Union, SC (April 13, 2008) -- Red Bull KTM's David Knight mounted yet another come-from-behind charge to win the Pirelli Big Buck GNCC, giving the defending Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Champion three wins in the first four rounds of racing this season. Under near perfect weather conditions, the Isle of Man native topped FMF Suzuki Teammates Josh Strang, of Australia, and Charlie Mullins, from Ohio.
"Yeah it's started off much better than last year," said Knight, who won his first race of the season at the Big Buck last year, but already holds a commanding lead early in '08. "I got the bad start again, you know, but I think it helps me, I have to put it down early and I can loosen up and ride hard."
Strang logged his first podium of the season on the Suzuki RM-Z450. He led early before yielding to Knight's charge on lap two, and then battled his teammate Mullins all the way to the end. Mullins, nursing a badly sprained wrist after crashing hard at the previous GNCC in North Carolina, dug through pain to net third. Mullins now lies second in series points after Am-Pro Yamaha's Barry Hawk crashed out of the race on the first lap. Hawk reportedly had to be treated for possible rib injuries.
Another Suzuki rider, New Zealand's Paul Whibley, led a close pack of riders just outside of the podium positions to take fourth. Red Bull KTM's Nathan Kanney took the Racer X Holeshot Award and was once again a contender early on before finishing fifth. Australian Glenn Kearney turned in his best ride of the season with a sixth-place finish on his Husqvarna, with Am-Pro Yamaha's Jason Raines just behind in seventh. Kawasaki riders Jesse Robinson and Garrett Edmisten came in next, with Jimmy Jarrett rounding out the top ten.
Monster Energy/Andrews Yamaha rider Dustin Gibson broke through in the XC2 Lites class to end Thad DuVall's three-race win streak. DuVall, who said he felt a little under the weather for the race, battled Monster Energy/Andrews Yamaha rider Josh Weisenfels, and Powersports GrafX KTM's Kailub Russell all day. Weisenfels led until the last lap before getting stuck in a mud hole, and Gibson took the lead and win after rallying from a terrible start. DuVall, Weisenfels, Russell and Pennsylvania privateer Kevin Hoge rounded out the top five.
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series continues in two weeks with the Acerbis Loretta Lynn's GNCC in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, on April 26 and 27.
Full results from the Pirelli Big Buck GNCC are available at GNCCRacing.com, and a full race report will be posted on the site Monday.
Pirelli Big Buck GNCC
April 13, 2008
XC1 Pro Class
1.David Knight (KTM) Isle of Man
2. Joshua Strang (Siuz) Australia
3. Charles Mullins (Suz) Hamilton, OH
4. Paul Whibley (Suz) New Zealand
5. Nathan Kanney (KTM) High Falls, NY
6. Glenn Kearney (HSQ) Australia
7. Jason Raines (Yam) Belfair, WA
8. Jesse Robinson (Kaw) Connelly's Spring, NC
9. Garrett Edmisten (Kaw) Vero Beach, FL
10. Jimmy Jarrett (Suz) Beloit, OH
XC2 Pro Lites Class
1. Dustin Gibson (Yam) Cumberland Furnance, TN
2. Thad DuVall (Yam) Williamstown, WV
3. Josh Weisenfels (Yam) Fort Smith, AR
4. Kailub Russell (KTM) Kingston, OH
5. Kevin Hoge (Suz) Pittsburgh, PA
6. John Barber (KTM) Rome, GA
7. Brian Lawson (Yam) Adams, MA
8. Andy Shea (KTM) Oxford, OH
9. Justin Williamson (KTM) Sanford, FL
10. Eric Bailey (KTM) King George, VA
About GNCC Racing:
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. The 13-round championship series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions and has run since 1973. 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 1,800 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC Racing will air weekly television shows on the Versus network starting August 2. GNCC featured sponsors include Can-Am, Parts Unlimited, Moose Racing, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Acerbis, Elka, Geico, Klotz, FMF, ITP and Weekend Warrior, and riders compete for over $3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Alpinestars, Cometic, HiPer Technology, Laegers, Moose Utility Division, The National Guard, Powersport Grafx, REM, Scott, Thor, Tire Balls, Twin Air, Ogio, Rekluse, and MotoTee’s. For more information log on to www.gnccracing.com.