New Zealand’s Paul Whibley continues to exhibit hot form in the United States.
The Yamaha ace from Pahiatua was virtually untouchable at the latest round of the Off-Road Motorcycle and ATV (OMA) series in Iowa at the weekend as he further extended his lead in the championship.
The defending OMA series champion firstly had to endure a massive 17-hour drive from the AmPro Yamaha base in South Carolina to get to the venue for the round seven event at Winterset, Iowa, but it was time well spent with a solid victory in the end to show for his efforts.
The start again went to plan for the Kiwi hero, with Whibley (Yamaha YZ450F) taking the holeshot award as he quickly leapt into the lead and took immediate control of the race.
However, American rival Chris Bach (Beta) also had a good start and was shadowing Whibley as they weaved through the woods.
“I missed a hot line and that was all the opening Chris needed, moving into the lead. Now it was my turn to apply the pressure. Late in the lap Chris slowed and pulled over with some bike problems. I inherited the lead and a small buffer over the following riders.
“On the second lap, I had a small tip over and quickly Chris was back on my heels after restarting his bike.
“The racing was exciting up front and my team-mate, Jordan Ashburn, was close behind on his YZ250F. Bach’s bike stopped again, this time out of gas. We found out after the race that a stick damaged the fuel petcock enough to let the gas run out.
“Meanwhile, Jordan was riding the wheels off the 250 four-stroke. Unfortunately, his brakes couldn’t keep up and a small problem slowed his pace and allowed me to pull away over the last couple of laps.”
Ashburn hung on to the finish and secured second spot, making it a Yamaha 1-2 result, with Honda rider Scott Watkins taking the last step on the podium.
Watkins’ team-mate and multi-time OMA champion Jimmy Jarrett had a tough day with a dislocated little finger.
1. Paul Whibley
2. Jordan Ashburn
3. Scott Watkins
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com