XC1 rookie sensation Cory Buttrick heads to Japan this week in preparation for next week's AAGP race at the BigDeer Circuit in Hiroshima, the final round of the Japanese National Cross Country series.
Over the past several years, the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC
) Series has celebrated its strong relationship with the JNCC by sending a top rider to the Japanese finale. This year, Buttrick will represent the GNCC at the race where he will face tough challenges from Japan's number two-ranked motocrosser Takase Tanaka, a works Kawasaki
rider, as well as the JNCC's top off-road racer Takeshi Koikeda.
Buttrick, winner of this year's John Penton GNCC, will arrive in Hiroshima on Thursday accompanied by his father Dennis Buttrick and KTM
factory mechanic Tony Hall. On Friday, the entourage will visit a local motorcycle shop and then go to the GP course for testing. Saturday will be filled with more practice and some pageantry, followed by Sunday's race (Nov. 21).
Buttrick follows GNCC racers Josh Strang and Kailub Russell who competed in the AAGP in 2009, a race that was won by Russell. Defending GNCC champ Paul Whibley won the 2006 edition, Charlie Mullins came out on top in 2007, and Nate Kanney was victorious in 2008.
The three-hour AAGP follows the same format as an American GNCC round, and the race winner receives 100,000 YEN. The racers head to Japan on Wednesday, November 17. GNCC organizer Racer Productions will also send Media Director Shan Moore on the trip to send back reports and photos, so look for updates all week long on GNCC Racing.com
About GNCC Racing: The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series is America's premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1979, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles, competing for more than $3 million in prizes. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com