Trail Jesters KTM Racing – John Penton GNCC Race Report

TimeTuesday, July 7, 2020 | 9:45 AM

Round 7 of the 2020 GNCC racing series brought us to the longest running event on the circuit, The John Penton GNCC in Millfield, Ohio. As the green flag waved Johnny Girroir had less than an ideal start as the XC2 class headed out into the woods. He quickly put on a charge and worked his way up into the top 5 in his class as the first two laps checked in. After a crash where Johnny hit a tree, ripped off both of his shrouds, and lost some antifreeze, Girroir was forced to make some extra pit stops in order to stay in the game. Over the next several laps Girroir was able to make his way into the top three and cruised the rest of the race for 3rd in XC2 and 9th overall. After hitting the halfway mark in the 2020 racing series Girroir said, “I feel good, I’m still confident, and still after the championship. That’s the main goal.”

Johnny Girroir charging to make passes in the XC2 class. (Shan Moore photo)
Johnny Girroir charging to make passes in the XC2 class. (Shan Moore photo)

Also on the XC2 line as the green flag waved, Simon Johnson had another great start as he rounded the first corner in 2nd place, and headed out into the woods sitting in 4th in class. As the racers battled for positions the first lap Johnson settled into 10th in class with 9th just ahead of him. He spent most of the race battling with the positions around him and pushing himself in the hot and humid conditions. He continued to do so as the race rounded itself out to the full 3 hours and although he struggled on the last lap he pushed all the way to the end. After a long grueling race Simon finished 12th in XC2 and 21st overall and expanded on the year so far by saying, “So far the 2020 season has been very challenging, yet so beneficial. Jumping up to the Pro ranks this year is a big step, but I have the right people around me who are going the extra mile.”

Simon Johnson pushing his way through the Ohio terrain. (Shan Moore photo)
Simon Johnson pushing his way through the Ohio terrain. (Shan Moore photo)

The third team Trail Jester KTM XC2 racer, Jesse Ansley, was back from injury this past weekend and ready to take on the 3 hour race ahead of him. He got off to mid-pack start and found himself banging bars the whole first lap. He battled up in the pack and picked riders off each lap but struggled with making quick passes and making them stick. Ansley spent the entire 3 hour race fighting for positions with his competition always just ahead of him. Heading into the last lap Jesse was battling for 10th place in XC2 when he got stuck in a mud hole just after overtaking the position, causing him to fall short of that goal and finishing his day 11th XC2 and 18th overall. Ansley is eager to get after it the rest of the 2020 season as he said, “I feel like I’m riding better than my results show and that’s frustrating. But I’m glad we have one more race and then summer break so I can really use that time to get better and come back and show everyone what I’m capable of.”

Jesse Ansley back at the races after some time off due to injury. (Shan Moore photo)
Jesse Ansley back at the races after some time off due to injury. (Shan Moore photo)

Lining up in the WXC class, Taylor Johnston had a great jump as the race began and worked her way through the first few corners and out into the woods. The terrain was slick and muddy which was right up Johntson’s alley, she felt comfort on the course as she took advantage of the patience this course required. As the race reached the halfway point Johntson sat in 9th place in class with her competition right ahead of her, Johnston stated “I feel like this race was a positive turning point for me. I had some great battles the whole race, was gaining time on the girls in front of me, and I was able to push the whole race.” After two hours of racing Taylor checked in finishing 9th in WXC and feeling confident about her day. 

Taylor Johntson getting a pitboard as she makes her way around another lap. (Shan Moore photo)
Taylor Johntson getting a pitboard as she makes her way around another lap. (Shan Moore photo)

In the 150A class, Brayden Nolette raced to the first few corners of the track where he got pinched off by his competitors and had to let off the gas. He fell into place in the pack and headed into the woods around 7th place with the realization he needed to make some moves to get back to the front. Throughout the first lap he was able to make quick work of and jump his way up through the class, checking in at the end of lap one in 3rd place. Nolette kept rolling and worked his way into the lead by the end of the second lap. Although there were some crashes that took place as his race continued, Brayden fought the humidity and pulled away from his competition. By the checkered flag, Nolette took the 150A win with an over 4 minute lead, his first ever amateur overall podium (3rd) and 28th overall, and stated “I feel like I am starting to adapt to the 3 hour race much better, I also feel like there is so much more to improve and a lot to learn. I can’t wait!”

Brayden Nolette on his way to take another 150A class win. Shan Moore
Brayden Nolette on his way to take another 150A class win. Shan Moore

John Penton GNCC race report video here: https://youtu.be/vV6LdfWsQ3E

Thank you to our team sponsors KTM, FMF Racing, Troy Lee Designs, Edelmann Sales, Specialized, Motorex, Dunlop, Bullet Proof Designs, P3 Carbon, Hinson Racing, SuperB Batteries, Motool, Seat Concepts, IMS Products, TF Racing Suspension, Squid Decals, Nihilo Concepts, Steve Hatch Racing, XCGear, Action Trailer Leasing, Reeva Transport, ZR Throttle, Engine Ice, Motion Pro, Renthal, ARC levers, Acerbis, TM Designworks, Twin Air, Spec Bolt, VP Racing and Loud Fuel.

About Trail Jesters:

Trail Jesters KTM 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.