HUSQVARNA MOTORCYCLES RIDERS COLLECT
BACK-TO-BACK PODIUM FINISHES AT BUCKWHEAT 100 GNCC
BRODY JOHNSON WRAPS UP XC3 125 PRO-AM TITLE AT ROUND 12
Husqvarna Motorcycles-mounted Jordan Ashburn and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig DeLong repeated their podium success for a second-straight time, scoring second and third, respectively, at Round 12 of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series in Newburg, West Virginia. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing teammate Thad DuVall narrowly missed the Buckwheat 100 GNCC podium, finishing a close fourth on the day.
Additionally, Husqvarna Motorcycles-supported rider Brody Johnson wrapped up the XC3 125 Pro-Am Championship with one round remaining in the series. With a total of eight victories through the first 11 rounds, the newly crowned champion delivered a dominant performance this season.
Claiming consecutive podium finishes at Rounds 11 and 12, the momentum has picked up for DeLong late in the season as he continues to work toward his first overall-win in the series. While the battle to achieve third at the Buckwheat 100 wasn’t an easy feat, DeLong put his head down and fought his way up from a fifth-place start on a course that was tough to make passes on, all while enduring a bit of an illness. While running fifth, DeLong was less than six seconds off the leader’s pace early on, giving him strong footing to maintain a spot in the podium battle. Nearing the end of the race, he was able to grab on to third but continued to face pressure from his teammate until he crossed the finish line. DeLong sits second overall in the XC1 Open Pro Championship headed into the final round.
“With two laps to go, I knew I had to go,” DeLong said. “I just put my head down and started picking some guys off but I was fighting some stomach issues out there. I got up to Jordan [Asburn] on the last lap and actually got around him. He stalled it, and I got around him. I was really struggling out there and just trying to get through it, and then Thad [DuVall] caught me and I knew I couldn’t give up. So, it was a good fight to the end. I'm happy to get another podium and try to keep this ball rolling.”
DuVall backed up his previous two podium finishes with yet another strong performance in his home state of West Virginia. With an eager jump off the start, he grabbed the holeshot and early lead before being overtaken by fellow Husqvarna Motorcycles rider, Jordan Ashburn. Settling into a close second place, DuVall set his sights on chasing down Ashburn and he made his move into the lead just under the halfway point.. However, he wasn’t able to make it stick and was shuffled back to third by the next lap. With a strong push to the finish, DuVall came through just 1.463 seconds behind his teammate DeLong to score fourth.
“It was a tight race all day - I got to lead some laps, which is something I haven’t done yet this year being hurt and all,” DuVall said. “It was weird being out front, but I enjoyed it. I had a little issue halfway through the race and kind of lost those guys. Last lap, I was able to put the hammer down and get to the rear wheel of Craig [DeLong] and Jordan [Asburn], but just couldn’t make that happen.”
With the championship wrapped up at the prior round, some of the pressure was lifted for Ashburn and the newly crowned champions put his best foot forward to battle for the win. He got off to the lead early on and he held strong for the first couple laps. Around mid-race, he encountered issues with his hydration pack and lost some time in the pits making readjustments but he went on the attack to regain the lead, making his way back up to second by the time the checkered flag waved.
“I tried to come out and get another win before the series is over this year and I ended up getting T-boned in the first corner and kind of busted my hand up,” Ashburn said. “It took me a while to figure out how to hold on and keep going but I just put my head down today. The track was really sketchy and everybody was racing really tight. I just tried to be smooth and keep it off the ground today and I'm happy to get out of here with a second.”
Tayla Jones, a Husqvarna Motorcycles-supported rider, claimed her fifth WXC class win of the year, as well as an impressive second overall in the morning race. Jones sits in a close second in the championship chase headed into the last round.
Next Round: Crawfordsville, Indiana – October 23, 2022
Buckwheat 100 GNCC Results
XC1 Open Pro Class
1. Steward Baylor Jr. (YAM)
2. Jordan Ashburn (HQV)
3. Craig DeLong – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team
4. Thad DuVall – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team
Overall Championship Standings
1. Jordan Ashburn, 267 points
2. Craig DeLong – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team, 202 points
3. Ben Kelley, 180 points
5. Trevor Bollinger – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team, 148 points
20. Thad DuVall – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team, 60 points