Charlie Mullins captured his fourth win of the 2013 GNCC at the Limestone 100 in Indiana. Photography By: Ken Hill
FMF/KTM’s Charlie Mullins extended his points lead with another win in the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series, this one coming at the Dunlop Limestone 100 in Springville, Indiana, May 19.
After what was one of the muddiest GNCCs in recent memory at the previous race, racers enjoyed much drier and warmer weather, but no one enjoyed the better conditions more than Mullins who chalked up his fourth win of the six rounds held so far this season. Mullins and his teammate Kailub Russell broke free of the pack but were eventually caught by previous-round winner Thad DuVall on the Shenandoah Honda/USWE-Sports.com machine.
DuVall passed Mullins for second place but couldn’t catch Russell.
With two laps to go, though, Mullins picked up the pace and passed both riders and held on for the win ahead of Russell and DuVall.
Defending champ Paul Whibley finished fourth after grabbing yet another holeshot. The AmPro Yamaha team rider is still struggling with a wrist injury, but this ride matched his season best.
RPM/KTM Team Maxxis rider Rory Mead had a breakthrough, finishing a season-best fifth place. Mead engaged in battle with AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn and KTM rider Chris Bach throughout the three-hour race but was able to prevail, securing fifth place over Carolina KTM/RidePG.com backed Bach.
Ashburn dropped outside of the top five after leading the early part of the race, finishing seventh overall for the day. XC1 rookie Adam Bonneur bested Litz Racing Honda rider Takeshi Koikeda for eighth and Ricky Russell rounded out the top 10.
Mullins now lead Russell by 19 points. DuVall is 26 points behind Russell in third.
The championship chase for the XC2 Pro Lites class became much more interesting, as defending champ Jason Thomas reclaimed the points lead in the class after scoring valuable points with a second-place finish, while F.A.R Husky’s Andrew DeLong finished just inside the top 10 despite leading the most laps of the race.
But perhaps most of the excitement lies in KTM support rider Grant Baylor, who secured his first career XC2 class win. At 16-years-old, Grant is one of only two riders who have won a pro division at such a young age, the other being Grant’s older brother Stu.
Obermeyer Yamaha/Raines Riding University/OffroadViking.com’s Jedediah Haines put in a season-best ride to secure third place in the XC2 division.
Thomas now leads the XC2 class by seven points over Baylor, who is three points ahead of DeLong.