Monday 17th December: Tracks Closed.

Paul Whibley

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NZ Super Enduro Championship Round 2 Feb 7 2015

I still had my hands on a YZ 250 two stroke after the recent River Race so I decided to give the NZ Super Enduro Championship a crack.

A small entry but those that did show were keen to race. An added format this year was the knock-out one on one sprint races.After the series of rapid fire races it came down to myself and Adrian Smith, the current NZ CC Champ. I got the jump on the dead engine start and held my hard charging teammate at bay to take the win.

The format then reverted back to a more traditional qualification system for the final. Two semi-final races and a LCQ.

I made it in as the top qualifier. The final was to be longer and include the top 10 qualifiers. I again grabbed a good start and lead the way over the logs, not wanting to be amongst the carnage and elbow rubbing in the first turn. The water splash had created some deep ruts before the tires. The deep ruts had been filled in before the final and when I hit the soft filling it took all my speed and I didn’t make the top of the tires. Second place got stuck right beside me and basically blocked the track. In the following scramble to get going again I dropped back to about 5th.

I pushed hard and made some quick passes in the sand whoops and log piles I moved up behind second. Within a couple of laps I made a pass for the lead up the inside in the sand whoops. Once back in the lead it was smooth sailing to the win.

1st: Paul Whibley, Yamaha 2nd: Dylan Yearbury, KTM 3rd: Chris Power.

Round 1 NZ Enduro Champs Riverhead 1st Feb 2015

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It had been a long time since I raced a Natioanl Enduro in NZ and even longer since I had raced in Riverhead. While I didn’t recognise any trail, memories quickly came flooding back of slick
clay and the pine tree roots once into the first section.
Trail time was supposed to be loose so there was no rush in the first section. The drizzly morning had dampened down the expected dust nicely but in return the hard pack clay was
pretty slick. Completing the first section with enough time to grab a quick splash of gas and then into the first special test. The next section seemed to hold a lot of slower trails and when
we came into check two there was a real scramble to get gas and into the check without losing time. A lot were caught out by how tight it was on time and lost minutes. The trail pace was
fast enough to prohibit slacking and keep you pushing. I kind of liked it because it kept my focus, but I’m not sure many of the Intermediate riders appreciated the pace they had to ride.
The last loop was abandoned with a horse on the loose in the forest posing a danger to riders.
My times felt ok but I suspect I need to work on my special test speed. I felt I rode pretty safely and could do with hanging it out a little. I think I my test pace was basically my 3 hour cross
country speed. Overall I had a lot of fun. The bike worked great and with some more test specific training we will be right in the hunt.
1st: Chris Birch
2nd: Paul Whibley
3rd: Liam Draper

Race Report Woodville January 25th 2015

With dry conditions in the region recently having an effect on river levels, it was a little tricky to have a track that created splash as well as flow. But Gordon Brooker from Property Brokers did a great job and laid out a fun and challenging track that also kept the spectators entertained. The first race I got off to a good start from the La Mons style start. Entering the river just behind James Galpin. A quick pass before the culvert jump had me into the lead. I opened up a small gap but the dust on the dry sections stuck to the goggles and made vision a real challenge. Charles Alabaster kept me honest and was never too far behind. The second race started in a similar order with James Galpin again taking the hole shot. I had pressure from Ben Townley who showed me a wheel before I got past James and into the lead again. This time round with a clear track I was able to break free and open up a comfortable lead. The shifting gravel caught a few out in the second moto with a couple drowned bikes. I was able to ride safely to another win. It’s a real advantage to ride for a company like Yamaha who have a complete range of motorcycles that are super competitive. The 250 2 stroke was a lot of fun in the water. Light, quick handling and built bulletproof to handle the toughest conditions the river could throw at it and never miss a beat. Always a lot of fun and a real crowd favourite with the entire river lined with spectators.

Race Report OMA USA  29th September 2014

Little late getting this report out but the 18 hour trek home from the OMA took a little time. A blow out in the motorhome on I 74 added to the journey. We limped off the closest exit and pulled into a small gas station in Andover Illinois. I set about changing the wheel but struggled to find the jack. After a while a friendly local who lived behind the gas station came over with his 2 ton jack. Then he went and borrowed his cousin’s 3 ton jack when his couldn’t lift the motorhome. Anyway with his help we got the job done and were back on the road. Big Thanks.


At the track though the racing went well. I grabbed the FMF holeshot and got out to a comfortable lead quickly and was able to watch the gap to the guys behind me. The 8 mile track was half deep sand and half hard pack. Kinda a weird combo but I really had a lot of fun in the sandy part. Some short whoop sections but mostly it was single track that got some nice deep turns. My lead steadily grew throughout the race and after 2 hours and 20 min I had taken the win along with the Championship for the season. This making my 6th Championship in the OMA series.

Big Thanks to all the supporters and sponsors for their help. All the crew at the N Fab Am Pro Yamaha team and of course Katherine who has her hands full looking after me and little Colton now.

1st: Paul Whibley
2nd: Adam Bonneur
3rd: Jason Thomas

Race Report OMA USA June 14th 2014

maddix park mx

Paul Whibley reports from Newark.

Taking the win at the third round in Newark Missouri over the weekend and extending the points lead I have in the series. A strong pro row with plenty of talent turned up for the race. Chris Bach (GNCC#3) took second place on his JCR Honda after a battle with Jason Thomas who is a former GNCC XC2 champion. Jason held onto third and sits in second in the points. Nick Fahringer is the current National Enduro point’s leader and took home fourth in Missouri on his Husky.

Also 4x OMA Champion Jimmy Jarrett was back in action and running up front for a few laps at the start of the race. Jimmy and I battled together for years in this series and we reminisced after the race that it was just like the good old days. 

At the wave of the checkered flag I had a comfortable lead but I had to work for it. After the gas stop I was able to really put my head down and open up a lead. In the early laps I had made a bit of a meal out of it. I went down twice on the opening lap, after hitting hidden logs in the leaves and undergrowth. After each crash I was able to climb my way back to the front. 

The day started out strong, taking the FMF holeshot award and leading the race into the woods. Soil was again in prime condition for this event with a single track loamy trail weaving through the woods.  

Results: 1st: Paul Whibley 2nd: Chris Bach 3rd: Jason Thomas.

Click here for some footage.

Race Report  US GNCC Round 7 25th May 2014

I spent a few day leading up to the event riding and practicing at a friend’s place in Pennsylvania in similar terrain to what we would be racing. Slick rocks would be the dominate feature at the track so some set up tweaking with G2 Throttle Cams and an alternate map selection on the Vortex ECU had the bike setup dialled in.

I got a good jump of the line and came into turn one in good shape, but washed the front. I saved it but ran a little wide allowing Kailub Russell and Jason Thomas up the inside. Heading through turn three Jason slid a little and I clipped his back wheel and went down. It was pretty dusty and I ended up getting run over. Feeling a little banged up from an earlier practice crash, the skid marks up my side just added insult to injury. The bars were also bent and clamps twisted. Back on the bike I managed to kick the handguard up and out of the way. Once I got into the woods I found a suitable tree to give the front end a quick realign.

 Back rolling I seemed to struggle to push and close the gap to the pack in front. I picked off a couple guys during the race and finished in the points but it was far from the result I was looking for.

Overall a disappointing result from the weekends racing at the GNCC in West Virginia and a lot of work to do to get back onto the box at the next one.

 1st: Kailub Russell

2nd: Charlie Mullins

3rd: Josh Strang

8th Paul Whibley 

Race report : USA GNCC 2014 Round 5 Indiana April 2014

The tricky off-camber start line is becoming a bit of a feature at the Indiana GNCC. I got a good drive off the line and came into turn one right beside Stu Baylor on the 2 stroke KTM. He had the inside line and I drove it in hard and came round the outside side by side heading into turn two and the holeshot line. I braked really late and took the holeshot and was able to turn on the loam on the outside of turn two and held the lead as we worked our way towards the woods. Leading the first half of the lap at a pretty conservative pace, I was expecting to be dropping positions rapidly. My pace was a little slow after a crash in practice left me with chest pain in my sternum. I wasn’t even sure I was going to race with breathing and sneezing being particularly difficult leading up to the race. Once on the bike and some adrenaline started to flow I found I was able to ride relatively pain free as long as no mistakes or sudden dabs were taken. I was soon passed by a few riders and settled into about 5th. I found I could ride this pace comfortably and not risk any further injury. That was until Japanese rider Takashi Koikeda passed me and sparked my inner desire to race. My pace soon increased and I found myself retaking the position from Takashi and also my team mate Jordan Ashburn who passed me on lap one. I rode most of the race in third place till late in the lap when I slowed again, and Kailub Russell took the position. I think the adrenaline had started to wear off. In the end a solid finish from a race that I wasn’t sure I would see the checkered flag.  

1st: Charlie Mullins 2nd: Thad Duvall 3rd: Kailub Russell 4th Paul Whibley

Race report: US OMA Round 1 Missouri April 2014

A brand new venue with woods that have not seen dirt bike wheels is something you don’t get every day. The soil looked good from the pits and with no walking the track we would have to wait till the race to get a true gage. I grabbed the holeshot and money put up by FMF and also the bonus for this round put up by the farmer. I led the first lap around the 6 and a half mile track. The trail turned out to be everything most dirt bike riders dream of. The soil was super tacky loam in the woods with lines forming quickly. The fields were pretty fast but had a fun factor that we usually don’t see till the Moose Run at the end of the year. Jason Thomas moved into the lead just after we begain the second lap and started a battle that would last till the checkered flag. We pushed each other and passes occurred frequently although Jason was in front most of the time when we passed through scoring. Nick Farhringer at one point passed me and got between Jason and myself but I soon moved back by him and resumed the battle with Jason. After the fuel stop, (Thanks Bonez) the race continued. I think it was the third to last lap Stu Baylor joined us at the front. On the second to last lap at one of the mud holes I caught a good line pointed out by Jimmy Jarrett and got into the lead and was able to put my head down and make a break. Over the last lap I extended the lead and when I took the flag at the end it was the biggest lead anyone had all day. A fun race and some close racing. A good start to the OMA season.  

1st: Paul Whibley 2nd: Jason Thomas 3rd: Stu Baylor

Race report : USA GNCC 2014 Round 3 North Carolina 30th March 2014

It looked to be another wet race with steady rain on Saturday, and for the quads, it was, but
come Sunday the track had dried a little and wasn’t too bad by race time for the afternoon
event.
I got a good start and lead the first mile until I was pointed a bad line. I discovered there was
nothing wrong with the main line after Kailub Russell and Stu Baylor passed me on it so I’m not
sure what this guy was thinking pointing me on a clearly slower line. As it would turn out that
was to be the least of my problems for the day. A couple miles into the first lap I dug the front
into a real soft spot and went over the bars. I lost another couple of positions. I was riding a
little tight after this in the early laps and hadn’t made any forward progress by the fuel stop.
Half a lap later my race came to an sudden end when the bike stopped. I tried to bump start it
down a hill but no go. I was a long way from the pits but pushed it back in the hope of reentering
the race if the problem could be found and rectified. Back under the N-Fab Am-Pro
Yamaha tent Bonez worked his magic but it seemed the bikes problem was terminal.
With no firm diagnoses the bike is now back at the workshop getting torn down looking for the
issue.
As disappointing as my day was, it was swiftly put back into perspective. Fellow Kiwi, Rory
Mead crashed while battling for a podium position and suffered some serious injuries. Our
thoughts are with Rory and his families at this tough time and we are all hoping for some
positive news soon.

Race Report: USA GNCC 2014 Round 1 Florida 

Race Report: GNCC Rnd 8 Masontown WV

Rocks were on the menu for the eighth round of the GNCCs. If you weren’t careful they would
chew you up and spit you out quicker than you could blink.
I got a good start and nabbed the hole shot. My teammate Jordan Ashburn also got off to a
flier and challenged for the honours but ended up crossing the hole shot line on his head, but
he was close.
I led the way into the slick woods. The downpour that came through, 30 minutes before we
started turned the hard packed clay to ice and the rocks resembled snot covered landmines.
Like I mentioned earlier, before I could blink I was on the ground. I don’t know what I hit but
whatever it was took me down in an instant. I managed to mangle my rear brake lever but it
still worked. I got back into the fight in third where I completed the lap. Another get off in the
second lap tweaked the bars. I remounted but had to stop and bash the front wheel on a tree
after discovering it was pointing the wrong way. Still it was hard to ride; the right hand side
had been bent up pretty good. Pretty much all of the XC1 class had gone by me while I was
sorting myself out and it took a good couple of laps before I got used to the new bar bend and
was able to start to pick up the pace a little. I ended up riding most of the race with XC2 leader
Grant Baylor. It wasn’t until the last lap when I got passed him and received a pit board that I
was closing in on Jordan Ashburn. I squeezed by Jordan up a slick rooty hill a couple of miles
before the finish. By the time we came to the line I could see Chris Bach just in front of me but
wasn’t close enough to challenge him, crossing the line 5th in XC1.

1st: Kailub Russell
2nd: Josh Strang
3rd: Charlie Mullins
Result: 5th XC1
Pic thanks to Ken H

Race Report:GNCC Rnd 5 Kentucky 5.03.13   Result 5th

Constant rain starting Friday night and continuing through to around noon on Sunday had the fifth round of the GNCC series all shook up. The youth bike race ran on a severely shortened track and the AM bikes were merged in with the PM race. The race was also on a reduced course of around 8 miles and a shortened duration of 2 hours.

I got a good jump off the line and got to turn one up front but made a mess of rounding the turn and Thad Duvall snuck by and took the hole shot honours. I followed Thad for the first couple miles, trying to avoid the thick roost. At around the 3 mile mark Thad and I went right around a mudhole and lost time to others who went left. Even at this early stage it was hard to tell who was who. The track was quite different to what we walked. A lot of sections were diverted to roads and what wasn’t, was cutting up fast. Beginning the second lap we ran into traffic, some riders had only made it just inside the first woods section off the start line before getting stuck. Mid lap a large bottleneck sent us scrambling into the woods to find a way around. I got to a point where I had to jump off and drag my bike under a log to get on the uphill side of a blockage. I thought this section might end the race (and it did for many) but we kept smashing a way through the trees to get past lap after lap.

Late in the race a stick speared through my front fender and into my radiator, an Evans expulsion engulfed the bike. I thought my race was done right there. Lucky Yamahas are tough and I completed the race, albeit at a reduced pace to take 5th in the XC1.

Tough day, but stoked to finish and get some points when many didn’t.

1st: Thad Duvall

2nd: Josh Strang

3rd: Chris Bach

5th: Paul Whibley

Mid East Rnd 5, Airport,Hickory  May 2013    Result: 1st

Lining up for the start the turnout was visibly less than usual at the popular Airport round. But that was to be expected with steady rain falling for the last 24 hours. I grabbed the start and was the guinea pig that hadto lead the way through all the standing water. It was tough the first couple of laps as you try to work out which puddle is a foot deep and which is 3 feet or more, and where the rut lay under the water.

Once I had a couple of laps under my belt I stopped trying to tiptoe through and began to up the pace, opening a buffer from the chasing pack. The lap was short too; just over five miles and we were quickly into lapped riders. Some were struggling and getting by wasn’t too tough although I had ditched my goggles early and the gritty roost really felt good in the eyes. Brakes soon began to fade as the abrasive soil was grinding on the pads at an accelerated rate.

By the fuel stop I’m sure I was down to steel both ends. Katherine and Joy handled the pit stop, although I’m sure it was a miserable day for them both, huddled under the Yamaha pit tent for two hours while we played out in the monsoon.

After gassing, my lead grew steadily. I started to back it down a little, trying to nurse the bike home. With next to no brakes I had no choice in slowing in some spots, on the rocky downhill I had little choice in what speed I was going at the bottom, just ride it out. Some ruts began to get pretty deep and a few bikes were getting hung up and wedged in watery graves. I would try to remember what rut was deep from the lap before and avoid it a lap later.

Water really was everywhere. Running down the track, sitting in each rut and any low spot just became a pond. By the time I took the checkers I had worn through the knees and the butt in my pants. Definitely got my money’s worth of seat time at this one.

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