The 2020 Bulldog GNCC results see Kailub Russell, once again, at the top of the charts. The FMF KTM Factory Team rider collected his fourth win of the COVID-19 interrupted season.
The Grand National Cross-Country Series became the first major off-road dirt bike series in America to return to racing since the COVID-19 virus effectively put the country on lockdown. Using safety measures set by the GNCC’s Safe-to-Race Task Force, the Grand National Cross-Country Series (GNCC) pulled off the Bulldog GNCC at Aonia Pass near Washington, Georgia, with great success and with rider and spectator safety at the forefront.
Also successful, as usual, was Russell, who recorded his 64th XC1 win, but the seven-time champ had to work hard for it, trading the lead a couple of times with Coastal Racing Husqvarna’s Ricky Russell on the final lap, before the two made contact, leaving Ricky on the ground with an injured leg.
Kailub made it to the finish with a four-second-plus margin ahead of Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Team Green Kawasaki’s Josh Strang. The last time the series visited this venue in mid-March (the last round), Kailub had to make a last-turn pass on Sherco USA’s Steward Baylor to keep his clean record intact, and after this weekend’s race, he is now a perfect four for four in GNCC competition in 2020.
Ricky Russell was on a mission and had chipped away at Kailub’s lead until he was right on the KTM rider by the final lap.
Unfortunately for Ricky Russell, he snapped off his handlebar in the fall, which jabbed him in the leg, causing a puncture. Ricky was transported by ambulance to a hospital for examination and, most likely, stitches.
In the meantime, Strang had been on the move as well and had moved up to within a few seconds of the Kailub/Ricky battle when Ricky went down and took over second.
Turning in one of the best rides of the day was Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing team’s XC2 rider, Craig DeLong, who actually led the race early on with adjusted time. The Pennsylvania rider finished third overall and first XC2 rider.
Ryder Lafferty had one of his best rides to date, finishing fifth overall and second in the XC2 class. The XC Gear/Enduro Engineering/Husqvarna rider gave DeLong a run for his money in the opening laps, but then later lost out to Am Pro Yamaha’s Layne Michael for fourth in the overall results.
Michael was the third XC1 rider, taking advantage of a second-place start off the line.
After running near the front early in the race, Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Team Green Kawasaki’s Jordan Ashburn finished off the race in sixth, one minute and 14 seconds ahead of seventh-place finisher FMF/KTM’s Josh Toth, who was making his return to racing after breaking his leg in February.
FactoryONE Sherco’s Grant Baylor overcame a bad start to work his way up into eighth at the finish. He also was slowed a bit, still having to use the old dump-can method of refueling during pit stops.
Am Pro Yamaha’s Mike Wistkowski, the winner of the XC2 class at the series opener in South Carolina, was third in class and ninth overall, while Phoenix Racing Honda’s Andrew DeLong was almost two minutes back in 10th.
Raines Racing’s Jason Raines won the FMF XC3 125 Am Pro division, finishing nearly two minutes ahead of Husqvarna/FXR/Enduro Engineering’s Jake Froman, as New York’s Dominik Morse was third on a KTM, just over eight seconds behind Froman.
BABS/Fly/Maxxis/Yamaha’s Becca Sheets kept her perfect streak alive in the WCX Women’s Elite division, topping Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Tayla Jones by 23 seconds, however, Am Pro Yamaha’s Rachel Archer was in the mix and actually led at one point.
Enduro Engineering/Mepmx/Fly/Grizzly Peak/Traveler’s Rest Speedway/KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker ran second on the opening lap but fell and broke her clutch. CN
2020 Bulldog GNCC Results
Grand National Cross-Country Series, presented by Specialized
Aonia Pass MX
RESULTS (May 17, 2020)
|1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
|2. Josh Strang (Kaw)
|3. Craig DeLong (Hus)
|4. Layne Michael (Yam)
|5. Ryder Lafferty (Hus)
|6. Jordan Ashburn (Kaw)
|7. Josh Toth (KTM)
|8. Grant Baylor (Shr)
|9. Mike Witkowski (Yam)
|10. Andrew DeLong (Hon)