KTM’s Russell Wins Mountaineer Run GNCC

KTM's Kaliub Russell at Mountaineer Park GNCC
KTM's Kaliub Russell at Mountaineer Park GNCC
KTM’s Kaliub Russell at Mountaineer Park GNCC

2013 GNCC Series Motorcycle Results

The 2013 Grand National Cross Country Series headed this past weekend to Mountaineer Run in West Virginia.

And taking his third win in eight rounds was FMF/KTM’s Kaliub Russell. The Factory KTM pilot finished almost four seconds ahead of Kawasaki’s Josh Strang, with Russell’s teammate and current points leader, Charlie Mullins, taking third.

Russell and Mullins both got caught in a first corner pile up at the start of the race. Mullins was able to go around the outside of it avoiding a crash but still found himself at the tail end of the pack while Russell collided with another rider and was further back once he recovered.

Despite the tough start, the two teammates quickly charged forward making multiple passes in the first few miles to move into the five. By the end of the first loop, Russell had moved into the lead while Mullins was sitting in fourth.

It wasn’t long before the teammates were in the top two positions and began to pull away from the pack. On the fourth lap of the race, Mullins suffered a hard crash down a hill, twisting his knee in the process. He collected himself and reentered the race still in second position, but was now dealing with quite a bit of pain in his knee. He pushed as hard as he could to try and hold his position.

With a lap to go, he lost one position to Josh Strang. Out front, Russell crossed the checkered flag to take his third victory of the season. Strang followed in second place roughly three minutes back while Mullins was just seconds behind him to round out the podium. Heading to the ninth round, Mullins still holds the championship points lead by five points over his teammate.

The XC2 Pro Lites class was won by Jason Thomas who took the victory over KTM support rider Grant Baylor and local KTM rider Layne Michaels. The three KTM riders made it a podium sweep for KTM. Now eight rounds into the series, Baylor holds the points lead by 14 points over Thomas.

Factory FMF/KTM rider Maria Forsberg was very comfortable on the muddy and slick course. She took the win in the women’s class by 6 minutes over fellow KTM rider Kacy Martinez. The two ladies are now tied for the lead in the point standings. Forsberg’s finishing time also placed her second overall in the morning class podium.

Next Event: Snowshoe, W.V. – June 29-30, 2013

Overall Results Overall (XC1 Pro and XC2 Pro Lites Combined) –

  1. Kailub Russell – KTM
  2. Josh Strang – Kawasaki
  3. Charles Mullins – KTM
  4. Jason Thomas – KTM
  5. Chris Bach – KTM
  6. Paul Whibley – Yamaha

Overall Results Women’s Class –

  1. Maria Forsberg – KTM
  2. Kacy Martinez – KTM
  3. Mandi Mastin – KTM
  4. Becca Sheets -Yamaha
  5. Brooke Cosner – Honda

Overall Point Standings XC1 Pro Class –

  1. Charlie Mullins – 205
  2. Kailub Russell – 200
  3. Josh Strang – 144

Overall Point Standings XC2 Pro Lites Class –

  1. Grant Baylor – 179
  2. Jason Thomas – 165
  3. Andrew Delong – 121

Overall Point Standings Women’s Class –

  1. Maria Forsberg – 134
  2. Kacy Martinez – 134
  3. Mandi Mastin – 126