We are the Trail Jesters

2019 Team Announcement

Trail Jesters KTM Racing is pleased to introduce our 2019 roster of professional, amateur and youth riders that will compete at the regional, national and international level. This season we will field an expanded three professional rider roster.

Ben Kelley returns for his sixth year as a member of Trail Jesters KTM Racing. Ben is the 2018 Grand National Cross Country XC2 250 Pro champion and a solid 5th in the overall GNCC standings for the year. In his rookie year running the AMA National Enduro series Ben finished an impressive 4th overall. Ben claimed the AMA Pennsylvania State Extreme Enduro championship by winning “Tough like RORR” becoming the first ever repeat winner of the event. Ben was a member of the AMA U.S. ISDE Junior World Trophy Team that finished second at Six Days in Chile. For 2019 Ben will defend his GNCC title racing a factory prepared KTM 250 XC-F in the XC2 250 Pro class and will return to New England to contest the JDay Offload GP series in Pro class. Kelley will compete in select Extreme Enduros (Tough like RORR and Tennessee Knockout) aboard a KTM 300 XC-W TPI.

Jesse Ansley joins the team coming off a stellar year winning the GNCC XC3 125 Pro/Am championship and the AMA National Enduro AA class championship. Jesse is a multi time national champion at many levels of youth and amateur racing. Jesse will ride a KTM 125 SX as he looks to defend his GNCC XC3 125 Pro/Am title and will also go after the Full Gas Sprint Enduro Pro2 championship in 2019.

Johnny Girroir joins the team coming off his rookie GNCC series year where he landed two XC2 podiums in 2018. For 2019 Girroir will race a KTM 250 XC-F in the GNCC XC2 250 Pro class. Johnny will also race a 450 XC-F in the IXCR series Pro class. Johnny will race under the MCS/Trail Jesters/KTM Racing banner. The collaboration of Rod Marshall’s MCS team and Trail Jesters brings together proven rider management and resources in support of this rising star in offroad racing.

I’m very pleased that Trail Jesters will expand their professional rider roster and also add a youth rider for 2019”, said Antti Kallonen, Manager of KTM Off-road Racing. “I look forward seeing this talented group of riders go after and win championships.

The 2019 Trail Jesters KTM Racing team will have a four-rider amateur and youth roster. All riders are New England stand outs.

Taylor Johnston returns for her fourth year as a member of Trail Jesters KTM Racing. In 2018 Taylor was the runner up in her first year racing the JDay Offroad GP Women’s series. In her first ever extreme enduro event Taylor emerged as the 2018 “Tough like RORR” Women’s Champion. Taylor was the 2016 & 2017 JDay Offroad Sprint Enduro Women’s Champion and in the past wrote herself into New England record books becoming the first women ever to earn promotion to B class in NETRA Hare Scrambles. Taylor will ride a 250 XC-W TPI in JDay Offroad GP and other select events.

Simon Johnson returns for his third year as a member of Trail Jesters KTM Racing. In his rookie year running at the national level in the GNCC series Simon took 3rd place 250A class and 29th overall. Simon also landed on the Amateur overall podium twice in 2018. Simon will ride a KTM 250 XC-F in GNCC 250A and JDay Offroad Sprint Enduro series.

Owen Giese returns for his third year as a member of Trail Jesters KTM Racing. Owen placed fifth in 2018 GNCC 250A and 34th overall. Owen is product of the NETRA offroad community and is now looking to make his mark at the national level. Owen will ride a KTM 250 XC-F in GNCC 250A and NETRA Hare Scrambles series.

Brayden Nolette joins the team coming off a three championship year winning the 2018 ECEA Super Mini Hare Scramble Championship, ECEA Schoolboy1 Hare Scramble Championship and ECEA Super Mini Sprint Enduro Championship. In the past Brayden has won NETRA and ECEA championships at several levels of youth racing. He was the 2017 ECEA Horizon Award winner. For 2019 Trail Jesters KTM Racing is expanding into the GNCC Youth national championship chase with the addition of Brayden riding a KTM 105 SX in the YXC1 class.

Expanding our KTM based program and growing our GNCC presence and impact is what 2019 will be all about“, said Ross Mauri, founder of Trail Jesters. “This is the sixth year for Trail Jesters Racing and we have high expectations for rider development and success at all levels.

About: Trail Jesters Racing is a KTM factory support team. We have professional, amateur and youth offroad riders competing at the regional, national and international level in many formats of offroad racing. The Trail Jesters Racing team was established in January 2014.
Ben Kelley 2018 GNCC XC2 250 Pro champion.
Jesse Ansley 2018 GNCC XC3 125 Pro/Am champion.


Brayden Nolette joins Trail Jesters KTM Racing

We are very pleased to announce Brayden Nolette as the first 2019 team signing. Brayden will ride a 2019 KTM 105 XC in the GNCC YXC1 14-16 Super Mini Class.

Brayden has been a NETRA member and racer since the age of seven. Now 14 years old, Brayden is a multi-time champion winning the 2016 NETRA Mini Hare Scramble series, 2016 NETRA Mini Enduro series and 2017 ECEA Hare Scramble 12-13 Super Mini series.

For 2018 Brayden is contesting multiple ECEA series and currently carries the points lead in the 14-16 Super Mini Hare Scramble, School Boy 1 Hare Scramble and 14-16 Super Mini Sprint Enduro classes.

Our full 2019 offload racing team will be announced in November.

2018 National Enduro rd 6 – Cross Fork, PA

Ben Kelley was on fire at the Rattlesnake National Enduro round 6 held in Cross Fork, Pennsylvania. Ben surprised everyone with a fast start to the day taking second place overall on the short 3 mile test 1. He then continued to battle for a podium spot throughout the next three tests. Heading into the final test 6 (test 5 was canceled) Ben was sitting in third place overall and down 2 seconds to fellow KTM rider Stu Baylor. Ben’s charge saw him ride to the test win by 17 seconds and to secure a personal best second overall for the day. Ben heads in to round seven of the National Enduro series sitting in third place in championship points.


Ben Kelley with 2-3-4-3-1 test scores for 2nd overall at Rattlesnake National Enduro.

2018 Snowshoe GNCC Team Report – Snowshoe, WV

Our visit to the mountain for this year’s GNCC round 9 was true to form as nicknamed “America’s Toughest Race.” Fog, rain, mud, roots and the challenging hills of West Virginia made for a great day of off road racing.

Ben Kelley started on row 2 for the exciting and unique live engine start modeled after the famous Blackwater 100 cross country event. Ben got off the line well and settled in with the top 15 riders overall as the track took them from high to low and back again on the Snowshoe mountain slopes, forests and fire roads. On lap two Ben, and his KTM mounted teammate Josh Toth, began to distance themselves from the other XC2 riders but continued to battle for the top class position as they moved up in the overall standings. On lap four Ben took over the lead and pushed hard to try to make the overall podium. At the checkers Ben took the XC2 win and landed 4th overall at the 12th annual Snowshoe GNCC.

Chris Bach returned to GNCC racing on a FMF equipped KTM 125 SX in the XC3 125 ProAm class. Chris had a great ride going running in the top three for the first six laps until a mechanical issue ended his run for the day. Chris had a lot of fun lining up in XC3 and I’m sure we will see him back again this year at a future round.

In the 250 A class Simon Johnson got a great start off the line and came around in third place after lap 1 and continued to push until taking over the lead on lap 3. Simon lead for the next four laps gapping second place by more than two minutes on the rough and slippery mountain course. On the last lap a fall on a steep uphill damaged Simon’s bike and required him to turn around and go back down the slope before restarting his race. The unfortunate crash broke his clutch lever and he had also surrendered the lead. Simon drove hard but came up 2 seconds short at the checkers but took a well earned 2nd place in class and 32nd overall for the day.

Owen Giese had his ups and downs at Snowshoe Mountain struggling at first and coming around in ninth place the first lap. But Owen kept charging and picking off riders until he took over 3rd place in class on lap five. From there Owen went on to score his first ever GNCC 250 A podium (3rd place) and 39th overall.

Chris Bach returns to GNCC Racing with Trail Jesters KTM Racing

Copake Lake, New York (June 18, 2018) – Trail Jesters KTM Racing is very pleased to announce today that Chris Bach has joined the team for the remainder of 2018. Bach will race a 2018 KTM 125 SX in select Grand National Cross Country XC3 125 ProAm and AMA Pro Motocross 125cc All Star events.

Chris hails from Crown Point, Indiana and was a long time professional offroad racer riding for both Honda and KTM before retiring from full time racing in 2017. Chris is now doing R&D work for KTM, in the commercial real estate business and riding for fun when he can. Chris had many successes throughout his professional career including multiple XC1 podiums at Snowshoe, WV. So it is quite fitting that Chris announce his return to the sport he loves and that he will ride select GNCC events in the XC3 125 ProAm class beginning at the upcoming Snowshoe GNCC on June 20.

“I’m elated to do some summer time racing with the Trail Jesters crew this year. I’ve been having more fun than ever riding my dirt bike after officially retiring from XC1 and full-time racing in 2017, which is really what sparked this whole idea. To be able to partner up with the Trail Jesters team at these events on a 125 is really icing on the cake. Ross and the whole crew have a passion for racing that I think is easily lost by many and I’m so fortunate and humbled to go racing and burn some premix with such a great group.” said Chris Bach “And I never raced XC2, let alone a 125, so I’m excited to experience GNCC racing in a new light on the small bore offering from KTM.”

Chris Bach in 2017 on his RPM Racing KTM 350 XC-F.

Also of note and very fitting to this next phase of racing for Chris is that he will run the number 133 on his bike in honor of the late Dale Cooke.

“Two stroke fever has swept the nation and we couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement and resurgence of racing these popular machines. After talking to Chris it was an easy decision to broaden our focus and support a great rider that wanted to get back into the sport he loves.” said Ross Mauri, the founder of Trail Jesters.

Thank you to KTM, FMF Racing, Motorex, and Edelmann’s Sales in Troy, NY for their continued support.