Ballance Battles Back at the Maxxis General ATVs GNCC
Beats Borich and Jenks in a two-hour ATV duel
Never doubt six-time Suzuki Grand National Cross Country ATVs Champion Bill Ballance. After struggling at the GNCC opener in Florida, the factory Yamaha rider battled back and beat his rivals straight up at the Maxxis General GNCC in Georgia.
“I was really motivated to come out here and win,” said Ballance, who took down Chris Borich and Chris Jenks to win. “We’ve been working really hard this winter dialing in this 2006 – they made a lot of changes on it that really made it better. And I felt this was the best shape I’ve ever been in coming into the series, so I felt it was going to come to us.”
After mechanical troubles slowed Ballance in Florida, he stomped through the Aonia Pass Motocross Park that hosted the General, taking the lead from Jenks, losing it, and then getting it back and pulling away on the last lap. Ballance made up major time on the motocross track.
“We’ve got a track back home, and we practice just about every week. I didn’t really want to give away any of the speed or how to do the jumps, but I felt pretty good so I went ahead and jumped them. Then I had a problem and they got around me. I had to get back around them in the woods. It was a lot of fun.”
With Ballance out front, Jenks and Borich put on a great show battling for second. Jenks took the $100 ITP Holeshot Award, but Borich edged him out by just two seconds at the finish to grab second place.
“I started working on my ‘06 and found a crack in the case, so I had to switch back to my ’05,” said Borich. “I didn’t feel as comfortable on it, it did some stuff that I didn’t like. But me and Chris battled to the end, and I was just glad to give it a good run. Bill was hitting all of the doubles on the motocross track. I wasn’t doing them – I don’t know why, really, I was just playing it safe. Chris and I were just back and forth. On the last lap I just put my head down and tried to get away from him, but he put his head down and tried to get away from me, so it was a great battle.”
“I felt stronger but I’m definitely not where I need to be,” said Jenks. “I didn’t win the race, so I have some more work to do. We passed each other three or four times, just kind of laughing about it, I like racing with Chris. The whole last lap things kept happening. I wanted to race him clean, and he got me at the end.”All three riders are close in the early GNCC standings. Fourth went to Yoshimura Suzuki’s William Yokley, while pro rookie Chris Bithell snagged a solid fifth. The Maxxis General GNCC was taped for an airing on the Outdoor Life Network in April. The series begins airing on April 1st at 3:00 p.m.
In the ATV morning race, Yamaha’s Traci Cecco topped an all-female podium, with Polaris rider Stephanie Parton in second and Jennifer Fulkerson in third.
The 2006 Suzuki GNCC Series continues in two weeks with the Steele Creek GNCC in Morganton, North Carolina. For more information on the Suzuki Orange Crush GNCC, log on to GNCCRacing.com.
Bill Ballance Photo by Raymond Gundy. Contact RaymondGundy@aol.com for GNCC ATV and Bike Photos
ATV Overall Top 20
Maxxis General GNCC
March 11, 2006
1. Bill Ballance Oakland, KY YAM 01:53:07
2. Chris Borich Sunbury, PA HON 01:53:14
3. Chris Jenks Washington, WV HON 01:53:16
4. William Yokley Tompkinsville, KY SUZ 01:55:26
5. Chris Bithell Irwin, PA HON 01:56:02
6. Duane Johnson Trenton, MO HON 01:57:22
7. Rhett M Butler Oak Grove, MO HON 01:58:31
8. Taylor Kiser Alva, FL YAM 01:58:47
9. Andris Lagzdins Baltimore, MD ROL 01:58:48
10. Johnny Gallagher Aurora, OH HON 01:58:57
11. Michael S Houston Hickory, NC HON 01:59:02
12. Sean Neidlinger Flagtown, NJ HON 01:59:07
13. Adam Mcgill West Union, WV HON 01:59:16
15. Ryan Morphew Cookeville, TN HON 01:59:41
16. Craig Reed Crawford, TN HON 01:59:54
17. Tyler Lenig Shamokin, PA HON 01:59:56
18. Brent Sturdivant Montrose, WV HON 02:00:33
19. Bryan Hulsey Washington, MO HON 02:01:47
20. Brandon Sommers Millersburg, OH YAM 02:02:23