FMF/Makita Suzuki’s Josh Strang took his first win in the 2011 Grand National Cross Country Series by beating everyone to the finish on his Suzuki RM-Z450 at the Steele Creek GNCC in Morganton, North Carolina in round three of the series on Sunday.
Even after a minor fall, Strang put himself in position to win and took advantage of a late race mistake by Charlie Mullins to take his first win of this season.
On the final lap of the race, Strang put his FMF/Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 on the rear tire of Mullins and pushed for an opening. Then, in the final turn of the race, as the two riders entered the corner before the checkered flag, Mullins slid out and went down, while Strang stayed upright for the win.
Josh Strang (FMF/Makita Suzuki RMZ450) says: “I got pretty lucky there when Charlie went down. It was unfortunate for him, but I’ll take the win for sure. I went down myself on the last lap so I had to ride hard to catch him.
“When I caught him, I had to try to get by him as quick as I could because we were close to the finish. I tried to go inside him in a corner and after that I was ready to settle for second, but then he went down. I was shocked and a little bit relieved.
“My FMF/Makita Suzuki worked really well today; the best it’s worked all year. I really wanted to get the win today and I was pushing it at the end.”
With the win, Strang, the defending GNCC XC-1 Champion, takes over the series points lead, holding a three-point margin over Mullins with three rounds in the book.
The 2011 FMF Makita Suzuki team’s next event is Sunday, April 10th, in Union, South Carolina, for round four of the AMA Grand National Cross Country Series. For more information, visit www.suzukicycles.com. Follow team updates on SuzukiScoopFans on facebook and SuzukiScoop on twitter.
Steele Creek GNCC XC1 Class Results:
1. Josh Strang
2. Charlie Mullins
3. Corey Buttrick
4. Kailub Russell
5. Paul Whibley
6. Simo Kirsii
7. Jimmy Jarrett
8. Russell Bobbitt
9. Nathan Kanney
10. Mike Lafferty
2011 GNCC XC-1 Class Standings:
1. Josh Strang – 73
2. Charlie Mullins – 70
3. Paul Whibley – 58
4. Corey Buttrick – 54
5. Nathan Kanney – 44
6. Garrett Edminsten – 37
7. Christopher Bach – 35
8. Mike Lafferty – 35
9. Kailub Russell – 32
10. Jimmy Jarrett – 31