ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING’S THAD DUVALL RETURNS TO THE GNCC PODIUM AT ROUND 10
JORDAN ASHBURN EXTENDS POINTS LEAD WITH RUNNER-UP FINISH AT MOUNTAINEER GNCC
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thad DuVall returned to Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series racing with a vengeance in Beckley, West Virginia, claiming a podium spot in third for his first race back since Round 1. Husqvarna Motorcycles-mounted rider, Jordan Ashburn, finished just ahead of DuVall in second, extending his points lead in the XC1 Open Pro Championship with three rounds remaining.
After suffering a crash at Round 1 of the series and having to undergo surgery, West Virginia-native Thad Duvall made a solid return to GNCC in front of a home-state crowd at Round 10. He immediately placed his FX 350 into a podium spot early in the race and after a couple of laps, he was shuffled back to fifth. Halfway through the race, he fought his way back into podium contention, finishing out the last hour strong in third.
“I’m stoked to be third at my first race back in six months,” DuVall said. “I got an awesome start in third and just kind of rode third and fourth all day long. It’s been a long summer just trying to get things buttoned up and to come here and get a podium in the first race back from injury is a plus, so I just have to get better towards the end.”
DeLong added to his tally of top-five finishes, capturing fifth in XC1 Open Pro and sixth overall on the day. He started off the day inside the top five, but a crash with another rider at the top of a hill on the first lap sent DeLong back to the pits in search of fresh gloves and goggles. He was able to steadily climb back through the field of riders throughout the nearly three-hour long race to finish in fifth when the checkers flew.
“I had a good start,” DeLong said. “I was in the top five. I just started to feel comfortable and right at the end of the first lap, I went up to the FMF Hill and a rider went around it. I don’t know if he didn’t see me or I definitely didn’t see him, but we just came together at the top of the hill. It trashed my gloves and my grips and broke my roll off, so I had to come in for paper towels and goggles. I just lost that positioning I had on the first lap. I feel like that hurt me, and I had to play catch up. I should have fought back through a little bit more, and I maybe could have got up closer to Johnny [Girrior]. I’d have good sections where I’d nail all my marks, and other times I’d make mistakes and I’d lose time. So just a little bit of a rough day.”
After securing his first overall win of his GNCC career and taking over the points lead at Round 9, Husqvarna Motorcycles-mounted rider Jordan Ashburn also finished on the podium in second, marking his seventh podium of the year. He has extended his lead for the championship.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Trevor Bollinger had just returned to racing at the prior round, after breaking his hand at Round 8, but is once again out on injury due to injuries sustained from a crash during practice last week.
Next Round: Millfield, Ohio – September 25, 2022
Mountaineer GNCC Results
XC1 Open Pro Class
1. Steward Baylor (YAM)
2. Jordan Ashburn (HQV)
3. Thad DuVall (HQV) – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team
5. Craig DeLong – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team
Overall Championship Standings
1. Jordan Ashburn, 212 points
2. Ben Kelley, 180 points
3. Craig DeLong – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team, 156 points
4. Trevor Bollinger – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team, 148 points