Factory FMF/KTM rider Kailub Russell, aboard a KTM 150 SX, led the field and KTM domination of the AMSOIL Ironman GNCC (Grand National Cross Country) at Crawfordsville, Ind., this past weekend.
The win was Russell’s ninth victory this season adding to his total of 22 career victories overall, and he had already clinched the national championship prior to the event.
KTM-mounted riders took five of the top ten positions including Russell’s first place finish. The other KTM riders in the top ten were Ryan Sipes who had a podium finish in third place, Steward Baylor finishing fifth, Nick Davis taking ninth and Grant Baylor finishing 10th.
Russell’s KTM teammate Charlie Mullins was in the lead early on, but pain in his wrist slowed his pace toward the end and Mullins dropped back through the field finishing in 11th place.
Russell, meanwhile took the lead at the end of the second lap and never relinquished it, stretching his margin with each ensuing lap of the three hour event. By race end, he had a 90 second lead over second place finisher, Yamaha mounted Josh Strang.
GNCC XC2 Pro Lites Champion, Grant Baylor, proved a game competitor in first appearance in the XC1 Pro class aboard the KTM 450 XC-F, getting ill during the race which slowed him down, but didn’t stop him from riding to a 10th place finish.
“I want to thank everyone who told me I couldn’t win on a 150, because you gave me the motivation to come here and do my best,” Russell said after the race. “I am so excited to win on this bike and that it has helped raise a lot of money for Rory Mead. Thank you to everyone who participated in the raffle.”
WXC Champion, Kacy Martinez, started on the Four-Stroke Lites A class earning a 10th place start. Her consistent lap times added up to a 15th place finish overall in her class.
“It was definitely more tiring racing in the Four-Stroke Lites A class today,” Martinez said.
“I had a lot of fun but the track was rough and it got pretty challenging near the end of the day. It was still a great experience and I am glad for the opportunity.”
Finishing the event, let alone winning it was quite an achievement with nearly 2,300 competitors entered.
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Overall Results (XC1 Pro and XC2 Pro Lites Combined):
- Kailub Russell – KTM
- Josh Strang – Yamaha
- Ryan Sipes – KTM
- Andrew Delong – Husqvarna
- Steward Baylor – KTM
- Jordan Ashburn—Yamaha
- Takeshi Koikeda—Honda
- Paul Whibley—Yamaha
- Nick Davis – KTM
- Grant Baylor – KTM
Overall Point Standings XC1 Pro Class
- Kailub Russell – 348
- Josh Strang – 241
- Jordan Ashburn – 223
Overall Point Standings XC2 Pro Lites Class:
- Grant Baylor – 322
- Trevor Bollinger – 253
- Ricky Russell – 233
Overall Point Standings WXC Class:
- Kacy Martinez – 180
- Becca Sheets – 162
- Brooke Cosner – 155