Salminen and Hawk Battle at the FMF Mountaineer GNCC - News - Dirt Rider Magazine

You've got to be tough to win races in the Suzuki Grand National Cross Country Series, and the toughest racers bounce back from a beating and come back hungrier than ever. With four weeks off between races, Am Pro Yamaha's Barry Hawk worked tirelessly to step up his program and track down KTM's runaway series' leader Juha Salminen. Barry stepped it up and tracked him down at the FMF Mountaineer GNCC, but ultimately Juha came up with the win after his toughest fight of the season."It was a good battle with Barry, he was riding really strong. Today was actually the first time I was challenged like this," said the friendly 10-Time World Enduro Champion from Finland. "I couldn't get the gap. Then I got stuck in a mud hole and he got around me, and then he got stuck on a hill and I got around him.""I hate losing. I just hate it and it's burning me up," said Hawk in anger on the podium. "I want to win so bad. I know I can run with him, and I know what I needed to do. It just comes down to mistakes, and I made one big one on this hillclimb on the last lap. The hill was nasty. We were pushing our bikes up the hill every lap. I got the lead and got suck there, and I pushed so hard that I almost puked when I got to the top of the hill. I'm so mad. It just came down to a hillclimb and there was nothing I could do about it."Hawk was joined on the podium by his rejuvenated teammate Jason Raines. "It's been a struggle all year," said Raines. "I got a bad start, and I felt really uncomfortable out there. I knew I would have to put my heart in it today, and I think that's maybe the one thing that was missing. I just didn't have that determination, and that motivation. I've been overtraining and getting frustrated. Once I passed a few guys I got a wind of confidence and I started rolling. I'm 100 percent physically and the bike is great, I needed to dig down a get some results."Also carding his best ride of the season was FMF Suzuki's "Fast" Fred Andrews, who took fourth on his Suzuki RM-Z450. "It was a good ride, I finally got a good start and didn't crash," said Andrews. "Except for that hill. I had a good battle with Jason today."Fifth went to FMF Suzuki's Glenn Kearney, who wasn't very happy with his performance. "I just wasn't aggressive enough in the rocks and got tight," said the Aussie.KTM's Robbie Jenks and Suzuki's Brian Garrahan were sixth and seventh, and Parts Unlimited Moose Honda's Scott Summers logged his best ride in a long time with eighth. 250 A rider Charles Mullins was top amateur again on his Am Pro Yamaha YZ250, and tenth overall went to Jayco/SCR Suzuki rider Doug Blackwell.
Attrition cost other racers, including FMF/ Kawasaki's Steve Hatch, who was battling in the top five before he got water in his gas tank and dropped back. R.E.R. Motorcity Yamaha privateer Nate Kanney was running near the top five as well until a cracked engine case ended his day on the last lap. KTM's National Enduro Champion Mike Lafferty returned to the fray but struggled with suspension setup, and Shane Watts debuted the Funmart KTM 250SX-F, but jetting problems on his new bike cost him power and time. Kawasaki Team Green's Chuck Woodford returned to action after a chest injury but was unable to finish.The FMF Mountaineer GNCC was taped for an airing on the Outdoor Life Network, and GNCC races air Tuesdays at 5 p.m., Thursdays at 11 a.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. EST.The Suzuki Grand National Cross Country Series continues in two weeks with the premiere stop on the tour: the Parts Unlimited Wisp GNCC in Deep Creek, Maryland, on June 25 and 26.The AMA-sanctioned Suzuki Grand National Cross Country series is America's premier off-road racing series. The 13-round series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The nearly three-hour long GNCC races lead as many as 1500 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC featured sponsors include Parts Unlimited, Moose, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Klotz, FMF and ITP, and riders compete for over $1.3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Moose Utility Division, Scott, Alpinestars, hlins, Cometic, Outerwears, Race Tools, Twin Air, SFB Racing, Thor, Motion Pro, MotoTee's, Warrior and Laeger's. Media Sponsors include Dirt Rider Magazine, ATV Sport Magazine and Racer X Illustrated. For more information log on to Top Twenty
FMF Mountaineer GNCC - Summersville, WV
1. Juha Salminen Finland, Pro KTM 03:05:49
2. Barry Hawk, Jr Smithfield, PA Pro YAM 03:06:47
3. Jason Raines Belfair, WA Pro YAM 03:08:45
4. Fred Andrews Salem, OH Pro SUZ 03:09:08
5. Glenn Kearney Australia, Pro SUZ 03:11:53
6. Robbie Jenks New Straitsville, OH Pro KTM 03:12:15
7. Brian Garrahan Boulder Creek, CA Pro SUZ 03:14:19
8. Scott Summers Petersburg, KY Pro HON 03:14:42
9. Charles Mullins Hamilton, OH 250 A YAM 03:16:08
10. Doug Blackwell Parkersburg, WV Pro SUZ 03:16:49
11. Travis Green Vinton, OH 250 A KAW 03:20:22
12. Christopher Robertson Athens, OH 250 A KAW 03:21:56
13. Scott Watkins Leetonia, OH 250 A KAW 03:22:40
14. Garrett Edmisten Vero Beach, FL 250 A KAW 03:22:42
15. Brian Lawson Adams, MA Pro YAM 03:22:47
16. Brett Zofchak Washington, PA 4 Stroke A KAW 03:25:04
17. Gregory Gillian Cross Lanes, WV Open A HON 03:25:23
18. Steve Hatch Scottsdale, AZ Pro KAW 03:26:32
19. Ryan L Powell San Rafael, CA 250 A YAM 03:29:52
20. Justin Williamson Sanford, FL Pro YAM 03:30:11Suzuki GNCC Series Overall Point Standings (After 8 of 13 rounds)
1. Juha Salminen 226/6 wins
2. Barry Hawk, Jr. 148/1 win
3. Glenn Kearney 137
4. Robbie Jenks 116
5. Steve Hatch 94
6. Charlie Mullins 89
7. Jason Raines 81
8. Brian Garrahan 80
9. Shane Watts 72
10. Mike Lafferty 62