Words and Images Courtesy of KTM Press Center
WASHINGTON, Ga. – FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell secured the top step of the podium once again on Sunday with a flag-to-flag victory at Round 4 of the 2020 AMA Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series in Washington, Georgia.
After a two-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 situation, the FMF KTM Factory Racing Team anxiously made their return to racing at the same venue they left off at for Round 3. With a different aura than the previous round in March, the Aonia Pass MX facility offered a new set of challenges this time around including hot and dry conditions on the race track.
XC1 Open Pro
Russell got off to a great start aboard his KTM 350 XC-F as he captured the holeshot and early lead in the race. He positioned himself favorably out front on lap one, allowing him to set the pace early on without any dust or distractions ahead. The seven-time GNCC Champ maintained a comfortable lead through the first two hours, until lapped traffic began to set in and ultimately close the gap on his lead later in the race. As the white flag flew, Russell held just a small lead over the second and third-place riders entering the final lap. He diced back-and-forth with Ricky Russell at the beginning of the lap until Ricky went down, leaving Kailub to cruise his way to the finish and secure his fourth-straight victory of the 2020 season.
Kailub Russell: “I was pretty relaxed out there the first three-quarters of the race – I got the holeshot and led pretty much the first five laps and then I got held up a little bit behind some lappers and those guys sucked right up to me. Ricky [Russell] was riding really good and it was kind of his race to win at the end but he went down pretty hard and I got lucky a little bit.”
Josh Toth lined up on Sunday after missing the first three rounds due to a leg injury sustained just before the season started. Toth got off to a top-five start in the XC1 Open Pro class and he battled inside the top-five for the first lap. He moved into sixth on lap two and continued to battle back-and-forth for the next two hours. He held strong on the final lap to eventually overtake fifth, where he captured a solid top-five finish in his first GNCC of the 2020 season.
XC2 250 Pro
Trail Jesters KTM Racing Team’s Johnny Girrior put forth a hard-fought effort to ultimately finish just off the podium in fourth. After four rounds, Girrior sits second overall in the XC2 250 Pro Championship standings.