Trail Jesters KTM Racing – Snowshoe GNCC Race Report
Sitting on row one of the iconic Black Water 100 start, Ben Kelley took off with the wave of the green flag atop Snowshoe Mountain Resort at round 8. Taking advantage of the opportunity of starting with the lead pack Kelley hopped into 2nd place and stayed in tow of 1st for most of the first lap. “I had a crash late in the first lap, but was able to charge back to the lead group and battle with them up until the last lap.” The tough terrain of Snowshoe fed into Kelley’s riding style “Snowshoe is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. The rocky, technical terrain really suited my riding style and I feel comfortable out there after growing up racing on similar terrain” said Kelley. Ben finished the day with another XC2 win, his 8th of the season, and stood on the overall podium in 3rd. “
Sitting on row 4, Jesse Ansley, lined up with some pretty heavy hitters and took the holeshot on his Trail Jester KTM 125. Ansley threw down a really solid first lap and used this races start style to stick with the guys on his row, feed off of them, and learn the track and some tricks to it along the way. Along feeling really well on the track in the first lap he was passed for the lead on the first lap. “We battled for a couple of laps but really silly mistakes costed me a lot for time throughout the day and I ended up with 2nd.” Ansley stated, “Snowshoe terrain is very unique, especially this year the GNCC crew did an excellent job trying to replicate the slogan ‘toughest race on the circuit’.” After pushing his 125 to the limits all day Ansley finished 2nd in XC3 and 21st overall.
Simon Johnson took the holeshot on his row and headed into the woods ready to take on the notorious Snowshoe Mountain. “The live engine pavement start is a huge plus. I knew I could get a decent start and was much more comfortable with less riders on the line.” he started, “Getting the holeshot helped tremendously. I was able to set the pace and keep my vision clear throughout all the mud holes.” Taking his position to his advantage Johnson was able to take in the track and learn what it had to offer to put down another consistent race. Johnson said about the course “The terrain at Snowshoe made me feel right at home, definitely similar to New England hare scrambles. After a few close calls I learned where I could push and kept it consistent to the end.” Simon ended the 3 hour race 2nd in 250A, 2nd Amateur, and 20th overall.
Making his Snowshoe debut, Brayden Nolette got off to a cautious start as he rounded turn one on the pavement of the Snowshoe Mountain. Once his tires hit dirt he felt right at home and instantly comfortable with the track in front of him. Feeling on fire the first handful of laps he found himself battling with 1st and 2nd place, “We were swapping places and it was a bunch of fun.” he said. Around the lap 4 mark his bike started sputtering, after bringing his bike into the pits almost every lap of the rest of the race to tinker and try to fix the issue, nothing would work. Not willing to give up and quit Nolette continued to push his bike all he could, “I was able to run the bike with the choke on and just barely make my way through each lap.” With his no quit attitude Brayden salvaged an 8th in YXC1 for the day.
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.