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Team GNCC 2014 Rd 1&2 Race Report


Race report: GNCC Round 1 Mud Mucker / March 8-9
Rider: Thad Duvall
Bike: Honda CRF250R
Class: XC1
Result: 4th

We kicked off round one of the 2014 GNCC racing season on March 8-9th in Bunnell, Florida. I’ve been down in Jacksonville training with teammate Layne Michael for the past couple of weeks and was excited to see where I stacked up next to other top XC1 racers.

When the green flag dropped, I got a decent start and ended up going mid-pack into the woods. A lot of people questioned why I was riding a 250F at this race, but at the end of the first lap I knew I had made the right choice with track conditions being tough and tight. I had worked my way up to third, and began riding with Josh Strang and Ryan Sipes. We battled all day!

Track conditions were deteriorating quickly because of an unusual wet and muddy Florida track that I wasn’t expecting. At the hour and a half mark, we stopped to refuel and change goggles. I knew I had to put my head down and charge the last half of the race if I wanted to earn a podium position. I pushed as hard as I could, but couldn’t break away from Strang. I made a mistake halfway through the last lap and Strang was able to get by me. It came down to the last corner and him edging me out by one second, ending me with a fourth overall result. I was disappointed with the outcome, but happy to leave this race healthy knowing that Georgia was only a couple days away.

Race report: GNCC Round 2 The General / March 15-16
Rider: Thad Duvall
Bike: Honda CRF250R
Class: XC1
Result: 14th

We had five days to get ready for round 2 of GNCC racing at the Aonia Pass MX track. I love this track and got third here last year.

I took a few days to enjoy the Florida weather, before starting up north to the colder weather again. Saturday was sunny and warm with unbelievable track conditions. No one expected the amount of rain that would be coming down Saturday night. I woke up Sunday to mud everywhere, but ready to get the day under way. With it raining all morning, I knew this race was shaping up to be like the Mammoth last season where I took the overall win.

After some pre-race preparations to the bike, I was ready to start the shortened two hour race. As we headed to the line, the rain picked up and it was going to be a long day. As the green flag dropped for round two, I had another decent start, and as I entered the woods I couldn’t believe how wet it was, with some water crossings being up almost to my seat. I think we all went into survival mode and just pick the best lines that we could.

Unfortunately, my day ended sooner than I was expecting because of a bike part malfunction and I wasn’t able to finish the rest of the race but it’s nothing that we can’t fix and come back stronger for round 3. Next we are heading to Morganton, NC at Steele Creek and hopefully I’ll be seeing you all on the podium!

Race report: GNCC Round 1 Mud Mucker / March 8-9th
Rider: Layne Michael
Bike: Honda CRF250R
Class: XC2
Result: 24th

It's been a long off season and a jammed packed one!

At the end of last year I switched brands to the 2014 Honda CRF250R. Luckily from the awesome support from Morgantown Powersports, Amsoil and Honda we were able to get a solid program together for the 2014 season.

On February 1 I headed down to Florida to get some training in for the upcoming season. I had an awesome month riding with some seasoned riders. I spent most of my winter training with guys like my teammate Thad Duvall, Kailub Russell, Ryan Sipes, and many more. I was so anxious to get the season underway.

Coming into Florida we knew track conditions wouldn’t be as they were in past years. We were told palmetto bushes and sandy terrain was least of our worries. Prepare for black dirt and lots of mud! Dad and I talked it over and decided to run the practice bike over the race bike so we wouldn’t trash it in the black muck!

I had a terrible start but was making decent passes through the beginning of the race. After the first few miles I managed to make my way within the top ten riders in my class. I was riding well when I noticed that something wasn’t right with the bike. I was getting passed in field sections and felt I was pushing near my limit and wasn’t making any gains. I kept pushing forward and was picking guys off but was still losing time for how hard I was riding. I came through the finish for my 5th lap and that's when my bike let go. It shut off during a straight stretch and wouldn't restart. I looked immediately at the base gasket and saw it was melted and I knew my day was over. I pushed it back to the pits and e immediately began to research the issue. After looking it over thoroughly we found that I melted the stator. From there all I could do is root on my teammate Thad who finished his solid fourth position in XC1.

Race report: GNCC Round 2 The General / March 15-16th
Rider: Layne Michael
Bike: Honda CRF250R
Class: XC2
Result: 6th

After the issue I had at the Mud Mucker I was left without a practice bike for the week leading up to Georgia.

Round 2 ended up being a complete MUD FEST! It rained throughout Saturday night into Sunday morning. My dad and I had the new race bike all waterproofed, prepped and ready to go so the weight rested on my shoulders from here!

Once again I had a poor start and had to push hard to make up for the lost time. I worked my way to the top 6 within the first four or five miles of this muddy course. I made a few passes at different points but was unable to maintain position due to one awful lap where I actually buried my bike 3 times. The bike was covered with mud from dragging the pegs through ruts and the radiators where covered. I got the bike really hot and decided to back it down and just finish as strong as possible without jeopardizing any points.

The last two laps dad gave me a pit board and said bring it home, I had a big gap on 7th so I avoided as many bad situations as I could not getting the hung up and made the bike last. I came across the line in 6th in XC2 and 15th overall. Considering the conditions of the track I was satisfied with the outcome for the day. However, this is not where I want to be and I know I can win these races. I'm looking forward to a dry race so I can show everyone what this can do and prove that I am contender for the Championship through the rest of the year!
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