New Zealand‘s Paul Whibley struck gold in America again last weekend, this time at round five of the Off-Road Motorcycle and ATV (OMA) series near Hixton, Wisconsin.
This extended Whibley’s lead in the series and kept the 2008 OMA champion’s title defence well on target. He remains unbeaten in the OMA series this season.
“Stuck in the sweat box van for the 12 hour drive to the OMA in Wisconsin was no fun,” Whibley confirmed.
“The AC had blown out a couple weeks earlier, although doing 80mph (130km) down I 90 with your head and as many other body parts as you can fit out the window also works to cool the core temperature.
“The track was a new venue for the OMA series but was a little shorter lap than normal.
“A motocross track was the centre of the loop and held some fun jumps. The trail was fresh and had a lot of off cambers and plenty of logs to hop over. The area hadn’t seen any decent rain for a while and was pretty dry and dusty so the start would be critical.
“Lining up with a game plan to get a good start and run with it. I new I could hole shot having taken that prize at each of the previous OMAs this season.
“With the wave of the flag my GEICO, Monster Energy Kawasaki KXF450 sprang to life and shot me to another holeshot. I put my head down and tried to make a gap right off the bat.
“After a lap I had about 26-second lead so I tried to maintain that buffer although with a short lap we were quickly into lapped traffic and many of these riders were struggling with the technical, tight trail.
“I was amazed as I came around to complete another lap that my lead had grown, as it was tough to be the first guy to run up behind the lappers and blaze a way through. A lot of these riders were pretty cautious though and moved over where they could.
“By the fuel stop I had a good lead with my team-mates Jimmy Jarrett and Scotty Watkins battling over second spot with the returning Brian Garrahan.
“The chequered flag flew and I took the win. Scotty secured second spot and Brian came home third. Jimmy went down late in the race injuring his arm and putting a hole through his lip.”
Whibley won the OMA series and finished runner-up to Isle of Man rider David Knight in the parallel Grand National Cross-country series last year.
1st: Paul Whibley, Kawasaki
2nd: Scotty Watkins, Kawasaki
3rd: Brian Garrahan, Yamaha
4th: Nick Farringer, Husaberg
Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com