Trail Jesters KTM Racing – Mason-Dixon GNCC Race Report
Round 11 of the 2019 GNCC series happened this past weekend in Mount Morris, PA. With warmer then usual temperatures and very dusty conditions the afternoon racers were lined up and ready for battle. After clinching the XC2 championship with three rounds to go, Ben Kelley decided to step up to the XC1 class for the remainder of the season. Sitting on the front line on with his red #530 plate the green flag waved and Ben was off with the big dogs. With a great jump off the line, Kelley would be pushed to the outside and shuffle back to mid pack. Struggling against the conditions Ben began to work his way through some of his competition, “I had a little bit of a slow first half of the race trying to work my way through the pack. It took a long time to make passes, but eventually I made my way into 4th place on the last lap” said Kelley. The dust would eventually get the best of Kelley’s machine resulting in a dnf and an 8th place in XC1 for the day. With his typical calm and positive mindset Kelley stated, “I’m looking for redemption at the next two and hope to run up front and land on the podium. I’m trying to learn as much as I can leading into my true XC1 rookie season.”
As the flag waved for the XC3 line, Jesse Ansley battled his way up through the first corner sitting in the 3rd place spot and quickly made his way into the lead. Holding down 1st place, Ansley land down 2 solid laps when on the third lap the dust began to play with him and his bike as his air filter was clogged. He was able to limp the bike around the track and back to the pits to get a new filter. From there Ansley put his head down and made the charge to catch back up, which by lap 4 he was back sitting in 2nd place. After a rough 3 hours on man and machine, Jesse ended the day 2nd XC3, 33rd overall.
With a timely jump off the line Simon Johnson raced his way into the first corner then off into the woods sitting in 3rd place in the 250A class. Johnson quickly made his way into 2nd place with 1st right in front on him. He would go on to spend the rest of the 3-hour race in an all out battle for the lead, in which 1st and 2nd place never checked in further than 16 seconds apart. Realizing the dry conditions could be a day ended Johnson played it smart as he said “The dust was brutal for me and my bike. I tried my best to not stuff any sooty burms and fill my air box. The 250A battle for the lead would go down to the wire where Johnson came out victorious ending the day with the A250 win, 1st amateur overall, a personal best of 14th overall, and taking the 2019 250A class championship. Thrilled for this championship Johnson stated, “It’s a big relief to clinch the 250A championship. It feels good when all the hours on the bike and in the garage pay off."
In the Youth race, Brayden Nolette had another great start and found himself heading into the woods holding down 3rd place. With the point’s battle for his class championship coming down to these final rounds, Nolette put it all out on the line this race battling the conditions, the track, and his competition. By the 3rd lap Brayden had moved up into 2nd place with the class leader just in front of him, and he put the charge on for make the pass for the lead “I felt super aggressive and I felt like I was attacking the course like I should be!” he said.” As the checkered flag waved after an hour and a half of racing, Nolette crossed the finish line 2nd in YXC1 just 3 seconds behind the leader, as well as 2nd overall in the youth race. Heading into the end of the season and with championships beginning to wrap up, Brayden stated “I have secured at least 2nd in my class, and now we are just finding out if I am able to secure for the overall at the next two rounds. I’m just going to focus on attacking.”
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.