FMF Makita Suzuki’s Josh Strang bounced back from a spectacular crash in the Powerline GNCC in St. Clairsville, OH, and rallied with a solid fifth-place finish. Strang put in a heroic ride on his FMF Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 in the latest round of the Grand National Cross Country Series on Sunday, and remains in the runner-up position in the overall points chase.
The start of the race saw Strang get an impressive launch on his FMF Makita Suzuki, and he was in third place as the frontrunners entered the woods for the first time. Just a few miles into the three-hour event, however, the course cut through one of Powerline Park’s notorious mud holes and Strang chose a line that unfortunately directed him into a tree and off a frighteningly steep ledge.
"I got a good start on the FMF Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 and was up there with the leaders," said Strang. "But when we came to the mud hole, there were two different lines and I took one and just clipped a tree and went off line and ended up going off a five-foot embankment."
Strang lost valuable time getting back into the race, but he managed to settle into a pace that eventually carried him up into a three-way battle for third. Unfortunately, another mud hole took its toll and Strang wound up in fifth at the race’s end.
"It was just a disappointing day," admitted Strang. "But these things happen in racing. At this point, I just want to have a clean race and get a win on the FMF Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 – I just want to get back down to business and start winning again."
With three races remaining on the schedule, defending series champion Strang still has a legitimate shot at the title. Thirty points are up for grabs at the next race, and Strang is determined that those points will be his.
"The Ironman is a good race," said Strang about the next event. "I like that track and it suits the FMF Makita Suzuki RM-Z450, so I usually do well there. I’m looking forward to it and hopefully getting the win."
The 2011 FMF Makita Suzuki team’s next event is Sunday, October 23rd, in Crawfordsville, IN, for the Ironman GNCC.
Powerline GNCC XC1 Class Results:
1. Kailub Russell
2. Charles Mullins
3. Thaddeus Duvall
4. Paul Whibley
5. Josh Strang
6. Jimmy Jarrett
7. Mike Lafferty
8. Nathan Kanney
9. Jesse Robinson
10. Scott Watkins
2011 GNCC XC-1 Class Standings:
1. Charles Mullins – 245
2. Josh Strang – 219
3. Paul Whibley – 213
4. Kailub Russell– 180
5. Nathan Kanney– 160
6. Cory Buttrick – 120
7. Mike Lafferty – 105
8. Jimmy Jarrett – 98
9. Thaddeus Duvall – 96
10. Christopher Bach – 96