Thad DuVall fought hard and caught a few breaks to earn his first GNCC XC1 Pro win of the season at Unadilla.
Shenandoah Honda’s Thad DuVall made waves in the Can-AM Unadilla GNCC
contest in front of almost 1,900 spectators, taking his first career XC1 Pro Class win and giving Honda
its first GNCC victory since 2007. AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley, currently leading XC1 in points, took second, followed by JG Offroad’s Nate Kanney in third.
DuVall has a number of fourth-place finishes to his credit this season, but had always come up short of the podium until his win at Unadilla. He joined with the Shenandoah team earlier this year and has since put up some of the best results of his career in the series. With the exception of Round 5 in Park City, Kentucky
and Round 8 in Snowshoe, West Virginia
, Duvall has been within the top five in every GNCC competition.
“I probably rode one of the best races I've ever ridden today," said DuVall. "We made a few changes over the summer and it really panned out. I got hooked up with Shenandoah Honda and Offroad Champions after kind of joking around on Facebook saying I was going to have to get a real job this year and they came up with an awesome ride for me! I couldn't be happier with my program and the bike so I can't thank those guys enough for stepping up to help me."
The Honda rider was in the lead pack from the start, keeping pace with Russell, Whibley and defending GNCC champion Charlie Mullins. Whibley took the Motosport.com Holeshot Award and battled with the other three riders through the opening laps, until Mullins lost his rear brake and had to pit for repairs. Not long after, Russell went down and lost position to Kaney and Yamaha
’s Chris Bach, who took advantage and moved up to the battle for third. DuVall and Whibley went head-to-head for the lead until the final lap when Whibley’s brake lever broke, causing him to slow a bit in order to finish strong and retain the overall points lead.
Unadilla XC1 podium with Thad DuVall (center) in first, Paul Whibley (left) in second and Nate Kanney (right) in third.
“Thad and I were battling at the end and I broke my front brake lever on the last lap," Whibley said. "There was no way I could keep up with Thad after that, he was riding really good, so I just chose to back it down and try to ride with him and make sure to get some good points. Second is not what I was wanting but we'll take it."
Kaney made the move for the final step on the rostrum on Lap 6 and held strong against pressure from Bach. Russell fought to recover position, but was only able to get to fourth before the checkers. The podium finish is Kaney’s best placement so far this season in GNCC action and he was happy to put on a good show for his home crowd.
“I came here confident I could win and of course I wanted to win, but I'm just happy to put in a good ride in front of all the people that support me. It's just the same as getting a win for me," Kanney said. "The season is almost over but it's better late than never and it feels good to give something back to all the people that help me out."
Bach ended the day in fifth, followed by Yamaha rider Jordan Ashburn in sixth. Mullins was able to recover to seventh after addressing his rear brake issue with Honda rider Jimmy Jarrett trailing in eighth. KTM
’s Rory Mead, third in overall points and with two wins to his credit this season, struggled at Unadilla and finished in ninth.
GNCC Unadilla XC1 Pro Results 2012
1. Thad DuVall (Honda)
2. Paul Whibley (Yamaha)
3. Nate Kanney (Honda)
4. Kaliub Russell (KTM)
5. Chris Bach (Yamaha)
6. Jordan Ashburn (Yamaha)
7. Charlie Mullins (KTM)
8. Jimmy Jarrett (Honda)
9. Rory Mead (KTM)
10. Takeshi Koikeda (KTM)
11. Josh Cennamo (Yamaha)
12. Mark Fortner (Beta)
13. Grant Maryott (Yamaha)
14. Garrett Edmisten (Kawasaki)
GNCC XC1 Pro Championship Points:
1. Paul Whibley, 253
2. Kaliub Russell, 240
3. Rory Mead, 189
4. Thad DuVall, 168
5. Jordan Ashburn, 147
6. Charlie Mullins, 143
7. Chris Bach, 139
8. Garrett Edmisten, 123
9. Nate Kanney, 122
10. Takeshi Koikeda, 111
XC2 Pro Lites
Unadilla XC2 podium with Andrew DeLong (center) in first, Morgan Moss (left) in second and Nick Davis (right) in third.
F.A.R. Husqvarna’s Andrew DeLong continued his late-season rally for the points lead, earning his fourth victory in the last five rounds. Yamaha rider Morgan Moss took second on his first ride in the GNCC since knee surgery last year. DeLong’s teammate Nick Davis earned his best finish of the season so far in third.
KR4 Performance’s Jason Thomas came out strong early, leading the first stages of competition and DeLong was forced to battle through the pack after his bad start. The Husqvarna rider got to the front to battle with Thomas after KTM’s Steward Baylor Jr. went into the pits with a flat tire. Thomas and DeLong maintained the fight for the lead until both riders got stuck in a muddy “railroad section.” DeLong was the first to get his bike freed from the mud and he was able to hold the front to the checkers. Thomas eventually got out as well, but has lost significant position and could only recover for eighth by the end.
Baylor was able to weave through the field after replacing his flat tire to finish fourth, followed by Yamaha riders Brad Bakken in fifth and Jedediah Haines in sixth. KTM’s Michael McGinnis took seventh with Thomas in eighth and Yamaha pilot AJ Stewart in ninth.
Baylor continues to hold the points lead, though Thomas and DeLong are within striking distance. Thomas holds second, 10 points behind Baylor and DeLong lags by just 13.
GNCC Unadilla XC2 Pro Lites Results 2012:
1. Andrew DeLong (Husqvarna)
2. Morgan Moss (Yamaha)
3. Nick Davis (Husqvarna)
4. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
5. Brad Bakken (Yamaha)
6. Jedediah Haines (Yamaha)
7. Michael McGinnis (KTM)
8. Jason Thomas (KTM)
9. AJ Stewart (Yamaha)
10. Cody Gragg (Yamaha)
11. Zach Nolan (KTM)
12. Ricky Mair (KTM)
13. Guy Giroux (Husqvarna)
14. Philippe Chaine (Husqvarna)
15. Ryan Lojak (Yamaha)
GNCC XC2 Pro Lites Championship Points:
1. Steward Baylor Jr., 221
2. Jason Thomas, 211
3. Andrew DeLong, 208
4. Jedediah Haines, 168
5. Jesse Robinson, 156
6. Brad Bakken, 146
7. AJ Stewart, 119
8. Cody Gragg, 102
9. Zach Nolan, 94
10. Michael McGinnis, 94