GNCC Racing

FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Battles Through Muddy Conditions at The X-Factor GNCC

Monday, May 22, 2017 | 6:40 PM

After two consecutive days of rainfall in the Midwest, the FMF KTM Factory Racing Team went to battle on Sunday for some of the toughest conditions in recent Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series history for the inaugural X-Factor GNCC. In a two-hour survival race to the finish, team riders Kailub Russell and Russell Bobbitt were able to salvage top-20 overall finishes to earn valuable points in the championship chase.

Due to the unusually bad weather conditions, the GNCC Racing crew made the decision to combine the day’s 10 a.m. Amateur and 1 p.m. Pro races together for a shortened two-hour race on a reduced version of the course that came out to be only 7 miles long. Needless to say, the course conditions were extremely muddy and slick, making for an unpredictable day of racing.

Off the start, Bobbitt was able to put his KTM 350 XC-F into a mid-pack position while his teammate and reigning GNCC National Champion, K. Russell, got taken out by another rider heading into the second turn. From there, Russell began the two-hour race in dead last.

Bobbitt had a good pace going on the opening lap until he went down and got stuck under his motorcycle, losing substantial time trying to get out from under the bike. Bobbitt worked hard to make as many passes as he could for the remainder of the race.

Meanwhile, Russell was experiencing struggles of his own as he fell into a ravine early on and was forced to backtrack the course in order to get back going again. Russell was able to gain some ground in the first half of the race but he started experiencing an issue with his bike in the second half of the race due to the extreme conditions on the track. As a result, Russell took it easy in the final laps in order to finish the race, where he ultimately secured 14th overall for the day.

Russell: “Today was definitely a struggle with the track conditions being like they were but at least we’re coming away with a few points toward the championship. I didn’t get the best jump off the start and then I got taken out going into turn two so the day started out a little rough. I got back in touch with the leaders but then I fell into a ravine and had to backtrack down a creek to get out. I lost a ton of time but still climbed a good ways back up. But then unfortunately I started running into some bike issues in the second half of the race so at that point, I just tried to get the bike to the finish.”

Bobbitt held strong in the final laps to ultimately finish 18th overall for the day after battling tough conditions throughout the two-hour race.

Bobbitt: “Well, I got off to a decent start and then yo-yo’d from the front of the pack to the back of the pack until I got stuck underneath my bike. When I finally made my way out I was down a lot of time and used a good bit of energy getting going again. Today was tough but I pretty much kept it in survival mode all the way to the finish.”

FMF/Maxxis/RPM KTM Racing Team’s Chris Bach finished just off the podium with an impressive 4th overall amidst the muddy conditions. Additionally, KTM-mounted rider Zach Nolan captured his first XC2 250 Pro victory of the season and 6th place overall, with FMF/Maxxis/RPM KTM Racing Team’s Mike Witkowski coming away with 2nd place in the class and 7th overall for the day.

Next Event: GNCC Round 7 – May 28, 2017

Overall Results (XC1 Open Pro and XC2 250 Pro Combined)

  1. Thad DuVall (HQV)
  2. Josh Strang (HQV)
  3. Ricky Russell (YAM)
  4. Chris Bach (KTM)
  5. Jordan Ashburn (BET)


  • 6. Zach Nolan (KTM)
  • 7. Mike Witkowski (KTM)
  • 14. Kailub Russell (KTM)
  • 15. Dylan Macritchie (KTM)
  • 18. Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
  • 19. Zack Hayes (KTM)

Overall Point Standings

  1. Kailub Russell (152)
  2. Thad DuVall (126)
  3. Steward Baylor Jr. (118)
  4. Ricky Russell (96)
  5. Josh Toth (85)


  • 10. Mike Witkowski (58)
  • 12. Chris Bach (56)
  • 13. Russell Bobbitt (55)
  • 15. Jesse Groemm (35)