Borich Bests Ballance in Classic ATV GNCC Opener
Gilmer, TX – If the first race is any indication, 2005 will be an incredible year for the Suzuki Grand National Cross Country ATV Series. At the season-opening Lone Star GNCC in Texas, Alba’s Chris Borich and Yamaha’s Bill Ballance battled, banged and bumped all the way into the very last corner of the race. In this first round it was the challenger, Borich, coming out on top of the champ.
“It was a great battle out there,” said the Honda TRX450R-mounted Borich. “I was in fourth just watching, and then I made my move. I knew once me and Bill started battling we could pull away. He doesn’t give up too easy.”
“Me and Chris hooked up, and I can’t even tell you how many times we passed each other,” said Ballance. “We battled all the way to the finish line.”
After passing each other countless times, Borich held the lead heading to the finish. Ballance tried a last-ditch effort to get around, and the two hooked tires, but Borich held on to win.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s William Yokley took a hard-earned third. “I got off to a good start, but I stalled it coming out of the canyon,” said Yokley. “Later on I tagged a rock really hard and did some damage. I had to get off and check to make sure my wheels weren’t going to fall off!”
Santo DeRisi got his season started strong with a fourth-place score, while Matt Smiley debuted his new Polaris ride with a fifth-place finish.
The Suzuki GNCC series continues in three weeks with the Orange Crush GNCC in De Leon Springs, Florida. The Florida GNCC is traditionally the largest event of Daytona Bike Week in terms of entries, with over 1,000 riders expected to race on March 3 – 5.
The AMA-sanctioned Suzuki Grand National Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. The 13-round series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The nearly three-hour long GNCC races lead as many as 1400 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC featured sponsors include Suzuki, Parts Unlimited, Moose, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Klotz, FMF and ITP, atv atv parts and riders compete for over $1.3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Moose Utility Division, Scott, Alpinestars, Ohlins, Cometic, Outerwears, Race Tools, Twin Air, SFB Racing, Thor, Racer X Illustrated, Motion Pro, Tire Balls, Moto-Tee’s, Warrior and Laeger’s.
Photos: Alba's Chris Borich rode his TRX450R to a dramatic opening-round GNCC win in Texas.
Photos by Raymond Gundy, Raymondgundy.com