An up-and-coming young gun in GNCC, Factory FMF/KTM, MotoSport.com rider Kailub Russell has spent some time out west racing WORCS in preparation of the 2012 GNCC season. We caught up with Kailub out in South Carolina during a shoot to talk about his success in 2011 and the upcoming GNCC season.
Kailub talk us through your 2011 season...
It was my first year in the XC1 Pro class at GNCC. I didn't do as well as I expected at first, but I started to find my place and put in some solid results. So I finished the year in 4th overall and 4th in XC1, with a win and a few podiums to go along with it.
The big win, where was it and how did it go?
It was the GNCC in St Clairsville, Ohio. It's not one of my favorite tracks. I had a great start and rode up front all day. By the end of the race I was by myself with a minute lead, so I cruised to the finish. It came very naturally for me and it was a great experience.
Going into 2012, now that you have the taste of a win, is that where your expecatations are for the season?
Yeah, I mean that's what I expected to do last year, but wasn't able to due to a few mechanical issues, among other issues I came across. In 2012 I am looking to be a lot more consistent and up on the podium each and every round.
With Josh Strang racing on the West coast, who do you anticipate to be your main rivals this year?
Although Strang won't really be around for the series this year, I think it is going to open a big hole for someone to fill. Charlie Mullins and Paul Whibley are going to be the guys up there week in and week out. At the end of the day those are the guys I am going to need to beat to have a shot at the title.
Your a full-time GNCC racer, but have you considered racing another series full time?
GNCC is and has always been my main focus. It's where I grew up and what I grew up riding, I have alot of support for that series.
What's your take on WORCS?
I did the first two rounds this year. The first one didnt go so well for me, but I like the series and I like the format. It's a whole different type of racing and I think it's a great series, I just feel there are a few missing pieces to it.
Talk us through those two WORCS races...
I really didnt know what to expect or where to place myself. I went out and just tried my best, and I failed at that (laughs). I had a horrible first day and the second was the same. The sad thing is, is I rode as hard as I could both days but it just wasn't enough. I moved on from the first round and worked on the things I needed to. At the second round in Primm, it was much better for me. I was running inside the top 7 on the first day, but lost my brakes and DNF'd. The second day I was running 4th for half the race, but made a mistake and fell over and I ended up in 6th to the finish. It was really a step up for me. I would like to race more and keep on improving.
What is your training regimen like? What's a typical day in the life of Kailub?
I do a lot of mountain biking and I run quite a bit. I don't ride as much as I should, it can get repetetive out here in the woods and I don't want to burn myself out. But I really enjoy mountain biking and there are races here in the summer that keep me in great shape. And of course keeping up in the gym!
Thanks! And goodluck in Florida.