GNCC

Kaliub Russell Moves To 150 Two Stroke As Daniel Milner Joins GNCC Tour

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Posted:

The 13-race AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, reaches the penultimate round of racing this Sunday, Oct. 5 with the ITP Powerline Park GNCC in St. Clairsville, Ohio.

Although the 2014 National Championship has already been decided, there's still lots of excitement and anticipation surrounding two-time GNCC National Champion Kailub Russell as he prepares to line up against a stacked field of XC1 Pro competition-who are equipped with 450cc four-strokes and 250cc two-strokes-aboard a Factory FMF/KTM 150cc two-stroke.

Russell wrapped up his second straight GNCC National Championship last round, where he heads into his home state this Sunday with a five-race winning streak behind him. As Russell attempts to secure his 22nd career victory this Sunday, which would give him fifth place on the All-Time Bike Wins list, the Ohio native will have his work cut out with a bike that's much different than what he's used to racing on the GNCC circuit.

"I'm leaving the KTM 350 [four-stroke] in the garage and bringing out the KTM 150 two-stroke for the last two rounds," Russell said. "I've only practiced on it a few times this week but I'm looking forward to having some fun on it."

However, Russell's decision to race the 150XC at the final two rounds is more than just an exciting venture. The Factory FMF/KTM racer is currently hosting a public raffle where one lucky winner will receive the exact bike that he's competing on this month. All proceeds from the raffle will be split to help benefit injured GNCC Racer Rory Mead with his ongoing spinal injury rehabilitation, while also helping to fund Russell's trip with Team USA to the International Six Days Enduro in Argentina later this year.

Following yet another podium finish last round, N-Fab AmPro Yamaha's Jordan Ashburn vaulted himself into second place in the championship standings, where he sits one point ahead of Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/N-Fab AmPro Yamaha's Australian rider Josh Strang with two rounds remaining.

Strang dropped one position to third in the championship standings following a rough day at round 11, where he was forced to DNF the race due to fuel spillage on his lap during a pit stop. The 2010 GNCC National Champion is still looking to capture his first victory of the season, in addition to reclaiming the second place position with two rounds remaining.
Daniel Milner (Podium Right) will join fellow Aussie Josh Strang (Podium Centre) on the start line in the GNCC this weekend - Credit: Milners FB Page
Joining Strang on the start line to boost the Australian representation in the series will be CDR Yamaha's Australian A4DE champion Daniel Milner who will move to the GNCC Championship full time in 2015.

Milner kicked of his short 2014 American trip in the lead up to the ISDE in Argentina last weekend finishing a local two hour race behind GNCC front runners Strang and Charlie Mullins. Milner impressed in his first U.S outing finishing just 1 minute behind winner Strang and 30 seconds behind Mullins after challenging Strang up front for the majority of the race.

"I had a fun days racing at my first race in the states! Ended up with a 3rd at one of the Mid East championship races. Was a fun track and a cool set up. Thanks to @amproyamaha for the bike," Milner posted on his facebook page after last weekends event.

For Factory FMF/KTM's Charlie Mullins is prepared to make his return to GNCC this weekend after missing the last four rounds with a double wrist injury. The 2011 GNCC National Champion was on track to contest this year's title before his injury, scoring three race wins through the first seven rounds. With only two rounds remaining, Mullins has nothing to prove as he sits six points behind Strang for fourth place in the championship standings, where he looks to "have fun and get back into the swing of racing."

Tayla Jones will also fly the flag for Australia in the Women's class this weekend as she looks towards a full time ride in the U.S in 2015.

Top Image: Kailub Russell will be switching from his normal KTM 350 4-stroke to race a KTM 150XC 2-stroke at the last two rounds of the 2014 season.

Credit: Ken Hill

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