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

 


Whibley In An Unaccustomed Position

Whibley In An Unaccustomed Position


by Andy McGechan


FEBRUARY 26, 2013: Paul Whibley’s 2013 cross-country racing campaign in the United States is off to a rough start.

The 34-year-old former Manawatu forestry worker, affectionately dubbed “The Axeman” on the motorcycling scene, won two major cross-country titles in the US last season, clinching the Grand National Cross-country Championships (GNCC) and the Off-Road Motorcycle and ATV (OMA) crown as well.

But at the opening round of this year’s OMA series in Tuscumbia, Alabama, at the weekend, the Yamaha ace from Pahiatua had to settle for an unaccustomed fifth placing.

“The 2013 OMA season started well for me as I took the holeshot and led the way into the fresh woods,” said Whibley (Yamaha YZ450F).

“The trail was still covered in leaves and the recent rains had conditions a tad sloppy in places. While leading, I spent most of the time searching for arrows because the track hadn’t been used and I ended up blowing a couple of turns.”

American rival Russell Bobbitt took advantage of a mistake by Whibley in one of the corners, scooting past on the inside of the Kiwi hero.

“I continued to follow Russell and mid lap he blew a turn as well. I also overshot the arrows slightly and where I turned up ended being a real thicket of trees. I crashed my way through to the arrowed track but lost some time and Russell was able to hold onto his lead.”

Then a flurry of activity saw Whibley drop several more places.

“As I re-joined the track, Kailub Russell ran into my leg and I ended up toppling over onto him. It took a couple of seconds to get up as I was briefly stuck under the bike. Once I got back moving and got passed Shane Klimek, the leaders were out of sight and I found myself in no man’s land. I pushed hard but didn’t seem to be making any time up.

“With one lap completed in about 32 minutes, it meant the race would run around five laps total. After refuelling on the second lap, I put my head down and tried to bridge the gap but it just wasn’t happening.

“By the time the final flag flew I was still back in fifth position, well behind my Yamaha team-mate Jordan Ashburn and front runners Russell Bobbitt, Kailub Russell and Nick Fahringer.”

Whibley won almost every round of the OMA series last year, so a fifth placing is not something he regards favourably, but the season is long and unforgiving and there is plenty of time left for him to make amends.

So dominant was Whibley last season in the US that he wrapped up his record fifth consecutive OMA series win in August, taking the 2012 title early, with two rounds still left to run.

Whibley now prepares to begin also his title defence in the parallel GNCC series, the first round of that set for Florida on March 12, before tackling round two of the OMA series at Dawson Springs, Kentucky, on March 31.

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

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Werewolf: Music Criticism As A Dating Metaphor

Music criticism can be just another form of consumer advic... Yet ever since pop music criticism first entered the media mainstream it has played a wider role, too. Rather than a decree with a numerical score attached, this kind of criticism functions more like travel notes. A conversation, even a form of seduction. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Rushing For Gold

The first section focuses particularly on the Victorian connections – commercial, legal, mining and personal, including migration statistics. But for me the most interesting chapters were in the middle sections about the people of the goldfields. More>>

Comedy Festival Review: VOTE BATT

The political campaigning in the US over the last eight months or so has provided a stark insight into how far political candidates are willing to go. This background came into focus as “former comedian” – now politician – Tim Batt ushered people up into the front seats, passing out badges and taking photographs with his not entirely adoring public... More>>

HRH QEII's 90th: New Zealand Post Birthday Stamps Fit For A Queen

New Zealand Post is celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday with a special series of stamps and a limited edition silver coin. The Queen was born on 21 April 1926. To mark her birthday, New Zealand Post has produced ‘lenticular’ or moving stamps that feature nine different images of the Queen on just three stamps. More>>

ALSO:

Anzac Day: A Time To Stand Against Hatred

The Human Rights Commission says ANZAC Day is a time for New Zealanders to remember those things our grandparents stood for and stand up against intolerance and prejudice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news