Adam McGill got his first win of the year.
Morganton, NC (March 26, 2011) - Adam McGill and Chris Bithell gave Can-Am the top two steps of the podium with an exciting one-two finish at the FMF Steele Creek General GNCC - round three of the 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Series in Morganton, North Carolina.
The Foremost Insurance/Warnert Racing/Can-Am teammates battled race-long with Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Chris Borich and Ballance Racing Yamaha's Taylor Kiser, with McGill, Bithell and Borich trading the lead over the course of the two-hour race.
McGill and Bithell took a strong lead on lap two when they elected not to pit and the rest of the field did, however; near the end of the race Borich and Kiser pulled to back within striking distance on the rough and mountainous 11-mile course.
On the final lap it looked as though Borich might get one of his patented come-from-behind wins when he passed Bithell for the lead up one of Steele Creek's steep hills. However, near the end of the lap Borich's bike sputtered and slowed, allowing McGill and Bithell to go around. At the finish, McGill took the checkers and the win four seconds ahead of Bithell.
Chris Bithell led much of the race.
"It's been two years since I've been up here on the top step and it feels pretty good," said McGill. "On the final lap my mechanic put out a sign that said "Break It" and I did."
Bithell has gained momentum with every race this year, and looked capable of taking the win, despite losing his brakes on the final lap.
"I lost my rear brakes at the beginning of that last lap and Adam caught me," said Bithell. "I thought he might have a better chance to catch Borich so I let him by. Then, the next thing I know I could hear Borich's bike snappin' and poppin'. After that we just put the hammer down."
After grabbing the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award to start the race, Yokley Racing's Jarrod McClure ran a strong pace which paid off in a third place finish, a personal best for the Pennsylvanian.
"I couldn't have started the race any better and my bike ran strong, and it just all paid off," said McClure.
Kiser ended the day in fourth, while Borich managed to salvage a fifth place finish - which meant he held onto his points lead.
Jarrod McClure nailed the Motosport.com holeshot and finished third.
"On the last lap I managed to get the lead and I was riding smooth," said Borich. "I had the lead until about a mile to go and the bike just started cutting out. All in all, it was a pretty good day except for the end. I was able to get a few points with a fifth and I still have the points lead, so we'll just have to get 'em at the next one."
Honda rider Brian Wolf got his best finish of the year, beating out FRE KTM's Bryan Cook for sixth. Meanwhile, JET Suspension Honda's Donnie Ockerman finished eighth ahead of Yamaha riders Johnny Gallagher and Jeffrey Pickens.
With three races in the books, Borich holds the series points lead with 76 points, followed by Bithell with 71, McGill with 69, and Kiser with 61.
Walker Fowler continues to dominate the XC2 division, claiming his third win of the year with an impressive ride at Steele Creek. The Ballance Racing Yamaha rider got off to a poor start at the beginning of the race, but still finished with a minute to spare over second place.
"I didn't think the bike was going to start and I kind of hesitated and the next thing I knew everyone was gone," said Fowler. "It was a little harder to get going than I thought, but the fans were great here and that kept me going."