R DELONG 77
10 RICKY A RUSSELL 59

Craig DeLong took control of the XC2 class with a round left in the 2020 season.

GNCC XC2–FINAL
1 CRAIG B DELONG 326
2 MICHAEL WITKOWSKI 310
3 JONATHAN GIRROIR 280
4 CODY J BARNES 232
5 LIAM DRAPER 204
6 JONATHAN T JOHNSON 159
7 RYDER LAFFERTY 150
8 THORN DEVLIN 145
9 BENJAMIN NELKO 125
10 JESSE ANSLEY 118

The XC2 championship had three riders in the hunt going into the last round. Rockstar Husqvarna’s Craig Delong finally took the championship, but AmPro Yamaha’s Mike Witkowski and Trail Jesters’ John Girrior were threats all season. Both of those riders represent the up-and coming generation of ultra quick riders.

GNCC OVERALL–FINAL
1 KAILUB RUSSELL 295
2 JOSH STRANG 253
3 JORDAN ASHBURN 206
4 STEWARD BAYLOR JR 188
5 CRAIG DELONG 186
6 BENJAMIN KELLEY 178
7 MICHAEL WITKOWSKI 175
8 GRANT BAYLOR 170
9 JONATHAN GIRROIR 146
10 CODY BARNES 134
11 LAYNE MICHAEL 115
12 LIAM DRAPER 112
13 RYDER LAFFERTY 84
14 JOSHUA TOTH 81
15 JONATHAN JOHNSON 79
16 ANDREW DELONG 77
17 THORN DEVLIN 70
18 RICKY RUSSELL 59
19 LYNDON SNODGRASS 51
20 JESSE ANSLEY 43

 

Layne Michael has come of age in the Full-Gas Sprint Enduro series.

FULL GAS SPRINT ENDURO PRO–FINAL
1 Kailub Russell 315
2 Layne Michael 254
3 Joshua Strang 191
4 Liam Draper 191
5 Jordan Ashburn 187
6 Steward Baylor 53
7 Ricky Russell 46
8 Tyler McSwain 44
9 Craig Delong 31
10 Benjamin Herrera 30

Johnny Girroir is yet another fast young rider from the Trail Jesters.

FULL GAS SPRINT ENDURO PRO 2–FINAL
1 Johnny Girroir 265
2 Jesse Ansley 242
3 Ben Nelko 223
4 RJ Cook 181
5 Lyndon Snodgrass 149
6 Michael McLean 105
7 Ruy Barbosa 75
8 Samuel Evans 41
9 Ben Parsons 32
10 Will Riordan 32

Out west, Taylor Robert looks to successfully defend his WORCS Pro championship despite challenges from Dante Oliveira and Zach Bell. Robert has a 27-point lead with two rounds left. Dante Oliveira has proven he can go just as fast as Taylor and is now getting KTM factory support, even though he rides for the satellite RPM Racing team. Bell is fast, but suffered a number of breakdowns and injuries that took him out of contention.

Taylor Robert has the WORCS title well in hand with one round left.

WORCS PRO –ONE ROUND REMAINS
1 TAYLOR ROBERT 191
2 DANTE OLIVEIRA 167
3 COLE MARTINEZ 135
4 AUSTIN WALTON 131
5 JUSTIN SEEDS 116
6 TREVOR STEWART 109
7 RYAN SURRATT109
8 TRAVIS DAMON 105
9 ZACH BELL 81
10 GIACOMO REDONDI 61

Mateo Oliveira  is brother to Dante and leads the WORCS Pro 2 class.

WORCS PRO 2 ONE ROUND REMAINS
1 MATEO OLIVEIRA 181
2 TALLON LAFOUNTAINE 169
3 TODD SIBELL 107
4 MASON OTTERSBERG 101
5 KAI AIELLO 98
6 JT BAKER 94
7 COLTON AECK 69
8 HAYDEN FLOREZ 66
9 MATT MAPLE 65
10 MASON OLSON 63

The National Grand Prix Championship has almost the same schedule as the AMA District 37 GP Series, but had one additional race in 2020. Rockstar Husqvarna’s Austin Walton held the lead through most of the year, but last weekend he was surpassed by Dante Oliveira. There are two rounds left, but Dante and Austin will have to contend with a healthy Zach Bell, who beat them both last week.

Dante Oliveira now holds the points lead in the 2020 National GP Championship.

NGPC PRO –TWO ROUNDS REMAIN
1 DANTE OLIVEIRA 154
2 AUSTIN WALTON 152
3 TREVOR STEWART 140
4 COLE MARTINEZ 130
5 DALTON SHIREY 112
6 ZACH BELL 90
7 PRESTON CAMPBELL 75
8 JUSTIN SEEDS 74
9 RYAN SURRATT 73
10 NOAH GERKE 47

The Pro 2 class in the NGPC series can go in a number of different ways. Mason Ottersberg was the points leader until he was hurt last week. That left JP Alvarez to take over, although the last race was taken by national motocross Colton Aeck. There are at least four riders who can take the title in the last two rounds.

JP Alvarez

NGPC PRO 2–TWO ROUNDS REMAIN
1 JP ALVAREZ 144
2 MATEO OLIVEIRA 138
3 MASON OTTERSBERG 130
4 TALLON LA FOUNTAINE 128
5 TYLER LYNN 116
5 THOMAS DUNN 96
7 SHANE LOGAN 57
8 AUSTIN SERPA 49
9 ARTURO SALAS JR 43
10 CLAY HENGEVELD 54

How wild is it that Grant Baylor is the top man in the National Enduro Championship? By winning the final round, he claimed the title for the start-up FactoryONE Sherco team. His main competition was his brother Steward, who started the year on Sherco as well.  Steward had a falling out with his bosses at Sherco and then returned to the series on a Kawasaki, then a Yamaha to make a late-season run at the championship.

Grant Baylor and his Sherco 450SEF Factory.

NATIONAL ENDURO –FINAL
1 Grant Baylor 218
2 Steward Baylor Jr 192
3 Josh Toth 179
4 Ben Kelley 173
5 Ryder Lafferty 131
6 Cody Barnes 113
7 Thorn Devlin 106
8 Craig Delong 105
9 Thad Duvall 78
10 Vincent Smith 65

It all came down to the final Hare and Hound of the year. Dalton Shirey came out ahead of veteran David Kamo for the win in a series that saw them tied with 150 points apiece.  Shirey had taken four wins in the seven-race series, though, so the title went his way.

NATIONAL HARE & HOUND FINAL
1 Dalton Shirey 155
2 David Kamo 155
3 Joseph Wasson 127
4 Zane Roberts 122
5 Jacob Argubright 114
6 Preston Campbell 109
7 Axel Pearson 88
8 Cole Conatser 75
9 Ryan Smith 64
10 Corbin Eatherton 43

The entire 2020 EnduroCross series took place in a matter of days at Glen Helen Raceway. Covid 19 hit that series especially hard because of the unavailability of arenas, so the series was held outdoor for Fox Sports1 TV cameras and a limited audience. Three riders set themselves apart: defending champion Colton Haaker, former champ Cody Webb and newly hired Red Bull KTM rider Trystan Hart. Colton won three events, Hart won two and Webb won one. No one else was really in the hunt.

Trysten Hart tried to hold off Colton Haaker in the first main.

ENDUROCROSS 
1 COLTON HAAKER 139
2 CODY WEBB 131
3 TRYSTAN HART 130
4 COOPER ABBOTT 105
5 CORY GRAFFUNDER 90
6 NOAH KEPPLE 88
7 MAX GERSTON 85
8 TY CULLINS 68
9 WILLIAM RIORDAN 67
10 RYDER LEBLOND 61

 

Somehow SCORE has managed to hold most of its planned races, and Justin Morgan has been the glue that held the SLR team together. Mark Samuels and Justin Jones were both injured at different times. The Baja 1000 has yet to be held, and that will be the big one.

SCORE PRO MOTO UNLIMITED__ONE RACE REMAINS

1. Mark Samuels, /Justin Morgan/Justin Jones 95

2. Santiago Creel/Brandon Prieto/Eric Yorba 89

3. Colton Udal/Nic Garvin/ 85

BEST IN THE DESERT PRO

1 Ricky Brabec 90
2 Nic Garvin  86
3 Cole Canaster  79
4 Jason Parsons  74
5 Wyatt Brittner

The Top 25 riders are historically revealed on Dirt Bike‘s social media channels on January first each year, which precedes the February issue by a week or so. Nothing is written in stone yet, so if you would like to provide your input, drop an email to [email protected]

That’s it for this week

–Ron Lawson

Comments are closed.