William Yokley Race Report from The John Penton

by:
TimeMonday, May 12, 2008 | 12:00 AM
FolderBreaking News

The John Penton GNCC Race Report

Millfield, Ohio, May 10, 2008

William Yokley finished 5th Overall today in Ohio in very muddy conditions.  There were 265 total entries with 22 XC1 Pro Riders.  Team Rider Mark Notman finished 20th Overall and 2nd in the 34 rider XC2 Pro Am Class.

Summary

We headed to Ohio on Friday and arrived to find heavy rain and chilly temps.  Millfield is near Athens Ohio, which is a cool little college town and a scenic part of the state.  This track is a blast to ride under normal conditions, but it never seems to be that way; it’s either extreme mud or dust.  We prepared for a mud race which seems to be happening pretty regularly this season.

The rains stopped and the sun came out on race day and I thought that the conditions would be better by the afternoon race, but the track never did improve and was super muddy.  We have been racing GNCCs at Millfield for many years, and the thick Ohio clay sticks to you and your machine adding huge amounts of weight.  The course has fast trails, tight woods sections, and runs a portion of the Sunday Creek Motocross Track which is always a lot of fun.

The starter dropped the flag and I got a decent start going into the woods in 6th place, and made my way to 4th fairly quickly.  Taylor Kiser and I both wanted the same line and I was going too fast to back out; I came out on the short end of the stick when my front end clipped a tree.  I was only down for a brief moment, but I dropped back to 9th place.  I ruined my goggles while trying to make up time, and had to pit for a fresh pair dropping me back to mid pack.  My bike had so much mud on it that it felt and handled like a concrete mixer with flat tires!

I told myself to calm down and concentrate because the easiest thing to do when this stuff happens is to get overly excited and screw up even more, and besides, everybody is in the same boat with me.  Once I calmed down and got into a rhythm, things started picking up for me.  The track was pretty tough with lapped traffic being worse than normal, creating many bottlenecks.  This actually worked to my advantage, as I just slowed down and tried to pick the best lines, as well as having some luck for a change.  There were so many things which happened today that by the finish, I had no idea where I placed; I just know there were bikes all over everywhere, some running and some not.  I rolled into the pits and everyone seemed excited; I was wondering why they were so happy, and then they told me I finished in 5th which was a nice surprise.  I was pleased because like I said, I really didn’t know where I was with all the mayhem.

My teammate Mark Notman had a great day and made it on the podium with a 2nd place finish in the Pro Am class.  His day started with decent start in 12th place, and worked his way up to 8th at the end of lap 1.  Even stalling his bike a couple of times, he was able to work his way up to 6th on lap 3 and to 3rd on lap 5.  The mud and ruts were getting worse but he rode smart and used his head dealing with the many bottlenecks.  Two miles from the finish on lap 6, there was a huge traffic jam with bikes everywhere; he passed for 2nd place and a spot on the podium!

It was a good day for the National Guard Team.  Now we go home and start cleaning all this Ohio clay off of everything and get ready for Sparta KY in three weeks.  Sparta is considered a home track for me and I’m looking forward to racing there.  The National Guard is planning to have some neat exhibits and interesting things there for the fans.  See you there!