GNCC

Mullins Looks for Three in a Row This Weekend at Mammoth GNCC

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At this point in time last season, Charlie Mullins had yet to secure a race win, whereas teammate Kailub Russell was just coming off a three-race win streak.

However, heading into Round 5 of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series this weekend, the tables have slightly turned for the Factory FMF/KTM duo but this time it's both riders who are in contention for the National Championship early in the 13-round series.

With three of the four wins this season, Mullins has proven to be the dominant force as he commands the points lead heading into Sunday's Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mammoth GNCC. However, Russell claimed the Round 2 victory, finishing a close second at the other three rounds and trails his teammate by only ten points in the championship standings with nine races remaining.

In just its second year hosting a GNCC, the Park Mammoth Resort offers some of the freshest trail on the circuit with plenty of single-track sections and technical terrain. Although defending champ Paul Whibley currently sits eighth overall in the standings, the "Axe Man" tends to excel in rough and technical conditions, which could afford him the chance to gain valuable points this weekend.

Another rider who favours this type of terrain is RPM/KTM Team Maxxis rider Rory Mead, who claimed the inaugural victory last year. Mead has struggled to finish out front so far this season but perhaps the terrain this weekend will showcase his skills in the rocky woods of Kentucky.

Carolina KTM/RidePG.com's Chris Bach has put in a consistent string of finishes in the first four rounds and heads into Round 5 with third place in the point standings. Bach is aboard an all-new privateer-backed program for 2013 and appears to be making a seamless transition thus far.
DuVall is back on track after finishing third at the last round - Credit: Ken Hill
Shenandoah Honda/USWE-Sports.com's Thad DuVall experienced a race ending crash in North Carolina and despite suffering from the pain of rib separation, DuVall managed to land atop the podium last round in South Carolina.

DuVall's third place finish lessened the point deficit and he now sits in fifth place just one point below XC2 Pro Lites class leader Andrew DeLong in the overall standings. The F.A.R Husky rider's impressive overall ranking also lands him ahead of the XC2 division with three of the four class wins so far this season.

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC's Australian rider Josh Strang currently trails DuVall in the overall standings, sitting in the sixth place position. Strang came into the season on a good note, grabbing a podium finish at the opening round and following up with fourth place the next weekend. However, after experiencing a couple rounds of bad luck and injury, the 2010 GNCC champ looks to land on the podium this weekend in Kentucky.

KTM Support Rider Grant Baylor currently holds seventh place overall in his first pro season, edging out defending XC2 Pro Lites champ Jason Thomas, who sits in ninth overall after a less-than-desirable finish at the last round. XC1 rider Ricky Russell rounds out the top 10 overall, just behind Thomas.

For more information and to watch the round via a live stream early Monday morning Australian time visit the official series website at www.GNCCRacing.com.

Top Image: Mullins has been a dominant force this season

Credit: Ken Hill

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