Borich Claims FMF Steele Creek GNCC
Kiser, Ballance finish on podium
Photo By: Shan MooreMorganton, North Carolina (March 20, 2010) -- Chris Borich claimed his second win of the 2010 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country season and extended his lead in the championship standings with a gritty performance at round three of the series at Steele Creek in Morganton, North Carolina. The Yoshimura Suzuki rider trailed Yamaha teammates Bill Ballance and Taylor Kiser on the narrow and undulating 11.2-mile circuit, the three riders running nose-to-tail for much of the race. Borich finally found his way into the lead on the final lap, beating Kiser to the finish by just over a second after two hours of racing. Ballance held on for third ahead of FRE KTM's Bryan Cook and Yamaha rider Jeffrey Pickens.
Chris Borich got his second win of the series in North Carolina.
Ballance claimed the $250 Motorcycle-USA.com holeshot award by narrowly edging Yamaha-mounted Don Ockerman across the holeshot stripe to start the day's premier race. Kiser moved into formation with Ballance midway into the opening lap, and the duo extended their lead over the field until lappers held them up on lap two, allowing Borich and Can-Am's Adam McGill to close in.
For the remainder of the race, Ballance, Kiser, Borich and McGill ran in a tight formation, until McGill dropped out, leaving Ballance, Kiser and Borich to battle for the lead.
Photo By: Shan MooreWith a lap-and-a-half to go, Ballance made a mistake in a critical section, allowing Kiser and Borich to go by. A half lap later, Borich took advantage of a lapper to pass Kiser for the lead. From there Borich was able to hold off Kiser to the checkered flag.
Bill Ballance leads Taylor Kiser and Chris Borich early in the race.
"This was a tough one, the lappers were brutal and I knew this track was going to be hard to pass on so I wanted to get a good start," said Borich, who was in fifth when the pack rolled into the woods for the first time. "I saw Ballance getting away, but I was basically hanging out and checking out the track."
"Once I caught up, it was a three or four rider battle, kind of a freight train out there, and then Taylor bobbled with a lapper and I was able to make a move on him. I just paced myself after that and things just worked out for us."
Photo By: Shan MooreBallance ran a strong and solid race until midway into the fourth lap.
Taylor Kiser led the final lap until Borich got by.
"I made a mistake with a little over a lap to go and that was the race," said Ballance. "I took a new line in the creek and I spun out in the ruts a little bit and Taylor and Borich got around me. There's no passing lines out there and it pretty tough to get around anybody out there, and I just couldn't find a way back around those guys."
Kiser was in good position to claim his second win of the series until he tangled with a lapper on the final lap.
"I caught up with Bill on the first lap and he let me by and we tried to set a good pace and pull away," said Kiser. "But we got into lappers and that allowed everyone to catch up and then Chris got by when we caught up with a lapper and there was not much I could do about it."
Photo By: Shan MooreOckerman finished sixth behind Pickens, with Yamaha riders Brandon Sommers and Johnny Gallagher finishing seventh and eighth, ahead of Polaris rider Jarrod McClure and Honda rider Sloan Jackson in ninth and tenth, respectively
Brian Wolf claimed his second win of the series.
With 10 rounds remaining, Borich holds a five point lead over Kiser (85 to 80), with Ballance in third at 58 points. McGill sits fourth with 47, while Cook rounds out the top five with 44.
Honda rider Kevin Yoho claimed the $100 Motorcycle-USA.com Award to start the XC2 race, but it was Kawasaki's Dustin Canipe who led the pack into the woods on the opening lap.
Brian Wolf put his Honda around Canipe on lap two to take the lead, and held on to take his second win of the season. Yoho passed Canipe on the final lap to claim third.
"The Steele Creek track was rough today and the field was tough," said Wolf. "I snuck around Yoho on the first lap and I followed Canipe for just over a lap and then finally made a move."
Photo By: Shan MooreHonda-mounted Parker Jones beat round two winner Walker Fowler to finish fourth.
Dave Simmons won the GT Thunder Top Overall Amateur Award.
With three rounds in the books, Wolf leads the series standings with 85 points, followed by Yoho with 62 and Jones with 55.
Dave Simmons won the Super Senior 50+ class and by doing so also claimed the $100 GT Thunder Amateur Overall award. The Yamaha-mounted Simmons battled early in the race with Glen Pritchard , but pulled away in the end.
"I knew Glen was going to be tough," said Simmons. "We went back and forth for a while."
Traci Cecco finished second overall, and topped the Women's division on her Yamaha, beating Can-Am's Lexie Coulter, who finished third overall, and Yamaha-mounted Jennifer Albright for the win.
A full slate of bike racing begins at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, starting with the Youth divisions, at Steele Creek in Morganton, North Carolina.
1. Chris Borich (SUZ)
2. Taylor Kiser (YAM)
3. Bill Ballance (YAM)
4. Bryan Cook (KTM)
5. Jeffrey Pickens (YAM)
6. Don Ockerman (YAM)
7. Brandon Sommers (YAM)
8. Johnny Gallagher (YAM)
9. Jarrod McClure (POL)
10. Sloan Jackson (HON)
1. Chris Borich (85/2 wins)
2. Taylor Kiser (80/1 win)
3. Bill Ballance (58)
4. Adam McGill (47)
5. Bryan Cook (44)
6. Jeffrey Pickens (44)
7. Chris Bithell (41)
8. Johnny Gallagher (39)
9. Jarrod McClure (39)
10. Don Ockerman (38)
1. Brian Wolf (HON)
2. Kevin Yoho (YAM)
3. Dustin Canipe (KAW)
4. Parker Jones (HON)
5. Walker Fowler (YAM)
6. Gabe Phillips (YAM)
7. Josh Beavers (KTM)
8. Eric Hoyland (YAM)
9. Josh Kirkland (KTM)
10. Mark Notman (YAM)
1. Brian Wolf (85/2 wins)
2. Kevin Yoho (62)
3. Parker Jones (55)
4. Josh Kirkland (55)
5. Dustin Canipe (49)
6. Walker Fowler (47/1 win)
7. Gabe Phillips (44)
8. Blake Kramer (34)
9. Josh Beavers (29)
10. Mark Notman (28)
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.