The AMSOIL GNCC Series gets back underway this weekend in New York after a 3-month hiatus.
After a long, 3-month break, the 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series (GNCC) presented by Maxxis, resumes September 19 and 20 for the Parts Unlimited Unadilla GNCC at the fabled Unadilla Valley Sports Center in New Berlin, New York.
Kailub Russell holds a commanding, 104-point lead over the rest of the XC1 Pro class after the first nine rounds, but he is heading into Unadilla after having injured his leg at the 90th running of the International Six Days Enduro in Kosice, Slovakia, and that may be the weakness that his competitors need to get back into the series points race. There’s no doubting the fact that if Russell is physically able, he definitely has the drive and focus to hone in on his third consecutive GNCC National Championship title. He will be gunning for his fourth consecutive GNCC win.
If anyone is coming into the Unadilla round with newfound momentum, it may be AirGroup/Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna’s Ryan Sipes, who made history in Slovakia as the first American to score the overall win at the ISDE. Sipes is currently fifth in the XC1 standings, and he will be looking to land his first-ever GNCC win.
Russell notwithstanding, N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Grant Baylor has been a model of consistency in 2015, the rookie XC1 capaigner running second place within the championship. Baylor finished fourth in the 2014 Unadilla GNCC while competing in the XC2 class. However, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC & KR4/FAR back rider Thad DuVall is right behind Baylor in the standings, ahd DuVall has earned several top-five finishes in 2015 and is a former race winner at Unadilla.
The GNCC Series already visited New York earlier in the season, and JCR Honda’s Chris Bach scored his first career GNCC win at that round. The Indianian the only rider to defeat Russell this season.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Josh Strang was a worthy contender for Russell’s crown earlier in the season before a shoulder injury forced him to the sidelines for two races. Strang is back to full fitness, however, and the 2010 GNCC Champion will be one to watch at Unadilla. N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn, who is currently seventh in the championship standings, will also be hunting for a podium finish.
DirtWise/Maxxis/KLIM’s Jason Thomas currently holds a 64-point lead over Raines Riding University/Atlas Yamaha/OffRoadViking.com’s Ricky Russell in the XC2 Championship standings with four rounds remaining, but the battle for second place is much closer as Husqvarna Support Team rider Craig Delong is just three points behind Ricky Russell. E&H Honda’s Trevor Bollinger sits in the fourth place spot, and RideMPS.com/AMSOIL/Honda’s Layne Michael rounds out the top five.
Factory FMF/KTM’s Kacy Martinez already holds claim to the 2015 WXC Championship after having clinched the title at the Snowshoe GNCC, but she is expected to continue her fight for overall victories at Unadilla. The focus now shifts to the bttle for second pace in the WXC class, between N-Fab AmPro Yamaha’s Becca Sheets and Indiana rider Rachel Gutish. Sheets is 15 points ahead of Gutish.
Also expected to compete this weekend on motorcycles will be local racers Timothy Steiner (Super Mini 14-15) and his dad James Steiner (Vet A 30+), Kevin Johnson (Super Mini 14-15), Garrett Frear (Super Mini 14-15), Colby Davis (85cc 12-13), brothers Toby Cleveland (65cc 10-11) and Hunter Cleveland (85cc 7-11), Cristian Donahue (65cc 10-11), Cheyenne Sisenstein (Girls 8-15), Timothy Murphy (Open A), Spencer Hoyt (Open A), Brandon Hayes (Open A), Alexander Dzikiewicz (250 A), Brian Klementowski (250 B), Matthew Donahue (250 B) and Christopher Larkin (Vet B 30+).