FMF KTM FACTORY RACING TEAMMATES BEN KELLEY AND JOSH TOTH STORM THE PODIUM AT THE GENERAL GNCC
WASHINGTON, Ga. – The FMF KTM Factory Racing Team delivered a pair of impressive podium results at Sunday’s General GNCC with a second-place finish from XC1 points leader Ben Kelley and a season-best third from teammate Josh Toth.
Just seven days after the most physically-demanding stop on the circuit, the FMF KTM duo took to another brutal course at Aonia Pass MX for Round 3 of the 2021 AMA Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, where speed and endurance were key to making the highly-competitive overall podium.
Kelley, who came into this round with a confidence-building victory behind him, got off to a fifth-place start in the XC1 Open Pro class, where he spent the first hour working his way into a comfortable position. He eventually made his way into second on lap three and from there he worked hard to close the leader’s gap out front. Kelley’s hard-fought effort was enough to keep his teammate at bay but not quite enough to claim his second-straight victory, finishing with a strong second-overall on the day.
Ben Kelley: “Coming into here, I wanted to repeat with another win and I did the best I could. I had a decent start but these conditions don’t suit me so I knew it was going to be a tough day and everyone would be close. Stu got around me and yarded me on the first lap but I just soldiered on. It was hard but I gave it all I could. Second place is cool, I’m just happy to have a solid ride and come away with a podium.”
Toth got off to a decent start but he found himself toward the back of the pack on the opening lap, fighting his way through the pack early on. Toth put his head down and consistently charged his way up to third after the first hour of racing. He remained within striking distance of his teammate in second but he eventually settled into a comfortable position that would allow him to cruise onto the podium with a season-best finish of third. For Toth, a podium finish at Round 3 signifies major improvements after undergoing hand surgery just prior to the opening round of the season.
Josh Toth: “It was a brutal day, that was actually tougher than Florida. I felt a little better coming into it and I gave it 100 percent and left it all on the track. Everyone was riding so good, there are so many fast guys out there. It was a great battle at the beginning, I just kept my head down and charged it right to the checkers. I’m ready to get back up here and be a regular on the podium.”
Next Race: Society Hill, South Carolina – March 28, 2021
XC1 Open Pro Results – The General GNCC
1. Steward Baylor Jr., YAM, 02:48:20.579
2. Ben Kelley, KTM, +01:11.271
3. Josh Toth, KTM, +27.360
Overall Championship Standings
1. Ben Kelley, 71 points
2. Grant Baylor, 66
3. Josh Strang, 58
10. Josh Toth, 24