Kaliub Russell notched his fourth consecutive GNCC win of 2013 at the Can-AM Unadilla GNCC, beating Factory FMF/KTM’s Charlie Mullins by just two seconds after the nearly three-hour long event. Kawasaki rider Josh Strang rounded out the podium.
Mullins ran out front early, earning the All Balls Racing Holeshot, but was immediately challenged by Russell for the lead position. The two remained steady in the lead as a handful of riders attempted to join the battle for the top-step. AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn, Strang, Shenandoah Honda’s Thad DuVall and Nytro Handguards’ Chris Bach were all vying for position within the top-five during the initial laps, though the group thinned when DuVall ran into trouble and was forced back to the pit area for a rear wheel change. The rest continued to fight for position while DuVall was left to make up for lost time.
Meanwhile, FMF/KTM Team Maxxis’ Rory Mead was pushing his way through the field, passing four riders after DuVall’s stop, getting to third-place mid-way through competition. Strang answered back with two laps remaining, passing Mead for the number three position, and from there he fought hard to pass Mullins and Russell as well. Mullins maintained a slim advantage over Strang at the checkers, beating the Kawasaki rider by little more than one second.
Mead took fourth followed by Ashburn in fifth and KTM rider Jonathan Girroir in sixth. Bach finished seventh followed by Yamaha’s Ricky Russell in eighth and DuVall in ninth.
Russell moved to the top of the XC1 Pro series points tally with the win; he now sits five points ahead of Mullins.
“It feels really good to get the win here today and take over the point lead,” said Russell. “As usual, Charlie gave me a good battle the whole day and I am happy I was able to come out on top.”
Husqvarna’s Andrew DeLong topped the XC2 Pro Lites class ahead of Honda’s Zach Osborne. Kawasaki’s Scott Grills finished third.
The top two in points, Grant Baylor and Jason Thomas, were caught in an early pile-up that allowed DeLong to break away. Osborne quickly joined the leader and challenged for the front through the initial laps. Behind, Baylor battled back up the ranks, making it to fourth-position before the checkers. Thomas wasn’t so fortunate, as a mid-race issue forced the KTM rider to the pits to receive a new pipe and radiator. Though he ran as high as fourth after the initial pile-up, Thomas ended the day in 22nd.
Baylor maintains his overall points lead with Thomas in second. DeLong is third overall followed by KTM’s Shane Hufford Jr. in fourth.
Unadilla GNCC XC1 Pro Results 2013:
1. Kaliub Russell (KTM)
2. Charlie Mullins (KTM)
3. Josh Strang (Kawasaki)
4. Rory Mead (KTM)
5. Jordan Ashburn (Yamaha)
6. Jonathan Girroir (KTM)
7. Chris Bach (KTM)
8. Ricky Russell (Yamaha)
9. Thad DuVall (Honda)
10. Takeshi Koikeda (Honda)
Unadilla GNCC XC2 Pro Lites Results 2013:
1. Andrew DeLong (Husqvarna)
2. Zach Osborne (Honda)
3. Scott Grills (Kawasaki)
4. Grant Baylor (KTM)
5. Shane Hufford Jr., (KTM)
6. Jesse Groemm (Yamaha)
7. Ian Blythe (KTM)
8. Jason Klammer (KTM)
9. Layne Michael (KTM)
10. Samuel Evans (KTM)