GNCC Racing: Stew Baylor returns to win the Mountaineer trophy
First win of the 2022 season for AmPro Yamaha’s Steward Baylor as the Grand National Cross Country series picks back up after the summer break and ISDE at the Mountaineer GNCC in West Virginia.
The 10th round of the GNCC season, the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Mountaineer in Beckley, West Virginia kicked-off with a sobering moment as the paddock remembered the 21st anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
When the main event green flag dropped, Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ricky Russell fired to the $250 All Balls Racing XC1 Holeshot across the slick opening turns on the Mountaineer course.
Russell looked in fine form as the race unfolded, leading the way for the first three and a half laps in conditions which were catching plenty of other riders out. But a crash on lap four of five dropped him back down and behind the podium positions.
That left the door open for the pursuing pack of riders to fight for the win and despite having to fight from fifth in class on lap one, then into third, Steward Baylor made good on the fourth lap for the lead.
On the last lap it looked like the old Baylor was back as he kept his head down to make certain of his first win of this season, finishing with an 18 second advantage.
Cue the trademark bike flip…
2022 Mountaineer GNCC PM Pro race results:
56 points lead for Ashburn
Magna1 Motorsports Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn continues to lead the National Championship standings after a race-long battle for the podium at the Mountaineer.
Jordan now holds a 32 point lead in the points standings over Ben Kelley in second but with just three rounds remaining, the KTM rider is unlikely to return this season and that means Ashburn effectively has a 56 points lead over Craig Delong.
2022 GNCC standings after Rnd 10:
Another rider making his return to the series after injury was Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna Racing’s Thad Duvall in front of his home-state crowd. Duvall was in third on the opening lap but found himself back in the fifth as the mud got worse and the fight for the podium heated up.
The old fire is still burning inside and Thad fought back in the last hour to take the chequered flag third overall. Ricky Russell meanwhile had trouble restarting after his crash but did get going again to claim fourth place ahead of Johnny Girroir fifth overall.
Girroir storms XC2 class
A multinational 250 elite class podium comprised Jonny G taking a comfortable win with Australian Lyndon Snodgrass the championship leader second and Chilean Ruy Barbosa third.
Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Girroir didn’t take long to grab the lead off the XC2 line and he was on a mission on the Mountaineer’s tough course. Never really looking back, Girroir grew over a four-minute lead on the rest of his class by the flag.
Snodgrass holds the XC2 points advantage
Babbitt’s Online Monster Energy Team Green Kawasaki’s Lyndon Snodgrass had his work cut out after a mid-pack start but got through to third on the opening lap. A pass for second on the fourth and penultimate lap of the race saw him take P2 and cement his standings lead in class.
With his nearest points rival Ryder Lafferty down in ninth in the tough conditions, Snodgrass holds a 36 point lead in XC2 250 Pro class.
Earning his fourth podium finish of the season Phoenix Honda Racing’s Ruy Barbosa, had to work hard from seventh on the second lap. The Chilean was up to fifth as the white flag dropped though and then made crucial passes on the final lap to finish in that last podium position.
His Honda teammate Cody Barnes was fourth with AmPro Yamaha’s Michael Witkowski fifth in the XC2 class.
Archer and Steede pushing for WXC title
In the morning race, Sportsman A racer Cody Pingley physically earned the overall win in the race. However, as the Sportsman A and Sportsman B classes are removed from overall results (?!), Thor Powell was awarded the overall and the 150 Schoolboy class win which means he clinches the 2022 National Championship title.
2022 Mountaineer AM race results:
AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer took the WXC class lead early on followed by Rockstar Husqvarna Surge Off-Road Coaching Team’s Tayla Jones. Despite taking the holeshot award, Jones suffered a mechanical issue and be unable to finish the race today.
Archer though kept pushing to grow a gap and despite the slick and muddy conditions bringing hard-charging Sportsman A riders past her, she stayed composed in the WXC class throughout the race.
Trail Jesters KTM Racing’s Korie Steede similarly held second for the duration of the race and it is her consistency which sees her hold the points lead. Moose Racing/Ryno Power/Team Green Kawasaki’s Jocelyn Barnes battling her way through to earn her first podium finish in the WXC class.
2022 WXC points standings after Rnd10:
Photo Credit: Ken Hill