Wins for Fowler, Richardson in GNCC ATV Opener

N-Fab/AmPro/Yamaha’s Walker Fowler came out swinging at the first round of the 2015 GNCC ATV cross-country series, scoring a big win in the premier XC1 Pro class in Bunnell, Fla. on Saturday afternoon, March 7. He was joined on the podium by former rival and defending series champion Chris Borich, who is now on a YFZ450R. Yamaha also dominated the XC2 Pro Am class, thanks to the efforts of AmPro teammate Cole Richardson, who ran away with the win on another YFZ450R. Richardson was truly on the gas – besides winning the XC2 class, he beat over half the XC1 Pro field in the process.

Ironically, in the two-hour XC1 race, neither Fowler nor Borich got particularly good starts, leaving rival Adam McGill to take the early lead. In fact, Fowler completed the first of four laps only in sixth place, just behind new teammate Borich. But the pair moved forward practically in lockstep, with Borich advancing into podium position by the halfway point, just 4.3 seconds ahead of Fowler in fourth. From there forward, Fowler really kicked it into high gear, advancing all the way to second on the third lap and then making up an incredible 36 seconds on leader McGill on the final lap to take a narrow and exciting win.

Starting one wave back, the XC2 Pro Am contest went totally Richardson’s way. He built a gap of more than a minute over nearest rival Martin Christofferson after the first lap, increased the advantage to 3 min. 45 sec. by the halfway point, and then amassed more than a seven-minute margin over a charging Thomas Koontz, Jr. aboard another Yamaha YZF450R after the third of four laps. Incredibly, the gap grew even larger on the final lap when Koontz ran into trouble and dropped back, handing Richardson the first XC2 Pro Am class win of the year by an amazing 9 min. 15 sec. over Christofferson. Fellow bLU cRU rider Cody Collier brought his YFZ home in third.

Finally on Sunday, off-road motorcycle racers had their turn on the long crosscountry course. In the XC1 Pro class, N-Fab/AmPro/Yamaha’s Grant Baylor and Jordan Ashburn both had issues during the day, winding up in seventh and eighth, respectively, with Australian newcomer Daniel Milner likewise encountering difficulties and dropping out before the halfway point. But in the XC2 Pro Lites class, teammate Ricky Russell went on a charge in the second half of the three-hour contest, with the bLU cRU rider making up over 2 ½ minutes and moving from sixth to second aboard his new YZ250FX. Adding to the strong results for Yamaha, AmPro’s Jessica Patterson finished second in the Women’s morning WXC race, with Becca Sheets rounding out the top five. Fantastic job all!

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