Morganton, NC – Factory FMF/KTM rider Kailub Russell took the win and the points lead in the XC1 Pro class at the third round of the GNCC Series over teammate Charlie Mullins.
Russell and Mullins both got off to a decent when the gate dropped but it was their teammate, Steward Baylor, that pulled the holeshot and led the group around the opening corner. It did not take long before Russell made the pass for the lead and began to check out on the rest of the pack. He would ride a mistake-free race to take the win with a comfortable two-minute lead at the end of the 3-hour race.
Mullins also worked his way through the pack and moved to 2nd place by the second lap of the race. He remained in that position with heavy pressure from the 3rd place ride of Josh Strang on the final two laps. Mullins was able to hold his ground and keep the runner-up position to gain valuable points for the championship.
Baylor was holding a podium position after pulling the holeshot for the first half of the race before he came into the pits and had to do an extended pit stop. He dropped to 6th place on the pit and spent the rest of the race catching back up to the lead group. He was able to pick off one rider to move into 5th overall for the day.
After three rounds, Russell now leads Mullins by one point in the championship chase. “We knew our riders would be battling for the championship once again,” stated Factory FMF/KTM Team Manager Antti Kallonen. “We are very proud of how they both rode today and we are happy that there were no issues for either rider and they finished safely at the top of the podium.”
KTM support rider Grant Baylor didn’t get the best jump off the line but made up for his poor start with a late charge in the final half of the race. He was able to move up from the bottom ten to 3rd overall in the XC2 Pro Lites class. He now sits 3rd in the point standings after three rounds.
Next Event: April 12-13, 2014 – Union, SC
Overall Results (both XC1 Pro and XC2 Pro Lites combined) –
1. Kailub Russell – KTM
2. Charlie Mullins – KTM
3. Josh Strang
4. Thad Duvall
5. Steward Baylor – KTM
6. Jordan Ashburn
7. Andrew Delong
8. Trevor Bollinger
9. Chris Bach
10. Ricky Russell
11. Grant Baylor – KTM
Overall Point Standings XC1 Pro –
1. Kailub Russell – 72
2. Charlie Mullins – 71
3. Josh Strang – 60
Overall Point Standings XC2 Pro Lites –
1. Trevor Bollinger – 69
2. Ricky Russell – 68
3. Grant Baylor – 66