News KTM's Thomas Crowned GNCC XC2 Champion

KTM’s Thomas Crowned GNCC XC2 Champion

2012 GNCC XC2 Championship Final Results

KTM’s support rider Jason Thomas was crowned GNCC XC2 Champion at the final round of the 2012 GNCC Series held at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.

Despite two injuries, Steward Baylor was able to finish fourth overall in a remarkable ride that placed him second in the championship standings. In the XC1 class, Factory FMF/KTM rider Kailub Russell finished second to earn second overall in the championship points.

Thomas jumped off to a second place start when the flag waved for the start of the XC2 class. He was able to maintain his pace and hold strong in second position throughout the three-hour endurance race. His consistency paid off, and when he crossed the checkered flag, he was crowned the 2012 GNCC XC2 champion.

Unfortunately, Baylor didn’t have the start he wanted and rounded the first corner in second to last. He made an impressive charge to pass half of the field before the end of the first lap. His injury kept him around mid-pack for the first half of the race as he struggled to get in a rhythm due to the pain. Baylor muscled through to the end of the race and was able to put in a remarkable charge in the final two laps to move into fourth place by the end of the race. Baylor’s fourth place result placed him second overall in the point standings.

Steward Baylor says: “Of course I wish I would have won the championship today, but second place feels really good after being plagued with injuries all year. I would really like to thank all my sponsors and my family for all their support this season.”

Heading into the final XC1 race Kailub Russell had a one point lead in the series championship over Paul Whibley. Off the start, bad luck struck, and Russell fell in the first turn with another rider. With an impressive charge, Russell was sitting fourth at the conclusion of lap one. Russell continued to press forward moving into third on the second to last lap, trying to close the gap on Whibley.

On the final lap Russell continued to increase his pace and was able to pass Jordan Ashburn to take over second place. Russell finished the day second overall and second in the GNCC XC1 Championship.

Kailub Russell says: “I’m disappointed that I didn’t win the championship today. Finishing so close in the championship points just makes me want to work that much harder to be on top next year.”

2012 Loretta Lynn’s Ranch GNCC Overall Results XC1 Class:

  1. Paul Whibley
  2. Kailub Russell – KTM
  3. Jordan Ashburn
  4. Thad Duvall
  5. Takeshi Koikeda – KTM
  6. Rory Mead – KTM
  7. Adrian Smith
  8. Nathan Kanney
  9. Brenden Ritzman
  10. Chris Bach

2012 Loretta Lynn’s Ranch Overall Results XC2 Class:

  1. Andrew Delong
  2. Jason Thomas – KTM
  3. Jedediah Haines
  4. Steward Baylor – KTM
  5. Scott Grills
  6. Christopher Douglas – KTM
  7. AJ Stewart
  8. Ricky Mair – KTM
  9. Samuel Evans – KTM
  10. Zach Nolan – KTM

Overall Point Standings XC1 Class:

  1. Paul Whibley – 320
  2. Kailub Russell – 316
  3. Rory Mead – 234

Overall Point Standings XC2 Class:

  1. Jason Thomas – 291 Champion
  2. Steward Baylor – 285
  3. Andrew Delong – 280

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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