SNOWSHOE VICTORY EDGES FMF KTM FACTORY
RACING’S BEN KELLEY CLOSER IN GNCC TITLE-CHASE
Round 9 – Grand National Cross Country Series
Following the unique GP-style start on the pavement and after circling the opening lap in fourth position, Kelley made steady progress toward the front of the field throughout the race, pressuring the leaders by the third lap of the five-lap affair.
The 2021 premier class title-winner would take the lead on lap three and remain near mistake-free as he held on for a second win of the season, moving within four points of the championship lead with three rounds remaining.
Ben Kelley: “Today was good! I’ve struggled with managing my races all year and messed up a little this time, but it’s the track – it’ll reach up and bite you. It was one of those tracks where everyone was making mistakes, so I did what I could to stay up front with the leaders, then by lap three I put a charge on. I extended out to a decent lead, focused on hitting my marks, and I’m proud to return to the top step of the podium and share this with the team.”
FMF KTM Factory Racing teammate Girroir pieced together a consistent day of racing, opening his day in third place and remaining there for the majority of the event. A focus on precision and patience were the keys to success for the former XC2 Pro Class Champion, as he claimed his third podium finish in four races.
Johnny Girroir: “Fairly typical Snowshoe here, but gnarlier than previous years, I would say. The focus was on standing up and really making sure I hit my marks all race long. I had fun, stood up a lot, rode smooth and got into some battles, but overall, it was a great day, and a big thanks to the team.”
The XC1 Pro Class now sees KTM-mounted Steward Baylor Jr sit atop the standings with 178 points, with Kelley four points behind in third position. Following his third-place ride on Sunday, Girroir moves into sixth overall in the championship.
Next Race: Summit Bechtel Reserve – Beckley, WV – September 15-17, 2023
XC1 Open Pro Results – Snowshoe GNCC
1. Ben Kelley, KTM, 2:47:29.772
2. Jordan Ashburn, HQV, +01.48.208
3. Johnny Girroir, KTM, +02.01.680
4. Steward Baylor Jr, KTM
Overall Championship Standings
1. Steward Baylor Jr, 178
2. Craig DeLong, 178
3. Ben Kelley, 174
6. Johnny Girroir, 124