Taikorea’s Paul Whibley led a Yamaha 1-2 to the top step of the podium at the latest round of the Central Enduro Series at the weekend.
The 38-year-old former Manawatu forestry worker, affectionately dubbed “The Axeman” on the motorcycling scene, showed his international class on the tricky, steep course at Moonshine Valley, in the Akatarawa Forest near Upper Hutt, finishing the day more than 12 minutes ahead of Wellington Yamaha ace Hugh Lintott, with Eketahuna’s Charlie Richardson (Husqvarna FC250) rounding out the podium on Saturday.
Whibley (Yamaha YZ450FX) has only raced three of the five rounds thus far, but he is now up to second in the standings, 17 points behind Richardson, who has raced every round.
Lintott has also raced all five rounds thus far and he is level with Whibley, equal second on the points table.
“The first section was really slick after the previous day’s rain,” said Whibley. Then into the first test that was mostly up a bulldozed track that had a hard rocky base. Was arm pump city for me, although I did post a solid time.
“The second test was through the slick section we had just pre rode. I posted a good time here and opened up a gap over the field.
“The third test was a repeat of test one. And although I had loosened a little in the previous test, I still pumped up in this one But I was still able to post a good time.
“The long sections held plenty of challenges for riders with some really technical and tight trails. Plenty of water filled ruts that hid their true personality in the murky depths. Careful line selection was needed to keep out of trouble.
“The last section held the last test through the slick pines again. A short piece had been removed after some serious ruts formed. Since I had a comfortable lead I didn’t push too hard in the last test. Instead I saved some focus for the last long section through the mud holes. I managed to stay on time for the day and take the win.”
The sixth and final round of the Central Enduro Series is set for Urenui, in Taranaki, on October 8, although Whibley has revealed he’ll be a non-starter at that because this clashes with another event he has committed to.
Whibley is supported by Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Arai, TCX, Oakley, G2, Asterisk, MotoSR, Vortex Ignitions, EC3D, Bush Riders MCC, Rossco’s Start Up Services, Unabiker, Leatt Brace, Tire Balls, Renthal, Bikesportnz.com, CarbSport, KettleClamp, Alliance Offroad, Ride Eng MotoSeat, FMF, Michelin, Yamalube CV4 GYTR, IMS O’Neal, Rekluse, Workshop Graphics and Silverbullet.co.nz
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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