Double duty for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing support rider, Ryan Sipes, yielded no shortage of performance as the racer sealed a solid second place finish at round 8 of the 2015 GNCC series, less than a day after he finished the Muddy Creek AMA Pro Motocross National 11th overall in the 450 class.
The eighth round of the GNCC saw summer on the horizon as temperatures heated to the high 80’s in Millfield, Ohio with an overlay of humidity. The 10 mile long course was dry, dusty, and hard packed through out much of the day with the typical mudholes dotted throughout. In his first race back after suffering an injury at a previous race, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Josh Strang, grabbed the holeshot on his FC 350. Soon after pain from his previous injury would come through and it would become a battle against old wounds to stay out front.
Meanwhile, teammate Andrew DeLong started out on his FC 350 in 5th but by the end of the 1st lap would find himself in 3rd, with Strang fading back to 5th. Sipes would make some impressive maneuveres and by the end of lap 1, would be pushing towards the front in second place.
Over the next few laps, riders in 2nd through 5th were all within seconds of each other swapping positions back and forth. As the raced moved passed halfway DeLong found himself in a heated battle for 3rd, but would acquiese and finish in a solid 5th place.
“It was a good race; I felt good. I'm still struggling to find the speed to run with the guys up front, but I’m improving so all in all it was a good day,” stated DeLong.
Strang was less fortunate as his shoulder injury got the best of him and 2 hours into the race, he decided to avoid further injury and pull off.
“Today started well. My FC 450 fired and I got my first holeshot in a long time. I have only ridden once since my accident where I injured my shoulder, so I was unsure how I would hold up. I lasted longer than I thought and my speed was ok. Unfortunately, I a little too much pain after four laps so I thought it was best to pull in before more damage,” explained Strang.
The “Sipes Double Header” weekend allowed for little to no rest for the athlete as he took on the challenge to race back-to-back an AMA Pro Motocross National and a GNCC. Sipes and his FC 450 would hang at the front of the pack and would eventually pull a gap over the 3rd place runner and cross the finish line in 2nd.
“Couldn’t ask for much better. It was gnarly, but I’m pretty pumped,” said a smiling Sipes.
Husqvarna saw more riders cross the finish line out front as Thaddeus Duvall took 4th place just ahead of Andrew DeLong. The day also saw another victory from rider Nick Davis in the XC2 Pro Lite class, bringing him to 6th place in the points chase, just a few spots behind fellow Husqvarna racer Craig DeLong who sits 3rd in the XC2 Pro Lite standings.
XC1 Pro Results –
1 KAILUB K RUSSELL
2 RYAN SIPES - Husqvarna
3 GRANT BAYLOR
4 THADDEUS DUVALL – Husqvarna
5 ANDREW R DELONG – Husqvarna
6 JORDAN ASHBURN
7 STEWARD BAYLOR JR
8 CHRISTOPHER BACH
9 TAKESHI KOIKEDA
10 CHRISTOPHER DOUGLAS
11 ADAM J BONNEUR
12 JOSH V STRANG – Husqvarna
XC1 Pro Class Points –
1 KAILUB K RUSSELL - 235
2 GRANT BAYLOR - 150
3 THADDEUS DUVALL - 142
4 RYAN SIPES - 139
5 JOSH V STRANG - 138
6 CHRISTOPHER BACH - 135
7 JORDAN ASHBURN - 111
8 TAKESHI KOIKEDA - 91
9 ADAM J BONNEUR - 87
10 CHRISTOPHER DOUGLAS - 86
11 ANDREW R DELONG - 75
14 TYLER MEDAGLIA 40
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