All content © Bob Mullins
GNCC Congratulates Steward Baylor on a Big Win
Racer Productions, producer of the Progressive Grand National Cross Country Series (GNCC) presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, would like to congratulate Rocky Mountain/Tely Energy/KTM Racingís Steward Baylor on capturing a big win at the Japan National Cross Country (JNCC) season finale. The AAGP season finale took place on Sunday, November 5, at X-JAM Takai Fuji Park near the Yomase Onsen Ski Resort in Kitashiga, Japan.
The X-JAM Takai Fuji Park presented some rough and rocky terrain, similar to various stops along the GNCC circuit. As the seriesí runner-up, Baylor would take on the challenge of racing overseas in Japan at their season finale. The South Carolina native started off the race by putting a sizeable lead on the competition.
After 12 laps of racing, and nearly three-hours of racing, Baylor would finish with a five minute gap between himself and second place to capture the overall victory in Japan. Kazuto Yano, a hard enduro racer who did not contest in the JNCC series came out to race the finale just so he could race against Baylor. Yano would finish second overall on the day. Masahiro Kobayashi who had previously won the AA2 class would finish third overall.
Congratulations to Manabu Watanabe as he would wrap up the 2023 JNCC Championship when he came through fourth overall on the day. Another notable finish was sixth overall by Akira Narita, the 12x Japan Motocross Champion, Supercross podium finisher and one of the groupís guides for the first portion of their trip.
During the morning amateur race at the JNCC Season Finale, GNCCís Race Operations Manager, Jared Bolton got to try his hand at racing overseas. Bolton would come through to finish eighth overall in the morning race. Steward was also accompanied to Japan by his father, Steward Baylor Sr. and his mechanic, Blake Plonsky.
Earlier this year, Daiki Baba and Ryota Suzuki traveled to South Carolina and raced in the XC1 Open Pro class at the Big Buck GNCC in February where they finished 11th and 12th in the class. Baba would compete in the JNCC finale and finish ninth overall.
GNCC Racing would like to give a special thanks to JNCC President, Masami Hoshino, as well as Yoshiteru Kawana, Akira Narita, KTM of Japan, and the rest of the JNCC Community for their welcoming hospitality and kindness.
Photos Jared Bolton
For more information on the GNCC series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.