FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Multiple Announcements from AmPro Yamaha Race Team
- Ricky Russell Injured (Broken Fibula)
- Paul Whibley to race XC1 for round 1 of the GNCC Series in Palatka, FL
- Corey Buttrick to fill in for Ricky Russell until further notice
- Aaron Plessinger to be Grand Marshal at round 1 of the GNCC Series
March 7th, 2019 Travelers Rest, SC - As we head into the 2019 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) race season, we have several big announcements. First off, as most of our fans know, Ricky Russell suffered a spiral fibula fracture last Friday while practicing in central Florida. His current recovery time is unknown but we are estimating anywhere from 6-8 weeks. Following Russell’s injury, the decision has been made to reinstate 2-Time GNCC Champion, Paul Whibley for round 1 of the GNCC Series this weekend in Palatka, Florida. Paul’s impressive race history and long term relationship with AmPro Yamaha Racing makes him the perfect fit for the opening round.
“I'm really disappointed to be missing the first race of the year,” says Russell. “We had my Yamaha YZ450FX dialed in and I’ve never felt so confident heading into a race season. As of now, I just have to deal with it and see how the healing goes.”
“I'm pretty excited to be back on the front line,” says Whibley. “I feel extremely privileged to be given the role of filling in for the weekend but I’m definitely bummed to see Ricky hurt. As his trainer, he was 100% ready to go for this race but that’s how it goes. We’re going to have a fun time in the sand and I’m pumped to see all the GNCC race fans and blu cru riders.”
Moving forward, Multi-time AMA National Champion Corey Buttrick will be filling in for the AmPro Yamaha Race Team, riding a Yamaha YZ450FX in the GNCC XC1 Class until further notice. Buttrick was formally a rising star on the GNCC race circuit but a series of injuries forced his resignation in 2013. In 2018 he made his return to the series as a privateer and impressively finished in the top 10 overall.
“I'm unbelievably excited for this opportunity,” says Buttrick. “The last couple years have had their highs and lows but with the recent birth our son and becoming a father, I’m more focused then I’ve ever been. I’ve known everyone on the AmPro Team including Randy since I was a kid and this really is an awesome program to be joining on a professional level.”
Last but certainly not least, Monster Energy Factory Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger will be Grand Marshalling Sunday’s race, following the Daytona Supercross to meet fans and sign autographs. Look for him on Bike Pro Row as well the AmPro Semi. Plessinger, a former GNCC racer himself and the son of a GNCC Champion Scott Plessinger is excited to meet the GNCC fans and support all of the bLU cRU riders!