MOUNT MORRIS, Pa. (October 2, 2018) – It was finally time to get back to GNCC racing this past weekend in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania! After a three-month hiatus, the team was more than ready to line up at the Mason-Dixon GNCC which served as round 11 for the 2018 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series.
With heavy rain in the week leading up to the event, the course boasted some of the roughest racing conditions the team had experienced all year. However, they were still excited to get out an experience the unique track that ran through both West Virginia and Pennsylvania, in addition to taking to the famous High Point Raceway.
Layne Michael and his girlfriend, Hunter, before rider introductions at his hometown race.
The Mason-Dixon GNCC is situated just a short 30-minute drive from where Layne Michael calls home. Despite growing up racing in these woods, Michael said this was the toughest track of the year. At the end of the long three-hour race, Michael was awarded ninth in the stacked XC1 Open Pro class with his teammate Cory Buttrick right behind him in tenth.
“It was one of the toughest tracks I’ve ever rode,” said Buttrick. “It took me about two laps to finally get into a groove, so the guys in front of me were gone by then. But I held steady the entire three hours and was able to reel a few in to land a top ten finish in the XC1 Open Pro class!”
Despite the rough track, Cory Buttrick felt confident throughout the three-hour race and is already excited for the next round in St. Clairsville, Ohio.
The XC2 250 Pro class also hosted some big names, with over twenty entries who lined up beside Liam Draper on the second line. Draper sat in fifth when he checked through timing and scoring on the first lap. As the race progressed, Draper helped his own and scored his sixth top-ten finish of the year in ninth.
After taking the skipping the Snowshoe GNCC, Brandon Keegan was more than ready to get back to action in the 4-Stroke A Lites class. Unfortunately, a run-in with a rider in the second turn left him with a bent front brake rotor. After riding cautious through the first lap, the KR4/Husqvarna team mechanics worked on Keegan’s bike during his pit stop, but by the time he was back on track he was too far behind and had to settle for fourteenth.
“The track was definitely the most physically demanding of the year,” explained Keegan. “I crashed with another rider in the second turn and bent my front rotor which resulted riding the first lap without front brakes. After that, I just tried to keep going, but was too far behind.”
Liam Draper showing the crowd that GNCC racers can, in fact, jump on the famous High Point Raceway!
After training at the KR4 satellite facility in Pennsylvania over the past few weeks, Kadin Ballard made an appearance in the 4-Stroke A Lites class aboard a Husqvarna FC250. The Australian native finished just inside the top ten. Norman Upson flew in from Washington state and utilized the Arrive-n-Ride program and competed in the Vet A (30+) division where he also finished tenth.
KR4 Performance Team 1 p.m. Race Results:
Layne Michael – XC1 Open Pro – 9th (14th overall)
Cory Buttrick – XC1 Open Pro – 10th (16th overall)
Liam Draper – XC2 250 Pro – 7th (18th)
Brandon Keegan – 4-Stroke A Lites – 14th (178th)
Kadin Ballard – 4-Stroke A Lites – 10th (93rd)
Norman Upson – Vet A (30+) – 10th (178th)
Tayla Jones wrapped up her second-straight GNCC title this past weekend.
It was a big day for Tayla Jones as she ended up clinching her second straight GNCC title in the WXC division. Jones knew what she had to do to bring in the championship and she rode a smart race to bring it two rounds early with second place.
“I had a good day, but stacked it too many times and got stuck in a big hole down by the billabong,” explained Jones. “I had to put in a hard last lap to make up some time to earn myself some ice cream! Last year was amazing, but to back it up is an incredible feeling. I totally agree with getting the second title is always harder than the first but it’s all worth it to continue holding up that number 1 plate. I can’t thank my parents, my friends, all of my sponsors and my mechanic enough for their support and helping make this dream come true.”
Bill Gold held onto the points lead in the Silver Masters A (55+) class after his fourth-place finish in Pennsylvania.
KR4 Performance Team 10 a.m. Race Results:
Tayla Jones – WXC – 2nd (2nd overall)
Bill Gold – Silver Masters A (55+) – 4th (118th overall)
Next GNCC Event: Round 12 – St. Clairsville, Ohio – October 14, 2018
GNCC racing resumes in two weeks with the 17th annual Powerline Park GNCC in St. Clairsville, Ohio, before ultimately concluding with the famous Ironman GNCC at the end of the month.
**Photos courtesy of Ken Hill
About KR4 Performance:
KR4 Performance is a leading professional and amateur race team that participates in the Grand National Cross Country Championships (GNCC), the Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series (FGSE) and the National Enduro Promotions Group (NEPG) series. The 2017 KR4 team took home championships in each respective series. This year Layne Michael will make his XC1 Open Pro debut with the KR4 team, while Tayla Jones will look to repeat her Women’s Pro championships. KR4’s solid team structure is made up of former GNCC pros, expert motorcycle mechanics, and industry enthusiasts that are 100% dedicated to helping clients achieve their racing goals. Visit www.kr4performance.com for more information.
About the KR4 Arrive-N-Ride Program:
KR4 is paving the way for the future of off-road racing with its unparalleled Arrive-N-Ride Program, saving riders time, money and hassle. For an affordable fee, KR4 can offset the cost of racing and have everything ready for riders on race day. With the KR4 Arrive-N-Ride program, bikes are prepped by the KR4 team before a race and delivered with gear to riders on race day to the location of their choosing. To learn more or sign up for the Arrive-N-Ride experience, please contact fkeegan@kr4performance.com or visit www.kr4performance.com. For additional information, follow the team on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. For the team’s photo gallery, visit their Flickr page.