Red Bull KTM’s David Knight mounted yet another come-from-behind charge to win the Pirelli Big Buck GNCC in Union, South Carolina, April 13, giving the defending Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Champion three wins in the first four rounds of the season. Under near perfect weather conditions, the Isle of Man native topped FMF Suzuki Teammates Josh Strang, of Australia, and Charlie Mullins, from Ohio.
“I got the bad start again, you know, but I think it helps me,” Knight said. “I have to put it down early, and I can loosen up and ride hard.” Strang logged his first podium of the season on the Suzuki RM-Z450. He led early before yielding to Knight’s charge on lap two, and then he battled his teammate Mullins all the way to the end. Mullins, nursing a badly sprained wrist after crashing hard at the previous GNCC in North Carolina, dug through pain to net third. Mullins now lies second in series points after Am-Pro Yamaha’s Barry Hawk crashed out of the race on the first lap. Hawk reportedly had to be treated for possible rib injuries.
Another Suzuki rider, New Zealand’s Paul Whibley, led a close pack of riders just outside of the podium positions to take fourth. Red Bull KTM’s Nathan Kanney took the Racer X Holeshot Award and was, once again, a contender early on before finishing fifth. Australian Glenn Kearney turned in his best ride of the season with a sixth-place finish on his Husqvarna, with Am-Pro Yamaha’s Jason Raines just behind in seventh. Kawasaki riders Jesse Robinson and Garrett Edmisten came in next, with Jimmy Jarrett rounding out the top 10.
Monster Energy/Andrews Yamaha rider Dustin Gibson broke through in the XC2 Lites class to end Thad DuVall’s three-race win streak. DuVall, who said he felt a little under the weather before the race, battled Monster Energy/Andrews Yamaha rider Josh Weisenfels, and Powersports GrafX KTM’s Kailub Russell all day. Weisenfels led until the last lap before getting stuck in a mud hole, and Gibson took the lead and win after rallying from a terrible start. DuVall, Weisenfels, Russell and Pennsylvania privateer Kevin Hoge rounded out the top five.