Factory FMF KTM Racing Team Report: Tomahawk GNCC

Round 8 of the GNCC Series

Round 8 of the GNCC Series took place on Sunday in Alpine, New York where Factory FMF KTM Factory Racing Team’s Kailub Russell put forth an impressive come-from-behind performance to climb from dead last to 1st place before another rider collided with him on the final lap, leaving his bike too damaged to finish the race. Russell’s teammate, Russell Bobbitt, finished 5th place in the XC1 Pro Class, while Kacy Martinez captured 2nd place in the WXC division.

With XC1 Pro Class lap times under 24 minutes, the Tomahawk GNCC course showcased a fast-paced and rough afternoon of racing, complete with high winds and very dusty conditions. Off the start, Bobbitt powered his KTM 250 XC-F into a favorable top-three position, while Russell began the three-hour race at the very end of the pack, roughly one minute behind the leaders on the opening lap.

Kailub Russell, Tomahawk GNCC
It was a windy, dusty, and challenging day for Kailub Russell at the Tomahawk GNCC and a crash that caused him to not finish the race.Photo Courtesy of KTM

As they checked in for lap one, Bobbitt held the 3rd place position with a hard-charging Russell up to 6th place aboard his KTM 350 XC-F. By lap two, the Factory FMF KTM Racing teammates assumed the 2nd and 3rd place positions, with Bobbitt at the helm of the charge toward the leader of Josh Strang.

On lap three, Russell made the pass on Bobbitt to take over 2nd place where he immediately upped the pace, cutting the deficit to Strang in half by making up 13 seconds in one lap. From there, Russell continued his charge to the front as he came within six seconds of the leader as the white flag came out to signal one lap to go.

Russell gave it his all during the final lap of the race as he caught and passed Strang to take over the lead with about five miles to go. However, as Strang attempted to reclaim the lead he collided with Russell and both riders went down. Russell received the worst of it as he hit a tree at such high impact that his motorcycle was broken beyond repair. Strang was able to remount and finish the race out front, while Russell was unable to finish the race.

With a five-race win-streak behind him, Russell now sits 2nd in the Overall National Championship standings as the GNCC Series hits its halfway point.

Russell Bobbitt, KTM, Tomahawk GNCC
Bobbitt enjoyed the course for the Tomahawk GNCC and stated that it "was really fun today, it was littered with shale rocks, twisty turns and some cool elevation."Photo Courtesy of KTM

Bobbitt went on to capture 5th place in the XC1 Class and 8th overall for the day. In only his third GNCC appearance of the season, the current National Enduro Championship points leader continues to make improvements in preparation for the three-hour GNCC races.

“The track was really fun today, it was littered with shale rocks, twisty turns and some cool elevation,” Bobbitt said. “I’ve been working hard on my preparation for these longer races and we’re starting to see the difference in laptimes so it’s good.”

Kacy Martinex, Becca Sheets, WXC, Tomahawk GNCC
Kacy Martinez and Becca Sheets went back and forth for the lead throughout the WXC race. It was Sheets who took first place for the WXC at Tomahawk.Photo Courtesy of KTM

In the 10 a.m. race, FMF KTM Factory Team rider Kacy Martinez shot off the line to capture the WXC holeshot aboard her KTM 250 XC-F. Martinez led the opening lap until Becca Sheets made the pass to take over the lead. Sheets and Martinez diced back-and-forth for the lead position for a majority of the race but soon ran into lapped traffic, which allowed Sheets to break away out front.

Martinez wasn’t able to make up the lost time from the lapped traffic, where she ultimately finished in 2nd place behind Sheets. With five races remaining, Martinez sits 3rd in the WXC Championship standings.

Kacy Martinez, WXC, Tomahawk GNCC
Martinez snagged a podium finish for the WXC and is third in the overall point standings.Photo Courtesy of KTM

Next Event: Snowshoe, West Virginia – June 26, 2016 Overall Results (XC1 Pro and XC2 Pro Lites Combined) –

  1. Josh Strang
  2. Grant Baylor
  3. Jordan Ashburn - KTM
  4. Trevor Bollinger
  5. Ricky Russell
  6. Jesse Groemm – KTM
  7. Layne Michael
  8. Russell Bobbitt – KTM
  9. Craig DeLong
  10. Josh Toth – KTM

Results WXC Class

  1. Becca Sheets
  2. Kacy Martinez – KTM
  3. Brooke Cosner

Overall Point Standings

  1. Josh Strang (197)
  2. Kailub Russell (196)
  3. Trevor Bollinger (107)
  4. Chris Bach (105)
  5. Jordan Ashburn (105)
  6. Craig DeLong (93)
  7. Thad DuVall (84)
  8. Steward Baylor Jr. (83)
  9. Grant Baylor (81)
  10. Ricky Russell (80)

Overall Point Standings WXC

  1. Becca Sheets (150)
  2. Brooke Cosner (144)
  3. Kacy Martinez (139)