Welcome to this week’s 411 coming to you from Park Mammoth Resort in Park City, KY, host to round 5 of the Can-Am GNCC Series. We just got back in from checking out some bits of the track and the facility and it looks like we should be in for an awesome weekend of racing. There’s pretty much no trail on the facility except what the GNCC track crew cut for the race so it’ll be a bit different than your typical GNCC. There were early reports that this facility was extremely rocky, but from the trail I saw and after talking to our RacerTV Film Crew that had ridden the entire track it’s really not that rocky. There are a couple sections of rocks but for the most part it looks like really nice dirt!
Okay, enough about the track and let’s talk about the big news of the week, Chris Bach signing with Obermeyer Yamaha to race a YZ450F at the remaining rounds of the GNCC Series. Bach’s split with Beta has been covered pretty heavily on the forums and Twitter, but basically it wasn’t Bach quitting the team as a lot of people speculated. With Bach being an Indiana native it’s not too surprising to see him partner with Keith Obermeyer and his Yamaha dealership which is located in Indiana as well. Keith is a really nice guy and passionate about off-road and GNCC and he has the means to actually help out riders in a meaningful way which is awesome to see. You’ll remember that when Charlie Mullins was cut loose from the FMF/Suzuki team back in 2009 Keith stepped in along with Randy Hawkins to give Mullins a ride, and he’s obviously also the title sponsor of the Obermeyer Yamaha / Raines Riding U / Offroadviking.com team.
I guess the big question now is how will Bach fare on the Yamaha? This is a track that could suit Bach’s style, but I think we need to keep our expectations low at this point as he’s had less than a week to prepare on the new bike. I know there are a lot of people who have bagged on the Beta and believe that a switch in brands will be what it takes to get Bach back onto the podium. I personally have never ridden a Beta so I can’t comment on that, but sometimes when a rider seems to be in a bit of a slump, a big change like this can give a much needed boost to get the rider back on track. The top pros in our sport are all so close in talent that the mental aspect can be a determining factor between a 3rd and a 6th, and if Chris is confident in the bike underneath him I see only good things happening for him.
The other news that was a bit drowned out by the buzz about Bach was FAR/Husqvarna picking up Nick Davis to fill the spot vacated by Jason Thomas. Nick is a young kid from Pennsylvania that has contested the XC2 class the last two years with mixed results but has tons of speed and with no contracts binding he was able to jump at the opportunity Fred Andrews and Husqvarna gave him. Replacing a rider like Thomas is tough, he’s a guy that has won races in XC2 and has tons of podiums to his credit, but Fred told me that Husky realized that and instead of trying to find a guy that can win races right away they decided to find someone willing to give it a shot and that can grow into the role. Nick rode the Husky for the first time at last weekend’s Rad Dad National Enduro and finished a respectable 17th in the Pro Class and 21st Overall in his first-ever National Enduro and first ride on the bike. I wouldn’t expect too much out of him this weekend, but it’ll be interesting to see how he does on the machine.
One of these days I’ll try and get the 411 done earlier than 7pm and have some more info, but for this week I’m going to cut it short! If you’re in the mood for a little bench racing head on over to our forum and make your predictions for this week’s GNCC!
Oh, and if you haven’t already, check out our video from the National Enduro last weekend!