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Mullins Wins GNCC Season Opener

Chaparral Motorsports
March 10, 2011
Mullins Wins GNCC Season Opener

The Factory FMF/KTM Off-Road Racing Team had a phenomenal day at the opening round of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series in River Ranch, FL when the newest team member, Charlie Mullins, took home the win followed by teammate Mike Brown.

Both Mullins and Brown got off to a great start sitting inside the top five around the first turn. By the third corner Mullins had passed reigning GNCC Champion Josh Strang for the lead and led the XC1 class as they headed into the woods. A few corners later Mullins clipped a vine and had to take a second to untangle it while Strang got back around him. As the riders neared the sand track area where the majority of the spectators were seated, Strang fell in a turn and handed the lead back to Mullins with Brown in tow. Two other members of the FMF/KTM Team, Cory Buttrick and Kailub Russell, had collided together in the first corner and were busy passing through the pack to pick up every possible position.

On lap two, Brown began to close the gap on Mullins and was able to make a pass on his teammate for the lead down a long straight. Mullins reported, "Brown got by me near the beginning of the race. He was running a fast pace and I wasn't comfortable riding at that speed that early in the race. He got around and I just tried to pace myself to stay as close to him as possible to apply pressure near the end."

Meanwhile, Buttrick and Russell had climbed their way into the top ten and after the second lap, Buttrick had moved to 8th while Russell had jumped up to 6th. On lap three and four Buttrick and Russell began to battle with each other for a few sections before Russell's bike encountered a mechanical problem that caused him to slow his pace. Buttrick went on to take over 6th position where he remained through the finish. Russell continued to race, despite the bike problems and was able to salvage some important points with a 12th place finish.

Out front, Brown had been leading for four laps and was in route to leading his fifth as Mullins began to catch up to him. Brown continued to lead as they finished lap six and Mullins came up on his rear wheel right before the big mud hole. "I thought I had about 25 seconds on him after the gas stop but I must have slowed up more than I thought because he was all the sudden right on my rear tire as we came up to the mud pit," stated Brown. "I took a wider line to go around it and Charlie (Mullins) just dove straight through and made the pass on me."

Mullins would remain in the lead for the remainder of the lap to take the first win of the season and his first win aboard his new FMF/KTM ride. Brown went on to pick up 2nd place in and impressive ride for a racer better known for his speed in motocross and through desert terrain. Also putting in an impressive ride was KTM support rider Nathan Kanney riding for the WMR/KTM Team. Kanney got held up on the start of the race and came up through the pack to finish 5th overall for the day putting the third KTM bike in the top five.

KTM also had great success in the XC2 class. The sixteen year-old KTM support ride of Steward Baylor got out front early and took his first career GNCC win. He was followed by Jason Thomas and KTM support rider Jesse Robinson.

The series will head to Aonia Pass, GA for the second round of the series March 12-13, 2011.

Overall Results XC1 Class

1) Charlie Mullins - KTM

2) Mike Brown - KTM

3) Chris Bach

4) Josh Strang

5) Nate Kanney - KTM

6) Cory Buttrick - KTM

7) Garrett Edminsten

8) Mike Lafferty

9) Paul Whibley

10) Fernando Macia

Overall Results XC2 Class

1) Steward Baylor - KTM

2) Jason Thomas

3) Jesse Robinson - KTM

4) Andrew Delong - KTM

5) Morgan Moss

6) Brad Bakken - KTM

7) Shane Obanion - KTM

8) Shane Hufford - KTM

9) Kobayashi Masahiro

10) Jordan Ashburn

Overall Combined Results

1) Charlie Mullins - KTM

2) Mike Brown - KTM

3) Chris Bach

4) Josh Strang

5) Nate Kanney - KTM

6) Steward Baylor - KTM

7) Cory Buttrick - KTM

8) Jason Thomas

9) Jesse Robinson - KTM

10) Garrett Edminsten

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