Trail Jesters KTM Racing – John Penton GNCC Race Report
Round 6 of the GNCC series met hot and humid conditions as the green flag waved for the XC2 class. Ben Kelley drag raced to the first corner, and found himself in a mid pack position heading off into the woods. The first lap was filled with plenty of battles as he worked through the pack and landed himself in first place by the end of the first lap. Kelley described his race saying “I did struggle with some of the gnarly uphills and all the lapped traffic as there were only a few good lines for most of the track. I got stuck a few times and had a couple crashes throughout the race, but overall I’m happy with how I rode.” Working against the muddy terrain and hot temperatures Ben would push himself to gain over a 6-minute lead on 2nd in his class. By the end of the race Kelley would land himself the top spot on the podium taking over the record for most consecutive XC2 wins with 6. “It feels pretty cool to hold the record now for most consecutive XC2 class wins in a row and I’m working hard to keep the streak going” Kelley said.
Jesse Ansley got off to another killer start, but shortly after he unfortunately got stuck and passed for the lead. He would spend the entire 3 hour race battling for the lead going back and forth from first to second. Going into the last lap with the lead, Ansley would find himself taking a wrong line letting his competition by. “Human error, we all make mistakes but to learn and regroup is the most important lesson I took away from that race.” Ansley stated, “My race craft and execution was off that’s for sure, but I have a strong team around me that will help me better myself before next race.” After a long day of tough battles and a few crashes he would cross the checkered flag just 2 seconds behind the lead for 2nd in XC3 and 17th overall.
With the wave of the flag it was Simon Johnson grabbing the 250A holeshot, as he headed into the woods ready to battle his competition, the heat, and sloppy conditions. “I think the mud definitely suites my style more” he stated. Simon would spend the day laying down steady and consistent laps bringing him to finish the day 2nd 250A, 3rd OA Amateur, and 25th OA. Simon said “my season started slow but I’ve been able to be on the amateur podium for the past 3 rounds. I definitely feel much stronger and acclimated to the 3 hours now. I will definitely work on my sprint speed and aggression for Tomahawk.”
Brayden Nolette went to the start ready to give it his all, when his line went off he was in the top pack into the first corner, heading into the woods about 5th. After battling for positions in the first half of the race, Brayden found himself sitting in 2nd place, looking to be consistent and push himself for the full length of the race. “I feel good in the mud races, it’s like back at home in NETRA but I am definitely ready for a dry one” he stated. Nolette held down 2nd in YXC1 as he crossed the checkered flag and also grabbed himself 3rd overall. Brayden went on to say “I am physically fit, its just a matter of me putting the hammer down in the beginning and leaving it all out there on the track.”
Thank you to our team sponsors: KTM, FMF Racing, Troy Lee Designs, Dunlop Tires, Motorex, Super B Batteries, Bullet Proof Designs, P3 Carbon, Motool, Squid Decals and Edelmann Sales for their continued support.
About Trail Jesters:
Trail Jesters Racing is a KTM support team established in January 2014. We race off-road motorcycles at the professional, amateur and youth level of national and regional series.