Russell Wins XC2 and Finishes 3rd Overall

_FMF/KTM Race Report - GNCC Round 3

_

Morganton, NC - FMF/KTM rider Kailub Russell dominated the XC2 class and finished an impressive 3rd place in the overall standings at the FMF Steele Creek GNCC. His teammate, Cory Buttrick, earned his career best XC1 finish with a 2nd place overall result.

The weather remained fair until the start of the race at which point it began to pour rain. The rain continued to worsen as the race progressed but that didn't stop Buttrick from coming out in 2nd place in the first corner and maintaining his position from start to finish. Throughout the entire race Buttrick remained within 5-10 seconds off of the leader, Josh Strang, with the exception of an extended gas stop that put him about 16 seconds back. "Cory rode strong the entire race. He has adjusted to the XC1 class and his results are showing it," commented FMF/KTM Team Manager Antti Kallonen.

Buttrick's teammate, Nate Kanney, started around 10th position and worked his way into the top five within the first few laps. Kanney ran as high up as 3rd position but a few mistakes at the end of the race caused him to slip back a few positions. He eventually finished the race in 5th place.

The XC2 class was the talk of the day as FMF/KTM rider and reigning XC2 Champion, Kailub Russell dominated the class to take home the win and an impressive 3rd place finish in the overall standings. Russell started the race in 2nd place behind Jason Thomas. Within the first two laps the riders battled close to one another. After the first pit stop, Russell was able to make the pass stick and started to pull away from Thomas. On lap 3, Russell turned the fastest lap time of the entire race. "I felt great today and I seemed to ride better as the race progressed," stated Russell. "I had a strong ride and am glad to be back on top."

Russell's XC2 teammate, Steward Baylor, is improving each week. He started within the top five and raced there the majority of the day. He suffered one crash which dropped him to 6th but he was able to work his way back up to 4th by the end of the race. "I am improving each round. I have struggled with crashes at the first three rounds, but I think once I keep it on two wheels I can definitely land on the podium," remarked Baylor.

Also putting in a great ride was RPM/KTM Women's rider Maria Forsberg. She started her race in 2nd position and moved to the lead shortly within the first lap. Once out front she began to pull from the field to finish 1st with an impressive 2 minute lead over the rest of the field. Forsberg is now tied with Mandi Mastin for the points lead.

Next Event: Union, SC - April 10-11, 2010

Overall Results XC1 -
1) Josh Strang
2) Cory Buttick - KTM
3) Charles Mullins
4) Paul Whibley
5) Nate Kanney - KTM
6) Glenn Kearney
7) Chris Bach - KTM
8) Barry Hawk
9) Kenneth Gilbert
10) Eric Bailey

Overall Results XC 2 -
1) Kailub Russell - KTM
2) Jason Thomas
3) Scott Watkins
4) Steward Baylor - KTM
5) Jesse Robinson - KTM
6) Dustin Gibson - KTM
7) Mark Fortner
8) Brian Lawson
9) David Synder
10) Nicholas Hunter - KTM

Overall Results (All Classes) -
1) Josh Strang
2) Cory Buttrick - KTM
3) Kailub Russell - KTM
4) Charles Mullins
5) Paul Whibley
6) Nate Kanney - KTM
7) Glenn Kearney
8) Chris Bach - KTM
9) Jason Thomas
10) Barry Hawk

Women's Class -
1) Maria Forsberg - KTM
2) Mandi Mastin
3) Ashley Crouch
4) Leeann Bange
5) Shelby Rolen - KTM
6) Randi Bailey
7) Jessica Morrison
8) Aubrie Williams - KTM
9) Taylor Dressler
10) Tayler Wright

FMF/KTM rider Kailub Russell
FMF/KTM rider Cory Buttrick
FMF/KTM rider Cory Buttrick
RPM/KTM Women's rider Maria Forsberg