Unadilla GNCC: Kailub Russell Establishes Command with Unadilla Win

Kailub Russell pulls clear in the points with a victory in the Parts Unlimited Unadilla GNCC after Thad Duvall misses the round due to a wrist injury.

NEW BERLIN, N.Y. (September 11, 2017)–Unadilla MX in New Berlin, New York was jam-packed with America’s fastest off-road racers as they competed in the 13th Annual Parts Unlimited Unadilla GNCC this weekend, Sunday, September 10.

Kailub Russell (center) won the Parts Unlimited Unadilla GNCC and moved back out to a commanding lead in the AMSOIL GNCC points standings on September 10. PHOTO BY KEN HILL.

At the end of the three-hour race, it was FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell claiming the win at the 10th round of the 43rd Annual AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship. Russell also moved comfortably ahead of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Thad Duvall, who missed the round after suffering an injury while competing in the 92nd International Six Days Enduro in France.

With anticipation at an all-time high with the return of racing for the first time since the two-month “summer break” after the Wiseco John Penton GNCC in Ohio last July, it was N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell rocketing off the start to claim the $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award. Even though FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Russell Bobbitt was second through the first turn, it would be Beta USA’s Jordan Ashburn in the runner-up position as they entered the woods.

As the group settled into pace on the first lap, R Russell continue to lead with pressure from Coastal Racing/Husqvarna’s Ryan Sipes. Throughout the remainder of the first lap they continued swapping positions, but when they checked through scoring for the first time it was R Russell accredited with the lead. K Russell was in third after working his way through the pack after getting a bad start.

The FMF Powerpoint came to be the biggest obstacle of the race throughout the entire three hours. Once K Russell secured the lead, it didn’t last long due to becoming victim of the hill climb. R Russell was so close to him that when K Russell went down, he was stuck right behind him–this allowed Ashburn to move into the lead.

Ricky Russell (212) pulled the holeshot in the XC1 Pro race but wound up finishing third in the class and fourth overall. PHOTO BY KEN HILL.

K Russell and R Russell quickly recovered and moved back into second and third behind Ashburn on lap four. K Russell took the lead back on the fourth lap and attempted to gap his competitors, where he neglected to pit and keep going for an additional lap. R Russell also skipped his pit and passed Ashburn, who did pit, for second.

R Russell kept the momentum rolling and passed K Russell again on the fifth lap, but K Russell was back into the lead when they jumped the Sky Shot obstacle on the motocross track. Unfortunately Sipes was forced to end his race early after suffering from tendinitis that occurred at the ISDE.

Kailub Russell crosses the finish line for his fifth GNCC overall win of the season. He has won half of the rounds run thus far. PHOTO BY KEN HILL.

When the race reached the halfway point, SRT/KTM’s Stew Baylor had put himself in podium contention and began pushing to catch R Russell. When the two-lap board came out, Baylor moved in second behind K Russell. R Russell struggled up the FMF Powerpoint again, but still sat in third.

K Russell was the first rider through the finish, taking the overall win with Baylor following in second, but attention was turned to the third overall position where the XC2 250 Pro class leaders were in contention. R Russell was pushed to the finish by JCR Honda’s Trevor Bollinger. However, Coastal Racing/Husqvarna’s Layne Michael was awarded with third overall on adjusted time. Trail Jesters/KTM Racing’s Ben Kelley was in a close second in class and fifth overall. R Russell finished third in XC1 Pro and fifth overall, and Bollinger finished sixth overall and just off the XC1 podium in fourth. Ashburn, Toth and Bobbitt rounded out the top 10 overall.

Steward Baylor flew through the field to finish second in th XC1 Pro class and second overall. PHOTO BY KEN HILL.

Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Josh Strang bobbled into a Unadilla mud hole on the second lap and had to take an extra long pit stop to get a fresh set of gloves. However, more bad luck came Strang’s way and he was forced to end his race early with a mechanical issue.

Zach Nolan found himself in a favorable position to earn the $100 Hot Cams XC2 Holeshot Award, and finished the race in thirteenth. Nate Smith was accredited with the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class holeshot.

Jason Thomas, N-Fab N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley and Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4/ Husqvarna Team’s Hunter Neuwirth stood on the box for the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class.

Layne Michael won the XC2 class and also netted third overall on adjusted time. PHOTO BY KEN HILL.

With 15th overall Alex Teagarden was awarded the top amateur award. Levi Keller and Jonathan Johnson followed in second and third for the amateur overall podium in the 1 p.m. Pro Race.

The WXC division dominated the 10 a.m. overall standings. Fly Racing/Maxxis/Seat Concepts/KTM’s Becca Sheets kept Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4/Husqvarna Team-backed Tayla Jones honest, but had to settle for second. Jones’ win vaulted her to the top of the championship standings where she secured the No. 1 plate three rounds early. The Motorcycle Shop/Kenda/Bell/V3 Off-Road’s Brooke Cosner finished third overall, respectively.

Michael Beeler Jr. had an exceptional race in the youth division, winning the overall on adjusted time and crossing the line physically in second after starting on the second row. Super Mini Sr. class winner Zack Davidson placed second overall and Peyton Whipkey rounded out the podium.

2017 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series (GNCC), presented by Maxxis
Parts Unlimited Unadilla GNCC
Unadilla MX
New Berlin, New York
Results: September 10, 2017 (Round 10 of 13)

XC1 Open Pro
1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
2. Steward Baylor (KTM)
3. Ricky Russell (YAM)
4. Trevor Bollinger (HON)
5. Jordan Ashburn (BET)
6. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
7. Grant Baylor (HSQ)
8. Philippe Chaine (KTM)
9. Josh Strang (HSQ)
10. Ryan Sipes (HSQ)

2017 AMSOIL GNCC Overall National Championship Standings (after 10 of 13 rounds)
1. Kailub Russell (235)
2. Thad Duvall (202)
3. Steward Baylor (177)
4. Ricky Russell (163)
5. Josh Toth (149)
6. Grant Baylor (129)
7. Trevor Bollinger (115)
8. Jordan Ashburn (112)
9. Layne Michael (104)
10. Craig Delong (101)
*Indicates that the Overall National Championship Standings will determine the 2017 National Champion.

XC2 250 Pro

1. Layne Michael (HSQ)
2. Ben Kelley (KTM)
3. Craig Delong (HSQ)
4. Josh Toth (YAM)
5. Austin Lee (HON)
6. Mike Witkowski (KTM)
7. Ryder Lafferty (KTM)
8. Brendan Riordan (YAM)
9. Zack Hayes (KTM)
10. Trevor Barrett (YAM)

AMSOIL GNCC XC2 250 Pro Series Standings (after 10 of 13 rounds)
1. Josh Toth (261)
2. Layne Michael (216)
3. Craig Delong (207)
4. Mike Witkowski (174)
5. Ben Kelley (143)
6. Austin Lee (142)
7. Jesse Groemm (140)
8. Zack Hayes (121)
9. Sam Evans (95)
10. Zach Nolan (87)

FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am
1. Jason Thomas (HSQ)
2. Paul Whibley (YAM)
3. Hunter Neuwirth (HSQ)
4. Luke Renzland (YAM)
5. Michael Stryker (KTM)
6. Nate Smith (HSQ)
7. Conor Sheridan (KTM)
8. Mark Heresco Jr. (KTM)
9. Jack Edmondson (HSQ)
10. Josh Adkins (YAM)

AMSOIL GNCC FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am Points Standings (after 10 of 13 rounds)
1. Jason Thomas (262)
2. Hunter Neuwirth (201)
3. Mark Heresco Jr. (193)
4. Jack Edmondson (157)
5. Josh Adkins (126)
6. Jaryn Williams (124)
7. Devan Welch (97)
8. Paul Whibley (92)
9. Nate Smith (62)
10. Dustin Gibson (61)