APRIL 17, 2012 - MEGAN BLACKBURN

XC1 Breakdown: Big Buck GNCC

STAFF BLOG

Although Kailub Russell ran away with the overall again, a few guys surprised us with their finishes. The points chase for the lead is already close enough, that mistakes can be unforgiving at this point. Read on for a breakdown of the XC1 class from the Big Buck GNCC.

- Although it's really too early in the season to tell whether Kailub Russell can shut the door on these guys for the championship, he's definitely getting the confidence he needs to fight for it. From start to finish, again, he was in the lead. Kailub is one of those smart riders that dial's line choice and dynamics. He ran the fastest lap towards the end of the race and was consistently fast, even progressive.

- Rory Mead, the Florida residing Kiwi. WMR Off-Road's Rory Mead whipped his KTM around South Carolina nearly as he did in Florida, taking 5th at Big Buck. Coming off of an 11th place finish at Steele Creek he's clearly putting his head down and getting it done. This is his best finish since his podium ride, but the big question is will the New Zealander be staying in the states for the remainder of the season to show he can do this?

- Apart of the consistent bunch, Thad Duvall is making 4th place something of his own. But he desperately wants more. Already this year, Thad has shown his maturity, consistency and discipline. Moving from blue to red, he is rocking that Honda in XC1 and is currently the best Honda finisher in the class. Take a look at his stats from 2011 and see the difference for yourself.

- Factory Yamaha rider Jordan Ashburn has been putting in some rollorcoaster results. Going 6-12-5-9, it's hard to pin point the missing link. We know he has speed, but unfortunately at Big Buck his brakes went out on the fourth lap while he was charging in 6th. It took the crew at least 3.5 minutes to get his brake system fixed and get him back out on the course.

- After Cory Buttrick's impressive run at Steele Creek, we were sure we'd see him back up front at in South Carolina. After the 2nd lap signs of struggle showed.  And strangely it just doesn't look like he's riding quite the same as we're used to. Buttrick was in contention for 4th during the race, and suddenly fell of the pace, falling all the way back to 7th, where he stayed to the finish.

- Someone we really hoped for better results from going into 2012 was Chris Bach. Looking back to 2010, Bach saw his fair share of top 5's while on KTM's. He even had multiple podiums. But it seems during his time on the Beta he hasn't had the results. The question here is who's to blame, the rider or the bike? Finishing12th in XC1 at Big Buck, we're rooting for a better finish for Bach in Kentucky.

XC1 Overall Results

1. Kailub Russell
2. Paul Whibley
3. Charlie Mullins
4. Thad Duvall
5. Rory Mead
6. Garrett Edmisten
7. Cory Buttrick
8. Jimmy Jarrett
9. Jordan Ashburn
10. Nathan Kanney
11. Steven Squire
12. Chris Bach
13. Toby Price

CONTRIBUTORS
Megan Blackburn