Eight-time defending champ recovering from broken ribs
Bill Ballance is looking to make Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) history on Sept. 27 as the Series heads to New York’s Unadilla Valley Sports Center. Ballance can clinch his ninth XC1 Pro ATV title at the 11th round of the 13-race GNCC season.
After a slow start, Yamaha’s Ballance has dominated this season, earning three wins, as well as three runner-up efforts. Heading into Unadilla, however, Ballance is still recovering from broken ribs sustained in a practice crash several weeks ago.
Adam McGill, who won the most recent GNCC in runaway fashion, is well on his way toward beating back a midseason slump. Sitting second in points, McGill is just 26 markers behind Ballance. McGill has four wins this season, the most of any ATV competitor, as well as a single runner-up finish.
Rookie pro Brandon Sommers is hungry for his first ever GNCC victory. Consistency has placed the Yamaha rider third in points. With four top-three finishes, it will only be a matter of time before he gets to tread to the top step of the podium.
Brian Cook (Honda) and defending Unadilla winner Chris Borich (Rockstar Suzuki) sit fourth and fifth in the title chase. National Guard Honda’s William Yokley, Taylor Kiser (KTM), Matthew Smiley (Honda), Jarrod McClure (Honda) and Ryan Lane (Honda), as well as many others are expected to compete in the XC1 Pro class.
More than 1,500 riders are expected to compete this weekend in both Amateur and Pro classes.
This weekend’s event will also feature an expansive midway, as well as demo rides of new Can-Am ATVs. Also, Yamaha will unveil its all-new 2009 YFZ450R racing ATV with a display on Saturday.
Unadilla’s track features a motocross course, as well as mud, rocks, hills and trails through the woods surrounding the venue.
“The Unadilla track is unique on the tour as it offers our fans some of the best viewing opportunities of the racing action,” says GNCC trail boss Jeff Russell. “In addition, the Pro pit areas will be accessible to those attending, allowing them to get an up-close view of the racers and their highly tuned machines.
“The use of the motocross track also injects another level of competition into the Unadilla race. The tight, high-speed turns, as well as big-air jumps are certain to make for an exciting show.”
Spectator passes are $15 for the full weekend, with Pro pit access and Pro autographs included at no additional charge. On both Saturday and Sunday, Youth riders race at 8 a.m., Amateur riders race at 10 a.m., and the Pro and Pro Am Classes compete at 1 p.m. For more information on the racing series, visit the official series web site at GNCCRacing.com.
Related Reading:McGill holds off Ballance for GNCC win