The Red Bull KTM factory off-road team collected both the XC1 Pro and XC2 Lites titles at the final round of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Championship, the Klotz Ironman GNCC. In XC1, David Knight finally completed his mission to conquer the U.S. by winning the race and collecting the title. Am-Pro Yamaha's Barry Hawk, the only rider with a mathematical shot at topping Knight for the crown, dropped out of the race with a broken chain on the second lap, leaving Knight with a clear path to the title. Knight then battled with Am-Pro Yamaha's Charlie Mullins until getting into the lead past the halfway point, and pulling away to victory. The win was Knight's seventh of the season, and the championship makes him just third rider ever to notch an ISDE Overall Victory, a World Enduro Championship and the GNCC title--with Shane Watts and Juha Salminen also completing the task.

"Once Hawk went out, I didn't know what to do--I didn't know if I should just go back to the truck and start drinking or just carry on with the race!" joked Knight. "But basically at that point I could just go for the win, it was do or die. Winning it in my rookie season over here was hard, you know. I know Juha did it, but he is a special kind of person, and it's very hard to adjust to a whole new culture. Even though you speak the language, it's completely different and it can be hard being away from home, and the racing is so different. We had some problems this year, but I'm glad we were able to learn from it."

Mullins hung on for second with Parts Unlimited Moose Honda's Paul Whibley third. Whibley grabbed the Racer X holeshot but suffered from arm pump early. He found his rhythm in the second half and charged back to third.

The XC2 Lites riders actually challenged at the front of the overall pack most of the day, with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/FAR/Kawasaki's Scott Watkins getting into third overall on his KX250F. Whibley eventually moved back into third on the track, while Watkins had to deal with Am-Pro Yamaha's Thad DuVall, who put on a huge charge on the last lap to get the lead and win the race in the XC2 class. Watkins was second.

"The last lap, that was just wide-open out of control feet off the pegs Thad DuVall-style riding," said DuVall. "If I had crashed, it probably would have hurt, but I wanted it so bad."

Williamson finished third, more than enough to become the first-ever GNCC XC2 Champion. "I started the season kind of down, I had ACL and MCL surgery and I had just come back from it before the season started. It took a few months to get going, but once I did I got nine podiums in a row, three wins and three holeshots. I can't thank everyone over at Red Bull KTM enough, and it's a real honor to be the first champion ever in this class."

Over 1550 riders competed at the Klotz Ironman GNCC throughout the weekend, at an event that included demo rides from Can-Am, Yamaha and Polaris, helicopter rides available to fans, and a full-assortment of 2008 machines on display, as well as raffles and give aways.

For full results, log on to www.gnccracing.com.

Klotz Ironman GNCC

Crawfordsville, Indiana

October 28, 2007

XC1 Pro

1. David Knight (KTM)

2. Charlie Mullins (Yam)

3. Paul Whibley (Hon)

4. Garrett Edmisten (Kaw)

5. Dustin Gibson (KTM)

XC2 Lites

1. Thad Duvall (Yam)

2. Scott Watkins (Kaw)

3. Justin Williamson (KTM)

4. Wallace Palmer (Kaw)

5. Ben Kearney (KTM)

Final GNCC Point Standings

Overall

1. David Knight 282

2. Barry Hawk 231

3. Charles Mullins 221

4. Jimmy Jarrett 199

5. Garrett Edmisten 197

XC2 Lites

1. Justin Williamson 205

2. Scott Watkins 192

3. Rodney Smith 189

4. Josh Weisenfels 181

5. Thad DuVall 180

GNCC News


By Jason Weingandt

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