Cycle News

Cycle News 2023 Issue 18 May 9

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 44 of 143

Girrior Wins Hoosier GNCC F MF/KTM's Johnny Girroir be- came the sixth different win- ner in as many races in the 2023 Grand National Cross-Country Series when he captured his first career GNCC overall victory at the Hoosier GNCC in Crawfords - ville, Indiana, May 6-7. Never has the GNCC Championship started with this many different winners. Girroir came from behind, sitting as far down as eighth overall dur - ing the early going before moving though the pack to win the ab- breviated two-and-a-half-hour race, beating Tely Energy Racing/Rocky Mountain ATV-MC KTM Racing's Steward Baylor by 17 seconds. Some of the tougher hills and sections were cut out of the track before the race due to over- night rain, making for a shorter course, therefore the race was shortened to hold down the chance of lappers. Baylor passed defending champion Magna1 Racing Husqvarna's Jordan Ashburn to take the lead of the eight-lap race on lap three. XC2 250 Pro rider Phoenix Racing Honda's Mike Witkowski ran in second overall on adjusted time ahead of Ashburn after two laps, with another XC2 rider, AmPro Ya - maha's Liam Draper, hot on his heels. Witkowski's and Draper's duel would turn out to be the battle of the day. On lap three, Draper passed Witkowski to move into third overall behind Baylor and Ash - burn and first in the XC2 250 Pro division. Baylor was the only rider to pit on lap three, dropping him to fourth after several riders passed him in the pits including Ashburn, AmPro Yamaha's Ricky Russell and Girroir, who was making an inspired run to the front. At the end of lap three, Girroir moved into second overall in the XC1 Open Pro ranks, however, Draper led the race on adjusted time after passing Witkowski. Baylor took back the physi - cal and overall lead on lap four ahead of Draper. Ashburn dropped out when his bike died in the woods. Baylor pitted again on lap six, allowing FMF/KTM's Ben Kelley and Girroir to close in. Physically on the track, head - ing to the white flag, the order was Baylor, Kelley and Girroir, all three XC1 riders, followed by Draper and Witkowski, both XC2 riders. Girroir was up into second behind Baylor on the penultimate lap, moving ahead of Draper and Witkowski on adjusted time. Meanwhile, Baylor went down and got stuck just before the white flag and the die was cast. Girroir gained 37 second due to Baylor's mishap and rode on to take the victory. "It was a gnarly race," said Gir - roir. "I fell back a little bit the first lap, but I just kept plugging away and found myself passing guys. WIND IN THE P44 Johnny Girroir (969) became the sixth different winner to start the 2023 GNCC Series when he captured his first career win in Indiana. PHOTOS: KEN HILL

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