Triton GNCC Report

MELBOURNE, Fla. (March 5, 2008) – David Knight proved stronger than ever at the Parts Unlimited Triton GNCC, the opening round of the 2008 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Championship. The Red Bull KTM rider from the Isle of Man dominated on a physically demanding GNCC track featuring sand whoops, tree roots and mud bogs. FMF Suzuki’s Jimmy Jarrett and Walpole Kawasaki privateer Garrett Edmisten rounded out the podium.

David Knight dominated once he grabbed the lead at the Triton.

Knight and the rest of the field battled X Games Champion Travis Pastrana, who promised to challenge Knight. Pastrana led the first lap and fought with Knight and Red Bull KTM’s Nathan Kanney on the second lap. Then fatigue set in, so Pastrana went into survival mode and managed to finish 18th overall.

Knight overcame a terrible start to get the lead by the halfway point and check out. “I thought I was done,” said Knight. “I had such a bad start. I was following guys and picking them off one by one, but they were kind of holding me up. I realized it was easier if I went faster and just stayed on top. So you couldn’t cruise, but there was no place to rest. It was pretty brutal.”

Travis Pastrana led early and eventually came home 18th.

Knight’s teammate Kanney was flying early on, but he was suffering from food poisoning and started losing time at the halfway point. This opened the door to a big fight between Jarrett, Edmisten and Barry Hawk, and it came down to the final lap when Hawk attempted a pass on Edmisten but came up short.

Jarrett’s known for working into shape as the season goes on, so his runner-up performance on one of the most physically-taxing GNCC tracks was a revelation. “I didn’t get a good start, and then I got arm pump, and I knew this wasn’t a good way to start the day,” said Jarrett. “It went away, and then I took a few good lines through those bog holes and I was right back in it. I put my head down and had a good battle with Garrett and Barry. They were right there. It felt like that last lap took two hours. A few years ago I would have pulled off. But now I’m in it to win it.”

Edmisten, a Florida native, had tons of fan support, and he needed it after using all of his energy reserves. “For sure, that was all I had,” said Edmisten. “I had a huge blister open up, and that was on the first lap! I tried to rest out there at times but then people would catch me. I charged on the last lap but Barry was right there. I just wasn’t going to let him by. I dug deep, the people out here cheering me on really helped.”

Hawk’s fourth was followed by New Zealand’s Paul Whibley in fifth on an RM-Z450.

FMF Suzuki's Jim Jarrett showed strength to finish second.

Expected title contender Charlie Mullins was running in the top five early on when he smashed his exhaust pipe and ran into other mechanical gremlins throughout the day. He finished tenth in the XC1 Pro Class.

In the XC2 Pro Lites Class, Am-Pro Yamaha’s Thad DuVall railed to a victory despite riding with a broken thumb. DuVall hooked up with Monster Energy/Andrews Yamaha’s Josh Weisenfels and battled for the lead all day. “My dad put on the pit board that I had a good comfortable lead, and next thing I knew Josh was chewing all over me,” said DuVall. “Me and Josh, we had a good battle and I think I got more comfortable. I was able to go faster and not use as much energy. On the last lap I put the hammer down.”

Florida favorite Garrett Edmisten dug deep for third overall.

Weisenfels took second. “A year ago I let a podium get away here, and ever since I left the track then I’ve been looking for redemption,” said the Arkansas-based rider. “I’ve been drinking gallons of water a day for the last few weeks, just doing absolutely anything I could to get ready.”

Am-Pro Yamaha's Thad DuVall rode strong and smart to win XC2.

Gibson fought his way back to third. “You just had to find the lines and try to keep pushing,” said Gibson. “I never went 100 percent at any time, but I was going maybe 95 percent the whole way.”

Josh Weisenfels battled DuVall all day and eventually finished second.

As for Pastrana’s battle with Knight, they both tried to talk smack when passing each other.” At first I felt awesome,” said Pastrana. “I was thinking “Yeah I can run this pace!” but then I realized, you know, it’s a three hour event, and maybe that’s why they pace themselves. But I thought I would be a little stronger, because I only made it to the second lap. Then I just died. I really have respect for these guys, and I have even more respect for what Doug Henry did a few years ago, coming down here and winning. This is brutal and these guys are amazing athletes.”

“I caught up to him and tried to shout some abuse at him as I went by,” said Knight. “But I couldn’t because I was too knackered!”

Kawasaki rider Russ Pearson won the Racer X Holeshot Award in the XC1 class, and Powersports GrafX KTM rider Kailub Russell won the Holeshot Award in the XC2 Class.

Gibson battled Andrew Matusek to take third in XC2.

The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series continues this weekend with the Maxxis General GNCC at Aonia Pass Motocross Park in Washington, Georgia. For more information and complete results, check

Photos by Jason Hooper:

Results: Parts Unlimited Triton GNCC
Melbourne, FL
March 2, 2008

Bike XC1 Top 10
1. David Knight (KTM)
2. Jimmy Jarrett (Suz)
3. Garrett Edmisten (Kaw)
4. Barry Hawk (Yam)
5. Paul Whibley (Suz)
6. Nathan Kanney (KTM)
7. Jason Raines (Yam)
8. Jesse Robinson (Kaw)
9. Gordon Crockard (Hsq)
10. Charlie Mullins (Yam)

XC2 Top Ten
1. Thad DuVall (Yam)
2. Josh Weisenfels (Yam)
3. Dustin Gibson (Yam)
4. Andrew Matusek (Kaw)
5. Takeshi Koikeda (Yam)
6. Wallace Palmer (Kaw)
7. Kevin Hoge (Suz)
8. John Barber (KTM)
9. Nick Gentry (KTM)
10. Brian Lawson (Yam)

About GNCC Racing
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1973, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles, competing for more than $3 million in prizes. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC featured sponsors include: Can-Am, Parts Unlimited, Moose, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Acerbis, Elka, GEICO, Klotz, FMF, ITP and Weekend Warrior. Associate sponsors include Alpine-stars, BRP, Cometic, HiPer Technology, Laegers, Moose Utility Division, The National Guard, Ogio, Powersport Grafx, Rekluse, REM, Scott, Thor, Twin Air, and MotoTee’s. For more information, please visit

About Racer Productions
A West Virginia-based motorcycle and ATV event production company, Racer Productions has been a leader in the off-road racing industry for more than 30 years. It’s repertoire of events includes the 13-round Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, since 1973; The Kawasaki/Monster Energy High Point National in Mount Morris, Pa., since 1977; The ATV Dirt Days at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., since 1985; The U.S. World Motocross Gran Prix at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa. in 1987; The Monster Energy/Kawasaki Steel City National, since 1988; The ATV Stampede National Motocross at High Point Raceway, since 1994; The Wrangler ATV National Motocross at Oak Hill Raceway in Decatur, Texas, since 2006; The AMA Pro ATV Open at Steel City in 2007; as well as numerous other amateur motocross events. In addition, Racer Productions staffs the prestigious Air Nautiques/AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, since 1982. For more information, please visit