TOP-FIVE RESULTS FROM FMF KTM FACTORY RACING'S KELLEY AND GIRROIR AT THE GENERAL GNCC
Round 3 – Grand National Cross Country Series
Kelley entered the weekend as the series points leader and managed to salvage a strong haul of points despite going down in the mid-stages, eventually taking the checkered flag in P4 aboard his KTM 350 XC-F. As a result, the 2021 GNCC champion sits second in the standings, three points outside of the lead.
Ben Kelley: "Round three went alright. I knew it was going to be a survival race with lots of gnarly rain, and this Georgia clay is something else – just a crazy track! We had a good start and made our way into the lead by the second lap, but hit a huge hole and flew off the trail, went over the bars, and dropped back. Pretty much the whole race was mayhem, just getting stuck and having crashes and trying to choose good lines. It was crazy, we went back and forth with a bunch of guys, but I did the best I could and salvaged a fourth. As we came through the finish it was a big fight with three other riders for that last podium spot on the last lap. Happy to get through it though, I knew it was going to be really tough on my leg, and now I'm ready to move forward with solid points and get ready for round four."
As for Girroir, he trailed FMF KTM Factory Racing teammate Kelley across the finish to record his season-best result of P5, steadily clawing his way through the pack after completing the opening lap in 10th place on his 350 XC-F. It was a deserving effort and one that his confidence will benefit from in upcoming rounds, now sitting ninth in the championship.
Johnny Girroir: "To finish inside the top five today was rewarding in these conditions, both for the team and also myself. We fought hard all the way through and it was super tough out there. This was my best result of the year so far, which I'm definitely happy with, and we can continue to build from here. Everybody at FMF KTM Factory Racing worked hard for this one and it's always nice to bring home a good finish when there's so much going on in weather like this."
It's now KTM-supported and opening-round winner Steward Baylor who holds the XC1 Open Pro points lead again after finishing third on Sunday. Round three saw additional KTM success in Angus Riordan winning the XC2 Pro class, while Korie Steed continues to lead the WXC standings after finishing third at The General GNCC.
Next Race: Tiger Run GNCC – Union, SC – April 2, 2023
XC1 Open Pro Results – The General GNCC
1. Craig DeLong, HQV, 02:54:05.296
2. Josh Strang, KAW, +57.398
3. Steward Baylor Jr, KTM, +01:19.023
4. Ben Kelley, KTM, +29.189
5. Johnny Girroir, KTM, +5.359
12. Benjamin Nelko, KTM
Overall Championship Standings
1. Steward Baylor Jr, 76 points
2. Ben Kelley, 73
3. Craig DeLong, 67
9. Johnny Girroir, 17
11. Benjamin Nelko, 6