Kailub Russell secured the 2014 Grand National Cross Country Championship two weeks ago so rather than watch as a very happy spectator for the final two races of the season, he's not only going to race but make it a bit harder on himself to win.
Russell is sidelining his regular 350 4-stroke race bike during Round 12 at Powerline Park in St. Clairsville, OH for a 2-stroke KTM 150XC which he'll also use in the final round of the series later this month.
"I would love to get the job done at least once on a small bore bike," said Russell, a MotoSport rider. "The last time someone won a GNCC overall on a small bore two-stroke was back in 2001. So that's all the motivation I need."
The bike is part of a fund-raising raffle to help offset costs for Russell to attend the International Six Day Enduro in Argentina next month and raise money to help his friend Rory Mead continue spinal injury rehabilitation. Mead, who was leading in points for the XC2 Pro class, fractured the C5 and C6 vertebrae in his neck after a crash halfway through the final lap of Round 3 in March at Steele Creek.
The KTM 150XC Kailub Russell is riding for the last two GNCC rounds is part of a fund-raising raffle
The raffle winner of the KTM 150 Russell is riding for the last two rounds gets the bike fully refurbished, a set of riding gear and a signed Russell #1 race jersey, among other things. Raffle tickets are $20 each, $50 for three or $100 for 10 and can be purchased in the FMF KTM pit area in the final two rounds or online through Shane Watts's website. The drawing will be conducted on the finish podium after Round 13 on Oct. 26 in Crawfordsville, IN.
"The bike not only looks rad, but it is an absolute weapon and is such a blast to roost around on," Russell said. "It will only have six to seven hours on the clock, whoever wins this bike is in for a real treat."
A win on Sunday extends Russell's win streak to six this season and ninth of the season. It also breaks his tie with Scott Plessinger for fifth-place on the All-Time Bike Wins list. Russell has 21 wins for his career. Powerline Park, located on an old strip mine, is known for the mud thanks to fire roads that run across the property. The topsoil is clay with a rocky base and the course includes tight woods and elevation changes.
Pro bikes start at 1 p.m. (EST) on Sunday at Powerline Park in St. Clairsville, OH.
Overall National Championship Standings:
- Kailub Russell (293) - 2014 GNCC Champion
- Jordan Ashburn (187)
- Josh Strang (186)
- Charlie Mullins (180)
- Grant Baylor (177)
- Paul Whibley (152)
- Andrew Delong (152)
- Ricky Russell (117)
- Chris Bach (108)
- Trevor Bollinger (106)