Maxxis Tire/ HMF/ Monster Energy Kawasaki
GNCC Round 13 Ironman Crawfordsville, IN.
Oct. 26, 2008
The last round of the GNCC series is one of the most exciting races to attend and compete in. Thousands of people come to enjoy the festivities and racing that takes place on Sat. and Sun. The atmosphere is more like a state fair or festival with all the activites like monster trucks, bike mechanics' challenge, demo rides and lots of food.
Race day on Sun. was as good as it can get for track conditions. Rain on Fri. left the soil perfect by the afternoon race on Sun. There were still a few water holes as usual, but that's quite normal. As the flag dropped, the start was good as Jesse headed into the woods around 10th. After slipping by a couple of riders, it didn't take long to find one of those water holes.The front end catches a root and stops the bike, tossing Jesse over the bars and into a water and mud hole head first. Soaked from head to toe, a first lap pit stop required a fresh set of gloves and goggles. Glen Kearney stopped by after the race and said, "I saw you wreck, it was gnarly man! I was going to stop. I saw you trying to get up and I knew that you were alright."
With mud and water dripping out from under Jesse's helmet, it was back to work to try to make up some time. Having the sails knocked out from under you on the first lap makes for a long day. Although consistent lap times were ran the rest of the race, the pace wasn't good enough to make a lot of progress. Finishing 7th in XC1 was good but not good enough to hang on to a top 10 as the XC2 riders were on the gas.
This year has had its ups and downs, as all the riders have faced, but we feel priviliged to be where we are. After having the best finish at a GNCC this year, ( 4th , 1:00 min. from the podium at W.VA.) a 7th place finish has become more of a discussion point rather than a celebration. We have to keep reminding ourselves that in 2002 Jesse was in the 200 C class.
Its amazing how your emotions change as you climb the ladder toward the top. You start in C class and are happy with your first top 5. Then you get better and nothing less than a win is acceptable. You move up a class and a 10th place is great. Then 10th is no good and 5th is the target. As you move up you get to that illusive top 20 overall. 20th, 19th, 18th you are eating steak on the way home from the race. Then its 15th, and those 19th and 20th finishes turn into a box of chicken from KFC. That first top 10 overall sets a standard that you never thought you could reach.
Then it becomes harder and harder. A 10th place celebration suddenly becomes just a "good ride" as you get 9ths and 8ths. 7ths and 6ths now become the reason for the phone calls home to tell everyone. 10th is still an "OK ride" and "we'll take it" but, along comes the next stepping stone, 5th. Once you have been there you never want to go back. All of a sudden 7ths and 8ths become, "what happened?" or "was there a problem?" forgetting that you are racing 12 or 15 of the best in the nation and some of the best in the world.This is what makes racing the GNCC so special. Everyone is striving to be the best and 2nd is just not good enough. It's why they call it competition!
Jesse will be headed to Las Vegas for the Endurocross Nov. 20th and then on to South Africa to compete in the Roof-of-Africa Nov. 28th-30th., a three day extreme race in Lesotha, South Africa. Hopefully he can represent the US and the GNCC well at the event. You can keep up with all the progress at www.jesserobinsonracing.com
Thanks to all our sponsors for a successful season