MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (February 19, 2008) -- ESPN X Games superstar, AMA National Motocross Champion and rally car ace Travis Pastrana will make his return to the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series next month, competing in the opening round of the 2008 tour, the Triton GNCC in Melbourne, Fla., on Tuesday, March 4. Pastrana, one of the most recognizable extreme sports athletes on the planet, has a target set on friend and rival David Knight, the defending GNCC Champion. Pastrana and Knight will race in the XC1 pro motorcycle class.
“I think I was robbed on my other GNCC attempt,” laughed Pastrana, who competed in the Florida GNCC in 2006, but crashed in the first turn and damaged his bike’s radiator. “I am not even half as strong as David Knight in technical terrain, but I grew up spending my winters in the woods of Croom in Florida, and I feel like I can hang with anyone in fast sand whoops through trees.
"The opening round is probably the only place on the face of the earth other than on a motocross track that I have a shot in the dark against the behemoth ballerina most call the Knighter...or any of the other top woods riders, really," added Pastrana. "I'm trying to talk Knight into letting everyone go and starting with me in last so we will avoid any possible first turn excuses. That should also give everyone else a better chance against him. That's my plan!”
Pastrana will race on a full factory Suzuki RM250 two-stroke, courtesy of the FMF Suzuki GNCC team. Now fully focused on a rally car racing career, Pastrana hasn’t done much motorcycle riding lately, but he will pound out laps on Davi Millsaps’ Daytona Supercross practice track to prepare for the event.
“I need to get going,” says Pastrana. “I have been eating ice cream and driving cars almost every day; mostly in the snow!”
The 2008 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series kicks off with the Triton GNCC in Melbourne, Fla. on March 1-4. ATVs will practice on Saturday, March 1, and race Sunday, March 2. Bikes will practice on Monday, March 3, and race Tuesday, March 4. Pastrana and the top GNCC bike pros will race for three hours starting at 1 p.m.
To get to the track, take I-95 to the Melbourne Exit at State Route 192. Go west on Route 192 (12 mi) to Kempfer Road. Turn left on Kempfer Road and travel two miles to the event.
About GNCC Racing:
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. The 13-round championship series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions and has run since 1973. Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The nearly three-hour long GNCC races lead as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC Racing will air weekly television shows on the Versus network starting August 2. GNCC featured sponsors include Can-am, Parts Unlimited, Moose Racing, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Acerbis, Elka, Geico, Klotz, FMF, ITP and Weekend Warrior, and riders compete for over $3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Alpinestars, Cometic, HiPer Technology, Laegers, Moose Utility Division, The National Guard, Powersport Grafx, REM, Scott, Thor, Tire Balls, Twin Air, Ogio, Rekluse, and MotoTee’s. For more information log on to www.gnccracing.com.