Suzuki’s new fuel-injected RM-Z450 does GNCC

FMF Makita Suzuki’s Josh Strang drew first blood at the opening round of the 2010 Grand National Cross Country Series at Westgate River Ranch in Lake Wales, Florida. He and his Suzuki RM-Z450 won a hard-fought battle at the end of three hours of racing.

Strang took the front position from Am-Pro Yamaha’s Charlie Mullins when Mullins drowned out his bike in a water hole. Strang held the lead until privateer Chris Bach caught him during the second half of the race.

Bach passed Strang in the Palmetto section; however, Strang retook the lead when Bach stopped for gas. Bach took the lead again when Strang fell in the Palmetto section, but Strang reclaimed the lead, this time for good, when Bach took a wide line around a lapper about two miles before the finish.

"I’m stoked to get the win and get off to a good start for once," said Strang, who has had bad luck at the Florida race in each of the last three years. His fuel-injected Suzuki RM-Z450 helped him get out front early and to overtake the lead when it was crucial.

Round 2 of the GNCC series takes place March 6-7 in Washington, Georgia.