New Zealand‘s Paul Whibley is up to his same old tricks … winning cross-country races in America.
The Kawasaki ace from Pahiatua, in the central North Island, won round six of the Off-road Motorcycle and ATV series (OMA) at the Spring Creek National Motocross track at Millville Minnesota at the weekend.
Whibley has been unbeaten in this series so far this season and remains well on track to successfully defend the OMA title he won last year.
“The fantastic venue made a change from the usual ‘field in the middle of nowhere’ setting. With the moto track prepped and a typically tough OMA track laid through the surrounding woods the stage was set for a great race,” said Whibley.
“Local National MX rider Alex Martin made an appearance and enduro front-runner Cole Kirkpatrick both would add some speed and depth to the pro class.
“With the wave of the green flag the race was on. I shot to another great start and lead the way around the motocross track before we shot through a hole in the fence and wove our way into the hills. Alex was hot on my heels after we exited the track and continued to stay close through the woods.
“As we came back to the motocross track and through scoring I was expecting a battle to hold the lead but I managed to hold him at bay. My team-mate, Scotty Watkins, was running in third not to far back and was ready to pounce on any mistake.
“As the time wore on, the racing became more intense and the pace increased. Alex took his turn leading after making a pass stick on the motocross track and was riding great. I regained the lead after working our way past a lapped rider blocking one of the tougher hill climbs. I ran into some problems after the fuel stop when I clipped a stump and tore the end off my rear brake lever.
“The remaining stub was near impossible to use and the resulting pace allowed Alex to erase the buffer I had begun to create. Diving into the pits, my mechanic Scotty was able to bend the stub out giving my boot something to work with and I was back in the race. I caught Alex quickly after we left the motocross track and could see his pace had slowed a little. I was still struggling with the rear brake as my foot would slip off on all the rough braking bumps causing some hairy moments and a leg that was beginning to fatigue from the effort.
“I took the lead with a couple of laps to go and began to extend my lead to the finish. Crossing the line with nearly a two minute buffer. Alex held onto second and Scotty Watkins brought home his KX 250f in third.
1st: Paul Whibley (Kawasaki)
2nd: Alex Martin (Honda)
3rd: Scott Watkins (Kawasaki)
Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com