Kailub Russell wins GNCC while Australia’s Kearney places 3rd in class


Factory FMF/KTM's Kailub Russell has won round two of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series at Motocross Park in Washington.

The win was an impressive effort considering just five short days ago at the opening round of the series , the young gun sat out the last hour of the grueling three-hour race after crashing and injuring his shoulder. Motocross Park in Washington.

Russell made it clear from the early stages of the race that he was determined to make a statement in the woods at round two running within the lead pack all day and used his impressive sprint speed to put a small gap on his Factory FMF/KTM teammate Charlie Mullins and AmPro Yamaha's Paul Whibley, winner of Florida's season opener. Mullins put in another solid ride for second place, demonstrating the poise and consistency that earned him the 2011 XC1 title. Motocross Park in Washington.

Russell finished out the final two laps with his two fastest times of the day, showing determination and heart to fend off GNCC veterans Mullins and Whibley and an entire field of stacked riders behind. Motocross Park in Washington.

"I felt like I had a little more at the end of the race and I knew I could go faster, so I got around Charlie and laid down a couple fast laps," said Russell after taking his second career XC1 win. "I'm focused, I'm driven, I've done the training and I just need to position myself in the race like I did today and I'm going to try to do that the rest of the season." Motocross Park in Washington.

Mullins was able to recover from a big crash on lap two that left his bike with some fork damage, and eventually come home in second place after leading for a few laps. Motocross Park in Washington.

"I had a pretty bad crash there on the second lap and I ended up breaking my forks, so my bike was kind of off. The crash was pretty gnarly but I was able to get back recover and even lead a few laps and Kailub got around me and dropped the hammer the last few laps," Mullins said. Motocross Park in Washington.

Whibley crossed the line just seven seconds behind Mullins for third place, which gives the kiwi a scant one-point lead in the early championship standings and an opportunity to sport the white number plate background at round three. Motocross Park in Washington.

"Everyone seemed to have some good lines today and we all mixed it up, it was a good day," Whibley said. "The last couple laps Kailub was on fire and Charlie and I pushed each other pretty well. I got caught in some lappers at the end there but I'm really happy with third today." Motocross Park in Washington.

JG Offroad Honda's Nate Kanney also bounced back from a less-than-par finish in Florida, putting in a solid ride for the fourth place position and outdueling Shenandoah Honda/Offroad Champion's Thad DuVall late in the race. DuVall has put in consistent rides so far this season, giving him the third spot in the points standings after two rounds of racing. Motocross Park in Washington.

Defending XC2 Pro Lites champ, Steward Baylor Jr., made it two wins in a row, despite having what he called an off day. Motocross Park in Washington.

"I just couldn't get going really. I felt sleepy all day but I'm happy to get the win," said the Fly Racing/ Support rider after crossing the finish line twenty seconds ahead of F.A.R Husqvarna's Jason Thomas. Motocross Park in Washington.

The XC2 veteran looked strong all day but lost touch with Baylor on the final lap and was forced to settle for second. Motocross Park in Washington.

Australia's Glenn Kearney may be a replacement rider for the F.A.R Husky team, but with two podium appearances in the first two rounds, it's hard not to validate a stay for the remainder of the season. Motocross Park in Washington.

Round three of the 2012 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series heads to Morganton, North Carolina, March 31and April 1 for The FMF Steele Creek GNCC. Motocross Park in Washington.

XC1 Pro Results:
1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
2. Charlie Mullins (KTM)
3. Paul Whibley (YAM)
4. Nathan Kanney (HON)
5. Thad DuVall (HON)
6. Cory Buttrick (KTM)
7. Garrett Edmisten (KAW)
8. Rory Mead (KTM)
9. Chris Bach (BET)
10. Takeshi Koikeda (KTM)

XC2 Pro Lites Results:
1. Steward Baylor Jr. (KTM)
2. Jason Thomas (HSQ)
3. Glenn Kearney (HSQ)
4. Jesse Robinson (HSB)
5. Jedediah Haines (YAM)
6. Dustin Gibson (KTM)
7. Brad Bakken (YAM)
8. Cole Kirkpatrick (KTM)
9. Cody Gragg (YAM)
10. Ricky Mair (KTM)

XC1 Pro Standings:
1. Paul Whibley (51) (1/win)
2. Charlie Mullins (50)
3. Kailub Russell (39) (1/win)
4. Thad DuVall (34)
5. Rory Mead (34)
6. Cory Buttrick (29)
7. Chris Bach (28)
8. Garrett Edmisten (25)
9. Jordan Ashburn (24)
10. Nathan Kanney (24)

XC2 Pro Lites Standings:
1. Steward Baylor Jr. (60) (2/wins)
2. Jason Thomas (43)
3. Jesse Robinson (43)
4. Glenn Kearney (42)
5. Jedediah Haines (31)

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