2010 John Penton ATV GNCC Report 0
Chris Borich just keeps on winning, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider claiming his sixth win of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series at a muddy Wiseco John Penton GNCC in Millfield, Ohio.
Anyone who has ever ridden the John Penton in the rain knows how slippery this race can get, and for sure, this one will go down as one of the muddiest. When a driving rainstorm left rivers of water cascading across the course, Trail Boss Jeff Russell made the decision to move the 1 p.m. start time back an hour to give the water a chance to subside. This helped the worst areas of the trail, however, the damage was already done, and a steady afternoon rain didn’t help matters.
When the flag finally dropped to start the two-hour race, it was Jeffery Pickens who grabbed the $250 Motorcycle-USA.com holeshot award, leading Borich, Balance Racing Yamaha’s Taylor Kiser, Honda-mounted Brent Sturdivant, FRE KTM’s Bryan Cook and Warnert Racing Can-Am’s Adam McGill through the first sections of the motocross course. Sturdivant actually held the lead at the end of the opening lap; however, Borich soon took the point, with Kiser, Cook, McGill and Sturdivant right on his tail.
The five front-runners, Borich, Cook, Kiser, McGill and Sturdivant, mixed it up in the mud until the final lap when Borich was finally able to break away, turning a small lead into a 30-second gap at the finish.
“This was a good win, there were just so many places where things could go wrong – a lot of waterholes where you could drown out, but everything went my way,” said Borich. “It was tough out there and I was trying all day to break away, but it seemed like they kept catching up to me in some of the slower parts of the course. But towards the end, going into the last lap, I knew I could charge and get away.”
Kiser ran with Borich for most of the day, but on the third lap he and Sturdivant got stuck in a bottleneck, which eventually got rerouted, and both riders dropped down the order. Kiser crossed the finish line in fourth, however, after a time adjustment he was moved back into second place in the final results, while Sturdivant was credited with a seventh.
“I ran pretty steady all day,” said Kiser. “I was 1-2 all day with Borich. But then I got hung up in a bottleneck and dropped back a ways. But my Yamaha ran great and I had a pretty solid race.”
Third place went to McGill, who collected his fifth podium of the year with the finish.
“I don’t know if this was as bad as year’s past, but this was still pretty bad,” said McGill. “There we some pretty deep water sections in the back and I just pinned it. I was afraid the bike was going to be like a vacuum cleaner and suck up the water, but the bike did great.”
Don Ockerman rode his Yamaha to fourth, finishing just two seconds behind McGill, despite getting flipped over on the start.
“It was kind of slow motion, and I stayed under the bike so no one would run over me,” said Okerman. “But I was able to make up time pretty quick. I biked the track yesterday and so I kind of knew it I moved up pretty good.”
Cook ran as high as second place, but a miscue on the final lap dropped him to fifth at the finish.
“I moved into second after the white flag and went into this section and just took a bad line,” said Cook. “When I started in I saw two wrong way arrows but I had already started in it and I couldn’t stop and turn around fast enough and a couple of guys got by me.”
Round six winner Chris Bithell finished sixth on his Warnert Racing Can-Am, ahead of Sturdivant, while Yamaha riders Brandon Sommers and Johnny Gallagher were eighth and ninth. Meanwhile, Honda-mounted Harold Goodman rounded out the top 10.
In the XC2 race, Honda rider Corbin Knox took a surprising win, leading HMF Honda’s Brian Wolf and early race leader FRE KTM’s Josh Kirkland across the finish line. The win also marked Knox’s first podium.
“This is unbelievable, I’m still in shock,” said Knox. “I had a horrible start and I think I was dead last off the start. Brian [Wolf] must not have got a good start either and I hooked up with him and I knew if I stayed with him I would do alright.”
“I never looked at the score board when I went through scoring, and I never knew what position I was in,” added Knox. “I had mud all over my contacts and I couldn’t see, so I rode with one eye closed for most of the race and I just kept pushing.”
Wolf took over the series points lead from Walker Fowler with his runner-up finish, and now holds a five-point advantage over the Yamaha rider.
“I had a bad start and just took my time and I thought consistency would pay off and it did,” said Wolf.
Kirkland held the early lead in the XC2 division, and actually held the overall lead at one point, but like his teammate, Cook, was a victim of a poor line.
“I don’t know what happened, I was leading and then all of a sudden I was fifth,” said Kirkland. “I didn’t get stuck or anything, I guess there was a cut-off I didn’t get to take on the third lap. But it was still a good day.”
Honda-mounted Ian Laufersweiler finished fourth, about 30 seconds ahead of Yamaha rider Kevin Yoho, while Walker Fowler finished sixth. Meanwhile, Polaris rider Joey Margueria was seventh ahead of Yamaha riders Eric Hoyland and Gabe Phillips. Honda rider Nathan Thomas was 10th.
In the meantime, $100 Motorcycle-USA.com holeshot award winner Matt Pierce finished 15th.
2010 John Penton ATV GNCC XC1 Results:
1. Chris Borich (Suzuki)
2. Taylor Kiser (Yamaha)
3. Adam McGill (Can-Am)
4. Don Ockerman (Yamaha)
5. Bryan Cook (KTM)
6. Chris Bithell (Can-Am)
7. Brent Sturdivant (Honda)
8. Brandon Sommers (Yamaha)
9. Johnny Gallagher (Yamaha)
10. Harold Goodman (Honda)
2010 John Penton ATV GNCC XC2 Results:
1. Corbin Knox (Honda)
2. Brian Wolf (Honda)
3. Josh Kirkland (KTM)
4. Ian Laufersweiler (Honda)
5. Kevin Yoho (Yamaha)
6. Walker Fowler (Yamaha)
7. Joey Margueria (Polaris)
8. Eric Hoyland (Yamaha)
9. Gabe Phillips (Yamaha)
10. Nathan Thomas (Honda)