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 first 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 on the seven-mile course were his fastest. At the finish, Buttrick took the checkered flag to the delight of a large crowd, pleased at the skill level demonstrated by the 19-year-old.
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 mechanic Tony Hall and my girlfriend MacKenzie for all their support."
Japan's number two-ranked motocrosser Takase Tanaka, a works Kawasaki rider, finished the race in fourth, one lap down from Buttrick, while Taichi Tanaka finished fifth on his KTM.
JNCC President Masami Hoshino invited Buttrick to compete in the event, continuing a tradition of bringing American GNCC racers over to compete in the JNCC finale. Last year, American Kailub Russell won the event. In an exchange, two Japanese racers will compete in the opening rounds of the 2011 GNCC Series in March.
JNCC Final Round:
November 21, 2010
1. Cory Buttrick
2. Takeshi Koikeda
3. Kenji Suzuki
4. Takase Tanaka
5. Taichi Tanaka
About GNCC Racing:
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series is America's premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1979, 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. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.