FMF KTM FACTORY RACING'S BEN KELLEY CHARGES TO
FOURTH-PLACE RESULT AT THE MOUNTAINEER GNCC
Round 10 - Grand National Cross Country Series
A mid-field start for Kelley in the technical, rain-soaked conditions of West Virginia saw the 2021 premier class champion complete the opening lap of the race in seventh position, with a steady rise throughout the five-lap encounter culminating in a convincing fourth-place result by race's end.
With two rounds remaining, Kelley currently sits third place overall in the XC1 Pro Class standings onboard his KTM 350 XC-F, with only 16 points separating the top three.
Ben Kelley: "Track conditions were crazy and always changing with heavy rain on and off throughout the day. I was mid-pack off the start but got shuffled back in the early laps. I was trying to preserve my goggles as I hoped it would benefit me in the long run, but with the harsh conditions it didn’t work out and vision was low. I mounted a charge the last two laps and worked my way up to the wheel of the third-place rider late on the last lap and I made a few pass attempts, but nothing stuck. My last effort to pass resulted in a crash and me crossing the line in fourth."
FMF KTM Factory Racing teammate Johnny Girroir was also well in contention, the former XC2 Pro Class Champion carving his way through the field into the top-five prior to unfortunately being ruled out. Girroir is now seventh in the point-standings.
Johnny Girroir: "It was a wild day in the West Virginia mountains. First lap started off slow, on the start of the second lap I found my groove and by the end of the third lap I caught the leaders, before unfortunately my day ended early in those conditions due to a mechanical issue."
KTM-supported Steward Baylor continued his recent run of form to take victory in the XC1 Pro Class at The Mountaineer GNCC and now sits atop the championship standings with a five-point lead ahead of second place with two rounds remaining. In the WXC Class, Korie Steed raced her KTM to P2, also ranked second in the points.
Next Race: CJ Raceway – Newburg, WV – October 6-9, 2023
XC1 Open Pro Results – The Mountaineer GNCC
1. Steward Baylor Jr, KTM, 2:47:06.500
2. Craig DeLong, HQV, +00.08.320
3. Ricky Russell, YAM, +02.34.991
4. Ben Kelley, KTM
Overall Championship Standings
1. Steward Baylor Jr, 208
2. Craig DeLong, 203
3. Ben Kelley, 192
7. Johnny Girroir, 124