Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Championship May Go to the Wire

Championship May Go to the Wire

OCTOBER 8, 2012: Pahiatua cross-country motorcycle ace Paul Whibley has suffered a set-back in the United States, but it’s mostly of his own doing.

The Yamaha ace still leads the Grand National Cross-country Championships (GNCC), despite crashing his way to an unaccustomed third place finish at the 11th round of 13 in the Grand National Cross-country Championships (GNCC) at St Clairsville, Ohio, on Sunday.

And while it wasn’t the result he wanted, especially with his main rival Kailub Russell winning the day, the damage was limited by his tenacity and ability to fight back.

“Championships are won on your worst days. If you can keep your worst days to finishing third or fourth, then that’s okay,” said the 34-year-old former Manawatu forestry worker, affectionately dubbed “The Axeman” on the motorcycling scene.

Whibley (Yamaha YZ450F) snatched the lead at the start, something he has been able to do with regularity this season.

“The bike is standard but it still has more power than anyone could use,” he explained. “So, yes, I was happy with the start and I was riding up front for a lap or so before Kailub Russell and Charlie Mullins came past me. I was feeling comfortable to follow them, so I could watch their lines and it was tough in the slippery conditions.

“But then I messed up. I thought I could get the bike over a big log ... but I couldn’t,” he shrugged.

“I crashed but it was just my own stupid fault. I tweaked my head, my neck and my arm and was pretty sore after that. I needed to make some quick repairs to the bike too.

“I was just hoping I could keep going after that but then I had another crash. I started riding more carefully after that, thinking about damage control.

“I think, to salvage third place, was not too bad considering the day I’d had.”
The Kiwi’s lead has been shaved back to 13 points, with Russell now closing in.

Whibley knows it will go down to the wire and he needs to be at his best if he is to survive and win over the remaining two rounds of the championship.

Meanwhile, another New Zealander in the mix, Wellington’s Rory Mead, finished the day in fifth spot overall and he maintains his hold on third overall in the championship chase.

This season’s New Zealand cross-country and enduro champion, Adrian Smith, from Mokau (Yamaha YZ125) was battling in the top third of the field when he suffered a mechanical problem and was forced to withdraw.

Whibley is supported by Monster Energy, Sargent Yamaha in Masterton, MotoSR suspension,, Graphic MX Creation and Yamaha New Zealand.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Arts Festival: An Evening With Richard Dawkins

In a special one-off, New Zealand event at the Michael Fowler Centre, Dawkins will reflect on his eminent career as a scientist, and expand on the themes of inspiration, influence and ideas in his recent memoir, Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news