Race Report: GNCC Series, Round 13, Crawfordsville, Indiana
Team: Parts Unlimited, Moose, Honda
Rider: Paul Whibley
Bike: Honda CRF 450X
The final race of the season was a good one. The soil at Crawfordsville is the best of the series and with some rain late in the week the dirt was awesome.
I got my best start of the year and pulled out a holeshot. I could hardly believe it!! I've been working really hard on my starts and have developed a better system.
I lead for a little while, but Charlie Mullins was pushing hard, and I decided to let him lead and show me the track. I still got massive arm pump though, and for the first couple of laps, I couldn't ride full speed and dropped to fifth. The track was nice and rough with some really cool hill climbs. After the fuel stop, my arms came right and I was able to push hard again, moving up to third. Finishing in third at the race moved me up in the final points to sixth overall. It has been a good year with a real improvement in my speed at these tough demanding 3-hour events. A big thanks to Katherine and my mechanic Morrie for all their help this year. Also thanks to Scott for all his efforts this year and providing all the necessary ingredients for a successful team. Thanks to all my sponsors and a huge thank you to all the people who cheered me on at the races. Thanks guys.
Thanks to my Sponsors:
Honda Riders Club America
Honda Pro Oils, Chemicals
David Knight Results Service
Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team
Racer Productions US Grand National Cross Country Race Series Round 13
The Ironman GNCC, Crawfordsville, IN, 28.10.2007
Knighter crowned ’07 US GNCC champion
Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team rider David Knight is the ’07 US Grand National Cross Country Champion. Needing to finish 12th or higher if his closest championship rival Barry Hawk won the final round of the 13-race series, Knighter brought his first full season of U.S. GNCC competition to a perfect end by winning the event ahead of Charlie Mullins, while Hawk failed to finish the race with a broken chain. At the end of the seven-lap race, David placed one-minute ahead of Mullins.
Knowing that he didn’t need to win the race to secure his first US GNCC series title, David rounded the first corner in fourth before quickly working his way up to the runner-up position behind Mullins. Content to sit behind the Yamaha rider during the opening laps the pair started to pull away from the rest of the XC1 Pro class riders and quickly opened up a sizeable gap at the front of the race.
Just a few bike lengths behind Mullins during the first, second and third laps, David took the lead on lap four and never looked back. With the title his, even if he failed to finish the race due to Hawk’s early retirement, Knighter steadily started pulling away at the front of the Pro class, even with a quick splash-and-dash stop for fuel at the end of the sixth lap, he managed to cross the finish line one-minute ahead of Mullins to claim his seventh win of the championship but more importantly claim the ’07 US GNCC title.
David Knight: “It’s great to have finally wrapped up the championship. It’s been one hell of strange season, but despite it taking a little longer than I hoped, I’ve achieved what I set out to do, which of course was to win the GNCC championship. I have to say a huge thanks to all of the KTM team, but especially to Timo who was my mechanic at the last four races.
“The race went perfectly - it’s weird, but after a season of ups and downs, the one race that I really needed things to go well, they did. I got a pretty good start, I was about fourth out of the first turn, and then I was quickly up to second behind Charlie Mullins after I passed Paul Whibley. I knew I didn’t need to even finish inside the top ten but being up front was the safest place to be.
“I spent a couple of laps behind Charlie. He had some crappy lines in a few places, and some better lines than me in a few other places, so things were quite close between us. We had a really good pace going for a few laps. I was going to wait until the two-laps-to-go-board came out before trying to pass him, but I managed to find a way past him with three laps remaining so I just got my head down and opened up a small lead. I collided with a rider I was lapping, but I managed to stay in front and slowly edged ahead.
“I was happy enough doing my own thing but when I got into a position to win, I didn’t want to waste it. I saw that Hawk was out so I didn’t know what to do really then, whether to push for the win or just ease off. I knew I had the speed to win, so I went for it and things worked out well. Winning the championship with a race win is a great way to end the series.”Ã
Results - XC 1 class US GNCC Series, Ironman GNCC
David Knight (Red Bull KTM Off Road Race Team) 2:50.01
Charlie Mullins (Yamaha) 2:51.01
Paul Whibley (Honda) 2:53.54
Garrett Edmisten (Kawasaki) 2:59.26
Dustin Gibson (KTM) 2:59.52
Monster Energy Kawasaki Fred Andrews Racing
Ironman GNCC Round 13
Monster Energy Kawasaki FAR team rider Scott Watkins got the holeshost at the drop of the flag. Scott was pushing his KXF250 to the limit. On the first lap, Scott had the Monster FAR Kawasaki in with the XC1 class. Scott started one minute behind the XC1 class. At the gas stop, Scott was in third place overall and first in the XC2 class. On the last lap, Scott got into some lapped rider and got passed one mile before the finish, to finish in second place.
Scott said, “I wanted to give back to the Monster FAR Kawasaki team today. We have really come alive at the end of the season. I had nothing left in me; I left everything on the track.”Ã
Monster Energy FAR rider Josh Weisenfels got off the line in last place and worked his way up to fifth place at the gas stop. On the last lap Josh crashed and was unable to finish the race.
Thad Duvall. Yam
Scott Watkins Monster FAR Kawasaki
Justin Williamson. Ktm
Wallace Plamer. Kaw
Ben Kearney. Ktm
Gordon Crockard. Hon
Brian Lawson. Yam
Eric Bailey. Ktm
Josh Weisenfels Monster Kawasaki Far
Chris Robertson. Yam
XC2 final Results
Justin Williamson. Ktm
Scott Watkins. Monster Kaw FAR
Rodney Smith. Suz
Josh Weisenfels Monster Kaw far
Thad Duvall. Yam
Monster Energy Kawasaki FAR put both of their team riders in the top five for the year!
The Ironman GNCC Race Report
Crawfordsville, IN, October 27, 2007
William Yokley finished 11th overall, 11th XC1 Pro today at the Ironman GNCC race in Crawfordsville, IN. There were 214 competitors in this race including 27 XC1 Pro riders.
It’s been a long season, which began in Florida in March and ended today in Crawfordsville, Indiana. First, I want to congratulate fellow Kentuckian Bill Ballance for winning his 8th straight GNCC Title. That is an incredible accomplishment and my hats off to him.
The Ironman course has a lot of fast open fields and some technical woods with some steep hills. I have always liked competing here and have had some good results over the years. It rained all night on Friday and I prepared for a mud run. I found that although the parking areas were mud bogs, the track was in reasonably good shape; it was going to be fast and tacky. The weather was great for racing with the temp in the low 60’s. I made my final tire selection, suited up, and headed for the starting line.
I had been getting some good starts recently, but my bike did not fire on the first kick. A one second delay in starting can move you from a top five start to practically last. I worked my way up to 14th on the first lap and felt pretty good. The second lap, I was up to 11th, and on the third lap, I was in the top ten. I got held up somewhat in a bottleneck on one of the longer hill climbs, and took awhile to get unstuck and back up to speed.
I noticed that something was not quite right with my steering during the last hour. There was a lot of free play before the steering would respond, and it was getting progressively worse. The last lap was pretty brutal with me not being able to have precise steering. I was hitting most of the ruts wrong and was having a hard time making steering corrections. When I crossed the finish line, the bike would barely turn.
Back in the pits, we found the problem. The steering stem had broken loose from the support and was causing more and more free movement. I was lucky to finish the last lap. This has kind of been my luck for most of the season. The bike is very much improved since the first race, and overall is working well. I feel really good about my prospects for next season.
I would like to sincerely thank all my sponsors who have stuck with me through this season. I finished the season point standings in 11th overall and 9th XC1 Pro. I will be working hard this off-season to get things improved to where I can be back competing for wins and podiums. I’ll be back strong in 2008!
2007 Yokley Racing Sponsors
Kawasaki, National Guard, Monster Energy, Elka, ITP, Roll Design, IMS-Roll, Hinson, Moose Racing, Douglas Wheel, Parts Unlimited, Pro Circuit, Shoei, Smith Optics, Renthal, N Style, Gaerne, 317 Graphics, RK Chains, and Maxima