Cory Buttrick took a big win at the AAPG, the final round of the 2010 Japanese National Cross Country (JNCC) series held at the BigDeer circuit in Hiroshima, Japan.At the invitation of the president of the JNCC, Masami Hoshino, Buttrick attended the highly regarded Japanese race as a representative of the GNCC (Grand National Cross-Country Series), as part of an exchange agreement between the two series. Every March, the JNCC sends a top Japanese rider to race the GNCC opener in Florida, and each November, the GNCC reciprocates by sending a top American to the AAGP.
This year, the American rider was Buttrick and the FMF/KTM rider was impressive, lapping the field up to third place during the three-hour race and finishing the event with a five-minute cushion over defending JNCC champ and former All-Japan National Motocross Champion Takeshi Koikeda. Koikeda, who rides for KTM Japan, led the race during the early going with pressure from Yamaha rider Kenji Suzuki, however, Buttrick took the lead before the end of the opening lap and never looked back.
Suzuki and Koikeda stayed relatively close to Buttrick for the next 45 minutes, but then Buttrick picked up the pace and started pulling away, putting two minutes on the duo by the halfway mark of the race. Buttrick seemed to get stronger as the race wore on, and his final two laps of the seven-mile course were his fastest. At the finish, Buttrick took a win that seemed just as popular with the locals as it was with the American contingent.
For his efforts Buttrick took home a check for 100,000 YEN and a special trophy commemorating his win. “These was an extremely fun race,” Buttrick said. “It was a fast course with lots of fun jumps and I managed to go all race without a mishap. I want to thank the JNCC, Masami Hoshino, Tomo Miwa, and KTM Japan’s Michael Schano for giving me the chance to come to this race. It’s been an awesome experience. I also want to thank KTM North America, my girlfriend MacKenzie and my mechanic Tony Hall for all their support.”
Hall, Buttrick’s KTM mechanic in the GNCC series, took a stock 350 SXF provided by KTM Japan and set it up with factory suspension and other items that he shipped from California. Hall seemed to have about as many admirers as Buttrick, with many of the Japanese mechanics sneaking over to get a peek at Hall’s handiwork over the course of the weekend. Buttrick’s bike was definitely the trickest and cleanest in the pits.
On Monday, Buttrick and crew ventured to the tiny Japanese island of Miyajima to do some sightseeing and to take in the beautiful Buddhist temples. The day we were there it was raining and a dense fog hung halfway up the mountains, making the area seem even more mystical. Small deer roamed freely in the narrow streets where local shop owners offered up the local fare: sushi and raw oysters. After five days in Japan, we were relieved to see a McDonalds when we got to the airport in Tokyo!Overall Results
JNCC Final Round:
November 21, 2010
1. Cory Buttrick (KTM)
2. Takeshi Koikeda (KTM)
3. Kenji Suzuki (Yam)
4. Takase Tanaka (KTM)
5. Taichi Tanaka (KTM)