MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 12, 2015) – The 41st annual AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, got underway last weekend in sunny Florida, where Factory FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell secured the first win of the season in the XC1 Pro class. With only one week to prepare man and machine, the series now heads to Washington, Ga., for round two – The Maxxis General GNCC.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Josh Strang captured a second-place finish aboard an all-new race program, after making the switch during the off-season. With one victory in the 2014 season, Strang, the 2010 GNCC National Champion, looks to increase his time in the center of the podium in 2015.
Strang battled with JCR Honda’s Chris Bach and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KR4/FAR Husqvarna’s Thad DuVall throughout the three-hour race in Florida, all three riders showing strength and endurance along the way. AirGroup/Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna-backed Ryan Sipes entered his sophomore season of GNCC Racing in a big way, battling with the front-runners early on.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Andrew Delong will unfortunately join 2011 GNCC Champion Charlie Mullins on the injured list for round two. Delong experienced a crash at the season opener that reportedly injured his collarbone. Mullins continues to sit out as he recovers from an ongoing double wrist injury.
With only a handful of days to recover from last Saturday’s head-to-head battle with Adam McGill, N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha/Maxxis/Lonestar’s Walker Fowler heads into this Saturday’s Maxxis General GNCC with a big victory behind him and a slight upper hand in the National Championship standings.
While it was CST/Lonestar/DeRisi/Tire Blocks/Spider Graphics-backed Adam McGill who dominated most of the two-hour race, Fowler claimed the first win of the 2015 season. McGill’s tenacity and speed at round one proved his merit in contending the championship, while a tough panel of competitors like Fowler and six-time GNCC National Champion Chris Borich gun for the same reward. Borich began the season with a third-place finish aboard his brand new Factory Yamaha/SSi/Maxxis Tires program, which marks the first time since 2009 that the reigning champion hasn’t won the GNCC opener in Florida.
Another rider who made the switch to Yamaha is Brycen Neal, who showed great speed in his sophomore season in the XC1 Pro class. The Maxxis/B. Neal Motorsports-backed rider finished just off the podium with a fourth, where he looks to land atop the box this Saturday in Georgia.
Bithell Racing/Maxxis/Precision-backed Chris Bithell heads into the weekend with a fifth-place finish behind him, but that’s no indication of how he rode at the season opener. Bithell ran with the front-runners for a majority of the race and will look to stick a podium finish this weekend as well.
Tune into RacerTV.com on Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT to catch LIVE coverage of the Pro Bike race at Round 2. For more information on GNCC Live coverage, visit www.racertv.com.