Factory FMF/KTM rider Kailub Russell continued to prove himself as the rider to beat by earning the top spot on the podium once again. 

Round nine of The 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, gave Russell his eighth victory of the season. The AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC was held at the largest ski resort in West Virginia, Snowshoe Mountain. 

The current XC1 Pro points leader Russell started on the first row of the unique live engine start, replicating the start of GNCC’s birth race the Blackwater 100.  After taking the early lead, Russell felt pressure from Thad DuVall.  Husqvarna mounted DuVall made the pass on lap three and continued to lead until Russell made the pass back on lap seven. DuVall ended his race as runner-up.

“I kind of rode around there for about half the race, and once I got everything figured out I went for it and was able to pull the lead at the end,” said Russell. 

After struggling in the first half of the season the difficult Snowshoe track conditions didn’t slow down the Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn.  He walked away with his first podium of the season, rounding out the top three in the XC1 class.  

“I’m just happy to be back where I know I should and can be,” reported Ashburn, “I’ve had struggles and I hate it has taken this long, but I’m good now.”

In addition to the full GNCC schedule, Husqvarna’s Ryan Sipes has been busy with racing the past two rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.  He has been improving all season finishing second at the past two rounds.  Unfortunately Sipes injured his knee, ultimately ending his day. 

“I hit my knee on something, I’m not sure if it was a rock or handlebar,” said Sipes, “But it swelled up and I couldn’t hang on anymore or use my knees to grip.” 

Honda’s Chris Bach maintained a consistent placement throughout the race and finished fourth, followed by Yamaha’s Grant Baylor in fifth and Factory FMF/KTM’s Taylor Robert in sixth.  

KTM’s Steward Baylor takes home seventh place, Yamaha’s Daniel Milner in eighth, Adam Bonneur in ninth and Chris Douglas finished out the XC1 Pro top ten. 

The XC2 Pro Lites had an eventful race with Jason Thomas and Honda’s Trevor Bollinger swapping first and second place throughout the three-hour race. At the end of the race, it was Thomas who came out on the top spot of the podium. XC2 class rookie, Mike Witkowski also earned his first-ever XC2 podium finish with a third in the class and 11th overall. 

Ricky Russell found himself just one position away from the podium taking home fourth place. Husqvarna’s Craig DeLong followed Russell in fifth and Honda’s Layne Michael in sixth.

Tegan Temple improved from his last finish at the John Penton, taking seventh place home. Cory Buttrick, Jesse Groemm and Samuel Evans round out the XC2 Pro Lites top 10.

Factory FMF/KTM’s rider Kacy Martinez finished on top of the WXC podium and wrapped up her second consecutive WXC title. 

“It feels pretty good to get it wrapped up with four races still to go and before the summer break so I can take it easy over the summer break,” says Martinez, “But I won’t take too much time off and hop right back into it to get the last four rounds under my belt and on top of the box.”

KTM’s Rachel Gutish had her best finish of the season with a second place closely following Martinez. Husqvarna’s Brooke Cosner held onto third place the entire race.  

The 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes after summer break on September 19 and 20 with the Parts Unlimited Unadilla GNCC.

XC1 Event Results: 

Kailub Russell (KTM)

Thaddeus Duvall (HSQ)

Jordan Ashburn (YAM)

Chris Bach (HON)

Grant Baylor (YAM)

Taylor Robert (KTM)

Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)

Daniel Milner (YAM)

Adam Bonneur (KTM)

Chris Douglas (KTM) 

*Overall National Championship Standings 

Kailub Russell (265)

Thad DuVall (167)

Grant Baylor (166)

Chris Bach (153)

Ryan Sipes (145)

Josh Strang (138)

Jordan Ashburn (132)

Takeshi Koikeda (101)

Adam Bonneur (99)

Chris Douglas (97)

*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2015 National Champion.

XC2 Event Results:

Jason Thomas (KTM)

Trevor Bollinger (HON)

Michael Witkowski (KTM)

Ricky Russell (YAM)

Craig Delong (HSQ)

Layne Michael (HON)

Tegan Temple (KTM)

Cory Buttrick (BET)

Jesse Groemm (BET)

Samuel Evans (KTM)

XC2 Series Standings:

Jason Thomas (222)

Ricky Russell (158)

Craig Delong (155)

Trevor Bollinger (143)

Layne Michael (142)

Nick Davis (125)

Cory Buttrick (122)

Tegan Temple (113)

Austin Lee (95)

Callan May (87)