Rockstar/Makita Suzuki rider Chris Borich is on the top of the points standings after winning four of the first seven Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series races, and looks to be almost unstoppable going into round 8 of the tour, this weekend’s Wiseco John Penton GNCC in Millfield, Ohio.
But Borich leads the GNCC standings by just 12 points, and FRE KTM’s Adam McGill and Yamaha’s Taylor Kiser are both motivated and talented enough to knock Borich out of his lead.
Borich and McGill duked it out at the previous race, the Mountain Ridge GNCC, in a tense final lap. McGill led the pack alone through most of the race until Borich started closing in on him, shaving off seconds on each lap. On the last lap, Borich out-dueled McGill, handing McGill yet another close second-place finish.
While McGill is second in the points, a win remains elusive for the charismatic rider. Each race sees him coming within seconds of leading the pack only to have someone overtake him. Even Kiser would have won the Titan GNCC if he hadn’t lost positions for straying away from the track. Kiser won in the first round in Florida but has stayed around 3rd to 5th place in the remaining races.
Besides Kiser and McGill, no one else has been able to pull out a second win, thanks to Borich’s riding ability. Bryan Cook and Defending GNCC Champion Bill Ballance also have wins this year and are looking for a follow-up.
But despite having not been able to win a second race, these riders have been able to pull out consistent finishes. McGill has finished on the podium 6 of seven races and Kiser three times. Kiser’s Yamaha teammate Brandon Sommers has also had consistent finishes lately, landing on the podium the last three races and taking over fourth in the points standings. Cook and Ballance are within one point of each other battling for the fifth and sixth places. Ballance won the Penton last year, and needs to find that magic again to close in on his tenth GNCC Championship.
In the XC2 Pro-Am class, Brian Wolfe and Josh Kirkland have been the duo to watch as they battle week in and week out for their championship. Perhaps some of the most exciting XC2 action in a few years, they are only separated by four points and are the only two to have won a race thus far in the season.
The legendary John Penton track may hold a few surprises for the riders to shake up the points standings. The Sunday Creek Raceway motocross track features a nice mix of fast trails with some fresh, tight stuff thrown in, and the motocross track makes for a good place to make passes.
To get to the track from Athens, take Rt. 33 W. 1 mile to 13N (Chauncey Exit) Go 3 miles into Chauncey. Turn right-staying on Route 13 North. Continue for 10 miles to Jacksonville. Go right on Sixth St. for 2 miles, then turn left.
About GNCC Racing
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series is America’s premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1973, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles, competing for more than $3 million in prizes. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.