Checkpoint | September 30 2020
MEDIA | GNCC, EnduroGP, Endurocross, EnduroGP
Welcome to Checkpoint, a new weekly feature that will cover the ongoings in the off-road motorcycle racing world, presented by Moose Racing. Although motocross and Supercross is the center of the SML universe, our staff has massive respect for the varied disciplines of off-road, from SuperEnduro to Rally to GNCC to Big Six, and we always have an eye on what’s happening in the professional racing series. Every week we will bring updates from around the world, including race results, photos, video highlights, and new bike or product debuts.
2020 BURR OAK GNCC
The tenth round of the 2020 Grand National Cross Country was a wild one and during the race in the woods of Ohio, spectators saw the second consecutive win by a colorful fan-favorite, the return of a title contender, and the possible injury of the defending champion on his retirement tour.
Steward Baylor’s season has been eventful, all of which stemmed from his signing to/split from the FactoryONE Sherco squad and an uncertain break from competition. Back in action thanks to a very loose deal with AmPro Yamaha team, Baylor has clicked off two wins in two rounds and has brought some chaos to the XC1 Class, despite being well out of championship contention. His win at the Burr Oak was dominant, as he took over the lead on lap one, rode for hours at the front of the pack, and crossed the finish line roughly a minute ahead of second place.
Championship leader Kailub Russell ran in second place during the early segment of the race but a mistake in one technical section caused the FMF KTM Factory Racing rider to run into a tree. He managed to remount his bike and rode back to the pit area, unable to continue the race due to a possible knee injury. Russell will undergo a full exam to determine the extent of the damage before the next round but retained the top spot in the standings.
Ben Kelley has been consistent since the return from the break and for the second round in a row, the FMF KTM Factory Racing rider avoided any serious issues and finished in the runner-up spot. Kelley is another rider that’s out of range for the championship due to injuries that held him back at the start of the season.
Grant Baylor claimed the third step on the podium. The FactoryONE Sherco rider took over the position early and ran much of the race alone, unable to catch the lead duo but was well ahead of those behind him.
Josh Strang’s absence from the Mountaineer GNCC put him further behind Russell in the point standings, but with his return at the Burr Oak GNCC and Russell’s uncertain status for the rest of the season, the Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki rider stands to benefit the most. Strang logged a modest seventh-place finish in Ohio and slightly closed the points difference between himself and Russell. The are now 55-points separating them with two (maybe three) rounds left in the series.
There was just as much excitement in the XC2 Class. Jonathan Girroir and Craig DeLong entered the Burr Oak GNCC tied in points and 15-points ahead of third-ranked Mike Witkowski. When the flag flew on the classes line at the start, Trail Jesters KTM’s Girroir got himself into the lead early and stayed ahead for the entire race to score the division win over AmPro Yamaha/St. Lawrence Radiology’s Witkowski and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Delong. With these results, Girroir now has nine points over DeLong and 20 points on Witkowski.
XC1 Pro Event Results
1. Steward Baylor Jr.
2. Benjamin Kelley
3. Grant Baylor
4. Jordan Ashburn
5. Andrew Delong
6. Josh Strang
7. Layne Michael
8. Evan Earl
9. Kailub Russell
XC2 250 Pro Event Results
1. Jonathan Girroir
2. Michael Witkowski
3. Craig Delong
4. Lyndon Snodgrass
5. Cody Barnes
6. Liam Draper
7. Thorn Devlin
8. Jesse Ansley
9. Jonathan Johnson
10. Benjamin Nelko
Overall National Championship Standings
1. Kailub Russell | 256
2. Josh Strang | 201
3. Jordan Ashburn | 159
4. Craig DeLong | 147
5. Jonathan Girroir | 139
6. Michael Witkowski | 138
7. Grant Baylor | 124
9. Benjamin Kelley | 107
9. Steward Baylor Jr. | 103
10. Cody Barnes | 102
XC2 250 Pro Series Standings
1. Jonathan Girroir | 254
2. Craig Delong | 245
3. Michael Witkowski | 234
4. Cody Barnes | 170
5. Liam Draper | 158
6. Thorn Devlin | 135
7. Jonathan Johnson | 113
8. Ryder Lafferty | 111
9. Benjamin Nelko | 93
10. Simon Johnson | 79
2020 SEA TO SKY HARD ENDURO
Last week off-road riders took to Turkey for one of the more diverse and difficult events on the schedule, the 2020 Sea To Sky Hard Enduro. The four-day event consisted of different stages and challenges, including the Beach Race, Forest Race, Sky Race, and Mountain Race, with the four times combined to determine the overall winner.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt was the top rider early in the race, thanks to wins in wins in Beach Race, Forest Race and Sky Race. But his total race time was greatly hindered after a mistake during Saturday’s Mountain Race sent him off the intended path and forced him to turn around and return to the intended race route. This was exactly the opportunity that Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Graham Jarvis needed, as the veteran racer damaged his bike early in the event and trailed the leader by a few minutes the first three stages, but was still in contention for the overall. While Bolt regrouped and lost considerable time, Jarvis pressed on, rode a nearly flawless final stage, made up the difference, and snagged the overall win for the sixth time in his career.
Wade Young split the two Husqvarna riders on the podium, thanks to consistent riding by the Sherco Factory Racing rider throughout the week.
2020 EnduroGP Of Italy
The 2020 FIM Borilli EnduroGP World Championship continued its season with round two, the 2020 EnduroGP of Italy, near the ancient city of Spoleto. The event format consisted of a Supertest and two days of timed trials, all of which were run in very different conditions. Riders dealt with the hard-packed Italian terrain in the first two days of the race, but when rain fell ahead of Sunday’s final stages, the course became even more treacherous and technical.
Matteo Cavallo, Loic Larrieu, and Jaume Betriu took advantage of their issues to post the three fastest times of the initial test, but only Larrieu was able to stay in contention for the podium through the other two days of racing.
Steve Holcombe and Brad Freeman overcame issues during the Supertest, when Holcombe struggled with bike problems and Freeman was unable to match the pace put in by others in the field and was ranked sixth, to take over the top two spots later in the weekend. Freeman was faster during Day One thanks to wins in the three special tests on lap one and then consistent finishes through the rest, while Holcombe hovered in second place.
The rains proved to be a factor on the final day and caused event organizers to redo sections of the course to ensure safety. Holcombe thrived in the adverse conditions, and while Freeman struggled with certain tests, Holcombe remained one of the fastest of the group and crept into the race lead. Larrieu was the only rider to split the teammates during the two-day trails and the TM Factory Racing rider scored third place overall.
With this win, Holcombe now holds a six-point lead over Freeman in the championship standings. The series continues with the EnduroGP of Germany on October 16-18.
2020 AMA ENDUROCROSS SERIES SCHEDULE CHANGE
After announcing a six-round series for the 2020 AMA Endurocross Series earlier this year, Cycle City Promotions has announced a change in venues for the California races and an altered schedule.
The four races in California will be doubleheaders and will take place at Glen Helen Raceway. The first pair of races will be October 23 and 24 and the second set of races will be October 29 and 30. From there, the series will head north to the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa for another doubleheader on November 6 and 7. This change also eliminates the small break that was set to take place between races in California and Idaho, and now the entire six-race series will run in a span of three weeks.
The press release and updated schedule is posted in full below…
Cycle City Promotions announced today that the EnduroCross Racing Series will be hosting the first four rounds of the AMA Championship Series on different dates and at a different venue. The new location for the rounds will be at the Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino California. The new dates are October 23rd (Round One), October 24th (Round Two), October 29th (Round Three) and October 30th (Round Four).
The final two races will still take place in Nampa, Idaho at the Ford Idaho Center on the same dates. The updated schedule is as follows:
2020 AMA ENDUROCROSS SCHEDULE
Round One | October 23 | Glen Helen Raceway | San Bernardino, California
Round Two | October 24 | Glen Helen Raceway | San Bernardino, California
Round Three | October 29 | Glen Helen Raceway | San Bernardino, California
Round Four | October 30 | Glen Helen Raceway | San Bernardino, California
Round Five | November 6 | Ford Idaho Center | Nampa, Idaho
Round Six | November 7 | Ford Idaho Center | Nampa, Idaho
“After continued conversations regarding the safe and best way to bring EnduroCross back to both the racer and spectator, we decided it was in everyone’s best interest to relocate to Glen Helen Raceway,” said Tod Hammock, president and founder of Cycle City Promotions. “This venue is only 70 miles north of our previous one, and we hope the new dates will allow racers a little extra time to prepare and attend.”
The continued priority at these six events will be health and safety of the riders, fans and support staff involved. Our return to racing will be a responsible one, including guidelines and protocols for competitors and essential staff. We will continue to work with both venues and will comply with all federal, state and local mandates.
The goal for all six events is still to allow spectators to attend in a safe way that ensures social distancing can be maintained. We will release additional details on spectator attendance and ticket purchasing options in the near future.
The 2020 Endurocross Racing Series will be available for nationwide viewing either via television broadcast or live webcast subscription program. We are in the final stages of confirming these details and will make that information available as soon as we are able.
Any racers who previously signed up to attend the four rounds scheduled to take place at the Fox Raceway in Pala, California who are unable to attend at the new venue with new dates, please contact email@example.com.